Editor’s note: Lots of stuff in the update today. If you don’t like poker, skip down. There is lots of NFL news, a Rockets update, and some funny stories at the bottom. The idea is to give you options to find what you are interested in, not expect you to read everything.
Also, if you have something to contribute or wish to advertise (cheap rates, huge reach) email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The World Series of Poker’s Main Event is down to three players. It will play out tonight starting at 6 p.m. You probably did not even know they were playing. This has been must watch TV for me for years, but this year has drawn little interest, even though last night’s action was fast and furious by poker standards.
The boom is long gone. The death of online poker in the States contributed. The lack of big names making deep runs contributed. Other entertainment has made it an afterthought. Maybe splitting it up has been a fail as well. For all the speculation on declining NFL ratings, it is easy to see why poker has fallen off. ESPN’s coverage is still terrific. In fact, it might be better than ever. Norman Chad is still great at commentary. But that does not matter if no one notices.
I still love the game and have wanted to get back and play the Main Event again, but even that desire has waned. It’s not just me, either. Many of the people I know who have played at a high level have lost interest as well. And when you start losing your hardcores…
I do think there is a parallel to the NFL. When online poker became illegal, interest gradually deteriorated. The near death of daily fantasy — which was even bigger than the poker boom — might send the NFL down the same path. Having a monetary investment always creates interest. With poker, you could learn from what you saw on TV. You saw guys win big after qualifying online for very little money. You always thought it could be you, so you watched and learned and tried to be the next Chris Moneymaker.
With daily fantasy, you had reason to watch every game involving your players. It was very similar. Invest a little, win millions. The sites shoved it down your throat that you could be the next millionaire with ad after ad. And people ate it up. The NFL is still big, but don’t underestimate the potential longterm impact.
It can’t fall as far as poker, because it is still the NFL, of course. These days poker does not even make a blip on the national media screen. Unless you are this guy. There are not a lot of great personalities. Kassouf made headlines for being a jerk, which is OK, because it creates interest. But the “fun” players that people want to watch — Daniel Negreanu, most notably — do not last long enough to move the needle.
It’s a shame, but it also might not be too long before poker is no longer part of ESPN’s coverage and is relegated to a complete afterthought once again.
Bearing…up: Jay Cutler returned to the lineup and led the Bears to a 20-10 win over the Vikings. Minnesota is not a team built to come from behind, and the Bears jumped out early and were able to run the ball with Jordan Howard
Replay it again: Bruce Arians and the Cardinals were on the wrong end of a really bad call against Carolina. Turns out the reason for it makes it even worse.
Some Texans wrapups: Bill O’Brien, a day after acting like nothing happened and being a petulant child, is suddenly a comedian a day later…Yes, Bob McNair really said Brock Osweiler is still “basically a rookie.” That being the case, his rookie season is not very good. …But hey, at least he still believes in himself. There’s that…On the good news front, Vince Wilfork appears to be OK after suffering an injury Sunday.
Moving on up: The Rockets will face a tough task tonight in Cleveland when they face the defending champion Cavs. The game has been moved up to 5 p.m. so Cavs fans can get out in time to see if their baseball team can close out the World Series.
Something else no one will watch: With the Rockets and World Series tonight, you probably won’t watch, but a great matchup between the last two No. 1 picks in the NHL tonight as Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers face Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is one of only two meetings this year. It is also your next to last night to get the NHL package for free on DirectTV.
In case you missed it: Another hilarious story from our good buddy Barry Laminack, this one in honor of Halloween.
Clowning around: Some advice for the “serious” clown in your life.
Farting around: Maybe the worst surgery gone wrong story ever. Do not read this. It is disgusting. Shameful. Gross. You have been warned. And as always you read it anyway…
November reign: Finally, it is Nov. 1. And it is still freaking hot in this city. Highs in the upper 80s the next couple days. Can’t wait for that one day of winter we are going to have this year.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Manipulating people is what’s so fun about poker. I love that you can just look into someone’s eyes and lie – and it’s perfectly acceptable.”
— Cheryl Hines