Monday, March 31, 2008

March Top 15

15. Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
14. Oasis - Don't Look Back in Anger
13. Graham Parker - Local Girls
12. The Beatles - Dear Prudence
11. Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day

10. Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
9. School of Fish - 3 Strange Days
8. The Avett Brothers - Will You Return?
7. Lupe Fiasco - Superstar
6. The Avett Brothers - Go To Sleep

5. The Replacements - Achin' To Be
4. K.T. Tunstall - Saving My Face
3. The Avett Brothers - Die Die Die
2. LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends

Song of the Month: The Avett Brothers - The Ballad of Love and Hate

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Davidson and Goliath

The most intriguing and potentially exciting game of the college basketball season is the Midwest Regional Final Sunday afternoon between #10 seed Davidson and #1 seed Kansas. Davidson is the last remaining “Cinderella” in the tournament – the other five teams still in contention for the title are UCLA (record-holder for NCAA titles and Final Fours), North Carolina (second-winningest program in college basketball history), Memphis (three straight 30-win seasons, perennially stocked with McDonald’s All-Americans, play in an NBA arena, led by former NBA coach John Calipari), Texas (nine consecutive 20-win seasons) and Davidson's opponent, the Kansas Jayhawks.

Kansas is one of the top five programs in college basketball, both currently and all-time. Year after year, Kansas brings in the top talent from all over the country. Former coach and current North Carolina coach Roy Williams is one of the best recruiters alive; his successor, current coach Bill Self, might be better. The best players on this year’s team are from Anchorage, New York City, Chicago, Dallas and Florida – star wing Brandon Rush is the only player from anywhere near Lawrence (Kansas City, MO to be exact).

It’s estimated that between five and seven players on the Jayhawks’ roster will play in the NBA. No other team in college can boast that. Unlike many of today’s NBA-ready college players though, none are freshmen. The Jayhawks’ primary rotation consists of two sophomores, two juniors, and three seniors. A younger version of this same team made the Elite 8 last year before succumbing (choking?) in a memorable regional final against UCLA.

Davidson College is a small, exclusive liberal arts college in central North Carolina with an enrollment of 1700 students. Davidson consistently ranks amongst the top 10 liberal arts schools in the country. Schools with similar profiles include Williams, Pomona, and dear old Macalester; yet somehow Davidson is able to compete at the Division-I level in 21 sports. This is certainly unheard-of, though not as unheard-of as a team from the Southern Conference wiping out Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin in consecutive games and cruising into the NCAA’s Elite Eight.

The tale of Davidson’s stunning rise to national college basketball prominence is surprisingly straightforward. In 1989, the school hired a high school coach from Long Island named Bob McKillop to take over the struggling program. McKillop turned things around very steadily. Davidson’s records his first five years were 4-24, then 10-19, 11-17, 14-14, and 22-8 in 93-94. Between ’94 and ’06, the Wildcats have been one of the most consistent “mid-majors” in the land, made the NCAAs three times, never finished below third in the Southern Conference, but didn’t garner much national attention.

That all changed last year with the arrival of Stephen (pronounced Stefan) Curry, son of 16-year NBA veteran Dell Curry. Despite a brilliant high school career which included three conference titles, all-state honors, and 48% 3-point shooting his senior season, Stephen didn’t get many takers from the top NCAA programs. Generally it was believed his slight stature would be too much of a problem in tough conference play, and no ACC school offered a scholarship. This included Stephen’s top choice Virginia Tech, where his father played and now resides in the Hall of Fame. Perhaps Tech coach Seth Greenberg should blame this oversight rather than the NCAA selection committee’s for his team’s disappointing bubble finish.

Curry exacted a swift revenge on his doubters. He led the Southern Conference in scoring as a freshman, leading the Wildcats to its title. He was named conference freshman of the year and first team All-SoCon. He set an NCAA record for 3-pointers by a freshman and finished second in the nation in freshman scoring behind Kevin Durant. Davidson made the NCAA tournament as a 13 seed and pushed Maryland to the wire in the first round (Curry scored 30 points) before succumbing.

This season Davidson boldly scheduled games against superpowers North Carolina, Duke, and UCLA. Each was close, but each ended in a Wildcats loss. After their rough nonconference schedule, Davidson annihilated the Southern Conference, going 20-0 with only a couple close games. They were given a 10 seed for the NCAAs and a first round matchup against Gonzaga, the mid-major archetype.

Then the nation got to see the Wildcats play ball. They ousted Gonzaga behind a 40 point effort from Curry, made a huge comeback to beat 2 seed Georgetown, and blew away 3 seed Wisconsin by 17 on Friday. Curry has scored 103 points in the three games.

The rest of the team can play too. None of them have numbers approaching Curry’s - though senior point guard Jason Richards led the NCAA in assists this season – but they play great team defense, move the ball extremely efficiently, can make plays if called upon, and just don’t screw up very much. They have outplayed their last 25 opponents, and anyone that watched the systematic destructions of the last three knows how good they are. I believe they are the best double digit seed in the history of the tournament, better than the eight 10 seeds that made the Elite Eight before them (all of which lost the regional final), better even than the George Mason Final Four squad of two years ago.

There are more reasons to cheer for the Wildcats: they play an exciting, watchable, fast-paced, surprisingly smooth style; 95% of McKillop’s players have graduated since he arrived in ’89; the school’s board of trustees paid out of pocket for bus fare from Charlotte to Detroit and tickets for 275 students to attend the third and fourth round of the NCAAs; this NCAA tournament has not yet had a signature game, upset, or moment; Cinderella’s official voice, the legendary Gus Johnson, will be calling the action for CBS. All the ingredients are there for something really special.

The Davidson Wildcats are a pleasure to watch, even if they did destroy my bracket and perhaps cost me four thousand bucks. They deserve to be in the Final Four. I will be desperately rooting for them to pull off that unlikely feat on Sunday.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why Is This Man So Happy?

Because, after months and months of tantalizing deep runs repeatedly disintegrating into also-ran finishes short of the final table, he won the Reno World Poker Challenge WPT last night!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ten Things I Will Not Put In My Profile

I think I'm going to bite the bullet and sign up for As Truman puts it, you work online, you pay your bills online, why not meet girls online? I want advice on what to put in there, though I'm sure my friends will gleefully respond with more things I shouldn't bring up. I do know I won't be mentioning any of the following:

10. I’m averaging about 12 hours a week playing “The Settlers of Catan” over the last month.

9. I watch maybe 10-20 hours of television a week, more the last two weeks; the most common programs I watch are basketball and football games, NFL Live, and Survivor.

8. I frequently go to movies alone.

7. For months, there was rotten meat in my refrigerator so putrid that friends avoided my house.

6. I don’t wear deodorant or underwear.

5. I’ve played Magic: The Gathering within the last seven months.

4. Seven months ago, I began preliminary work on a Magic: The Gathering movie screenplay.

3. I’d rather talk to you on instant messenger than on the phone; I’d rather you text message me than call me.

2. I’ve had one girlfriend in my life.

1. I believe that 95 to 100% of women are insane.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poker Is Too Much Fun To Quit Entirely

Full Tilt Poker Game #5785020897: Table Pirates Cove - $25/$50 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:02:30 ET - 2008/03/26
Seat 1: deerchaser21 ($1,838)
Seat 2: stuffmypants ($5,000)
Seat 3: Krp3_DM ($5,000)
Seat 4: Lavender78 ($7,184)
Seat 5: pr1nnyraid ($5,000)
Seat 7: GnightMoon ($4,850)
Seat 8: Megabet101 ($7,353.50)
Seat 9: sprediton ($6,421)
Megabet101 posts the small blind of $25
sprediton posts the big blind of $50
pr1nnyraid posts $50
5 seconds left to act
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to GnightMoon [6s 5s]
Rammie2 sits down
deerchaser21 folds
stuffmypants folds
Lavender78 calls $50
pr1nnyraid checks
Rammie2 stands up
GnightMoon raises to $275
josh3336 stands up
Megabet101 has 15 seconds left to act
Megabet101 folds
sprediton folds
Lavender78 calls $225
pr1nnyraid folds
*** FLOP *** [8d 7c 3d]
Lavender78 checks
GnightMoon has 15 seconds left to act
GnightMoon checks
*** TURN *** [8d 7c 3d] [3h]
Lavender78 bets $400
SinkThe2Boat sits down
GnightMoon has 15 seconds left to act
SinkThe2Boat adds $1,500
GnightMoon has requested TIME
GnightMoon calls $400
*** RIVER *** [8d 7c 3d 3h] [2c]
Lavender78 checks
GnightMoon has 15 seconds left to act
GnightMoon has requested TIME
GnightMoon bets $411
Lavender78 has 15 seconds left to act
Lavender78 raises to $1,600
GnightMoon has 15 seconds left to act
GnightMoon raises to $4,175, and is all in
Lavender78 folds
Uncalled bet of $2,575 returned to GnightMoon
GnightMoon mucks
GnightMoon wins the pot ($4,672)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $4,675 | Rake $3
Board: [8d 7c 3d 3h 2c]
Seat 1: deerchaser21 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: stuffmypants didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: Krp3_DM is sitting out
Seat 4: Lavender78 folded on the River
Seat 5: pr1nnyraid folded before the Flop
Seat 7: GnightMoon (button) collected ($4,672), mucked
Seat 8: Megabet101 (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 9: sprediton (big blind) folded before the Flop

Sunday, March 23, 2008

48 NCAA Autopsies

The top teams in the NCAA tournament are rewarded for their good play throughout the season by receiving seeds so that they avoid playing the other top teams until the second weekend of the tournament. If a top team loses, they probably blew it somehow. Teams seeded 5 and lower are almost never going to overwhelm the opposition with unbeatable play.

The lower-seeded teams don’t have this luxury. Sometimes they run into buzzsaws like Kansas or North Carolina, teams they just do not have the talent to compete against. These lower seeds “blew it” earlier in the season by losing games and forfeiting the opportunity to get a high seed.

What I am trying to say is that losing in the first two rounds of the NCAAs can usually be attributed to a shortcoming in some area. Losing is traceable to mistakes, errors, deficiencies. If a team loses in the first two rounds, they almost certainly would have lost in one of the next four.

I have examined the 48 carcasses left littered across the country from the last four days of play. Here are the reasons they won’t be playing next week:

Georgia lost because the three guards on their bench combined for 0 pts on 0-4 shooting, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 fouls in 23 minutes.

Portland State lost because they allowed Kansas to shoot 54%.

Temple lost because star guard Dionte Christmas was 0 of 8 shooting threes.

Kentucky lost because Derrick Jasper scored 0 points in 40 minutes.

Kent State lost because they scored 10 points in the first half.

Oral Roberts lost because they missed 15 of their first 16 two-point shots.

Baylor lost because they gave up 90 points to low-scoring Purdue.

Cornell lost for a lot of reasons, including being outscored 44-16 in the paint.

USC lost because they were overpowered inside by Kansas State’s freshman forward duo of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, who combined for 45 points on 24 shots.

Belmont lost because Shane Dansby, averaging 13.4 pts per game on the season, went scoreless in 30 minutes.

Winthrop lost because star player Michael Jenkins scored just 2 points on 1-9 shooting.

BYU lost because defensive-minded Texas A&M shot 54% from the field, including 8-16 on threes.

George Mason lost because their 9 players not named Will Thomas combined to shoot 9 for 43 from the field.

Cal State Fullerton lost because their bench combined for 0 pts, 2 rebounds, 0 assists, 8 fouls, and 3 turnovers in 53 minutes and 9 shots.

Arizona lost because West Virginia went 11-19 on 3-pointers.

Mississippi Valley State lost because they scored 29 points on 19.7% shooting.

American lost because they had 21 turnovers.

Gonzaga lost because they had 18 turnovers, Austin Daye shot 3-13, and Davidson’s Stephen Curry went 8-10 on threes.

Saint Mary’s lost because they went 12-23 on free throws and Miami’s Jack McClinton scored 32 second half points.

Drake lost because Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Adam Emmenecker shot 0-10 from the field.

South Alabama lost because they couldn’t defend Butler reserve forward Pete Campbell, who went 8-10 on 3-pointers and because they went 13-27 from the foul line.

UMBC lost because they went 7 minutes in the first half without a point.

Austin Peay lost because…"When we play somebody of this caliber, as I told the guys, I sometimes lay awake at night worrying about how we're going to score against people that are that size," Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said.

UConn lost because starting point guard A.J. Price tore his ACL in the first half, and because they couldn’t find a way to stop San Diego’s Gyno Pomare, who shot 10 for 12.

Mount St. Mary’s lost because they were outrebounded 48-22.

Saint Joseph’s lost because star Pat Calathes made only 2 of 11 shots.

Vanderbilt lost because they allowed Siena to shoot 56%, including a 6-6 behind-the arc effort from backup guard Tay Fisher.

Oregon lost because they went 9 for 38 from three point land.

Indiana lost because star freshman guard Eric Gordon made just 3 of 15 shots.

Boise State lost because they had 18 turnovers, managed just 4-17 on three pointers despite shooting them at a 40% rate for the season, because they made just 5 of 12 foul shots, and because Louisville made 12 of 24 three pointers.

Clemson lost because their players not named Demontez Stitt went a combined 5 for 29 from downtown.

UT-Arlington lost because they were outrebounded 39-29.

Duke lost because they missed 15 straight 3-pointers in the second half.

Kansas State lost because they went 0-13 from three point range.

Purdue lost because they were outshot 54% to 38%.

Notre Dame lost because they shot 24.5% from the field.

Marquette lost because they couldn’t stop Brook Lopez down low, who scored 28 points after halftime.

UNLV lost because they were outshot 58% to 26% (mostly because Kansas has 6-7 potential NBA players and UNLV has zero).

Pitt lost because they went 2-17 beyond the arc; guards Ronald Ramon, Keith Benjamin, and Gilbert Brown combined for 8 pts, 3-17 shooting, 8 rebounds and 2 assists in 85 minutes.

Texas A&M lost because they had only two threes (on ten shots), made just three free throws (on seven shots), and had just two steals.

Siena lost because they were outrebounded, outassisted, and outshot 54% to 36%.

Miami lost because they were outrebounded 54-32.

Butler lost because star senior guard Mike Green (a 44% shooter for the season) went just 4-17.

Georgetown lost because they made 16 fewer free throws than their opponent and lost the turnover battle 20-4.

San Diego lost because they had no defensive answer for Western Kentucky’s Courtney Lee, who scored 19 points in the first half on 8-11 shooting.

Mississippi State lost because Barry Stewart shot 1 for 12.

Oklahoma lost because of many reasons; we’ll highlight their 18 turnovers and inability to get star Blake Griffin a shot until twelve minutes had elapsed.

Arkansas lost because North Carolina made 68% of their field goals.

Every team has deficiencies. Every team gets bad games from top performers. The teams I like to win two more games next weekend and advance to the Final Four are the teams that have the ability to overcome off-games from key players. Namely:

UCLA. If UCLA had wound up in the mortuary, their autopsy would have read like this: UCLA lost because second leading scorer Josh Shipp scored 0 points in 37 minutes, and third leading scorer Russell Westbrook scored 5 points on 2-9 shooting in 39 minutes. But UCLA didn’t lose despite these horrific offensive efforts from their wings. They got excellent games from superstars Kevin Love and Darren Collison, and they play the best defense in the land.

Kansas. The Jayhawks, as mentioned before, have 6-7 players who will see time in the NBA. They have superb backup perimeter and post players who can bail out a starter having a bad day. The only question is, will Bill Self recognize –EV situations from his star players and make the appropriate adjustments?

Memphis. Like Kansas, Memphis is loaded with NBA talent large and small, plays solid defense, and runs past less athletic teams. They have ten excellent players and can easily afford a bad game from one of them.

Louisville. The Cardinals also play a lot of guys of different size, can shoot 3s or get points in the paint, and like the other three teams I mentioned, play fantastic defense.

Playing great defense is the most important attribute after the first round of the tournament. It keeps teams having difficulties in the game, both by preventing scoring from the opposition and by creating easy offensive opportunities. Most of the cadavers listed above were unable to get those easy buckets when times got tough, and that’s why they won’t be returning next week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Retirement, Part II

It appears I am going back into retirement for the next couple months. It's become clear that the next two months will be better spent here in Boulder than on the road. I'll play occasionally online but probably not more than a few hours a week. I'm excited, to be honest. There are a lot of things a healthy 25 year-old can do in Boulder in the springtime.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pool Brackets








House of Pain II pwns Wynn

My friends Chris "Toph" Moore and Ryan Young finished 1-2 at the Wynn Classic for $692k and $355k, respectively. Both are nice guys, hard workers, badass players, and now millionaires. Both will be staying at the House of Pain II this summer for the WSOP as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Obligatory March Madness Post

The All-Moon team (my favorite players in college basketball):

C Robin Lopez, Stanford
F Brook Lopez, Stanford
F Austin Daye, Gonzaga
G Darren Collison, UCLA
G Adam Emmenecker, Drake

The Coolest Coaches:

Tony Bennett, Washington State
Rick Pitino, Louisville
Jay Wright, Villanova
Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh
Bob Huggins, West Virginia

The Wad-Blowers (teams that overachieved in their conference tournaments, are getting a lot of hype now, may be at an emotional deficit next week, and may be ripe for an upset):

2. Pitt
1. Clemson

The Villains:

3. Duke
2. Kansas
1. North Carolina

Teams I Will Be Rooting For:

7. Baylor
6. Georgetown
5. Georgia
4. Davidson
3. Drake
2. Stanford
1. Pittsburgh

The Ten Teams Most Likely To Win It All:

10. USC
9. Texas
8. Louisville
7. Stanford
6. Tennessee
5. Georgetown
4. North Carolina
3. Memphis
2. Kansas

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Ten Poker Players Most Likely To Be Serial Killers

10. Steve Zolotow

9. Jeff Garza

8. Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler

7. Allen Cunningham

6. Alex Kravchenko

5. Andrew Black

4. Brandon Adams

3. Ted Forrest

2. Darrell Dicken

1. James Van Alstyne

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why Is This Man So Sad?

Lee Markholt has cashed eleven times in $10k+ events over the last sixteen months. This is one of the more astounding stats you can find on the circuit. To put this into perspective, here is a comparison of how many times some other regulars have cashed in $10k+ events during this same time period:

Nam Le - 7
David Pham - 5
Barry Greenstein - 4
Daniel Negreanu - 3
J.C. Tran - 3
Joe Hachem - 2
David Williams - 2
Clonie Gowen - 1

Markholt has not finished higher than 9th during that timespan, however. Because of this, he's probably not up much money playing tournaments during this run. Since Markholt is a renowned no limit cash game player, considered one of the best live no limit players around, you could argue that all these tournaments have just been a gigantic waste of time and effort.

Tournaments are almost always a waste of time and effort for us non-superstars. Only the absolute best are able to win a lot of money playing tournaments. Cash games are generally more profitable, almost always more consistently profitable, don't require travel, and are less frustrating.

Having said that, a high percentage of my poker profits over the last year have come from tournaments. Lee Markholt keeps playing them because he knows he is eventually going to win one and it will all have been worth it. I play tournaments for the same reason.

The third hand of the day I managed to get it in preflop with pocket fives against Markholt's pocket jacks in a button vs. big blind confrontation and was eliminated. No regrets on that one, no big regrets from the tournament overall.

The Red Giant

Today I played in the Shooting Star main event. I had my typical day one and finished with 29,400, a little more than half the average, without ever being all-in and called.

The Shooting Star at my table was T.J. Cloutier. I tend to believe that the Cloutiers and Chans of the world, while still solid players, are no longer the best. To some degree, the game has passed them by. I thought T.J. played pretty well, but I think I see stronger players at every main event I play (today the example being Ralph Perry).

T.J. has made a comeback on the circuit recently after some health issues had him sidetracked for a year or two. I liken him to a red giant, described by wikipedia as "a luminous giant star of low or intermediate mass that is in a late phase of its evolution, with nuclear fusion going on in a shell outside the core but not in the core itself. The core matter is electron degenerate and extremely compressed, so the outer atmosphere is inflated and tenuous, making the radius immense and the surface temperature low."

T.J. may no longer be in his main sequence, but he can still play the game. There was a classic moment today where T.J. raised before the flop and got called by the small blind. The flop came ace high with the five and four of clubs. The small blind checked and called T.J.'s continuation bet. On the turn, the six of clubs, the small blind bet out 4,000 and T.J. quickly raised to 12,000. The small blind folded quickly and T.J. showed "the hammer", the worst starting hand in hold-em, seven-deuce offsuit (with no club). It was a great moment. He was proud to be playing poker.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Championship Week

This is my second favorite week of the sports calendar (next week being my favorite). Thursday through Sunday the next three weeks there will be wall-to-wall college basketball and I will be lucky to get off the couch for more than an hour or two a day.

I'm hoping to miss a couple days of the action in favor of intense late-game tournament poker. The Bay101 Shooting Star WPT main event started today. I play day 1b tomorrow along with some friends. I haven't been quite as excited about this one as I usually get before a 10k event. Still there is plenty of motivation:
  • I haven't cashed on the WPT since 2005
  • I probably won't play another 10k event until July at the WSOP
  • As usual, this is probably my best chance ever at a huge score
It's a 10k event. I don't think I will ever get over the excitement of plunking down ten grand to play in a poker tournament. If I ever do, it will be time to do something else.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Best Part Of My Job

Often, at a random moment, I quietly think to myself, "in a few days, I may win a million dollars."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Top Ten Oasis Songs

10. Underneath the Sky
9. The Masterplan
8. Live Forever
7. Don't Look Back in Anger
6. Go Let It Out
5. Whatever
4. Acquiesce
3. D'You Know What I Mean?
2. Wonderwall
1. Supersonic

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Rain Men

Today I listened to the Pokerroad Radio interview of Josh “JJProdigy” Field. JJProdigy is famous for two things – being one of the top online tournament players long before his 18th birthday, which arrived two months ago, and multiaccounting – playing the same poker tournament using several accounts at the same time. Field is especially reviled in the poker industry because he confessed to continuing his multiaccounting practices, without remorse, even after getting caught and kicked off prominent online poker sites.

In the interview, Field came off as inarticulate, one-dimensional, and not very thoughtful. A few of the lowlights:

On multiaccounting – “I don’t see that much wrong with it.”

On getting caught multiaccounting and then continuing to do it knowing it was against the rules – “Well I did, I’m guilty of that, I have nothing else to say.”

And “I didn’t care if I was playing four accounts, six accounts, I was a wanted person already, so, might as well just go for it.”

On ghosting (purchasing the rights to someone’s account late in a poker tournament) – “I think almost everyone’s doing that.”

On Greg Raymer blasting him for cheating – “For him to judge me just based on my actions…is kind of ridiculous.”

On Gavin Smith’s assertion that he should give some of his money to charity to help repair some of the damage he has done – “Considering donating – that’s not something I’ve really thought about.”

At the DoubleTree hotel where we stayed for the LAPC, I went to the gym three times. I saw a total of five people in these three trips – including Toph and Mike Matusow, interestingly enough – though the hotel was packed with poker players, the facility was more than decent and I went at peak hours. It’s not like the other players were off exercising somewhere else, running outside or something – we were in Commerce, CA and it was raining most of the time. Most poker players just don’t really exercise, even though it is easy, convenient, and unquestionably beneficial for a poker player’s lifestyle.

Jonathan Little recently lost his sponsorship with Full Tilt Poker because he was allowing friends to play on his account. One instance was when Little's Full Tilt account was in use at the same time he was playing at Caesar’s in the NBC National Heads Up Championship. The smack-your-forehead stupidity of this one obviously speaks for itself – I have nothing to add.

We had a house all set up for the World Series this summer. It was my responsibility to complete the lease agreement and pay for the place. This would require, at most, a thirty minute trip to Kinko’s. For whatever reason, I didn’t do it for three weeks and the house was eventually claimed by a different group of gamblers.

What I’m getting at is that most poker players are idiots. There is a rudimentary skill set that we seem to lack. The fascinating thing to think about is how brilliantly some of these guys are in a poker context. Field had the game figured out better at fifteen than most players who had devoted the last thirty years to it. Little will likely be the Player of the Year for Season Six of the WPT.

One year at summer camp, they arranged for Kim Peek, the Rain Man himself, to come and give a talk. He performed a staple of parlor tricks – identifying what town people were from based on their phone number, reciting passages from books on demand – before telling his life’s story. It actually wasn’t very entertaining, because Peek had poor public speaking skills. The “idiot savant” concept was endlessly intriguing to me though, and I think about it all the time. It’s incredibly fascinating to think about people who can be so mentally gifted in one area and so staggeringly retarded in others.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Real Hottest 40 Over 40

By popular demand, just based on stone-cold looks:

40. Katie Couric (51)
39. Jami Gertz (42)
38. Kathy Ireland (44)
37. Laura Linney (43)
36. Famke Janssen (42)
35. Mira Sorvino (40)
34. Vanessa Williams (44)
33. Susanna Hoffs (49)
32. Demi Moore (45)
31. Gong Li (42)

30. Lori Loughlin (43)
29. Kristin Davis (42)
28. Lauren Graham (40)
27. Melora Hardin (40)
26. Tea Leoni (41)
25. Julia Roberts (40)
24. Elle Macpherson (44)
23. Kelly Preston (45)
22. Stacey Dash (42)
21. Gina Gershon (45)

20. Marisa Tomei (43)
19. Daisy Fuentes (41)
18. Cindy Crawford (42)
17. Maria Bello (40)
16. Shania Twain (42)
15. Kate Walsh (40)
14. Sharon Stone (49)
13. Marcia Cross (45)
12. Halle Berry (41)
11. Monica Bellucci (43)

10. Nicole Kidman (40)
9. Cindy Margolis (42)
8. Tia Carrere (41)
7. Faith Hill (40)
6. Heather Locklear (46)
5. Elizabeth Hurley (42)
4. Salma Hayek (41)
3. Nancy O'Dell (42)
2. Diane Lane (43)
1. Michelle Pfeiffer (49)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Top 40 Hottest Women Over 40

Okay. This one has been in the works for a long time, the product of hours upon hours of heated discussion and painstaking research between Matt Viox and I...there are about a hundred honorable mentions that I'm sure readers will demand...believe me we covered everyone...scoring is a 1-10 looks rating multiplied by age, in years.

40. Vanessa Williams (44 years old, 338.8 total score)
39. Cindy Crawford (42, 340.3)
38. Tia Carrere (41, 344)
37. Kathy Lee Gifford (54, 345.6)
36. Kelly Preston (45, 346.5)
35. Diane Sawyer (62, 347.2)
34. Madonna (49, 347.9)
33. Maria Bello (40, 348)
32. Marisa Tomei (43, 348.3)
31. Martina McBride (41, 348.5)

30. Halle Berry (41, 352.6)
29. Olivia Newton-John (59, 354)
28. Demi Moore (45, 355.5)
27. Kim Basinger (54, 356.4)
26. Elle Macpherson (44, 361.2)
25. Shania Twain (42, 361.2)
24. Monica Bellucci (43, 363.35)
23. Lena Olin (52, 364)
22. Susanna Hoffs (49, 364.2)
21. Nancy O'Dell (42, 367)

20. Sela Ward (51, 367.2)
19. Faith Hill (40, 368)
18. Marcia Cross (45, 369)
17. Gina Gershon (45, 369)
16. Cindy Margolis (42, 369.6)
15. Katie Couric (51, 370)
14. Susan Lucci (61, 372)
13. Susan Sarandon (61, 378.2)
12. Salma Hayek (41, 379.3)
11. Vanna White (51, 382.2)

10. Elizabeth Hurley (42, 382.2)
9. Jane Seymour (57, 386.4)
8. Diane Lane (43, 386.4)
7. Cheryl Ladd (56, 392)
6. Faye Dunaway (67, 395.3)
5. Sharon Stone (49, 396.9)
4. Raquel Welch (67, 399.3)

3. Heather Locklear (46, 423.2)
2. Jaclyn Smith (62, 430)
1. Michelle Pfeiffer (49, 450.8)