Sunday, December 11, 2011

NFL: week 14 picks


BRONCOS -3.5 over Bears
Giants +4.5 over COWBOYS
Colts +16.5 over RAVENS
BENGALS -2.5 over Texans
TITANS +3.5 over Saints

If forced to choose:

Bucs -3 over JAGUARS
Niners -4 over CARDINALS
Falcons -3 over PANTHERS
LIONS -10 over Vikings
Bills +7 over CHARGERS
Patriots -7.5 over REDSKINS
Eagles +3 over DOLPHINS
SEAHAWKS -10.5 over Rams
Raiders +11.5 over PACKERS
JETS -10.5 over Chiefs
Browns +14 over STEELERS

Thursday, December 08, 2011

End of an era?

All over?

The Stats:

College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 1998 for the Indianapolis Colts

Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2011
Pass attempts 7,210
Pass completions 4,682
Percentage 64.9
TD-INT 399–198
Passing yards 54,828
Passer rating 94.9

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Loltastic Novermber hand, Bayou city trip

Playing the devil's game aka Pot-Limit-Omaha on the Merge network, $2/$4 with antes about 180bb deep

PL Omaha $4(BB) Replayer
SB ($404)
BB ($1,018)
CO ($727)
Hero ($1,003)

BB antes $0.80
CO antes $0.80
Hero antes $0.80
SB antes $0.80

Dealt to Hero T 4 T 3

CO raises to $12, Hero raises to $24, fold, fold, CO calls $12

FLOP ($57.20) 8 T 2

CO checks, Hero bets $40, CO raises to $175, Hero raises to $580, CO raises to $702 (AI), Hero calls $121

TURN ($1,462) 8 T 2 A

RIVER ($1,462) 8 T 2 A 5

CO shows J A 4 A
(Pre 69%, Flop 32.0%, Turn 90.0%)

Hero shows T 4 T 3
(Pre 31%, Flop 68.0%, Turn 10.0%)

Hero wins $1,460


Off to new orleans the next two weekends , to play the Bayou poker challenge, schedule:

Thursday, December 08, 2011
Harrahs Theatre at Harrah's New Orleans

The WSOP is back at Harrah's New Orleans with the 2011 Bayou Poker Challenge! See below for booking info and tournament schedule.
$84.00 SNGL/DBL
1-800-445-8667 RESERVATIONS

Tournament Schedule

SINGLES $45 $65 $125 $240 $540 $1,025
6PM $200 + $30 MEGA (WIN BUY-IN CHIPS)
FRIDAY*9-Dec 1PM* $300 + $40 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 POT LIMIT OMAHA
8PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
SATURDAY*10-Dec 1PM* $500 + $50 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
8PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
SUNDAY*11-Dec 1PM* $300 + $40 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
7PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
MONDAY*12-Dec 1PM* $300 + $40 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
7PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
TUESDAY*13-Dec 1PM* $300 + $40 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 PLO w/$100 REBUY
7PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
7PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
THURSDAY*15-Dec 1PM* $300 + $40 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
5PM* $200 + $30 PLO FREEZEOUT
6PM $300 + $40 MEGA MAIN EVENT
7PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
4PM $100+$25 W/$50 REBUYS MEGA
8PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
9PM $100+$25 W/$50 REBUYS MEGA
SATURDAY17-Dec 1PM $1500 + $100 NLH MAIN EVENT
3PM $200 + $30 LAST CHANCE NLH
8PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM
12PM $100 + $25 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM (SENIORS) 50+

Will be playing most of the weekend biggies and of course the main event, houston peeps any off you want to drive/fly together DM/PM by tom afternoon.

Hopefully wife doesnt go croc-catching again like last time ;)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pretty cool

Wonderful shadowgraphy with Calcutta

Still love this one

Happy 30th

Happy 30th birthday to the girl who made being a catholic schoolgirl fun all over again.

In other news finally getting BBC world service documentary radio, wooooohooooooo

Friday, December 02, 2011

Nut best street musician

I do spend a lot of time listening to guys like this, still remember a couple of dudes jamming and improvising like hell on smells like teen spirit at a tunnel in OKcity bricktown.

Unfortunately I and majority of the populace usually spend little time noticing these, case in point : One of the premier violin players in the world Joshua Bell playing in the subway for 45 minutes, 1097 people passing by and only 7 stopped to listen. He collected $32.17 (excluding $20 from one, the only, person who recognized him)

Trivia : the violin he is playing is worth 3M !!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

BOOM: The true story of the rise of online poker

Trailor of "BOOM" chronicling the rise of online poker and how it has touched the lives of millions of people.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Once abhored now adored(?)

An excellent piece in Tehelka on the enigma that is Ekta Kapoor, she of the kyonki saans variety and she also of the Ragini MMs variety

Ekta Kapoor will see you now

It’s not surprising that the saas-bahu girl is now making edgy movies about dirty weekends, argues Nisha Susan

Ekta Kapoor

Photo: The Times Of India Group © BCCL

THE INTERN is sniffy. When she was hired, she’d thought Ekta ma’m was going to ask her for ‘creative inputs’ into the TV shows. She isn’t at Balaji Telefilms to do “just this”, she gestures vaguely at the office around her with Facebook-weary hands. Does she watch the shows? No! She is horrified. “I keep telling my sister. How can you come home from work and watch them? These shows are for aunties.” What does she watch? Roadies. Reality shows.

A little later, two young TV writers enter the common room. For the next two hours, the plainly dressed men earnestly discuss how to establish a new character’s attributes without making her too simplistic. They’re speaking in Hindi, writing in a mix of Hindi and English, stroking their chins, looking limpid. There’s none of the cynicism that makes the average non-viewer smirk about saas-bahu shows — that enormous meteor shower that Ekta Kapoor created before she turned 25. Those shows changed television, fashion, weddings and claimed a giant space in our popculture history.


Aces Of Maces And Pretty Faces
Still Showing You The Money
What’s a girl like her doing in a place like this?

To those who haven’t met her, Ekta is a parody — just like her shows are to those who haven’t watched them. Her multiplying rings with soaring gemstones, her many gods, her easy success, her sexual orientation, her cell phoneflinging tantrums, her obsession with astrology and the letter K, her jogging with a phone-toting retinue — everything has become as legendary as her show’s aesthetics. In the vast plains of online fan forums, viewers address complaints directly to an omniscient Ekta — “Ekta, I didn’t understand this part. Why did the vampire bite Pia?”

Wedged between a huge executive desk and a wide sideboard blurred by god paraphernalia, Ekta says, “I used to be a human being. Now I am folklore.” At 35, she combines her infamous bluntness with a kittenish voice. A few years ago, she took to wearing a gemstone that she says helped with her temper. Before you can start wondering if any male producer in Bollywood ever worried about his temper, she adds with a grin, “It helped only 40 percent though.”

Ekta is the face of the production house she runs with her mother Shobhaa Kapoor. She’s been at it for 17 years now. But since 2008, there’s been a new regime of streamlined budgets at Balaji under Puneet Kinra, the group CEO. Ekta herself has welcomed the iron shoes Kinra wears to prevent Balaji from floating off in a swirl of zardozi. Just as importantly, there is now more senior management to ease Ekta’s burden, if she so wishes — which is still a matter of debate inside Balaji — of signing off on every last detail on every last show.

‘All astrologers try to meet me. They think I’ll fall for anything. I’m not so stupid. But in the astrology world, I am Mallika Sherawat,’ says Ekta

The old habits are interesting to watch. The entire seven-storey building is galvanised from the ground up when Shobhaa Kapoor’s car is spotted down the street. Whiteboards listing the week’s tasks also list ‘Jeetuji’s trip to Hyderabad’. Ekta’s movie star father Jeetendra is promoting the group’s next film Ragini MMS. When writers talk of Balaji investing in their writers, of Balaji refusing to change scripts to please the channel suits, they gesture unconsciously in the direction of Ekta’s office. “You will know when she is here,” the intern says wanly.

THIS IS the room where underconfident writers come to die. Kapoor’s meetings are often protracted and chatty. Working with her requires you to recognise when she shifts gear, and then business is suddenly concluded in a concentrated 10 minutes because she knows what she wants. Ekta’s nose for what viewers will like is formidable. Smriti Irani, star of Balaji’s flagship Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, remembers the 25- year-old Ekta Kapoor insisting on casting her in the face of much opposition, saying, “This is my Tulsi.” And later agreeing with Irani that she should cry as she wanted — face-distorting, ugly tears — not the glycerine prettiness the director wanted.

Her intuition is partly shaman. It is partly an endless interest in details. Althea Kaushal, writer of Balaji’s hit vampire teen show Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahani, says, “The thing about Ekta is this. You throw her a plotline and she gives you inputs. A month later if you haven’t incorporated her inputs, she’ll spot it right away. She’ll remember exactly what she told you in spite of having meetings all day long. That’s scary!” This is the same Ekta who jokes about how she was once an undereducated couch potato. She’s somehow turned the two traits of a TV addict — a fragmented attention span and obsessiveness — into a creative dynamo.

When media critics first caught sight of the young woman making those shows that appalled them, they must have paled more. Her orange-tikka’d religiosity was going to take the country back into the Dark Ages, they warned. Ekta has always been unapologetic and amused by this nervousness. A nervousness her parents share. “They are religious, not spiritual,” says Ekta. “They do pujas and all but they worry about me. They keep saying, you are so young. Why do you go to temples?” She adds, “Astrologers keep trying to meet me, they think I’ll fall for anything. I’m not stupid, I think through things. [But] in the astrology world, I am Mallika Sherawat.”

A still from Balaji’s Ragini MMS

Walls have eyes A still from Balaji’s Ragini MMS

Photo:Deepak Salvi

Ekta talks with delicious, sensual enjoyment about alternately seeking passion and calm on her pilgrimages, saying things like: “Tirupati Balaji and I have a bond. When I go to suprabhatam, I get sucked in by his aura. I love him.” Or “Kamakhya is wonderful.” Or “Ajmer Sharif is very calming. Soothing. I prefer the Sufi saints to the Hindu ones.” She speaks with the same thick relish about everything. Of her favourite goddess Kali, she says, “She rides a wild boar because it’s the wildest animal. She feels a little remorse only when she has her foot on a man’s head.” She adds with a smirk, “So she is feminine too.”

Her parents may not get this desire for spiritual uppers and downers but they are, by all reports, workaholics like her. Milan Luthria, director of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, admires Ekta for being the rare producer who’ll pitch in when the director is alone and beleaguered. He talks fondly of Ekta and her parents for being able to do long hours, endless trips and casual stopovers in small towns. All three combine enormous drive with a gift for being relaxed. “They are happy. It’s rare,” he says.

Which perhaps explains why Ekta never tries to present a picture of Happy Families to the public. She and her mother have raucous fights at work, knowing that when they get home the fight will have to be (and can be) dealt with. Some years ago, she moved out but ended up moving back home in a few months, saying she was too dependent on her mother to run her own household. Ekta says candidly that she and her actor brother Tusshar Kapoor give each other a wide berth to keep their relationship stable.

ONCE, 35 of the top 50 shows on air were Balaji Telefilms creations. Then in 2008, everything went pearshaped. Star Plus, the network that had bought all her shows, decided to take Ekta’s iconic Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi off air. An outraged Ekta sued the channel unsuccessfully and the show’s eight-year glory run — 1,800 episodes — ended in a hiccup.

Ekta had adored the idea of producing a Mahabharat that focussed on Draupadi’s dealings with the Pandavas as modern relationships. Her Mahabharat on 9X had perfect bodies and a colloquial idiom, but some audiences mumbled it was too realistic and not BR Chopra, others complained it wasn’t realistic and not HBO. It failed, along with the channel.

Meanwhile, audiences were spurning saas-bahu shows for the charms of reality TV and shows about rural girlhood. Balaji was reduced to having just four shows on air in 2008. The new flock of shows like Balika Vadhu that came then frankly surprised Ekta, who says about them, “Forget getting into them, I didn’t get them. Child marriage and women beating their daughters-in-law. I’d never seen anything like it.” Balaji announced a net loss of Rs 14 crore for the quarter ended March 2009. It was as if the evil vamp had wormed her way into the heart of the family and thrown Ekta out.

The channels who didn’t anticipate this new wave condemned them as regressive, but Ekta is humbler and says, “I felt it was a gap in my experience that this rural reality was not something I knew anything about.” And suddenly it clicks. However anachronistic, those zardozi family dramas were, in the end, urban. They were about urban joint families that Ekta had watched as a stealthy outsider. They were as urban as the young people for whom Balaji is making movies today.

And as TV will teach you, you can’t keep a good woman down. Balaji is now more professionally run — and profitable again. Today, it has four shows on air — all youth-centred with an individualistic ethos. Pavitra Rishta is the top show in the country, while Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahani has the highest ratings on Star One. The TV business is chugging along, but Ekta says she’s more energised now by her films division.

Above the heads of the restless intern and the earnest writers, Balaji’s films division is a place of efficient people with thin, gentle smiles and hair in thin, gentle spikes. Balaji Motion Pictures produces stylish mainstream aspirants like Once Upon a Time in Mumbai and Shor in the City. More interestingly, the films division’s ALT brand is gathering attention for edgy films like Dibakar Banerjee’s Love, Sex Aur Dhokha, this week’s Ragini MMS (a horror date film) and soon Dirty Picture (a biopic about Silk Smitha).

This is not the wild swing in taste that Ekta watchers claim it to be. It is, in fact, consistent with her focus on urban storytelling. Ekta has added up two facts since 2008: 1) Young urban viewers do less and less appointment TV viewing and prefer to download shows or set aside weekends for movies. 2) There is urban life outside Mumbai. She recounts her happy surprise at attending cool house parties in Chandigarh and meeting articulate young people in Guwahati.

PhD theses and newspaper columns keep condemning TV shows as regressive and anti-women. They don’t get the radical appeal to viewers in their making women protagonists central, even if in slo-mo. Ekta has made no secret that the men on her shows are merely eye candy. In a 2007 episode of Koffee With Karan, she fake-leered her way through a description of casting cherubic Hiten Tejwani and the suave Ram Kapoor for different age groups of her women viewers. “Indian women are not worrying about ‘Why’d you say that to me at dinner?’” she told Johar. “They’re worrying about their in-laws.” The critical contempt hasn’t been towards Ekta’s shows, it’s been towards the minutiae of women’s domestic lives.

She laughs at silly allegations that her films are all about sex. “Today, no one needs to go to the movies to watch sex. You can download any amount of porn for free. Movies need to talk about young people’s lives in the language they use. About relationships. Money. Sex.”

The culture has changed in the 17 years Ekta has been at work. We are equally at ease with mata ki chowkis and dirty weekends. She observes with pleasure how, increasingly, Indians are now more comfortable in their skin. In the end, this is what is most attractive about Ekta — her desire to live in multiple worlds and let others do the same.

Nisha Susan is an Assistant Editor with Tehelka

Monday, May 02, 2011

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

The royal blow

The most Hilarious picture from the #RoyalWedding. Cant stop  laughing

Friday, April 15, 2011

The blog must be nearing its shelf-life and retirement plans are probably gonna be postponed

Internet gambling sites owners charged with fraud

NEW YORK | Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:49pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The owners of three of the largest Internet poker companies operating in the United States were accused on Friday of tricking regulators and banks into processing billions of dollars of illegal Internet gambling proceeds.

Eleven people including the owners of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars were charged with violating U.S. anti-Internet gambling laws, according to charges filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

The charges are part of a crackdown on Internet gambling in the United States, where it has been illegal since 2006.

In March, Wynn Resorts Ltd said that it had entered into a partnership with PokerStars, and that they would work for passage of U.S. legislation that would define illegal Internet gambling.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The first ladies

Backroom Minders

The day after:

From L-R (Deborah Kirsten, Sakshi Dhoni, Anjali Tendulkar)

Factoid: you can tell that sachin is about a decade younger than his wife

Friday, April 01, 2011

AS D-day in Mumbai approaches, we remiss and we hope

Those in houston: theres a big game-time party tonight, so come prepared and BYOBeer, we shall get all the beeches tonight bro

Just sayings

  1. Prison is peculiar. All the pros are cons.
  2. If you are what you eat, I'm dead meat.
  3. "Behind every successful man is a woman who didn't marry me." ~Al Bundy
  4. Recently, my Visa card was stolen. Now it's everywhere I want to be.
  5. A nice way to fire someone is to throw them a surprise going away party.
  6. Some people say I'm a dreamer, others say, “If you fall asleep at work again we’re going to have to let you go."
  7. I've found the secret of happiness - total disregard of everybody.
  8. Still waiting for Google Earth to have a layer that shows lost Marlboro packs.
  9. My wife is always talking on her iPhone. Doesn't she know it has games?
  10. I liked you when we first met but, since then, you've talked me out of it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Intense poetry and mental stalking should solely be reserved for that one special unrequited love.

Keep that kindle busy

Crime writer Ian Rankin shares his five favorite literary crime novels, from James Hogg’s masterpiece to Ruth Rendell. Rankin’s new novel, The Complaints, is out now.

Article - Rankin Crimes

Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
By James Hogg

This book has been haunting me since student days. It has been an influence on Scottish literature and certainly on my own Inspector Rebus stories. Set in pre-Enlightenment Scotland it concerns a young religious zealot called Robert Wringhim. Convinced by his preacher guardian that he is a member of “the elect,” Wringhim then meets a charismatic stranger by the name of Gil-Martin who convinces him that they should dispatch anyone who has strayed from the path of righteousness. But who is Gil-Martin really? Is he the Devil, or a figment of the anti-hero’s fevered imagination? Very little is what it seems in this complex novel. Nemesis seems to be coming in the shape of two unlikely female detectives, but the fates have other plans for Wringhim. A psychological horror story, this also works as a novel of stalking, grooming, and serial killing.

Bleak House
By Charles Dickens

Dickens spins a yarn crammed with mysteries, unexplained deaths, blackmail plots, and courtroom drama. There’s also plenty of satire and a serious exploration of the ties that bind us all together. The main mystery concerns the parentage of Esther Summerson. A lawyer called Tulkinghorn may hold the answers, but there’s also a landlord with the all-too-apt name of Krook, a mysterious tenant called Nemo, and the enigmatic Lady Dedlock. Spinning a web to trap all of them is the extraordinary figure of Inspector Bucket. Bucket owes something to a real-life French detective of the period, Vidocq. Vidocq was a master of disguise and intuition, a man who seemed to appear from nowhere and know everyone’s innermost secrets and desires. He is, then, the template for many fictional detectives to come.

The Driver’s Seat
By Muriel Spark

When I wrote my first Inspector Rebus novel, I was supposed to be studying towards a PhD in the novels of Muriel Spark. This incredibly slim, satisfying, and surreal slice of modern gothic is my favorite of hers. Lise is a woman from northern Europe, who decides on a holiday in the south. We first meet her as the assistant in a boutique tries (without success) to sell her a non-stain dress. Lise, it transpires, is a “victim” looking for someone to end her life. She wants the fleeting fame that comes with a shocking murder. On her travels, she hopes she will meet the right man. But is she then the victim, or is she in the driving seat? The clever, subversive Spark takes the reader down a gentle but inevitable slope towards hell. Is our fate pre-ordained? How much free will do we have? Like Graham Greene before her, Spark, a convert to Catholicism, wants her readers to ponder the big questions.

The Name of the Rose
By Umberto Eco

Eco’s brilliant deconstruction of the traditional crime novel wasn’t actually published in English until 1983 (in a superb translation by William Weaver), but literature students knew it was coming. Some us wondered if the literary theorist’s first novel might turn out to be a bit dry, a bit too serious. We shouldn’t have worried. The Name of the Rose is a playful homage to Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie and many others. It also manages to be an engrossing mystery in its own right and a fascinating historical re-enactment. The action takes place in a Benedictine monastery in northern Italy. The year is 1327 and a Franciscan friar by the name of William of Baskerville arrives with a young novice called Adso. They are there for spirited debate, but a series of gruesome murders takes place and William must use his intellect, learning and intuition in order to solve the crime.

Live Flesh
By Ruth Rendell

In truth, I could have chosen any one of Ruth Rendell’s many novels, but this was the first I read. I had just left university and moved to London with the mad scheme of becoming a full-time novelist. Rendell remains the crime writer’s crime writer, never content merely to hoodwink the reader with red herrings. Often she dispenses with the “whodunit” element early on, because her real interest is in human motive and the aspects of society which make criminal behaviour possible (and sometimes inevitable). Live Flesh concerns an ex-con whose life seems to have been a series of accidents and wrong turns. Can he exert any control at all over events, or is each step of his journey pre-determined? It is a question many of the other writers in this list have wrestled with. The best crime writers have always explored not only our deepest natures but the nature of society itself. I think that’s why so many of us keep reading crime fiction.