Thursday, March 31, 2011

Technology Marches On

After thinking about it for several months, I finally bought a laptop to replace my old Dell Dimension desktop. When I say "old," I mean it was way behind modern technology. I thought I bought it about five years ago, but when I dug up the original receipt, I was shocked to see that I ordered it in May, 2002!

No wonder it was so sluggish. Its hard drive only held 80 gigabytes, while my new laptop holds 500gb. It had 512mb of RAM; the new one has 6gb. That thing was so out-of-date it still had a 3.5" floppy disk drive. What's the last time you saw a floppy disk? I'll bet it said "AOL" on it.

I thought I might find someone who'd buy the desktop, but when I did some research, it turned out to only be worth about $50, so I donated it to Goodwill. Hope someone there has a hard drive, because I took mine out and destroyed it to keep from having our personal data extracted later.

As old as that PC was, it still beat the hell out of the first PC I ever bought. In January, 1986 -- 25 years ago -- my friend Cliff Sobel and I went to a Radio Shack store and each bought a Tandy 1000, one of the earliest IBM PC clones. We went to Radio Shack because I was still moving around quite a bit in my radio career, and I knew there would be a Radio Shack in every town in case I needed repairs.

The Tandy 1000 had a whopping 270k hard drive, two (yes, two!) 5.25" floppy disk drives, and a monochrome screen that came in green or amber. I took the latter.

The internet wasn't much to speak of in those days, with no graphics at all, just text. I opened a CompuServe account and got online via a 300 baud modem (about 1/10,000th the speed of my current connection). Since we were still paying for phone calls by the minute, there was no such thing as logging on and just browsing around for an hour. Come to think of it, there probably wasn't enough out there for an hour of browsing. I acquired a program called TAPCIS (The Automated Program for Compuserve Internet Service), which would log on, download my email and all the messages from the forums I was a member of (the two most popular were the Broadcast Professionals Forum and the Consumer Electronics Forum), then log off. While you can do all of that in a few seconds now via Outlook or other software, TAPCIS took about 5 minutes to do its job, complete with the noisy and obnoxious handshake sound the modem made while connecting via a dial-up number.

While that was the first computer I owned, it wasn't the first one I used. My father was writing his books on a PC for at least five years by then, using a long-dead piece of software called WordStar. When I'd visit, he'd teach me the complex codes necessary to write even a simple piece of correspondence and then send it to his clunky dot-matrix printer. A decade before that, I was hanging out with my fellow geeks in our high school computer department, keying Fortran software onto punch-cards, which we then fed into an IBM 1600 -- a computer so big it took up an entire room and needed its own dedicated air conditioner!

At the time, it seemed so fast and modern. Now I carry a computer more powerful than that in my pocket. And my laptop is more powerful than all the PCs at mission control when Apollo 11 landed on the moon -- combined. I wonder how long it will be before I view this new laptop in the same nostalgic terms as those relics of earlier tech eras.

The irony is that, while technology has gotten both better and faster, I've gotten more impatient. A little while ago, I typed a website address into my Firefox browser and it took almost 3 seconds to load the page. Three seconds? What, do they think I have all day to sit around and wait?

At least, when it did show up, the site was in more than one color.

Larry Wilmore

Larry Wilmore of "The Daily Show" performed at the Congressional Correspondents Dinner in Washington last night, joking about politics and race.

His best line was about birthers, truthers and other conspiracy theorists: "they demand evidence for the obvious, but expect you to swallow the preposterous." That nails it, and reminds me of a Carl Sagan quote: "extraordinary claims demands extraordinary evidence."

Wilmore was the last person to speak last night, and it probably reminded him of nights he headlined in comedy clubs and had to follow a really emcee or middle act. At the congressional dinner, he was preceded by Congressman Rand Paul, whose tea party policies must include both smaller government and fewer jokes. These dinners are always held in cavernous hotel ballrooms, where the C-SPAN microphones don't pick up a lot of audience response, but there were more crickets than laughs during Paul's failed stint at the microphone.

Wilmore can't help but refer to the awkward feeling in the room as he begins...

Air-Robic & Annoying

As much as I'd like to go to New Zealand someday, this would keep me from flying their national airline. It's the single-most annoying in-flight safety video I've ever seen. If all the other passengers are wearing headbands and leg warmers, get off the plane immediately...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Final Table #113: WSOPC Preview



Today on The Final Table radio show, we previewed the World Series Of Poker Circuit Event that starts this Thursday night and runs through April 12th at Harrah's St. Louis, including a rundown of the schedule and buy-ins.

We also discussed:
  • an outrageous tournament move by a sit-and-go player at the Wynn Classic
  • how the partnership between the Wynn and PokerStars might affect the licensing and regulation of online poker
  • the unusual cards that won the 60,000,000,000th hand on PokerStars this morning
  • why the announcements about more super-high-roller tournaments are bad for poker
  • how Dennis lost the minimum in a tournament hand where he flopped a monster
Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Toothpick Beard

I've had a beard since I was 18 years old, but never thought to stick hundreds and hundreds of objects in it, unlike this guy...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Scamming Spammers


When Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, got a spam scam via email recently, he decided to have some fun with it and pretend he was falling for it. His correspondence with the scammer is classic.

The Sitcom Network

The funniest sitcom scene of the past week was this one from "30 Rock" in which Tina Fey's Liz Lemon meets Aaron Sorkin while waiting for an interview to become a writer on "The Sing-Off."

What made this so meta was the back-story of Sorkin's last series, "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip," about the behind-the-scenes life of a comedy show. It debuted at the same time as "30 Rock," also ostensibly about the behind-the-scenes life of a TV comedy show. Sorkin's show fizzled and died in a season, while Fey's is still going strong in year five. Plus, there's a nod to the famous walk-and-talk sequences Sorkin created for "The West Wing" and "Sports Night"...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tax Evasion

This story in today's NY Times should make you sick. It says that while you made $14,200,000,000 less than General Electric last year, you paid a lot more taxes -- while that corporation GOT money from the government.

The difference is that they have lots of lobbyists working the corrupt system on Capitol Hill, including former officials at the IRS, Treasury Department, and Congress. All you have is an elected representative who would push you out of the way to get to one of those lobbyists with a checkbook. The result: huge corporations get a tax code full of benefits, while the middle class in America gets screwed again.

Worse, those same politicians go around telling us that the top corporate tax rate (35%) is way too high and must be lowered to help create jobs. That's an out and out lie, since few corporations actually pay the top rate, and most of them have moved our jobs overseas to pump up their bottom line even more. Yet, in places like Wisconsin, legislators have voted to lessen the tax burden on big companies while cutting benefits for public employees. The only way you benefit from this is if you have enough money to invest in GE stock.

Here's my favorite quote from the NY Times piece, from General Electric spokeswoman Anna Eisele:

"GE is committed to acting with integrity in relation to our tax obligations. We are committed to complying with tax rules and paying all legally obliged taxes."
It's easy to say that when you wrote the tax rules to ensure that you have no legally obliged taxes.

Stop The Insanity

Eric Alterman takes the news media to task for taking seriously Michele Bachmann's possible presidential run. As he points out, she has no chance of being nominated, let alone winning. Yet with no serious contenders making news at the moment, she gets covered as if she were one, despite her repeated insane comments.

Still Rocky After All These Years


Yesterday afternoon, after a day of college visits, my daughter and I went to the Philadelphia Museum Of Art. After we spent an hour admiring the
American Art exhibit inside, I showed her the outside, particularly the stairs leading up from the Ben Franklin Parkway, where Sly Stallone finished his triumphant workout in the original "Rocky," turning around while pumping his arms over his head.

As soon as the movie came out, tens of thousands of people who would never otherwise go to the art museum began showing up to recreate the scene. At one point, there was a statue of Rocky Balboa placed at the top of the steps, which caused even more people to visit and rally around.

The statue isn't there anymore -- although Stallone's footprints are -- but that doesn't stop people from running up the staircase, 35 years after the movie was released. In a 10-minute span, we saw more than a dozen people make the sprint and strike that familiar pose, followed by the entire University of California women's lacrosse team...

Worth A Link

  • Richard Schickel picks the 5 best movie scenes Martin Scorcese directed (I'd put #5 at the top)
  • Rick Newman counters the "new" conventional wisdom on buying a house or car or college education
  • Keith Olbermann on the day he met the actor who kinda played him on Sports Night

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google-dini

I didn't notice this until tonight -- the logo Google's been using all day to honor the greatest magician of all time (and best-known skeptic of the first half of the 20th century), Harry Houdini, who was born 137 years ago today...

Missile Math Mistake

I made some simple math mistakes in a previous post, and appreciate Matt Johnson catching my error:

As someone who agrees with your general point about the amount we spend on the military industrial complex being outrageously high, I do have to point out that you might want to revisit the math or assumptions you made when you said this: “At a million dollars apiece, the cost of those 120+ cruise missiles the US launched into Libya would pay for every teacher in America for almost 20 years. And that doesn't count the cost of the fighter jet that crashed.” There are over 3 million public school teachers in the US, so, at $120,000,000 that works out to only $40 per teacher.
Actually, the numbers are closer to 4 million teachers at $30 per. But Matt redeems me by looking at the bigger picture:
However, if you add up the total cost of the Iraq war, estimated to be $704 billion, it would pay for every public school teacher in America for over 4 years. The Iraq war has cost every man, woman, and child in America about $2,000 since it started. For a family of 4 that would be $8,000. I bet if you asked the average family if they would rather have $8 grand in their pocket or the progress we made in Iraq, the eight grand would win every time.

Radioactive Regulation


Since the radiation danger at the Japanese nuclear plants became news in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, anti-nuke activists have used the opportunity to paint this as a perfect example of why we shouldn't have any new nuclear power plants built in the US.

But the lesson here isn't about maintaining the 30-year-old moratorium on construction. It's on how important close government oversight and regulation are.

Evidence shows that this was a disaster waiting to happen.  Government regulators in Japan were warned 3 years ago about possible problems at Fukishima, including stress cracks in the diesel-powered generators that kept the water flowing -- the same generators that failed after the natural disasters, causing the important cooling system to fail. The operators of the plant also didn't inspect over 30 pieces of equipment related to the cooling system, a vital failure considering that the plants are more than 40 years old.  Despite all that, the government re-licensed the Daiichi plant for 10 more years -- only weeks before Mother Nature exposed the problems all too clearly.

That's not a deficiency in the science of nuclear power. It's incompetence by the people who own and manage the plant, and it's a failure by the public agencies who are charged with overseeing the industry and ensuring its safety on behalf of the citizenry.

Does that mean we should brush aside the incident in Japan and move forward with more nuclear power plants in this country? Not if the rules and supervision will be left to the industry itself, with regulation and superintendence as lax as they have been with other potentially dangerous energy companies (like a certain off-shore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Minerals Management Service failed so badly in its responsibilities that its director was forced to resign).

I've yet to hear from any of the smaller-government enthusiasts on the subject. They always argue that more government regulation can choke businesses to death. But when it comes to radiation, choking is the least of your problems.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Thoughts From The Road

I'm on the road with my daughter during spring break visiting colleges she might attend in the fall of '12. We're having a good time together, despite the non-spring weather we're encountering (nothing makes a college campus seem more dreary than the wind whipping cold rain and snow into your face, particularly when we didn't pack gloves and hats).

Still, I can never be so out of the loop that the big news stories escape my view as the days pass. Some random thoughts on some of those items:

At a million dollars apiece, the cost of those 120+ cruise missiles the US launched into Libya would pay for every teacher in America for almost 20 years. And that doesn't count the cost of the fighter jet that crashed. In a nation that's so broke we have to cut the pensions and benefits of our public employees, we somehow keep finding the money to fund our military-industrial complex.

Somewhere in this nation, there's a social studies teacher trying to explain that there was once a time in this country when the President couldn't order the armed forces to attack another nation without the express approval of Congress. That must be a history class, because it sure isn't current events.

Two of the network newscasts this evening (CBS and ABC) led with the death of Elizabeth Taylor, while NBC had a riveting live report from Richard Engel in the midst of a rebel unit near Benghazi, Libya, that was taking fire from Qadaffi's forces. Yet another example of why Engel is arguably the greatest war correspondent of his generation (and kudos to his producer and videographer, who were with him when those mortars landed a mere 50 yards away).


I'm reminded of an interview I did a decade ago with Walter Cronkite in which he mourned the lack of foreign coverage by American news outlets, which instead were cutting back on their bureaus around the world:
"These are the days when a bonfire in a little country whose name we can't pronounce in a location on the globe we don't know, that bonfire can suddenly turn into a mushroom-shaped cloud. We'd damned well better know what's going on, and we don't!"
That was 3 months before 9/11, followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The recent developments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Bahrain, have shown how inadequate every US outlet besides CNN is in that regard -- not to mention the natural disasters in Japan, where if it weren't for their partnerships with overseas news agencies, many domestic networks wouldn't have had any idea what was going on after the earthquake and tsunami.

As for the story the other two networks led with, I'm one of those who never understood the fascination with Elizabeth Taylor. I was never all that impressed with her talent, and couldn't have cared less for about the attention she received from the tabloids. She always seemed more famous for who she was than for the movies she appeared in. There were a few classics ("National Velvet," "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"), but her legacy seems to survive more from the multiple marriages and emotional roller coasters of her life. There's one area in which she deserves every bit of praise and more -- as one of the earliest activists for people with AIDS, a cause she took up after her friend Rock Hudson died of the disease, for which she helped raise over $50 million in the last quarter-century.

Note: those movie links above will take you to Amazon Instant, where you can watch them on your PC via streaming media.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Final Table #112: Jason Alexander & Peter Eastgate



Today on The Final Table radio show, we have more interviews we recorded two weeks ago at the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

First up was Jason Alexander, best known as George Costanza on "Seinfeld," but also one of the Friends Of PokerStars celebrity roster, who joined us just after losing his match to Liv Boeree. He talked about his poker experiences, including the Ray Romano home game he plays in regularly, as well as his showbiz career.

Next up was Seth Palansky, Communications Director for the World Series Of Poker, who talked about the upcoming WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah's St. Louis (3/31-4/12), how other events on the circuit have done this season, and changes for the big tournaments at the Rio this summer.

Finally, our conversation with Peter Eastgate, 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion (he beat Dennis and Ivan Demidov), who explained why he quit poker last summer, and why he has returned from that self-imposed hiatus.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Japan Before & After

Must-See Picture Of The Day: a set of remarkable satellite photos taken before and after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Roll your mouse from right to left over each picture to see the devastation. [thanks to Teena Kilo for the link]

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gas Price Perspective

The national average for a gallon of gas is up to $3.53/gallon, and we're still two months away from the summer driving season, when prices will no doubt peak at over $4/gallon. Several recent articles have said that Americans aren't quite as panicky over the cost as we were a few years ago because, they claim, we learned our lesson about energy conservation after Hurricane Katrina, buying more fuel-efficient vehicles and driving less.

That may be true in some sectors of the economy that have gotten greener, but on the whole, Americans are just not that good about financial lessons -- even as we recover from the recession -- so the $4 mark may still not be enough to force us to change consuming habits. And if you think that the speculators have changed their greedy ways, you're wrong. Witness the price spikes after the violence began in Libya, and imagine what they'll do if the protests spread to other oil-rich Arab nations (prepare to re-mortgage your house if the Saudis begin mass demonstrations).

Then again, perspective is always a good thing. You're still not paying as much for a gallon of unleaded as you are for a gallon of Coke ($3.84), orange juice ($7.68), or Red Bull ($28.16). You're cleaning yourself with Purell and shampoo that cost over $25/gallon. Extrapolate the cost of a grande latte at Starbucks and you're paying around $64/gallon. And it's a good thing your car doesn't run on nail polish remover, which is priced at a very reasonable $1,024/gallon.

See this chart for more [thanks to Joel Makower for the link].

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No RomComs For Sarah

Sarah Silverman deconstructs the modern romantic comedy, with help from Bill Maher...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Juno In 60 Seconds

Finally, the answer to the question, "Where can I find the movie 'Juno' condensed to 60 seconds and acted by kids under 8 years old?"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

60 Minutes Walk-Offs

Sunday on "60 Minutes," Bob Simon did a piece on Curveball, the slimebag Iraqi who provided false information on weapons of mass destruction, which the Bush administration used as the basis for going to war. During the conversation with Simon, Curveball didn't like the line of questioning and stormed out. That led to this piece, produced for the web feature "60 Minutes Overtime," about other interview subjects who walked out on camera...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Final Table #111: Ann-Margaret Johnston, Poker CPA



Today on The Final Table radio show, we tackled a topic we get asked about all the time -- poker player finances. We talked with Ann-Margaret Johnston, a CPA whose client list includes a lot of poker players, and author of "How To Turn Your Poker Playing Into A Business."

She explained what you're supposed to do tax-wise if you're a tournament player, a cash game player, or an online player -- from what records you need to keep to whether you have to report the money in your online accounts to what expenses you can write off to how to handle swapping stakes to declaring yourself a professional.

Dennis & I also discussed our weekends in Los Angeles, where I played at the Commerce Casino while Dennis played at the Bicycle Casino in a big cash game that was streamed online, as well as the $10,000 buy-in Bounty Shootout (which was won by Pat Walsh, a fellow St. Louisan).

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!


Next week, we'll bring you two more interviews we recorded at the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championships -- Peter Eastgate (in one of his first interviews since returning to poker) and Jason Alexander (yes, from Seinfeld).

Teachers Bridge

Almost five years ago, I wrote a column calling for an end to the practice of naming buildings, highways, and especially bridges after politicians. Instead, I suggested a Bridge Naming Lottery where everyone has a chance of being honored.

Now, politicos in Missouri and Illinois are talking about what to name the new bridge over the Mississippi River -- the one that hasn't even been built yet. According to Ken Leiser of the Post-Dispatch, legislators want to name it after two long-serving members of Congress from the bi-state: "The Jerry F. Costello/William Lacy "Bill" Clay Sr. Veterans Memorial Bridge."

That just trips off the tongue, doesn't it?

Leiser asked readers of his column to come up with suggestions for bridge names, and neither Costello nor Clay was even mentioned. There was support for the Dred Scott Bridge, the Stan Musial Bridge, and the Women Veterans Memorial Bridge, but no one wanted to name it after another politician.

If they don't want to go with my Bridge Naming Lottery concept, then here's my fallback suggestion. If you're going to honor any group of public servants, go with the one that could really use the morale boost.

Name it Teachers Bridge.

To my knowledge, there isn't a single highway or bridge named for a teacher in this area. Name it collectively for all the hard-working educators who toil in our schools every year. Honor their role in educating America. Do it now, at a time when teachers need it.

Not to mention the money we'll save on smaller signs when we only have to paint two words instead of eleven.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Maron Of A Certain Age

Comedian Marc Maron has an interesting podcast called "WTF," in which he sits down for one-on-one in-depth conversations with other comedians. They talk about their latest projects, the process behind their craft, stories from the road, experiences they've shared, etc. I've downloaded and enjoyed several of the shows he's done them out of his garage with friends like Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Adam McKay, and Bob Saget.

I just got around to one from last October that quickly became my favorite -- a discussion with Ray Romano and Mike Royce about their TNT series "Men Of A Certain Age," which has been must-see TV in our house since episode one. You can get Maron's podcasts via iTunes, or listen to that particular show here.

Tomato, Tomahto

How do you pronounce controversy? When you say either is it "eee-ther" or "eye-ther"? What about garage, scone, schedule, and attitude? In each case, it depends what part of the native-English-speaking world you're from -- but there's no uniformity, even in the same countries, as these researchers discovered.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is arguably our nation's best-known astrophysicist. He's the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, host of the terrific PBS series "Nova Science Now," frequent guest with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and a best-selling author. Three summers ago, he was keynote speaker at James Randi's Amazing Meeting 6, where he spoke about his role in stripping Pluto of its planetary status, the silliness of UFO abduction claims, the superstition behind those missing 13th floors, and serving on jury duty...

Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson - TAM6 from JREF on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weekend in LA

I'm at the Commerce Casino outside Los Angeles with a few friends from St. Louis for a poker weekend, and we're having a good time.

Two of our foursome have never been here before, and I enjoyed the looks on their faces when they first walked into the main card room and saw 100 tables -- and that's only one of three huge rooms they have here. Not only are there plenty of games, but there's lot of action, too; much looser than anywhere else we've played. Yes, there are lots of poker pros grinding out a living here, but enough tourists and just-plain-bad players to make it worthwhile.

My Commerce-rookie friends are also amazed at the variety of good food players can order and have served at the tables at no charge -- even if you're just waiting for a game. It's not just typical pizza-and-burgers casino food, either. They'll bring you all sorts of Asian food or shish kebab or a huge salad or an omelette or an entire melon sliced up into pieces. Whatever you want, gratis. Just tip the waitress a couple of bucks each time and you can eat three solid meals a day.

A nice change since the last time I was here is that the hotel now offers complimentary high-speed internet -- both wired and wireless -- in the rooms. I brought my MiFi along for the trip, but it's nice that I don't have to use it and eat up the bandwidth on my data plan to avoid the $10-15/day many hotels charge to connect.

One of the problems with staying and playing here is that I sometimes forget to go outside. When I stepped out the door this afternoon, it was sunny and eighty degrees -- really perfect weather. I enjoyed it for almost five full minutes before returning to my pot-limit-omaha game inside.

Aside from the weather, the other way I know I'm in LA is turning on the local TV newscasts. The two lead stories at 6pm tonight on KCBS-TV were Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. The anchors are uniformly attractive in a way designed to appeal to all ethnic groups, and this may be the only place in America where the weather lady looks like this...

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Random Stuff

  • Just saw a commercial for an aluminum wallet that's "crush proof" and "impact resistant." Who's carrying breakables in their wallet?
  • Sign at burrito shop at McCarran Airport: "Buy 9, Get 1 Free." What they left out: "Eat All 10, Die Of Gastric Distress"
  • The UN has kicked Libya off its Human Rights Council. In other news, PETA has kicked McDonald's off its Best Restaurants list
  • Ready to step in for CharlieSheen, Jason Alexander explains the sacrifices he'll make, including hookers & blow
  • Think you know which fast-food chain has the most outlets worldwide? Wrong!

Bohemian Ukelele Rhapsody

Like me, you have no doubt been wishing you could find a good version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" played on a ukelele. Your wish is fulfilled by Jake Shimabukuro...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Final Table #110: Galfond, Hachem, Selbst



Today on The Final Table radio show, we continued our coverage of the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Dennis talked about his victory over Erick Lindgren in round 1, and then his loss to Doyle Brunson in round 2, including the strategy behind the way he played two hands against the poker legend. And we congratulated winner Erik Seidel, who has won over $4.3 million this year alone, and runner-up Chris Moneymaker, who's been on a hot streak of his own since January.

In our first guest segment, we talked with Phil Galfond, just minutes before he played Joe Hachem heads-up -- and were surprised when Joe sat down and joined the conversation. The two of them discussed the differences between live and online play, the importance of having a group of friends to discuss strategies with, and why some online players struggle when they sit down in brick-and-mortar poker rooms.

Then we were joined by Vanessa Selbst, who had remarkable results in 2010 and recently played on "High Stakes Poker," where she got into a controversial hand against millionaire amateur Phil Ruffin last week. We discussed that hand, her heads-up strategy, and more.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!


In case you missed it, we put out a special podcast-only bonus edition of The Final Table this weekend, with Gus Hansen, Faraz Jaka, and Barry Greenstein (all at the NBC Heads-Up). You can listen to that show here.

On a future show, we'll bring you two more interviews we recorded this weekend -- Peter Eastgate (in one of his first interviews since returning to poker) and Jason Alexander (yes, from Seinfeld). And if you missed my story about the wild poker night I had with a bunch of pros and media folks and a big bad beat, you can read that here.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Final Table #109: Hansen, Jaka, Greenstein



Today on The Final Table radio show, we have a special bonus edition recorded at the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Before Dennis Phillips played his match against Erick Lindgren (and won, to move onto round 2 tomorrow against Doyle Brunson), we recorded several interviews with some of the other players in the field of 64.


In this hour, you'll get:
  • Gus Hansen, who explains how changing his strategy and wildman image has helped him win over the last few months;
  • Faraz Jaka, who cashed in 4 WSOP events last year with his play-any-two-cards approach;
  • Barry Greenstein, the high-stakes cash game master and longtime poker veteran.
Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!


On next week's show, you'll hear Phil Galfond and Joe Hachem together, plus Vanessa Selbst. Later, we'll bring you Peter Eastgate (in one of his first interviews since returning to poker) and Jason Alexander.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Final Table #108: Greg Raymer



Today on my Final Table radio show, we previewed the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which takes place this weekend at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Dennis, who came in 3rd last year, will be in the field of 64 players along with some other poker veterans and a few new faces.

We also talked about the new season of "High Stakes Poker," which debuted this weekend, and analyzed a hand played by Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst, who limped in with a pair of queens and then played them very oddly against millionaire amateur Phil Ruffin, who flopped a set of threes.

Our guest was 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer, who spent the weekend at the World Series Of Poker Circuit Event in Florida playing in tournaments and cash games. One of them was a wild night of Dealer's Choice that included some poker games that you may not have heard of before (we hadn't), including Reverse PLO, Double Board Hold'em, and a combination flop-and-draw game called Sweten (which he learned from a Swedish player).

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Candy Challenge

For today's Picture Of The Day, I seem to remember an old saying about kids climbing the walls because they eat too much sugar. Here's proof.