|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, May 14, 2005
I am the fourth best poker player in the Greater Muskegon area. Congratulations to me. Story developing...
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Another Email Gambit
Go visit Al Can't Hang for Volume IV (or V?) of our email gambit.
I Want To Tell You
I quoted someone else last week in regards to their "secret shame," but you know we all have one. Mine?
Scratch off lottery tickets.
Now, I don't get these things that often, but in the dozen or so years since I've been legal to pick them up I've never won more than $25 on a ticket.
Yet, I still continue to buy them.
Today I got a SUPER RED HOT CASHWORD! ticket, which is a $5 donation to Michigan's educational fund disguised as a crossword puzzle for morons. They give you twenty of our alphabet's twenty-six letters, and if you're able to scratch off the letters completing enough words, you win based on how many words you end up making.
I've played CASHWORD! before, but never SUPER RED HOT CASHWORD!, so I figure I'm in for something awesome - well, until I start playing.
They give you two puzzles full of words (as opposed to the $2 CASHWORD! ticket's single puzzle), but I get thrown the letters Z, Q, X, Y, J, G, and V among others. Who the hell makes words with these letters? The minimum for winning your money back was to make four complete words off the "black" puzzle. I did make RATE, but missed OIL and EARL because there was no L, INN because they didn't give me an N, and ROBUST, STEM, SHY, and BUS due to the lack of an S.
No worries, you can make words off the "red" puzzle too, right? I did make TRADEMARK (I'm proud of that one) and GREET, but missed out on WEAR because of the W, and other plenty of other words featuring C, L, N, S, F, and W as well.
Way to throw the high heat State of Michigan. You taunt me. Busted out again on a $5 bet.
As I was triple-checking my ticket to see if I had missed anything (are you sure there's no "S" out there?), I almost didn't even notice the little box in the lower right corner under the prize table. "BONUS: Reveal a prize amount, win that amount."
Sure enough? $10. I doubled up.
Take that children of Michigan's Public Schools!
Okay, so that's not my only secret shame. Another big one is a shame that I just don't have any personal control over.
I kinda have a good idea who's dating who in Hollywood.
This one really bugs me, because it's not like I've got some sort of starlet spreadsheet where I'm tracking these moves, it's just a sad statement on the way my brain works. Basically, I hear/read/see something, it sticks, and then I can't help but to tell people what I know.
Case in point, in chat last night during the tournament, someone (think it was Jason Kirk) said "Nikki Cox has the best tits in Hollywood." (I'm sure there's a context here that deserves an explanation, but I didn't save the chat or anything) I said something to the effect of "I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable going anywhere Bobcat Goldthwait has been," which refers, of course, to Cox's ex-boyfriend (or maybe even ex-husband). ProbablyJason responded with, "Dude, she's married to Bobcat," to which I replied, "No, she's dating Jay Mohr - and I'm sorry I know that."
I have no idea where I picked up that piece of information, but I did and it stuck. Congratulations to me I guess. I'm a retard. I mean, I could have an hour long conversation with you regarding who's had the better barely-legal starlet ass between Wilmer Valderrama and Nick Carter, yet I have a Finance degree and can't explain clearly how to hedge an investment in the stock market.
Television has been a good use of my time.
Well, so long as we're on topic, here are a few more of my "secret shames:"
Bad Teen Movies - In the last six months I have watched movies such as "Chasing Liberty" (Mandy Moore as daughter-of-the-President) and "What A Girl Wants" (Amanda Bynes as illegitimate daughter-of-the-Candidate-for-British-Parliament) - alone and intentionally. And I've enjoyed them. I'll watch the Olsen Twins in "New York Minute" when that hits full overkill on the USA Network, and I'll always stop and watch movies like "She's All That," "Save the Last Dance," and (the criminally underrated) "Can't Hardly Wait" when they're on free TV. I am turning 31 this coming month ladies, who wants some?You know what? I think that's plenty of secret shame to share.
I gave you mine, I demand one in return. Leave it in my comments below, or post it to your site.
Into the Drink
I had what felt like a colossally bad day yesterday.
It was interminably long, I was irritated to begin with, and then a few things piled up that just irked me further. From there, it was a loss.
One of the problems I had yesterday revolved around a review I wrote of a play for the local paper. The play opened two Fridays ago, and I was in the house. As I couldn't make the Saturday edition with how late the play finished Friday, and as there is no Sunday paper in town, I spent time Saturday night cranking out the review, finished it, and sent it off to the paper.
Oh, and I also cc'd a friend who works at the paper, the Assistant Director of the show, and the woman handling publicity for the theatre group.
Monday? No review. Tuesday? The same. The play was due to close its run that coming Saturday (last Saturday), so I was wondering where the hell the review? The week came and went, and the review never made it in.
I wasn't sure if I needed to take it personally or not. I mean, it was a typical me-piece, because who can I talk about better than myself? I'm really only about 76% kidding, I thought there was a chance that the editor read it and said, "No way."
On Monday the publicity lady called the paper and they denied ever having received it. An, "Oh, here it is" moment came on Tuesday when our lady put the original email under the recipient's nose.
It ran on Wednesday, and the last two paragraphs were chopped clean off.
Now, granted, the last two were the encouragement for the community to come out and see the damn play, but they also served to close the article in an effective fashion. Instead of asking me to rewrite the last little bit, or even taking a stab at it themselves, they just took the laziest fucking road possible and lopped off the end. Also, while we were waiting for the publicity lady to get this review in the paper, we had asked her to tell the lady at the Tribune that since it was their fault it hadn't been printed, that they print a small disclaimer/apology. She didn't push the issue, and none appeared.
So they made me look bad twice. First for having a negligently late review for a play that was already closed (having no explanation/apology as to why), and second for editing the review in such a fashion that it made me look like I didn't know what the fuck I was doing.
I was really pissed.
On top of all this crap with the paper, I wrote something for Prof and Poker Player that I had thought was good and interesting when I finished it on Tuesday night, but freaked out about Wednesday in time to catch it and delete it before he could post it.
Oh, and I broke a favorite rocks glass, dinner gave me mild diarrhea, I busted out of two tournaments (one SNG and the WPBT) holding Ace/Big to someone's pocket pair of my big kicker, and just to add insult to injury...?
I swear to god some force in the universe was pushing against me yesterday. I was at the water fountain refilling a 20 oz bottle with water when I see this small bug crawling into the basin area. I watched him as he could have chose any direction in which to wander, but instead took a path right up the side of the spout. Stupid fucking deathwish bug just wanted to piss me off and almost succeeded. Had I not been watching so closely I would have missed him jumping into the active stream of water in an attempt to get me to ingest him so he could lay his parasitic West Nile eggs (well, whoops - she could lay her parasitic West Nile eggs) in my abdomen and use my spleen as a breeding ground for a new race of Super DeathWish Bugs with leather jackets and Charles Bronson's steely-eyed glare.
Yes, I narrowly averted death, not to mention being the breeding ground for a race of uber-parasites yesterday, no thanks to the forces of the universe and their evil plot.
You know what it is I really need to get through the days?
I should hire a midget to follow me around with a fungo bat to crack me across the shins every time I start to take life too seriously. I had a friend call last night who had been some actual human-being level problems to deal with, but still asked me how I was doing. "I've had a lousy fucking day," I started, but caught myself, "But my problems are stupid dumbass stuff, how are you?"
Monday, May 09, 2005
It's a little known fact that me and THG at Res Ipsa Poker go way back by association. His old man is like the Arnie Becker of our little Lakeshore community, and my old man was a partner in crime on the tee box.
They go way back. I'm pretty sure THG and I didn't say twenty words to each other until about eight months ago.
Sadly, my half of the association equation bounced across the pond to Milwaukee in December, leaving THG's dad down one crony on the Saturday morning scramble. This weekend, however, marked my dad's triumphant return home, and a good occasion to toss a few cards in the air along the way.
The game was unremarkable. THG's old man had never played before, and seemed intent on burning through his five dollar buy in (sigh) in as few hands as possible. My dad knew the value of a fold, but was four beers in on an empty stomach. Lil bro Mike couldn't get his sea legs under him, and all of a sudden I'm sitting on $15 of other people's money. Mikey had just busted my dad, and we were going to play heads-up to the death...
...BUT WAIT A SECOND! My dad wants to gambool! A twenty dollar bill springs from his wallet and he coughs out a request for change and chips. "Deal me in this hand." We stop to get him situated, and as I'm making change from a dollar chip into nickels and dimes, he waves me off and takes a slug from his Labatt's. "No need. I'm all in."
We haven't dealt the cards.
Mikey, rogue card shark that he is, wouldn't commit to pushing against my dad. He dealt, looked at his cards, and folded.
"Turn 'em over." THG, in the role of Mike Sexton, was calling the action for the benefit of his dad.
My dad flipped a Queen and an Eight.
I refused. "Roll 'em. Let's see what happens."
Queen hit the board first on the flop, followed by a three and a five. Top pair for the old man.
Turn brought another three, and all of a sudden he's sitting on two pair.
River was a four.
My dad was eyeing the chips when I slowly turned over my first card.
I've got two pair, but I need a Queen. I was begging for a Queen. Or a three, or a...
...FOUR! FULL HOUSE!
I kick all sorts of ass.
I scooped, and Mike and I got into an extremely brief heads-up battle. Second or third hand in, I'm dealt Jack/Eight and see a flop. Queen/Eight/Deuce. I push, Mikey calls with Queen Ten.
"Come on baby, gimme a Jack!"
Sure enough? JACK.
"How you like them two pair kiddo?"
River was just salt in the wound. JACK.
Full fucking house again. I win five buy-ins at five dollars a pop.
But at least I've got style.
Real Simple Syndication
This issue of content piracy has got me pretty upset.
Now, this hasn't happened to Gambling Blues content in quite awhile, as I guess no one can make money off my boobery, but right now there's a website (poker dot net) that has jacked my "Nicknames" article, reproduced everything but the last sentence, and didn't give me credit at the top as the author.
That last part is pretty funny, seeing as the article uses my real name umpteen times. The "everything but" bit is probably intentional, as some sort of effort to bypass their interpretation of copyright laws.
I'm pretty ticked off.
I've sent two emails through their "contact us" link asking them nicely to remove the article. No dice. I tried a "Whois" search, and the owner is protected from view. I'm not sure to who else I can complain, but I'm frustrated as hell.
See, I've been pretty resistant to the idea of advertising - whether we're talking subtle product urging (affiliate relationships) or overt banner-ad shilling. Like many/most other poker bloggers, I've been approached. All those guys begging for reciprocal links? No thanks. I even got an email from the publicist at Cardoza Publishing offering a free book or two because I'm THE COLUMNIST, but I couldn't even bring myself to do that.
Look, I'm not going to pimp anyone or anything unless the opportunity is really right. If youbet.com offered me $100 to wager and a year free on the (Internet horse betting) service, I'd probably bite. I'd put a banner ad up for six months if the good people who import San Marzano tomatoes sent me a couple of cases. But I'm not interested in telling people where to spend their poker dollars. I could pimp youbet.com because it's my only online choice (TVG and Magna's sites are unavailable to Michigan residents), but your poker dollars are your poker dollars. Put them where you feel most comfortable playing.
I'm not making one red cent off of this website, nor am I making any money off the stuff I'm contributing elsewhere on the net.
So why should some asshole be able to pirate my work, surround it with ads, and use it to attract Google searches? There's no question in my mind that's what is happening at poker dot net with my content. They are trying to construct a poker portal that rises to the top of the Google pile when various poker related topics are searched. That's exactly what's happening to Maudie with this "poker dot all dash information dot com" piracy incident too. That webmaster has no intention of providing anything besides banner ads to Pacific, and a way to have unique keyword searches bubble her to the top.
Since my Gambling Blues content isn't being jacked, I'm not facing this problem to a large extent. However, I feel like I don't have any control over what I'm subbing out to Poker Player. Joe, I don't mean this to come off as a slam, but with as often as I'm seeing LVV content used on shill sites, and the few incidents where my Poker Player articles have been stolen, I feel really powerless to do anything about it. Hell, there's even a small part of me that feels like Fox Sports is really taking advantage of their agreement with Poker Player and shouldn't be able to pluck articles at their leisure without compensating the author at least nominally.
Small part of me - the attention whore part of me doesn't mind so much.
I'm not going to stop writing for Poker Player, but I feel like I need to be vigilant searching keywords and phrases from my articles in the days that follow their posting to make sure I'm not helping some dickweed shill himself some profit off my content.
If I'm not making any money off my writing, I'll be damned if you're going to.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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