Friday, May 05, 2006

WPT, WMDs, I Dream of Liz, and Angst

Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

And I am overwhelmed by the kindness of my friends.

Thanks to Up For Poker for the shout out and link up. UFP bloggers, CJ, G-Rob and Otis, make for consistently great reads; covering the spectrum from thought provoking to pants peeing material. I had the distinct pleasure of bonding with Otis during last year's WSOP. At my age, anyone I'm inclined to meet reminds me of someone I've met in the past. Otis defies categorization. Pauly and I spent one entire WSOP cocktail hour discussing and trying to dissect "the Otis factor." When you first meet Otis, you think he's straight as an arrow. And then all of a sudden you come across something delightfully twisted and warmly warped. In old television terms, he's sort of a cross between Ward Cleaver and Dennis the Menace; decidedly responsible and knowing with an overriding bent for eye twinkling mischief.

And ditto for LasVegasVegas. First, I love that picture you took of me at the WSOP last year. It definitely looks like you caught me in the act. I look guilty as hell and I'm holding my digital voice recorder. My guess is that I was trying to pick up a conversation at the next table. I met Joe and Joe in Las Vegas last February. I was a big fan of their blog and used the excuse of filming Vegas Virgins to meet up with the boyz. I don't know if they remember it, but one of the things we talked about was the difficulties I might encounter being a "corporate" blogger. Hmmm. The LasVegasVegas family became my family away from home during the WSOP. I couldn't have survived it without them; just great people.

And a bunch of additional link-ups noted and greatly appreciated.

Not particularly great news for the World Poker Tour this week. They reported earning a profit of $0.17 a diluted share. However this also included a realized gain from their investment in the company PokerTek. If you look at their earnings from operations, they lost $0.053 a diluted share (at least by my calculations). Most analysts were projecting a loss in the range of $0.02 - $0.04. In the investment world, they missed their mark. They also announced that the Travel Channel would not be picking up their option for airing the second season of the Professional Poker Tour, putting that future revenue at risk. On top of that, Steve Lipscomb announced that WPTOnline is going to have to transition to a new platform which may take a few months just to identify, let alone implement. But the company is debt free. And if they are lucky, the potential revenue effects related to the WPTOnline transition could be a temporary delay and not a loss in the aggregate.

I know the government was unable to turn up any WMDs in Iraq. But if they are seriously interested in purging the world of WMDs they can start at US retail stores. I was at Victoria's Secret yesterday, on the bathing suit mission from hell. I was the only customer with three sales people, but wasn't able to be waited on. It seems that one person was the underwear fluffer. Her job was to excite people by fondling panties; she was not actually allowed to interact with customers. A second person was crouched down, hiding behind the cash register. If she had a smaller ass, I wouldn't have noticed her. The third "salesperson" was walking around the store spraying a cloying, sickly sweet fragrance into the air. This stuff is worse than poison gas. I stumbled out of there gagging, with tears streaming down my face. Two more retail outlets I hit were similarly gassed.

Alert the media. I paid retail! I know it's shocking, but on the bathing suit front, you have few options. By the time you've invested any time in this exercise of humiliation, you're willing to drain your bank account for any suit that doesn't either look like it could take you through a full pregnancy term or one that works like a Playdough Fun Factory, extruding your extremities in places and shapes you didn't know possible. I ended up with one that made me look like pre-menopausal Monroe; halter top, boobs, and cellulite. And with my "mission accomplished" moment behind me, the Bahamas trip is still not a "go." I will probably know one way or another today.

I suspect that Liz Lieu doesn't break down crying in too many fitting rooms. This is a picture of Liz taken at the Venetian poker room opening. All I can think of is "I Dream of Jeanie." The rumor is that Liz will be heading back to the Venetian for a series of three $200,000 heads-up matches against online player Erik123.

On a closing note, I've been thinking a lot about all the poker writers out there; the tournament reporters, magazine writers, and bloggers. It seems that many are going through a period of introspective assessment and, in some cases, angst. Like the general public, most poker writers and bloggers didn't predict poker's mainstream explosion. Few writers predicted that their lives and livelihood would become so intertwined in the game. I suspect this collective identity crisis was long overdue. This is something I'd like to explore in the near future. If any bloggers out there have thoughts on the issue - blog away and leave a link in the comments.


Blogger Felicia :) said...

I have so many "thoughts" on the subject, I'm sure your e-mail would explode if I posted them.

Suffice it to say, a lot of unemployed wannabe's would still be unemployed wannabe's if poker hadn't boomed.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Lou Krieger said...

I hate angst. It seems to be an affliction only of those with enough to eat and sufficient funds to see them through to their own particular near-term horizon. Angst is seldom the province of the dying, the starving, or those with no hope whatsoever.

Most angst-ridden people seem to be treading water while aghast at the way others flash by them, like those in airports who walk at full speed on the moving walkways, so that the walkers to their left appear to be standing still.

My favorite motto is this: "Ninety percent of success is just showing up." And showing up defeats angst all the time. It's better to take action -- any action at all -- than to spend too much time pondering alternatives.

So if you're overtaken by angst, get out and kick some ass. Do it now, and watch your angst vanish in the dust.

9:53 AM  
Blogger PokerProf said...

By 'thoughts' I''m going to go out on a limb and say it translates to "reasons and facts for categorical diametric opposition" :-)

Just a guess :-)

8:00 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

"Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job."
Andy Warhol (1928-87).

11:17 PM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

And then I think about it a little bit and remember this:

“There is need for a whole world of torment in order for the individual to produce the redemptive vision and to sit quietly in his rocking rowboat in mid-sea, absorbed in contemplation.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, translation by Francis Golffing, New York, Doubleday & Company, 1956, pp 33-34.

11:20 PM  

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