The Other World Series
Greg Merson won the World Series of Poker. Never heard of him, right? That's the fascination of this tournament. Every no-name "everyman" who can buy in gets to play, and often gets to endure to the end.. . and win! Greg won in a grueling 12 hour session at the final table. Being 24 probably helped, but those old-timers with the weathermap faces used to do pretty well, too. Greg won 8.5 million dollars. I wonder what was the average salary of a San Francisco Giant for an entire season from April to October?
I know the hierarchy of hands in poker, and the announcers call the odds because we get to see what each player holds. That's not the point of high stakes poker. It's all about the betting. It's who can bluff, who can nurse along a hand to get the biggest pot, who has the "nerves of steel."
Is poker a "sport?" ESPN thinks so, and I agree than it's more than gambling. Anyway, we love gambling. There's probably more gambling on one pro football game than at the poker table.
The Other LBJ
I tuned in to watch the start of the basketball season last night. Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics. LeBron cramped up and took the bench, but still scored big. Then, it was time to pick up Robert Caro's remarkable book about Lyndon Johnson. Caro said he has devoted his writing life to his series of LBJ biographies because he is "fascinated by the use of power." It reads like a novel. Great stuff.