Thursday, June 28, 2007

Poker & NYC 

I apologize for the dearth of posts lately but my energy has been sapped from work and a side project I've been working on. I fully expected to make a major announcement this week about a long-pending deal, but alas, the lawyers are still niggling over details. Damn lawyers.

Stay tuned - cool stuff pending.

Per work, I'm fully sated. In a good way. It's been a fascinating experience working with some brands in major corporations.

One of these massive companies is Procter & Gamble, whose global headquarters are here in Cincinnati. Procter is a unique company, cultivating an extremely demanding and competitive corporate environment. The culture has often been laughingly referred to as cult like, which would probably only be funny if it were true.

But as the world's largest advertiser, there is certainly a method to the madness. And listening to two P&G'rs speak to each other in P&G speak is like listening to Latin, or perhaps like Scientology, with all the cryptic acronyms.

But I heard such a wonderful turn of a phrase in a conference call this week that I wanted to blog it here. I'm strange that way.

Someone was describing the essence of advertising, the core of what P&G practices in the marketing world.

"Creative Transformation of the Benefit."

Yeah, not much of a punch-line, I guess, but I still love the way it sounds. I'm driving co-workers crazy by dutifully repeating the phrase many times a day.

And I stll want to get t-shirts printed up with the above on them.
Hell, P&G'rs would buy em in droves.

Segue: my cable went out ten minutes before the blogger tourney last nite, in case you were wondering why I was sitting out in the second to last tournament in the league. Good times.

So anyway, go read Dr. Pauly's post about Eric Lindgren's crazy-ass prop bet out at the WSOP.

Here's Johnny Hughes take on it:


Hooray for Lindgren! This is one of those great prop bets that will be talked about and written about for fifty years.

Let me raise a few what ifs? Hypothetical questions based on the usual setup for cons and prop bets. There is usually a cast of characters which might include: the mark, shills, a steer man, and a roper.

This shouts out that Gavin and Eric were working together. First you have to find a big mark. Phil Ivey is perfect because he has the money and will pay off. Often times, big scores were taken from professional gamblers. Titanic Thompson worked gamblers. On the five percent of Amarillo Slim's stories that I believe, he'd go after gamblers. Slim said, "I look for a champion and make a sucker out of him."

If Gavin was shilling, he helped in the talkup. You need a shill partner to talk up a bet. It comforts the mark to know others are betting the same way he is. This goes back to three-card monte and every other scam. When Gavin and Eric were talking a buyout, it was in their best interests.

Here again, I am guessing and wonder if anyone else knocked this off??? I am guessing that Lindgren had done this before to practice and knew he could do it. The best prop bets are sure-things. Actually, nearly all prop bets are sure things. Titanic Thompson traveled with a bowling ball, pool cues, golf clubs..right and left handed, target pistols, horseshoes. He was ambidextrous. He'd beat you right-handed and then bet he could beat you left-handed

You nearly always need a shill, talkup man for sure-thing props. Two barbers I knew were always betting each other on props. Of course, they were in together. They'd bet on whether one could lift these weights ten times. He could or he couldn't depending on which way the outside money was running. I'd set up as early as high school dealing blackjack to a partner, shill. Others join the game.

The play and movie, Guys and Dolls, had a character Sky Masterson based on Titanic Thompson. Sky says something like, "When I left home, my daddy told me, 'Son, someday you will run into a man that wants to bet you he can make the jack of diamonds jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. If you bet with that man, you will end up with an ear full of cider.'"

I wouldn't bet on it but I am guessing Phil Ivey has cider in his ear. They set him up. They took him off. I just love it! They tipped over a sweet score. Stolen watermelon tastes so much better.

Johnny Hughes


I'm off to NYC for a few days of drinking and baseball. Have a great weekend, ya'll.

Photo dump time!

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