By Max Shapiro
“Hey Maxey,” Big Denny bellowed on my latest visit to his dumpy card shack, “did ya hear about da Minnysoda Poker Hall of Fame?”
“That’s ‘Minnesota,’” I corrected him.
“Oh, yeah, dat’s da name of da city.”
“Minnesota is a state,” I said wearily.
“Yeah, whatever. But did ya hear about dere Poker Hall a’ Fame?”
“Yes, I read about it. It was started by the Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino to honor poker players from that state and those who helped the development of poker in Minnesota. So what about it?”
“Well,” the big guy explained, since Minnysoda is startin’ one, I figgered I could do da same an’ have a Barstow Poker Hall a’ Fame.”
by Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
Every New Year’s Eve I gather with friends at a favorite watering hole. Iced champagne is served by pretty waitresses who look more like Playboy Centerfolds than the girl next door.
We watch the wall clock move slowly toward midnight. When it hits that magical hour and we are in the New Year, I reveal my New Year’s Resolutions. Excuse me? The room has suddenly gone silent. Okay, all of you called my bluff. You know that most people do not keep their resolutions. In my case, that, unfortunately, has been true.
In 1962, I resolved to marry Kathy, my childhood sweetheart. There was only one problem. She was already on her second husband and would go through two more before we met at a class reunion a couple of years ago. When I saw her, I was happy I hadn’t made good on the resolution. Boy, what time and four ex-husbands can do to a woman.
In 1984—what a wonderful George Orwellian year that was!—I resolved to stop drinking in excess. And I did.
Ten years later.
Poker super-star and winner of the WSOP Big Drop one million dollar buy-in tournament stopped by Reddit for an "Ask Me Anything" social interview.
A sampling from the interview:
Q. Do you think online poker will ever be legal in the US?
A. Yes...Just a matter of time. State by state to start..
Q. Is needling Hellmuth one of your favorite activities while playing poker?
A. YES. He is just so easy to pick on...and in his credit he can take the needling like a champ. Perphaps years of experience.
Q. Any advice for those who can't maintain a good pokerface?
A. PRACTICE doing the same thing EVERY time you bet no matter what you have.
Read the full thread and get a glimpse of the real magician of poker on reddit:
by Roger Rodd
In all of their infinite wisdom, the brain trust of professional football scouts chose Jack Thompson, Phil Simms, and Steve Fuller in the first round. To determine this decision, they relied upon a system that rated Thompson an eight on a scale of nine. Thompson’s eventual impact as an NFL QB would place him somewhere between Lady Gaga and Urkel. Fuller should have stuck to selling brushes door to door. In fairness, only Simms more than earned his place as a worthy top choice.
The 82nd pick in the third round that year in the NFL draft was a little known player named Joe Montana. Despite countless comebacks and numerous triumphs over adversity throughout his high school and college careers, the scouts rated him a six. It’s rumored that those same scouts resigned after that draft, and eventually became the financial managers for M.C. Hammer.
by Roger Rodd
“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it” —Lou Holtz
If I would’ve bet my house on New England in Super Bowl 46, and if I could’ve chosen any NFL receiver playing today, only Larry Fitzgerald would’ve been my choice over Wes Welker, when Brady launched that pass. That’s an undisputed fact for three reasons:
My years and knowledge from playing wideout, I have never owned a house, and you’ve got to have crap in your head to bet on football games.
Welker shaved off his mustache after the game. At the post game interview he spoke faintly through eyes that clearly were welling with tears. That precipitates two more solid facts:
Welker is superstitious. In America, only a football player can cry and still be considered a man. Try crying to a few of your pals the next time your woman dumps you. They’ll be casting you for the lead in “Brokeback Mountain 2.
by Roger Rodd
“There’s No Place Like Home,” “Home on the Range,” “Home Is Where the Heart Is,” and the list goes on. All are solid implications of the safety one feels in their own domicile.
We live in a country where “support our troops” is mindlessly chanted, usually by a draft dodging politician. Most often it’s the “hawk” who snorted half of Bolivia while AWOL from the National Guard he joined to avoid service in a combat zone. They’re the same people who turn a blind eye towards helping the enormous percentage of the homeless population who are former combat veterans. Being homeless is a tragic condition-regardless of the circumstances that caused it.
"Yeah, well ... sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.” -Paul Newman in the film classic, “Cool Hand Luke”
by Roger Rodd
“Ya big galoot! Ya gummed the works!” —Spoken by an angry mobster to a flunky mobster in an episode of “The Three Stooges.”
The recent WSOP final table drew my distracted attention as I conducted the Graduate Tournament for the CCUP, aka The Commerce Casino University Of Poker. Small crowds gathered by the overhead HDTVs, as it was airing on seemingly every flat screen in the Commerce.
By Sean Chaffin
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s mark on poker stands the test of time. His “Dogs Playing Poker” works have been the inspiration for coffee mugs, posters, neckties, movies, video games, websites, and much more. His paintings have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars and their place has been secured in popular American lore.
While Coolidge remains an obscurity in the art world, his works are some of the most well-known pieces of Americana.
by Roger Rodd
“Never before in the field of poker conflict, has so much been written, by so many, for so few who are capable of discerning its value.” —Roger Rodd paraphrasing a near plagiarism of Winston Churchill
Conventional thinking is synonymous with conformity, and that trait spells failure at virtually all but militaristic endeavors. Ironically, it’s rampant in two of America’s most passionate arenas, football and poker. Those who deign to defy the misnomer called conventional wisdom are most frequently hailed as champions.