Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Copenhagen, here I come

I have been especially lax of late when it comes to updating the ol' blog-a-roo.

I wanted to commit to writing this baby at least every other day, but time slips and the more days that go by without an update, the less my desire to stick with it.

That being said, I need to catch you up on my latest assinine adventure. I have long dreamt of playing in a pro poker tour event, and will finally realize that dream in Copenhagen, Denmark this week.

I recently won an online satellite tournement (a tournement where the prize is an entry to a larger tournement.)

I made the mistake of doing sme research on The Skandinavian Classic, and noticed that the lineup was brutal. It contained many of the best players from Euope and the world. The reigning World Series of Poker (the grandaddy of 'em all) champion Joe Hachem will be there, as well as online player-turned-cult-hero Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 world champ. Moneymaker won an online tournement that cost him $40 to enter, the prize being the $10,000 buy-in for the World Series of Poker. Moneymaker didn;t even have travel expenses or money for a hotel, so he cut his dad and a buddy in for a piece of his entry in exchange for travel funds.

The rest is history, as the Tennessee accountant became the first online player to win a world championship, besting 838 opponents, the largest field in history to that point. A lot of people claim Moneymaker "got lucky". Well, of course he did. At one point, he caught a third eight to beat an opponent with pocket aces, but that being said, NO ONE in the history of tournement poker has won a title without hitting at least one or two lucky cards on the river (called "sucking out", generally by the guy that got beat by the lucky turn or river card.)

The bottom line is that the kid, out $39 on himself against 17 other guys and won the mini-satellite. Then he finished first in a field of sixty to win the entry. THEN he beat the absolute best players in the world in his FIRST live tournement EVER. That's right, Moneymaker's only tournement experience to that point had been via the internet, so he had never even sat face-to-face with other players before. It's hard enough to win one tourney, let alone three in a row, so I will never never slight this guy. What he accomplished had never been done before in the history of poker, why take anything away from the kid?

He isn't even the most intimidating player in this thing. Ram Vaswani, arguably the best player in Britain, won a European Tour event last year, then finished second in the next event. I have seen this guy look right through people on ESPN while holding rags. This guy looks like he's got aces every hand.

I guess all I can do is show up, play my game the best I can and try to not be intimidated.

Hopefully, in a week or so, I will writing a blog about pulling a Moneymaker in Copenhagen.

Damon a Yank- Hurray!

Before the tears start welling up and eventually roll down your cheeks... stop. Just stop for a minute and think about Damon, and more importantly, think about Red Sox history.

First if all, I like Johnny Damon. He was a team player, a productive leadoff hitter and a fun guy to have in town. He played hurt much of the time last year, never complained and always tried to get his butt into the lineup, even when he was banged up. He ran down everything in sight in center field, made circus catches and sacrificed his body to make plays.

That being said, he is going to be thrirty-three years old in 2006. as much as it hurts, you have to realize when a guys best years are most likely behind him. Common sense does not always reflect reality, look at Roger Clemens. I'm not going to mention Barry Bonds, because it has been obvious to me that started juicing it up with steroids years ago. Many players have played effectively into their later years in major league baseball, but no one no one in history EVER improved their numbers in their late thirties, especially blowing the roof off his power numbers as he approached forty years of age.

Damon body has taken a pounding, and he has had a chicken arm his entire career. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that you don't want Johnny Damon at thirty-six or thirty-seven years of age, not for thirteen million a year you don't.

The Red Sox historically have fallen for this type of bullying and over-selling by sports agents. They have continually signed players past their prime. There has been a painfully long l;ine of Jack Clarks, Andre Dawsons other statues.

There are no bonus points for signing guys that used to be great. As painful as it is to let guys like Damon and Bill Mueller go, guys tjat contributed, kept their mouths shut or remained positive and busted their buns to win for you, but this is how winning franchises do it.

You don't see the Patriots trading for the rights to Brett Favre or signing Jerry Rice out of retirement.

Boston got the best out of Johnny Damon. Boston cleaned up on the best years of his career and did the smart thing by letting him walk. If they could have gotten him for three, or even four years at a reasonable price, that would have been terrific, but this contract is based on what you expect to get from Damon over the next four years, not the last four. I don't care who they have out there next year, I applaud every intelligent decision. Remember when they panicked and wound up with Steve Avery for 13 million because he was "the best lefty available". He was also the worst left-hander available.

Damon's contract can not be judged by what he does this year, or even next. It needs to be judged over the life of the contract.

Thanks Johnny, and good luck.

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