Monday, October 01, 2007

Them Fightin' Phils, MATH Pimp and Monday 1k Here I Come!!

The fans of Philadelphia are rejoicing with me today over our Fightin' Phils. After what feels to the Philly fans like a three-year mountain climb, one that only got steeper the closer to the top it came, Sunday afternoon saw the Phils win and the Mets lose, capping a historic comeback to lead the Phils to this generation's division championship. I say that because, unlike teams like the Sox, the Angels and the Yankees, the Phillies win the NL East approximately once every 20-25 years over their history. I mean, we're talking about something like six or seven division titles in franchise history. Over 120 years. How siock is that? But today is this generation's Phillies divisional championship, and to us from the City of Brotherly Shove, there is no sweeter feeling in the world.

The amazing thing is that we hapless Philly sports fans know that we are experiencing a feeling today that you cannot possibly understand unless you too are from Philly and grew up in this sports environment. Otherwise, you just think you know how this feels, but you don't really. These jagass Yankee fans up here in New York City cheer when their team makes the playoffs for the 13th straight year, but nobody will admit what I already know from being a daily sports radio listener in the nyc market -- three or four months ago, the entire city to a man wanted Joe Torre fired, Brian Cashman fired, and George Steinbrenner to hurry up and croak already so we could rebuild or retool or whatever with a new adminstration. Same thing happened a year and four months ago at the beginning of the 2006 baseball season. They're fair weather fans up here in New York, it's almost laughable when you really see it for what it is.

Twenty years ago, you couldn't find a Yankee fan in this entire city. Anywhere. Oh I'm sure there were some, but they wouldn't admit to it. New York was a Mets town, through and through. It was all Keith Hernandez, Daryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling back in the mid 80s. The Yankees, just seven or eight years away from their last world championship in 1978, were a nothing team that nobody cared about. People don't like to talk about that now, but it's the complete truth. And the Mets "fans" are just the same way nowadays. Nobody will admit this now of course, but just 3 or 4 years ago nobody in this town cared about the Mets. And for another 3 or 4 years before the Subway Series in 2000, it was the same thing. This place was all Yankees, all the time. You couldn't find a Mets fan, and you couldn't give away a Mets ticket most of the time during the year. Now of course there's all these fans and everybody in New York loves the Mets. Yeah right.

Anyways, my point here is that say what you want about what the fans do out of frustration, but take it from me as someone who's been a raving lifelong Philadelphia sports fan and who had season tickets at various points of my childhood to the Phillies, the Eagles and the Flyers -- there are no more passionate, and no more hardcore, sports fans anywhere in the country than in Philly. I mean that. Unlike these fair weather donkleshits in New York, in Philadelphia we bleed for our teams, and that definitely includes the Phillies. Philadelphia I think will always be an Eagles town, and I'm fine with that, but we do love us some Fightin' Phils. And after finishing a handful of games out of the playoffs in 2005, and just a dropping to just a couple games out during the last week of the 2006 season, the 2007 smackdown is among the greatest mountains one of my Philadelphia sports teams has ever climbed.

And before I move on, I need to make a few more points about the Mets and Phillies this season. A lot is being made about the Mets' historic collapse in 2007, and no doubt that's exactly what it was. But to position this in your minds as just a Mets collapse and not a Phillies domination is missing the point. Of course the Mets had to lose 9 of their last 10 games at home, and 14 of 17 overall or something to end the season. It's sick how that team failed to adjust and just went out there these past few weeks expecting to lose. But in order to put that kind of pressure on the Mets, the Phillies had to go out and play basically .750 ball during the last three weeks of the year in their own right. .750 ball! And that they did, beating some good teams along the way, including a number of teams whom the Mets could not handle during the same time period.

And more than that, let's not forget the very direct role that the Phillies had in the Mets losing all those games. We swept the Mets a couple of weeks ago in the early midst of the Mets' losing streak, and took another 4 game series sweep from them about six weeks ago that is what really started off their whole late-season slide. Yes I wrote earlier about how the Mets have played sub-.500 baseball now for nearly four and a half months to end the season, so they actually kinda sucked almost all season long after a hot start, but when it comes right down to it, the Phillies put the Mets on tilt about six weeks ago with an ugly sweep at Shea, and the Mets began a tailspin that included another 3 out of 3 losses to the Phillies and concluded in a basic inability to win any games against any teams, home or road, with their ace on the mound or otherwise. The Phillies deserve nothing but credit for their NL East title this year, and they single-handedly caused and continued the slide in their opponents, including handing 7 losses out of 7 games to the Mets at the end of the year when every Met win obviously counted an awful lot.

Tom Glavine. How does that guy life with himself this morning? 7 runs in the first third of an inning, in without a doubt the biggest game he's pitched in his time as a Met. Dayumm.

Charlie Manuel. I had left this guy for dead years ago, and I certainly didn't think the Phillies would ever win anything with him at the helm. Well, it's time for me to eat some crow. I still don't think Manuel is a great manager, but what he did this year is nothing short of miraculous, and I have to give him that credit where credit is due. The Diamondbacks coach has to get serious consideration for coach of the year in the National League no doubt, taking a team nobody expected to do shiat and winning the NL West with the best overall record in the league (at 90 wins, the worst league-best record in the majors in history, but still). But in the end I don't see how you can not give coach of the year to Charlie Manuel after what he's done, what he led the Phillies through this year and over the past few years. Today I hoist the guinness to you, Charlie Manuel.

And let's not forget Jimmy Rollins' role in all this. This guy came out shortly befoer the 2007 season in late February and made it clear that his Phillies were the team to beat this year. He then followed this up by becoming just the third player in major league history to record at least 20 home runs, 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 stolen bases in the same season on his way to what I'm sure will translate to the Phillies' second consecutive NL MVP award, knocking in and scoring huge runs all through the Phils' late push in leading his team to defeat the rival Mets on the last day of the regular season in historic and dominating fashion. Wow. That guy is gonna get laid any day he wants in Philly for the foreseeable future. What a fuckin stud.

Speaking of linking back to columns written several months ago that ended up being quite prophetic, check out what this guy said here. That's right guys, that's me talking right there back in mid-January of this year about the Chargers' laughable decision to fire Marty Schottenheimer at the end of last season, and how much they would live to regret that call. Sure, everybody and their mother is out there now in their blogs and in their columns, whatever, noting how lame it is that they fired Schottenheimer at 14-2, and now the Chargers have already lost three times, in just their first four games of this year. But the real men were out last year before this actually happened proclaiming how recockulous of a move that was. Fire a guy who took you to 14-2 and a win over the Pats in the AFC Champsionship game before one of his defensive players fumbled an interception return that all but sealed the game. Nice move you jucking fackasses, seriously.

After all the Phillies dust had cleared this morning, someone mentioned to me that the Eagles might have gotten beat down on pretty good last night. Did the Eagles really even play this week? My memory is just one big drunken, cigar-filled haze, I have to be honest here. Was there even nfl on Sunday this weekend? All I remember clearly from Sunday after about 3pm ET is seeing all those kids and women crying in the stands at Shea after the game. You can bet I recorded that shiat on the dvr for posterity's sake. That must have been a good 300 straight seconds of just pictures of tears flowing on the shocked faces of the Mets fans in the stands. Just priceless.

Anyways, before I forget, don't you forget that today is Monday and that means that tonight is Mondays at the Hoy on full tilt:

Same as always, Monday night at 10pm ET on full tilt, password is "hammer" as always. And once again a real shout-out to the folks over at full tilt's support department, who responded to a really last-minute request from me to get the October 1 MATH tournament set up for me on very short notice. Once again full tilt comes through. I've read a lot of people bitching about the customer service function at full tilt, but I have to say I have received far more personal and far better service from full tilt than I ever, ever did or would have received from pokerstars, no doubt.

One other thing about Monday night this week -- on Sunday I not only won another buyin and a half at the 2-4 nlh 6max tables, but I also used one of those $75 tokens I keep winning in the nightly token frenzy tournaments to play in my favorite target for the tier II tokens -- the weekend evening 11:30pm ET satellite into the Monday 1k. Well, I played this biatch on Saturday and donked out in about 3 hands when TP2K failed to hold up against a flopped set at a time when I really didn't feel like playing and I probably should not have been. Well, I entered it again on Sunday night, and here was the result:

This was a fun tournament because I started off reeeeaaaaal slow and watched my stack dwindle to about half of its starting size over the first 45 minutes to an hour or so, before I finally made top pair on a few hands and I think even found KK in middle position and managed to play it a little slow on the flop and turn before springing the trap and eliciting a fold with an allin reraise on the turn with just the overpair to the board. Eventually we hit the final table with me in 3rd place of 9 players remaining, but I was still around a third of the chip leader's stack despite sitting near the top of the board when the final nine players kicked off the action on the blue screen.

After a few good plays to chip up a bit, I reraised allin preflop with big slick, got called by QQ, and flopped an Ace to double up and jump into 2nd out of 5 players left in the satellite. About 10 hands later, I reraised allin preflop once again with big slick, this time by the current chip leader at the time, once again was called by QQ, and once again I flopped an Ace to win out and take a huge chip lead, about 3-to-1 over 2nd place with just 3 players remaining. From there it was just playing good late-game big-stack poker, relentlessly pushing, raising and reraising, when I thought I was ahead for a three-handed game, and I was able to maintain and even build my big chip lead to the point that I was still up 16,500 to 6500 chips after #2 took out #3 on a poor bluff by the third place guy. I had a nice lead but I needed to be very careful because, just like in the smaller-buyin satellites into the Monday 1k, with the 1k buyin there ends up being no prize for second place in these winner-take-all satellite tournaments. In the end my short-stacked aggressive opponent raised me allin preflop when I had actually limped with AQ, and I had to make the call, after which he flipped up A9o. My kicker held up, and I had won my way into my second Mondak 1k tournament, which will begin tonight before the MATH at 9pm ET.

So come by tonight and check me out at 9pm ET in the Monday 1k, which had a 150k guarantee and lately has sported more like a 200k or more prize pool. The best part about this event is that the size of the field tends to be small and manageable, suc that if you get off to a strong start you can really make some noise, and with a 1k buyin, even the lowest cash positions pay a pretty penny, or at least what seems like a pretty penny to me. And either way, let us all hoist a beer or seven tonight to my Philadelphia Phillies who fought back from against all odds this summer and took down their first NL East in a generation for their hardcore hometown fans. And I'll see you tonight at 10pm ET for Mondays at the Hoy!

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Blogger Astin said...

Hard to argue about the hard-done Philly fans. Spurts of excitement followed by years of mediocrity, but fans that stay loyal and violent through it all.

Toronto likes to think it has that kind of loyalty, but in reality fans here are pathetic. If you're not the Leafs, you only have fans if you're winning. If you are the Leafs, your fans are sheep and businessmen.

That said, when the Leafs win the Stanley Cup (my prediction: 2084), the city should declare the parade day a holiday, because nobody's coming to work anyway.

Of course the Jays whupped the Phillies the last time they saw the big game. Thank you Wild Thing.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

i still say pokerstars support beats tilts. I can go to my Walmart wire money to Pstars get back enter the trans# and walla the money is credited within the hour or so. Full tilt takes over 24 hours.

You have to arrange your own deals on FTP. Stars you summon support they come running.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

Man, I miss the Jays of the late 80s/early 90s. Good times.

And yes, thank you Mitch Williams.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Congrats on the Philly win. These are the fruits of sticking with a team through the tough times. Well done keeping your Philly roots while living in the fair weather fan Mecca.

Now . . . Go Crappy Detroit Teams!

4:04 AM  
Blogger Wwonka said...

Hey the redsox won the division for the 1st time in 13 years.

The Mets did choke but the Phils still had to play well. Enjoy the Playoffs.

Good luck in the Monday 1K

4:56 AM  
Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Good luck in the $1k this evening Hoy!!!

I was lucky enough to cash in the Sunday $750k myself yesterday, (for just $300 for 440th place, running 88 into AQ.) These bigger money tourneys get pretty darn exciting. I'll be railin' ya! Good luck!!!

5:03 AM  
Blogger surflexus said...

Best of luck in the 1k!!!

5:20 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

I hope you're not forgetting about the fine folks in Green Bay when you talk about the most passionate fans in the country. The Packers are life up there. Sunday is a holy day, and it has nothing to do with God.

9:42 AM  
Blogger jbeach711 said...

good run in the 1k. 33rd sucks so close to the money, but it was a good run.

1:28 PM  
Blogger ckbluffer said...

Sucks about your bad beat in the $1k. LJ and I were rooting for you!

9:45 PM  

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