Poker Crossword Puzzle

[LL] “Hey, Rod, what’s with the long face?” Leroy the Lion offered in greeting.

[RR] “I was playing poker at the new Givusallayamunni Casino when I got this horrible toothache around midnight”, Roderick the Rock replied.

[LL] “Have you been to your dentist?”

[RR] “Not mine, but amazingly the complex where the casino is has its own set of 24/7 medical services, including a dentist.”

[LL] “So they patched you up, but you’re still unhappy?”

[RR] “They only put in a temporary filling, so I still need to go to my actual dentist for a real one.”

[LL] “Two dental services for the price of two, eh?”

[RR] “And they’re my favorite place in the whole world. But at least this one had some interesting reading material while you wait.”

[LL] “Like ‘How to play slots, craps, and keno, and give us all of your money’?”

[RR] “Well those pamphlets too, but what caught my eye was a Poker, Pokerer, Pokerest magazine. Among its many features were some word games like you might find at the back of Highlights for Children.”

[LL] “A ‘Goofus and Gallant’ comic for poker etiquette might be more useful, but I could see how ‘What’s Wrong?’ could work too.”

[RR] “The first puzzle was this crossword:

{Roderick consults his cell phone and scribbles a grid on a napkin for Leroy.}

Here you go.1 You can read the clues on my phone:”

1
2
3
4
5

Across

  1. A magazine more famous than this one.
  2. What cash game players want to be at the end of the day.
  3. Chum for the sharks.

Down

  1. What Texas Hold ‘Em players share.
  2. School where Annie Duke studied for a Ph.D. in psychology and David Sklansky went for an MBA, for short.2
  3. What a player does with 1-Down when an opponent doesn’t suck out.

[LL] “Whoa, that’s definitely a bit too hard for the kids. I’m going to need some time to work on this…”

{Answers next week.}

Footnotes:

  1. Post might not display properly unless you view it by itself.
  2. Both Duke and Sklansky dropped out, leading to their respective poker careers soon thereafter.
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Jacob on Jeopardy, Part Two

[RR] “As I expected, Alex Jacob made it back for this year’s Jeopardy! tournament of Champions”, Roderick the Rock opened. “I think it would be great for poker if he won.”

[LL] “And he’s kicking butt!” Leroy the Lion added.

[FF] “Do the Jeopardy fans still hate him for his, whatsitcalled, Forrest Jump?” Figaro the Fish asked.

[RR] “Forrest Bounce, but I like your name better.1 I think he’s won them over. His opponents in the finals are Matt Jackson, who’s a bit too intense and speaks-a-mile-a-minute, and Kerry Greene, who seems a bit overmatched.”

[LL] “And you gotta love the way he plays the game! On the first day of the finals, Jacob went all-in twice on Daily Doubles to take a commanding lead into Final Jeopardy. Then, when he didn’t like the last catgory, he wagered nothing, wrote ‘WHO IS “GOOD GAME GUYS”‘ in the answer space, and increased his lead2 when both Greene and Jackson erred.”3

[RR] “Barring an incredibly unlucky set of categories, Jacob’ll be this year’s champion,4 and we can all brag about how great poker players are at everything.”

Footnotes:

  1. The movie, Forrest Gump, hit theaters nine years after Chuck Forrest’s initial Jeopardy! run.
  2. Jacob’s total of $29,600 is way ahead of Greene’s ($3,400) and Jackson’s ($3,000).
  3. In the category, “French Novel Title Heroes”, the answer was “He ‘looked as if he had been shut up for a long time in a tomb and… been unable to recover the… complexion of the living.'” Jacob’s opponents both guessed the wrong Alexandre Dumas novel, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, instead of “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
  4. November 20, 2015 Update: Jacob indeed won, dominating the Tournament of Champions finals like no player ever before. By the middle of Double Jeopardy!, Jackson and Greene were playing for second place. Jacob could have bet and lost it all on Final Jeopardy! and still won the $250,000 first prize handily (along with his two-day total of $48,300).
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2015 WSOP Main Event Winner – Joe McKeehen

[RR] “Did you guys watch the Main Event final table?” Roderick the Rock inquired, although he already knew the answer.

[LL] “Of course”, Leroy the Lion confirmed. “Although I’m afraid it wasn’t very exciting this year.”

[SS] “Yeah, that was only the second time the November Nine chip leader ended up winning, after Jonathan Duhamel in 2010”, Stan the Stat added. “It’s definitely more interesting when one of the underdogs pulls off the upset.”

[RR] “Too bad Negreanu didn’t make the final table to spice things up.”

[LL] “The whole lot of them were pretty boring and tight, I thought.”

[RR] “Several of them looked like they just wanted to move a couple places up the pay scale.”

[LL] “Well, certainly not Patrick Chan!1

[SS] “He and Federico Butteroni were pretty short stacked. Chan took the aggressive approach, while the Italian tried to sit back and get lucky.”

[RR] “Neither way worked.”

[SS] “Amazingly, Butteroni (8th), Pierre Neuville (7th), Zvi Stern (5th), and Max Steinberg (4th), all busted with Ace-Jack! Butteroni, Stern, and Steinberg couldn’t catch up to bigger Aces,2 while Neuville got very unlucky when Joe McKeehen backdoored a flush with the dominated J♥6♥.”

[LL] “The sixth place finisher was even unluckier than Neuville. Thomas Cannuli’s A♠A♣ were sent to the rail when Steinberg’s T♥T♦ flopped a set of Tens.”

[SS] “Yep. Neuville was just over a 70% favorite, while Cannuli was 80% to win his hand.”

[RR] “Once it got to three-way, McKeehen had such a big chip lead with about two-thirds of the chips, that I thought both Josh Beckley and Neil Blumenfield should play for second.”

[LL] “I think the money jumps kept them from doing that. It was only $1.07 million more for second but $3.21 million more for first.”

[RR] “It helped that Beckley’s Queens took out Blumenfield’s Deuces to consolidate the two short stacks, but it hardly mattered.”

[LL] “Right. Heads up play lasted what, twelve hands?”

[SS] “Correct. With under a fifth of the chips, Beckley didn’t have much room to manuever. At least he got it all in good with Fours against Ace-Ten offsuit, but a Ten on the flop gave the superior player the bracelet.

I should also note that:

  • Neuville’s seventh place finish was the worst for a November Niner starting fourth.
  • The final four were all Americans (McKeehen, Beckley, Blumenfield, and Steinberg). The only other time that was true for the November Nine was in 2012 when Andras Koroknai of Hungary busted out in 6th place and left five Americans to battle for the bracelet.
  • The final three included two of the three youngest and one of the two oldest of the November Nine.
  • Beckley’s second place finish was the second best for a November Niner starting seventh (Pius Heinz won in 2011).
  • McKeehen became chip leader of the event way back on Day 4 (second on Day 3) and led the final table wire to wire, knocking out five of the other eight players.
  • All eight November Nine champions have been in their 20s.

Footnotes:

  1. Chan lasted all of two hands, as he found K♠Q♣ good enough to call for all of his chips preflop but couldn’t catch McKeehen’s small Ace.
  2. They lost to McKeehen and Blumenfield’s Ace-King and McKeehen’s Ace-Queen, respectively.
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Poker Hall of Fame Induction 2015

[SS] “The NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony is a huge deal, with family, former teammates, and coaches invited to a very nice presentation, with long speeches from many people. Same with the Baseball Hall of Fame and even the NASCAR and Tennis Halls of Fame. They’re all broadcast on TV in a half-hour or hour-long show1“, Stan the Stat lectured.

“So why is the Poker Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony time on television so brief? The stories players could tell are highly entertaining, much more so than watching yet another ‘all-in-and-a-call’, that’s for sure.”

[LL] “I’d watch it”, Leroy the Lion agreed.

[RR] “Me, too”, Roderick the Rock echoed.

[SS] “It’s not a popularity contest, but two of the most likable players — John Juanda and Jennifer Harman — were just elected, but if you’re not in the Longhorn Room of Binion’s Gambling Hall at 7:00 pm today, you’re not going to see much of it.”

[LL] “Just whatever brief snippets ESPN includes in its WSOP coverage.”

[RR] “A real shame.”

[SS] “They’re both very deserving inductees, too.

Juanda was born in Indonesia2 but now lives in California. He is among the WSOP leaders in cashes (65, 11th best), final tables (33, 5th best), bracelets (5, tied for 15th), and winnings ($4,702,392 + $237,255 Circuit; including non-WSOP events, Juanda has amassed $17,250,677). He won the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event and tied a record with three final tables during the third season of the World Poker Tour.

Harman was born in Reno, Nevada and still lives in the state. She was the first woman3 to win two open WSOP tournaments, a 2000 $5,000 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw event and a 2002 $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. She was one of the first players to cash in four WPT World Championships and has totaled over $2.7 million in live tournament earnings, including over $1.4 million at the WSOP (4th best among women) from 31 cashes (tied for 5th best). She has hosted the Jennifer Harman Celebrity Poker Tournament to benefit the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals since 2007.”

Footnotes:

  1. The NFL and MLB induction ceremonies are even live-streamed now.
  2. Juanda is the third Asian-born player to be inducted, after Johnny Chan (2002) and Scotty Nguyen (2013).
  3. Harman is the third women to be inducted, after Barbara Enright (2007) and Linda Johnson (2011).

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