The Windy City Rounder

Back!

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Sorry it's been so long, I've been focusing mostly on getting my other ChicagoNow blog up to speed.

But anyway...

The Windy City Rounder is back, just in time for the meat of the World Series. Plus, this Wednesday, June 9, I'll be interviewed by First Business, a nationally syndicated business news program, on gambling laws in the United States.

I'll send you more information as it comes. Until then, good luck at the tables!

Wrapping Up the Derby and the Capital Bill

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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It was quite a weekend for horse racing here in Illinois.

On the one hand you had the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby, which is obviously the biggest race on the horse track calendar. But, you also had, just before the big run at Churchill Downs, major developments in the campaign for video gaming machines at Illinois race tracks.

Basically it was a busy weekend, so I decided to write something up to make sure you readers didn't miss anything important.

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Kentucky Traditions

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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This Saturday--May 1 for those of you who didn't bother to look at the introductory picture--Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky will be abuzz will all sorts of activity, thanks to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Horse racing is just a small part of this big weekend, however.

Yes, plenty of quirky...some might say asinine...

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Hey, I never said I thought it was dumb...

...traditions litter the Kentucky Derby's weekend festivities.

So in honor of the 2010 Kentucky Derby, here's a list of some of the more interesting race traditions that only a 136 year derby could come up with:

Gallery sneak peek (5 images):

View the gallery...

A Eulogy for the WPT

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Like many of you, I fooled myself for years.

I saw our beloved friend, the World Poker Tour, exhibit the first signs of trouble back in 2008, when its strongest limb, the WPT Championship, suffered a strong blow, falling slightly in both attendance and prize pool.

A momentary slip up, I thought. A brief dip to show us that everything in the world is, in fact, mortal.

I mean, this was the WPT. The tour that in 2005 bounced back immediately after it's darling child, the Professional Poker Tour, expired, having made it only one season. The tour that stemmed the tides of adversity when the World Series of Poker Circuit tried to encroach on the WPT's God-given territory back in 2006. The tour of Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren and J.C. Tran; the tour of exotic locations, poker legends and millions of dollars.

But we should have known...everything is mortal.
    
  
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The Capital Bill Revisited

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Those of you who have been following my twitter know that last Wednesday a meeting between the Illinois horse track operators and the horsemen representatives led to a tenuous agreement on a bill proposal dealing with video poker machines coming to the state's horse tracks.

The general proposal is to have the excess machines that were opted out of the Capital Bill come to the horse tracks in order to help save the bill's funding.

The horse track's bill has yet to be introduced into the state legislature, but is projected to be on the congressional floor sometime within the next two weeks.

In order to help refresh some of your minds about this situation I'm republishing "Savior for the Capital Bill?," an op-ed dealing with why the horse tracks should get the Capital Bill's excess machines.


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History of Online Poker Part III: Light at the End of the Tunnel?

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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We last left our online poker story hinting that the industry would fall into some sort of precarious predicament.

And if you are expecting a full course rebound, I'm sorry, this is history class.

Not all is sour grapes and poison pills, however. So don't worry too much about your online bankroll and read on to find out what is the position online poker finds itself in today...

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History of Online Poker Part II: From Boom to Bust

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Sorry again for the technical difficulties of the past few days, but we're finally back up and ready to continue the story.

...and, save some sort of continued computing problems, the final part of this series--part III--should be up tomorrow, so be sure to check back.

Okay, without further adieu, here is part II of the history of online poker...enjoy!
 
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Technical Difficulties

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Sorry guys a fun bit of computer malfunctionary has delayed the second part of the "History of Online Poker" series.

Should--key word should--be up first thing tomorrow morning.

PLEASE DON'T HATE ME POKER FORUM TROLLS!  

History of Online Poker Part I: The Primer

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Poker.jpg


If you're a fan of poker, you're aware of online poker's impact on the game.

However--per some of your emails--, many you poker fanatics out there still don't know where this form of poker came from or how it developed.

Don't fret my friends, after much research I've put together a series of articles outlining online poker's interesting history.

I hope this answers most of your questions, enjoy!


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Working on Something Big

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Google image search for "Big"

Sorry I haven't posted a lot recently. That will all change really soon. I am working on something I think you readers will find very interesting, a primer to understanding internet poker.

A lot of research has gone into this forthcoming article so you better check back on Monday to see what the hubbub is all about.

I don't have any better teaser phrases left so I guess I'll just say, have a good weekend and get excited!

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Google image search for "Get Excited"

 

Pain in the...

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Urgh.....

Sometime last week--I'm not exactly sure when--my daily life was put into a blender when I lost my driver's license.

I know a lot of you out there are saying, "Oh stop whining and get in line at the DMV to get a new one. Everyone knows that sucks, but get over it."

While I contend that my situation pales in comparison to most incidences of world suffering...

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I said most, not all

...losing my license did put me in a unique state. You see I still had a New York driver's license, from when back when I lived in Rochester, New York.

It was a valid, still very much active diver's license and perfectly usable in the State of Illinois.

Losing it, however, has kind of put me in a bind. While if I had simply lost an Illinois license I would only have to go to the fiendish DMV and pay the replacement fee, having a New York license has buried me in a mountain of red tape and phone calls...and then I have to go through the DMV nightmare.  

Needless to say the whole experience has been a tremendous pain that has not only drained my time, but has left me licenseless for a week.

In that week I've learned that there are a few things you need a license for other than driving that I had never really thought about. In short, it sucks to be a gambler without an ID.

Here are a few things gambler's need a driver's license for:

Gallery sneak peek (5 images):

View the gallery...

The Goose Project Results: Lame...

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

The Windy City Rounder welcomes the return of the Goose--the re-Goosening?--just in time for the insanity that is the NCAA men's basketball tournament. While I don't think anyone would label the Goose's basketball skills as anything more than confusing, if his football prognostications are any indicator, he should do fine at March Madness. So here are the results of my roommate's complex bracket strategy, the Goose Project--be frightened!

After the first week of craziness, it was clear that this would be the year of the underdog.

Georgetown and Notre Dame went down in the first round; Kansas and Villanova followed suit shortly there after; I mean, Butler made it to the championship game for crying out loud!

With the champion of the WCR's March Madness Pool being a bracket based on mascots, you'd think the victor of my little multi-bracket project would have been predicted using some really unusual strategy.

Well...
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Poker's "New" All-Star Game

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Harrah's announced a few weeks ago the return of it's all-star event, the Tournament of Champions.

This will be the third incarnation of the invitational poker tournament. Originally conceived by Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton in 1999, the first Tournament of Champions was open to players who had won a "major tournament" in the last calendar year. Sexton was able to get Doyle Brunson to commit to at least host the event and the first Tournament of Champions ran pretty well from all accounts, being based at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The event, however, didn't last; 2001 being the last year for the Tournament of Champions in it's original format.

With the poker boom in 2003, however, came a revived version of Sexton's idea. In 2004, Annie Duke bested a select group of ten top level players to capture the $2,000,000 freeroll prize at the Rio Hotel and Casino in the new Tournament of Champions.

After complaints of fairness the tournament was tweaked again the next year, allowing players the ability to qualify through their yearly results. This format again failed to garner widespread support, dissolving in 2006 with Mike Sexton fittingly being the event's final champion.

Well it's back once again, only with a new, and I think improved, format. Sure there are automatic entries, Sexton, Duke and Mike Matusow get in as the last three Tournament of Champions winners and Joe Cada and Barry Shulman get byes to the event based on their performances in 2009--Cada in the 2009 WSOP Main Event and Shulman in the 2009 WSOPE Main Event. And Harrah's is holding on to two yet-to-be-named invitational spots. Ultimately, however, I think this new Tournament of Champions will be successful.

Why this one, you ask?

Well Harrah's has placed the keys for players to get in squarely in the fans' hands, with online voting. Any player who has ever won a WSOP bracelet is eligible--sorry Tom Dwan, Patrick Antonius and Bertrand Grospellier, your accomplishments won't get you in this year--ensuring that the 2010 Tournament of Champions will be a fan favorite field.

Anyone can vote by going the the World Series of Poker's website, only one vote per person.

I think I went in a little different direction for my picks than most people. Instead of going for the players I like the most or the player who I think have had the best career, I treated the voting like any major sports all-star game; basically, the best players of late.

So you might notice that some poker greats, like Dan Harrington and Doyle Brunson, are conspicuously absent from my ballot. This is because I picked players based on their success over the past two years.

Disagree if you'd like, but I think this is the best formula for an ever changing, semi-merit based all-star event.

Anyway, on to my picks!

Gallery sneak peek (20 images):

View the gallery...

Through the Trash Bin: Wrapping Up the WCR's March Madness Pool

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Well it's over, the WCR's March Madness Pool finally has its champion.

And for all of you out there that studied stat after stat in preparation for this league I'd like to point out that our champion, Tory Casterline, had literally never watched more than a minute of basketball at any level before this tournament.

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What?!?

You heard that right, Tory "Frost Heaves" Casterline not only bested me--which won her the right to write a post on the blog about anything she wanted due to a prop bet we made--but everyone else.

Casterline was able to give a brief interview to me, discussing her win and trash talking the many ChicagoNowers she left crippled in her wake...

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A Day at the Races: Recap of the 2010 Illinois Derby

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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I've said this before, I don't think a whole lot about horse racing. The whole degenerate culture surrounding the sport gives horse racing a distinct smell of illegitimacy.

I can't tell you when or where I engendered this idea--for I've managed to stay away from horse tracks for much of my life--but I do know my perceptions of "the sport of kings" are strong and feel legitimate.   

However, a gambling blog without horse racing seems, weirdly, illegitimate as well. So with one of the biggest races on the Illinois racing calendar, the Illinois Derby, set to run this past weekend, I decided to give thoroughbred racing a fair shot.
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Be Back Soon!

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Sorry rounders, I'll be taking a little break from the blog this week. Don't worry, I'll be back fresh on Monday to wrap up the March Madness pool.

Some of the things you can look forward to seeing next week:

  • An interview with the WCR March Madness Pool Champion--aka not me
  • "Tory's...gulp...article"
  • A complete look at the 53rd running of the Illinois Derby
  • My take on poker's new all-star game
There will be plenty more to check out when I come back, so sit tight and I'll be back in a week!

March Madness Wrap Up: Week 2

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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A few weeks ago, I said on ChicagoNow Radio that the beginning of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament was a bit like Christmas morning as a kid.

Everything seems so perfect at first; every present--like every bracket--representing an opportunity for that ultimate gift...

...of course the morning of hope, more often than not, leads to an afternoon of disappointment...and socks.

Hey, they don't call it March Madness for no reason. 

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The Double Deuce Poker League: A Small Taste of Nostalgia

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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About two hours outside Chicago, just north of Beloit on U.S. Route 51, is a small sports bar called Bobbleheads.

Bobbleheads is surrounded on all sides by farmland and would be the quintessential hole-in-the wall if there was a wall nearby for it to be recessed in. All in all, Bobbleheads probably wouldn't seem all that inviting to novice players, looking to join a small poker league.

The bar reminds me, however, of poker history, specifically my poker history.

A double apartment in Rochester, NY, the back of cigar shop in Southern Pennsylvania, the attic of an Italian restaurant in Chicago, these nondescript locations are my poker roots and, like the small sports bar in Southern Wisconsin, carry with them a tremendous amount of character and spirit that just can't be found at your run of the mill casino card room.
 
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Interview with Poker Entrepreneur Taylor Caby: Runnin' Down a Dream

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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So you're a young college kid, playing a lot of poker in your dorm room and making some money. The world seems like your oyster, what do you do next?

If your answer was "blow all your money, stupidly," you don't know what I'm getting at here.

In 2005, Taylor "GreenPlastic" Caby was just that college kid, but instead of buying an ungodly amount of cheap beer and pizza--as would be expected for his collegiate position--this high stakes online poker player from Chicago parlayed his poker success into a well-known poker training website, Cardrunners, with the help of his poker playing friend, Andrew Wiggins.

Caby was able to speak with me recently about his success with poker, Cardrunners and what he is thinking for the future.  
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March Madness Wrap Up: Week 1

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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Well, weekend one of the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is in the books and all I can say is wow!

...all right, maybe I can say a few more words than just one, but it was a weekend worthy of speechlessness...I'm just the talkative type.
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The Bracket of the People

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

(Excerpts from this article appeared in Thursday's RedEye)

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In the introduction to his seminal work, "The Communist Manifesto," German historian and philosopher Karl Marx wrote, "Men may be corrupted by power as well as by property and in any society pride will find ways of distorting human nature. To found a movement or a state upon a doctrine which does not recognize these possibilities is an invitation to tyranny." 

Brothers, sisters, too long we have been forced to listen to the athletic pundits pour their bourgeois NCAA drivel into our brains! Too long we have had to watch tyrannical analysts write our precious brackets for us! TOO LONG WE HAVE HAD TO ACCEPT "BRACKETOLOGY" AS AN ENGLISH WORD!

Well, I say no more! Yesterday I went to the streets to listen to what Chicagoans had to say about March Madness.

Random people were asked about one match-up and by the end of the day all 64 games of the tournament had been decided.

Long live the bracket of the people!

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Marx: "You know you're probably on some government or ESPN watch list now, right WCR?"

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The Goose Project Part 2: You're Dancing Wrong!

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

The Windy City Rounder welcomes the return of the Goose--the re-Goosening?--just in time for the insanity that is the NCAA men's basketball tournament. While I don't think anyone would label the Goose's basketball skills as anything more than confusing, if his football prognostications are any indicator, he should do fine at March Madness. So here is part I of my roommate's complex bracket strategy, the Goose Project--be frightened!

Here we go again. In the second half of my bracket project I tried to use a few strategies that highly paid TV analysts employ, like rankings based on the last 12 games and looking at the points per game averages...

...of course I didn't have the will power to just create serious brackets, so there is some strange stuff I took a look at as well...

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The Goose Project Part I: March at its Most Mad

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

The Windy City Rounder welcomes the return of the Goose--the re-Goosening?--just in time for the insanity that is the NCAA men's basketball tournament. While I don't think anyone would label the Goose's basketball skills as anything more than confusing, if his football prognostications are any indicator, he should do fine at March Madness. So here is part I of my roommate's complex bracket strategy, the Goose Project--be frightened!

When it comes to picking a March Madness bracket everyone seems to have their own strategy. Whether they pick the favored team, the team with their favorite players or even the team with the best mascot, the methods of selection are about as varied as the teams in the tournament. When I discovered that the ESPN bracket challenge site allows you to create up to 10 brackets per e-mail account, I decided that I would put some of these strategies to the test this year.

With the exception of The Goose Bracket--where I picked the score--and The Tallest Player Wins (Featured in Part II)--where the score is the heights of the final two tallest players--the final score of the championship game for each of these brackets was determined by a random number generator.


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Thanks for Listening!

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Chicagonow Radio.jpg

The podcast of my WGN radio appearance on Saturday is now up! So you can now listen to my feverish ramblings whenever you please by going to wgn.com.

Listen to it yet? ...how about now? Good!

Now I can clear up some things...

  • I was able to to correctly pick the number one seeds of the men's NCCA Basketball Tournament; Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse. Unfortunately, this means nothing about how the tournament will go.
  • Both Quigley and I were completely wrong about our seeding of Illinois. Quigley went with a 12 seed, I said 11. The real answer: a number one seed...in the NIT.
  • Yes the Goose was just outside WGN studios, participating in the time honored St. Patrick's Day tradition of trying to mess the Windy City Rounder up when he's working...

Anyway, I'd like to thank Alex Quigley, Matt Mattucci and Kristen Decker for inviting me on again. Radio is always fun.

Let the Madness Begin...Almost

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

March Madness Ball.jpg

We're only two days away from Selection Sunday, but there's still room if you'd like to participate in the Windy City Rounder's March Madness Pool!

If you'd like to sign up for a bracket just go to ESPN Fantasy and select the "Tournament Challenge."

The league is "ChicagoNow Madness." No password is needed.
Link: http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/en/group?groupID=12738&entryID=178216

You can create as many brackets as you would like--although us single bracket players will look down on you--and the winner will be featured in an upcoming WCR article.

Plenty of your favorite ChicagoNow personalities have already signed up to play, here's a look at just a few... 
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WCR on the Radio: Part Deux

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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This Saturday, between your pitchers of green beer and dirty limericks, tune in to ChicagoNow Radio on WGN to hear your favorite rounder talk about poker and the March Madness tournament.

I'll be on from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., so try to take a break from your drunken shenanigans for at least a half hour and turn your radio to 720 am. Or better yet bring your drunken shenanigans to the Magnificent Mile and watch me mess-up in person alongside your favorite football analyst, the Goose!

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The Goose will be listening, will you?

Anyway, if you cant get to a radio or stumble yourself to Michigan Ave, don't fret. You can listen to the archived podcast at wgn.com.

Have a great Saturday!

The 800 lb Gorilla: Problem Gambling Awareness Week

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Problem Gambling.jpg


Gambling exists in a bipolar universe.

On the positive side is the big winner, the large score, the smart hustle. Whether it be a local news story about someone who won the lottery or the jackpot sounds of a slots winner in the casino, we've seen this side of gambling on full display. And for many of us, fantasies of winning the big score are what keep us playing.

But, of course, we are also intimately aware of gambling's other platform...

It might not be on full display, but anyone who's ever gambled has experienced the negative side of chance. For every lottery winner, there are millions of losers; for every hit jackpot, there are millions of lost chips.

We don't like to talk about it, but losing is every bit as important to the gambling world as winning is. Without losers there would be no lottery, jackpots, bad beat promotions, comps or, for that matter, casinos.

Losing itself isn't really a problem, however. Sure it feels terrible to lose, but if you treat gambling like what it truly is, entertainment, then your loses simply become entertainment expenses.

Gambling becomes a problem when it morphs from entertainment to a compulsion.

The National Council on Problem Gambling states that between 6 and 9 million Americans are currently suffering from gambling addiction. Sadly, only a small fraction of that number is currently receiving treatment.

March 7-13 is National Problem Gambling Awareness week and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this fact at least once during these seven days.

Please, if you feel like you or someone you know is having a problem, visit the official National Problem Gambling Awareness week's website at npgaw.org or call their toll free, confidential  helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

Illinois problem gamblers can also visit the Illinois chapter of Gambler's Anonymous.

Problem gambling might feel like a dark hole you can never climb out of, but know that there are services and people that are willing to help you with your addiction. Please, just give them a chance.

Thank you.

Oh the Madness: WCR's First Ever March Madness Pool

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

March Madness.jpg

...is there really any explanation necessary?

It's almost that crucial time of year again. When degenerate gamblers, bracketologists and college sports nuts face-off in a no-holds-bar battle over their predictions of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament--AKA March Madness--only to have all their planing be for naught when some last minute player's "bracket based on the coolness of a team's mascot" strategy proves to be the tops.

...anyway, bitterness aside, welcome to the First Annual WCR March Madness Pool. Much like our playoff fantasy football league, anyone can join and play against their favorite ChicagoNow personalities.

Some points before we get started:

  • Although I am against it morally--HAHAHAHAHA--you can create more than one bracket if you wish. Just know that everyone will be judging you.

  • Yes, like with the playoff fantasy football league, I will be posting my picks on the blog with analysis. Feel free to copy if you must--I would recommend the "mascot" strategy over following my insane ramblings, however.

  • Like with the playoff fantasy football league, the winner of the pool will be interviewed for a features article on the Windy City Rounder.
 
All right, to join the league just go to ESPN Fantasy and select the "Tournament Challenge."

The league is "ChicagoNow Madness." No password is needed.
Link: http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/en/group?groupID=12738&entryID=178216

If you are having trouble post in the comment box below.

In the wise words of Cubbie Julie "Oh, it's so on!"

Good luck everyone!

 

CPC Final Day: Triple Your Pleasure, Triple Your Fun

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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(Courtesy of IMPDI)

It's finally over. After ten days filled with bad beats and lucky suck-outs we finally have a new champion of all Chicago poker.

The series didn't go quietly into the night, however. Nope, the final day was instead the CPC's busiest, with three tournaments playing down to a champion on Sunday.

You read that right, three played down to a winner in one day, when the three-day main event collided with a two-day $350 event and a one-day turbo tournament.

Needless to say, the day was a bit tiring.

Anyway, here's how the CPC wrapped-up... 

Continue reading...

CPC Days 8 and 9: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

The Horseshoe IMPDI.JPG

(Courtesy of IMPDI)

Well, we're officially nearing the end. Seven poker filled days have led to this, the main event, the championship for all of Chicago poker.

With so many players and so little sleep, action was fast, some might say crazy at times.

But a select few were able to navigate their way to the tournament's final day.

Here's a look at how they did it...

Continue reading...

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