Friday, August 1, 2008

Separated At Birth, Poker Edition

I sort of have a poker blog, but only in the way that people who've abandoned their about to be foreclosed mansion still have a home. I really just have a hard time saying anything interesting about poker that Dr. Pauly doesn't say better, which made finding a genuine voice too difficult. Also, I took a break from the game to find some balance, which I finally did. I still play poker, actually quite a bit these days. I took 131st out of 4191 in the $3 MTT rebuy on Pokerstars the other night - so close, so far away. The guy who crippled me ended up in the final 4 - congrats to him and boo for me! Regadless, I finally posted something new to the poker blog, but in case you're not one of the 3 annual visitors I've had there in the last three years, I figured I'd post it here for my other 296 annual visitors, most of whom are here to read about the South African Lottery or to find an e-mail address to call me an asshole for what I said in the Lakers Blog comments.

Anyway, I'm not sure if anyone's ever noticed this, but Minnesota Twins 1st Baseman Justin Morneau and annoyingly good at everything and good looking poker pro Eric Lindgren must secretly be brothers. They look more alike than Dack & Dirk Rambo did. They're like the Olsen Twins of the Guys Who Are Better Than Me At The Things I Love. Check it out:

"Morneau (seated next to Tully's Current Tall Inaccessible Blonde Dream Girl Erin Andrews)"


2 Down, 2 To Go

Well, that was easy enough. My Round 2 match in the Tournament of Champions went about the same as the 1st, although the start was a little shaky. I had no clue that the Black Rock Desert was in Nevada or that Hello, I Must Be Going was Groucho Marx's theme song (however, I do know that it was the title of the last Phil Collins solo album that I could tolerate). After that, I went on an answering spree that dashed the title hopes of my opponent Robert. Most people seemed impressed that I knew so readily that the only two states in the Union that outlaw self-service gas pumps are Oregon and New Jersey, but when you've been to both, the annoyance of long full-service pump waits are not easily forgotten. As an aside, I still have no idea why those states retain such archaic and pointless laws - are the filling station employees' lobbies that powerful in those particular regions? The final question was another fastball right over the heart of the plate: In 1990, what 42-1 longshot beat *at this point I chimed in* Mike Tyson for the heavweight championship? Other than baseball, I know more about boxing than any other sport, so I appreciate the trivia gods for hooking me up. My prize for this round was a Parrot Hands-Free Speakerphone that I will may use, give away or sell. Does anyone (that means the two of you who are still reading this after finding me from a link on the LakersBlog) know if these are good or not?

Robert was an extremely gracious loser, and I felt bad about defeating him. I have an odd internal dichotomy - I am beyond competitive and despise losing at anything, from bag-tossing games to H.O.R.S.E. tournaments on Pokerstars. However, I always feel really badly when I beat people (other than Kristopher Parker, who deserves everything he gets on the rare occasions that I best him at anything). When I'm playing a game, I literally hate my opponents. I wonder if this is a residual effect of the competitive household I grew up in and the pleasure I got from beating my oppressive older siblings in the games we played.

Next up: Round 3 vs. Patrick, on Wednesday, August 6th. Listen in to see if I can drop an A-Bomb on my opponent that day or if I'm going to end up like Hiroshima myself (Aug 6th is the 63rd anniversary of the Enola Gay's special delivery). Patrick is very good, so I have my work cut out for me!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back On The Radio

I doubt many people were left waiting with bated breath, but I can report to the 2 or 3 people who might be interested that I wiped the floor with my Round 1 opponent in the Mark & Brian Tournament of Champions. I would have shut the hapless Lisa out, but I had a brain fart on the oldest religion in the world (I said Buddhism, but the Hindu Vedas predate the forming of Buddhism by several hundred years). I also lost in on an easy 70s rock question ('Hair of the Dog' is an album by Nazareth, not Jethro Tull) and heard a Betty Crocker question wrong. Regardless, I won 5-1 with 2 questions to spare, and I'm okay with my performance. For my efforts, I won an 8 CD box set of heavy metal music, a gift that surely would have been more welcome in my collection when I was 20 than now, but it's free and that's what matters. If I win round 2, I get a Parrot Hands Free Speakerphone; round 3's prize is a 2 day trip to Caesar's Palace in Vegas to see Jerry Seinfeld, and the grand prize is a cruise to Mexico for 7 days. I've always said the only way you're going to get me on a cruise is to give me a free one, so I guess they were listening.

My 2nd round match is Thursday, July 31st at 8:30AM, same bat channel (95.5KLOS in LA). I heard my opponent play, and I'm not very worried about this match, but round 3 and 4 are going to be extremely tough. The remaining players are all very good and quick to respond. I have my work cut out for me, but I'm confident that I'll prevail! Wish me luck!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Impending Radio Fame

While I'd much rather be famous for winning the World Series of Poker Main Event, I'm going to have to settle for being a radio Game Show contestant. In Spring of 2007, I was a five day champion on the Mark and Brian trivia contest on LA-based KLOS-FM (95.5). Basically, it's a best of 10 trivia contest where you yell your name if you know the answer. I pretty much brutalized my opponents; anyone who knows me is aware that I'm good at two things, and one of them is rapid access to the vast amount of useless knowledge stored in my head. Well, useless unless you're decimating people at SceneIt or winning a few thousand bucks on Jeopardy!. One of the benefits of being an undefeated 5 day champion of the game is that they do a Tournament of Champions once they've got 16 of them. The prizes I received for my run were Disney DVDs, some CDs I already owned, and a visit to the Mark and Brian show that I've yet to cash. However, they actually give you a pretty good prize for winning the TOC. The last two prizes were a Toyota Yaris and a 52" widescreen TV. Knowing my luck, it'll be a cruise to Mexico or something completely uninteresting. Considering my prizes on Jeopardy! and Win Ben Stein's Money were a DCC Player and professional hair care products, this is even more likely.

Anyway, after a long stretch, they've finally scheduled the TOC to start this coming Monday, July 21st at 8:30AM. I'm actually playing on the first game, so if you want to hear my voice, tune in to the show. I'm a competitive freak, so I'll give it my best regardless if the prize is a BRAND NEW CAR or a George Foremean Lean Mean Grilling Machine. Here's the link to the website, if you don't live in LA, Portland or one of the other areas where they syndicate Mark and Brian's show. Just click on the Listen Live button, and remember, it's 8:30AM Pacific Time.

If I win Monday's game, then I have to beat three other people to win the whole thing. Even though I've been a winner on a much bigger show than this, I'm very amped to win it (especially considering they're getting rid of the game after this, making it the final TOC ever). Wish me luck, kids!