Posts Tagged ‘sports’

(Non-Poker) Podcast Talking Poker: The Black Whole

by , Jul 21, 2009 | 6:41 pm

I just busted out of the wild-n-crazy USO/PPA charity tourney benefitting wounded vets. Jordan Morgan clearly doesn’t respect my play … how else could he, with monster stack, call my M=3 all-in UTG with only A-9? Crap … though I did flop runner-runner outs, alas my 2-4 didn’t get there.

Anyhow, might be for the best, as I’ll be making an appearance in about a half hour to talk Phil Ivey, poker, and the WSOP on a show called The Black Whole:

Tune in live at 10:15 Eastern, or listen to the podcast later. (I’ll be the white guy.) Should be good, barber-shoppy times + poker.

UPDATE: Here’s the podcast. Poker talk starts about 34 minutes in … but honestly, all the good stuff on this show comes before then:

Re: (Shhh, Don’t Tell Anyone)

by , Nov 11, 2008 | 12:12 pm

A comment from the sports editor regarding commentors complaints about the “spoiler” of the WSOP Main Event winner in the headline:

To our readers:

We regret offending the handful of commenters who believe we should either not be reporting on the outcome of a news event like the World Series of Poker, or should have dumbed-down the headline so as to not give away the outcome on the Sports front page. However, we believe you are in the minority.

The traffic to the site today — in which the coverage of the World Series of Poker has received more page views than any other story in Sports — suggests the majority of readers are interested in knowing the outcome now. We confront a similar issue every two years with the Olympics, in which some users suggest we are ruining their evening by covering the outcome of news as it happens instead of letting them learn who won by watching television’s tape-delayed coverage. In both cases we feel we are serving the greater good with immediate coverage.

In this day and age, in which information is available everywhere and much of it instantaneously, it is almost impossible for a news organization to NOT report news when it knows it — because someone else will. Indeed, USA TODAY is not the only news organization reporting the outcome of the final table. Fox, CBS, Yahoo, every Website that subscribes to the Associated Press, radio, TV… even ESPN itself has coverage of who won. Unless you get your sports news from, and only that site, how were you planning to make it through the day consuming news and information without stumbling upon the final table outcome? If USA TODAY does not tell you who won, we know that most users will just go elsewhere to find out. Not every user wants to wait, and not every user plans to watch it on tape-delayed television.

Similarly, we would be at a competitive disadvantage to tell users in our headline that the event is over without revealing who won. While some users may have entered our site at our homepage or Sports front and discovered the news, almost half of our traffic these days comes from search engines — people who increasingly start at Google or Yahoo and type in search terms. The more specifics we get into our headlines, including the name of the winner, the more likely we can attract the audience that is searching for that news.

It’s not the same as revealing the outcome of a book or a movie. That’s pure entertainment. This is entertainment too, but it’s also news.

As to the issue of whether poker coverage belongs in Sports or not — we can debate all night long whether poker should be considered a sport. We take no position on that. By placing it here, we are merely indicating that people who follow sports, moreso than other sections of USA TODAY, are most likely to be interested in the World Series of Poker.

Remember These Non-Poker Gambling Scandals?

Organizations Rebound While Individuals Pay the Price

by , Aug 4, 2008 | 9:55 pm

With all the attention on the UB/Absolute scandal today, I thought I’d offer some perspective on non-poker scandals. And since poker is a “sport”

Sports Illustrated/CNN have compiled a photo gallery representing the 13 biggest “Gambling Scandals in Sports.” (No, UB and Absolute didn’t make the list.)

The scandals date from the Black Sox of 1919 (when the Chicago White Sox famously threw the World Series) to the NBA referee (Tim Donaghy) who pleaded guilty to accepting money from a gambler. Basketball was the most offending sport, with six of the 13 spots on the list (46%). Boston College has the dubious honor of being listed twice (for basketball in the late ’70s and football in the mid ’90s).

The last item on the list (which appears to be in no particular order) is about former NHL player Rick Tocchet, who has played in a major poker tournament or two.

Check out the full list here. (Keep in mind that this list only includes gambling scandals, and not cheating scandals in general.)

I find it interesting that while individual players must live with the consequences for decades (Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson, etc.), the organizations that allowed such cheating to take place usually pay only a short-term penalty before returning to full respectability.

It’s not a perfect parallel to the UB/Absolute scandal, but I think it’s relevant. It’s possible that after a few years, this scandal may be nothing more than a footnote to those two companies. What do you think?

If you find sports scandals boring, you can always check out SI’s second-most popular gallery (at the moment): “The Best 1980s Swimsuits,” with a vintage Christie Brinkley SI cover in the leadoff spot. In middle school, I claimed that my initials stood for “Billy Joel,” and he was my uncle. He married Christie later that year, and my popularity soared. Wait … swimsuit photos? Am I blogging for Pokerati or Wicked Chops?

Poking in the workplace

by , Feb 7, 2007 | 8:49 am

To appreciate this photo you have to understand my friend, Stephen. Prior to this Extreme Makeover – Cube Edition, Stephen’s cube walls were lined with $5 bills that he had won by betting on the Bears against everybody else in the office. Let’s just say that there was never a debt paid that didn’t recieve more than adequate dose of smug verbal fandom from our resident IT bookie. Somewhere under the balloons is a genuine Bears helmet that his dad gave to him and will surely and sadly be further bequeathed. He actually flew down to Florida with his Dad and two brothers to attend his beloved Bears Superbowl defeat in person. He’s due back in the office today. Stephen, we missed you.
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