WWWWD?

So yeah, I know I’ve been slacking off. Some guy emailed me the other day telling me that he was a little disappointed in me. It was kind of a funny email so I’m going to post it.

The Email

SUBJECT : Blog content & updates

I read a handful of blogs each day, and I occasionally skip over to yours. When I think about why you don’t update more often, I justify the repeated wonder with, someone wrote that he’s a ‘prodigy’.

What do you think about writing more entries about poker? Specifically, some entertaining hands with analysis. Paul Phillips has an excellent blog, earning a shout from another strong blogger & former-actor cum rising poker amateur, Wil Wheaton. They each write about poker 1 in 3 or so and about 1 in 6. But they blog 4-7 times per week.

Alternatively, how about something more on your intelligence level than rabbit pictures and movie reviews.

No offense sir. This is your barbecue, and we are happy to attend. I would love to come back for seconds if you grill up something meatier.

And you’re a better writer than Daniel or Josh.

Thanks for listening.

-Oscar

End of Email

So maybe some of you at this point are wondering who Wil Wheaton is. He’s an actor who’s best known as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek : The Next Generation. He was the child star of the show (daughter of the red-headed doctor Beverly Crusher played by I wanna say Gates McFadden), and had a pretty cool character who was too smart for his own good and always getting into trouble. I think he ended the show by hooking up with some sort of crazy alien called “The Traveller” and he basically became some sort of unpaid intern for this super-powerful alien.

I gotta admit… I’m a closet trekkie. I used to watch the show all the time when I was a kid… it had hit re-runs and it was on the local station every night after the news. I collected the little Star Trek trading cards. I bought “Trekkies”, which was that indie documentary about the whole star trek phenomenon. I’m even on Gabe Koerner’s email list, who’s major claim to fame is being an obsessed star trek junkie.

So back to Wes, er, Wil… now Wil Wheaton is starting to become one of the celebrities you’re likely to spot at a poker tournament. Others would include Gabe Kaplan, James Woods, Jennifer Tilly, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ben Affleck, Shannon Elizabeth aka nadia from american pie (mmmmm…. pie… yummy), Toby Maguire, Matt Damon, Shannon Elizabeth, Jon Favreau… I even heard that the Olsen twins were spotted playing poker in Florida. And celebs are actually doing ok. Ben and Toby each took down a tournament last year and Jennifer Tilly went home from the WSOP with a freakin’ bracelet!

So back to Wil… he’s actually been playing poker for awhile. I’m pretty sure he’s been playing well before the WSOP moved to ESPN from the Discovery channel and the WPT was just a dream. You shouldn’t come away from this post thinking that he’s just into the game because it’s trendy. He got a deal with Pokerstars to be one of their champions… I think they back him in some tournaments. And to top it all off, the kid actually beat Noah “Exclusive” Boeken in a headsup match on Pokerstars… I’ve raved about Exclusive before when I talked about my Amsterdam trip. The kid is scary good and routinely plays the highest limit headsup matches on stars. And yet here’s Wil Wheaton taking him down.

Now a quick side story

Every time I see Wil Wheaton’s name mentioned, it reminds me of one of the two times in my life I can really remember having buyer’s remorse. It was late summer 2002, morning, and I had just finished my shift as a prop player at Garden City… I worked graveyards. I was in a great mood because the night before I had gotten to work a few hours early to play in one of the nightly tournaments… and I took down the top prize about twenty minutes before my shift started. I was pumped.

These days after having a good tournament day I’ll usually do a little celebrating… at the very least chill with my brother and a couple friends, order a pizza, buy a case of foreign beer, and reflect on how good life can be sometimes treat you. But back then was kind of a lonely time for me… I didn’t really have anybody to celebrate with. I had just moved to San Jose a couple weeks before after meeting Phil Laak at the WSOP and agreeing to rent his room for awhile. So Antonio Esfandiari was my roomate. Now I love Antonio… he’s the life of every party and anybody who’s met him in real life would have to agree that he’s the epitome of “cool” (and probably also “flashy” and “cocky”). But the whole time I was living with him, I really got the feeling that he resented the fact that I was there. I don’t think Phil really talked to him before striking up his sub-letting deal with me and I always kind of got the impression that Antonio felt like he was stuck with some wannabe poker player who was about two bad beats away from getting a job at the mall. Antonio didn’t spend a lot of time at home and usually I’d come home from the shift to an empty place.

So I’m getting off from work and have a little urge to celebrate, but nobody really to raise my glass with. So I decide instead to go to the mall and treat myself… I’d get a little sushi brunch and pick up a copy of Rounders to go home and veg out to. The sushi place was closed… no big deal. So then I’m off to Suncoast to pick up the movie. Only Suncoast doesn’t have Rounders…

So it’s at this point I look around the store and pickup the first thing that appeals to me: The Complete First Season DVD Set of Star Trek TNG. “Wow!”, I thought. “I remember loving this as a kid.” So I took it to the register. The girl gives me a little look and all the sudden I feel like I’m buying one of the adult videos.

“That’ll be $142,” she says.

I didn’t expect it to be that much.

Then she goes on auto-pilot as she tries to sell me on some membership perk plan.

“Nah, I don’t need to save any money,” I say. “I just won a poker tourn-“

“Ok then…” and she continues to tell me about their no-returns policy. She gives me my receipt and I look around the store to see who’s witnessing this. She puts the complete first season of ST:TNG into a plastic bag and hands it over to me.

“Ummm… I don’t suppose you have a paper bag?”

They didn’t. I’m still convincing myself that it was a good buy as I walk out of the store and out of the mall towards the parking lot. But by the time I reached my car there was only one thing going through my mind. “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck”.

About an hour later I was sitting in front of Antonio’s large screen tv, supposedly celebrating completely disgusted with myself after realizing that (1) I paid way too much for the DVD set and should have just gone to Wal*Mart, (2) I shouldn’t have bought the DVD set in the first place, since I’d already seen every episode more than once… plus the first season kinda sucks in comparison to every other season, and (3) one of the episodes I had just bought was playing on TNT. I mean, damn… for awhile there Star Trek was like Xena or Law and Order… every time you turned on the tv there was some cable channel showing an episode. I had took down a nice $1500 score from the tournament (which was a significant chunk of my bankroll) and I just blew 10% of it. The mixed bag of feelings I had was probably one of the low points of the year. But it did teach me a little something about money management.

End of Story

So anyway, back to Wil and the email I got. I checked out Wil Wheaton’s website and it’s good. The kid is a natural writer. He’s showing up all the other blogs out there and it kind of pisses me off. So from now on I’m going to really try to start updating my blog more. And talking more about what really matters… poker. And I’m going to start right now.

This is my site. If you want to start a flame war, go to 2+2.

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