I am thankful for the Port Security Act of 2006. I mean, before the act was passed, all of our ports were like Mos Eisley. But now, well now with internet gambling
illegal more difficult to play, our ports are more like Alderaaan. That is, more like Alderaan was before it was blown to pieces. Actually, the Port Security Act has had no impact on the frequency of my play, but it has made the market somewhat illiquid, which means waiting 10 minutes for a table to fill up instead of of 10 seconds. So, why was the Act the landmark event of poker in 2006? It is because it will have the exact opposite effect on poker that Chris Moneymaker's WSOP victory in 2003 had. Whereas Moneymaker's victory seemed to make a previously seedy activity all of the sudden legitimate, the Act will make it seedy again. The WSOP Main Event will shrink significantly, as Harrah's has decided that it will not take entries from U.S. citizens that win their way online. Sponsorship will dry up (including TV ads) as the media try to steer clear of anything seedy (especially in the post-Janet Jackson nipple era). Poker, I guess, has peaked. This could be reversible, but it will take a lot of political action, and that sort of action is about as slow as the $1-$2 NL game at Aladdin.
Of course, the biggest thing to happen to me in 2006 was the birth of my baby girl. She is 3.5 months now. Her boyfriend Knox is 3.49 months. Her best friend and gambling buddy, ____ GlazeDog will be born tomorrow. Of course, her future calculus tutor, _____ Greene is in utero.
College football has had an interesting season in 2006. Of my six predictions, numbers 1-3 were very close, two of which may well have panned out sans a Colt McCoy injury in the Little Apple. I was definitely correct that the NC game would not have 2 undefeateds and that Notre Dame would underimpress. Ohio State has looked more impressive than anybody else this season, but I can name 4 teams that are better than the 06 Buckeyes: the 05 Trojans, 05 Longhorns, 05 Nittany Lions and the 05 Buckeyes. They mainly won this year due to the lack of any contenders, Michigan included. The worst performance by a coach award goes to Larry Coker, who is currently sharing a bunk bed at the Star of Hope mission with Donald Rumsfeld and who managed to turn a perennial contender into a middle of the pack ACC team playing in obscure bowl games. My Favorite Expression on Face award goes to Pete Carroll after losing UCLA. That look said "Holy shet, I was on the verge of 4 straight national championships (!sarcasm alert!) and UCLA just got really lucky and beat us." What else happened in college football in 2006? Well, there was that little game in Pasadena back in January. Time has passed, and I still think that that game will be a perennial contender (and frequent winner) in year 2030 in all 2 a.m. drunken arguments in bars across America when two guys argue over the best college football game ever.
In baseball, the Astros missed the playoffs by this much, and the Cardinals proved why playoffs are not the best system for giving the championship crown to the best team in the sport (pay attention, college football).
World Cup 2006 was, of course, amazing. And the as soon as the first team lost in the round of 16, all of Europe said the same thing: "You know, the World Cup is the greatest thing ever, but the single-elimination approach after the group stages really sucks." Pay attention, college presidents.
It will be interesting to see how my gambling ledger ends up for 2006. I am so close to even that I could be positive or negative based on 2 poker games and 7 bowl game pools that will play out over the next 2 weeks. That is weird to me that after tens of thousands of dollars of wagers, I am within about $50 of even right now.
Dallas poker rooms were raided right and left in 2006. I am all for enforcement of the law, and I won't complain that the DPD did arrest some law-breaking citizens. However, it does seem odd that they would spend that much effort with that many officers, carrying that many machine guns to bust up such a victimless crime. Really, (read this week's Dallas Observer) we have crack houses in Dallas with real victims that the police seem to ignore, so it does seem like a grossly disproportionate use of resources to have the SWAT team raid a poker game.
The movies of 2006 followed the general trend of the past 11 years: they sucked more than the year before. There were some gems, but no Rounders. I would like to give the Best Movie of 2006 Even Though the Acting Completely Sucked Award to End of the Spear. The book is better (gawd, I cringe every time I hear that phrase, and I just typed it, but really, isn't the book ALWAYS better?), but the power of the (real life) story comes through in the movie just fine.
LOST was still good in 2006, but not as good as it used to be. I am getting tired of some of the characters such as Jack and I wish Mr. Ecko was still alive. At least Locke is still alive, and from all appearances, taking charge of the island. Anybody that knows me well knows that I will always root for the John Lockes of the world over the Dr. Jacks of the worlds. It is part of who I am. It is why I loved Good Will Hunting. I love the story of the less fortunate kid getting his due over the kid with all the priveledge. I wonder why I like that storyline?? Maybe because I am friends with Ferruzzo, the ghetto-sexual, self-hating SRF that came from nothing to have everything we all want. Maybe not.
The Office had, IMHO, its best episode ever with its Christmas episode (we belong, we belong together, Ryan...) High Stakes Poker proved that you don't need slick production for good poker programming. Of course, Jamie Gold made an ass of himself on TV to be the first WSOP Main Event winner to be hated since Phil Hellmuth.
I played poker in Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, British Columbia and London. The Nevada one was the best. Not only did I win a lot of money, I did it over a very long haul. And ARH CCM and I had ball. We looked like Hollywood when we went to the Pink Taco and laughed for days over my confusion over the "blue triangle in that chick's dress" which was actually her martini sitting in front of her. As a result of that trip, I have had two consecutive trips to Vegas that A) were profitable and B) didn't involve airport security, two things that lacked from the two previous trips. (That wasn't a figure of speech or internet hyperbole.)
Well, maybe it is appropriate, but as I write this, I am up about $90 online, so I guess 2006 is profitable after all (so far). I suspect I will go + and - a few times before we close the books. In summary, 2006 was like most years; full of highs and lows, but unlike some people (TJG and ARH excluded) it will always be the year of my first national championship in the only sport I really care about and the year of my first born. I loved 2006.