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Thursday, September 1, 2005

picks of the weak

college football picks are back and back with a vengence.  Here are the first entry for this year.
2 units-- Duke (-2) vs. ECU
1 unit-- Rutgers(+1.5) vs. Illinois
1 unit-- Va. Tech (-5.5) vs. NC State
1 unit-- Uconn (-18) vs. Buffalo.
Some thoughts.  I hate being a homer, but Duke should win by 20 at least.  they finally have an experienced QB and stayed healthy in the off-season. With their good recruiting over the past two years, this is just a speed mismatch.
I like The Rut for the same reasons.  Zook will improve Illinois, but they just don't have anywhere near the team speed needed to compete on this level.
For Va Tech, I know alot of people think they are overrated  and I am even one of them.  But State just cant matchup.  Tech forces so many turnovers that they should win by at least 2 tuddies.
Finally, Uconn.  This is based on history.   Buffalo just never covers when a midlevel dog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

random thoughts

Some random thoughts

- Just found out that R. Kelly lives in my building. I guess that must be his
Rolls Royce on the 4th floor. Guess he is too poor to buy a deeded spot.

- Check out this story about a riot which happened when a school district sold
excess laptops for $50 each. While I feel sorry for those who were injured, I
feel even more sorry for the children in that school district. When the
administrators of your district don't understand rudimentary economics such
that they could set a revenue maximizing price, there is no hope for a quality

- I have a new favorite blog-- Former Susquhanna trader and poker dabbler
Jonathan Kaplans. Luckily, the blog is still small enough that the writer can
have a relationship with his readership . I like his mix between poker and
things not poker and his love of proper grammar and etymology.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

People must be reading my blog.

Just found out that they will be making the smurfs into a movie, just as I had
predicted a few months back. However, the movie will be a CARTOON. While not
put great technical effects with real actors. that could really bring the
movie back to life.

In other news, I won another omaha 8 tourney the other night. I am really on a
roll. Now if only I could figure out how to play no limit holdem.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

bet the turn

its just good advice.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


while depsite hell not freezing over last year, there actually will be an NHL season next year.  however, NO INTERCONFERENCE PLAY.  What else is there for a chicago hockey fan (to clatify a hockey fan who lives in the city of Chicago) to do but wait for the Rangers, Flyers or Devils to come in town.
though nothing has been announced yet, i am still pretty sure there will be no blackhawks on local tv.


Finally won a big MTT touney online last week.  not a huge one or anything, but after many final tables its good to finally close the deal.  I was walking around on air for a few days.  which gets me to thinking, which is a bigger thing-- money or the winning.  After a cash games score for a similar amount, i dont have the same feeling.  I finally understand why people become tourney junkies.
Adding to the fun was that i knocked out russell rosenbloom and andrew park at the final table, a couple of more "big names"
yeah me

Thursday, July 14, 2005


looks like she will make the final 8 at the Publinx.  incredible for any 15 year old.  while she likely still won't win, she is doing something special.
I wonder which will happen sooner-- A repeat champion in the WSOP main event or a woman winning a major men's golf tourney.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

all woman should read this...

great column by bill simmons the other day and all women should read to understand about mariah carey.  here is an excerpt.

(And speaking of Mariah, is anyone else excited about seeing her back in the limelight? For more than 10 years, she's been my kryptonite -- the one crazy female celebrity that just plain did it for me. Can't explain it. And nothing drives a woman crazier than hearing a guy say, "I think Mariah Carey is hot" -- you might as well just say that women shouldn't have the right to vote. She's the best. I will defend her lunatic sexiness to the death. By the way, do you think she looks at Whitney Houston now the same way Tom Hanks looks at Michael Keaton, like Whitney may have won the first few battles, but Mariah won the war? Me, too.)

Thursday, July 7, 2005

this bears repeating

Aloha Airlines customer service is non-existant. Never fly them.

On a more positive note, my wife recently received a $50 gift certificate from
United after filling out a complaint card on our return from Hawaii. It shows
that whining really does pay.

an interesting question for you game theorists out there

For all you game theorists out there.

Here is a simple game with two players, A and B. A is given $1000 and is able
to split it between he and B any way he chooses. B has the option to accept or
reject the offer. If he accepts the offer, the money is divided according to
A's split. If B rejects the offer, both players get nothing.

At face value, this game isn't interesting if played one time. B should always
accept. However, if this game is played 1000 times. it gets more interesting.
What is A's optimal offer strategy? What is B's optimal strategy

Sunday, June 26, 2005

WSOP update

halfway through the WSOP, I am in around 68thplace.  If no rankings were involved I would likely be much better.  By bottom five have been ripping it up.
Now, you must be saying, how did you pick Mike Matasow first and Helmuth second who have basically been complete duds to this point in time.  For 'the mouth" i like him for a couple reasons,  first he is likely overlooked and any points he has would give me  a big edge on the field.  Additionally, given the number of NLHE events, I wanted to have great players in the lower-entry events and Mike is the best Omaha 8 player in the world.
For Phil, he has cashed in more events than anyone else and figured he was hot after his heads-up win.

aloha airlines

I don't think i can say this enough.  Never ever fly aloha airlines.  Never.  Period.  No questions.
Normally, having watched the show Airline, I am against flying cheaper airlines.  I understand that you pay for certain things with a major carrier but there are some standards which are carriers must follow.
I won't even mention the smallest seats I have ever seen or the broken down plane or the cattle-herding boarding process.
However, I take serious issue with the luggage policy (or lack thereof).  When we arrived at the Honolulu airport, both Cheryl and I needed to check a bag each.  We put them next to each other as they scanned them for security.  However, when we get to Maui, only Cheryl's bag is there.
Then I make a big mistake.  I ask customer service about this.  Apparently the policy is, "wait a few flights" and see if they show up.   Since I checked my bag, I have a tracking number and bar code.  However, the surly agent explaned, "We don't scan bags".  So in other words, the is no point in having a tracking number, or anyone in the airport has more information on my bad than you do.  In an effort to curb the costs of air travel, I recommend the customer service agent's job as the first to go.   Additionally , with this gent's attitude, though polynesian, he probably didnt get the memo about Aloha attittude from the Hawaii department of tourism.

WSOP fantasy entry

WSOP Fantasy Entry. Comments to follow

1. Mike Matasow
2. Phil Hellmuth
3. Men The Master
4. Ram Vaswani
5. JOhn Juanda
6. TJ Cloutier
7. Allen Cunningham
8. Howard Lederer
9. Marcel Luske
10. Nick Frangos
11. Barry Greenstein
12. Todd Brunson
13. Daniel Negreanu
14. Phil Ivey
15. Layne FLack
16. Cindy Violette
17. Scott Fischman
18. Josh Arieh
19. Gavin Smith
20. Gabe Kaplan

back from hawaii...

and i hope it cured my blogstipation.  had a very relaxing time.  However, maybe it is just my corporate mindset but i feel guilty whenever I am away on vacation and not doing something.  thinking about the value of time being wasted.  oh well.  
Hawaii was quite nice, however, quite crowded at the same time.  When you go to Oahu to relax, you shouldn't have to plan your schedule around Honolulu traffic, yet it is an absolute necessity. 
Had alot of great meals in Hawaii, though even i got sick of fish by the end of it.  If I see macadamian nut crusted ahi tuna one more time on a menu, it will be too soon.
Aloha Airlines... this deserves a separate blog.  Needless to say, never fly them.
Customer Service... still lacking.  maybe this is a trend, maybe not.  I used to think that tourist heavy cities would have better customer service since there is more focus on it as a career.  In Honlulu, whenever we ate at a five-star place, the service was quite good, everywhere else it was quite bad.  Now living in this country nowdays, I have gotten to get used to it.  But what really distrurbed me is that th ebad service wasn't being given by a 23-year old snot nosed kid trying to find themselves, but by someone older-- someone I would have to guess was in customer service as a career.  Are standards falling that much, or is it a sign of falling standards.
At Roy's restaurant, one of the best places to eat in Honolulu rated by almost every travel brochure as well as recommendations, had horrible service.  Additionally, it took over an hour for our entrees to be served.  When we inquired why (actually Cheryl inquired as to save the manager's throat), he said "we had a large party ahead of your who backed on the kitchen.  Now, this might be a mildly passable excuse, however, THE RESTAURANT WAS LESS THAN HALF FULL.   God forbid the place is every full.  I think it was Dave Thomas who once said,  "A long line at a restaurant means one of two things-- really good food or really bad service).

Monday, June 13, 2005

The american legal system

after the michael jackson verdict, we did to add IQ tests to the jury selection

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Free Katie

check this out.

it seems like many people believe me when i say katie holmes and tom cruise are
a farce.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


one of the most wonderful days of the year.   ANy team who passes on Mike Williams deserves to be picking early again next year.


just saw cedric benson on th NFL draft and he looks about ready to cut off his ear.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

people in 5-10 poker games just dont respect isolation raises like they do at 40-80

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Charlie Trotter

Went to Charlie Trotter's last night for Cheryl's birthday and now I
know what all the fuss is about. Wihtout a doubt, the best meal of my
life and I have now become a huge fan of bison. Yes bison. Like
steak, but much better.

And who was at the next table over, none other than Keanu Reeves, in
town shooting his latest movie. He got a tour of the kitchen. I didn't. Oh well.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Germany has demanded a rethink on EU guidelines on condom size after
finding its average penis did not measure up.

Doctors around Essen were ordered by the government's health
department to check out the average size suggested by Brussels.

They reported the EU has overestimated the size of the average penis
by almost 20% and insist other countries will discover the same.

Urologist Gunther Hagler, head of the team compiling the research,
said: "By checking hundreds of patients we found German penises were
too small for standard EU condoms.

"On average they were 14.48 cms long and 3.95 cms wide. That makes
them much smaller than the EU standard condom size of 17 cms in length
and 5.6 cms in width."

He denied the German man was any smaller than the rest of Europe,
adding: "We think the EU has got its sums wrong, and if other
countries were to check out their men's assets they would find the EU
has made a mistake in its calculations.

"There should be a rethink and the EU statisticians should check their
figures again. After all, they have also ruled EU standard condoms
should be able to hold 18 litres of fluid without breaking, which also
seems a bit excessive."

Monday, February 28, 2005

all is good

am going to vegas this thursday night. life is good.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

thought for the day.

the key to successful air travel is unrealistically low expectations.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

FW: new favorite website

Check out It has a great magazine as well. Some
fellow Duke grads doing some good in the world.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

its been a while

i know I know and i have alot to say. so there should be alot of
posts coming fast.

- No matter your political affiliation, you should check out "Flying
Blind" by Michael Smerkonish. It reveals some scary things about how
political correctness is compromising airline security even after
9/11. I don't want to give anything away, but airlines are fined if
they search too many people of middle eastern descent (or any other

- for those who don't know me that well, this Wednesday was one of my
favorite dates of the year-- the State of the Union. Even when I
don't like the President, I think it is a great time to reflect on
where we are going as a country. I congrats the President for having
the balls to demand change in social security and even politically
unattractive options like raising the retirement age. While I don't
believe completely in priviatization, I admire someone who speaks
their mind without worrying about polling data.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


This is a big time in Iraq. For the first time in hundreds of years, the
citizens of Iraq will take an active role in determining their own future
through election. While violence in some regions may reduce the turnout,
this is a monument event for these 22 million Iraqis.

However, the Iraqi election is big news in Chicago as well for a different
reason. Many Iraqis who left the country are registering to vote in these
election. This is happening in large cities across American and across
the world. This is just wrong. In fact, some political expert estimate
that between 20 and 40 percent of all votes cast in the Iraqi election
will be from outside the country. How is it possible for this population
to determine its own destiny if someone else is doing a large part of the

This is an issue where my beautiful intelligence fiancée disagree with me.
She believe that Iraqi dissidents, many of whom love their country, have
earned the right to vote. Additionally, these people are often more
qualified to make a choice for the good of the country than those who are
living there. Fair enough. I do not begrudge Iraqi-Americans because of
their decision to vote. If I was in their shows, I would probably vote as
well. However, my issue is that the new Iraqi Constitution gives them
this right at all.

When you leave a country to become a resident or citizen of another land,
regardless of reason, you give up certain rights. In some places, you
can't own land as a non-citizen, in many you can't hold public office and
in many countries like the US, you lose the right to vote. Its one of the
tough sacrifices you must make. Why is this? Its because in a true
republic, the governed and them only choose who governs them. And if the
leaders don't lead well, they are voted out of office in the next election.

By giving this right to vote to those who are living in the country, the
spirit of democracy in Iraq dies a little bit as well.

daily double

something I don't understand.

was walking downtown tonight and saw several police officers tooling
around the sideways on their little 2 wheel battery powered people movers
(not quite sure of the name). Maybe a waste of money but I understand
the purpose. Walked another few blocks and I saw a few police officers
on horseback.


If you have police officers on their peoplemovers, why need horseback.
What is the value of a cop on a horse. Can he/she direct traffic from
it? Is this overweight horse going to catch anyone in a high speed chase.
Will the horse scare off criminals with his excrement?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Put all your money on the Pats

because I like the Steelers. the first game showed me how big home field advantege is and I like the Steelers.

btw, why on earth is a gawky 10 year old with marginal talent singing the national anthem for the NFC championship game. i blame everyone-- the team, the parents, television. This kid's voice cracked at least twice. I almost thought it was an American Idol outtake for a second. (which you cant go 2 minutes even within the game without seeing.)

one last try...

for NFL picks... there is a saying, if you believe that the underdogcan legitimately win a playoff game outright, pick them. I thinkthink the Falcons can win. The big winds will hurt the Eaglespassing game and the Falcons have the best D-line in football. Illtake atlanta and the six.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Name that tune...

does anyone know the name of the Black Eyed Peas song in the newBest
Buy commercial?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hilary :(

The same week that G-Dub was inaugurations, the Hilary campaign planted
another flag in the ground in its effort to return the Clinton surname to
the White House. In this case, yesterday, Hilary made speech with a good
of religious leaders to talk about the important of faith-based education.
This from a card-carrying member of the ACLU. While I applaud the
sentiment, this is a 180 degree change from the positions Hilary has taken
since entering public. I've figured her election plan out.

step 1) Outfundraise all democratic contenders so that there is no
credible opposition in the primary
step 2) Move so far to the center that there is no difference in a
majority of her issues between her and a male moderate republican. That
leaves only one issue left-- she's a woman. If women's voting turnout
increases, then she thinks she can take the White House.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Let's take Thursday off

Monday was a much needed day off. Even two weeks into a new job, a day off is much appreciated. Even if I just sat at home and did nothing. However, I am a bit perturbed that I along with the rest of working Americans need to go into work Thursday.

Why is it that we get Martin Luther King Jr's birthday off but not a day for a Presidential inauguration. I don't want to take anything away from Dr. King. He is a true hero to all Americans because of the way he refused to cave to racism, bigotry and fear. Moreover, his birthday allows for a coming together for the black community.

However, I believe the Presidential inauguration should be a time for the entire country to come together. It is a day where we as a country can reflect on where we have been and where we are going as a country. In fact, in a very nonscientific poll among friends of other cultures, we are the only country which does not give a day off for the swearing in of our leader.

Monday, January 17, 2005

my strange addiction

its not what you think. well, granted i probably have too man y
vices in my life. I have a new one. I have spent at least 8 hours
this weekend on my laptop pursuing it. I believe that it will bring me
and my family significant incremental money over the next few years.
Even if it doesn't, I have having an enjoyable time doing it.


its financial planning. Microsoft Money is my new addiction. I can
manage my money to the penny acroos categories. I can track
investment and spending. I can decide when my children will be born,
what their names are, and when they go to college. In fact, I can
tell you that little Pixley will be born in June of 2008. Enter
college in August of 2026 for $35,000 a year in inflation adjusted
money and be married in 2034.

Maybe it is my personality and my tendancy to try to find order in
everyday life. Either that, or the pie charts are just really cool.

note: I am not affilated with Microsoft in any way shape or form

note 2: I hereby announce my intention to enter the NFL draft.


people have asked me, Mark why haven't you written anything about the new ESPN show yet. You play lots of poker, watch lots of tv, why not?

I'm not really sure what the answer is. I really don't know what to think. Its a drama series with lots of back stories which haven't really been explained in the first episode which make it a bit complicated. However, this could really be said of any good drama series.

However, the poker aspect of the show is horrible. For instance in the scene with the hand between the 12 year of girl. The other guy put $7K in on the bottom end of a 4 straight on the board. No legitimate player playing at that level would ever try to make that move. Addtionally, the level of corruption at the big table is also unrealistic as well. That just doesn't happen. I am not saying that there is never team play, but having the entire table involved is just not realistic.

Moreover, I have no idea why ESPN is jeopardizing its WSOP interests through this portrayal of poker players. Now, if they had presented this as a rounders-style beat the odds story of a group of young poker players, i think it would help the WSOP. However, this show which shows poker players as cheats can not help them at all.

On a side note, some of the message boards have made a big deal about Daniel Negreanu and TJ Cloutiers cameo appearance on the show. For once, I complete agree with the masses. I admire Daniel a great deal. I think he is personally responsible for much of the growth of poker and is one of the most accessible and personable people you will ever meet. However, he just fucked up on this one. He even admitted as much on his blog ( that he never read the script before he did his cameo. Hopefully, he will learn from this in the future and will not make the same mistake again.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


i didnt know my blog had this much readership. but when i blow a couple of playoff picks then there is comments galore. for those who have been reading for a while, you will know that my college picks are generally much better than my NFL ones.

road sweet road

look for 2 road winners todays. Randy Moss and the Vikings and
Payton and the Colts. Actually, i wouldnt be surprised if at least
one of the games is a blowout. The eagles havent played their first
team in a month and havent played well in alot longer than that.

The Pats will show up today with Corey Dillon having a big day. But
their lacks of DB play will doom them even with a winter storm warning
in Boston.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Sex... and not in a good way

saw a scary article on real clear politics about the sex market in cambodia. it says about 3/4 million young girls are sold each year in the sex industry.

In a related story, just finished up a great book "Adventure Capitalist talked about european women who like to go to africa for sex holidays. i wonder how frequent this is. kinda of scary. well, i guess this is woman's liberation in full force.

Friday, January 14, 2005

big congrats to my boy Joe Lang who cashed in the Pokerstars WPT
event. Not bad for your first major. Keep moving up the ladder today

you heard it here first...

the vikings are going to the superbowl


Cheryl got in a car accident today. in a taxicab. The cab ran a
red light and hit 2 cars and got hit by another. thankfully she is
ok. but i started to think about how lucky we are not get into more
of these.

For some reason when i get a cab, i feel like i am in a ride in the
amusement park. reality is suspended for a bit and you just are
amazed at the others around you. Guess this kinda breaks this image.

baby spears

now Brittnee's younger sister has her own show now to battle the
simpsons are least talented, most hyped sister combo.

some possible vegas lines

1) over/under time to boob job for baby spears: 1.5 years

2) over/under to first music album: 10 months

proposition bet (within the next year):

lesbian kiss with brittnee on stage: 9/1
dates someone from a boy band: 3/5
gets her own reality show: 5/1

i guarantee there will be more to come

it's time like these that i miss celebrity death match.

Friday, January 7, 2005

Things I don't understand

The sudden rise to prominence of Ashlee Simpson
The popularity of Ugg boots. They still look like cheap slippers to me
Why Jewish voters tend to vote for Democratic candidates, thought
Republicans have always had much better Israel policies
Why the person who takes your order in a restaurant is rarely the person
who servers you your food. Now, if there is a problem you know have to
track down the person who took your order while your misordered food gets
Why anyone cares about Anna Nicole Smith

Thursday, January 6, 2005

choose... and death is not an option

A) having to watch another season of Newlyweds

B) having to watch a full season of Ashlee Simpson's new reality show

dates have been set

my bachelor party will be in vegas the first weekend of march. anyone
and everyone is welcome to attend.

Snow sucks.....

But not as much as ashlee simpson.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Ocean's 12

There isn't a nice way to say this. This movie was a tremendous disappointment. Everything that was good about the first movie either wasn't in the second movie or was poorly executed. The snappy dialogue from 11 was nonexistent.

From the original, I probably quote 15 lines on a daily basis. I don't remember a single line from this one. In the original, the great thing about the movie was 60% of the movie was about the group pulling off a heist. In this movie, maybe 5 minutes are dedicated to it. Finally, the premise of this is not believable and the ending is one of the worst in movie history.

To spoil the movie for some of you (because i want to ensure you don't see it), it appears as if the group failed in its heist but then in a flashback you see how it really succeeded in a 1 minute sequence. The plot is completely unbelievable and i want my $7.50 back. (I am glad i went to the matinee or I would be $9 pissed.)

on a positive note, if you haven't seen it, go see Sideways. The best movie I have seen in the past couple of years. "Merlot, I am not drinking Merlot." If you like wine, or making fun or wine snobs, this movie is for you. For me, it is like Swingers goes to Napa Valley.

happy new year.