December 3, 2004

Operation: Unload Bookmarks

In addition to getting behind on my e-mails (it has happened yet again, sadly), another thing I often get overloaded in is "bookmarks" -- links to stuff on various websites that I save with a plan to talk about them here or at The Hardball Times at some point. Since my bookmarks are only slightly less out of control than my in-box right now, I thought today would be a good time to unload them. You know, before they get together and revolt against me over the weekend or something.

  • I linked to Paul Katcher's Page 3 article about Seinfeld and sports last week, and a lot of you e-mailed me to say you enjoyed reading it. I just wanted to give a shout out to Paul today, because his story was prominently featured on's front page for nearly an entire week. Now, pieces like Paul's are mostly up against "articles" about Nick Lachey's football picks and such over at Page 3, but must have thought as highly of the Seinfeld piece as I did, promoting the hell out of it for so long. Nice work, Paul.
  • Speaking of ... I was checking out their NFL coverage and came across a story about the Bears and Cardinals changing quarterbacks this week. Chicago will apparently be starting former Stanford quarterback and St. Louis Cardinals' pitching prospect Chad Hutchinson, while Arizona will be starting former Michigan quarterback John Navarre. Now, this is not exactly the most newsworthy of items for a blog like this, but what struck me was not the actual article, but rather the pictures of the two quarterbacks that used.

    (That would be Hutchinson on the left and Navarre on the right.)

    To be honest, I'm not sure which is scarier: Those two mugshots right next to each other in a place where women and children might stumble across them or the fact that both of those guys will be starting NFL games this Sunday. (And yes, I realize I'm not exactly the greatest looking human being on the planet, but me being funny looking doesn't preclude other people from being funny looking too.)

  • I've been reading Daniel Negreanu's blog and Paul Phillips' blog for a while now, and I just recently came across a couple of other blogs written by professional poker players. The first one is John Juanda's blog, where he is writing about his battle against Negreanu for Card Player Magazine's Player of the Year award. He and Negreanu are basically in a dead-heat atop the standings, so it's interesting to read their varying takes on the competition (especially because they are apparently very good friends).

    The second one is Dutch Boyd's blog, which is basically his musings on poker and other subjects, such as trying to quit smoking. Boyd is a member of "The Crew," which is a group of young poker players who are friends and who get a lot more attention from ESPN than they probably deserve. I know a lot of people find Boyd and his buddies annoying (or worse), but I have to admit that I liked watching him play during the 2003 World Series of Poker.

    I don't care if a guy has a big ego or is pompous or comes across as a jerk, I just like to watch people who are interesting. It's the same reason Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson are two of my favorite baseball players. With that said, I'm not exactly a big fan of Boyd as a person, at least not judging from some of the stuff I've read about his business practices. Although, I will say that you have to admire someone who can do that many amazing chip tricks at the table. (Oh, and Boyd went to college when he was 12 and was done with grad school at 18 too, if you're interested in that sort of thing.)

    Anyway, I just like his blog. In yesterday's entry, he talks about a poker website that is selling "I Hate the Crew" t-shirts and writes: "If they sent me one of those crew-hater t-shirts, I'd probably even wear it. Irony is stylish." If you're like me and you're constantly searching for more quality poker writing on the internet, add those two blogs to your links.

  • I came across an article in D Magazine about billionaire/poker player Andy Beal, the man behind the highest stakes poker games ever. He has gone head-to-head against a "corporation" of poker All-Stars like Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chip Reese, Howard Lederer, Chau Giang, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, John Hennigan, and Phil Ivey, who pool their money and playing abilities together in an effort to beat him out of millions.

    Here's a little piece of the article:

    Blinds were $100,000/$200,000, and for four days, for up to 14 hours a day, Beal sat quietly in a white suit and bulky black headphones and grinded it out against the pros, who took him on in shifts. He finally got up and walked away from the table, saying he had to go back to Dallas for his twin daughters' camping trip -- finishing up a $10 million winner.

    I've read a lot about this subject and perhaps more than anything else in the world of poker, these elite players teaming up to compete against Beal for ungodly stakes is fascinating to me. There are just so many levels of intrigue involved. A guy who has so much money that he can almost literally gamble any amount he wants and not worry about losing. A group of the very best players in the world getting together to try to get some of that money from him. And how about just the actual game? I can't begin to tell you how much I'd love to watch people playing for $200,000 a bet, and the strategy involved has to almost go beyond poker in a lot of ways.

  • Friend of Tony Pierce, one of a handful of non-sports, non-poker bloggers who I read regularly, has come out with a new book entitled How To Blog. It is a collection of his best blog entries from the past couple years, and like his blog, I highly recommend it.

  • I am a little upset with myself that I didn't mention this on the actual day, but Elisha Cuthbert celebrated her 22nd birthday on Tuesday. I point this fact out to honor Elisha, who has recently taken over the title of Official Fantasy Girl of from Jessica Alba, but mostly just so I can have a reason to post a couple pictures of her.

  • Weekend Reading:

    - The BTF Poker Tournament

    - Bye Bye Blanco (Choosing a Backup Backstop)

    - Worlds Colliding

    - NBA Notes (and Juan Castro)

    - Notes from the (Long) Weekend

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