Hockey pet peeve: "when a teammate tips a puck in on you, which is exactly how my first collegiate goal against happened. Thanks, Copper."
'07 hockey recruit Ben Winnett committed. At 16, Winnett scored 49 points in 60 games in the BCHL playing kids three and four years his senior. Less than a PPG in the run-and-gun BCHL is not generally indicative of future college stardom -- Milan Gajic more than doubled that -- but it is impressive for a player Winnett's age -- Gajic was 19. He and Wisconsin-bound Kyle Turris are considered the top two up-and-comers in the league.
The Wolverine's Bob Miller was given permission to post an article from Paul Shaheen's Research On Ice column:
"So many people around me said I was a Michigan type player," says Winnett, a high school senior and one of the most well-spoken young men his age. "With my skating, offense and awareness, many guys branded me a Wolverine. I was flattered by that."
Even someone who'd never seen Winnett play before said exactly the same thing.
"Last year, " explains Winnett, "we were having a practice skate, and (former Maine Black Bear assistant captain) Jeff Mushaluk came out to skate with us. (An Armstrong, BC native, Mushaluk played two seasons at Maine after transferring from Lake Superior State). Jeff came up to one of our coaches and said, 'heah who's that number 16? He looks like a Wolverine.' That was a huge compliment."
Michigan kicked some ass at bridge. Eat our national championship, Princeton!
SMQB got all up in my grill. No he di'in't(!). This here website was cited for aiding and abetting severe recruitnikdom by reporting on Mallet's thrilling victory in the NCAA '07 competition at the Elite 11 camp:
And then we are treated to a link to a lengthy review of another person we do not know, who is not yet a high school senior, playing a video game? And how its results might possibly suit this young man for a certain school's conservative offensive philosophy?
For the record, the sarcasm hat was firmly in place for the entirety of that post, from exclamatory headline to dubious recommendation to examine the "teary acceptance speech."
EDSBS held a pledge drive. Which is over, though you can still donate.
And now three dog-bites-man stories:
The NCAA did something dumb. The game clock will start to tick down when the play clock starts after a change of possession this year in order to shorten games by five or ten minutes. The outrage generated by 3-2-5-e is widespread. Stadium & Main has some in a rundown of all the new rule changes ("NCAA, you are dumb" is the succinct conclusion); SMQB accuses hungry wives of getting their way, &c. I'm ambivalent. Games have lengthened terms of both time and playcount in recent years because of spread mania and something should be done to reduce the massive time savings yielded by the passing game -- perhaps starting the clock when the ball is set for play after an incompletion -- but this is a totally arbitrary rule change that will do more harm than good.
The NCAA did something dumb. Something else.
What now are I-A programs â€” the Texases, Notre Dames and others vying for bowls â€” will play in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Georgia Southerns, Montanas and others now known as I-AA will play in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, alluding to the 16-team playoff that settles its national title.
Our long national nightmare is over.
Gene Wojciechowski gave
oral typewritten pleasure to a collegiate coach. This time it's our own Lloyd Carr instead of Charlie Tuna but the overall effect is the same: breathless praise for 1,200 words. The script is somewhat different since Lloyd is generally regarded as "embattled" instead of an up-and-coming sooper genius, forcing Wojciechowski to make snide comments about crazy Internets types and their loony blogs instead of leaping right into the pleasure bits:
Carr is now 1-4 against Tressel, which explains why some of these U-of-M bloggers need distemper shots. ...
Wait. There is one writer Carr does read on a regular basis: Rudyard Kipling. As he gets hammered in chat room after chat room, in the Letters to the Editor, in blogs, in his own Big House, Carr leans on those opening lines of Kipling's poem, "If."
Yes, this is a standard "can you believe all these crazy people on the Internets who don't like Coach X after sucky season Y" article, but this one is personally irritating. As the unofficial dean of the Michigan blogosphere I strenously object to the sloppy characterization of not only we admittedly-loony Internets masses but the Michigan fanbase in general in the service of another generic fluff piece from Wojciechowski. Did Carr get booed once during this trying season? No. Did this blog or any of the ones on the sidebar call for Carr's head after it? Except for Joey, who probably could use said distemper shot, no. Are Michigan fans responsible for the incoherent blatherings of Detroit newspaper columnists? No. Aside from always-retarded, always-angry talk radio and a few websites no one visits, Wojciechowski has invented a world in which Carr is public enemy number one* simply because he needs such a thing to exist so he can write his crappy, generic, useless article.
There's a difference between reasonable criticism and the raving lunacy that is the antipode of Wojciechowski's constant sunniness. Much like facism and communism, at their extremes the two opposites become alike in unreason. Wojciechowski and FireLloydCarr.com deserve each other.
*(Public enemy number one was and always will be Jim Herrmann, who this article could have been written about with no, count 'em, no amounts of intellectual dishonesty. Too bad for Gene that he's a Jet.)
"We had a lunch after the camp but the (Notre Dame) coaches all sat in one corner and didn't talk to anyone and I didn't get that. When we left, Coach Ianello told me that he'd be in touch."
... and, well, that should be enough for anyone. Molk has several other positive attributes aside from tremendous taste in schools: he is a member of the Scout 100 and a four-star on that site, though this nugget from his profile on that site may be concerning:
Molk is car like quick off the ball.
Hopefully a typo, not a legitimate comparison to a 1978 Gremlin. Rivals is less enthused, offering three stars (possibly because he gave them the most unflattering picture in the history of the universe), but ESPN rates him a 78 -- the same rating given Ryan Van Bergen and Vince Helmuth, just outside their top 150 -- and commands you to enjoy him($):
You like Molk because he's a high-motor guy who plays physical. There is more to playing offensive line than just hitting people, but it is nice when you have a prospect with ability who shows a nasty side.
"Nasty" veers dangerously close to verboten sports cliche, but you will let it stand because ESPN tells you to.
Not blessed with the natural ginormity that most offensive linemen have, Molk worked his way up from pipsqueak:
As a freshman, Lemont's David Molk was a 5-6, 175-pounder who bench-pressed only 110 pounds and squatted 250.
As he prepares for his senior season, Molk is a 6-2, 270-pounder who bench-presses 370, squats 550 and power-cleans 320.
Now he lives in the weight room:
I'm addicted to lifting," he said. "That's my hobby. When I'm bored or mad, I lift. I started out to try to be the strongest guy in the weight room. Now that I have passed everyone in school history, I'm trying to be the strongest kid I ever heard of. I heard of someone who benched 400 pounds at a combine. Now that's my goal.
"My friends think I'm crazy. The weight room closes at 5 o'clock, so I go to a gym in town for another hour of lifting. Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Ohio State are concerned if I can handle people at my size. I feel I can. I hope to prove it this fall. I found out that centers can be as short as 6 feet tall and still compete in the NFL."
Molk sounds as driven as any kid can be and gets a talent thumbs up from two of three sites. Might have some trouble against potential Gabe Watson types but should be a hell of a pull-blocker a la Greg Eslinger. Thumbs up.
Hokay. I'm back and ready to start cracking the metaphorical pads again. One last poker dalliance before we return to your regularly scheduled programming:
- Technically neither hand was a bad beat since when the money when in I was the one drawing to two outs. Had I won either hand I would have been the deliverer of said bad beat. The technical term for what happened to me was getting "cold decked" -- I was given hands that given the run of play to that point thus far (and the sad size of my twinkly little stack on the last hand) were nigh-impossible to get away from. Any (good) player in my situation would have gone home the instant that K77 flop came.
- Overall I was happy with my play. The two mistakes on day one were harmful, but neither was deadly and on day two I was very sharp. It takes a lot of luck to get to where I did but there's skill, too. I didn't win any massive pots but moved my stack from 15k to 60k by methodically chopping out blinds, re-raising preflop with marginal hands, and feigning weakness to my advantage. I got some sense for how someone like Ivey or Ferguson can negotiate those minefields as proficiently as they do.
- To those wondering whether Annie Duke is hittable: er... maybe. I'm sure she cleans up real nice, but at the table she had her game face on. She's very much the table cop and kept talking about her kid, her boyfriend, and her kid's dead snake, so hittability-ponderings were kept to a minimum.
- The WSOP is probably the only event on the planet where there are massive lines outside the men's bathroom but not the women's.
- You're damn right I'm going to try to qualify again next year.
Now: football football football.
Annie Duke is arguing with the floor guys about the possibility of playing six levels -- a bad idea (they played only four and a half). I am seated two to the right of the elderly man with the kickass beard. I pissed the guy in the Poker Stars jersey off by steal-raising with 4-2, checking my flopped four to the river when I caught a deuce, and calling a river bet from the guy.
(Via Wicked Chops Poker... WCP also has evidence of the scantily-cladness if you're interested. And you are, you immoral persons. There is a separate post for the Bodog stuff, because if placed in close proximity to the other girls they might communicate something.)
Things were going swimmingly until a one-two gut punch that left me dazed and chipless. I had run up the 15k from the start of the day to a very healthy 60k stack that was about average. The first major pot I won was from Annie Duke, actually -- A10 suited caught an ace on the flop; I bet she calls; I move in on the blank turn and she goes away. Acting passively when I caught major pieces of the flop was working out great. I let others do my betting for me and took down major hunks of stack.
Then perhaps an hour after the dinner break the player directly to my right put in a raise. I find two black kings in the hole and reraise. The table folds around to him and he moves in after some deliberation. Clearly you know what happens next: I call and am shown aces. The board is no help and I'm down to 20k. About an orbit later I find what seems like redemption in a pair of my own aces and raise. Only the big blind calls. The flop is K77: bingo. He checks, I bet a quarter of my stack and he moves in. Unable to give him credit for a seven and beating everything else except an insanely played kings full I call and am shown 10-7 offsuit. Goodbye, tournament.
Final tally: nine and a half levels covering almost 20 hours, one trip to a shockingly expensive buffet that I resolve to get my money's worth at by eating my weight in crab legs, and a finish around 1400th of almost 9000. I don't know if the kings hand was a mistake... that player had been very aggressive preflop and I had already chopped him off twice. There's no way I can get away from the aces on my final hand, but I keep wondering about the kings. It's not a clear error like my two screwups on day 1, but I wonder if Annie Duke makes that call. Eh.
As I exited the Rio, still stunned, I hear not one but two "pssts" from what turns out to be an attractive-in-a-way woman who asks me to come over to her. Despite being the picture of midwest innocence, hooker alarms go off in my head and I mumble something along the lines of "um, er, no... I have to go... over here. Over here." I get in a cab and ask to go back to the MGM. The cabbie asks about my exit and I describe it. He's an inordinately friendly man but would never make it at the World Series, as in the course of a ten minute ride he picks up over four hours in hypothetical f-bomb penalites. He expertly routes around construction, taking me through the unfrequented back alleys between the casinos. From this perspective, Las Vegas almost seems like a real place.
In my room I sleep fitfully, haunted equally by two black kings and two red aces, traitors all.
Update: Annie apparently would not have dropped the kings. Wish my appearance on Pokernews.com was as something other than a bad-beat story, but that's life.
People I Done Seen
Shannon Elizabeth, John Juanda, Devilfish Ulliot, Phil Hellmuth (featured table participant who was knocked out early; this was announced to the room to raucous applause), Doyle Brunson (also knocked out on the first day and the recipient of similar-but-actually-totally-different applause), Jesus Ferguson (spent a large portion of the day sitting directly behind me; has 20k going into day 2), Annie Duke (as mentioned, sitting at my table on day 2), Ron Jeremy (also sitting at a table near mine; I lasted longer than him, ladies), Norman Chad (who actually railed our table for five or six hands and engaged in friendly banter with our table for the duration), that annoying guy with the picture of his kids from last year's main event, that musician guy from last year's main event (flirting with the scantily clad Milwaukee's Best Light girls, not to be confused with the scantily clad Paradise Poker girls, the scantily clad Party Poker girls, the scantily clad Poker Stars girls, or the scantily-clad-and-actually-engaging-in-lingerie-pillow-fights Bodog girls), and others who I've forgotten.
Methods Via Which To Emphasise The Size Of Your Cleavage I Done Seen
All of them.
Percentage Of Professionally Hot Girls Who Would Actually Be Attractive In Something That Covered, Say, 60% Of Their Bodies
Hovering at about 30%. But that 30% is impressive. Also: irritating. I think it's worse when an impossibly hot girl is showing obviously fake enthusiasm towards you for money instead of the usual scoffing. I pointedly ignore them.
The Weird Thing About Las Vegas
It seems that the more expensive something is the more people are willing to pay whatever fee is associated -- and in Vegas, everything has a fee. I am currently paying 10.99 for 24 hours of Internet access. And yet they will beer your ass like there's no tomorrow when you're playing poker.
Okay: .com branded apparel has been banned from the WSOP for the past month. It should come as no surprise to anyone at this point. Despite this, Poker Stars had to have people roving about with black tape to place over the ".com" on approximately 80% of its players.
The Rockstar Bus
As three Asian guys and I exit the front lobby of the hotel the valet asks us if we're headed to the Rio -- we're marked by the PartyPoker (.net, never .com) shirts we wear -- and says that for five bucks we can book passage on a quote-unquote Rockstar Bus. Rockstar Bus? Surely I misheard...
No, I did not. The only possible way to describe this bus decked out in leopard-print couches complete with strategically placed stripper poles is, indeed, a "Rockstar Bus," though presumbably real rockstars wouldn't have some Dave Matthews Band concert playing on the plasma TV at the rear and blasting through the kickin' sound system. This is the part where someone says something like "only in Las Vegas."
I arrive approximately an hour early and wait outside the designated room. My nerves are such that I am surprised that my hands don't spasm uncontrollably. Eventually we're let into the room and I take my seat at approximately the same time as two older gentlemen who don't seem very intimidating. (In fact, one of them folds his big blind on the third hand and the other apparently folded a set of queens to minimal pressure, fearing a potential flush in a small pot. The latter eventually goes out when his KQ catches a king on the flop. He bets and gets raised; the raise gets a cold-caller. He calls and moves in on the turn and is shown a set... NH TY GG. I am at the very least better than these guys.)
I check each player who approaches the table; pleasingly, none of them are Phil Ivey. There is one guy who arrives late and flashes a gangster roll of impressive girth. He claims to be a 100-200 limit player (he charmingly refers to it as 1-2) and the roll is pretty convincing. The remainder of the table:
- Guy from around Sarnia in a PokerStars jersey who seems to enjoy folding good hands more than actually raking chips.
- Put-upon looking Asian guy who is not very good at all.
- Swedish dude.
- Extremely Jewish guy from Long Island who is almost maniacally agressive at times. He ends the day with almost 70k.
- A few others who made little impression.
Hand Of Note #1
The aforementioned old guy -- the one who folded his big blind -- raises in early position and gets either one or two callers. I call with K6 of clubs. Flop is KQ6 rainbow and it's salad days. I bet 600; old guy raises to 1600; I raise to 3600... old guy raises another 4k... and I can't call. I assume QQ or KQ. My stack is down to about 6k. Frowny pants.
I make it 200 with KK in early position and get two callers; then Put-Upon Asian Guy makes it 1500. My stack is about 6300 and I go into the tank. Since PUAG doesn't seem like the kind of player who would make this sort of bet with aces -- it's a go-away-please bet -- I figure that I'm probably 4 to 1 over some sort of middle pair. I push. Callers fold, PUAG calls with QQ. Flop is three clubs; I have the K and he does not have the Q, reducing his outs from two to one. Lightning doesn't strike and I double through to about 13k. Table discussion after the PUAG is gone centers around the theory that he though I had substantially fewer chips.
Other than a few blind steals and some other flops seen that don't amount to much, this concludes level 1. I have around the 13k I had after the KK hand.
Less notable for the hand itself -- I raise with JJ, Gangsta Limit Guy calls in the BB, then we check down 99A-Q-blank and I take a small pot -- than the uncomplimentary thing I say about jacks after the hand which gets me a ten minute penalty. The f-bomb is verboten at the world series, though you can use other forms of swearing all you want.
I sit out for ten minutes.
Hello, nurse: first hand after the penalty is AA. I raise and get one caller -- New York Guy, who's in the small blind. Flop is 24J with two low spades. He bets, I raise, I get re-raised. Tank. I know this guy is very aggressive and capable of bluffing audaciously. He represents the set here. After some time I call. There's now more than 10k in this pot. We'll see what he does on the turn... or maybe we won't care: the beautiful ace of clubs is the turn. He bets out 4k, shove, and he folds. At this point I'm around 21k.
I don't get invovled in all that many big hands for a while. I do the occasional blind steal but more often I re-steal from Gangsta Limit Guy and Swedish Guy -- the former of whom raises a ton of pots, the latter of whom is just tight-weak. The most notable time is when I'm in the BB and GLG makes it 600 -- this was level three, then -- and gets a call from Swedish guy. I've got 97 of hearts and make it 2k. GLG looks disgusted and folds; Swedish guy does likewise, flipping over KQ. Another time I reraise GLG with AJ on the button and take down the pot when the flop is QQ-rag. I'm more than holding ground over this period of time. By the dinner break I have 26k in chips and the table chip leader.
Then bad things happen.
I steal-raise with A8 off in third or fourth position. GLG calls from the BB. Flop is A62 all spades -- my 8 is a spade. Check to me, I bet 1k and get moved in on. Horrible error here: I have a hand that is good but despises a reraise. Like the JJ hand I should just play this for showdown value. Instead I have 6300 to me in a pot that's about 4k in size. I figure this is either a mid-pocket pair with a spade, in which case I'm ahead, or a set of sixes or twos, in which case I'm behind but but not dead... the thought that I've got another ace with a bigger spade kicker does not occur tome and
should have swung my decision to fold. I do call, though, and am shown trip sixes. Turn is the ten of spades -- hurrah -- river is the ten of hearts -- curses. This live stuff is just as rigged as online play. Down to about 18k.
I resume the good play, though, and chip away at the stacks of others. One typical hand:
Folded to me in the SB. The weak old guy who was shown a set of twos hasn't picked up his fateful KQ yet and is in the BB. I raise with 9-6 off. Flop is Q94 all hearts -- I have nary a one -- I bet 800 and get min-raised. A danger sign from a good player but I think this means he caught a piece but is looking to get away from it, especially when he re-checks his cards... no flush for this guy. I repop to 4k and he goes away, asking if I had a Q. I tell him low hearts.
By the time we've gotten to the final break of the night I am back where I was before the A8 hand at 25 or 26k.
Again a steal raise from mid position with A7 -- memo to self, stop freakin' doing this -- is called by NY Guy. Flop is rags not including a seven. I check and then raise his bet. He says "I'll just call" and does so. flop is another low rag, giving me a gutshot, and I bet out 8k only to get raised all in. I drop it. Should have quit after the flop call, or better yet not gone after one of the better players on the table out of position. I'm down to 10k after all that.
The remainder of the night I'm pretty much in push-fold mode. I win a small hand in the BB when I call the SB's raise and then bet out a straight draw I made with QJ. I push all in with a better and a caller with 76off and am not called. I come over a standard opening bet with AK and am not called by AQ. By the time we're done I have 15k.
I'm Not Sure What To File This Under
PUAG after sadly contemplating his dwindling stack: "I wish I had a girlfriend so I could beat her tonight." I think "disappointing item that proves your sense of humor is not nearly as sophisticated as you think it is."
I play Tuesday.
I plan on sleeping until then.