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April 2022 – Music Edition

May 3, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry

Top 25 Most Played Albums of April 2022 (* indicates new album in April)

  1. *Vince Staples – Ramona Park Broke My Heart
  2. Mariah Carey – Daydream (1995)
  3. Mariah Carey – Music Box (1993)
  4. Big K.R.I.T. – Digital Roses Don’t Die
  5. Don Michael Jr. – This Is Not Music.
  6. *Marian Hill – why can’t we just pretend?
  7. Mariah Carey – Charmbracelet (2002)
  8. Mariah Carey – Butterfly (1997)
  9. *Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry
  10. Saba – Few Good Things
  11. Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey (1990)
  12. Mariah Carey – Rainbow (1999)
  13. EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  14. J. Cole – Friday Night Lights (2010)
  15. Mariah Carey – The Emancipation of Mimi (2004)
  16. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016)
  17. Placebo – Never Let Me Go
  18. The Weeknd – Dawn FM
  19. Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future
  20. Mariah Carey – Glitter (2001)
  21. Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 4
  22. Emeli Sande – Real Life (2019)
  23. Conway the Machine – God Don’t Make Mistakes
  24. Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  25. *Fivio Foreign – B.I.B.L.E.

Comments: Uhm. Confession: I met someone and she loves Mariah Carey so here I am listening to her whole discography and guess what? I really like it. It’s not like I was unaware of Mariah or unfamiliar with her biggest hits, but I’ve never dug through any of her albums before. She was (maybe still is?) legit. Her first five albums are all really good with basically zero misses. I’ve been less enamored with her post-Butterfly projects as her sound feels more and more top 100 poppy to me. I prefer Mariah when she’s singing singing. But still, some of the later projects are still growing on me. I’m a hip-hop guy but I appreciate good music from any genre and I been sleeping on Mariah. She’s fire. Plus, connecting with someone musically is a vibe. I like tapping into what she listens to and seeing if I like it also, even though it may not be something I’d listen to on my own (see also: The 1975). As far as new hip-hop releases, the two big ones were new albums from Vince Staples and Pusha T – and I really liked both of them. Fivio Foreign had some sick guest verses over the last year and I was intrigued by what his album would be like, but I listened to it once through and don’t plan to give it another full listen. I also feel like it’s worth noting that the Conway, Cordae, and Big K.R.I.T. albums have grown on me. Lastly, I’m on my 4th listen to the new Marian Hill album and it’s gotten better every time. 🔥

One last and very important note: THE KING IS BACK. Kendrick Lamar drops high long awaited and mega anticipated album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppas (wut) on May 13th at 9 PM PST. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND SET YOUR ALARMS AND SIT DOWN. BE HUMBLE.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Mariah Carey
  2. Kanye West
  3. Saba
  4. The Weeknd
  5. Che Noir
  6. The Roots
  7. Lil Wayne
  8. Sir
  9. Denzel Curry
  10. James Blake
  11. Frank Ocean
  12. Adele
  13. Ludacris
  14. Nas
  15. FKA twigs
  16. Musiq Soulchild
  17. Big K.R.I.T.
  18. Conway the Machine
  19. Cordae
  20. EARTHGANG
  21. Benny the Butcher
  22. Vince Staples
  23. Frankie Cosmos
  24. Don Michael Jr.
  25. J Dilla

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
April 2022 Additions:

Big K.R.I.T., “Show U Right”
Don Michael Jr., “Championship Rings.”
Don Michael Jr., “New Energy.”
EARTHGANG, “ALL EYES ON ME”
Little Simz, “Protect My Energy”
Russ, “Get It” (feat. Cyhi the Prynce & Lloyd Banks)
Vince Staples, “WHEN SPARKS FLY”

Comments: Mariah dominated my listening in April and I’m still getting used to the newer hip-hop releases.





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March 2022 – Music Edition

April 7, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future

Top 25 Most Played Albums of March 2022 (* indicates new album in March)

  1. Sir – Chasing Summer (2019)
  2. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
  3. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE (2012)
  4. *Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future
  5. Musiq Soulchild – Juslisen (2002)
  6. James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart
  7. Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing (2016)
  8. Adele – 30
  9. FKA twigs – CAPRISONGS
  10. *KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz – Rise & Fall of Slaughterhouse
  11. Jacob Latimore – C3 (2020)
  12. *Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 4
  13. EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  14. Conway the Machine – God Don’t Make Mistakes
  15. dvsn – Morning After (2017)
  16. Spillage Village – Spilligion (2020)
  17. *RZA – Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater
  18. Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure? (2020)
  19. *Onyx – 1993
  20. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (2017)
  21. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth (2007)
  22. Don Michael Jr. – This Is Not Music.
  23. 6LACK – East Atlanta Love Letter (2018)
  24. Baby B – Text at 2 AM
  25. The Weeknd – Dawn FM

Comments: I haven’t been public about this at all, but I feel like the cat is out of the bag now: I am no longer married. I feel like the huge life change is reflected in the kind of music I wanted to listen to last month because I was definitely in my feelings – mourning the end of an important long term relationship but also excited about what the future holds. Needless to say, new music was put on the back burner in March. I was way too distracted for all that. Denzel Curry’s new album was the only new project I gave a good listen to and it was pretty good. I was super excited for Benny the Butcher’s Tana Talk 4 but if I’m being honest, it hasn’t really grabbed me. Maybe I finally have Benny fatigue? The track with J. Cole is possibly the best song of 2022 though. I’ve been using Last.FM to track my music stats for almost two years now and the most I’d ever listened to a single song was about 30 times. Last month alone, there were nine songs I listened to over 30 times! Like I said, in my feelings.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Kanye West
  2. Saba
  3. The Roots
  4. Che Noir
  5. Lil Wayne
  6. Sir
  7. James Blake
  8. Frank Ocean
  9. Ludacris
  10. The Weeknd
  11. Adele
  12. Denzel Curry
  13. Musiq Soulchild
  14. FKA twigs
  15. Nas
  16. Frankie Cosmos
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. Cordae
  19. J Dilla
  20. Benny the Butcher
  21. EARTHGANG
  22. KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz
  23. Snoop Dogg
  24. Big K.R.I.T.
  25. Roddy Ricch

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
March 2022 Additions:

Benny the Butcher, “Johnny P’s Caddy” (feat. J. Cole)
Denzel Curry, “The Last”
KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz, “Look Mama”
Nas, “40-16 Building”

Comments: Super distracted last month so didn’t add much here.





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2021 Year in Review – WSOP Edition – Part Two

March 23, 2022
Loyal Mariners fan

My plan after busting Day 2 of the $3k HORSE was to immediately jump in the $1500 2-7 Triple Draw tournament, but it was 1 AM when they finally sent me to the rail and I missed the tournament I was looking forward to playing more than any other event in 2021. Sometimes these things happen for a good reason though. Joker was in town to play the deuce though and I decided to not get a piece of him because I know his experience in the game is super limited and my goal during WSOP is to reduce my personal variance so I don’t really love taking action from my friends when I’m down there.

Well, a funny thing happened. Joker crushed that tournament. He made the final table with the chip lead and ended up taking 2nd place after losing to David “Bakes” Baker heads up for the bracelet and a $54k score that bested my own personal records. I was impressed to say the least. Not just with the run, but also with hearing him talk about the pots he was playing and realizing how much he was leveling up from the experience. I thought when the tournament started that he was a bit of a 2-7 TD fish and by the time it was over, I thought he was legit better than me at the game. I didn’t have faith in him and it cost me. Never again. Ride or die.

Heads up for a bracelet

My next WSOP event was a $500 NL Freezeout and I was crushing on Day 1 until I punted it away (can’t remember how now) and found myself with a stub as we neared the money bubble. I ended up making the money and finishing Day 1 with 25 bigs, sitting above average with 133 players left from a field of nearly 3000. Once again, I fizzled on a Day 2 and ended up busting in 51st place for a $3200 payout. This cash made me 3 for 3 in No Limit Hold’em events though. I definitely focus on mix game tourneys, but I had been playing NL cash all of 2021 and it felt like the experienced paid off. I played a little bit of cash after busting out on Day 2 of this one, but the results were basically breakeven.

My next event was the $1500 Razz – the first time I’ve ever played a straight up Razz live tournament. I bagged 82.5k on Day 1 (shock) which left me middle of the pack with 98 players left and 47 of us cashing. Joker bagged a huge stack in this one finishing with 175k on Day 1. The Day 2 curse stayed alive as I never got any momentum and busted far from the money. Joker also got rekt on Day 2 this time and ended up finishing two spots out of the money.

Talking myself out of punting in Razz

I late regged the $3k 6-Max Limit Hold’em event after busting the Razz and spent most of the Day 1 smacking everyone around. I got torched the last level of the night with a number of sick connections: I had AJ of clubs on AK4cc2cK vs 44; KJ vs KT on KQ5T5; and AK vs AQ on KQ9Qx – all of which were at least 3-bet pots preflop. I ended up bagging 81.5k after peaking around 132k. After a night of sleep, the doom switch was immediately activated again and I lost every key pot I played on Day 2 and finished out of the money again. I did get to play with the GOAT poker commentator Nick Schulman though. He was cool, but I’ve noticed when he’s actually playing he’s not outgoing or overly friendly. That was definitely my experience as well.

By this time, I was completely over all the Day 2 run bads and I had a getaway planned for the next five days and headed to Zion National Park in Utah for some much needed rest, relaxation, and sight-seeing.

I actually really loved the way the WSOP schedule was organized last year. All the mix game events were kind of jumbled together and when I returned from Utah, the events I was interested in were all NL Hold’em tournaments which was a nice warm up for the Main Event.

I got back to Vegas in time to play the $2500 9-Game tournament, but I talked myself out of it even though I had mostly just been going for it. That left me open to fire all the bullets in the $400 Colossus and I sure as shit did exactly that, getting in for the maximum of four bullets. I definitely punted a couple of them but I somehow managed to make the money on the last one, but it was a min cash that only got me half of my overall investment back.

I played an uneventful online NL event before hopping in the $600 NL Deep Stack the next day and making yet another deep run. I actually had some momentum on Day 2 this time, but I lost an insanely bloated pot where my opponent absolutely punted with KQ when I had AK and got there against me. It killed me late in Day 2 and I ended up finishing in 67th for a $3500 score.

I took a couple days off before playing Day 1B of the $10k Main Event. This was my third time playing the Main and so far I was two for two on making Day 2 and busting relatively early. My 2021 WSOP was full of Day 2s and I had cashed every live NL tourney I played in the series (plus two online NL events), so I was feeling like I had a really good chance to get my first Main Event cash in 2021.

Things were going pretty well for me during the first two levels and I felt like my game was on point and that I was at a good table… and then a crazy hand happened. With the blinds at 200/400, I was on the button and the dealer dealt me a ten face up and a ten face down. They replaced one of my tens with the 8 of spades and I had T8 suited when the action went raise to 1000 and a call in front of me. I decided to see a flop in position and made the call also. The big blind made a very large 3-bet to 7200 and I was folding this hand almost all the time, but then both players called in front of me and I decided to gamble. I was 60k+ effective behind with the 3-bettor and the other two players had around 40k behind. The flop came down 874 with two spades, giving me top pair and a flush draw. With around 30k in the pot everyone checked to me. I thought it was unlikely my hand was good here and if I put a bet in, I was going to have to commit my whole stack to this pot, so I checked back to see what happened on the turn. It was the ten of diamonds, giving me top two pair and a flush draw. The big blind checked again and the original opener bet 9400 and Cole Ferraro (who had just won the $600 Deep Stack I cashed a few days earlier) called. I think it’s pretty clear I always have the best hand here. The preflop 3-bettor never has a hand. Neither Cole or the turn bettor would check the flop with a set or a straight after the 3-bettor checked in front of them and with a ten exposed preflop, it was impossible for anyone to have a set of 10s. Both guys that put chips in on the turn only had like 30k behind so putting them all in made the most sense to me. I jammed. The bettor ended up tanking forever and I was hoping he would call because it was obvious I had him beat… and he did end up calling… when Cole snap-called I knew that couldn’t be good news. He immediately rolled the J9 of spades over and I was absolutely fucked. He had the nut straight AND had my flush draw covered. It’s really the only hand combo that made any sense for him to play this way and there it was. The other ding dong got it all in with pocket jacks and luck boxed the river by spiking a 9 to chop the pot with Cole. I ended up losing like 2/3 of my stack in this spot that I could have very easily folded preflop.

I had about 30 bigs when someone opened the pot from middle position and I 3-bet him with AA from the big blind. The flop came K98 and I overbet jammed the flop and he ended up tanking for a while before nit-rolling me with 98 suited. I didn’t improve and found myself stunned to be an unlikely Main Event Day 1 casualty.

And that was my 2021 World Series of Poker.

Final Stats

Live Cash: -$1499 in 30.5 hours
Online Cash: +$2150 in 25 hours
Online Tourneys: 4 cashes in 12 events for +$3786 in 35 hours
Non-WSOP Live Tourneys: 0 cashes in 2 events for -$1000 in 11 hours
WSOP: 5 cashes in 12 events for -$10,714 in 171 hours

Overall: -$7277 in 272.5 hours

It looks worse than it was. My average buy in excluding the Main Event was probably around $1500 so bricking that one event has an absolutely massive affect on my overall results. Also, I had the biggest pieces of myself in the smaller events that I did really well in and much smaller pieces in the biggest events I played, so my personal net actually ended up being pretty good while my backers definitely took the worst of it. Sorry guys! I felt really good with how I played the whole series. I played 12 WSOP events and I made Day 2 nine times. That’s pretty damn good. Things never went well for me on a Day 2, but I still managed to cash in nearly 42% of the WSOP events I played and felt like I was a contender in every single tournament except the Main Event – both of my other two non-Day 2 bust outs were at the buzzer of Day 1. It wasn’t the greatest series for me as far as profitability, but it was a phenomenal year as far as experience and networking went. I’m on people’s radar now and I plan to stay there. I’m going to play an even bigger and bolder schedule in 2022 and I’ll be GODDAMNED if I have same kind of Day 2 run bad as I did in 2021. A breakout is coming. I’m calling it.

Some Zion pics:






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Dark Knight vs Ari Engel – $600 HORSE @ Prime Social in Houston – Final Table & $600 Dealer’s Choice Day 1

March 16, 2022
DK vs Ari Engel

I didn’t blog while I was playing yesterday but I’m about to start Day 2 of this bad boy at the final table with 7 players left SO WHY NOT NOW?

It took me a while to get going yesterday. I was below starting stack after nine levels with nothing much going for me. Every time I took a step forward, I got in a pot with Ari Engel – a legit tournament superstar with over $7.5 milly in lifetime cashes – and lost the pot to him. He owned me during the first half of the day.

He opened the hijack in Hold’em and I 3! the KQ from the small. I bet twice on Q8x9 and check-called the T river to have a look at his J9 offsuit. Cool cool.

Our real big and nasty clash occurred in a Stud 8 pot (always, always fucking Stud 8). Someone completed, Ari raised with the 4 ♦︎ up and I 4-bet with 5♦︎3♦︎-A♣︎. That cleared out the opener and got us heads up. It’s worth noting here that two deuces and a 3 are dead on 3rd street. I bet every street as this is how our boards run out:

DK 5♦︎3♦︎-A♣︎K♣︎7♣︎J♣︎

Ari XX-4♦︎K♥︎6♥︎J♦︎

As you can see, my board looks pretty scary, but if Ari is drawing to a low, it’s not shocking that he’s calling on 6th, but I’m in a position where I’m gonna bluff 7th street if I miss and since I know Ari is an observant and experienced wizard, I just pretend to look at my 7th street card and then smoke it. He calls. Sigh. Guess I have to make something. I look down at my 7th street card and see that I paired my 3. He shows a pair of sixes. What a goddamn legend. With the three wheel cards dead on 3rd street it’s pretty hard for me to come up with the hands he thinks I have here that he beats, but damn… gotta give him credit.

Ari had a chance to kill me when we played a 4-bet Hold’em pot where I had AQ vs his AK and the board ran out QJ8TK for the ultimate emotional roller coaster ride.

I got high carded off his table after that and went on a heater and finally had chips in one of these tournaments. I did find myself all in against Ari again though.

This time the game was Stud Hi and a Q up completed, I 3-bet with split Kings and Ari cold 4-bet it with an ace up. Sigh. I 5-bet to get all in and never improved. Good game. But wait! Ari can only show a pair of 2s and the Queens never improved either. We triple!

Joker looking dapper trying to put the bubble hex on me

Eventually Ari opened for most of his stack in Hold’em and I put him all in from the small blind with 88. His T7 suited never improved and I sent his ass to the rail.

We got a bag!

And now I’m fighting for $8.8k up top with 7 left. I’m below average in chips but I’m feeling it. LET’S. GO.

Restarting at 1 PM Houston time (11 AM Pacific). I’ll post some updates here and continue on when I play the Dealer’s Choice later today.

Live updates here: https://primesocialtx.com/events/event-8-horse/

Short stack doubles with KJ vs AJ. Yawn.

Short stack doubles again. Meanwhile, I’ve been trending down.

Stud Hi, 9 up opens, I 3-bet TJ-T and bet through 6th street with our boards reading:

DK QT-TJQ9

Villain XX-9Q8T

I check-call 7th after catching an ace and he shows me the K9J in the hole. Pretty amazing. Blocking the ten hard. Blocking the jack. Sigh. That hand crippled me and I busted in 7th shortly after.

MEGA TILTED 🤬🤬🤬

Starting $600 Dealer’s Choice. Only 9 players signed up so far. Lol.

First Break

Finally getting off to a hot start. I have 53k after three levels – so over double starting stack already. This is like a 20 game mix and I think I’m solid/competent in all of them. I like my chances.

Second Break

Was crushing before losing a couple of PLO8 and PLO hands. Back down near where I was at the last break, sitting on around 51k after level 6.

Third Break

Shock. I’ve gone ice cold. Just below starting stack after nine levels. This is where I was at in the HORSE last night, so plenty of room to spin still. Somehow only 18 left. 6 of us will cash. This one only had 32 total entrants. It’s been fun but these turnouts have been thin.

Dark Knight BUSTED (Level 12)

I stuck around and doubled up a few times, but they got me. I’m exhausted. Joker is on the money bubble of the $1100 NL and I have 10% so I’m gonna hang out until he cashes and then actually try to get at least five solid hours of sleep. ✌🏻

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Houston Day 1: $600 Limit Omaha 8 or Better (Live Updates)

March 13, 2022

Screw it. Let’s just throw back all the way to the live blog. It’s a new day. This is my first time ever coming to Texas for poker. Shoot, when I was here in 2018, I don’t even think poker was legal here. But they are doing the Portland club thing where they charge a $10 door fee and then collect time in the cash games.

Prime Social Club
Joker getting the red carpet treatment

We sat down near the end of level one of this $600 Omaha 8 or Better tourney. Blinds were 100/200 and we get 25k to start. I immediately recognized three players at my table, including Wendy Freedman, a mix game specialist with over $1.2 milly in live cashes.

I won’t be posting here too much during active levels but I’ll post stack updates and some hands on my breaks. Stay tuned!

Batman must know where Joker is at all times

First Break

Dark Knight 15.4k

Joker 21k

Pretty cool start. I haven’t really had any super interesting spots. Just torching and value owning myself mostly. I had AA2x once and immediately had my low counterfeit on the turn and found myself in a likely scooped situation. I’ve had a lot of bad two pair hands lose to slightly better hands. Lots of cash game action going on though so when I punt my way out of this thing before the next break I’ll have something to do.

Joker BUSTED (level 4, re-entering)

Dark Knight BUSTED (level 5, re-entering)

Yeah, we suck. Just getting all the bad runouts. QQKJ on 95393 vs 6543 blasting off and then I’m all in 5-ways for 3-bets preflop with AJ32dd and the board runs out K64dT9. Shock. Next bullet.

Sitting back down with 31 bigs. Fun fact: three people have busted from this tournament and two of them are Joker and myself. I asked the floor if the player count and bust outs are correct and he confirmed that we are, indeed, the worst poker players of all-time.

TD Justin Hammer going all out for Texas

Second Break

Dark Knight 18.4k

Joker 40k

Nothing to see here. I’m just folding out of my seat and losing every hand I do play.

Finally get above starting stack with AKJ3ss by flopping second nut low in a big multi-way pot and going running spades for half.

Open KJT9ss from cutoff. Button and small blind call. Flop is QJ5 and a very very bad and clueless player leads out from the SB. I raise it with a wrap and straight flush draw and both players call. The turn is the 6s. I bet and they both call. I’m slightly concerned about the button having an ace high flush here, but it is what it is. The river pairs the 5 and the ding dong leads out again. I’ve seen enough to know he doesn’t need to have a full house here and I briefly consider raising it to maybe fold out a better flush from the button, but I just call, the button folds, and the bozo shows me Q5xx. Down to 19k.

I’m not looking like much of a threat to care about any of this, but here’s the relevant tourney info for today:

Back over starting after playing a bloated pot with Miami John and the catalyst holding AQ93 and getting the Q85hh4h9 run out to quarter Miami and scoop the third player. My man went bet/call donk turn bet river with A973 and no hearts. Bless his soul.

Someone is doing write-ups for this tourney. You can check it out here: Prime Social $600 Omaha 8. She did butcher the hand I just reported a couple spots above though. 😬

Third Break

We finally caught some momentum! First I busted the spot at the table and then I scooped the same guy in back-to-back hands. I had a sexy spot where he opens from cut and I 3-bet the AKJ4dd from the small blind. We go heads up to QT9 rainbow and I bet flop and check-raise turn. He folds river. I had a chance to bust him just before the break when I flatted his open with A543 single suited and got him all in on Q44dd but he smacked diamonds on the turn and I didn’t fill up.

Dark Knight 36k

Joker 65k

Average 38k

36 players left

Welp. We have been relatively crippled after a terrible start to level 10 and now I have switched tables as we are down to 32 left and Joker has a chance to bust (or double!) me.

Dark Knight BUSTED (Level 11)

Groan. I was a legitimate contender in this thing for about an orbit. Joker still going strong with four tables left. I’m gonna get some much needed Raising Canes and maybe come back and play some cash. I’ll post Joker stack updates when I get them

Fourth Break

Joker 74k

Meanwhile, I’m testing myself for Covid for the third time this week. Still negative. Guess I just have an old fashioned minor cold.

Fifth Break

Joker 145k

He says he’s 3rd in chips with 16 left. I decided to stay in and watched about 5 mins of episode two of Winning Time before falling asleep.

Joker is at the 9-handed final table with 7 players cashing. He was below average last update and I’m about to head back to the casino and put the DK curse on him to make sure he finishes in 8th. Might play some cash while I wait for this painful bust out.

SHOCK. I didn’t even make it back to the casino before Joker busted just outside the money. TDK curse lives on! Sorry, pal! $600 Triple Stud @ 3 PM Houston time tomorrow.

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2021 Year in Review – WSOP Edition – Part One

March 12, 2022

I never wrote about my 2021 World Series of Poker so I guess I’ll start there. I was ecstatic to be back fighting it out with the best players in the world. 2020 was a depressing one for my poker career. I had my least profitable year since 2014 (and I didn’t go full-time pro until the fourth quarter of 2016) and if I wasn’t eligible to collect unemployment I probably would have had to get a job somewhere. So being able to lock horns at the WSOP after an absence of over two years felt really good. I don’t care that everyone had to be vaccinated. I don’t care about the hypocrisy of the staff not needing to be vaxxed. I don’t care about having to wear a mask while walking around. I was just happy to be BACK and able to compete in the most prestigious tournament series in the world. 2018 was a horrible WSOP for me and 2019 was mostly uneventful outside of a 12th place run in the $2500 Stud 8/Omaha 8 that was a nice reminder that I’m capable of doing things like that. But I definitely had a chip on my shoulder for this series.

My first event of the 2021 series was the $1500 Omaha 8 or Better and I was pretty thrilled to bag a decent stack on Day 1. I don’t remember much of Day 2, but (spoiler alert!) I didn’t have any good Day 2s, so I’ll just assume I dwindled for most of the day while winning a small pot here and there – enough to hang around long enough to take 32nd and start my series off with a nice profit and a cash of $4116.

Next I played a small Triple Draw Mix event at Golden Nugget and did absolutely nothing in it. My next WSOP event was the $1500 Limit Hold’em and I once again bagged a nice Day 1 stack. If I remember correctly, I really liked my chances heading into Day 2, but nothing good happened for me and I busted far enough away from the money that I didn’t even bother inputting the relevant info in my app.

The $2500 Triple Draw Mix at the WSOP was next up on my schedule and I was really looking forward to that one even though I figured I was probably an underdog in that field. I practiced draw a ton during the pandemic lockdown and I was excited to see how much progress I had made even if the buy-in price point was a bit high. Hey, that’s what backers are for! (don’t worry, they all wanted to gamble with me). I feel like I mostly held my own in this event and I was at a pretty tough table. I didn’t get a lot of upward momentum and the wheels finally fell off for me at the very end of the night and I busted about 20 minutes before bagging on Day 1. But I was mostly happy with my play, pleased with the experience gained, and really looking forward to this same event in 2022.

I didn’t play much cash while I was in Vegas so I don’t have too much to say about that, but I did play a four hour 1/3 NL session at the Rio around this time of the Series and I was pretty shocked when Jamie Kerstetter sat down on my immediate left. I’m generally not a talkative person at the poker table and I prefer to keep to myself, but I decided to engage Jamie and she couldn’t have been more personable. She wasn’t just answering my questions but asked me questions about myself, gave me recommendations for my upcoming trip to Zion National Park and was generally hilarious. I was already a fan of her poker commentary but this interaction made me feel like she’s someone I could actually be friends with. I really wanted to play mix that night, so it pained me quite a bit to leave her table and go do that… and considering I only made $17 in that game, I probably should’ve just stayed and networked. Oh well. Jamie did end up giving me an indirect shoutout during her Main Event coverage by mentioning me on the broadcast (awesome), although not by my name (lame).

One thing I did this series that I’ve never done before was lug my personal computer to Vegas with me. I don’t have a laptop and I don’t want to play on my iPad, and since I was driving anyway, it made sense to bring it with me in case I wanted to play online. Plus, it makes tracking my finances way easier and allowed to me do some solver work on the road if I was so inclined. I had Sunday, October 10th, earmarked for a couple of online events, so that’s what I spent my day doing and it ended up being a really good decision. I played the $215 NLH WSOP online circuit ring event and ended up taking 8th of 576 entrants for a solid $3200 score. I also played the $400 NLH WSOP online bracelet event and finished 17th of 1024 entrants for $3078 in that one. I’m past the point where I can remember anything about the circuit event, but the bracelet event will be unforgettable for two reasons: 1) I finally played at the same table with Daniel Negreanu and I beat him in the only pot we played together; and 2) I had a top 5 stack with 18 people left when the small blind decided to limp in with a 30bb and trap me with AJ. I had AQ suited in the big blind, so I was happy to raise his limp and snap-call his 3-bet jam. Unfortunately, he rivered a jack and instead of being 1st in chips of a WSOP bracelet event with 17 players left, I was short stacked with 18 left and busted out shortly after – an absolutely crushing blow when my adrenaline was riding sky high from an awesome day of online poker. I had a lot of my own action in these two small buy-in events, so it was great day for me personally and it was nice to see all the practice I’ve put in for no limit Hold’em immediately pay off.

My next event was the WSOP $1500 8-Game mix tournament – one of my favorites, but also one that I haven’t been able to get past Day 1 in. I had a great starting table and I was excited about my chances of building a big stack and bagging when I got high-carded to a new table and put on Shaun Deeb’s immediate right. I was already annoyed that I got moved, but this was a brutal spot to be in and I couldn’t help but mutter, “are you fucking kidding me?” as I sat down in my new seat. Shaun was amused enough to say, “not what you were hoping to see?” and we ended up chatting a decent amount throughout the day but he lost enough pots early on that he didn’t wind up being much of a nuisance for me. It looked like I was going to finally bag this thing, but the wheels fell off for me in the last level and I found myself hitting the rail with exactly 20 minutes left in Day 1 for the second time of the series.

After busting out around 2 AM and probably not going to sleep until much later, I decided to play the 11 AM HORSE tourney at the Orleans the next day anyway. I showed up about an hour late and absolutely torched my first bullet in record time for a limit tournament. I re-entered and ended up lasting 6.5 hours overall, but busted far from the money and felt like I was dead money all day. I was playing tired and I was in no mood for running bad and just had no patience for unfavorable variance. I should have skipped this one entirely because I was in no mental shape to be playing that early after such a late night.

Next up was the WSOP $1500 HORSE – the event I earned my all-time best cash in all the way back in 2017. That doesn’t feel like that long ago, but if you told me back in 2017 that five years later that would still be my best achievement in tournament poker, I probably wouldn’t believe it. But here I am. Still searching for a $50K+ score. I think I flirted with the Day 1 overall chip lead at some points and ended up bagging a top 10 stack at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, I may have prophesized my own demise by warning my followers on Facebook that even though I was top 10 in chips, I still only had just over 21 big bets – or the equivalent of $170 in a $4/$8 limit game. I’ve dusted two racks in a few hours of limit poker many times, so while my stack size relative to the field was really good, it wasn’t all that massive compared to the limits we were going to be playing.

Sure enough, I ended up moving off a good starting table to be sat on David Williams’ immediate right. Long time readers of my blog may remember that David knocked me out of the Millionaire Maker on the very first hand of the very first $1500 tournament I ever played, so… I already had some crazy history with him. Naturally, we locked horns in a very memorable Stud Hi hand where I completed with the ace and queen of spades buried and the six of spades up and David raised me with a queen up and I called. I caught the 7 of diamonds on 4th and he caught a brick, so I check-called. On 5th street, I paired my 7 with a spade, giving me a four flush and an open pair. David caught another brick, so I decided to lead out and he ended up raising me. I thought that was a bit strange. If he just had a pair of queens, I wouldn’t expect him to raise very often here. I called again. We both caught bricky-looking cards on 6th street and I check-called again. It feels like he probably has two pair so when I caught the 7 of the clubs on 7th, giving me trips, I decided to lead out like I would if I had made a flush. Maybe he bet-folds with two pair, but I was concerned he was going to do a lot of checking back. To my utter shock and amazement, he ended up raising me! This man didn’t have a pair on his board and it was impossible for him to have a flush with his door card! I had a goddamn queen in the hole! My head exploded. But I paid it off and he showed me queens full of fives. He said he started rolled up. Unreal. That was a huge pot that derailed all my momentum and I never recovered from it, busting 20 spots out of the money.

After taking a couple days off from tournaments, it was at this point of the series that I decided I was just going to go for it this year. My backers were on board with whatever I wanted to play and I just shifted my focus to only playing WSOP events and pushing my financial comfort level. Aside from the Main Event, I’ve only played one tournament in my life that had an entry greater than $1500, but I hopped in the $3000 H.O.R.S.E. and made a pretty good run. I didn’t make a Facebook post about this tournament until I was in the money so I don’t have a thread of hand histories to report here, but this was a really fun tournament to play. The field was substantially tougher and smaller than the $1500 H.O.R.S.E. so I was playing with notable pros at my table pretty much the whole time.

I had a key hand on Day 1 against Michael Trivett, a Vegas-based pro that I’ve had a couple of run-ins with over the years where I’ve beat him in big pots and he proceeded to verbally berate me about it. It’s always made me think he’s kind of an asshat and here we were butting heads in a pot late in Day 1 of this $3K H.O.R.S.E. I can’t remember the exact dynamics of this hand, but we were playing Stud Hi and he opened with the 4 of diamonds up and I raised him with a buried pair that was smaller than his door card. I ended up catching an ace on 4th so I was able to take the betting lead and he raised me after catching the jack of diamonds on 5th street. I figured he probably had a four flush here so I wasn’t prepared to fold just yet – even though I only had a pair of deuces at this point. I ended up pairing my ace on 6th and leading out, he called. I didn’t see much point in betting unimproved on the river, so I checked it over to him and he checked back. I showed him aces and deuces and that was good for the pot. But he was not impressed at all and said, “wow, what a punt” and possibly some other not-so-nice things. I mean, it doesn’t hurt my feelings any, but it also doesn’t make me like the guy.

It’s funny. I kind of feel like Michael has become my tournament arch-enemy over the years. He’d left enough of a sour impression on me that I’ve always followed what he does and actively rooted against him. But he had really leveled up since the last time we played together. I could tell he’d hit the lab hard, put in the work, and has networked and made friends with plenty of elite players. He had a hell of a 2022 WSOP, finishing in the top 15 on five different occasions. He didn’t capture a bracelet, but he will soon and I was really impressed with how good he has gotten. But I wasn’t impressed with his inability to lose with grace, so, like, fuck that guy.

Plot twist. Fast forward to post-WSOP and I was pretty shocked when I got message from Michael apologizing for anything negative he’s ever said to me over the years. I accepted his apology and we started talking on a regular basis and quickly discovered that we actually have a ton of things in common and would probably be pretty good friends. Now, we talk daily about rap mostly, sometimes about movies, and definitely about poker (turns out he had jacks and fours on that Stud hand I beat him in) – and he’s even offered to let me stay with him any time I’m in Vegas. Crazy how life works sometimes.

Well, back to the $3K H.O.R.S.E… I had another solid Day 1 and bagged a nice chip stack, but once again, I didn’t do jack shit on Day 2. I just sat and watched Scott Bolman play like a maniac/wizard all day and never got any hands to play or found any good spots to chip up. I did win ONE pot. I made aces up versus Maria Ho and she literally stared daggers at me for the next orbit like she couldn’t believe this nitty little nobody had put a halt to her absolute steamrolling of the table. That one pot was enough to get me to the final three tables redraw and playing live with Daniel Negreanu for the first time in my career. I said hi to him and he said “cheers” and then I promptly busted on the first hand dealt when the cutoff opened in limit Hold’em and I 3-bet to get it in with A7 suited on the button and lost to whatever hand my opponent ended up showing. Yet another mega disappointing Day 2, but a pretty decent showing in one of the tougher mixed events of the schedule, finishing 24th for a $6500 score.

I was initially going to write my whole WSOP trip report in one post, but I’ve already been working on this for a few months and this is only half the series, so I’ll divide it into two parts. I’m actually flying to Houston today for the tournament series that former LAPC co-tournament director Justin Hammer put together so I might be blogging about that or at least posting updates on Facebook. I suddenly find myself with a lot of extra time on my hands, so I’ve been thinking about making the poker blog a priority again. I always enjoy sharing my adventures, but if I’m being honest, I find the process of typing them out to be a bit tedious sometimes. When I get back from Houston, I’ll finish my WSOP trip report with a second part and eventually post up my final 2021 numbers.

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February 2022 – Music Edition

March 8, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Saba – Few Good Things

Top 25 Most Played Albums of February 2022 (* indicates new album in February)

  1. *Saba – Few Good Things
  2. Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  3. *Big K.R.I.T. – Digital Roses Don’t Die
  4. The Roots – How I Got Over
  5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  6. *Snoop Dogg – BODR
  7. Kanye West – Late Registration
  8. Macklemore – The Language of My World
  9. Ludacris – Release Therapy
  10. Kanye West – The College Dropout
  11. Ludacris – Chicken-N-Beer
  12. Ludacris – Word of Mowf
  13. Fabolous – Real Talk
  14. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak
  15. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  16. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  17. Ludacris – Back For The First Time
  18. A$AP Rocky – TESTING
  19. *EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  20. Shady Records – SHADYXV
  21. Ludacris – The Red Light District
  22. Kanye West – Graduation
  23. Styles P & Havoc – Wreckage Manner
  24. Kanye West – Yeezus
  25. KIDS SEE GHOSTS (Kanye West & Kid Cudi) – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Comments: Not hard to see what happened here. That new Kanye West documentary on Netflix sent me down memory lane, revisiting Kanye’s entire discography. I’d actually never really spent much time with the 808s album and I can’t believe I’ve slept on it all this time. It is truly great. Truly innovative for the time. I already have some personal anthems from it. I also spent some time with Luda’s discog. I had been thinking about my top 100 or so rappers of all-time and I realized I didn’t know much about Luda. I made it through his first five albums and thought they were all good. I hit a snag on album #6 though and haven’t finished my project as my life has been kind of turned upside down recently and my focus has shifted. As far as new albums go, Saba’s album is really, really good; I’ve listened to K.R.I.T.’s album a few times and it’s different but enjoyable; Snoop’s album was completely forgettable; and EARTHGANG’s new project is brand new and a clear step down from their last one, but I’ve heard some dope songs on it.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Kanye West
  2. Saba
  3. Che Noir
  4. Lil Wayne
  5. The Roots
  6. Ludacris
  7. The Weeknd
  8. Cordae
  9. J Dilla
  10. Nas
  11. Little Simz
  12. Ghostface Killah
  13. Big K.R.I.T.
  14. Snoop Dogg
  15. Roddy Ricch
  16. AZ
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. Gunna
  19. Baby Keem
  20. Jazmine Sullivan
  21. Macklemore
  22. Mos Def
  23. Eminem
  24. Roc Marciano
  25. FKA twigs

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
February 2022 Additions:

Cordae, “Sinister” (feat. Lil Wayne)
Dr. Dre, “ETA” (feat. Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, & Anderson .Paak)
Saba, “Stop That”
Saba, “If I Had A Dollar” (feat. Benjamin Earl Turner)

Comments: I was listening to a lot of older stuff in February so I didn’t add too many tracks to my Bangers of the Decade playlist.





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Che Noir – Food For Thought (2022)

February 24, 2022

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Release Date: January 21st, 2022

Song Rating Scale

  1. Eat To Live (Intro) – N/A
  2. Split the Bread – 3.5
  3. Eat or Starve (feat. Jynx716) – 3.5
  4. Daily Bread (Skit) – N/A
  5. Bless the Food – 3.75
  6. Ladies Brunch (feat. 7xvethegenius & Armani Caesar) – 3.75
  7. Praises – 3.5
  8. Table For 3 (feat. 38 Spesh & Ransom) – 4.5
  9. Gold Cutlery (feat. Rome Streetz) – 3.5
  10. Brains For Dinner – 4
  11. Water To Wine (Skit) – N/A
  12. Communion – 4.5

Spin Rate: 15+
Average Song Rating: 3.83/5
Skip Percentage: 0%
Certified Bangers: 3

Thoughts: Che Noir did it again. This is the fourth well above average project she’s released since the beginning of 2020. I don’t know if there’s any other rapper that can make that same claim. I feel like this two year run is already enough to put her ahead of the likes of notable femcees like Foxy Brown and Lil Kim on the all-time list. That might seem like too much praise too soon, but I’d honestly have to give it some serious thought to come up with another female rapper I like four projects from. If I know one thing about Che though, it’s that she would absolutely hate my last few sentences. She wants to be mentioned with the best rappers in the world and she doesn’t want gender to be part of that conversation. I think that’s fair and I do think she’s earned a pretty secure spot as one of the ten best rappers or so of the last few years.

Food For Thought is a pretty short album and the biggest difference between this projects and past ones is that Che handled most of the production herself. If I’m being honest, her sound had to grow on me. Of course any new producer is going to sound a little rough following up an album full of Apollo Brown’s wizardry on the boards, but I think Che ends up holding her own. It’s hard to make a banger without really good production and I think she has at least three songs on this album worthy of that threshold and I don’t think there’s a weak song at all. As always, Che absolutely brings it lyrically. For the most part, she’s just bodying verses on this project but “Communion” is one of Che’s most personal songs to date as she touches on the recent passing of her brother over the most soulful beat on the album. “Table For 3” finds Che, Ransom and 38 Spesh all spitting fire over another absolute banger of a beat. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I still think Che lacks versatility in her vocal delivery and I don’t see too much improvement on this album, but it’s not something that bothers me much and she brings enough content and lyrical ability to more than make up for it. Che Noir has quickly become one of my current favorite rappers and this album is another really solid effort in one of the most impressive runs of the last few years.

Verdict: 7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

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2022 Oscar Category Rankings

February 6, 2022

With Oscar nominations being announced tomorrow, I’ll go ahead and post my rankings in every category (except the shorts – which I’ve seen none of – and editing – which I know nothing about). These are not my predictions, they are simply who and what I would nominate if it were solely up to me. I’ll note likely snubs and some likely nominations I feel are overrated. Some of the technical categories I don’t have too much to stay about.

Haven’t Seen: Ascension, Attica, Belfast, C’mon C’mon, Cyrano, Drive My Car, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Free Guy, The Hand of God, King Richard, The Lost Daughter, Lunana, Parallel Mothers, The Rescue, Westside Story, The Worst Person in the World, Writing With Fire, Yuni

Best Picture
*Dune
*Licorice Pizza
Shiva Baby
*CODA

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Pig
Titane
The Last Duel
Mass

Comments: There are probably 3 or 4 films I haven’t seen yet that will get a nomination here (Belfast, King Richard, Westside Story). The Power of the Dog is a big favorite in basically everything, but it’s a film I didn’t connect with like that on my first watch. I’m planning to give it another go – especially if it gets showered with nominations – but for now, I just don’t see it as a top 10 film of 2021. I loved Shiva Baby but it’s getting absolutely no awards attention. Damn shame. Titane didn’t even make the International Feature Film shortlist and I just can’t wrap my mind around that one.

Nominees:
Belfast
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
Westside Story

Best Actor
Nicholas Cage, Pig
Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
*Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth
*Andrew Garfield, tick, tick… BOOM!
*Benedict Cumberbatch, Power of the Dog

Comments: Will Smith is the only lock nominee I haven’t seen. Cooper Hoffman and Nicholas Cage look like solid snub candidates.

Nominated:
Will Smith, King Richard
Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Best Actress
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Alaina Haim, Licorice Pizza
Emilia Jones, CODA
Jodie Comer, The Last Duel

Comments: I really don’t know what to expect here other than for Lady Gaga to get nominated. Kristen Stewart gave the best performance I’ve seen and the Screen Actor’s Guild didn’t even nominate her so I’m pretty lost on that one. Olivia Colman, Jessica Chastain, and Rachel Zegler all have good chances of a nomination for films I haven’t seen yet. I’m fully expecting Jones – who I just moved back into my top 5 after watching CODA again – and Comer to come up short here.

Nominated:
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Best Director
*Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Denis Villeneuve, Dune
Ridley Scott, The Last Duel
Julia Ducourneau, Titane
Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Comments: The Tragedy of Macbeth didn’t even crack my top 10 of the year, but I have to respect Joel Coen for making a movie filled with nothing but Shakespeare dialogue so compelling – it’s beautiful and captivating. Plus, Denzel is on record saying he didn’t even know what he was saying and he somehow still gives one of the best performances of the year. I’m pretty sure that’s good direction! Titane drawing dead here. Probably Ridley Scott too. Jane Campion is for sure getting nominated for The Power of the Dog and probably Kenneth Branagh for Belfast.

Nominated:
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor
Jason Isaacs, Mass
*Troy Kotsur, CODA
Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
Ben Affleck, The Last Duel
Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley

Comments: It’s kind of hard for me to make a good list here. I can only find three performances that I truly loved and the rest I just liked. There are a handful of supporting roles that could fill my last two slots here and I’d feel mostly the same about all of them. Actors that all have nomination chances that I didn’t love: Kodi Smit-McPhee (a favorite), J.K. Simmons, Timothy Spall, Jared Leto, etc. That’s why it’s getting to be really upsetting when Jason Isaacs’ amazing performance gets snubbed. I’m gonna take that personally.

Nominated:
Ciaran Hinds, Belfast
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress
Martha Plimpton, Mass
Ruth Negga, Passing
Ann Dowd, Mass
Marlee Matlin, CODA
*Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Comments: Yes. Mass was an acting masterclass and it might somehow end up with zero nominations. Unforgivable if that happens. There are a lot of top candidates here I’m yet to see (Caitriona Balfe, Aunjanue Ellis, Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno, Judi Dench).

Nominated:
Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Best Original Screenplay
*Licorice Pizza
Titane
Pig
*Don’t Look Up
Being the Ricardos

Comments: Licorice Pizza is the most fun movie of the year. Titane was the most inventive. Pig was a wild ride with some incredible dialogue-heavy scenes. I didn’t love Don’t Look Up but it has a smart and funny script. And Sorkin is Sorkin. Belfast will be here also, but I haven’t seen it.

Nominated:
Belfast
King Richard
The Worst Person in the World

Best Adapted Screenplay
Shiva Baby
*Dune
*CODA
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley

Comments: Dune, The Power of the Dog, and *gasp* CODA all look like locks here.

Nominated:
Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog

Best Animated Feature
*Flee
*Luca
*The Mitchells vs. The Machines
*Raya and the Last Dragon
*Encanto

Comments: I’ll actually be surprised if these aren’t the exact five nominees.

Best Documentary Feature
*Flee
The Alpinist
Billie Eilish
*Summer of Soul
Val

Comments: The shortlist of 15 films is already public knowledge. Flee, Summer of Soul, and Billie Eilish are the only ones in my rankings that made the cut. The Rescue and Flee feel like pretty safe nominations but I can’t call anything else.

Nominated:
Ascension
Attica
Writing With Fire

Best International Feature
Titane
*Flee

Comments: Uhm. Yeah. And Titane didn’t even make the shortlist which is an absolute outrage. Flee will get nominated. Drive My Car and The Worst Person in the World are two of my most anticipated movies right now. A Hero and The Hand of God look like nominees here.

Nominated:
Drive My Car
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World


Best Cinematography
*The Tragedy of Macbeth
*Dune
*The Power of the Dog

*Nightmare Alley
The Last Duel

Comments: All these films looked great and I actually did watch enough of Belfast (I had to walk out because of a medical emergency) to know it will get nominated here also. This is also one of the categories where I’m totally on board with a The Power of the Dog nom.

Nominated:
West Side Story

Best Production Design
*Dune
*Nightmare Alley
The French Dispatch
The Last Duel
*The Tragedy of Macbeth

Comments: Dune is just a technical masterpiece so it will be nominated in everything. I was lukewarm on The French Dispatch but it definitely looked cool and the sets were great.

Nominated:
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best Costume Design
*Cruella
Spencer
*Dune
House of Gucci

*Nightmare Alley

Comments: When I watched Cruella I was blown away by the makeup and costumes. And then I did some Oscar buzz research and it seemed like everyone was ready to snub it. Now it’s on all the lists for both categories. I’m not really sure what happened to make everyone come around but I’m glad they are seeing the light.

Nominated:
Cyrano
West Side Story


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
*House of Gucci
*Cruella
*Dune
Being the Ricardos
The Suicide Squad

Comments: The Eyes of Tammy Faye is the big one I haven’t seen yet.

Nominated:
Coming 2 America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Visual Effects
*Dune
*Shang Chi
*Spider-Man: No Way Home
Godzilla Vs. Kong
Eternals


Nominated:
Free Guy
No Time to Die

Best Original Score
*Dune
The French Dispatch
Spencer
Candyman
*The Power of the Dog


Nominated:
Don’t Look Up
Encanto
Parallel Mothers

Best Sound
*Dune
*No Time to Die
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Shang Chi
A Quiet Place Part II

Nominated:
Belfast
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

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January 2022 – Every Movie I Watched

February 4, 2022

Below is a list of every movie I watched in January. Movies with a link have reviews to read.

Masterpieces – 10

Amazing – 9

Great/Must Sees – 8

  • Boiling Point (2021, Vudu)
  • Flee (2021, theaters)
  • Licorice Pizza (2021, theaters)
  • Mass (2021, iTunes rental)
  • Sicario (2015, re-watch, Vudu)
  • Scream (1996, re-watch, Vudu)

Highly Enjoyable – 7

  • The Fallout (2022, HBO Max)
  • Scream 5 (2022, theaters)
  • The Beta Test (2021, Vudu)
  • Spencer (2021, Red Box rental)
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021, Apple TV+)
  • Moonlight (2016, Vudu)
  • Hugo (2011, re-watch, Hulu)
  • Scream 4 (2011, re-watch, Vudu)
  • Snow Angels (2007, Vudu)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, re-watch, tubi)

Light Recommendations – 6

  • Being the Ricardos (2021, Amazon Prime)
  • Encanto (2021, Disney+)
  • No Time to Die (2021, Red Box rental)

Decent – 5

Forgettable – 4

  • Scream 3 (2000, re-watch, Vudu)

Bad – 3

Horrible – 2

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through January
2021 Best Documentaries/Docu-Series: My top documentary style films of the year
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks
2021/2022 Oscars: My rankings for last year’s films in every Oscar category, based on what I’ve seen so far
February 20212- New to Theaters and Streaming: Ranking new and old movies I want to see coming to streaming or theaters this month

I also went crazy and made a best films of the year list for every year from 2020 to 1982, the year I was born. I ranked 25 films for 2000 and later and 10 films for 1999 to 1982. I started fizzling out on my lists in the early 90s as I just haven’t seen most of the important films from those early years when I was a kid. I have all the lists on my blog here. Enjoy!

T.V. Shows (Ratings out of 5)

Finished:

  • Chucky season 1 (2021, USA/SyFy)
  • Euphoria: F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob (2021, Special Episode, HBO Max)
  • Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always (2020, Special Episode, HBO Max)
  • Euphoria season 1 (2019, HBO Max)

Actively watching:

  • Euphoria season 2 (2022, HBO Max)
  • Ozark season 4 (2022, Netflix)

Started but on indefinite pause:

  • The Sopranos season 2 (2000, HBO, re-watch)
  • What If…? season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
  • What We Do in the Shadows season 3 (2021, Hulu)
  • Pen15 season 3 (2022, Hulu)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 (2021, Hulu)