All Around the Place

I sent out the final update via email to my investors.  Went deep in a deep stack for lint, and just missed a final table in an outside the Rio tournament.  I traded well again, as I had a piece of the dude that chopped/won that tournament and had a tiny sliver of a guy that finished ~21st in the Millionaire Maker.

Tough run in Vegas, considering every package event, I lost my first big all-in hand (one time I had my opponent slightly covered) as a big favorite.  While that in itself is not uncommon to lose as a big favorite, it's pretty unlikely for those hands to essentially happen consecutively every single FIRST time.  Literally, I couldn't get anything going in any event despite getting it in great (Sets, overpairs etc. etc. etc).

Just like last year, I came back to New Orleans and played in a weekly.  I mauled it.  Couldn't miss in a 5 hour turbo with the kind of card run I couldn't get over the course of a week in Vegas.  Poker can be cruel.  It's the only game where you can be winning a tournament wondering why all your hands are holding and you are fading everything, and be pissed about winning money.  Yeah.  Ridiculous.  Just give me a taste of that in one of those bigger events where I could have a chip stack and some momentum.  Alright enough
bitching.  It's on to World Cup time...

Soccer:

I think the sport is really catching hold stateside.  The metrics are surprising to anybody over 30, google some studies it if you think it's just a passing fancy and nobody cares about it.  In some ways, it's already HUGE, though the media and advertisers are somewhat unaware of how big it is among kids (I'm not talking participation I'm talking support of teams and players).  Even haters have enjoyed the World Cup so far.

They say our country only has one major club team that elicits the same type of emotional investment that Europeans feel for their local clubs.  That's our national team.  Just the difference from four years in social media and the youtube videos of those massive congregations of people watching all over the country confirm the Men's National Team is getting a foothold in our national psyche.  Late winning goals are rare in soccer, and holding onto a thin lead, or scrapping to get that one goal, can make even a drab scoreline an electric game.  In a way, US fans have been spoiled with Donovan's heroics four years ago and Brooks' stunning header yesterday.  Still, they know now why a 1-0 game can be thrilling and edge of your seat stuff.
I keep reading accounts how one game captivated an American sports fan and changed him into a US fan (despite "hating" soccer) and you got to feel we added thousands of new converts yesterday.  That said our media, who I mentioned are behind the curve on this, just keep popping out bad articles by "journalists," and I'm referring to real journalists not just bloggers, just filled with errors.  Even worse are their strange opinions that reflect having a little bit of knowledge and trying to make broad statement or assumptions that only show how ignorant they are in the grand scheme.  One "reporter" said we should have lost the game 7-2 if there was any fairness in soccer.  Pretty naiive about the fact even great teams sometimes have to "park the bus" in front of the goal to hold onto a lead.  Such a massive difference tactically with soccer yet they only compare it to what they know baseball or basketball or football.

As for the U.S.  Klinsman was one of my favorite players growing up.  As a kid I lived in Germany and he's in my top three German players I rooted for all time.  I also went to an English school and supported Liverpool football club.  So every world cup I have three or more (depending on if other teams rely on Liverpool's players) passionate interests.  The USA is finally relevant so of course they are number 1.  I couldn't have been happier with them hiring a guy I have great respect for...

That said, he left Landon Donovan at home.  I'll never understand that decision unless Landon was somehow some sort of closeted cancer to the locker room.   Last night was a prime reason why you needed him on the bench.  The U.S. essentially collapsed when Altidore pulled up lame and things got worse when the kid with a ton of potential Aron Johansson came on the field.

Had Landon, skills diminished or not (and that's arguable in some ways), come in, I think the game is far more balanced and we would have created a ton more chances.  He's also great on the counter and instead of attacks stifling or whimpering out, he could have helped maintain some composure and possession.  Whether or not you agree with me, and many don't, his leadership was missing at the very least at times we were rudderless.

Another critique is Klinsmann has preached we are going to be the fittest team in the world.  There is such a thing as overtraining, and as U.S. player after U.S. player started going limp, I thought back to my high school soccer days.  We had a coach who put us through three-a-days in the hot August sun for two weeks before school.

He preached that kind of excessive training was going to give us that extra bit of juice to in the 90th minute and help us win the state title.  When 1/3 of our team started picking up injuries, hamstring pulls, and breaking down, I'd often wonder how we were getting in shape if we were watching from the sidelines.  In theory having a team of marathon runners would be an advantage but lots of people get hurt trying to become a marathoner in too short a time.  I hope Klinsmann didn't overtrain us.  We have to go the rainforest of Manus and after watching the England-Italy game there, I'm very worried about us leaving there needing points against Germany.

The turnaround between game 2 and 3 is much shorter than 1 and 2 and we already seem spent.  Us and Portugal going there is a huge advantage for Ghana and Germany.  We really got the shaft with that one.

Alright, probably more poker and less soccer next time.  Probably.  I do have world cup fever so no guaranteess.

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