Monday, January 02, 2012

Acing Racing

My old running buddy from ESPN 97.5 Fred Faour has finally finished his long anticipated book about horse racing entitled "Acing Racing". The book should appeal to poker players especially those jonesing for some action after Black Friday. Here is an excerpt...



If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who got stung by the government’s crackdown on online poker.

You like to gamble. You enjoy the action. You loved the convenience of logging on and finding a game right away.

Yes, you like playing live, too, but it’s not always easy to get to the casino or poker room. You need to replace that rush that came with multi-tabling and constant action.

Or maybe you are a sports gambler, but you have problems finding ways to wager legally.

You might also be a horseplayer looking for some new strategies and ways to increase your action. You like sitting at home watching TVG or HRTV and playing along with the hosts, getting bets on as many races as possible.

Maybe you are just a gambling degenerate who likes to get his/her wager on in a variety of ways.

This book is for all of you.

Let’s face it; most people gamble for the action. Poker exploded in the mid-2000s, going from a backroom, shady collection of gamblers to a mainstream game played by everyone. ESPN made it into a national phenomenon, and sites like Pokerstars and Full Tilt made it cool to play cards.

It is a game that in many ways is a metaphor for life; it’s you against the world. Sometimes you do everything right and lose. Sometimes you can do the wrong thing and come out ahead. In the end, if you do the right thing more often than not, it all evens out, and you come out ahead. It is skill with an element of luck thrown in, just like life.

Other casino games don’t provide the same rush. In craps, blackjack, roulette -- it’s you against the house, and the house always has an edge on every game. Sure, you get lucky every now and then, but long-term, you can’t win. If you did, you would be the one owning the giant, lavish casino instead of visiting it.

There is one other form of gambling that is similar to poker. Like poker, the players place their wagers, the house takes its cut, and the players play each other for the rest.

Like poker, there are a variety of wagering opportunities. Like poker, it involves skill with an element of luck.

It is also perfectly legal to play online in the United States. There are some restrictions, and some states do not allow it, but chances are you can open an account today and begin legally wagering immediately.

Are you a tournament poker player? Many of these legal sites offer tournaments as well, and the skill it takes to win a poker tournament translates very well to winning the tournaments for this form of gambling.

Yes, horse racing offers almost everything poker does.

Unfortunately, it has much the same identity poker did before the online boom; shady old men wearing derbies and hanging in dark rooms. It is seen as a sport for the rich; beautiful ladies in big hats sipping on expensive drinks. Gamblers tend to find it too confusing to try to understand all the elements and nuances. The research seems difficult to figure out in order to have an edge over other players.

All of those are myths.

In truth, the live racing experience is a blast. But thanks to the online sites and cable channels that show you almost every race, you can do what you always did playing poker, too – stay at home, get all the action you want on your laptop and use all the same skills you’ve developed playing poker to make money.

What did you always hear about Hold ‘Em? “A minute to learn, a lifetime to master?”

Horse racing isn’t all that different. Once you understand the basics, you can apply your own poker and wagering skills and develop a strategy that works for you. Isn’t that what you did with poker? Learn as much theory as possible and apply it to your own games?

You will learn that horse racing is the same thing. Each race is like a different hand in poker. How you play it will depend on your bankroll, position, and what the other players are doing.

The concept of this book is not to give you one strategy for playing. The idea here is to give you all the tools you need to get started, provide some high action strategy and theory, and do it in terminology you will understand from your poker life.

We’ll also tell you where you can bet online, where you can watch the races, and provide strategies for action junkies as well as those who simply want to grind out a profit.

And don’t worry; if you are a sports gambler, we’ve got strategies for you, too. Longtime horseplayers who are looking for ways to adjust to the online gambling world will find everything they are looking for here as well.

The idea is not to overload you. Many horse racing books delve so deeply into minutia they lose readers who are just trying to get started. The idea here is to give you a quick overview and basic understanding of the game. The idea is to have fun, not overwhelm you with thousands of wagering angles.

Once you are in, where you go from there will be up to you.

Simply put, this book should be your first step into a new gambling world, one that should satisfy all your needs.

If all that sounds appealing, read on. This book is for you.

Once again, you can get it here

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Jersey Shore and More...

I have finally joined the fray and started watching Jersey Shore. It's like a train wreck but I can't turn away. Is this what happens in real life these days?

* I guess the higher-ups at Domino's check out my blog because they apparently are trying to turn it around

* I'm predicting a Colts win today. 31-21.

* I really think once upon a time I was one of the top 100 no limit hold em tournament players in the world. Today I'm not even in the top half of the field in a 500-person $10 online tournament. It's really pathetic how bad I play. I can't fold a hand to save my life. Rant over.

* Speaking of trips down memory lane...I used to be able to drink all night every night but now I have 4 or 5 drinks and seriously pay for it the next day. I am in the middle of three straight weekends of drinking and I feel absolutely awful right now. On the bright side we got a sack of crawfish for today which is awesome because I love eating crawfish on SuperBowl Sunday. It's a tradition with my friends that's been going on six years now.

* Serioulsy?

* Freddy and I got an extra hour and we now are on air from 1 until 4 Monday through Friday.

* I'm not exactly a slim dude but I am technically the strongest I've ever been in my life at age 30. It's not anything to get super excited about but I bench pressed 205 pounds the other day. That may be the only semi-athletic thing in the world I do better than Kevin Durant.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Michael Phelps is Overrated

After ballooning up to an unacceptable weight I decided a few months back to start working out. I began with some light jogging and then slowly worked my way up to running 30-45 minutes a day. I lost about 15 pounds but before long I began to feel pain in my right knee. I had injured my left knee a few years ago so I decided not to tempt fate and started using the elliptical machine. Two weeks later the same knee began to hurt. So, I took some time off and tried out the stationary bicycle. Again, no luck there. This week was so bad I could barely walk around the house. So, out of desperation for at least some kind of cardio workout, I decided that I would start swimming. I've heard it's easier on the joints but that it's not as great of a workout. Oh well, an easy workout isn't so bad every once in a while.

(Side bar...sorry to all 2 of my loyal blog readers for taking a long break from blogging. This is not a comeback but I needed to get this out)

So, I woke up this morning and headed off to the pool. I had read online that high school swimmers usually swam 60-90 minutes a day ( thanks) but that 30 minutes in the pool would be a good workout. That sounded very manageable. Here is how things worked out:

9:24 am .... 4 swimming lanes and I take the only open one. I jump in the water. DAMMIT THAT IS COLD! Compose myself. 30 minutes probably means 35-45 laps. Hell, I don't know how many laps it is. I just need to start.

9:24:06 .... My wedding ring nearly falls off. I can just see explaining that to the wife: Sorry honey, I got up early in the morning to workout and my ring fell out at the local pool. Followed by a slap in the face and her leaving me. Better put the ring back in my locker.

9:25 .... Son of a bitch! Someone stole my lane - didn't you see me complete 1/10th of a lap earlier? Whatever loser. I'll just sit here freezing my ass off like a moron hoping for a lane to open up.

9:28 .... Bingo. A lane opens up next to an old lady. I mean prehistoric old. She's not even swimming. I guess you could call it waddling like a duck. I take off in my lane and about halfway to the other side I catch up to her. See ya grandma! I touch the wall. Is that one lap or half of a lap? Easy call. One lap. I'm juicing up my numbers without steroids.

Time to swim back. This is actually very nice. The water isn't as cold as I originally thought and swimming IS easier on my joints. 2 laps down.

During the 3rd lap something strange happens. I feel like an angry team of dwarfs are continually pissing in my eyes. I have to close my eyes for half of the lap due to the stinging. 3 laps down.

Short 3 second rest. Lap 4 begins. I only bang my head twice on the side of the pool due to swimming blind for most of the lap. On the bright side, I've gotten used to the persistent stinging in my eyes.

Lap 5 starts the shoulder fatigue. No worries. To combat my burning shoulders I just kick my legs more wildly as if I'm having a panic attack. 30 second rest after lap 5.

If I ever doubted that I had a heart I don't anymore. It's pumping out blood like never before. I'd guess a heart rate of 180 at this point. 1 minute break after lap 6.

Lap 7 starts off nice because of the 1 minute break but by the halfway point I'm about to throw up. My breathing has completely broken down. Instead of taking a breath every fourth stroke I'm gasping for air any chance I get. I actually use the side of the pool 3/4ths of the way down to get me to the wall.

Lap 8: Grandma is smirking at me as she blazes past me. Bitch. I touch the bottom of the pool several times before reaching the wall. At this point my head is literally bleeding from scraping the wall multiple times.

I glance up at the clock before Lap 9 except I can't see the clock because my eyes are full of mace. I half-heartedly try to breaststroke before I feel as if my chest is about to explode. I'm forced to stop in the middle of the lane which is 5 and a half feet deep. I nearly drown despite being 5 foot 7. I'm taking large gulps of disgusting pool water as I cling to the wall.

I decide that 10 laps is the extent of today's journey. I'd call it quits at 9 except my towel is at the other end of the pool and there is no way in hell I can pull myself out of the water without stairs. At this point I believe a crowd has gathered either to mock me or to save me from drowning. Let's not discount both. I waddle to the other end of the pool only half as fast as Grandma from Hell in the lane next to me. She's purposely kicking water in my face. When I finally get to the wall I get out of the pool as calmly as I can for a guy who is taking in oxygen as if it's life or death (it is). Get one inch from the clock with my fire eyes and barely make out the time. 5:39:24. 11 minutes - 10 laps. Suck it Phelps.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Show Monday

It's Friday! I am going to take it easy this weekend and enjoy not having to get up early on Sunday anymore. Starting Monday, Fred Faour and I will start our new show The Blitz which will air weekdays from 1-3 pm. This show has been off and on about 10 times since early this year so I'm cautiously optimistic that the plug won't get pulled at the last minute.

I used to watch 80 to 100 movies a year but ever since I got a job I can't do that anymore. Now it's a treat when I get to go see a movie. Here are my quick movie reviews for the month of August...

The Hammer
- Taped this movie on my Tivo and I wasn't expecting much. Let me just say that I was blown away. Adam Corolla plays a loser carpenter who used to be a boxer. After getting fired from his job he decides to try to qualify for the Olympics. Surprisingly funny. A-

500 Days of Summer
- Spoiler Alert: I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy. Not a crappy romantic comedy like the next movie. Anyway, this movie tells the story of a dude's relationship with the love of his life over 500 days. It's an old concept but it's done with a fresh take. A+

The Ugly Truth
- Wow. Not much to say about this piece of crap clunker. There were some funny moments but you know exactly how the movie is going to end from day 1. Katherine Heigl is hot though. C

Gran Torino
- Clint Eastwood is a complete badass. In this movie he plays an old racist dude who is coping with the loss of his wife. He reluctantly begins a relationship with the Hmong family next door. Eastwood is great but I didn't know whether to laugh or cringe at the 1,000 racial epithets. Plus, the young boy next door was an awful actor. B

Bonus: It's not a movie but I read the book The Art of Learning the other night. It's written by Josh Waitzkin who was the inspiration for the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. It's an incredible book - go grab it right now. A+

Football Thoughts...

* I love the idea of a punter trying to hit the Cowboys video board as many times as possible after today's strange do over/dead ball rule. I'm putting the over/under at 19 hits for the regular season. Weigh in with your guesses.

* I heard an announcer the other day call Matt Cassel a veteran. Really???!!! The biggest game this guy played in prior to 2008 was a Little League Game. Dude didn't start a game at QB in the last 7 years. I'm slightly reluctant to call him a veteran.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Poker Trip

We're winding up our Vegas trip and I can't wait to get home. At the same time, I want to stay and gamble until I fall asleep at the tables. That's how you know it was a great trip.

My little brother Drew is headed to Nashville to help open up a Chuy's so my Dad hatched up a plan to head to Vegas. To be honest you don't ever need a reason to go to Vegas but it helps to have one.

The flight up was only 4 days ago but I remember almost nothing. 4 days ago feels like 1997 at this point. I only remember that my Dad and I couldn't find the rental car for 10 minutes and once we did we missed the turn to Caesar's Palace 4 times. We checked into the room and got a nice night of sleep for the first and only time of the trip.

BREAK (This is where it took me another 4 days to finish the blog)

I wrote a long post about what happened during the poker tournaments but it was a little long. Really all you need to know is that we all cashed. My brother got 2nd the first night, my dad finished 3rd the second night and had another cash at the Venetian the 3rd night, and I finished 7th the 3rd night for the smallest cash of the trip.

What's more interesting is who we met...let's just say there were a bunch of losers and a few nice guys. If I had a nickel for every bullshit poker story I heard and a dime for every lame-ass poker joke I'd have come home with an extra $15 in my pocket. Poker trips are great but in all honesty there is nothing better than playing online poker in your boxer shorts while eating a pizza pocket. I seriously considered throwing most everyone I met under the bus but I don't have that killer instinct. But I digress...

Anyway, here are some other random things from the trip...

* Sushi Roku was the nuts.

* We passed by the Peter Lik Gallery. Great name for a gallery. I wonder if anyone told him, "You can Peter Lik my balls, capi-tan."

* One of the rare cool poker players I met was the CEO of Who's Your Daddy energy drinks. His name is Dan Fleyshman and he was a pretty damn good poker player also.

* I came up with another great idea. How about a sports bar with over/under prices? For instance a burger costs $6.50 or $8:50. You have to spin the wheel to see how much your meal costs. Or maybe you just spin the wheel after your meal to see how much of a discount you get? You know this is a good idea.

* This week's version of Life's Great Unsolved wife asked me the other day, "Why are CDs so hard to open while lightbulbs are so easy to open?"

Okay, hopefuly I'll get back to more regular blogging soon.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Complete Randomness

* I had to go to Kinko's today to use their scanner. I ended up sitting there for 15 minutes while Adobe Acrobat updated. Of course, I was only paying $.21 per minute but its the principle of the matter. Finally, I look up and the freaking update didn't work. I had to pay almost $3 and got nothing done. When I told the people at Kinko's they just looked at me with a blank stare and barely apologized. Punks. I should have just gone to PopCopy.

* My wife and I went to Lowe's today to get some nails and some other stuff. One thing we really needed was a welcome mat for our backdoor. I wanted a welcome mat that said "Sneak in the Back Door". That was quickly shot down. We ended up with the slightly less funny "Got Dirt?" mat.

* If you want a really bad synopsis of the first 3 Star Wars movies you have to check this out.

* Corey Hart isn't just an outfielder for the Brewers. He's also the singer of one of the sweetest 80's songs ever written. (not that Cory Heart - sicko) I estimate that I've heard the song "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" at least 1,000 times in my life. It's a great line to use whenever you see a douchebag with his sunglasses on at the bar around midnight. Guaranteed to get a laugh. Or get your ass kicked.

What is even funnier than that you ask? How about the lyrics?! Corey Hart is definitely the winner of the "Best use of the word 'Masquerade' in a song Award". For the full effect please watch the video with the slightly incorrect lyrics in the background (best I could do).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Drinking Game...and more

I had to sit through a powerpoint presentation yesterday for the first time in a long time. I had literally just finished reading about the powerpoint drinking game and as a result I was in the corner of the room with my head down trying not to laugh. Sadly, this wasn't a laughing presentation. Also, since I didn't know there was going to be a powerpoint presentation I didn't have anything alcoholic to drink. That's why you should always have a secret cell phone flask at work.


* I've heard of the tramp stamp but this is taking it to a different level

* I'll be watching every NY Giants game this season just hoping to catch a glimpse of David Carr wearing his handerpants. You just know he has a pair.

* The Rockets signed Chase Budinger to a multi-year deal yesterday. He will most likely fight for a roster spot with the Rockets but I'll go out on a limb and guess that he makes the team. He's very athletic (40-inch vertical), he's smooth, and he can shoot the basketball. Budinger led the Rockets in scoring during summer league play which is somewhat similar to being the world's tallest midget. Still, this in going to be a long season and I view Budinger as one of the few bright spots.

* I'm heading to Vegas in 2 days with my brother and pops to play some poker. I played a warm-up tournament today on FullTilt and finished 14th out of about 200 players. That's probably the first multi-table tournament I've cashed in since the beginning of the year. That shows how little I've played. Very sad.

I lost about 40% of my chips late in the tournament. I was in the BB with A6 offsuit when the button moved all in. I was getting 3 to 1 and the button was pretty desperate so I called. He had A4 and after a 977 flop it looked like we were heading for a chop. I got excited when the turn came 5 giving me 15 outs for the outright win. Of course, the river was a 4 and I came within an inch of breaking my monitor. Man I miss poker.

* BTW, Freddy and I are filling in for Dukes today from 3-5. Probably lots of Vick talk. Stream us here.

* I also miss the times when this blog used to get 50,000 page views a week. Now I'm lucky if I get 500 page views a week. But, I predict this blog will make a triumphant return! To do so please subscribe to the blog and click the links. Also, pass the blog along to friends.