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
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Annie's Blog

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    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Arsenal vs. Barcelona; or, At Least I Have Pants On

    I'm home, I'm fed, I'm ready to live-blog the Champions League Final between Arsenal and Barcelona. I think I'll also play in some cheapy multi-table SNG so I have something to write about in case the game is especially dire. Which I don't think it'll be.

    Just had some fun. Realtor calls last night, wants to show my house between 12:30 and 1. Fine says I. I hobble to my car after getting out of work (having foot problems), I go to the library, go to the grocery store for soy sauce and butter (different receipes) and hit my driveway at 1:30. I'm good, right? I get out of my work things, make some lunch, sit down for a pre-game episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force...and I hear the lockbox rattle and suddenly my home is invaded. They were running late. I changed into sweats, so I looked...let's say I looked comfortable. I switched off the TV so they didn't have to hear a giant milkshake calling a big ball of meat "Dorkface". The prospective buyer was a woman about my age and her mother. When she left, she didn't look impressed. Not a bad-looking woman. She didn't look impressed with me, either.

    Having strangers come into what was once your castle, your lair, your sancturary, and open your closets and frown at your cabinets and walk out looking at a list of's depressing. Awhile back I wrote a post titled Five Things To Do Before I Die. Well, one thing I'm NOT gonna do again before I die is buy a house. Unless I start making a lot more money. And it's brand new. And I plan on turning it into my burial pyre.

    Are you ready for some SOCCER!!!!

    2:38: OK, I like the promos with the heavenly choir bellowing "The ChaaaaamPIONSSSSSSSS!". It gives weight to the event. But I've heard it 6 times already and the teams aren't even on the pitch yet.

    Correction. I've heard it seven times.

    Fifty years of the Champions League. Does that make this Champions League L? I believe it does.

    It's gonna be awhile before kickoff. I think a little poker, and maybe a midday beer.

    2:44: Never understood the walking-out-with-kids-from-the-other-squad deal. It's a nice act of sportsmanship, especially in a sport where you have hooligans and riots and fans who openly embrace racism and fascism. But would you want your kid holding hands with, say, Barry Bonds? Terrell Owens? No thanks.

    Ooh, kickoff! Barca in their traditional strip, Arsenal in bright gold. Steelers wear gold. They won the Super Bowl. An omen.

    2:49: So CLOSE! Henry with an incredible first touch, spins in on goal but he got in too close and struck Valedez with his shot from the outside of his foot. And then Henry fired a laser that had to be parried away.

    3:03: Lehmann looks stout on the line.

    And just as I say that, disaster.

    Eto'o is put through clean, Lehmann rushes out, clips Eto'o on the foot, and Lehmann gets the red card. So now Barca only has to play against 10 men, Almunia comes on, Pires comes off. Lehmann saved a goal, for now, but now the Gunners are playing for penalties.

    In poker news, I have 99, the flop comes 10-10-6 with two hearts, a shortstack pushes and I call. He has K-6, he needs a king or a six...there's the king! But it's a heart, giving me outs...and I spike a nine on the river. Love the resuck.

    3:21: Almunia solid so far. The action is mostly on Arsenal's side, as you'd expect. They're saying Lehmann is the first player ever sent off in UCF history. Can that be right? NO player ever committed a professional foul, no frustrated hard man came in with a late clattering tackle on a preening superstar striker? That's pathetic.

    Eboue nearly earned a penalty with a ghastly dive. And then.


    Campbell with a header on a cross from Henry! Went up there and got it and no one marked him.

    Ashley Cole with a scything tackle, and when the Barca player expected a hand up and a pat on the back Cole gave him a "WTF?" look. Get your own ass up off the ground. Game on, boys, game on.

    3:33: Eto' o slips through, and rattles one off the woodwork! In injury time yet. Would've been a tough one at the end of the half. Oh, Almunia made the save on Eto'o's shot. Increidble reflex save.

    Boy, "Eto'o's" looks awfully funny.

    I got bounced in the tournament. Getting a bit short I raise with AK, one caller, flop comes Q-Q-4. I push, he has...AQ. Of course he does.

    And we go to the break! 45 minutes to glory. Time to break out the oranges. Maybe I'll have that beer now.

    3:57: Dial-a-shot with Al achieved. Beer tastes good when you should be at work. Long way to go yet. Henry gets booked, though he got all ball. Refs so far...more than shaky.

    4:06: A-10 beats QQ and I'm in good shape in my next little SNG. Almunia is playing fantastic. Arsenal is under siege, and that probably won't change.

    I don't know if the ref has made one correct call so far. Incredible.

    Henry, good Lord. Made two defenders looks absurd. Magic.

    4:25: Shit. I guess it was inevitable, but Eto'o scored. Lovely thru ball by Larsson, Almunia got beat on the short side. Henry wasted a chance earlier.

    4:29: Double shit.

    They go 995 minutes without a goal, and they give up 2 in 2 minutes. Alumia let it go right thru the five-hole. Terrible goal. What a way to lose it.

    To add to the misery, I finish 2nd in my SNG, twice going all in with the best of it, and twice getting outflopped. Groan.

    4:43: And that's it. I guess you'd have to say Barca was the better team, but having to play with 10 men for 80 minutes makes it hard to judge. 14 minutes away from the title, and then the wheels fell off. But eventually you're gonna give up a goal under that kind of pressure, for that long. The officiating was flat-out horrible, but it usually is in soccer. Eboue's dive was egregious, and it nearly got Arsenal the Cup. If there was really good officating, I mean if every call was correct, if every dive was called, every cheap shot punished as it should...the game wouldn't be the same, would it?

    Sad if that's Henry's last game at Arsenal. Especially with him bitching at Wenger for much of the 2nd half, and then not burying that lone chance that might've clinched it. Tough game for Pires, play 10 minutes and you're off, and it's nothing to do with you.

    OK, I'm done. Some sun out there, maybe I'll get to cut the grass. Oh joy. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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