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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    Saturday, December 30, 2006

    Right Here In River City

    Went to a party last night and brought a case of Yuengling along. There was plenty of beer and my case didn't get drunk, so my hosts said to take it home. Planned on bringing it to our New Year's Eve party tomorrow night.

    I went to the library to pick up two CD's I ordered, and when I got home I realized the case wasn't in my back seat. Thought I put it there...but maybe I put it in the trunk instead.

    Looked in the trunk. No beer.

    My buddy Rick brought a cooler to the party last night and when I dropped him off he opened my right-rear door to get it out. I didn't re-lock that door when I got home (it was still unlocked when I noticed the beer was AWOL), so I think someone in my complex saw that I had a case of beer in the back seat, tested the door, found it open, and made off with it.

    That's pretty weak.

    They didn't take the six-pack of Wild Cherry Pepsi I had on the floor (didn't have enough free hands to bring it up after shopping the other day) and they didn't take the Polartek jacket with all the cat hair on it. Just the Yuengling.

    Well, I'd planned on buying two cases last night, but only bought one. So the robbery could've been twice as bad. I'll just have to go out and get another case. Life goes on.

    But from now on, I'll be watching.



    Friday, December 29, 2006

    Draining the Oasis

    Like Mr. Speaker, I started and abandoned several "Year in Review" posts. I canned them because
    • I didn't want to write them, and
    • You don't want to read them
    It's been an eventful year for me, and for a change some of those events were actually great. I look back to where I was at this point last year, and I never could've imagined I'd be where I am now. Sitting in sweatpants in front of a computer. Well, I guess I could've imagined that part. Some very sad things have happened recently, and during the last twelve months some crazy stuff has gone down. That's life. But I've been most fortunate this year, and I'm thankful for that.

    I dragged myself home after volleyball (and a few beers) last night and decided to play a little poker before hitting the sack. I sat at a table with two of the tastiest, flakiest fish I've seen in many a moon. It takes some doing to blow $70 at a $1/2 table in ten minutes, but these guys pulled it off. I got a bit less than my fair share, and when they left I figured I'd play another orbit and go to sleep.

    It was after 1AM so I surfed over to the Post-Gazette website to see what was shaking in the 'Burgh. I read a few articles until I saw the headline for Tony Norman's column: "Closing the Book on Barnes & Noble". I'd been at a Barnes & Noble that very afternoon, which is unusual for me these days. I live close to a Borders and I practically live in the place. But I got a gift card for Christmas and spent an hour at the BN in Fox Chapel.

    It wasn't that Barnes & Noble Norman was referring to. It was to my sorrow to read that the Downtown Barnes and Noble is closing it's doors. I spent many, many, many happy hours there. Well, not happy. I don't think I was every happy those days. I had a job I absolutely hated. And I didn't think that I would ever have a job that I didn't hate. I'd just gotten out of grad school and it looked as though it had all been a total waste of time. I was depressed and frustrated and miserable. Snappy dresser though.

    At least three times a week I would walk from the US Steel Building down to Smithfield Street and Barnes & Noble. And nourish my soul. All those books. Shelves and shelves of books. The fact that I hadn't written any of these books of course added to my frustration, as did the fact that I'd never had a job that used my writing skills. But, hey, I couldn't hold a grudge. Loved those books too much. Loved some of them so much I had to take them home with me.

    Going there was almost like attending church. It wasn't a madhouse. People were usually dressed fairly well. There was soft music piped in. The second I walked in I felt invigorated. It gave me hope that there was more to life than sitting in a box and pressing buttons. The high would stay with me even after I got back to my desk. For a few minutes, anyway.

    That bookstore is actually where the seed of my future poker blogging was...planted. What a lazy sentence. Anyway, one afternoon I was wondering through the stacks and came across a book that I now acknowledge as one of the most influential of my life--Poker Nation by Andy Bellin. I came across it right after it was published in March 2002, and I stood in the aisle and read about a quarter of it right there. The next day I gobbled a sandwich at my desk and spent my entire lunch hour in a comfortable chair with Bellin's book. Finished it before I left (though I have bought a copy since then, Mr. Bellin).

    And I was hooked. I didn't start this blog or play my first hand of online poker for nearly two years after that. I guess it's true that tiny pebbles make big waves. I think back to that miserable time in my life, and now, four years later, I'm writing about poker for a living. It's a strange world.

    It's depressing that a big chain bookstore couldn't survive Downtown. Doesn't speak much for the revitalization we've been hearing about for...ever. But the Barnes & Noble did have a nice little run. Twelve years, I remember when it opened. Can't believe all that time has passed.

    I thought about running Downtown today to walk around the Barnes & Noble one last time. But when I read Norman's column he said that the place is pretty much stripped bare, tables piled with half-price books instead of all those inviting shelves laden with literary treasures. It closes for good tomorrow. I think I'd prefer to remember that place as it once was, when it served as an inspiration. And sometimes a lifeboat. I am very sad to know I'll never go there again.

    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    Tip For the Day

    Never use a Sharpie marker while wearing a shirt you like.

    That is all.

    Well, that's not all. Had on a Polo dress shirt I got a few Christmases ago, was marking a box of new checks "NEW", as if I needed that clarification, and I was holding the box awkwardly and it slipped and I reached for it...and I got a nice black dot right on the shirt. Awesome. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I'm getting enough oxygen to my brain.

    I'll Stick To Online

    A short time after I started blogging I started getting emails from organizations that offer live poker tournaments here in Pittsburgh. This was before the cops cracked down on a a lot of the charity events that were so profitable, but even after that brief application of heat I'd still get emails about local poker action. I never went to any of them, mostly because I really didn't have the bankroll for it.

    But also because, well, there was a chance that local law enforcement might get involved. I mean, if they're sending out mass emails telling folks when and where the game is, it seemed likely that eventually that info would find it's way to John Law.

    There was another reason I wasn't all too keen to play in these games--if they're sending out these mass emails some enterprising hoods might decide that instead of taking down a bank, a poker game would be a much more inviting target. And as many of these advertised games were in restaurants and VFWs I didn't think their security would be especially robust.

    Turns out I was right to be a little bit chicken.

    I don't think this is one of the games I received info on, and as Wilkins Township is out of my way I wouldn't have gone there in any case. Doesn't sound like they're recreating the Bellagio out there--20K was taken from 50 guys--but that's a pretty nice score for a trio of thugs.

    One place that emails me I always thought had to be a sting operation or something. They have $1,000 buy-in tournaments, $1,000 buy-in NL games, a bad-beat jackpot approaching $ Pittsburgh? And you're advertising this through a mass email? I dunno, I think I'll pass on that one. I wouldn't know who to worry about more--the cops, the robbers, or the players at the table.

    My mom asked me once if I played in any of these underground games. Moms worry, you know. So I reassured her by saying, "No, I don't. And if I decided that I was going to play, I'd definitely go out and buy a gun first." Funny, that didn't make her feel much better.

    Monday, December 25, 2006

    A Question...

    Is Suzy Kolber wearing a wig?

    Or, has Suzy Kolber been wearing a wig?

    Talk about a change.

    Oh, Merry Christmas everyone

    Saturday, December 23, 2006

    The Tsunami

    I'm watching a show on the Discovery channel about the tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean two years ago. They have some footage that I've never seen before and a lot of it is hard to watch. Home video is so ubiquitous these days that it's hard to understand that the people meandering along the beach like your run-of-the-mill tourists are about to die. The waves rumble toward shore and the people look out at the horizon and have no idea that they're doomed.

    And then, after the first wave hit and receded, lots of people walked back to the shoreline, thinking that it was over. It wasn't over. Another big wave came and killed lots of those people too. I think I would've kept running until I hit the other side of the island.

    So I'm watching the show, which is about one of the most horrible natural disasters in human history, one that killed hundreds of thousands of people...and it goes to a commercial for Fancy Feast cat food. They show a chef grilling a piece of salmon and spooning a citrus reduction over the crosshatched fish, and then it's served to a white Angora cat. I found this juxtaposition somewhat pornographic. I like my cat, and I feed him tidbits from time to time, but why the hell would Fancy Feast want to advertise during a program about the tsunami?

    The Sucker Instead of the Suckee

    After running icky playing limit I decided to shift gears and try no-limit for a change. I've always had more success playing no-limit opposed to limit, which I ascribe to the fact that no-limit allows the artist in me more room for imagination and derring-do. Of course the truth is that my limit game sucks and my no-limit game merely sucks less. How I long for the soothing caresses of self-delusion. Poker Tracker pretty much puts the kibosh on that.

    So I'm playing tonight and I'm running good, even though I had aces twice and kings once and got zero action. So I'm dealt pocket sevens and I raise. This time I actually get a caller, in the big blind. The flop comes A-3-9 and I lead out. Continuation bet, don't you know. He breaks my heart and calls.

    My attention switches to the other table I'm playing when I see that the turn is a magnificent seven. I'm of the opinion that the prettiest set in all of poker are three sevens. Maybe it's the whole slot machine thing, when you hit 777 on the slots that means the money's gonna be pouring into the tray.

    So I hit my set and I check it. I'm weak, I'm saying. I took a shot at the pot and missed. It's yours. Take it. This is what I'm hoping to communicate. Me and the other guy have the two biggest stacks at the table--not huge, but we're both up a tidy bit. And I have him covered by a few bucks. He bets about 2/3 of the pot. I've been infected with fancy play syndrome lately and I figure now is no time to get sneaky. I raise. He hits me with a re-raise, and I go all-in. He doesn't insta-call, so I know I'm good. He thinks, thinks, thinks...and he types "trips?". I sigh, knowing that I'm not going to get the rest of his stack...and he calls. The last card is a deuce, he sees that his instincts were correct, and it's ship-it time. Biggest pot I've won in awhile.

    Of course I got silly lucky, and the guy stayed long enough for me to see via PT that he had A-3. Tsk tsk. Had he raised me on the flop I would've tossed my hand away and he would've won a tiny pot. Instead he got trappy and got trapped himself. It's the kind of play...I normally would make. Because I suck. Think I mentioned that before.

    Craps Hero

    This is a sponsored post for

    When I was in Vegas last year I found myself mixed up with a group who wanted to go play craps at Casino Royale. I was more exhausted than I’d ever been in my life—no sleep, too much drink, and I’d burned off six gigawatts of nervous energy from the flight and the delight of meeting so many people. I was in no shape to play craps…even if I knew how to play. Which I didn’t.

    And still don’t. But there’s a site with the somewhat unfortunate name of Craps Hero (they probably get some interesting Google hits) that explains how to play this fun but intimidating game. I admit to feeling a bit envious as I read accounts of bloggers crowding around a craps table, whooping and hollering and having a sick old time enjoying a game I know zilch about.

    Craps Hero explains the rules of the game and provides a quick overview of the odds and payouts involved, along with some pointers on craps etiquette and protocol. It won’t do to make a fool of yourself at the table, something I’d be afraid of doing. The information provided isn’t comprehensive—there’s a note on the “How to Play Craps” page that additional tutorials will be added at a later date. But it does give the novice player enough info to get you started.

    It also lists the casinos in Vegas that offer the best craps odds—and Casino Royale is right at the top. So there’s another bit of information worth filing away—when you’re playing craps, hang out with people in the know. They’l1 steer you in the right direction.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    Bye Bye Birdie; or, Glad I Didn't Buy That Malkin Jersey

    After 619 years of endless debate and lobbying and whining the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded the license for Pittsburgh's new slots casino. The license wasn't given to Isle of Capri, who had promised to build a new arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens signed an exclusive deal with IOC, and since the didn't get the license, my beloved Penguins are playing their last 40 games in Pittsburgh.

    Because they're gone. Gone, gone, gone. I'm sure that Mario Lemieux has had enough. He never wanted to be the owner of a hockey team. He wanted to retire, play golf, collect wines, and spend time with his family. But he made the mistake of being the all-time greatest talent in a sport that is, to use Wayne Gretzky's phrase, a "garage league". Howard Baldwin ran the team into bankruptcy, meaning Lemieux got stiffed on tens of millions the team owed him. Instead of taking pennies on the dollar, Lemieux took the team. He saved the franchise once as a player, and then saved it again as an owner.

    He's been fencing with local politicians for years trying to get an arena built. The Civic (sorry, Mellon) Arena is, with all due respect, a dump. Went to a game a few weeks ago and, good Lord, it's a pit of despair. I don't recall if Lemieux missed the boat when PNC Park and Heinz Field were built or if it was Baldwin, but since then Lemieux has found that local politicians are completely unenthused about building a new rink. That's their prerogative. And it's Lemieux prerogative to let the team move.

    So the casino plan comes around, Isle of Capri says they'll build a new arena, and Lemieux still can't get the local pols to commit to anything. So the Pens sign an exclusive agreement with IOC. Not long after Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie comes along and offers to buy the team for $175 million by writing a check. No financing--cash on the barrelhead. Lemieux could be free and clear with the stroke of a pen.

    And then the NHL sticks it's nose in and tells Balsillie they'll prevent him from moving the team if there's some theortical sort of arena financing in place. And Balsillie, being an intelligent businessman (they're few and far between in the NHL) knows this is bogus and withdraws his offer three days before the license is decided. And of course today Lemieux learned that the Gaming Control Board cares not a whit if the Penguins leave town.

    So they will. I think Lemieux will sell the team to the first buyer who gives him a reasonable deal. And the only buyer who WILL give him a reasonable deal is one who will move the team. Why would someone want to buy the team NOW and keep them in Pittsburgh, with no arena deal in place? There's been talk from the mayor and county executive (we have one of those) about a "Plan B" to finance a new arena, but since there are no particulars about where the money is going to come from the "B" probably stands for "bullshit".

    Plus the NHL's meddling really screwed Lemieux. The league will have to hold any new owner to the same terms they stuck Balsillie with, else they'll be sued back to the Stone Age. Which isn't very far back with the NHL. I agree with what Scott Burnside wrote at ESPN, that they'll keep the restrictions in place right to the point where they announce that the team is moving. Because Pittsburgh is no longer a viable location.

    So Lemieux got doubly screwed. Screwed when IOC didn't get the license, screwed by the NHL by interfering in the sale of his club. Of course, he also got screwed when Balsillie pulled his offer three days ago. He also got screwed when the NHL decided to allow studio wrestling on ice during most of Lemieux's career. The first good offer he gets, I think he'll wash his hands of NHL ownership and Pittsburgh politics. It's nothing personal. Strictly business.

    It's a crying shame. Oh, how I would've enjoyed watching Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury over the next 15 or so years. Instead I'll be watching them on TV (if the NHL is even on TV next year) as they win Stanley Cups in Houston or Kansas City.

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    So Very Talented

    Played a SNG. In the first 20 hands I was dealt
    • AA
    • QQ
    • AK (twice)
    • A-10 (rivered Broadway)
    • 77
    • 44 (flopped a set)
    I was knocked out in 9th place

    I didn't take a single bad beat.

    I never got more chips than I started with.

    Love this game. Looooove this game.

    Sorry I haven't posted much lately, haven't been able to think of anything to write about. But after playing the World's Worst Sit-N-Go I thought I'd bleat a bit about it. Now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna go back into my shell.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    The Gift Of Mirth

    The actor Peter Boyle died today. I never watched Everyone Loves Raymond, but Mr. Boyle is responsible for one of the 5 biggest laughing fits I've ever had.

    I should say that when I start laughing, I pretty much totally lose control. I'll laugh until I can't breathe. I'll laugh until I'm close to throwing up. I'll laugh so hard my back muscles will seize and my ribs bruise.

    So when I watched Young Frankenstein for the first time, and Boyle and Gene Wilder appear on stage oddly wearing top hats and tails, I didn't quite see where the joke was coming from. Nor did I catch on as Wilder sang, "If you're blue and you don't know where to go to, why don't you go where fashion sits..."

    And then Boyle, playing the Monster, shrieks "POOOODDINAHHHNTHAAAREEEEEETZ!"

    Utter collapse. I think my dad finally told me to either shut the hell up or leave the room.

    I'm trying to think of the triggers to my other all-time laughing jags...
    • The scene in the one Pink Panther movie where Clouseau is swinging back and forth on the parallel bars, gaily reminiscing about his prowess back in the Academy, and then his dismounts off the side...and falls down a hole cut in the floor. He somersaults all the way down to the living room where the guests/suspects are gathered, and he staggers to his feet, tries to collect himself, and says, "That...feels...good!"
    • The scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life where Mr. Creosote goes to the French restaurant, informs the maitre'd that he'd better get a bucket because he's gonna throw up, and, once seated, well, he throws up. My dad actually grabbed me and said, "You gotta see this," after he'd rented it and made sure it was OK for us to see.
    • The Simpsons where Homer decides to catch up on some reading...and grabs a jar. "Honey roasted peanuts," he declaims. "Ingredients--salt...honey roasting agents...pressed peanut sweepings..." Marge then enters and asks what Homer wants for dinner. "Steak?" Homer chirps. Marge says, "Money's too tight for steak..." "Steak?" Homer interrupts with the same chirpy smile on his face, which shows that he isn't hearing her.
    • The Saturday Night Live commercial where Will Ferrell tries the breakfast cereal with the special additive MDMA. Better known as Ecstasy. Ferrell then goes to a meeting wearing nothing but bright yellow briefs and a Cat-in-the-Hat hat. I laughed so hard I think my friend Kris was going to call an ambulance.
    • I'm sure there were scenes in the first Naked Gun movie where I laughed myself insensate, but I can't remember one particular example. But in Top Secret, an earlier Zucker/Abrams/Zucker movie, there's a scene where they sing the East German national anthem with subtitles. I'm not going to quote it all here, I don't think it'll transfer well, but when I saw it I laughed myself nauseous.
    So rest in peace, Peter Boyle. His was an illustrious career, and he gifted the world with many giggles and guffaws. Heck, I didn't even mention the scene in Young Frankenstein with him and Gene Hackman...

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Here's How Good I Am At Poker

    After watching about 60 hours of poker the last 10 days I decided to actually PLAY a bit tonight. Signed up for Wil Wheaton's tourney and promptly donked off 1/3 of my stack calling with KQ against AK. Brilliant. I fight back to about par when this hand happens. I have the AK of diamonds and raise. PugMaggie raises all-in and I naturally call. She has pocket nines. A-racing we will go.

    And the all diamonds. I flop the nut flush. Very nice, yes? Except that one of those diamonds is a nine "Uh-oh" I type in chat. The turn is the Jack of diamonds. All those light-blue's a very pretty board.

    Right up to the point where the case nine hits.

    Sigh. I'm so good at poker, so very, very good, that it takes quads to beat me. Or, conversely, we could say that I'm so bad at poker, so very, very bad, that I can't even win when I flop the nut flush. I'm gonna go eat a gallon of chocolate chunk ice cream and call my mommy and hope that makes everything better.

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Take Some Advil and Play Some Poker

    I'm sure there are bloggers staggering back home from Vegas, you lucky bastards. But for those of you who are already home, or those who didn't make it out there, I wanted to let yinz know that UB is having the Final Event of their Online Championships and it looks like there's gonna be a very nice overlay. There's a $1 million guaranteed prize pool and with 30 minutes before tipoff there are...850 players signed up. Some very nice EV there. I would be remiss in not telling you about it.

    I had a dream last night that I was wondering up and down the Strip looking for the big group of friends who'd abandoned me. But don't feel guilty--I think it was brought on by the program I watched on Animal Planet last night about a lion cub who got separated from the pride. Don't worry--she found her way back. Wish my subconscious had accepted that.

    Saturday, December 09, 2006


    Although I know about 80% of my readership is in Vegas right now gambooling and drinking and having a gay old time, I thought I'd let everyone else know that tonight's UB tournament is a HORSE affair, and I know how much everybody likes those mixed-game events.

    Plus Annie Duke is doing the commentary tonight, and she's always free with her opinions. The live broadcasts have been pretty entertaining. Phil Hellmuth is doing the Final Event tomorrow. Wonder if he read my post on the UB Blog comparing him to Darth Vader? Probably not.

    Here's the link
    to listen to the live audio stream. I've been going to be around 3AM every night. Ernie the Cat won't let me sleep past 8AM. And I'm not a very good napper.

    I bought an iPod yesterday. Or, it arrived yesterday. Is it rude to say that I love it as much as I might love my own child? Maybe just a bit rude.

    You Need Tables, We Got Tables

    This is a sponsored post for

    You decide to host a poker game, and in preparation you head to the store to purchase mass quantities of beer. You stop at the grocery store to get munchies and hot sausage...and while you're there you grab a few decks of cards and a big box of plastic poker chips.

    And once you get home and put the beer on ice and the sausage in the slow-cooker, you dig through the laundry for the greenish tablecloth you used last Christmas and drape it over the dining-room table. It hangs all the way to the floor but, you know, it looks...OK.

    No, it does not. It does not look OK. Nor do plastic poker chips feel or sound OK. They sound like plastic. And no matter how how tasty that hot sausage is, your poker game isn't going to be as much fun as it could have been, had you and your buddies had invested a few bucks in the proper equipment.

    Equipment you can find at, where they have a wide selection of poker tables, chips, and other goodies. Some of the tables are pretty pricey, and some aren't. If you've got a pretty steady group who plays buying a table and chips can be an investment that pays off for decades. Everyone could pony up a few bucks every time you play, and over the course of a year you might have enough to upgrade from the dining room table to one with actual green felt and cushy leather handrails.

    And believe me, if you're playing at a real poker table with real poker chips, you and your friends will want to play a lot more often. And since you're by far the best player in the gang, you'll be raking in the cash. So it's a win-win proposition.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    More Evidence that College Football is FUBAR

    Tonight was the awards ceremony for college football. At least it was the one where they awarded every prize but the Heisman, which is the most overhyped and underimportant thing/event/whatever in all of sports. If the BCS nonsense wasn't enough to convince you that college football is a parody of a joke of a sham, then tonight's awards proved it.

    Full disclosure--I went to Penn State. I'm a Nittany Lion fan. I bleed Blue and White. So when I say that there is NO WAY Paul Posluszny deserved the Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player, you should take it to heart. Poz had a great year. The Penn State defense was one of the best in the country. But Posluszny wasn't nearly as dominant as he was last year. Part of that was the fact that he was recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the Orange Bowl. Part was because he was playing a different position. Part was the fact that the Lions lost Tamba Hali. But he didn't have as good a year as last year. Not even close.

    OK, so let's assume that Posluszny won the award because of his overall resume. Fine, happens all the time in sports. That's how the Gold Gloves are handed out year after year. But if Posluszny was the best defensive player in the country...then how the hell did Patrick Willis of Ole Miss win the Butkus award as best linebacker? Shouldn't that go to Posluszny? He plays linebacker too! And what about James Laurinitis of Ohio State, who won the Nagurski award, given to the nation' defensive player. Posluszny wasn't even NOMINATED for that award.

    Of course, it gets even more ridiculous after that. Troy Smith won the O'Brien award as the nation's best quarterback. OK, fine. Thing is, Brady Quinn, the QUARTERBACK from Notre Dame, won the Maxwell Award as the nation's best player. How the HELL can Quinn win an award as the best overall player WHEN HE DIDN'T EVEN WIN THE AWARD GIVEN TO THE BEST AT HIS POSITION?

    Plus there's the fact that Smith led his team to an undefeated season in the Big 10, including victories against two teams that were ranked #2 in the country when the Buckeyes played them (Texas and Michigan), while Quinn's team was annihilated in their two biggest games of the year (Michigan and USC). Anyone who voted for Quinn over Smith should be referred for immediate vision testing and psychological counseling.

    Stupidity atop stupidity. Again, we are asked to swallow whole various absurdities and hypocrisies. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much full.

    Hermit Mode

    Got a haircut yesterday.

    As I've said soooo many times, I've had some bad haircuts.

    Really bad.

    This one didn't start out too bad. I thought it looked pretty good.

    Right to the point where she spun me around to thin out the top.

    I have lots of hair up there.

    Not any more, though.

    I knew the situation was dire when I saw that she'd parted my hair on the wrong side.

    How bad is it?

    If I'd actually been going to Vegas...I might not be going to Vegas.

    It's that bad.

    Fortunately I went grocery shopping right after (I was still in shock) and I put my stuff in a paper bag.

    Which I will be cutting eye-holes in so I can wear it when I go out in public.

    And no, I will not be posting any pictures of myself.

    Unless I get really drunk.

    Which is an option.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Has It Really Been a Year Since Brokeback Mountain Came Out

    I'm not at all crushed that I won't be joining everyone for this year's WPBT blowout. No, yinz go an have fun without me. Really.

    I fully expect there to be a large number of Stetson-wearing gentlemen with diminished net worths come Sunday night. Whoever thought to schedule the blogger events year after year with the National Rodeo Finals is a genius.

    Tell you what, come Saturday afternoon I'm going to be dying for a bacon cheeseburger from the Burger Palace at the IP.

    Well, maybe not.

    Those of you who are going out for the first time, I have this advice...have fun. I didn't say it was good advice, or useful advice. That's the best I can do. Chances are you'll have fun without any guidance from me.

    Sigh. Think I'll just get planked Saturday afternoon and pass out on the toilet. Sort of my civic duty, bloggerwise. Sigh.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    The BCS Blah Blah Blah

    Oh, how I love the yearly sobfest that surrounds the end of the college football season. Every other sport decides its champion by playing a game. College football decides its champion by having a handful of coaches and sportswriters spend 30 seconds before breakfast filling out a ballot. Oh, and there are computers involved too. Wow. Makes me want to jump up and down.

    Last year USC played Texas for the national championship, and everyone agreed that these were the best two teams in the country. Were they? Maybe. My Nittany Lions lost on the last play of the game to Michigan, otherwise they would've had an undefeated season. Turns out that loss meant absolutely nothing. Had Penn State won that game, gone undefeated, the national championship game would've been...Texas and USC. A few years ago Auburn went undefeated in the SEC with a squad that featured four NFL first-round draft picks. That wasn't enough to get in the title game. The computers
    weren't impressed enough. Oh well.

    Let's also not forget that there's a team from Boise State who went undefeated this year. I know, Mountain West conference, they don't deserve to play for the title. So...exactly how many teams at the start of the year actually have a chance to win the national title? Now that the NCAA has decided that only teams BCS conferences can win the title (and, let's be real, no team from the Big East has a chance either), why don't the smaller conference teams just form their own association? There was talk a few years ago of the big boys splitting off and forming their own league--why don't the little guys try it?

    This year fans in Gainesville and Ann Arbor will huddle around their televisions and radios and, yes, computers, to find out if the number assigned to their team is high enough to justify their participation in another meaningful football game. The drama, the pulse-pounding drama of it all.

    Since every talking head has an opinion on the BCS, you may ask who I think should be playing in the title game. To my mind, the answer is obvious.

    The Oklahoma Sooners.

    Let's not forget, Oklahoma is 11-2. And one of those losses was a travesty even for college football, the doubly-blown call on the onside kick that went their way against Oregon. Not only did an Oregon player obviously touch the ball before it went ten yards, which would've given the ball and the game to Oklahoma, the replay official who reviewed the play has now admitted that he knew that Oklahoma had actually recovered the ball. But the rules, as he interpreted them, did not allow him to overturn that part of the play. Thus doubly gifted, Oregon went on to win the game.

    Had Oklahoma won that game, who knows what it's BCS ranking would be? Under this scenario their lone lost would've been against Texas on October 7th. Might they now be ranked ahead of both Michigan and Florida? And let's not forget that the Sooners lost Heisman hopeful Adrian Peterson early in the year, and this after their starting QB was dismissed from the team.

    So, you think there will be fans moaning and groaning in Ann Arbor and Gainesville? How the ones in Norman? Or Boise? Or Louisville, who lost just one game this year?

    Ahh, this is all self-indulgent nonsense. College football is a great game. Right up to around the first week of December. And then I pretty much lose all interest in it. Here I am railing against the stupidity of college football, and I haven't even mentioned the fact that this "championship" game the computers come up with is held about SIX WEEKS after the qualifying teams play their final regular-season game.

    Sigh. So much stupidity. And if there's one thing I've learned as I grow older, is that you shouldn't sweat the stupid stuff. And despite this post, every year college football helps me gain greater perspective over life.

    Now, GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    Pure Profit!

    I was up until 3AM blogging the first event of the UltimateBet Online Championship--you were following along, right--so how did I spend my afternoon? By playing in a tournament! Hey, all that watching gave me the itch.

    Finished 27th out of 567 players, earning me a profit...that is too embarrassing to mention here. Three and a half hours of work, and I have enough for a trip to Wendy's. Never really had any chips, but every time I was scratching the felt I picked up a hand and doubled up. I did steal the blinds with an all-in push on the button whilst holding the Hammer--which I duly showed down. I hoped that might get me a call when I actually had a hand, but when I pushed with AK a few hands later everyone got out of my way. Sigh.

    I take it from the comments that many would-be UB blog readers would like an RSS feed. You lazy bastards! Ahh, I hear you. Any changes/tweaks will probably have to wait until after the UBOC ends...did you know there's a PLO tournament tonight? Why not sign up and play!/shill get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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