Monday, June 13, 2005

A Clockwork Fish

Poker-mania is everywhere. As much as I love the game I'm very surprised that it has become a spectator sport. Texas Hold Em is everywhere now. I've played online numerous times but have always found the virtual game to be a rather dry impersonation of the real-life version. There's also the issue of potential collusion, but that isn't a purely online phenomenon. The popular press has been quick to write about the possibility that some online poker players aren't actually players at all, but rather computer programs acting as "bots" that play the games automatically. Personally, I say "Bring em on!" One day the bots will be good enough to beat seasoned players, but I don't think that day has come yet.

Now, however, it looks like the Bots are getting their own World Series of Poker. I'll bet they almost never hold up a hand by watching a football game or going to the crapper.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Branding Gone Awry

Guess who is getting his own line of slot machines... go ahead, GUESS! I DARE YA! No, not your's truly. It is, in fact, that ICON of gambling, the veritable sultan of slot Andre Agassi.

I'll wait while you all finish scratching your heads.

Why does a somewhat-over-the-hill tennis pro get his own slot machine? I really couldn't tell you, other than the fact that a percentage of the proceeds are going to his charitable organization. That idea has legs, even if Andre doesn't. The thing that really gets me is this quote from the original press release:

Aristocrat Technologies, a subsidiary of Australia-based Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., spent more than a year developing the game.

A YEAR?!?!? It took them a YEAR to come up with reels featuring tennis balls, rackets and a picture of Agassi's face? I'm am definitely in the wrong business, folks. Exploiting the image of vain, aging athletes sounds like a really promising career.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Strange Times in Which We Live

You wouldn't have seen it in the old days, but now a Mississippi gambler is suing casinos for not letting him play. Apparently he lost $600K+ over a couple of years, then when he started winning it back the casino banned him. I can't help wondering if there isn't more to the story, but maybe we'll learn that once the matter goes to trial.

Also, a racehorse named Rain, Hail or Shine was struck by lightning and died. Kinda makes you wonder.