Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2011 11:58 AM
The emails used to come regularly, and they were brief. Often they would say only something like:
It was understood that the Power Ball jackpot was getting high, and it was time to pool resources, buy 25 or 30 tickets, and hopefully cash in.
So I ponied up a buck or two. The idea was that we would hit it, rent a limo for the ride to the lottery office to get photographed in front of that huge check, stop back at work to give our two-week notices, then head to the local upscale steakhouse and party the night away.
We never hit big, of course, and over my protests even small winnings were used to buy even more losing tickets. It was a story played out in thousands of offices across North America.
Eventually I grew tired and decided smaller wins at casinos were better than chasing an unattainable jackpot, so I dropped out of the office pool. Since then I have not paid much attention to lotteries. I look at them kind of like an NBA no-call – if a lot of people want to try to buck ridiculous odds for the high likelihood of allowing a truck driver from Nebraska to get rich beyond his wildest dreams and blowing it in a few years, knock yourself out. I’ll try to grind out a hundred here or there at the blackjack table, and probably have a lot more fun doing it.
But a recent story about a Texas native who had hit it big four times – for total winnings of $25 million – got my attention. Joan Ginther is her name, and she now lives i... [More]
Posted Friday, August 05, 2011 07:36 AM
So A-Rod’s in trouble again with baseball commissioner Bud Selig. MLB’s Barney Fife wants Rodriguez to sit down and explain just what’s going on with those high-stakes poker games we told you to avoid just a few years ago. Better have the right answers, too, or else.
Seems baseball got wind of the fact that A-Rod may have ignored Sdelig’s admonition a few years back to put the cards away, and recently was involved in games that included other rich people, expensive cigars, cocaine, lots of gorgeous women and gamblers who asked A-Rod to let a few ground balls go through his legs at opportune.
Actually, that’s not true. Baseball (Selig) is just assuming that there were sexy women and gamblers there. Makes the story better, and turns a harmless habit into an activity that is rocking baseball to its core. [As for the cocaine, shouldn’t be hard to test him.]
Selig and MLB have a curious relationship with gambling. If teams and the league can make money from it, then it’s no problem. Players? Not so much. So Lenny Dykstra can lose money in poker games several decades ago, be forced to eat number two during an apology and promise to never do it again. Yet the Yankees and other teams can enter into working relationships with casinos and bulk up their bottom lines. The wife of Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch owns parts of several casinos nationwide, yet Selig seems OK with that. The Yankees themselves rake in a good penny on Mohegan Sun advertising. The list is e... [More]