The Champions League came and went without so much as a whisper here. Imagine the New York Yankees winning the World Series then playing a playoff against the best team from a bunch of other countries. Also pretend that baseball is a sport that the whole world loves. Then imagine an expanded format that allows multiple teams from big-time leagues to play. So, after all the big playoff against teams from around the world, the Yankees play against.....the Red Sox. That is basically what happened this year: The Champions league final involved two English teams: Chelsea and Man U. All of Europe competed, but one tiny island produced both of the finalists. It went to extra time then down to penalty kicks before Man U. won. Unfortunately, I still haven't seen the penalty kicks as the Tivo (twice) cut off before the game was done. Anyway, this was the Euro equivalent of Vince Young beating USC in the Rose Bowl: a game for the ages. The main difference is the number of people who care, which must be 500 times more people caring about the Champions League over the Rose Bowl.
But soccer is for a bunch of long-haired, liberal, cigarette-smoking, Communist Europeans. Baseball is for the red-blooded, freedom-loving, troops-supporting, God's-favorite-people: Americans. On that note, the Astros delivered two of the most exciting 9th innings in the pas two nights that I have ever seen. On Friday night, Jose Valverde took a line drive to the face only to stay on the mound and get the save, though he almost didn't. Last night, we were ahead by 1 with 1 out and the bases loaded. When the ball was hit toward left field, I yelled a very bad word, as I figured that meant a run. Darin Erstad caught the ball fairly deep in left field and managed to make a perfect throw to home to get Pedro Feliz out. And it wasn't even a close call. If you haven't seen it, you can find it here
While Americans are vaguely aware of the Champions League, they are totally unaware of Eurovision
. Eurovision to Europeans the ultimate Euro-thing. If Americans saw Eurovision, they would consider it the ultimate Euro-thing. The British simultaneously participate in and take a piss at Eurovision. Imagine American Idol. Now multiply that by 1,000. Now add 1,000-year-old political beefs
. That is Eurovision
. I sent a note to CCM (an American living in Moscow) about Eurovision on Friday as it was coming up on Saturday. And lo and behold, he ended up at a Eurovision-watching part on Saturday night. And guess who won in 2008? Russia. Well, I'll be.... CCM was so happy that he called me and slurred some crazy talk for a while. It was 3 a.m. in Moscow.
I was doing well at the $5 SNGs so I stepped it up to the $10 SNGs and got a lot of 4th and 5th place finishes - enough to wipe out all of my $5 SNG winnings. So, I went back to the $5 table today and won 1st place. I figure everybody has a stake that they can win at, and it is clear where mine is. In a cash game, I win at $1-$2, break even at $2-$5 and lose at $5-$10 (though the sample size there is small.) There is a theory in business management that everybody rises to their level of incompetence. This is because you get promoted for doing a job well. When you don't do well, you stay pat. Thus, eventually, everybody ends up in a job they don't do well. In poker, I think people move up in stakes until they reach a limit tat which they don't fare well. Because variance masks results, they are often the last to know they are losers. I think I have done a good job of avoiding this, particularly by going to Vegas a month ago and resisting the temptation to play $2-$5 (despite Junell's urging!) I am a bottom feeder - a scavenger. I will never be a high stakes player. This is not related to my bankroll (well, it kinda is) nor my stomach for higher stakes (my appetite for gambling is insatiable); it is just that my set of skill are suited for the low stakes.