Monday, October 30, 2006


ESPN's Sports Guy Bill Simmons wrote a top notch piece about his memories of Red Auerbach. It's a must read. I don't have memories of Red, specifically, but I have a handfull of memories of Larry Bird, the old Boston Garden, and select snapshots from Bruins games vividly ingrained in my mind, which I'll address another time.

I'm on severe tilt after demonstrating this week that I have absolutely NO clue how to solve NFL wagering. I dropped 10 units in one week, with not a single winning wager. Ouch.

Here's a picture of Oscar, hating his Halloween costume, but looking cute doing it:

And a picture of him lounging in bed:

until next time,


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Odds and Ends

I forgot to mention Mrs. Dynamite's vicious Monopoly wheeling and dealing last week when we went home to her parents' house for the weekend: In a family game of Monopoly, the seemingly innocent Mrs. Dynamite showed that she learned some real world cut-throat business sense in b-school after all, when she snapped up Boardwalk and Park Place. The real coup was the way she traded off pieces of the future revenue from the two properties (ie, you get 15% of all Boardwalk and Park Place revenues, and I don't have to pay any rent at any of your Orange properties) to each of her opponents. By the time all was said and done, Mrs. Dynamite had traded away 95% of the revenues of Boardwalk and Park Place, which she promptly mortgaged, as she counted all the I.O.U's she had accumulated in exchange, and laughed until she almost threw up. I was so proud.

In more serious news, Red Auerbach died last night. Red was the driving force behind the history of the Boston Celtics - leading the indominable Dynasty in the 1960's, before moving to the front office and building the legendary Larry Bird teams of the 1980's. The image of Red with a cigar in his mouth is a staple in Boston sports.

Switching gears again: Watching Joe Hachem on the weekly ESPN WSOP broadcasts makes me admire how hard it is to be a professional poker player. Joe was the defending world champion, and is probably not hurting for cash, but the beats he takes in huge situations drive home the point of the mental toughness that is constantly being tested.

In the Main Event, Hachem got a decent sized stack in three ways preflop, holding AA vs JJ and AQ... With a great chance to triple up deep into the tournament and contend with the chipleaders, Hachem was dismayed to see a jack hit the board, and had to hit the exits. Before that, at a $10k WSOP circuit event, he took another tough beat at a final table, when his KK was sucked out on by Kido Pham's J-T, after they got all the money in preflop and Kido spiked two jacks on the flop. Against Dutch Boyd heads up for a bracelet this year, Dutch was reduced to moving all in virtually every hand, and although Hachem repeatedly got his money in as a 2-1 and 3-1 favorite, Dutch eventually got lucky and sent him home by spiking a 3 outer on the river.

This week, Hachem was down to the final three again, and was sent home by Gentleman John "Let's Hug It Out Bitch" Gale, who, despite Hachem telling him "I've got you beat, John, don't call" called Hachem's al-in as a 6-1 dog (getting roughly 3.5-1 pot odds, showing a seeming lack of understanding of pot odds, as he uttered "I'm sorry Joe, the pot is too big") and spiked a 5 outer on the river to send Hachem packing again.

Knowing he's in the spotlight, Hachem takes the beats as well as he can on camera, but if you think he just walks off the set and smiles, saying "Fuck it, I'm a World Champion, I don't care," well, then, you've never player poker and had these beats grind you down.

Finally, Mrs. Dynamite and I cooked last night: we made a wicked sweet meal (all from scratch) of:

-grilled chicken and rotini pasta with mozzarella ball and homemade pesto
-grilled eggplant, zucchini and portobello mushroom
-bruschetta on baguette toast
-pecan pie!

In the grocery store, I was looking for a "9 inch pie crust," but they didn't have sizes printed on them. As I held one up in front of my hammer, a passing lady in Juicy sweats eyed me, "What are you doing?"

"I need a 9 inch pie crust," I grinned nonchalantly. "Does this look about right?" as I glanced southward.

Instead of smiling seductively and licking her lips, she made a look like she had just thrown up in her mouth, and seemed to be looking around for a can of mace. Oh well - can't win 'em all. ***

The meal was just warmup for our second annual Thanksgiving Heads Up Gourmet Bash which will be coming in a few weeks.

until next time,

*** Pie crust story is completely fabricated, unfortunately. The pie, however, was real, and spectacular.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Let's Get Physical, Physical

I went for a physical today. I'm at that age (30) where I wonder if the doctor is going to try to check my oil - as at some point it will surely be time for a prostate test.

This time, however, I had a urine test, blood test, EKG, blood pressure check, ball squeeze, chest exam and general exam, but I avoided the oil check - I consider it a moral victory.

The only other odd thing was that in the rapid fire medical history inquisition he gave me (history of diabetes? NO. drugs? NO. smoking? NO. high blood pressure? NO. etc) he then asked "Have you ever had a colonoscopy?" NO. "Have you ever had a scope inserted in your rectum?" NO. "Any kind of camera or tube inserted in your colon?" Umm.. Doc.. No... Is there something you're getting at? Anyway...

In other news - did you see this video of Larry Johnson tackling Troy Polamalu by his hair? Great stuff.

until next time,

Thursday, October 19, 2006

RoShamBo Revisited

I met Jay Greenspan many years ago at NYC's Acepoint club. Several of us formed our own poker posse way before it was the cool "Crew" thing to do (I can't believe I even brought them up... they are like the poor man's Rocks'n'Rings). We discussed poker non-stop, and all worked to develop our skills. Jay morphed from a weak tight rock (where most of us began our poker adventures) into a big bet assassin, and top notch poker journalist to boot.

After celebrating the recent publication of his book, Hunting Fish, Jay recently got married to Marisa, in true degenerate style: they chose the order of the vows using a RoShamBo contest, and Jay's tutelage under the Legend, Rafe Furst, enabled him to come away victorious against his soon-to-be wife. You'll recognize Rafe as a 2006 WSOP bracelet winner, and perennial RoShamBo World Championship contender (although I did once beat him in heads up RoShamBo when he dared to come to my homegame).

Back to Jay's book: check it out. FridayInVegas is a pimp-free zone - I don't get paid for anything I say or do on this meager site, so you can be sure that when I recommend Jay's book, Hunting Fish, I'm doing it because it's worth your time. You can tell the book is good because Kid Dynamite is listed in the acknowledgements.

Jay travels across the country, trying to build a bankroll for the big Commerce No Limit game, while at the same time balancing the pressures of a long-distance relationship, and the TILT-ifying encounters that come blasting his way daily as a professional grinder. Now, don't misunderstand the term "grinder" - Jay no longer sits on his leather ass waiting for the nuts - he is not afraid to seize the opportunity to devour any weakness you show him at the table, and put you to a big bet test, to commit his stack on a draw, or to make a read and go with it. However, one of the great thing about Jay's book is how he illustrates the grind that is professional poker - the mental toll that the travel and the inevitable beats take on him and his psyche.

The book is not a story of a bunch of poker hands - although there are a few hands where Jay describes his thinking and actions, and give some expert insight into big bet poker thinking - it's a story of a poker journey, and the development and self-introspection of an aspiring player.

In other "friends of KD who are making it big in journalism" news, H0nus's fiancee, Catherine Holahan has been writing some articles on online gambling for BusinessWeek. Her latest is a top story today, and features the highlights of her discussion with Dr. Pauly.

check it out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Can you Feel the Tilt?

I was going back and forth with Bones and Dirty Dave this morning, trying to convey exactly how TILTed I was on Friday night as I left the Chinatown Home Game.

Let's consider the factors:

1) It was Friday night - I just wanted to have some fun and play some cards
2) This was the softest game around - a "can't lose" game - it was basically a gift that I'd manage to penetrate it, like Mikey & Worm in the Trust Fund game in Rounders.
3) They were using dog eared raggedy paper fucking cards!
4) hard table - not felt
5) no massage girls
6) I was coming down with a brutal case of something flu-like: growing soar throat, head cold
7) I got action when I didn't want it, and no action when I wanted it.
8) I dropped two buy-ins

So, I stagger out onto Bowery, intent on grabbing a cab and putting an end to my misery. But wait - more TILT-a-liciousness: no fucking cabs. I walk around the corner to the subway. Many subway stations in NYC have an uptown entrance on the East side of the street, and a downtown entrance on the West side of the street. Since I had been caught in a mass of humanity on the way to the game, I assumed that the Grand Street station was one of these, and I waited for 2 minutes to cross the street. It wasn't until I was entering the station that I realize that I could have used the entrance I'd stood at for the previous 2 minutes.... Why does this matter you may ask?

Well, because I missed the subway train by 30 seconds, and I had to sit there, Friday night, 10pm, on SUPER-UBER-MEGA-TILT in the fucking Grand Street subway station for twenty mutherfucking minutes waiting for the next train!! Aiyahhh!

The only way this situation could have gotten worse was if I'd decided to go home and log on to Party Poker to grind it out in some PLAY MONEY POKER!!!!!

At least Bones and Dirty Dave got a kick out of it, appreciation the TILT warranted by the situation.

I was just re-reading my 2006 Vegas Summer Slam trip reports - and they made me feel better.. Read part one here, and part two here. Good stuff.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gonna Take You Down to Chinatown

So it's official - I withdrew the balance of my Party Poker account. I don't even really like online poker, but I will miss the option to play it nonetheless, and I feel for my friends who make their livings playing poker online. I think what a lot of people don't realize is that it won't matter that PokerStars hasn't closed its doors to U.S. domiciled players yet (as Party Poker has) - the government's goal is to cut off the funding for the accounts - which I think they will be successfull in doing. Neteller will yield, and Firepay has already ceased transfers to gaming sites for U.S. players. More imitation "Netellers" will pop up, and get shut down, and it will be a game of financial Russian roulette for those who wish to play it: hope you don't get caught with your money in a fly-by-night site when it disappears. The problem is, without the legal and easy methods, the pipeline of fish will dry up.

Thus, feeling depressed, I jumped at the chance to play in the Friday night Chinatown game which Bones has infiltrated. He tells me trumped up stories of this game, which takes place on the third floor of some check cashing operation in Chinatown - where he's the only Gaijin.

"Imagine the shop in Gremlins," he taunted me. "And don't forget to bring your own pillow - that floor is hard." I checked in with Dirty Dave, trying to find out what the proper etiquette was for yelling "PaiGOW" as I dropped a big bluff or spiked a two outer on the river. Bones assured me, "It's encouraged" - I think he wanted to see a Jack-Bauer-esque international incident.

I took the subway down to Grand Street, and stepped out into another world. Chinatown is incredible - I felt like a foreigner in my own city - I was quite literally the only white guy in site. hundreds of Chinese bustled by me, grabbing freshly minced squid from a stand at the top of the subway station, like I might grab the NY Post. Across the street were several fish markets, with live softshell crabs scampering about, as vendors plucked them out of boxes into bags for eager deal makers.

Bones tapped me on the soldier, "Welcome to Chinatown," he told me. "This is why I don't travel," I explained, "I can get it all right here." He teased me further, "You know, it's customary for guests to bring an assortment of garden vegetables for the host."

"How about a bag of crabs?" I inquired, imagining the scene: "I raise," as I dump a bag of live dungeness crabs on the table.

We walked into a Vietnamese restaurant, where I was completely ignored as I tried to ask for water with my 1/2 gallon bowl of top notch chicken soup. "If I scream "DONG" how many guys in here will turn their head?" I asked, as Bones eagerly encouraged me to try it.

We finished dinner, and headed around the corner to the game. Bones' active imagination and thirst to prey on my depraved mind resulted in me having a picture of a darkly lit room like an opium den. I expected a thick cloud of smoke, coming from unfiltered cigarettes, and massage girls who knew not to make eye contact. There would obviously be some thick velvet curtains leading to rooms in which unknown illicit activities were taking place, and hopefully at least one crazy old wizard in the corner sipping onion juice from a mason jar.

In reality, the office was clean and smoke free, with comfortable leather chairs and a well lit conference table. I missed the felt, adjusting to the hardtop table, and was clearly thrown off my game by the paper cards. What? Paper cards? Do you know who the fuck I am? Aiyahh! There was a nice bunch of guys, who welcomed me, as they chatted about putting in lowball bids on properties in Brooklyn and Queens.

The game was loose and passive, and I was totally card dead. TILT accelerated when I found QQ in the BB (1-2 NL, 100 buy in), and everyone folded to me, for the first and only time all night. "PaiGOW" I shouted in mock frustration, showing my hand and hoping they'd laugh, which they did, as they plotted to lock me in the dungeon of a cargo ship bound for Mongolia.

I later flopped a set of 5's on a 9-9-5 board in a 6 way pot. When everyone checked to me on the button, I bet $5. Everyone folded and I showed my hand. "You bet?" was the reply. "I was hoping someone had a nine..." I wasn't giving lessons or anything. "Slowplaying is the RULE." Bones explained.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese chicken soup had not halted my oncoming cold, nor the frigid run of cards, and I left after 3 hours, down two buy-ins in "the game in which you cannot lose."

until next time,

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sigmas in the Pooper

Bones ridiculed me for my uber-geigh praise of Ian Anderson's flute skills, so, in the absence of poker, hookers and blow, I figured I'd rant a little about the degeneracy present in my daily life: the trials and tribulations of NFL wagering!

Dirty Dave's "John Anthony" pick of the week was DET + 6.5 @ Minnesota, which I promptly laid off on the Big Show for 2 units. As the out of town scores flashed during the Giants-Skins game which I wasn't really watching, Detroit had the game in hand. I'm already counting my profits, when suddenly, the final score flashes: MIN 26, DET 17. What? I go online to find out what happened: Even after giving up 16 (soon to be 23!) 4th quarter points, the Lions were down by 2 with the ball, and under 2 minutes left - a mortal lock against the spread. Kitna promptly throws a pick-6, and they Lions secure the game loss, and the spread loss. FAAAHHHHHHHHK.

As a New England Patriots fan, I know what Drew Bledsoe can do to a team. In a bad way. Bledsoe on the road against a good team is one of those 6-sigma gambling situations that those of us "in the know" look for. When the overrated Cowboys came to Philly as mere 2 point dogs, I couldn't figure it out - it was too easy. So easy that I got nervous, and made my 10 star pick of the month a relatively sedate 3 unit play.

Fortunately, the Cowboys couldn't overcome Bledsoe, who fumbled the ball 3 times, threw 3 picks, and took about 65 sacks in the second half on key third down situations. Strangely enough, although Philly had been OWNING the Dallas offensive line all game, when Dallas finally had their backs against the ropes, down by 7 with under a minute left on their own 40 yard line with 4th and 18 with the game on the line, Philly decided to play prevent defense. What the fuck? They are absolutely mauling Bledsoe every single play, and they decide to give him time. Bad idea jeans. To make matters worse, the linebacker and the corner back BOTH bite on Terry Glenn's stop'n'go move, and Philly is forced to interfere with Glenn on the 5 yard line.

Suddenly, Dallas had 1st and goal from the 5, but unfortunately, they still had Bledsoe at the helm. On second down, he threw an interception in the endzone, which was promptly run back 102 yards for a meaningless TD. Thanks Bledsoe. I knew I could count on you. Cha-ching.

My scouts in Boston (read: my father) tell me that the Patriots looked like shit in dispatching of the Dolphins 20-10. I can't figure out the Pats. One week they look absolutely helpless at home on Sunday night against Denver, then the next week they go on the road against one of hottest teams in football in Cincinnati, and absolutely crush them. The next week they return home against the hapless 'Fins, and again cannot move the ball. Oy Vey. Hopefully they clear some things up with their bye week this week.

until next time,

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Me Gusta El Beisbol

{Trying very hard not to make this a Yankees Suck post}

You have to hand it to the Detroit Tigers. 13 consecutive losing seasons, and finally Detroit Rock City is back in the playoffs. Of course, they figured to be a snack for the Evil Empire - as the healthy New York Yankees put together what was quite possible the most lethal batting lineup in major league baseball history.

Damon. Jeter. Abreu. Sheffield. Giambi. A-rod. Matsui. Posada. Cano.


Someone forgot to tell the Tigers that they had no chance, and they put a 3 games to 1 whooping on the Yankees. Now, as a Boston fan, this goes beyond my natural Yankee-hating tendencies: Detroit's victory over the Forces of Darkness is good for baseball. It shows that all the money in the world purchasing the most dangerous arsenal of mercenary batsmen ever, can still be beaten.

You know what I liked most about Detroit? The way they celebrated. Taking laps around their home field, high fiving their fans and throwing hats into the crowd. Kenny Rogers spraying champagne all over the crowd - and dumping it on a cop's head. They celebrated like the Red Sox would have. Like a bunch of Idiots.

Go Tigers.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Ian Anderson

So Ian Anderson played a concert last night at the Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center. We saw an add in the paper for the show, promoted by Dreyfus, and Sig piped up "I have an account at Dreyfus, let me call them." High roller that he is (Do You Know Who the Fuck I AM?), Sig was quickly comped 4 tickets, and a Dreyfus cocktail reception, and a post-show meet&greet with Ian Anderson himself. We took the wives, and made an evening out of it - preceded by an overpriced but convenient dinner at BarMasa (aka, a cheaper version of Masa without a ressie).

Now, you ignorant sluts out there are asking yourself, "Who the fuck is Ian Anderson?" Well, Ian Anderson is the lead singer of the former "Jethro Tull," author of the legendary "Aqualung," and the greatest rock flautist to ever live.

Ok, so that sounds gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), but Ian Anderson is an absolute fucking genius. He is unparalleled in his flute skills, and can really rock. In this concert, he had a 4 piece band (drums, bass, guitar and keyboards) backing him, as well as a 16 or so piece orchestra made up of students from the New England Conservatory in Boston, and led by Ann Marie Calhoun - a violin virtuoso who is apparently a bluegrass genius too.

Watching Ian rock on the flute (yeah - I know "rock on the flute" sounds retarded, but you've heard Aqualung right? You've heard Locomotive Breath? Cross Eye'd Mary? Do yourself a favor and pick up the Aqualung album) I couldn't help but think that there are few fields where the "best" is so far ahead of the "next best" as Ian is in flute-land. Musically, John Popper (of Blues Traveler) is in the same boat with his harmonica skills, but I can't even think of another artist or athlete who is so clearly superior.

So, bottom line, it was a very very good show - watching Ian play "Bouree" and "My God" live cannot help but put a smile of admiration on the face of anyone who appreciates musical talent. After 3 hours (he talks a lot between songs, and took a 20 minute intermission), we didn't have the energy to stick around to meet Ian, although I did want to tell him the vintage story of how I had tickets to see Jethro Tull back in 1992 at the Orpheum theatre in Boston. My soccer team's game from the previous week was rained out, and re-scheduled for the night of the concert. I chose Jethro Tull, skipped the soccer game, and was benched by my coach for the next game as a result. Sometimes you have to make the tough choices! I couldn't pass up Aqualung & company.

until next time,

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What Do You Call This?

Today I was in the dog run with Oscar, sitting on a park bench, eyeing middle aged girls with bad intent... Then, lo and behold, on my Ipod was Aqualung, by Jethro Tull, featuring the timeless lyrics:

"Sitting on a park bench - eyeing little girls with bad intent"

And I thought to myself - Holy Fuck - what is that called? Not deja vu... not irony... I don't know... But I laughed nonetheless...


What Can I Say?

I don't really know what to say about this new anti-gaming bill - actually, it's the Port Security Bill. I guess our elected officials have decided that the inability to donk off a buyin with A-Q suited will make our country safer. Fuck'em.

There is an old quote, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I thought it was a JFK-ism, but a little internet search attributes the quote to Voltaire (cue Swingers quote: "Hang on Voltaire!"). I don't even like online poker, but I certainly believe I should be able to play it if I fucking want to, and I believe my friends who make a living as such have every right to do so. The fact that this Draconian bill has been pushed through is a load of crap, and it's shocking how fast Party Poker has said they'll pull the plug on their US business.

I haven't pulled out the money from my (inactive) Party Poker account yet, I don't really think I need to panic (someone please tell me if they disagree) - I figure worst case is that I won't be able to add money to the account, and that I won't be able to play on the site - but I don't think it will be a disaster getting the money out. At least I hope not.

For constantly breaking news on the Port Act, check out

and a variety of 2+2 Threads.

I'm pretty depressed about this in any case, as I think it will have a huge negative effect on live poker as well - as the pipeline of new fish who get interested in the game online and then go get stacked by me at the Mirage will dwindle.

Shelley Berkley, representative from Nevada, states the ridiculousness of the Port Act in this YouTube clip.

on TILT,