Hammer time!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 4:55 pm

Some random ramblings today. PokerGrub has issued a challenge to the pokerblogging community–a $10 bounty to the first player to win a $5 pot playing 2-7 offsuit. Now, you have to play at least a $1/$2 game, which is currently out of my price range, but I may dig in and give it a shot. You can’t win from the blinds, either, adding to the appeal. I actually won a tidy pot the other day playing 2-7c, but that was on my first pot after joining the table and I had to post the big blind. Flopped two pair and beat a guy with a pair of aces and queen kicker. He even bitched about it, forgetting that I got to see the flop for “free”. That’s why they have the raise button, buddy.

Not that it helped me last night. I was playing two tables a la Halverson and was up about $10 for the night when I was dealt the ‘ol pocket rockets. I quickly folded my other hand and raised it up. And was re-raised. And got raised again. Five of us put $2 in pre-flop. The cards that appeared were 2-5-9 offsuit. I bet, was raised, and everyone called. I put someone out there with another big pocket pair. The turn and river didn’t give anyone a straight of flush draw, but four of us all called 3 bets. The pot was $29, and I really thought it would be mine. I turned over my aces…and the guy next to me turned over 2-5h. I couldn’t believe it. He stayed in with four other players with four bets to go, and he called it. And flopped two pair. A few other players berated him for such an appalling play, but I didn’t. I really sort of expected someone to turn over two pair, I couldn’t see my aces standing up to four other players, but it hurt to come 2nd best to 2-5 of hearts. With nearly thirty bucks at stake. Ouch.

Played another $5 SNG last night, hoping to repeat the triumphs of the night before. Uh, no. First, my computer crashed, meaning I had to reboot and rush back to the table after missing about 10 deals. And I played lousy. I really don’t know how to play no-limit with any sophistication or skill. Most of my study has been in limit, and there’s a huge difference between the two games. Need to get a book and evolve my game from fish to shark.

Speaking of fish, tonight is the final episode of Celebrity Poker on Bravo. Based on previous episodes, it promises to be a two-hour ordeal. I wonder if the game will actually last long enougt to fill 2 hours. Nah, it probably will, a few of these folks actually know that trips beat two pair. But I’ll watch it because, as Nick the Greek famously said, “It’s action, ain’t it?”. This is Phil Gordon’s last chance to redeem himself, but I’m not hopeful. His color commentary has been almost as bad as Brent Jones’ blather during NFL Football. I don’t know how Brent Jones survived playing pro football for 10 years when he so obviously knows nothing about the game and not much about anything else either. And he and Gus Johnson were assigned to just about every Steeler game on CBS this year and it was like going to the dentist every Sunday for three hours of exploratory drilling. I hate CBS, there isn’t a single show on that network I watch. CSI is probably a good show (especially the one with the dishy Emily Procter), but I’ve never seen an episode. Everybody Loves Raymond? Not me. Wipe the Tiffany Network off the face of the earth and my life skips nary a beat. But I digress.

Who do I think will win? Better you ask me if red or black will come up in roulette, or who Howard Dean will pick as his running mate. I have no clue. Who do I want to win? Nicole Sullivan, of course, even though she appears on the unwatchable CBS sitcom “King of Queens”. My hopes aren’t high for tonight’s show. I just want to hear Phil Gordon utter one line that doesn’t sound like it was pre-programmed into his cerebral cortex.


To paraphrase what Al Franken once said about Al Gore, the stick up Phil’s butt has a stick up it’s butt. This shows you the true horror of television, that it can take a guy so cool he bought a fully-tricked out RV and drove it around to every big sporting event in the country (my idea of Heaven) and make him look like a bloody statue. This is a guy who, while getting his ass handed to him by Juha Helppi in the WPT Aruba event, managed to laugh at himself, praise his opponents play, and dump a bottle of water on his head. He was sitting down with Scotty Nguyen, Phil Hellmuth, Jennifer Harman, and he brought a card to the table listing the ranking of hands. He beat these three poker titans and had fun doing it! He was goofing off and enjoying himself. But on this show, ugh. He looks like a 6’9” deer caught in the headlights.

Binion’s Horseshoe is apparently going under. It’s already closed and shuttered, and how long it stays that way is unknown. Londonfroggy broke the news that Harrah’s plans to buy Binion’s and the rights to the World Series of Poker. That the Horseshoe has gone under in the midst of gigantic poker boom should give you an idea about how mismanaged the casino was. If you read Jim McManus’ book “Positively Fifth Street” you got a pretty good glimpse of the Binion clan, and it did not inspire investor confidence. You have Ted Binion, whose drug abuse and association with gangsters got him listed in the infamous “black book”, banning him from all Vegas casinos. And then his stripper girlfriend murdered him. You have Becky Binion Behnen and her husband Nick, who seemed to be totally unequipped to handle such a huge enterprise. In the story I linked earlier, Nick Behnen, “was reached at home by telephone but shouted a profanity at a reporter before hanging up.”. Wonder if it was the f-word or the s-word. A-word, maybe?

Jack Binion was smart, selling off his rights to the Vegas casino and moving east to set up Jack Binion’s Horsehoe in Tunica. The Jack Binion World Poker Open is a huge event, appearing on the WPT last year, and he at least has made a success of things. His daddy went West, he went East. He was quoted in the story as saying he has no interest in the Vegas casino or the World Series label. He’s got his own thing going and doesn’t want to infect it with whatever disease the Vegas place has.

The Binion grandkids didn’t fare too well in McManus’ book either. I think it was Benny, Becky’s son, who McManus hit the strip bar with at the end of the book. If you saw the WSOP on ESPN this year I think you saw Benny, he was the guy in the light-gray double-breasted who looked like his hair had been manufactured by DuPont. Someone should have mentioned that bleaching and streaking and supergelling your hair went out around 1989. No one did, alas.

Passing a successful business down through the generations is always difficult. The kids often don’t have the grit, determination and street-smarts the parents needed to get the thing going in the first place. They’re spoiled, they’re selfish, they’re greedy. Shakespeare wrote a play about this problem called “King Lear”, maybe you’ve heard of it. Everyone ends up either dead, blind, or insane, none of which is good for business.

A bit off the subject, but did you ever see the ads William Clay Ford made after he fired Jac Nassar and took control of the company? This is the 44-year-old Ford, I don’t know if he’s third or fourth generation. He’s a young, good-looking guy, who’s no doubt had a silver stick shift up his jock since birth. He’s done a pretty good job of running both Ford and the Detroit Lions into Lake Michigan, but he decided to not only take the top job but also become the company’s pitchman. Why I’d buy a car because this guy tells me to is beyond me. But there was one commercial where they show the new Mustang, and you see Steve McQueen in “Bullet” tooling around San Francisco, and it cuts to a shot of Ford and he says, “I’ve always loved sports cars…some people say I have gasoline running through my veins.”

Do they now!!?? It isn’t enough for little Willie Ford that you know he’s now the big man in the suit ordering everyone around, he also wants you to know that he’s a badass of the very first rank! He could be out on the track swapping paint with Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, but he’s got cars to build! Fast cars, muscle cars, oh yeah, baby!

And who are these people who say these wonderful things about you, Billy Boy? They wouldn’t happen to be the bootlicks who’ve no doubt told you since birth how great and wonderful you are, knowing that you’d end up in the top job eventually and wouldn’t forget those nice people who think you’re just super?

Those commericals convinced me to buy Korean from now on. Any company stupid enough to let the underbrained boss’s son be the company spokesperson obviously knows nothing about business, and probably less about cars. Buy General Motors? According to a 60 Minutes report a few weeks back, General Motors is one of the leading sellers of pornography in the world, thanks to it’s ownership of DirectTV, which sells porn movies thru pay-per-view and to hotel chains. I have nothing against porn (nothing at all!) but if I’m not going to buy my next car from Jenna Jameson, I’m not buying my next car from GM.

OK, I’ve wandered a bit far afield. I plan on writing about more than just my lousy play, but next post will be more about poker and less about Jenna Jameson. Unfortunately.

Oh, and if you see that you can’t comment anymore, it’s because Blogspot is down. If they don’t get it together I’ll get another provider. Of course you can always just email me.

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