Posts Tagged ‘Relevant Non-Poker Buzz’

LOL! Go Barney Frank!

by , Feb 3, 2009 | 9:08 pm

I’ve been thinking more and more about the current economic conditions … I hear more stories of old friends getting laid off — especially those who worked for newspapers — and it occurred to me that the frequency is resembling the Vegas foreclosure scene a year ago. And with that in mind, yikes, like they’ve been telling us, things are gonna get worse. My newly un self-employed friends are all enjoying the days off now, but we all know the status of most Americans’ savings … it ain’t gonna last long, and when these folks suddenly have no more money to spend … ouch.

Anyhow, it’s all about more than poker, and yet at the same time, this has me feeling so good about various poker bills’ prospects, specifically in 2009. I mean really, how will any non-zeaot be able to say no to the money? And to that extent, as much of a semi-crazy coot as he is … you gotta love having Barney Frank (D-MA) on our side. From a Huffington Post on bailed-out bankers (the folks currently charged with enforcing the UIGEA, btw) being called to the Congressional woodshed (emph. added):

For Frank and other backers of the bailout, known as TARP, or the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the problem is that its purpose is to prevent a total collapse of the global financial system. Because of the way politics works, it’s difficult to get credit for preventing harm rather than doing good.

“It’s like wearing dark pants and pissing down your leg,” Frank said before the bailout vote in October. “It gives you a warm feeling, but no one knows you did it.”

Are we sure this Massachusetts flaming liberal isn’t a good-ole-boy from Texas?

Pokerati is Taking a Break …

by , Jan 20, 2009 | 12:14 pm

… from all the poker and politics to watch a poker player talk about politics America’s future:

RE: Tao of Benjorati 3/4

Competitive Eating Is Probably Not the Next Poker

by , Nov 5, 2008 | 3:46 pm

… even though the dudes from PokerListings think so when they drink. If competitive eating were to become the next poker, though, it would probably be fun to see the field whittled down to a “final table”.

For those interested in seeing a real competitive eater at work, I interviewed Rich LeFevre, aka “The Locust”, as he successfully gulped down The Ultimate Steak at Brand (nice, fancy-ish steakhouse at the Monte Carlo) — a 120oz porterhouse (with sides) that usually feeds six, but is free if it feeds one and you clean your plate.

It took LeFevre 40 minutes, and that was with me peppering him with questions all the while:

As far as life on the competitive eating circuit goes, LeFevre looks back to the golden days of 2005, when he competed in 26 events and won $35,000. Clearly this dude could make way more money via prop bets as a competitive-eating hustler … but considering that he asked for ice cream after he finished devouring 8 pounds of steak, a pound of potatoes, and an similar volume of creamed spinach, you can tell he does it just for the love of the “sport”.


Pokery Presidential Politics

Prop-betting for a better future

by , Nov 1, 2008 | 10:34 pm

Sorry I’ve been a little out of pocket in recent days weeks months. But I got kinda hooked on election coverage. Dammit, promised myself four years ago that I wouldn’t get caught up in the BS-laden pre-election horse race coverage, but instead ended up making the biggest prop bet of my life about a month ago — $1,000 on Barack Obama.

Since then, I’ve spent my days and nights flipping news channels and scouring YouTube for funny/insightful political vids to send to that great online Deuce-to-Seven player, luvgamble, aka Donkey Bomber, aka Tom the Plumber. My original offer was $500 +3 points, and when given the opportunity for better odds without the points, I had to double my wager. (That’s just smart gambling, right?) So when the pundits are saying there’s a lot at stake this election … they ain’t kidding!

Tom’s an Arizona homer for McCain who’s been mass-forwarding easily disprovable, often hypocritical right-wing propaganda for about a year-and-a-half now — the sort that screams, imho, “Holy shit, is America really gonna put Hillary Clinton a black guy in there!?!” To be clear: I’m not saying luvgamble nor any of his email distro cronies are racists or sexists. I’m just saying they’re white … and probably don’t own any Dr. Dre.

And that’s why I felt (and still feel) that I had a better read on the election than he did.


Michael Moore Endorses Good Poker

by , Oct 24, 2008 | 12:48 am

The anti-old-rich-white-guy filmmaker appeared on Larry King today … and as we’re now just some two weeks away from the presidential election WSOP main event final table, he was busy educating the non-poker public on why the little guy doesn’t stand a chance against the big guy relative stack sizes and the importance of game selection.

Check it out … the poker talk begins at about 1:45, and is used to explain something about the evil ways of Wall Street and their control of the rake.

He made his appearance in part to promote his new net-distro film, Slacker Uprising, about rallying the next generation of voters online poker players.

Who Knew I Was So Good at Point-Spreadless Football?

by , Oct 21, 2008 | 1:22 am

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I’ve never placed a sports bet in a casino. Horse racing, yes … but football, baseball, basketball, soccer … nope. Have come close a few times to betting on Wigan, but in the end decided to just “pretend bet” … and I went on to lose a pretend few hundred dollars. I guess it’s for the same reason I’ve never tried heroin. From what I understand, heroin feels great, but I suppose I fear I’d like it too much and/or would find my new junkie friends far more appealing than anyone I know from poker. But now I am starting to reconsider …

I play in a little free NFL pick’em league with my family each year — hosted online by the Las Vegas Review Journal with 7-Eleven gift certificates and Fatheads for prizes — and this year, seven weeks into the season, I’m kinda kicking butt.

Having correctly picked 71 of 102 winners, I’m in the top 1 percent: 21st out of 9,379 in Las Vegas, and 155th out of 131,525 nationwide.

Among the 13 people in the Michalski group, I am in first place. While I’m proud of that, you should realize that competition includes my 1-year-old nephew who always picks teams named after animals, Uncle Ray who writes in “Ditka” for every pick, and my cousin-in-law Phil the Filmmaker:

There’s also a cool little “Survivor” sidegame, where you have to pick one team that will be a certain winner each week — you get to use each team once. I’m still alive in that, too … 400 of us are in LV, and about 3,400 nationwide. I think winning that comes with some real prizes actually … man, if/when I go out in that, I know I’ll be feeling some serious withdrawal.

OK, sorry, back to poker …

RE: Poker in the Non-Poker World

by , Oct 14, 2008 | 11:06 pm

Hmm, I tend to think poker players should try to step out of their little-big poker worlds every so often, if only to keep a check on reality. But yikes, maybe not … when a Seattle columnist stepped into a game to get some old-white-men takes on the presidential election … well let’s just say at least a few players behaved like jive-ass crackas weren’t exactly great ambassadors for the game.

(But hey, real people, real life, right? Isn’t being able to take money from the sketchy part of why we play?)

Play with the pros for free on

What are The Odds?

Death by falling airplane more likely in north Vegas

by , Aug 29, 2008 | 6:01 am

It was a tragedy earlier this week when a small plane crashed into a North Las Vegas home, killing three people. Another one fell out of the sky yesterday, killing the pilot. This one crashed into a home near Jones and Cheyenne (a few blocks from where the Michalski grandparents used to live) and also took off from the North Las Vegas Airport. Seriously, two small-aircraft crashes (into homes) in one week, both flights originating from the 63rd busiest airport in America? That’s just not right.

More here and here.

USA 1:2 Nigeria

by , Aug 13, 2008 | 4:04 am

Soccer is more dramatic/difficult/painful (to watch) than poker. Sigh.

Fire in the Hole!

by , Jul 5, 2008 | 5:34 pm

Drove up to my secret shaded, multi-convenient parking spot today … and I noticed something burning:

Hmm, Jen said it was hot out here, and we know flammables blow up in the heat. But the funny part was the one Rio junior suit running over with a single fire extinguisher to put it out. Nice read, dude. Naturally, of course, the fire department would eventually be called and successfully put out the blaze before it turned the 2008 WSOP into a major newsworthy disaster:

Lee Watkinson Moonlighting as Thug Jeweler

by , Jun 26, 2008 | 2:17 pm

Stumbled across this billboard the other day just a couple blocks away from the Rio.

Interesting to see a poker pro 1) with Mike Tyson-esque tats running up his face; and 2) with no reference to his pokering nor a Full Tilt logo anywhere in sight. Of course probably not a bad idea for anyone in the poker biz to diversify their life portfolio … but I can’t help but wonder if last year’s main-event final tableist doesn’t want anyone in the poker world to actually see his Sigfried and Roy side exposed. Actually, I guess it would be bizzaro Sigfried and Roy, or Roy’s evil brother … regardless … who knew Lee Watkinson wanted to sell you knives and skulls to wear at your next formal dinner?

The recent CardPlayer coverboy’s billboard is located just south of the Rio on Dean Martin Dr. (Industrial) facing to the northeast. That means anyone driving in from the south won’t see it, because it will be behind them; but nor will anyone heading to the WSOP from the north … because they would exit I-15 on Flamingo about a third-mile before Lee Watkinson’s topless torso graces their field of view. The only way a poker player might see this sign is if he were leaving the Rio to grab a quick bite at the In-n-Out Burger.

The website he’s pimping — — doesn’t seem to be fully converted yet for his fashion line … it’s actually about poker … but it does have some funny pictures of Lee taking on an orangutan as a poker protege.

Poker-playin’ Journalist Dies

by , Jun 13, 2008 | 12:51 pm

Venerable journalist Tim Russert has died at age 58 of a heart attack. Russert, of course, was the Washington bureau chief of NBC News and the host of Meet the Press … and he liked, played, and respected poker. It was during the 2004 presidential campaign where he addressed the Democratic strategy of trying to win the Rust Belt states by saying that going after Ohio was “like drawing to an inside straight.”

Too true …

Back in the day, Russert played in a home game with Johnny Carson.

Should Cali Jen Keep the Cat?

by , Jun 7, 2008 | 7:15 am

While Jen Newell was moving into her WSOP condo, some other folks were moving out … and from the way she tells it, they were in the process of abandoning their cat. Made her sad, because she’s a cat lover. Well now that cat has returned to her summer-home doorstep, semi-emaciated as the Las Vegas heat begins to pick up.

She tried calling the SPCA and some other no-kill animal refuge, but to her dismay, they weren’t open 24/7. Eventually she did find an all-night animal shelter … and now she’s got a couple days to consider that kitty’s future.


Re: Have a Beer with Negreanu

by , May 21, 2008 | 8:31 am

Have a Building with Michael Jackson

In other Vegassy business partnership deals, for the sake of comparison, my fellow newbie Las Vegas local Michael Jackson just did a deal with Thomas Barrack of Colony Capital, which owns the Las Vegas Hilton and Station Casinos. It really was sorta one-sided … but quite a show of good-faith when a neighbor pays off your $23.5 million debt on Neverland Ranch.

Re: Re: Microsoft Begins Dealing

by , Mar 27, 2008 | 6:59 am

Joe in New York writes in with some clarification about Kwari — the online shooting game played for money with full awareness of the relevance of the UIGEA, despite its not-so-pokery nature.

Hey Dan,

Hope all is well. I just checked out your column where you mentioned Kwari had launched services and want to provide a little more information so your readers do not get a bad experience. Currently, Kwari is only available in the U.K. The US version has not launched yet. While you could download the game and play for money in the US, Kwari does not encourage this. If you log in the United States, there will be some serious lag issues as the games are based in the UK. Kwari is expected to launch in the United States towards the end of the summer. Thank you for your interest in Kwari and if you have any questions, please let me know.



Thank you, Joe. Will be interesting to watch how the concept of professional online gaming develops. Hey, I noticed that Kwari is based in Gibraltar … Be sure to tell our good friends and your presumable neighbors at PartyPoker we say hi before you shoot them for fun and duckets!