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Daniel - Poker Journal

NBC Heads Up: Time for Bracketology

28 Feb 2007


I always get excited for this event. It's just a lot of fun for me and I'm addicted to brackets of any kind. This year, like last year, there will be a $1000 buy in bracket pool for this year's event. It works like this:

You fill out an entire bracket, with every match all the way to the finals. For example, if it was an 8 man bracket you'd do this:

Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final Champion
Johnny Chan Johnny Chan
Kathy Liebert

J.C Tran J.C. Tran J.C Tran
Phil Laak
J.C Tran
Phil Ivey
Ted Forrest Ted Forrest Ted Forrest

Patrick Antonious Patrick Antonious
David Benyamine

You pick every match-up. Every time you have the right player in the right spot you receive points. For a field of 64 players, the point structure goes like this:

Round of 64 win: 1 points
Round of 32 win: 2 points
Round of 16 win: 3 points
Quarter-Final win: 5 points
Semi-Final win: 7 points
Finals win: 10 points

You end up picking the winners of 63 matches, and that all has to happen before the start of the first match. As in the previous example, if you picked Ted Forrest over Patrick Antonius, but Ted Forrest beats David Benyamine instead, that still counts as a win for you. All you need to have is the right winner in any square.

Unfortunately, the only way to enter is to either be at the drawing party tomorrow night (not open to the public), or, be down at the event before it starts.

Whoever's bracket gets the most points wins the pool. Depending on the number of entrants, more than one place will be paid:

2-10 entrants: 1 prizes 100%
11-20 entrants: 2 prizes 70%-30%
21-30 entrants: 3 prizes 50%-30%-20%
31-40 entrants: 4 prizes 50%-25%-15%-10%
41-50 entrants: 5 prizes 45%-24%-14%-10%-7%

Last year some people didn't pay and it ended up costing me a few bucks, so this year, if you want it, I need to see some greenbacks first!



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I'm back in Vegas now after my aces got cracked in two out of three hands. Anthony Mak, in his first tournament did exceptionally well. He made it very deep into day three of the event before bowing out short stacked. The kid fought really hard and I was proud of him. He has so little experience, but he is an absolute natural in every sense of the word.

Anyway, when I got knocked out of the tournament I watched the Oscars before heading to my buddies place to play X-BOX 360. What a blast I had. Seriously, one of the most fun nights I've had in a long time. Oren and I played against Regev and Steve and we trounced them in NBA Live and FIFA. While Oren and Regev are FIFA master, it was yours truly that scored the only goal of the match.

In basketball, I turned the Heat into a run and gun team to get into the finals of our mini-tournament. Regev chose the Pistons and was determined to play half court basketball. Despite being down 9 early, I ended up having a shot to win it, and lost by 1. That one hurt.

Oren sucked as a partner but we still won. I was literally yelling at him every time he touched the ball, "PUSH IT MAN! PASS! YOU ALWAYS PASS TO YOURSELF! SHAQ IS OPEN YOU IDIOT!!!" It was so much fun. After we played games Oren showed me this video called, "The Secret."

Then for some bizarre reason, that sparked like a five hour drunken discussion about God and whether he exists or not. He was being so dumb, and I was probably being dumber. I'm sure neither of us made any sense at all. He would say, "That's the way it is man, it's stats. It's all about the stats." Huh? What the....? I would come back with, "Can you prove anything you say? Prove it, come on man, prove it!" And so on, and so on. We didn't get out of there until 9:00am.

Anyway, back to the Oscars show. When I watched it, it brought back a lot of old memories from my childhood. When I was really young I wanted to be a child actor. I did a lot of extra work until I heard about an NBC talent hunt, where over 1000 kids under 14 showed up. I was one of them.

We auditioned for a role in the "Adventures of Pippi Longstocking." I was supposed to pretend I was Tommy, walking on a tight rope and chasing after Pippi. In my group, there were 50 kids and they had me go first.

When I was done, he stopped everything and told the rest of the crew, "That was perfect. That's exactly what we are looking for."

Later that day I did an interview when I was 12 year old with the local television network, Global. They asked me what I was doing there and how I thought my chances were of becoming a star. I remember it like it was yesterday. I still have the tape somewhere. This is what a cocky 12 year old me said, "I have no doubt in my mind that I'll be a star." The interviewer replied, "Really, what makes you so confident."

"Well, they really liked my audition and I just don't have any doubt whatsoever that I'm going to make it."

They called back six boys and I was one of them. I auditioned again and thought I did extremely well. I didn't get called back and that was a tough pill to swallow at that age. I later found out that the movie wasn't being made, though, and that made me feel a little better about it. I was proud of being called back, but even at that age, I didn't like "losing" at all.

My mother knew how passionate I was about acting, so she looked into getting me a talent agent to do auditions. I remember it like it was yesterday. We walked into this guys office and I had Goosebumps. The agent, his name was Rodney, walked in a bit late saying, "Sorry I'm late, I just flew in from LA. Was on a shoot there." He then showed us some pictures from his trip and I was pretty blown away.

Rodney took a liking to me and I quickly felt like he really saw talent in me. Also, that he would be able to help me get some real work, not just the extra work I'd been doing.

He then tells me that he wants me to pretend that I'm Jay Schroeder, the younger brother of Silver Spoons star Ricky Schroeder. We even got my hair cut like his, and I practiced signing his name.

He told me that he wanted me to help him with an audition he was holding that week, and that he wanted me to pretend I was Jay Schroeder. At the time, being 12 years old, none of this seemed strange to me at all.

The audition was for an Oliver Twist movie. I wasn't auditioning, I was just in the room with him meeting the kids who came in. Each kid paid $5 to audition. They'd do their audition and I'd sign an autograph for them. How bizarre is that? The first autograph I ever signed was "Jay Schroeder."

After about an hour and a half of auditions, the police entered the room. I was so scared and didn't even know why. This undercover lady cop came over to me to take care of me. By that point I was crying and said something like, "Is he going up the river?"

The lady and two other undercover cops took me to the Pizza Hut next door for lunch and to comfort me. They asked me what he told me to do and I told them everything.

The guy was a complete fraud. I never wanted to believe it, but he was. My mother actually questioned me about him once, not sure if he was legit. Her reasoning? He had a hole in his sock. Let that be a lesson to you, always trust a mother's instincts!

I later had to testify in court against him. I remember the lawyer, my dad called them liars, was asking me questions on the stand. He asked me the same question a different way like four times. "So Daniel, when did this happen, before or after? Did you do that before or after that. What happened first, this or that? Are you sure?"

He actually got me to question myself. I guess in an attempt to discredit me. Rodney didn't get off the hook and I actually saw him about six months later. I was walking home from the Plaza when I saw him in his car at a stop light.

He called me over and tried to explain to me that he's legit now and that he is rebuilding his agency. I ran away from the car and never saw the dude again.

Man, I haven't told that story in like 15 years....

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I will be doing a video blog from the drawing party which should be fun. Dexter will not be making an appearance, lol.

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