Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    The Lion Speaks Tonight

    Actually, he spoke Tuesday night. If you look at my blog list on the right (a little alliteration to allay your animosity and annoyance) you'll see a link for Lion Tales, which is written by Richard Brodie, a gentleman living the dream of just about every blogger out there--he's out there playing just about every World Poker Tour event, from Aruba to Paris. And if you watched last night's World Series coverage and saw "The Nuts" segment, I believe you saw Richard, because he's the dude at the end who says that he wrote the original version of Microsoft Word. Yes, every time you've hit "Print Preview" and then can't get back to your document without all those weird symbols on the page and you start screaming "WHAT THE HELL IS GODDAM OUTLINE VIEW??!!", in some way you've been screaming at Richard.

    The fact that Richard was an old-school Microsoftie perhaps explains where the "Quiet Lion" got the coin to act like an jet-setting playboy, flitting hither and yon around the world looking for the biggest action in the world. It's remarkable that Microsoft, considered by many the epitome of the totalitarian, fascistic, build-a-pyramid-of-human-skulls corporation, has so many former employees enjoying unusual, interesting, or quirky hobbies. Bill Gates spends much of his time and money helping immunize children in the developing world, about as noble a pursuit as one could hope for, yet still finds time for another popular pursuit, loafing with anti-trust lawyers. Steve Ballmer took over from Gates as CEO, giving him even more opportunity to engage in his favorite activity, screaming at underlings. Paul Allen owns NFL and NBA franchises and has built museums in homage to some of his teenage obsessions, Jimi Hendrix and science fiction. One wonders if soon there would be a groundbreaking in the Pacific Northwest for a museum dedicated to Penthouse magazine. Two Microsoft guys quit and, since they liked bowling, they bought the Professional Bowlers Association. They couldn't get a lane at their local alley? And then we have Richard Brodie deciding to give poker a whirl by locking horns with the biggest and baddest tournament players on the planet.

    If you've never read "Lion Tales" you will of course head there shortly and dig in. Richard has never made the final table at a WPT event, though I think he did crack the top ten in this year's Reno event. But if you want an idea of what it's like to play in one of these massive events without taking out a home equity loan, this is one way to do it. It's not all glitz and glamour and Shana Hiatt in heels and a miniskirt (though Richard's borderline stalking of the WPT co-host always proves entertaining). And you get all sorts of insider tidbits that don't make it on the broadcasts. Like, Howard Lederer's nickname (other than the Poker Professor) is "Bub". Can you imagine calling Howard Lederer "Bub"? Me neither. Richard has also had a few run-ins with Phil Hellmuth, and when I wrote my screed about Phil I got a positive comment from the Lion. He knows first hand of which I spoke.

    I think I actually enjoy reading about the resorts and restaurants he and his fellow players visit more than the poker. I think its because I've started getting into wine a bit, and I like reading about the especially piquant Cabernet Sauvignon he and his cronies selected to wash down that Kobe beef. In fact, while your typical poker blogger probably dreams about winning the World Series, I dream about appearing in Richard's blog in an entry that would go something like this:

    After getting busted out again by "Mean" Gene Bromberg he accompanied me and Andy "The Rock" Block to dinner at Squelch, a new Asian-Scandanvian bistro I've heard good things about. I ordered the gravlax
    with miso while "Mean" Gene lectured us on the proper way to play Ace-Queen offsuit. The 1994 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon I selected arrived, but when the sommelier opened the bottle and was about to pour Gene snatched it out of his hand and went into a 30 minute tirade about how the Mondavi reds need time to breathe before they're ready to drink. "Mean" Gene reduced the sommelier to tears, but during that profanity-laded half-hour the wine fully rounded into shape and was, we all agreed, superb. "Mean" Gene asked if perhaps he'd been too hard on the sommelier, that he usually prefers to reduce grown men to tears at the poker table. Andy and I laughed and told Gene that he'd acted perfectly correctly in our eyes.

    OK, maybe it's just me, but I think that'd be so cool.

    I think it's the wine references that get to me. I've started to get a bit more interested in wine, which is making me a bit nervous, as I don't need another obsession to crowd my life. I mentioned in a previous post that I cashed out a good 3/4 of my poker fund and blew it on a trip my wife and I took with some friends up a wine festival in the Finger Lakes of New York. And the other day I cashed out the remaining $61 in my Pacific Poker account and it's going back into the bank. My poker bankroll is, officially, at zero. I've decided to desist from playing until I actually get a real, full-time job. My temp gig ends at the end of October, and while I'm sure I can get another quicky job, I'm working with a career conselor to find a "real" job. So, that's what I need to spend my time on. And I'm trying to lose a ton of weight. And do more writing. My figurative plate is full, even as my literal plate holds three ounces of chicken, a small boiled potato, and a cup of green beans.

    So, if I'm not playing poker, is this the end of Mean Gene's Poker Blog? Fear not, dear readers, I'll still be posting, about poker and beyond. My own play is hardly worth writing about, but I'm sure I can still find grist for my poker mill. Like this post, for example. I definitely will play again sometime in the future, I'm not giving up the game permanently. It's good to know that, when I want to or need to, I can step away from the table. It's also good to know that I still want to play. But for now my poker fun will have to be the vicarious sort. Like reading about Richard Brodie's adventures at Lion Tales. Read and enjoy, boys and girls. Maybe, if he gets a gaggle of new readers, he'll consent to play in our next blogger tourament. Buy-in is, ah, five grand... get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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