Thursday, March 22, 2007

This is arguably the greatest post I've read on 2+2 since David Sklansky debated how many 5 year olds he could kill.

This Johnny Hughes guy tells some fine poker tales:



George Albert McGann was this almost comic Texas road gambler and con man when we used to play poker and gin rummy together back in the mid-sixties in Lubbock, Texas. He was born in Big Spring about 1937. During the 1960s, Lubbock was a real center for big no-limit Texas Hold 'em games although we obviously just called it Hold 'em. Many of our opponents came from distant towns and nobody knew or cared where they got their money. Poker players were by definition outlaws. Jack "Treetop" Straus was playing one time with a guy who would leave the game and go rob a bank. The FBI followed the guy back to the poker game. Treetop spoke for all gamblers when he told the FBI, most truthfully, "We don't know or care how he got that money."

George was a real mystery man. He'd get out on the blacktop and go all over Texas and show up in the middle of the night at some poker game. He seemed to mostly lose. Like most practiced con men, he was most charming, likable, and extremely well dressed. Watch out for a player whose shoes are new and a little too fancy. And those pinkie rings. If you told George, "I like your watch or hat or sweater." He'd say, "It's for sale."

Once, George sold a bag of fake diamonds to this gullible gambler I knew. He told him they were hot diamonds from big Dallas burglaries that were in the newspaper. The guy had to promise to hide them for a decade before he moved them. George bragged about these things but he often told cryptic stories, talked in riddles, and hinted at a dark side. Much has been written about George McGann being a hit man for the Dixie Mafia. Some of the Kennedy assassination researchers think George was involved, even one of the shooters.

One of the huge factors in being a professional poker player back then was finding a game and keeping the game going. This led to a lot of loaning and staking. Be careful about borrowing because then you are obligated to make a loan to that guy. If it was the middle of the night and a guy says he is going to quit the poker game if it gets down to five-handed, you might put some railbird like George in the game if you were bigger behind than a cotton-patch spider. I loaned George $150 once. He soaked two beautiful expensive sweaters. I wore them for a few years. He had this long list of the people he owed money to. He'd pull it out and show it to me. He said paying all the poker players around Texas back was very important to him.

Years later, some Kennedy assassination researchers led by Gary Shaw of Ft. Worth. came here and we had dinner. He mailed me some pictures of George and George's list of debts. I was on it as were a Doyle, a Slim, and a Sailor. George would go down to Odessa and try the big game with all the future World Champs. He couldn't beat it and neither could I.

I wasn't afraid of George but I had not heard all these bad things. Looking back, I guess George could pump all that money on the tab because the smart money was afraid of him. He was the kind of poker and gin rummy player that you knew would go broke. On fifth street, he'd study and puzzle, and shake his butt all around in the chair and convince himself that some guy that had not bluffed since the Great Depression just had to be bluffing this time. If you held a hand, George would pay you off and he was pleasant about it with the con man's semi-permanent big smile on his face.

One of the places we played was up this long flight of stairs. The houseman kept a shotgun leaning against the wall visible to all players. Now it was expected that the houseman would have barking iron, but tastefully out of sight. Someone suggested he hide the shotgun if George came around. This was the first hint I had that the gambler's were wary of George and his nocturnal ramblings.

Mornings might find me driving by several spots looking to play one of my side games, bridge or gin rummy. I'd prop folks to play heads-up Hold 'em but settle for gin. I'd try the golf course or one of the dice games before it opened. A few times I went by George's fancy apartment in Lubbock's best apartment house. George had a whole closet full of fancy clothes and shoes. We'd play gin rummy and then go for mid-afternoon breakfast. I was careful not to break him but he was the type of gambler you could carry all the way to busted. I do not really remember ever seeing George win.

One morning, we sat down to play gin rummy. He had left the two major suit nines in the card box on the kitchen cabinet. I figured this out early but didn't see any sense in saying anything. He knew two nines were gone. I knew two nines were gone. He did not know I knew. At first I thought he was holding them out. I jumped up and
suddenly looked in his lap. Nothing was there.

There was some other shiny-shirt road slick there. The way they kept carney-talking and eye-dancing each other, you'd know they gaffed he deck. After I beat him out of a day's walking around money, I pulled up. I went in the kitchen and could see the cards in the box. Neither of us mentioned it. As George was getting ready to go to
breakfast, he slipped a pair of brass knucles in the front pocket of his very tight slacks. These showed for a mile. I asked him,"Why don't you carry a pistol like everybody else?"

He made a lengthy reply about his uncontrollable temper. He said he'd kill somebody if he had a gun. Later, he did just that. George McGann told me a lot about Jerry James who he knew. James was on America's top ten most wanted. James robbed other outlaws all over the south. When the word hit the gambler's gravevine that James was
in town, joints closed and folks stayed armed and indoors. George said that when I got robbed at a poker game, it would be Jerry James. James was later a leader in the New Mexico prison riot where thirty-nine were killed.

He befriended Jimmie Chagra in prison at the behest of our government and James gained valuable information.

Later, I was at a big poker game that was robbed by three masked gunmen. They told us to face the wall and not look and that was fine with me. Only one of them spoke but some of the players later said one of them might have been George. Big Fred threw his healthy bankroll behind the ice box and saved it. After the robbers left, there was a hastily arranged small posse who had guns in their cars. They gave chase but played lucky they didn't get to smell any gunsmoke on that particular beautiful summer night.

George McGann told me the most curious thing of our friendship after the Kennedy assassination. He showed up with a brand new Cadillac that was red on the bottom and white on top. He said Jerry James had a matching Cadillac. George said that after the assassination, the Texas Rangers arrested him in East Texas and had at first mistaken him for Jerry James who they were chasing. George said they shuffled him around to various small town jails with charging him with anything. Finally, they let him go and drove him to the Cadillac which they had pushed off into a bar ditch and dented up.

George married Beverly Oliver, the so-called Bakuska Lady, a Dallas night club singer, who said she filmed the Kennedy assassination but the FBI stole her film. Most of what she said has been discredited. She said George killed Doris Grooms and George Fuqua. She was the source for the information that Ruby met Oswald in Oliver
Stone's movie, JFK. Beverly Oliver said that she and George McGann met for several hours with Richard Nixon when he was running for President. If they played poker, I am sure Nixon won. He financed his early political career on poker winnings.

Buford Pusser of Walking Tall fame said George was one of the Dixie Mafia hit-men that killed his wife. It has been written that he killed George McGann but that was not true.

A friend of mine was an eye witness to George McGann's killing in Lubbock, Texas, September 30, 1970. He was an old thirty-three. According to my friend, a group of honky-tonk heros numbering four were at a house in the middle of the night. George got a phone call from a woman who said that Jerry Meshell,30, had abused her. George
shot him twice, killing him, while the woman was still on the phone where she could hear. Then George didn't know what to do. He held my friend and Ronnie Weeden, 31, captive for several hours. Finally, Weeden went to the back of the house and came back with a pistol. He killed George and did some time for it.

I think the Kennedy assassination was a small Dallas-New Orleans conspiracy headed up by Carlos Marcello. At that time, bookies in Dallas laid off bets to Marcello, the real Mafia. Jack Ruby was a bookie. His telephone records are at Texas Tech's Southwest Collection. It is obvious he was calling Ft. Worth every few minutes in
relation to Fall football. Do you think the Kennedy Assassination it was a conspiracy?? I hope you like my old stories.

Johnny Hughes

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have a healthy chunk of dough stuck on Neteller so while I'm not yet doing a little jig, I'm taking this as a sign that I may someday see my money.

Press Release:

NETELLER Takes Positive Step Towards Returning US Customers’ Funds

Wednesday, 21 March 2007 – The NETELLER Plc Group (LSE: NLR), the leading global independent online money transfer business, today announced that it has signed agreements with each of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (“USAO”) and Navigant Consulting, Inc. (“Navigant”).

On 8 February 2007, the Group announced that it was in discussions with the USAO to manage an orderly return of funds to US customers and that it was contemplated that a forensic accounting firm would be engaged, at the Group's expense, to assist in this process and to examine the Group's financial position.

The Group is pleased to announce that on 20 March 2007, it signed agreements with the USAO and Navigant which, among other things, outline terms and a timeline under which NETELLER will work toward the orderly distribution of funds to its US customers. Per the agreements, the Group anticipates that within the next 75 days it will announce a plan by which the funds will be distributed to US customers. Navigant will also provide a report to the USAO on the Group’s current financial condition.

“We continue to be committed to returning funds to our US customers and working with the US Attorney’s Office,” said Ron Martin, Group President and CEO. “Progress, while not always visible to the outside observer, has been steady and these agreements mark a milestone in the process.”

NETELLER is continuing to cooperate with the USAO’s investigation, under the advice of its legal advisers and in accordance with court orders in the Isle of Man.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Abdul Jalib & Izmet Fekali 

"I hear if you record the text of 'Theory of Poker' and play it backwards, it says "This is all for you, sweet Satan." Over and over, and over, and over, and over."

Fourth post of the day! A new record!

Yes, I'm still reading.
Trying to catch up on RGP after a week away is particularly brutal.

And I just read the Mother of all threads on 2+2. For my old school readers, prepare to relish.

God, I used to blog about Abdul Jalib and Izmet Fekali all the damn time. Feels good to do so again. And then there's Angelina Fekali, Izmet's sister, who once asked very nicely for a link to her poker blog on my blogroll back in 2003.

Abdul is one of the greatest poker minds ever, damnit.

Who else is involved in this weird drama? Andrew Prock, he of the juicy chess club brain. Ditto for Sklansky. And, oh yeah, Sgt. Rock, who no one remembers except maybe HDouble, Mrs. Calistri and the crew at UpForPoker.

Here's the original post and thread.
18 pages of Awesomeness.
Stop working and go read:


The Ljubljana Conspiracy.

The whole DERB thing is now utterly out of control, so I apologise for making matters worse. See the recent threads in Mid/High Limit for background.

1) DERB comes from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has a somewhat questionable style of play, yet is a suprisingly big winner at the high stakes limit partypoker games.

2) Andrew Prock, who started the recent "DERB" thread is part of "Project Mayhem", based in, you guessed it, Ljubljana. However, when this was pointed out to him in the DERB thread, he stopped responding.

3) Other Project Mayhem members include Abdul Jalib and Izmet Fekali.

4) The "Fekali family" are from Ljubljana, and Abdul Jalib apparantly moved there.

4) Angelina Fekali, one of the earliest registered members on 2+2, suddenly appears and makes only her in one of the DERB threads, in response to a cryptic David Sklansky "Joke". The tone of the post would suggest some connection between Angelina Fekali and David Sklansky.

There are numerous unanswered questions concerning the Ljubljana connection. Is DERB part of "Project Mayhem" and linked to the Fekali's and Abdul Jalib? Are the Fekali's a real family or just the invention of a fertile imagination? I think Abdul Jalib may just be an alias itself? Who is Tonda? Tonda Hall? What does Andy Prock and David Sklansky know that the rest of us don't?


It's all one big mystery.

Hot damn, three posts in one day! I'm shifting paradigms over here.

But I just sat down with an ice cold beer and dove into some reading, contemplating another uber.

And found this post by David Sklansky that I figure deserves to be blogged right now. Enjoy this 2+2 thread:


Gay Shower Question

It would seem a five year old should ask this question but I haven't seen it anywhere.

If a man should be criticized for publicly proclaiming that he doesn't want to take a shower with a gay man, than why is it OK for a woman not to want to take a shower with a male co worker?

WSOP blog coverage 

I meant to blog this press release yesterday, but hey, better late than never.

I, for one, am more than happy to see Bluff Magazine take over the WSOP coverage after CardPlayer's horrific job last year.

Here's the press release. Good grief, check out the legalese at the bottom of this thing.


LAS VEGAS – March 19, 2007 – Harrah’s License Company LLC, an affiliate of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET), has executed a non-binding letter of intent to form a digital publishing alliance with Bluff Media LLC for online and radio coverage of all World Series of Poker-branded events on a global basis.

The letter of intent, which is subject to execution of a definitive agreement, calls for Bluff Media to be designated the official digital publisher and radio partner of the WSOP, the WSOP Circuit, WSOP Europe and other WSOP events. Bluff will operate www.worldseriesofpoker.com and provide broadband, streaming and real-time content, including chip counts, live event updates and video and audio news programs and features.

“Bluff shares our vision for bringing WSOP content to every medium that matters,” said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker. “Over the next four years, this alliance will help us connect with our players and fans in new and exciting ways, and further increase the value and relevancy of our global brand.”

"We believe the consolidation of digital-publishing rights under this agreement will lead to a more cohesive, integrative and compelling product for poker fans around the globe,” said Eddy Kleid, co-president of Bluff Media.

Bluff Media is the publisher of BLUFF magazine, America's leading poker publication, and co-publisher of newly launched SE7EN magazine, a sports-centric men's interest publication. Bluff Media pioneered poker on the radio by broadcasting final table play-by-play of 2006 World Series of Poker events on satellite radio. Bluff Media continues to be a leader in covering the world of competitive poker through its various print, internet, and broadcast media properties.

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment through its operating subsidiaries. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, nearly 70 years ago, Harrah’s has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names; Harrah’s also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah’s Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.

More information about Harrah’s is available at its Web site — www.harrahs.com . Information about the WSOP is available at www.worldseriesofpoker.com .

This release includes "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements contain words such as "may," "will," "project," "might," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "would," "estimate," "continue" or "pursue," or the negative or other variations thereof or comparable terminology. In particular, they include statements relating to, among other things, future actions, new projects, strategies, future performance, the outcomes of contingencies and future financial results of Harrah's. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events.

Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, the actual performance of Harrah's may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following factors, as well as other factors described from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained therein): the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement with Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management, L.P.; the outcome of any legal proceedings that have been, or will be, instituted against the Company related to the merger agreement; the inability to complete the merger due to the failure to obtain stockholder approval for the merger or the failure to satisfy other conditions to completion of the merger, including the receipt of all regulatory approvals related to the merger; the failure to obtain the necessary financing arrangements set forth in the debt and equity commitment letters delivered pursuant to the merger agreement; risks that the proposal transaction disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; the impact of the substantial indebtedness to be incurred to finance the consummation of the merger; the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on the gaming and hotel industries in particular; construction factors, including delays, increased costs for labor and materials, availability of labor and materials, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters and building permit issues; the effects of environmental and structural building conditions relating to our properties; access to available and reasonable financing on a timely basis; the ability to timely and cost-effectively integrate acquisition into our operations, including Caesars and London Clubs; changes in laws, including increased tax rates, regulations or accounting standards, third-party relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and governmental bodies; litigation outcomes and judicial actions, including gaming legislative action, referenda and taxation; the ability of our customer-tracking, customer loyalty and yield-management programs to continue to increase customer loyalty and same store sales or hotel sales; our ability to recoup costs of capital investments through higher revenues; acts of war or terrorist incidents or natural disasters; abnormal gaming holds; and the effects of competition, including locations of competitors and operating and market competition.

Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. Harrah's disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date stated, or if no date is stated, as of the date of this press release.

An uber poker post is pending, of course. Stay tuned.

I'm a huge Ricky Gervais fan. So allow me to share this video of Ricky visiting Africa for Comic Relief 2007. You gotta stick to the end for the payoff, of course.

And damn you, YouTube, for hurting my productivity. I just located this excellent series of Ricky Gervais interviewing comedic genius Larry David. My oh my. Larry is my hero.

Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David - Part 1

Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David - Part 2

Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David - Part 3

Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David - Part 4

Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David - Part 5

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fantastic weekend here. Let's just say I was due for one and leave it at that, shall we?

But alas, our hobo Sean is gone.

Here's a few pics I snapped of his now mostly empty camp. He took his large Army tent and most of his stuff, but still left behind assorted clothes and coolers and whatnot.

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