43 WINS – 38 LOSSES – 2 PUSHES —– (+ 7.55 units / 1 unit = $100)
STARTING BANKROLL: $10,000.
CURRENT BANKROLL: $10,755.
BEST BETS OF THE WEEK: 5-3-0
Coming off my worst week of the season, going 3 wins and 6 losses for a net loss of -8.2 units. My overall record remains in the black in all categories, but need to improve. Looking to turn things around in Week 9 in what looks to be the best lineup of games I have seen all season. Great slate full of live home dogs.
Making 16 bets (season high) and wagering $8,000 (season high).
Note: All wagers are for amusement-purposes only. I bear no responsibility for those who may decide to follow my plays.
Imagine real-life hero pilot “Sulley” Sullenberger with a severe drug and alcohol problem and doing a few lines prior to taking controls in the cockpit, yet still managing to land his packed airplane with absolute precision on the Hudson River. Would he still be a hero? That’s the dilemma of the new film, “Flight,” which just hit theaters this week.
This is a difficult movie to sit through. Yet it’s tough to decide which is more gut-wrenching — watching a doomed airliner packed full of passengers buckled down in a nosedive headed for near-certain death, or the central character played by Denzel Washington, whose personal life is just as out of control.
While Washington’s character nicknamed “Whip” manages to miraculously maneuver the aircraft towards a crash landing that undoubtedly saves lives, the captain comes under increasing scrutiny once the post-crash investigation begins. Conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the investigation begins to reveal some troubling revelations about Whip and his conduct. Every second of the pilot and crew’s lives are scrutinized, which uncovers some ugly secrets about how Whip spends most of his free time. His best friends are bottles with names like Jim Beam and Jack Daniels, with a few lines of cocaine to add a little spice.
The hero-addict dichotomy is a marvelous dramatic device which helps to sustain a longer-than-average 2.5 hour movie. The audience faces a real conflict here. We don’t know whether to cheer for Whip to beat the rap and move on with his life (after all, he heroically saved lives), or be exposed as the fraud he is so the healing and recovery process can begin.
Note: Melissa Hayden took this outstanding photograph of the late Sailor Roberts just before he passed away in 1995. It is believed to be the last photo of the 1975 world poker champion. Thanks to Melissa for providing this photo.
What follows are my remarks given at Sailor Roberts’ official induction ceremony, which took place on Ocober 30, 2012 at the Rio Las Vegas.
Just prior to the conclusion of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, I had the great honor of introducing poker legend Crandell Addington, who accepted the Poker Hall of Fame trophy on behalf of his freind and colleague, the late Sailor Roberts.
Roberts, who won the 1975 world poker championship, was posthumously inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame “Class of 2012.” The other inductee this year was Eric Drache.
The ceremony was held at the Rio Las Vegas. The Poker Hall of Fame now has 44 members. Congratulations to both Sailor Roberts and Eric Drache.
Photos are courtesy of Joe Giron and Joe Giron Photography (LINK)
To those of us who remember going to bed each night serenaded by Ted Koppel’s voice on ABC’s “Nightline,” the latest film by Ben Affleck will bring back vivid memories.
Yet remarkably, even though we remember how the Iranian Hostage Crisis turned out, the personal stories and occasional acts of heroism behind the daily headlines remain mostly untold and little known.
“Argo” tells the griping story of a secret CIA-led mission to rescue six American hostages who managed to escape the doomed American Embassy on the day it was swarmed by an Iranian mob, which eventually led to a 444-day stalemate for those left behind who remained trapped in captivity. The six consular workers who managed to slip out a side door, just as the Embassy compound was being stormed, hid away for more than two months. They were housed at great risk inside the Canadian Ambassador’s residence, in Tehran.
Unfortunately for the hostages, the time clock is ticking. The Canadian Ambassador receives word that his mission is to close, leaving the hidden Americans in a proverbial lifeboat, now suddenly taking on water.
This sets into motion one of the oddest alliances ever for a clandestine operation, bringing together intelligence officials working alongside Hollywood insiders who must concoct a phony film as a cover story. The wacky idea is to pretend to make a movie in Iran, and smuggle out the American diplomats.
Here’s the final video I took on the night of Greg Merson’s amazing victory in the 2012 world poker championship.
We are arranging for Merson to pose in front of ESPN cameras and photographers in front of $8 million in cash. I am caught handing over the WSOP gold-platinum-diamond bracelet designed by Jason of Beverly Hills to Merson has he strikes the champion’s pose.
Congratualtions to Greg Merson, the 2012 WSOP Main Event champion and WSOP “Player of the Year.”
This short 80-second video was taken just moments after Greg Merson, a 24-year-old poker pro from Laurel, Maryland became the 2012 world poker champion. His victory took place on the Penn and Teller Stage at the Rio in Las Vegas.
This vantage point shows ESPN cameras and some stage direction in the show’s closing moments, following a record-setting final table that lasted 399 hands.
Jake Balsiger, a 21-year-old college student at Arizona State University, had a chance to become the youngest world champion in poker history. However, he ended up finshing in third place, which paid a nice consolation prize of nearly $4 million.
Balsiger lasted nearly 11 hours in a three-handed marathon that set the record as the longest span ever recorded without a bustout in the Main Event Championship.
After he was eliminated at 5 am on October 31, 2012, I shot this short video of Balsiger at his press conference at the Rio in Las Vegas. Considering the battle he’d endured and the disappointment he must have felt at having played so long, and still finished third (he actually had the chip lead at one point), Balsiger appears remarkably positive and upbeat.
I think this video is the perfect testament to a remarkable young man who enjoyed an incredible once-in-a-lifetime run at the World Series of Poker.
Note to readers: I shot this video on Monday night, just as Michael Esposito busted out of the 2012 world poker championship in seventh place. The video shows Esposito leaving the ESPN stage area after being inteviewed by Kara Scott. He is escorted out the back door and to waiting family and freinds, as well as a press conference. The WSOP’s Seth Palansky, who accompanies Esposito in this short video, tries to make the walk a little less disappointing.
Game or a movie? “Erica” is a surprisingly good mix of both
Thanks to smartphones, pretty much everyone is gaming these days. But what I was interested in was this new interactive movie “Erica,” which is currently a PlayStation 4 exclusive and would cost you $10.
Interactive movies are not a new concept, as they were trendy during the nineties. Not a lot of them were worthy of your time, so I was a bit skeptical about this one. But I was surprised to find a strong story here. Erica (played by Holly Earl) is a young girl that is surrounded by death and mystery she is trying to solve. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, but this is a thriller where the key is to know who to trust. Sometimes, that’s not an easy task, so you’ll have to play it by heart. At other times, you’ll find clues and hints that should help you make the decisions. Your choices will move the story in different directions, and the experience will last somewhere between 90 minutes and three hours. The ending I’ve got was probably the best one, but even then, I had a lot of questions. Developers already explained we’ll have to experience different conclusions to understand the story, but I’m not sure I could do it in one sitting. Starting all over again also means that you’ll have to rewatch at least an hour of the same footage, so I would suggest making a pause. I would also recommend using a phone as your controller since the game uses only a touchscreen. You could, of course, use a PS4 controller, but this is a more elegant solution. Most of the time, I felt like I was playing the Best Free Sex Games, as the atmosphere was very intense, and I couldn’t predict what will happen next. Oh, and “Erica” is by far the best acted interactive movie so far and looks at least like an episode of top production show. That’s why I give it eight out of ten, especially if you are not planning to play it alone.