Saturday, October 01, 2011

Weekly Picks

Burned by the push again. Not off to a good start with only 7 points but as usual my overall record of 8-7 is still decent, above .500.

pittsburgh +3 1/2 HOUSTON
Let Houston win this game by 3. I really think the Texans are overrated and the Steelers should bounce back after a subpar effort against the Colts.

TAMPA BAY -10 indianapolis
I really think the Colts are putrid and I like the ExpensiveCornPrices. The crowd should be jacked for a Monday Night game. Even though I don't believe in that sort of thing. I just like the 'Prices.

detroit +2 1/2 DALLAS
Detroit is not going to give the Cowboys and Tony Romo a free pass the way the Redskins did. I also expect Detroit to play a little better offensively than they did last week when they stunk it up for the first half.

SAN DIEGO -7 miami
The Dolphins are a bad team. I like the Chargers to break through, they are 0-3 ATS so far this year. That can't last forever. St. Louis is also 0-3 ATS and the Raiders are 3-0. Everyone else is 1-2 or 2-1. That is why no one ever comes out ahead betting on football.

new england -6 OAKLAND

The Patriots are going to be angry.

Last week: 2-3 (1 point)
Season: 8-7 (7 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (1-2)
Home Favorites: 2-0 (4-1)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-0)
Road Favorites: 0-2 (1-4)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (3-2)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Playoff Predictions

Division Series:
Diamondbacks over Brewers (5 games)
Phillies over Cardinals (3 games)
Yankees over Tigers (4 games)
Rangers over Rays (5 games)

League Championship Series:
Phillies over Diamondbacks (5 games)
Yankees over Rangers (6 games)

World Series:
Phillies over Yankees (6 games)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baseball is Poop

Oh What a Night
They're calling it Wild Card Wednesday. Four teams went into the day tied for two spots. And the Braves and Red Sox had blown leads of 8 1/2 and 9 games in September. The Braves and Rays were facing their toughest division rivals, teams already in the playoffs, and the Cardinals and Red Sox were facing last place teams. The NL was just a footnote, the Cardinals blew out Houston and the Braves lost to the Phillies in extra innings. After rookie closer Craig Kimbrel blew the save in the 9th.
But the real action came in the AL where the Red Sox held a 3-2 lead (with the help of a scoreless inning from Daniel Bard and his 11.70 ERA in September). But Jonathan Papelbon blew it in the bottom of the 9th. Meaning the Red Sox needed the Yankees to win. But the Yankees blew (on purpose?) a 7-0 lead to the Rays, and in the bottom of the 12th, just minutes after Papelbon's implosion, Evan Longoria homered inside the foul pole to give the Rays the AL wild card.

perfect picture of Evan Longoria's home run just as it leaves the bat

The only other walk-off home run to clinch a playoff spot in the team's final game of the season, was the Shot Heard Round the World by Bobby Thomson.

So Close
The Amazing Pooh Holes came into the final game of the season with a chance to extend his 10-year streak of hitting at least .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBI. It was the longest such streak in major league history. That streak is over. But his streak of 11 seasons batting at least .299 with 30 homers and 99 RBI was extended to 11 years.

No Way Jose
I'm very disappointed with the way Jose Reyes went about winning the batting title. I thought the bunt was a little cheap, but acceptable, but pulling himself out of the game goes against the spirit of competition. You either win the title by competing hard or you lose it. He did deserve the title because he played great all season, it was just a sour note to end the season. And even more sour because it's likely the last game he'll ever play as a Met.

Picture of the Week
Ryan Roberts rounding the bases pays tribute to his manager, Kirk Gibson, by imitating the home run trot Gibson used in the 1988 World Series. Roberts hit a walkoff grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning after Micah Owings had given up 5 runs in the top of the inning.

Jesus, The Professor and the Ponzi Scheme

The Department of Justice amended its complaint against Full Tilt Poker, alleging the online site was a giant Ponzi Scheme.
When the site was shut down for U.S. players in April for illegally processing player deposits, many players expected to be fully repaid for the account balances which they could no longer use.
PokerStars repaid players in an expeditious fashion. Full Tilt did not, because it could not. According to the DOJ, player accounts totaled $440 million, but Full Tilt only had $60 million on hand.
And here's where the Ponzi Scheme accusation comes in: the site's owners and directors, including famous poker pros Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and Howard "The Professor" Lederer are alleged to have been paid millions over this time, $40m to Lederer and $25m to Ferguson (though he was promised much more because he owned nearly 20% of the company).
Full Tilt says it was not a Ponzi Scheme it just got in trouble because it got scammed by a payment processor and in other cases it elected to fund player accounts before the payments actually cleared. And when those payments didn't materialize, a huge hole grew. And when Full Tilt got shut down in the U.S. it had no way to fill that hole.
Obviously, no matter what happened, Full Tilt had an obligation to keep most if not all of player money in a liquid account (they can invest it and earn interest). But there are a couple extenuating circumstances here. We don't know for sure if Full Tilt intended to be a Ponzi Scheme or it just became one when they ran into trouble collecting funds.
But most importantly, internet poker should not be illegal. I lost less than $5 in this incident. I also lost my chance to play poker from my home, a hobby I greatly enjoy. But what I have been robbed of most of all is televised poker.
The World Series of Poker will likely survive because it can get other sponsors, but it may end up being the only poker show on TV. Because they cannot survive without the sponsorships from the poker sites.
But I've probably watched my last episode of Poker After Dark and The Big Game (although this still airs online), which is the best poker show for advanced players.
And that's what has me so angry. I can't even watch what I want on TV because of the government. And though many in the poker community are hopeful this will get repealed and internet poker will be legal and regulated, I don't think that will ever happen.
And it's a damn shame.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

L'Shana Tova

May 5772 be the best year yet.
"Everyday I'm shecklin"

Song of the Week

"Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)"
This song hit the top of the charts in 1971, 40 years ago. The Temptations had already several personnel changes up to this point. They had begun to transition into the psychadelic style that was becoming popular. This song was a throwback to the bluesy, harmonies that made them famous in the 1960s.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 3

Bills Beat Brady
It's too early to tell if the Bills are for real, but they are certainly exciting. Their second straight huge comeback at home. It certainly looks like their offense is going to be strong with Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a good running game and a big group of fast wide receivers. Their defense is questionable though, even with 4 interceptions, a couple of them were lucky. And they are still allowing a lot of points. After Cincinnati the schedule gets a little tougher. As for the Patriots, they are still a great team and I think they can still go on an historical offense roll if they can get their defense in shape is another matter.

The Lions Roar Back
The other surprising 3-0 team, the Detroit Lions, also needed a big comeback to stay unblemished. It's their first 3-0 start since 1980. And they did it was Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson and some nasty defensive pressure from Suh and Crew. Not sure why they were so bad in the first half but it doesn't matter. Detroit became the first team to get shutout in the first half and trail by 20 points or more and come back to win since the Chicago Bears did that against Arizona Cardinals. Remember that game?

How's That Donovan McNabb experiment working out?
Through 3 games Donovan McNabb has presided over 3 Vikings collapses. Minnesota has blown 10-point halftime leads in all 3 games. And McNabb's offense has scored 6 points combined in the three second halves. This goes back to something I said last season, when the game is on the line, he just cannot make the plays needed to win games. The fact is, McNabb used to be good, but he isn't anymore. Minnesota needs to transition to Christian Ponder at some point this season.

Let's See Him Keep That Up
The first 3 catches of Torrey Smith's career were 74-yard, 41-yard and 18-yard touchdowns. All in the first quarter. A pretty good way to start a career.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
This is the difference between winning teams and losing ones: putting games away. Just an atrocious performance at the end of that game -- in fact the whole game. Missed field goals, fumbles, bad play-calling in the red zone. And most regrettably several plays where the ball was snapped way over Tony Romo's head, and the Redskins could recover. One of those plays Romo actually flung the ball and got a completed pass -- avoiding a big loss. Now it wasn't one play that cost us the game, more like 6 or 8, but the most galling was allowing a 30 yard reception on 3rd and 21 (with the game on the line, they would have had to have gone for it on 4th down) and then tacking on a 15-yard facemask, basically giving the Cowboys the game. The Redskins schedule remains fairly easy for the next 8 games (especially if neither the Eagles nor the Bills are for real) but they have to start making those crucial plays that win -- and lose games.

Pictures of the Week
A sudden monsoon turned the first half of the Panthers-Jaguars game into a sloppy water-logged contest. At one point a replay review was made nearly impossible because the camera lenses were so wet you couldn't make out the play between the drops.

3000 Words

Labrador Retriever Hawkeye lies next to the casket at the funeral for his owner Navy SEAL John Tumilson who was killed when he his chopper was shot down in Afghanistan.

Man born with 6 fingers on each hand

Dodgers fan expresses his dissatisfaction with the team's current financial state

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Picks

A good week finally though I needed my best bet to rally from 17-0 down and a somewhat favorable spread getting 4 with the Raiders. But a junk touchdown by Carolina cost me a perfect 6.

pittsburgh -10 1/2 INDIANAPOLIS
This could be just a terrible year for the Colts. I'm talking about zero wins. I think the Steelers will force Collins into more turnovers and dominate this game the way they did against Seattle last week.

atlanta +1 1/2 TAMPA BAY
I'm still rolling with Atlanta as my Super Bowl champion. And I think this year Tampa Bay will have some breaks go against it, as compared to last year when everything went its way. But I still wouldn't want the ball in Josh Freeman's hands at the end of a game.

NEW ORLEANS -4 houston
The Texans are very overrated. Let's see them keep up with the Saints this week.

CAROLINA -3 jacksonville
Cam Newton has to come back to earth doesn't he? And everyone wants to pick against the Jaguars because they have a rookie quarterback, but Gabbert has to be better than Josh McCown right?

detroit -3 MINNESOTA

I always get sucked in by these road favorites giving 3 or 3 1/2 points. They always seem to win by that field goal margin. I guarantee either Detroit or Carolina wins by exactly 3. But I really think Donovan McNabb sucks and Detroit's pass rush is just going to be too much for him.

Last week: 4-1 (5 points)
Season: 6-4 (6 point)
Best Bets: 1-0 (1-1)
Home Favorites: 2-0 (2-1)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-0)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (1-2)
Road Underdogs: 2-0 (3-1)