Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I’ve never been there completely as a tourist. Sure, I was there once for a team meeting for Compaq, but the majority of the time was already booked.

This time, it’s for a weekend with just one dinner pre-arranged. My wife’s sales group is being feted for selling a bunch of widgets or something (I wasn’t really listening when she told me the exact reason), and the widget manufacturer decided that spouses were invited to share the room. I had to spring for the airfare.

So I’ll be among the degenerates in Vegas during the weekend of February 23-25. I’m flying in Friday morning and leaving Sunday evening. And I’ll be with my lovely wife, so full-time poker is probably not an option, though she actually suggested I investigate the tournaments.

Neither one of us are into the tittie shows, nor do we feel like seeing some kiddie-friendly magic shows, so we booked tickets for Friday night to see Brad Garrett. His pre-Raymond stand-up was always good, so here’s hoping he’s back on track.

Are there any other suggestions for things to do or must-see places to see? Remember, we’re old (I’m 43, wifey is 46), and more like tourists than degenerates. Anyone have single-deck blackjack? Sit-and-go tournaments? Good food? Anyone need a bet placed on the MLB season?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Quick political blurb...

It’s interesting that even the most liberal bloggers are ignoring the major non-news story of the weekend, specifically that Hilary Clinton has announced her presidential exploratory committee. It’s non-news because, well, we expected it. The funny thing is that her hand was forced by the early entry of Barack Obama. Now the two announced Democratic candidates share the dubious distinction of simultaneously being the two frontrunners and the two least-likely-to-be-elected people in the country.

This is partially a commentary on the lack of social progress of the American voting public, partially a commentary on the lack of political acumen of the Democratic leadership, partially a commentary on the lack of likeability of both Obama and Clinton.

1. This country will not elect a black Democrat to be President. Period. It’s too easy to play on the fears of the prejudiced American public to marginalize the candidate as an anti-white crusader or a pro-black activist. A black Republican (Colin Powell, Condi Rice, maybe even JC Watts wayyyyy far down the line) has a much better chance at being considered as a centrist, especially one that’s already held a prominent national cabinet position.

2. This country will not elect a woman Democrat to be President. Period. It’s too easy to play on the fears of the misogynistic American public to marginalize the candidate as a man-hating, mood-swinging, menopausal harpy (like Hilary is already considered by more than half the country). A woman Republican (Condi Rice) has a much better chance at being considered as a centrist.

3. For now, Obama is the golden child of the media. His pre-emptive strike on the presumptive Clinton candidacy was slick and savvy… for a candidate. But it’s gonna hurt him in the long run, because it put him out front too early. He effectively is giving the muckrakers a six-month head start on creating a negative image for him, something that can only hurt as he attempts to create a national persona. It was premature and rash to announce so early, but he needed to start the fundraising asap to counter the Hilary machine.

Shit will start leaking out from the Obama camp; wait and see. You’ll still be hard-pressed to find many people who know what this guy stands for. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds a skeleton. And since he doesn’t have a historical image to fall back on, the skeleton will become his persona.

We all know Hilary. And many hate her. The single most polarizing figure in American politics today. Is she qualified? Oddly, I would say "yes". Is she electable? Hell no.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So the dominoes keep falling in the online poker world… Neteller is now free from the noxious world of gambling, and free to enter the world of stress-free bankruptcy. I pulled my last few hundred dollars from their coffers earlier today. After all, I was only using them as financial conduit to the poker sites. Once that particular circuit is broken, I have no further need for them. I suspect hundreds, maybe thousands, will use the same reasoning and strip Neteller of their available cash.

Oddly, all this comes at a time when Mrs. Commish is actively encouraging me to play in poker tournaments. She’s seen the benefits of a positive poker cash flow, and now she’s almost planning on it. The trouble is that the variance pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction, I can hardly see it. Last night, I lost in a HORSE multi with three pairs (aces up) against pocket kings that rivered his two-outer. Earlier in a SnG, my AK was rivered by AT that spiked his ten.

One thing that I have done very well in my online poker experience is ride out the bad swings in variance without busting. I’ve been able to scale my activity back to the $5-10 SnGs until statistical probability regains its foothold. One thing I haven’t done well in my online poker experience is ride the positive wave up to the bigger rewards. I’ve topped out at the $30 range for the most part, content to build my bankroll at the more modest levels. If and when the math actually starts working, I’m planning to move up in buy-ins more aggressively.

Anyway, in other non-poker stuff…

- American Idol has become a retard-fest. While the Minnesota show was merely pathetic and devoid of talent, the Seattle show was inexplicably filled with freaks and sub-humans. It was almost like Howard Stern sent his Wack Pack to the tryouts just to fuck with Simon Cowell. They gave more camera time to a pair of mongoloid double-digit IQ’s than they did to the legitimately talented singers.

- It seems that the Grease tryouts had more talented people than Idol. Of course, it was still filled with delusional ex-high-school-thespians (“But I played Danny Zucko in the school play!”) and the occasional midlife crisis victims (“This might be my chance to make it to Broadway”). Some went so far as to suggest physical similarities to John Travolta, ignoring the fact that he’s now over 50 years old and 50 lbs heavier than his Grease days. Anyway, this is the talent equivalent of “The Bachelor” compared to the Idol equivalent of “Flavor of Love”.

- Great trade by the Warriors, even if it means picking up a legitimate psychopath in Stephen Jackson. They unloaded two contracts totaling $80M for the next four years, meaning that they will have cap space to sign Biedrins and Monta Ellis to long-term deals. All they need to do now is get Adonal Foyle to retire (possibly by buying out his contract and setting up a foundation for his charitable work), and they’ll be able to actually build a team.

- The NFL is almost entirely off my radar now. But I feel compelled to speak out against Marty Shitforbrainsheimer and his complete lack of coaching prowess during the playoff game against New England. He committed four key blunders to cost them the game.

- (1) When it’s 4th and long for the other team, a good COACH tells his players to “knock it down”. Don’t leave it up to the players. Tell them. That’s why you’re there.

- (2) When the other team is driving for a go-ahead field goal, you don’t waste a timeout on a pointless challenge that wasn’t even close to being overturned. That extra timeout would’ve come in handy during that last drive. Asshole.

- (3) When you have 9 seconds left, and you’re on the ragged edge of field goal range for your kicker, you run a 10-15 out pattern on the sideline to try and get him closer. It’s a timing pass, so it won’t take more than 6 seconds, especially when you’re at home. There’s a big difference between a 54-yard figgie and a 44-yard figgie.

- (4) Oh, and when you have the best running back in the galaxy, you give him the frickin’ ball more than 23 times! They ran two screen passes and averaged 30+ yards, so the logical thing to do is stop running them, right? Dumbass.

- I can’t stand either of the NFC teams and I’m sick of both of the AFC teams. If Chicago wins, Rex Grossman will be the worst Super Bowl quarterback since David Woodley (yes, I think Trent Dilfer, Stan Humphries, and Kerry Collins were better). If New Orleans wins, we’ll be subjected to two weeks of Katrina-this and recovery-that. Blah blah blah. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the NFL is rooting for New Orleans. Expect Chicagoans to start complaining about the refereeing before the national anthem is over.

- This will be Peyton’s chance. New England isn’t that good. No more Ty Law or Rodney Harrison. If not Sunday, then we’re gonna hafta think that it will be never.

- Colts 27, Pats 24. Saints 21, Bears 17. Peyton vs. Payton in the Super Bowl.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First off, Happy New Year! Here’s hoping everyone finds pocket aces in the hole, and two aces on the flop all year!

Second, what’s with the Saddam hanging? For crying out loud, Abraham Zapruder filmed the Kennedy assassination better forty-plus years ago with a Super8 camera. Couldn’t Al-Jazeera have paid for the rights and put a proper camera in the execution chamber? I’m surprised it wasn’t on pay-per-view. Oh well, maybe next time…

Third, I told you so about Frank Gore. I predicted 1200 yards and 10 TDs. He actually produced almost 1700 yards and 9 TDs as the 49ers exceeded all expectations for the year. Kicking the lifeless Broncos to the playoff curb was the highlight of a major rebuilding season for the boys in crimson and gold.

p.s. I got a Joe Montana vintage 1984 jersey for Christmas. I must say I look very studly in it.

Other quick sports notes

- Barry Zito, 7 years, $136M. Excuse me while I teach my son to throw left-handed.

- Raiders are on the clock. My guess is that they’ll fuck up and pick Brady Quinn, who has Rick Mirer/Ron Powlus written all over him. They should pick Adrian Peterson and get a franchise RB, trade Moss and Porter for more picks, and draft nothing but OL and one QB. Then call Denny Green.

My brother-in-law has thrown himself whole-hog into the poker fad, playing a live tournament New Years Day at Garden City, a local card club. The problem is that he sucks at poker. Badly. I’m pretty sure when you play tournaments with 20% vig, combined with a lack of talent and lack of self-awareness, you’re gonna lose money. Well, he dropped $160 yesterday on the entry and finished in the bottom half. Apparently, this has been a fairly frequent occurrence lately (according to my niece and nephew) and my sister seems to be clueless about the implications of it all. Gee, some people really need to curb their gambooooling tendencies…

On the bright side, wifey now realizes that being “ok” at poker translates a lot better financially than “sucking”. She’s pretty sharp though. Today at lunch, she said “That doesn’t mean you can go ape-shit on poker just because Eric [brother-in-law] is worse than you at poker. I know that’s how you think.” Well, she’s right. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Dammit.