If you enjoy watching poker on TV, and who here doesn't, you have got to catch Poker After Dark for the next two weeks. NBC, 2:05AM - 3:05 AM. It's usually a winner-takes-all 1 table affair but every so often (a couple, three times a season) they run a two-week cash game. If you're not an inveterate night owl like myself, you can TiVo, DVR, or hell, even videotape it.
I don't want to give up the juicier details, but - SPOILER ALERT - Phil Hellmuth gets his ass handed to him BUT GOOD. Now me personally, I think Hellmuth is a wretched, ill-tempered, ill-mannered gasbag who is pathologically unable to admit to poor play or to keep his trap shut after a bad beat. When you combine that with his Caesarian ego (the metaphor is apt; he makes his entrace at the WSOP main event dressed as Julius Caesar himself) it all adds up to a particularly odious human being for whom I've lost all respect. Better still he's lost the respect of his peers, by the sound of it: He hasn't changed his game since 1989 and he's been getting hammered for the last few years, just hammered.
One little story that might have escaped the casual watcher of TV: At a very early WPT event, season 1, Hellmuth made a final table with Esfandiari, who knocked Hellmuth out. When he did so he did this wave-kinda-sorta-thing before he shook Hellmuth's hand. Apparently the insult of making Phil wait with his hand out for a second or two prompted him to say, "show some class, kid, shake my hand when you beat me." And THAT'S how I like my irony, friends. Here is the unquestionably LEAST CLASSY person in the whole poker world, bar none, schooling someone on poker etiquette. Screw you, Hellmuth. Seriously. And you know what? If it's all an act, a sort of poker Grand Guignol of the mind? Drop it. It makes people want to spit hot solder in your eyes. Yes, your enemy would have burned his mouth in so doing, but that's how much the world hates you.
Anyway, watch the show. It's so good you'll be licking your fingers afterward.
Non-Poker Content: The by-god Boston Bruins have opened up a 2-0 lead over their second round opponents the Philadelphia Flyers. If they win this series, which is looking at least a little likely, they'll be playing for the Eastern Conference championship and the right to win the Stanley Cup, for the first time in about 20 years or so. Heady times for the Black and Gold. We need the Montreal Canadiens to do their best to defeat or fatigue the Penguins, putting me for the very first time in my life in the awkward position of saying these words: GO HABS!