Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

2007 Fantasy Football Draft Review

2007 Fantasy Football Draft Review

Last year I thought it would be fun to do a round by round analysis of my Fantasy Football league’s draft.  Three hours later I was halfway done and I realized that fun was a little bit generous in my assessment, but it was too late to stop then.  This year I’m just going to list the teams in the league, their picks and maybe a few comments on bad they are.  More than anything its just a chance to make fun of the other members of the league.

Before I start I should point out that each team will play the following positions:  QB,RB,RB,WR,WR,TE,K,D and we get two bench players.  That’s right two.  We previously had played with a two WRs and a WR/TE slot, and this year I suggested adding a full TE since there seem to be more TE actually contributing offensively these days.  After some discussion, we converted the WR/TE to just a TE and removed half of our already small bench.  All I can say is I hope the two teams that pushed for that format get a key player injured while they have other big players on a bye week, so they have to drop them.

I should also mention that I spent about an hour prepping for this years draft, unlike previous years where I spent months ahead of time doing research.

So here we go.

Drunken Pirates:

Last year the Pirates choose Brian Westbrook with their number one pick, which is why they are picking first again this year.  They did a bit better this year in taking Shaun Alexander.  I would have gone with Larry Johnson, but what do I know?  It’s not like I won the league last year or anything.  Oh wait.  I did.   Here’s his picks:

  • Alexander, Shaun

  • Palmer, Carson

  • Boldin, Anquan

  • Lewis, Jamal

  • Bears  D

  • Galloway, Joey

  • Witten, Jason

  • Delhomme, Jake

  • Maroney, Laurence

  • Tynes, Lawrence

Shaun Alexander’s production will cover up a lot of draft mistakes. The Pirates are lacking a Strong second RB and WR which is what happens when you take a defense in the fifth round.  Of coarse it is the Bears D, so he might just win most of his games based on their production.


I don’t know the manager of the Hoosierbucks outside of this league, but our commissioner has certainly talked him up in years past as the man to beat based on other leagues that are in together.  He employs a unique strategy that ether works out really well or really poorly.  I think he won the league a few years ago, but based on the fact that he’s drafting second this year, last year must have been a one of the not-so-good years.  Larry Johnson at #2 overall is a no brainer.  I think Willie Parker will be a pretty decent second back, and he managed to get a QB in the 7th round, and sooner or later Vick has to live up to his potential.  Or not.

  • Johnson, Larry

  • Harrison, Marvin

  • Parker, Willie

  • Heap, Todd

  • Ravens D

  • Akers, David

  • Vick, Michael

  • Muhammad, Mushin

  • Foster, DeShaun

  • Mason, Derrick

Dad’s Dynasty

Dad is our commissioner’s father.  He finished the regular season in first place during our inaugural season, before I knocked him out of the playoffs on route to my first league championship.  I think that was his best year.  Apparently that’s what makes Dynasty these days.  Speaking of dynasties, he picked up the quarterback of the dynasty that is the Indianapolis Colts with his number one pick.   Conventional wisdom says to take a RB with your first pick, especially when it’s the third pick overall, but what do the experts know?  And before you tell me how many TDs he might pass for, I should point out that passing TDs are only worth four points while rushing and receiving TDs are worth 6

  • Manning, Peyton

  • Jones, Julius

  • Gates, Antonio

  • Jackson, Darrell

  • Panthers D

  • Taylor, Fred

  • Stallworth, Donte

  • Feely, Jay

  • Rhodes, Dominic

  • Benson, Cedric

He did manage to steal Antonio Gates from my. I was hoping to get him with my 3rd or 4th round pick.  Other than that, I’m thinking Dad is going to be hitting the waiver wire hard once the season starts.  

Menace to Sobriety

Menace gets a gift in Tomlinson, and does pretty well for himself after that.  He looks to have a pretty solid team and if I had to pick a winner right now this would be my choice.

  • Tomlinson, Ladanian

  • Holt, Torry

  • Westbrook, Brian

  • Wayne, Reggie

  • Shockey, Jeremy

  • Dillon, Corey

  • Bledsoe, Drew

  • Indy D

  • Gore, Frank

  • Graham, Shayne


What the kings lack in fantasy football skills he makes up for in trash talking.  He’s had some of the funniest exchanges with other members of the league that I’ve ever seen, but those exchanges will probably be the highlight of his season.  There’s also a good chance that by halfway through the season he will have forgotten his user name and password and he’ll be starting half his team on their bye weeks.  Not that he hasn’t won games in years past by doing that.  

  • Barber, Tiki

  • Fitzgerald, Larry

  • Brady, Tom

  • Bush, Reggie

  • Walker, Javon

  • Davis, Domanick

  • Houshmandzadeh, T.J.

  • Vinatieri, Adam

  • Crumpler, Alge

  • Washington D

Rabid Danimals

Perennial winners of the losers bracket, Danimals Animals are Rabid this year.  Scary.   They traded their 6th and 15th picks for my 10th and 11th.  If his team stays healthy I think the trade worked out better for him.

  • Portis, Clinton

  • Williams, Carnell

  • Owens, Terrell

  • Williams, Roy

  • Jones, Kevin

  • Bulger, Marc

  • Johnson, Andre

  • Winslow, Kellen

  • Jax D

  • Warner, Kurt

No one wanted TO after last year.  I think he’ll end up being one of the steals of the draft going late in the third round.  I also think Kurt Warner is a good pickup with the last pick.  Now that they have a solid RB, I would think Arizona’s offense could start doing something.  And if not, then he’ll be passing a lot which should work out well.


How someone growing up in Chicago, whose parents have season tickets for the Bears can become a Vikings fan I’ll never know.  Despite such poor decision making skills, he usually does pretty well in fantasy football. He was running away with the league last year until TO screwed him, and Priest Holmes went down, letting me play Larry Johnson for rest of the season to catch up.  

  • Jackson, Steven

  • Johnson, Chad

  • Dunn, Warrick

  • Moss, Santana

  • Hasselbeck, Matt

  • Smith, LJ

  • Horn, Joe

  • Glenn, Terry

  • Elam, Jason

  • Green, Ahman

He stole Chad Johnson from me in the second round.   I think he’s going to end up being the most productive receiver this year, and I’m pissed I missed him.   Overall the Vikings have a pretty solid team.  

No Talent Ass Clowns

The esteemed commissioner of our league finished in third place last year.  I’m not real impressed with his team so far so I don’t think he’s going to be repeating his trip to the post season this year.  Of course if history is any indicator I just jinxed myself and he’ll end up winning the league while I’m looking up from the opposite end.

  • Brown, Ronnie

  • McGahee, Willis

  • Manning, Eli

  • Ross, Randy

  • Burress, Plaxico

  • Cooley, Chris

  • Pittsburgh D

  • Bell, Mike

  • Bell, Tatum

  • Vanderjagt, Mike

Pig in a Poke

Last years second place finisher also has a pretty strong team again.  I had Rudi Johnson the last two seasons and almost took him again this year, but I was planning on getting Chad Johnson in the next round so I passed.  I also had Chris Chambers last year, and I think he’ll do real well this year with an actual offense to work with.

  • Johnson, Rudi

  • Jordan, Lamont

  • Chambers, Chris

  • Mcnabb, Donovan

  • Gonzalez, Tony

  • Driver, Donald

  • Taylor, Chester

  • Smith, Rod

  • Seattle D

  • Kasay, John

Remember Last Year

Usually my team name is Wait Til Next Year, because I’m a Cubs fan and that’s what we do.  I changed it up a bit this year because I’m funny like that.  Enjoy it because that’s about as creative as I get.

I really hate my draft.  I had planned on taking the best RB available with my #10 overall pick and the Chad Johnson with #11.  I was then going to hope Antonio Gates would survive through the third round, where I would also pick up a second WR or RB.  That was about the extent of my planning.  At the last minute I traded with the Danimals and ruined any plan I might have had.

I took Edge with my first pick hoping that with a decent back the Cardinals offense won’t suck.  I have a feeling I’ll regret that.  I then took Steve Smith with my second pick because the Vikings stole Johnson from me the pick before.  I think Smith will do OK this year, but nowhere near as good as last year.  He doesn’t warrant a 15th overall slot, but there were no running backs left that I would rather have, so I took him.  Oh, yeah, and he has the same bye week as my number one pick, so if I have any injuries I’m screwed.  

I desperately need another RB because I don’t think Reuben Droughns is going to do much in Cleveland’s offense. I like McMichael as my TE except that he’s on the same team as my QB who I took with the very next pick.  Which means once again if I have any injuries the week they are on a bye I’m screwed.   I also like my kicker, except that his bye week is the same as my first two picks, so one of them will have to go.  Guess who.  

  • James, Edgerrin

  • Smith, Steve

  • Ward, Hines

  • Droughns, Reuben

  • McMichael, Randy

  • Culpepper, Daunte

  • Rackers, Neil

  • Tampa Bay D

  • Kennison, Eddie

  • Jones, Thomas

The one thing I wanted to do  with this draft was avoid bye week overlaps, and I couldn’t have messed that up more if I tried.  I’m still going to win.   Can’t wait for football to start.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A New Car

A New Car

If you didn’t read the title of this post in the voice of the announcer from The Price is Right go back and do it again. Doesn’t that sound better.

More than two months after my old piece of crap car got totaled, I finally have a replacement. We’re lucky that we rarely need the second car since it allowed us to take our time looking for a new one, and we certainly took advantage of that.

I ended up with a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. I’ve been thinking about getting a hybrid for a few years, but the newness of them and goofy looking options stopped me from considering purchasing one until now. Ultimately a combination of escalating gas prices, my inner hippie’s desire to be environmentally friendly, and the fact that the Civic Hybrid looks like a normal Civic helped finalize my decision.

Buying this car was no small feat. The demand for hybrids is greatly outpacing the supply so it was a challenge finding one that hadn’t already been sold for a test drive. One of my concerns was that in an attempt to maximize fuel economy the engine would be severely underpowered, and I so I had to make sure it had sufficient power before I bought it

Side note: I type the word poker so often that anytime I start a word with p o my hand just automatically types in the following k e r, so sufficient power started as sufficient poker, and I really don’t think any car has that. Anyone else have that problem or am I just weird?

Where was I? Finding a car to test drive. According the Honda website, there were four within a reasonable distance from my house. A typical Saturday would involve the following script repeated four times.

Me: Hi I was wondering if you have any of the Civic Hybrids on the lot.
Salesman: No we don’t, would you like to put down a deposit?
Me: No thanks, I would like to test drive one before I commit to anything.
Salesman: We should be getting one in Tuesday, if you put down a $500 deposit you can reserve it.
Me: I’ll call back Tuesday.

Eventually one dealership did have one in stock. When we got there we were informed that it had just sold, but we could put down a deposit to reserve next incoming car. No thanks we said, although we did test drive the Civic EX, just to get a feel for that line in general.

A few weeks later, that same dealership claimed to have two in stock, but again by the time we got there they had both sold. Do we want to put down a deposit?

Now, I understand that these are highly desirable cars, and that they don’t last long, but there is no way that the three cars that this dealership managed to last up until we call, but then get sold in the thirty minutes it takes to get to the dealership. I’m 99.9999% certain that they would just tell us the cars were in to get us down there to either put down a deposit on an incoming vehicle, or test drive something else.

Fool me once, shame on me, yadda yadda yadda. So we expanded our search and found two more dealerships that claimed to have hybrids in stock.

A few stressful wrong turns later and we pulled up to the dealer almost sure that they had sold during the hour it took us to get there. But there was not one, but two Hybrid Civics sitting there right before our very eyes. It was a Christmas miracle.

As the dealer was going through his spiel, telling us about the safety features, and Honda’s customer satisfaction rating and showing us under the hood, another salesman came up, took the keys from him and informed us that one had been sold.

Onto car number two. He starting going into the spiel again and all I could think was “For the love of God, shut up and let me drive the car before someone else gets it.” Finally, he grabbed the keys and we were on our way. The day we never thought would come had arrived. We actually got to test drive the car.

And it was great. There was nothing significantly different between the hybrid and a normal gas guzzling counterparts. The only weird thing is that the engine shuts off while breaking, which will take some getting used to. I don’t think it affects the overall performance though, because the engine is back on before you can get your foot from the break to the gas.

Unfortunately the one we test drove was used and it was a girly pastel blue color, so we had to order one. And we weren’t able to pick it up until last night. But, we do now have a new car and it rocks. It was well worth the wait, and I’d highly recommend you pick yourself up one, the next time you are out.

I should also mention that we did try the Toyota Prius, but I was never very interested in it. I really don’t care for the design. If they just could have made it look like a normal sedan instead of the goofy hatchback look with the split rear windshield I might have considered it. Not only does the back half look odd, it’s really hard to see out of, which I found quite annoying. It also seemed too gadgety. It was like the designers decided that since they were going to have a futuristic hybrid gas/electric motor, everything in the car should be futuristic, to the point where it was complete overkill. That being said, if I had had to wait another week or two before I was able to test drive a Civic, I probably would have gone for the Prius.

So now I can’t wait for gas to hit $5 a gallon so I can laugh at my friends who mocked me for being a hippie and not buying a normal car.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

5 Billion Hands for Party Poker

Party Poker is approaching the 5 Billion Hand mark, and like PokerStars did earlier this year, they are have a special promotion to celebrate. Participants in various milestone hands will be awarded cash prizes depending on the table stakes. Full details can be found here.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Actually Played Poker

That's right. I played some actual poker tonight for the first time in about two months. I picked it up pretty much where I left off. $20 SNG where I played solid and conservative for the first half, gradually keeping pace with the average chip stack. From there I didn't adjust when got short handed, and played way too tight while the escalating blinds destroyed by stack. Some short stack heroics and the elimiation of a really stubburn super short stack let me creep past the bubble into third place. So, two months off and I haven't missed a beat. Still playing just barely above average poker. But I figured I'd share because I haven't had much else to write about recently and you might be starting to miss me.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

WSOP Final Table

The final table for the WSOP Main event is currently underway. As always, you should check out Pauly’s blog for live updates.

Looks like I was a bit off in my predictions. Stars players made up three of the final nine, and only one FullTilt pro made it. Allen Cunningham is the only big name left, and I’ve been rooting for him for the past few days. Why is that you ask? Because he’s on my fantasy poker team of coarse.

It’s amazing what fantasy sports will do for your interest in that sport. Five years ago the only football I watched was Bears games, and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about players on any other team. After a few years of fantasy football, and much to my wife’s chagrin I now enjoy watching just about any pro game, and I know who just about every skill position player is. And trust me; nothing impresses the ladies like knowing the average yards per game of the third string WR for some football team halfway across the country.

It’s almost the same for the WSOP this year. I participated in the goofy fantasy league at FullTilt and even though there wasn’t much riding on it I would still check each night to get chip counts and see how my picks were doing. Last year, without some competition that involved me, I would check the results as they came in, but this year I definitely followed the standings more closely. So yeah, you want me to be interested in some sporting event? Set up a fantasy league and give me something to play for, and I’m in.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

WSOP Final Table Prop Bets

I probably should have posted this last week, but of the 10 people who make it to the final table of this year's WSOP main event, do you think there will be more representatives from PokerStars or FullTilt? I don't know the exact numbers, but I think 20-25% of the field qualified through PokerStars. I could be way off though. FullTilt doesn't have nearly as many, but I think they have more professional players representing them than all other sites combined.

If I had to set a line I would put the over/under on number of PokerStars players at 3.5 and FullTilt players at 2.5. This would be players that qualified through that site, or were sponsored/endorsed by the site prior to the start of the tournament. As the tournament progresses I think the unclaimed players are quickly recruited for advertising purposes, so those people don't count.

Of coarse that leaves four seats left. I would give one to a Party Poker qualifier, one to some random small site, and two mystery seats, maybe people that bought their way in or made it through a live satellite.