[US Promotion] I would like to celebrate Thanksgiving by gifting you all books!
UPDATE: More books added by siffis and West1234567890 further down If are late coming across this post then do not worry you can still message me your email for a book. To celebrate my day off today and Thanksgiving tomorrow I would like to gift my audiobooks. In order to recieve a free audiobook gift just message me any title (below) along with your email address. If you have not recieved a gift before then you will get the audiobook for free. More details here and here. I am in the US market (but I hear from Canada and UK that it still works). Books crossed out are not available. TITLE - AUTHOR (Ordered by author)
21 Days of Meditation - Aaptiv
5K Training - Aaptiv
What Happens Next? Conversations from MARS - Adam Savage
You Ought to Know Adam Wade - Adam Wade
The Fall of Carthage: The Punic Wars 265-146BC - Adrian Goldsworthy
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection - Alexander C. Kane
The Ten Thousand Doors of January - Alix E. Harrow
The Story of Dr. Seuss: Theodore, Ted, Geisel Who? The Story of How Dr. Seuss Grew. - Amba Brown
You Have Arrived at Your Destination: Forward - Amor Towles
A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing 43 Students - Anabel Hernandez , John Washington - translator
How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps - Andrew Rowe
Randomize: Forward - Andy Weir
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook - Anthony Bourdain
Chaos Monkeys - Revised Edition: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley - Antonio Garcia Martinez
Goodnight Smartphone - Arianna Huffington
Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle , Stephen Fry - introductions
Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons - Ashli St. Armant
The Home Front: Life in America During World War II - Dan Gediman , Martha C. Little
Cut and Run: A Light-Hearted Dark Comedy - Ben Acker , Ben Blacker
A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs: An Audible Original - Ben Garrod
The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff
Finding Tess: A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America - Beth Macy
Bill Bryson's Appliance of Science - Bill Bryson
The Lost Continent: Travels In Small Town America - Bill Bryson
Billy Kelly: This Is a Family Show! - Billy Kelly
The History of Ancient Egypt - Bob Brier]
Rage - Bob Woodward
Starsight - Brandon Sanderson
Skyward - Brandon Sanderson
Beezer - Brandon T. Snider
The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Smart Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing - Brandon Turner
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are - Brené Brown
Algorithms to Live The Computer Science of Human Decisions - Brian Christian , Tom Griffiths
That Hideous Strength: Ransom Trilogy, Book 3 - C.S. Lewis
Perelandra: Ransom Trilogy, Book 2 - C.S. Lewis
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage - Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark - Carl Sagan
Life Ever After - Carla Grauls
Everything is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity - Carlo Rovelli , Simon Carnell - translator , Erica Segre - translator
How to Build Meaningful Relationships Through Conversation - Carol Ann Lloyd]
El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America - Carrie Gibson
The Flying Flamingo Sisters - Carrie Seim
Press Pause: A Young Person's Guide to Managing Life's Challenges - Catherine Singer
Cesar Millan's Guide to Bringing Home a Shelter Dog - Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan's Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs - Cesar Millan
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder - Charles Graeber
Second Skin: Audible Original Novella - Christian White
Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2 - Christopher Paolini
The Space Race: An Audible Original - Colin Brake , Patrick Chapman , Richard Hollingham , Richard Kurti , Sue Nelson , Helen Quigley , Andrew Mark Sewell
Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life - Common , Awoye Timpo , NSangou Njikam
Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther - Craig Pittman
The Dead Drink First - Dale Maharidge
House of Teeth - Dan Jolley
Dan Rather: Stories of a Lifetime - Dan Rather
How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States - Daniel Immerwahr
The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition - Daniel N. Robinson]
My Lost Family: An Audible Original - Danny Ben-Moshe , Dasha Lisitsina
Body of Proof: An Audible Original - Darrell Brown , Sophie Ellis
Sum: Tales from the Afterlives - David Eagleman
Exploring Metaphysics - David K. Johnson]
Alone with the Stars - David R. Gillham
The Pragmatic Programmer: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition: Your Journey to Mastery - David Thomas , Andrew Hunt
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II - Denise Kiernan
Heaven's River: Bobiverse, Book 4 - Dennis E. Taylor
All These Worlds: Bobiverse, Book 3 - Dennis E. Taylor
For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2 - Dennis E. Taylor
We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bobiverse, Book 1 - Dennis E. Taylor
Metro 2033 - Dmitry Glukhovsky
The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality - Don Lincoln]
Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 2 - Douglas Adams
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish - Douglas Adams
Life, the Universe, and Everything: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 3 - Douglas Adams
The Case of the Damaged Detective: 5-Minute Sherlock, Book 1 - Drew Hayes
Forging Hephaestus: Villains' Code Series, Book 1 - Drew Hayes
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
Mythology - Edith Hamilton
Musashi - Eiji Yoshikawa , Charles S. Terry - translator
Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire - Elaine Shannon
The Science of Sci-Fi: From Warp Speed to Interstellar Travel - Erin Macdonald]
Junkyard Cats: Shining Smith, Book 1 - Faith Hunter
The Golden Orchard - Flora Ahn
The 3-Day Effect - Florence Williams
Catch Me If You Can - Frank W. Abagnale , Stan Redding
The Panama Papers: How the World's Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money - Frederik Obermaier , Bastian Obermayer
The American Civil War - Gary W. Gallagher]
Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond - Gene Kranz
The Creative Thinker's Toolkit - Gerard Puccio]
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ - Giulia Enders
Burr: A Novel (Narratives of Empire, Book 1) - Gore Vidal
The Getaway - Greer Hendricks , Sarah Pekkanen
The Minuteman - Greg Donahue
Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir - H. Jon Benjamin
The Beautiful Brain: An Audible Original - Hana Walker-Brown
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor: A Novel - Hank Green
Bella Bella - Harvey Fierstein
The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country - Helen Russell
The Iliad: A New Translation by Caroline Alexander - Homer , Caroline Alexander - translator
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Omnibus Collection, Volume I: 1917-1926 - Howard Phillips Lovecraft , Finn J.D. John
Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga - Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Casino Royale: James Bond, Book 1 - Ian Fleming
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
Malcolm and Me - Ishmael Reed
Peter Pan: An Audible Original Drama - J. M. Barrie
Tell Me Lies - J. P. Pomare
The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Children of Hurin - J. R. R. Tolkien
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2 - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 - J.K. Rowling
The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling
The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over - Jack Schafer PhD , Ph.D. Marvin Karlins Ph.D.
Midnight Son - James Dommek Jr. , Josephine Holtzman , Isaac Kestenbaum
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey - James Lecesne
Break Shot: My First 21 Years: James Taylor - James Taylor
Forget Nothing - Jason Anspach , Michelle C. Meyers
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies - Jason Fagone
Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn
1066: The Year That Changed Everything - Jennifer Paxton]
Flux - Jeremy Robinson
Space Force - Jeremy Robinson
Infinite - Jeremy Robinson
When You Finish Saving the World - Jesse Eisenberg
The Mystwick School of Musicraft - Jessica Khoury
Call Me God: The Untold Story of the DC Sniper Investigation - Jim Clemente , Tim Clemente , Peter McDonnell
The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons from the Sawtooth Pack - Jim Dutcher , Jamie Dutcher , James Manfull - contributor , Marc Bekoff - foreword PhD
Escape from Virtual Island: An Audio Comedy - John Lutz
The Men Who Stare at Goats - Jon Ronson
So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson
Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie - Jon Ronson
438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea - Jonathan Franklin
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things - Josh Clark , Chuck Bryant
Vroom Vroom - Josh Koenigsberg
King of Sting: The Story of Australian Conman Peter Foster: An Audible Original - Justin Armsden , Bronwen Reid , Hamish Macdonald
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer - Kai Bird , Martin J. Sherwin
You Can Thank Me Later: A Novella - Kelly Harms
The Vikings - Kenneth W. Harl]
Building a Better Vocabulary - Kevin Flanigan]
More Bedtime Stories for Cynics - Kirsten Kearse , Gretchen Enders , Aparna Nancherla , Cirocco Dunlap , Dave Hill
The Math of Life and Death - Kit Yates
Oz. The Complete Collection - L. Frank Baum
A Murder of Manatees: The Further Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent - Larry Correia
The Half-Life of Marie Curie - Lauren Gunderson
Interview with the Robot - Lee Bacon
The Messengers - Lindsay Joelle
African-American Athletes Who Made History - Louis Moore]
The Real Sherlock: An Audible Original - Lucinda Hawksley
The Devil's Highway: A True Story - Luis Alberto Urrea
It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli, An Audible Original - Marc Fennell
Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius - Marc J. Seifer
The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition - Margaret Atwood , Valerie Martin - essay
Buried Deep - Margot Hunt
Black Hawk Down - Mark Bowden
How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It - Mark Cuban
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Tinaca Jones - Matt Boren
Phreaks - Matthew Derby
Pont Neuf - Max Byrd
Find Another Dream - Maysoon Zayid
One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War - Michael Dobbs
The Entrepreneur's Toolkit - Michael Goldsby]
The Fifth Risk - Michael Lewis
Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il - Michael Malice
Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World - Michael Pollan
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer - Michelle McNamara
Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 - Michio Kaku
The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad - Mike Birbiglia , J. Hope Stein
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues - Molly Harper
Motivational Runs: 3 audio-guided run stories and 6 audio-guided Olympic Interval runs - MoveWith
Half Marathon Training Part 2: To the Finish Line: 6 week training plan with 22 audio-guided runs - MoveWith
Half Marathon Training Part 1: Build Up Your Pace + Endurance: 6 week training plan with 22 audio-guided runs - MoveWith
Emergency Skin: Forward - N. K. Jemisin
Silverswift - Natalie Lloyd
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't - Nate Silver
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman , Terry Pratchett
Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society - Nicholas A. Christakis
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road - Nick Bilton
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies - Nick Bostrom
Based on a True Story: A Memoir - Norm Macdonald
Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want: Leven Thumps, #3 - Obert Skye
Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra: Leven Thumps, #4 - Obert Skye
Leven Thumps and the Ruins of Alder: Leven Thumps, #5 - Obert Skye
Adulthood Rites: Xenogenesis, Book 2 - Octavia E. Butler
Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1 - Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed - Octavia E. Butler
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
The Life and Times of Prince Albert - Patrick Allitt]
The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1 - Patrick Rothfuss
Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare - Paul Rosenzweig]
Into the Water: A Novel - Paula Hawkins
The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions - Peter Brannen
Terminus - Peter Clines
The Fold - Peter Clines
14 - Peter Clines
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey-Smith
Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History - Peter Houlahan
Harry Potter: A History of Magic: An Audio Documentary - Pottermore Publishing , Ben Davies
How the Stock Market Works - Ramon P. DeGennaro]
How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems - Randall Munroe
The October Country - Ray Bradbury
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
The Making of the Atomic Bomb: 25th Anniversary Edition - Richard Rhodes
The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World - Robert Garland]
Treasure Island: An Audible Original Drama - Robert Louis Stevenson , Marty Ross - adaptation
Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon
The Mueller Report: The Findings of the Special Counsel Investigation - Robert S. Mueller III , Special Counsel's Office U.S. Department of Justice
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators - Ronan Farrow
Once More upon a Time: A Novella - Roshani Chokshi
Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door - Roy Wenzl , Tim Potter , L. Kelly , Hurst Laviana
Elizabeth II: Life of a Monarch: An Audible Original - Ruth Cowen
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean
Bad Luck Charlie: The Dragon Mage, Book 1 - Scott Baron
Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World - Scott McCormick
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz , Steven Pinker - foreword
Sea Wall / A Life - Simon Stephens , Nick Payne
Carnival Row: Tangle in the Dark - Stephanie K. Smith
D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of WW II - Stephen E. Ambrose
The Stand - Stephen King
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Steve Brusatte
Foreverywhere - Steve Burns , Steven Drozd , Gabe Soria
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake - Steven Novella , Bob Novella - contributor , Cara Santa Maria - contributor , Jay Novella - contributor , Evan Bernstein - contributor
Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills - Steven Novella]
The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain - Steven R. Gundry MD
My Dad the Spy - Stewart Copeland
The Age of Living Machines: How the Convergence of Biology and Engineering Will Build the Next Technology Revolution - Susan Hockfield
Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
History's Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach - The Great Courses , Gregory S. Aldrete
Great Mythologies of the World - The Great Courses , Grant L. Voth , Julius H. Bailey , Kathryn McClymond , Robert André LaFleur
This American Life - This American Life
Writing Creative Nonfiction - Tilar J J. Mazzeo]
The Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon - Todd Zwillich
The Hunt for Red October: A Jack Ryan Novel - Tom Clancy
The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts - Tom Farley , Tanner Colby
A Crazy Inheritance: Ghostsitter 1 - Tommy Krappweis
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
Thicker than Water - Tyler Shultz
The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World - and Globalization Began - Valerie Hansen
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders - Vincent Bugliosi , Curt Gentry
SmartLess - Will Arnett Jason Bateman Sean Hayes
Climbing with Mollie - William Finnegan
Alien III: An Audible Original Drama - William Gibson
Gump & Co. - Winston Groom
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
siffis has generously offered to include his collection. If you like any of the books below then message directly.
World War Z: The Complete Edition - Max Brooks
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline
Halo: Shadows of Reach - Troy Denning
The Sandman - Neil Gaiman
The Ickabog - J.K. Rowling
The Last Tribe - Brad Manuel
Halo Grassland - Karen Traviss
Halo: Mortal Dictata - Karen Traviss
Halo: The Thursday War - Karen Traviss
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Firefly: Big Damn Hero - Jame Lovegrove
After it Happened - Devron C Ford
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds - Gwenda Bond
Blade Runner - Phillip K Dick
Hell Divers 1
Hell Divers 2: Ghosts
God of War - J.M. Barlog
The Time of Contempt - Andrzej Sapkowski
Blood of Elves - Andrzej Sapkowski
Solar Storms - Nicholas Sansbury
Planetside - Michael Mammay
Season of Storms - Andrzej Sapkowski
Dark Operator - Doc Spears
How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps - Andrew Rowe
Here are my ideas to what they should do for the future games Mafia I Remastered (Upgrade to next gen graphics, fix the lighting and the few glitches. Change some things like when you fill up your gas tank show Tommy doing it like in Mafia II instead of what we got now, change the drive by it’s too easy, give us the option to change clothes in the story instead of just in free roam and add all the golden guns too. Change the way he goes up and down a ladder because that’s exactly like Lincoln Clay, change how he throws molotov and also change how he takes cover because that’s also exactly like Lincoln. Also change the way npc’s react when they’re shot or shot at and make them smarter. Add rival gangs so we can fight them in free roam. Make the bullet holes on npc’s and Tommy better. Add some things like trams, trains, a wanted system exactly like Mafia II, places to eat, ability to smoke, clothing stores, vehicle customizations, trafic lights so we can get a ticket when we run over red light, maybe some ambulances that can arrive when people die and make the police do a crime scene where the people died, more free roam missions where you could be inspired by the ones in the original Mafia and some more scores to the chapters. I love the scores that are there now but sometimes it gets a little repetitive and could be refreshing if there were something new. I know this is a small thing and I also know that you can see it on the map but I would love for them to write the date of the chapter when the chapter loads up like in Mafia II.) DLC: Don Peppone (Everybody would love to see this. We all wants to see what happened. Let the game take place in 1910s to late 1920s. Let’s see a commission meeting with the big names from Mafia II, III, IV and V when Don Morello and Don Salieri became rivals. Show Carlo’s father. Maybe we could also see Alberto Clemente get his family accepted at the commission meeting in 1929. Show how Paulie and Sam got accepted into The Salieri Family. Would also have loved to see a cameo of Don Vinci to see the friendship between Don Salieri and him.) DLC: Mafia II Mobile (This is a really good story that only a few has tried. It takes place in 1938 about a protagonist called Marco Russetto who is the nephew of Vincenzo. He travels to Empire Bay to find Tommy Angelo after he betrayed The Family. He starts working for Henry Tomasino. Look up the story it’s really interesting he works for Don Falcone and Don Vinci. He ends up in prison at some time also. There are some things in the story that you would have to change so it would make sense but this really does have potential. Plus if you created this Empire Bay map then you could use it for a Mafia II Remake.) Mafia II Remake (It needs it. It truly needs it when you look at all the things that where scrapped. Add all the cut content. Add some amazing next gen graphics and a fantastic engine. Don’t change the characters look or voice since this game has the best voice acting in the world. Add more chapters to it so it would be longer and fill out the holes in the story. And let’s see more background to the characters. Maybe add some countryside to expand the Empire Bay map. Make some references to Los Ondas and the mobsters there. Make also some references to Mafia III and IV characters. Let’s see the return of the cigarette cards where we see the big mobsters of the 40s.) DLC: Vinci-Moretti War (Very interesting story. We would love to see why this war happened and to see how Don Falcone and Eddie Scarpa took over after Don Moretti died. To see a younger Leo Galante and Don Vinci in the war and how they acted. Would also love to see how Alberto Clemente took over Don Moretti’s and Don Vinci’s businesses. That would explain why Leo Galante hated Alberto so much. You could maybe include Fredo Clemente somewhere there and maybe see Alberto give Henry Tomasino a job and Luca Gurino’s involvement. Let’s see more to Jack Olivero and Tony Balls since he was the driver in the car with Don Moretti where Steve Coyne planted the bomb and killed Don Moretti. Show how Derek Pappalardo was involved in the war and how he got rewarded the docks.) DLC: Joe’s Adventures Remake (To this one they need to add cutscenes. Interesting point of view to see it when Vito was in jail but it lacked cutscenes. Let’s hear more about Tony Balls and Rocco.) Mafia III Remake (A game with a lot of good elements, great story and great characters. Fix all the glitches and lighting. I had 2 problems with this game. Number 1 was that it was really repetitive. I don’t feel it had a good reply value like the other 2 games. I think this remake should make it chapter to chapter based so we don’t have to take over all those rackets again and again. Number 2 was that I didn’t feel it was so connected to the franchise. I felt with a remake where you add some chapters and some voice recording where you hear about some of the characters from Mafia I, II and IV would help a lot. And as I stated below I think Mafia IV should be a prequel to Mafia III being set in the gap of Mafia II and Mafia III. So therefore you could add Mafia III characters to Mafia IV’s story. Since it’s the 30th anniversary of The Salieri Family case then they should add a newspaper about it. Maybe tell that Detective Norman has retired. Make some references to Los Ondas and the mobsters there. Add again the cigarette cards and show the big mobsters of the 60s) DLC: All Saint’s Day Massacre (It would be amazing to have a prequel to Mafia III about Sal Marcano and his brothers to see how they took over New Bordeaux. Let’s see how Sal tricked his brothers to kill Don Carillo and how Valerio Marcano died and let’s see some background to Sal’s brother Lucio. It would also connect us more to Mafia III’s story where this is the Marcano Family’s rise and Mafia III is their downfall. Would love to see a commission meeting with Sal where he introduces himself as the new don of New Bordeaux. Let’s see some more to Roman Barbieri, Frank Pagani, Gianni and Tony Derazio and Enzo Conti and how they got recruited. Let’s see Thomas Burke and Sammy Robinson and the rest of the Black Mob and how they ended up working for Sal Marcano and maybe their problem with the Haitians.) Mafia IV (Set as a prequel to Mafia III in Havana and Florida. Inspired by Godfather II and Meyer Lansky’s story. Tell the story about Fredo Clemente. Let’s see Sal opening his casinos in Havana and how Tommy Marcano got to work for him. Let’s see the other families settling down in Havana. How did Fredo react when his brother died and wouldn’t he kill the 2 who did it? Maybe some families from other states where causing trouble. Maybe the families from Pennsylvania would like a slice of the casinos. Let’s see an introduction to Louie Romeo just to see him. Tell more about Nino Santangelo since he is cuban. Since the events of this game is taking place before Mafia III maybe we could see what happened to Lucio Marcano when he died in 1962. Make some references to Los Ondas and the mobsters there. Add again the cigarette cards and show the big mobsters of the 50s.) DLC: Pennsylvania (Inspired by The Irishman, The Pittsburgh Family and The Bufalino Family. Let’s see some of the Mafia there and how they wanted to take control of some of the casinos in Havana. Show their connections to The Empire Bay families. Maybe Louie Romeo could be from this state.) Mafia V (Inspired by Casino and Mickey Cohen’s and Bugsy Siegel’s story. Now this should be about Los Ondas and how the Mafia wanted to take control on the West Coast. Los Ondas should be Los Angeles and Las Vegas combined. It should take place from the 30s-80s. Let’s see when the commission from the East wanted Louie Romeo to make their move on the West. It would be interesting to see Los Angeles in the 40s-50s and Las Vegas in 70s-80s. Let’s see a war in the Las Vegas strip. This would take place at the same time as the other mafia games so make some references and cameos from the characters from the other games. Maybe Fredo Clemente and Louie Romeo could be in war so you could see it from 2 different perspectives. Mafia IV would be Fredo’s perspective and Mafia V would be Louie’s perspective. Since it also takes place after the events of the other games let’s see what happened to the families in those citys. Like we could see who was running Lost Heaven after the 30’s and who ran Empire Bay after the chaos that Vito, Joe and Henry has caused.) DLC: San Francisco (Maybe a map expansion and show how the family operated there.)
Ok It's Time for my...Annual *Pre-Burning Man Rant and Predictions!!
Ok It's Time for my . . . Annual Pre-Burning Man Rant and Predictions!!! After 22+ years of attendance, I have watched this festival go from what was described by Wired Magazine in 1997 as, "what the internet would be like if it was happening in reality" to 2020 where, "What? In reality, this festival is happening on the internet" ?!? What a serious head fuck . . . So strap in or strap on and get ready for disappointment . . . like virtually everything in this virtual world right now. Here goes this year's Virtual Rant! PREDICTIONS The Virtual Burn is going the be everything you think it could be . . . an underwhelming and depressing reminder that you are not going the real Burning Man this year. While it is still better than nothing, nothing is an extremely low bar. Get ready for a clusterfuck of 8 separately-produced interpretive video game dreamscapes, made by skilled teams of programmers eager to prove that their world-building technology will be able to make future financial investors a shitload of money. Burning Man 2021 is a 50/50 chance at best. 2022 is not looking that great either. Between The Org burning cash on side projects, the FEDs wanting to crack down hard and the Bureau of Land Management clearly pretty fucking stoked that they did not have to deal with the whole shitshow this year, it's going to be an uphill battle for the festival to return. Huge changes will need to be made. Those few gluttons for punishment who do decide to go to the playa this week will be treated to Burning Man without the Burning Man Experience. It will take all the hard work, organization and preparation for survival in the middle of a harsh desert environment for a week of Burning Man . . . just without the Burning Man. If there is one silver lining of the event not happening this year, it's the fact that I don't have to pack up my dust covered Burning Man bullshit from last year, drive 19 hours, then have to smuggle drugs inside my ass to make it past the BLM rangers just go camping in one of the most fucking miserable and inhospitable places on earth. Without Shirtcockers, Megaphones and Massive Thumping Soundsystems, it's just a bogus camping trip in bad weather with a shitload of cops. This year we will NOT be seeing the usual post-Burn MASSSIVE FLOOD of social media posts from Burners who lost their nice $60 water bottle/container somewhere on the playa, often accompanied by a story of why this particular water container was of importance because it has a strap on it, followed by a brief description of unique camps stickers on it and a photo of said missing water bottle/container. In fact, while we are starting to think about cutting costs -- How about lost and found stops giving a fuck about your overpriced water bottle. You lost it, Becky . . . let it go. You spent 20 times More Money on Cocaine for the week than the price of your fucking stoopid-Smart-Bottle-container. THE VIRTUAL BURN This year’s Virtual Burn brings about more questions than it does answers. How will Shirtcockers express their hatred of pants without a Burning Man? In a virtual world, they become no different than unsolicited dick pics. How will Artcar Owners be able to swing their metaphorical dicks around without their Artcars booming Deep House music to show the world their girth. Sure, you can build one in the Minecraft world for this years Burn . . .But lets face it: No one is gonna be like "Who did that 3D CAD drawing, I totally wanna fuck them!" What will all the Assholes with Megaphones do without Burners to heckle? Without handheld amplified audio devices and wide-open spaces, they become no different than Internet Trolls. How will Hippies on a Vision Quest be able find their spirit animal online? Without a guided shamanic ritual and Temple to burn, they become no different than someone playing Animal Crossing. If there is no moop or trash to clean up in a virtual Burning Man how can Moop-shamers be able to prove to campmates and others that they are better at "doing Burning Man " than everyone else? In a virtual world they become no different than a Sarah McLaughlin Green Peace commercial. How will Dooshbonnets and Dooshbags be able to gain followers on Instagram without the giant Robot Heart to climb? How can they show the world that they not only have braved the pool of Piranhas chomping for position for line, negotiated past the all-seeing and all-knowing doorgirl with a clipboard, proving that they have climbed both the social and physical ladder to reach the top of the Robot Heart, so that they may look down upon the lowly dancefloor with both spite and pity for the unwashed masses who where not able achieve such greatness. Without this accomplishment, they become no different than average Twitter users vying for Celebrity attention. How will Burning Man DJs be able to disappoint us with poorly executed timing and bullshit Michael Jackson remixes? Without huge Soundsystems to bang out the worst in modern electronic music, DJs just become . . . The SAME TERRIBLE DJs just now on Twitch! #playatech #Djstreaming #Djsofburningman Although each Virtual World must have been an amazing feat of programming in its scope and size, it kinda feels like a huge project that was done in a short amount of time. None of the Eight Worlds, in any way, reflect the typical Burning Man experience. However, there are a few non-official super realistic Burning Man simulators out there. By far the most realistic experience has to be the "Getting Out More This Year" Simulator. The player is welcomed to a rich and tangible 3D World of Chris's DopeAss 70s RV, which is camped way out on 4:30 and H, where your avatar can spend all day and all night doing fun things like Ketamine, or other colorful interactive game play such as snorting Ketamine, and even interact with the virtual Chris’s chat box and watch his avatar do Ketamine. Other game play options include doing Ketamine, talking about doing Ketamine and also doing Ketamine. The more days and nights spent doing Ketamine, the higher the score! If you want to experience what a typical Burner really does the whole week, than this one is for you!! Then we have: "Let's Go Party" . . . the online multi-player game where the objective is to get your group of more than 6 Burners to try and leave camp, and all go out to party together. I did not have much fun playing. I was never able to leave the front of camp. 14 hours of game play later, Brenda still needs to go back for chapstick and Ricky can’t find his bag of blow. Then once Brenda arrives ready, Kaleporia is cold and needs a scarf. Darkwad David is going back to get some blinky lights for the 3rd time. Now Timmy can't find his cigarettes . . . Fuck. “ManBun Boyfriend”. In this first person POV game, you (the ManBun) has little to no control within the game, with only a single "Ok, Sure" button to navigate within the world. The game play opens as the player is dragged out of bed at 6 AM by the onscreen girlfriend who takes you (the ManBun) on an treacherous journey of sunrise yoga classes, self help lectures, think and grow rich seminars, yoga, positive affirmation workshops, mindful guided mediations, yoga, healing arts ceremonies, wellness and well-being talks, yoga, vegan lifestyle in the new age conferences, yoga, mindful-and-wellness-group-chat and also yoga. Extra points if you can score a selfie in front of the Giant BELIEVE letters!! After 8 grueling hours of game play, it simply flashes a screen where girlfriend says "I'm Tired", and the “ManBun Boyfriend” simulator then restarts game play to opening sequence. “DJs Girlfriend”. This simulation offers a similar experience to “ManBun Boyfriend”. However, in this first person POV game, you (the DJs Girlfriend) is invited to Follow "Dj GlockTrigger" on a dubstep-and-monster-energy-drink-filled adventure as you (the DJs Girlfriend) is rushed from empty dancefloor to empty dancefloor, while picking up extra points if you can find him a "line of blow". After 12 hours of game play the screen flashes "Hey babe I'm gonna go drink with the boyies" and game play is reset. THE RANT I am not that great at finance. Obviously. I’ve been to Burning Man 22 times. That should tell you enough about my poor financial / life choices. But even this burnout Burner can do the math and see that the Burning Man Org is in financial trouble. Burning Man may need to sell out to save itself. It would not be the first time.. Burning Man "sold out" to the PsyTrance community in 1997. To help ticket sales, the Bay Area was flooded with seriously lame underproduced Rave flyers. Or maybe Dr. Dre can toss in a few million to keep The Org afloat once again. Or hey why don't we start tickling Elon Musk's balls again, and see if we can start choking on his shaft in return for some sweet corporate demon semen sponsorship. The Org has already gone pinky finger deep with him. Like when Tesla brought out a full-on Electric Car Expo. That's right, in 2007, at Burning Man, right at fucking Esplanade & 9:00, they had what can only be described as an “anonymous car dealership” from “the green future”, complete with lengthy-worded displays filled with lofty promises of clean energy, infused with subtle corporate propaganda. In the center of the exhibit sat a life-size solid black plastic model Tesla car. As well as someone on guard 24/7 to make sure no one tagged or fucked with the stoopid thing. I personally got chased out for drawing a dick in the DUST on the window! All I know is they should have burnt it down or blew it up by the end of the week, but that lame ass mother fucker was still there on Sunday when I journeyed back to draw a dick on it again -- this time with a PAINT PEN. After executing a perfect fat-sacked-choad-headed-donger on the hood, I was once again chased out by rangers, this time with pitchforks screaming bloody murder for my head!! Fuck you, Ranger Doug! You will never be able to prove that was Me!!! So Look, it's not the first time The Org spread its asscheeks for a little bit of corporate dick on the side. They also bent over back in 2013 and let Mark Fucking Zuckerberg bring a Giant Golden 'LIKE' sculpture out there. I just hope they did the right thing by the end of week and it was killed with fire. SO we know The Org is corporateBiCurious. Time to snuggle up, get out of the corporate cocksucking closet and cash in on the fact that this place sold out a long time ago. Start flirting with attractive corporate entities like Mark Z, the Google Boys, Elon, Tommy Boy from Myspace, or maybe even P-Diddy to toss in some cash to get this fucking party started again! Yo, Elon! How can we have Burning Man on Mars in 2050 as planned, if we can’t keep it going on Earth for the next 30 years? At this point, The Org can spread their legs in the backseat of that Tesla and change next years theme to Space-X. I could give a FUCK!!!!! As long as we can keep Old Naked Dudes On Bikes rolling free. Let some of these cocksucking limpdick corporations like Doritos -- who have already profited from using our Artcars and culture in a their fabricated commercials -- actually fucking pay us money and we will let them shoot a real commercial out there. Have fun pixelating the nipples out of the background actors. I COULD GIVE A FUCK as long as Shirtcockers have a natural habitat to dongslap and roam free. Let Brazzers.com build the Temple! I sincerely really don't care what they do . . . as long as Assholes with Megaphones have wide open spaces to heckle Burners in the Black Rock Desert like GOD intended. BACK TO BASICS : THE FESTIVAL WILL NEED TO RESEST Maybe The Org will stop fisting themselves in the burnhole with all the Cultural-Direction-Bullshit and get down to brass tax here. They have spent years trying to market the festival as a family-friendly-non-offensive-all-inclusive-experience for the suburban upperclass while still catering to the super elite. We need The Org to provide the DPW and Tickets . . . Not for Cultural Direction, or Large Scale Art Funding Circle Jerks, Abstract Charity Causes, International Involvement, or any of the Meaningless Feel-Good Propaganda tools they use to control the image of the festival! The number one focus from here on out needs to be the festival itself taking place once again in Black Rock City! This defacto-defunding of The Org is a blessing. Look, when it comes down to it, it's not about the lame fucking themes each year. It's about the Burners who come and contribute to the festival that makes it special. It’s not about overpriced art grants, or Rich-Dick Theme Camp placement priorities. It about the shitty unofficial un-themed camp at 7:00 and J blaring Discotrance music on a distorted soundsystem while giving away room temperature margaritas! I could give a fuck about all of the elaborate expensive blinking bullshit! Cuts cost! Make the Burning Man effigy from toothpicks for all I give a fuck. None of that shit really matters. The spirit of Burning Man is in the person giving away ice cream from a cooler out in deep playa on a hot afternoon. The soul of the festival is in Old Naked Dudes on a Bikes rolling free across the desert! The heart of the festival is the Nightmare Hippy Chick on Acid rolling around in the dust, screaming about her spirit vegetable. Believe me if The Org had its way, Burning Man would be nothing but Transformational Mediation Seminars, Yoga Classes, Ultra Overpriced Sculptures, and TED talks about how to get rich quick selling a new type of investment portfolio. I am perfectly happy with the crappy bars and half-assed theme camps that are there just to have a good time. We don't need The Org's unique brand of new age capital-elitism bullshit. They have clearly dropped the ball on the Cultural Direction for years, and the less they steer the ship, the better, cuz we have already washed up on the rocks. BULLSHIT CLICKBAIT “Top 10 Burning Man Pictures You Must See To Believe!” And once clicked, sure enough it’s nothing but a bunch of super basic-ass photos of some super-hot-Coachella-swinger-couple at sunset in front of the most gentrified “OMG I need to get a selfie in front that to show my followers on Instagram” artwork on the playa. You already know exactly where these fucksticks took the stoopid photo is front of, OF fucking course it's in front of the BELIEVE letters. It’s Basically the "live, laugh, love" of playa art. Really, I won't believe this ?! What I won't believe is that their relationship is going to last beyond next week . . . cuz there’s a 90% chance they are gonna join the wrong gangbang at the Orgy Dome and suddenly someone is not happy about the amount of buttfucking the other one received. Thanks Business Insider Magazine for exposing the public to the wild and crazy world that is Burning Man. Now every fucking Chad and Becky from Wall Street is trying to come here to get laid. "Bro if I was there I would bang so many Hot Chicks on top of those letters" . . . "OMG I LOVE those Letters!! We are SOOO going to Burning Man to meet our future husbands <3." How about 10 REAL photos you won’t believe? Too bad the cameras weren’t there to snap a picture of the guy who took a shower with a fat chick and midget porn star! It’s a shame no one from the Daily Mail UK was there to catch video of the guy who was tripping his nuts off and could not figure out how to unlock the door of the porta-potty -- escaping only by busting through the plastic roof and climbing out the top several hours later. Or how about that chick at the meditation camp that was able to summon a higher power of consciousness and transcended the spacetime continuum for a short/infinite amount of time! Where the fuck was BoredPanda.com to catch a photo of the person who was hit with a rubber dildo when it was carelessly thrown from the top of the Space Pirate ship into the Mayan Warrior crowd. Now That’s some real stuff that happens out there that I would be happy to clickbait on! THERE WILL BE SOME CHANGES MADE The Large Scale Art: Instead of funding massive installations that end up being resold to casinos on the Las Vegas strip, why not treat them like large Rich-Dick Theme Camps -- give the Installation Artists 200 DGS Tickets, and in return, these assholes will be happy to spend shitloads of money on blinky light towers or whatever, just so they can lock in those sweet sweet reserved tickets for themselves and their friends. The Tone: The Utopian Blinkylight Dreamscape has been cool for the past 16 years . . . Buuuut . . . it has gradually fallen out of touch with the world around us. For far too long, The Org has ignored camps or underfunded art that could be perceived as dark or controversial in any way, shape or form. Yet again, another example of their Cultural Direction Tactics to market Burning Man as a blinky-light-mickey-mouse-Epcot-Center for wealthy-business-insiders-and-celebrities featuring a safespace-family-oriented-wholesome-body-wellness-green-living-environment for social-media-influencer-photo-shoots. Burning Man has NEVER been a Safe place! In 1998, I witnessed a beheading by guillotine at the Opera Performance that was so realistic I spent the next 5 hours (still frying balls on acid!) convinced that Billy Graham was right about this place being a Satanic death cult that would bring about the end of the world. IT WAS DISTURBING! If the Barbie Death Camp incident at last years’ Burn taught us anything, it is that there clearly need to be risky and controversial works of art at the festival. We can't be having pussy-footed Australians throwing temper tantrums like little punk bitches CUZ they don't like the way someone put Barbie Dolls inside an oven! Why did that do-good-koala-humping-limpdick-ASS-licker think it was OK? Well . . .The Org has shoved the narrative that Burning Man is strictly "good vibes only" down our fucking throats so deep that we finally gagged from it. Why the fuck was that guy even there? Well, he clicked on the Business Insiders’ “Top Ten Burning Man Photos You Must See To BELIEVE” and thought it was gonna be nothing but butterfly sculptures and Instagram Models in front of giant letters. No Kids: Yep. Sorry Minecraft Burners, but you are gonna have to wait until you are 21 to come to this party! Renegotiating the insurance policy as an over-21 festival will save The Org millions and millions of dollars. Out of 80,000 people, less than .05% are under 21 . . .yet we have to check IDs at every fucking bar !? Every year the gate gets closed down and no one can filter in or out because someone asshole can't find their kid. This should be a HUGE red flag ! Law Enforcement uses the fact that minors are allowed at the event as justification to engage in predatory conduct such as undercover stings, camp raids and random tickets for unsuspecting bartenders who forget to check IDs. Also I am not comfortable with the legal grey area the Shirtcocking and Titbouncing in the presence of minors creates. And if it ever comes down to nudity versus allowing kids, I am sorry but we can't sacrifice the heart of this festival on account of the fact that you don't want to get a fucking babysitter for the week. Your kids could give a flying-donald-duck-fuck about Burning Man! You and I both know goddamn well that given the opportunity they would rather play video games for the week at grandma's house then have to listen to Mom and Dad fight at Burning Man all week about who got buttfucked by whom at the Orgy Dome. . . LEAVE THEM AT HOME!!!!!! So the rest of us can be free to fuck, drink, smoke and wave our goddamn dicks and clits around whereever we see fit!!! The Temple: In the early days of the David Best Temples, they were constructed from the leftover hollows of wooden dinosaur jigsaw puzzle pieces. It was low cost, recycled and pretty fucking cool! Last year’s Temple was overdesigned, structurally unsound, and made from rare rustic-oak hardwood and redwood trees imported from China. Let’s cut costs and just do what those guys from Belgium did in 2005. It's a Very Simple Plan. We get a shitload of old 2x4 boards and fucking Wing It! The Belgium Waffle House would have made a perfectly good Temple. Garbage Dumpsters: Yep, that's right. In the future we will have dumpsters at Burning Man! All the Survivalist and Moop-shaming Burners say it will destroy the festival. Guess what, Burn Nut? It's already common practice for larger theme camps to rent dumpsters that are emptied at the end of the week!! It's been going on for YEARS! So what? Theme Camps will now have to pay a dumpster fee and there will be strict rules around any public dumpsters. Believe me The Org will provide the minimum amount possible to accommodate the BLM. It won't be nearly enough dumpsters for everyone to just toss all their trash, recycling and extra bikes into. Don't worry, Radical Self-Reliant Survivalist Burnertypes, other people will still have to suffer packing up and dealing with their own trash on the ride home. Moop-shamers rejoice! You will definitely still be able to shame people for mooping and not cleaning up, if not even more so now. I don't see why we can't be Radically Self-Reliant by having dumpsters on site. We will still Leave No Trace, while leaving one less thing for surrounding communities to bitch about. Build the Wall !!! Ya fuck it! Build the Wall. So what? Honestly, it will be more aesthetically pleasing than that fucking orange fence. And if that is what the Feds want, that's cool with me -- as long as The Org gets to choose who does Security! Thank fucking god we are not doing Burning Man this year. With the world on fire all around us, it seems a bit tone-def to hold a giant rave utopia party! I, for one, will be enjoying the week indoors under air-conditioning and rolling around in the heaps of cash I am saving by not going. I’m not attending a single workshop to expand my consciousness, not giving a single gift to anyone, and not being radical or self-reliant in any way. Fuck your Virtual Burn. I am Zapper Jones. I will see you in the Dust again . . . Sometime Somewhere in the Future!
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
NOTE: I mentioned it in the first post of 2002 but a lot of y'all are aware that a few months ago, SaintRidley picked up the Observer Rewind reins after I stopped and started doing his own recaps from the 1980s. Well, he's been doing great work with it and he just finished posting the year of 1987. I went ahead and added it the Previously" section up there. ↑↑↑ Just wanted to make sure to bring it to everyone's attention.
It's been awhile since we've had major PPVs going head-to-head with each other, but it happened this week when WWA aired it's 2nd ever PPV live from Las Vegas, going head-to-head with PRIDE. Dave recaps the history of head-to-head PPV battles, specifically the WWF vs. Crockett war in the late-80s. How Vince McMahon created Survivor Series specifically to run it in direct competition with Crockett's first ever PPV, Starrcade 87. The resulting loss of needed revenue was a huge reason why Crockett eventually had to sell the company to Ted Turner and, in retrospect, set into motion everything that led to WCW's eventual death last year. He goes on to recap how Royal Rumble was created and aired on free TV to go head-to-head with Crockett's next PPV attempt, Bunkhouse Stampede. Then Crockett responded by creating the first Clash of the Champions and airing it against Wrestlemania IV. Not sure PRIDE vs. WWA is up there in the same league as that PPV battle. Which, to be fair, Dave admits it's not the same thing.
Anyway, the PRIDE show was among the greatest events of all time, one of the very few times in the history of the Observer that a show got a unanimous 100% thumbs up vote on the reader poll. It aired in Japan live and in the U.S. on a bit of a delay, with the matches edited in a different order. In Japan, the card was headlined by Vanderlei Silva vs. former UWFI wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, which was an excellent fight that Silva won. In the U.S., the show was built around Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye in the main event (in Japan, it aired 3rd from last) and the 2 men had an absolute war that should shut up critics who say both are too old. Shamrock lost a split-decision in a fight that Dave thinks should have legitimately been a draw. (This fight is considered to this day one of the all-time wars in MMA history. An utter slobberknocker. Neither fighter was the same again afterward and Frye has said that the damage Shamrock did to his legs in this fight led to him later getting addicted to painkillers). After the fight, Shamrock went over to ringside and hugged his girlfriend Alicia Webb, who you may remember as Ryan Shamrock. The girl that played his sister in WWF.
And then there was WWA. A low-budget, amateur-ish event, marred by bad production and no-shows. Not that the crowd would even know, because most of the lineup was never even announced ahead of time anyway. The scheduled main event of Jeff Jarrett vs. Randy Savage didn't happen because Savage held promoter Andrew McManus up for more money at the last minute. Savage originally had agreed to work the show in exchange for a 30% ownership stake in the company, which was agreed upon. But three days before the show, Savage upped the ante, saying he wanted the 30%, plus an extra $50,000 in cash. At that point, they started haggling back and forth to try to strike some kind of deal. Ownership got pulled off the table and then Savage asked for a flat $250,000 fee to work the show. WWA turned that down and came back with a flat $150,000 offer instead. Savage turned that down and at that point, everything broke down. For what it's worth, a lot of the lower card wrestlers on the show worked for $300. Last second attempts to bring in Sting to save the show didn't work either. Road Dogg was also supposed to appear on the show but couldn't because of legal issues. Word is he got arrested 2 days before the show in Florida on a probation violation. As a result, the PPV was headlined by Jeff Jarrett defending the WWA championship against Brian Christopher.
The whole show was simply an embarrassment. The production was completely minor league and the crowd was totally dead for all these long matches with guys nobody cares about. The in-ring work was fine, but the booking often made no sense, with overbooked three-ways and 6-way undercard matches that ended up being more clusterfuck than match. It was also one of those Russo-type things where the commentary team made endless inside-references that only the hardcore internet fans would get. But then again, this show only drew hardcore internet fans anyway, so why not? They also constantly made reference to WWF, which came across as desperate and sad. In particular, Larry Zbyszko was given the chance to cut a meandering promo, challenging Vince McMahon to a fight over some unspecified grievance from 20 years ago and criticized them for having Chris Jericho as their world champion. Dave thinks Zbyszko was actually angling for a job from WWF by trying to start his own angle and says this promo was basically his job application. And he thinks it was pretty pathetic. Backstage, the disorganization was apparent and most even within the company saw what a mess it was and have already given up on the promotion as a lost cause. Dave said this PPV made it clear that nobody will be challenging WWF anytime soon.
Other notes from the WWA Revolution PPV: yes, in case you're wondering, that Japanese man sitting behind the commentary table all night who very briefly (literally blink and miss it) got involved in the Scott SteineDisco Inferno tussle was indeed NJPW star Hiroyoshi Tenzan and yes, they flew him all the way from Japan (and had him bring his ring gear just in case), only to have him do almost nothing and never be acknowledged on camera. Eric Bischoff was backstage, as a guest of Ernest Miller. Bischoff laughed off any questions about going to WWF but said the ol' "never say never" shtick. The crowd was about 2,800, most of them freebies and they were desperately giving away tickets in the casino before the show. During the first match, the building looked practically empty so they quietly began moving everyone closer to ringside to pack the area around the ring to make it look presentable for TV. Opening 6-way match featuring all the hottest indie stars was a sloppy mess, with too people flying everywhere trying to get their shit in and the cameras missing most of it. Bret Hart came out and cut a long, rambling promo before announcing Brian Christopher was replacing Randy Savage in the main event, to zero crowd response. By the 5th match, people in the crowd could be seen leaving, never to return. Jerry Lynn showed up, interrupting an Eddie Guerrero interview, at which point Dave mentions, oh yeah by the way, the WWF released Jerry Lynn 2 days before the PPV. Considering WWF has been talking about reviving the cruiserweight division after Wrestlemania, Dave doesn't know why they'd get rid of a guy who could be one of the best in the division. Anyway, yeah, this show sucked. Here ya go, enjoy.
WWF's latest investor conference call took place and wasn't particularly newsworthy, but there's some stuff to note. The new agreement with DirecTV is until August of 2003 and is under the exact same terms they were operating under last year, which means WWF gained nothing while losing an estimated $4.4 million in revenue over the last few PPVs. Following the brand split, WWF plans to run 16 PPVs per year, and increasing the price by an extra $5. Linda McMahon said Wrestlemania 18 has sold 58,000 tickets as of the time of the call, for a record gate of $3.96 million, breaking the record set by last year's WM. Dave goes through all the numbers and for the most part, in comparison to previous quarters, almost everything is down. Which is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention because WWF is clearly on the downswing. Linda also said they're currently interviewing new writers and are hoping to double their writing staff, which Dave thinks is a terrible idea (and time has damn sure proven him correct). Finally, Linda was also asked how the purchase of the WCW library has benefited the company, which Dave thinks is an interesting question since revenues have declined since then and the Invasion angle flopped so hard that it killed any brand value the name "WCW" may have had. Linda talked about the value of the tape library but Dave points out that it's been a year and WWF has done practically nothing with that library (of course, in the end, they found ways to monetize that WCW library and it more than paid for itself).
In his first match as an official member of the AJPW roster, Keiji Muto lost the Triple Crown championship to Toshiaki Kawada in a match nearly a year in the making, before a sold out crowd at Budokan Hall. He hasn't seen it yet, but the match was reported to Dave as a near-classic (he ends up giving it 4.5 stars). The other 2 NJPW stars who jumped ship, Kendo Kashin and Satoshi Kojima, also worked their first official AJPW matches. Kaz Hayashi, formerly a member of Jung Dragons in WCW and who worked in WWF's developmental until asking for his release a few weeks ago, also debuted on the show and will be part of Muto's faction.
Obituary time for Swede Hanson, who worked primarily in the Carolinas and had a brief run in the WWF as a cult favorite babyface in the early 80s. Sadly, he passed away in a mental hospital because he had advanced Alzheimer's disease which made it impossible for his family to handle him and they had him put away. Jeez, that's rough. He also had a litany of other health problems. Dave gives an in-depth history of his career in the 60s and 70s as a heel in the Carolinas before talking about the WWF run. Vince Sr. brought him in as a monster heel to challenge Bob Backlund, and Dave thinks someone else must have backed out at the last moment or something. By this time (in 1979), Hanson was well past his prime and hadn't been a major star anywhere in years but he was a big dude and so they brought him in to face Backlund and they actually sold out Madison Square Garden with Backlund vs. Hanson in the main event (though Dave says Bruno Sammartino working the undercard sure didn't hurt). The match sucked and almost immediately after, he became a jobber in the WWF, but Vince Jr, on commentary, just loved to call him "Rawboned Swede Hanson" and the "Rawboned" nickname caught on. Vince said it with such gusto that Hanson briefly became a cult favorite jobber from it and the crowd turned him babyface at damn near 50 years old. It led to a brief career resurgence and him having a small role in the Backlund/Billy Graham feud for the title before he finally faded into oblivion.
Mark Henry won the "world's strongest man" competition at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding and fitness event. Henry has been out of WWF for the past 2 months training for this competition and the training paid off, with Henry capturing first place and making a legitimate viable claim to his "strongest man in the world" moniker. During the event, Henry became the first man in 50 years to cleanly press the 366 pound Apollon wheel weight above his head. In another event, he carried an 800 pound block of bolted together railroad ties up a 40-foot ramp faster than the other competitors. For his victory, Henry won a $75,000 Humvee and some other cash prizes. Over the same weekend, he also won another $1,000 in a contest where he was able to lift an inch dumbbell (which weighs 172 pounds) to his shoulder with one arm. There's a bunch of other weightlifting stuff here, but you might be surprised to find out....I dunno shit about any of this. I got winded lifting pizza to my mouth earlier. Mark Henry strong.
Another obit for former wrestler, promoter, and father of 80s valet Baby Doll, Nick Roberts who died of pancreatic cancer. Once again, a bunch of details and stories about someone I've never heard of in wrestling history that Dave somehow knows everything about. I know I've said it before, but these obituary pieces are some of the greatest reasons for subscribing to the Observer.
Masahiro Chono says he wants to take NJPW in a more serious, realistic direction. No sports entertainment gaga nonsense, they want it to be like a real sports product. So much so that, in his own match with Manabu Nakanishi at the last big NJPW show, Chono wouldn't even bounce off the ropes, saying that it's not credible and no one would do that in a real fight. Ah yes, Inoki's gonna love this.
FMW wrestler Kodo Fuyuki has said he plans to try to keep the promotion running after it was announced it was folding last week. FMW still has 8 shows scheduled for this month and Fuyuki said he plans to try to run them himself and keep the company going (no such luck buddy).
Japan Today, an American newspaper that covers Japanese news daily, had a story on Antonio Inoki battling diabetes. It says he was first diagnosed in 1982, which Dave says is right around the time Inoki's in-ring work dropped off considerably when he lost his stamina. The story said for the last 20 years, Inoki has eaten a ridiculously healthy diet and is in better health now at 59 than he was then at 39.
Dave said he got tons of positive feedback on the debut of RF Video's Ring of Honor promotion in Philadelphia. The show was sold out in advance, was well organized, and had several really good matches. They limited a lot of the mistakes that most indie companies fall victim to, such as too many matches, too many run-ins, too much mic work, too many guys trying to do too much stuff, etc. Steve Corino and CZW announcer Eric Gargiulo did commentary. Eddie Guerrero faced Super Crazy in an excellent match and the main event was a three-way featuring Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and American Dragon that Dave has heard rave reviews for. And thus, ROH was born.
Vic Grimes took the most insane bump of all time at an XPW event before 1,500 fans in Los Angeles. Grimes was facing New Jack in a scaffold match said to be at least twice as high up as the fall Mick Foley took off the Hell in a Cell. The ring below had tables stacked 4-high to break his fall, but Grimes ended up missing most of the tables when New Jack overshot him. Perhaps on purpose. Grimes missed all but the corner tables at the edge of the ring before coming down on the corner turnbuckles. After the bump, they tried to rush fans out of the arena since it was almost 1am and gave many the impression Grimes life was in danger. But he was surprisingly okay and was walking around backstage after, although he was definitely banged up. Grimes was really nervous about the bump earlier in the day, as you might expect and Dave says he's pretty damn lucky he didn't miss the ring because he almost certainly would have died if he took that bump straight to the floor. Elsewhere on the show, there was a match where porn star Lizzy Borden (wife of XPW promoter Rob Black) faced another porn star, Veronica Caine, in a match that was supposed to end only when someone was stripped totally naked. But right before it happened, the lights went out and the women were rushed out of the ring and when fans realized they'd been ripped off, they were so pissed the arena feared a riot. (Anyway, here's the bump and yeah....Grimes very easily could have died from this. No mention from Dave on the fact that New Jack also tazed him before this)
Shane Douglas is expected to take over as XPW booker when his WCW contract with Time Warner expires next month.
Former WCW journeyman wrestler Chip Minton's primary career was bobsledding. He only wrestled in WCW occasionally while doing that, primarily as a jobber on the C-shows. Minton was part of the US bobsledding team in both the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics and was planning to compete this year, but failed to make the team. Soon after that, he failed a steroid test and has been suspended from the sport for 2 years.
Remember a couple weeks ago, it was mentioned that Roddy Piper was in a car accident but he was playing down how serious it was? Turns out....very serious. Piper suffered 4 broken ribs, one of which punctured his liver and nearly killed him. He also suffered severe back injuries and shattered his ankle. Piper was taken to the hospital and was near death but obviously, he managed to pull through and has still been making all his appearances for XWF in recent days. (Yeah I think in Piper's autobiography, he dedicates the book to the guy who saved his life by rushing him to the hospital and even says he was clinically dead for a few moments. Then again, Piper was like a lot of those old time guys and was prone to exaggeration, so who knows).
Eric Bischoff is teaming up with Mark Burnett, the producer of the hit show Survivor, to produce a MMA reality show called Skien. From Dave's understanding, it will basically be a reality show with K-1 kickboxers leading up to a PPV event. (Here's an article about it from Variety at the time, but this ends up going nowhere).
Notes from Raw: only one thing really notable, they filmed a segment at referee Tim White's bar The Friendly Tap. The bar really is owned by White and WWF pretty much always films angles there when they're in town (Providence, RI). This time, the skit featured the APA going into the bar to drink and the bar was filled by a bunch of gay men and drag queens (played by a bunch of wrestlers from indie promotion Chaotic Wrestling) while the APA guys acted all grossed out by it all. Then Billy and Chuck attacked them. Dave thinks this played on all the typical homophobic stereotypes and he seems pretty irritated by it. Anyway, among the wrestlers from Chaotic were Todd Sinclair (better known now as ROH's senior official), Rich Palladino (ring announcer for Beyond now) and John Walters (indie wrestler and former ROH Pure champion).
Next week's Smackdown hasn't aired yet but it was taped and Dave has details. Notably, this is the episode where Austin chases down the NWO and tries to shoot them with a net gun. Dave says this was a mess, with the gun going off but no net being fired from it and they'll have to fix the whole thing in post-production. It went horribly when they filmed it and it aired for the live crowd and it killed the crowd and basically forced them to improvise on the spot (on one of the Something To Wrestle podcasts, Bruce Prichard tells this story and how frustrated they were with this net gun being a piece of shit). This episode also featured Stephanie yelling at Chris Jericho for getting her the wrong hand lotion and Booker T and Edge feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial. (Rock/Hogan was great, but man, the build for everything else at Wrestlemania 18 suuuuuucked.)
Prototype won the OVW title from Leviathan at the latest OVW tapings. After the match, they did an angle to set up David Flair as the #1 contender for the title. Prototype's only singles loss in OVW came last week, when Flair beat him, so there ya go (this video covers ALL of that. The FlaiCena match, the Leviathan match, the post-match angle, etc).
Wall Street Journal did an article talking about the decline in Smackdown's ratings, saying they were down 28% from last year and down 42% from the year before that. The article blamed it on Smackdown changing networks. Here's the thing though....it hasn't. Raw changed networks in 2000. Smackdown has been on UPN since its debut. Also, UPN has grown overall in ratings while Smackdown has declined. So....no. It's just because the show sucks now.
Charlie Haas, fresh off returning to the ring and winning the HWA title after the death of his brother, tore his ACL this week. He just had surgery and will be out 4-6 months. Rough few months for that dude.
A Washington newspaper did a story on James Dudley, who you may know as....WWF Hall of Famer James Dudley and little else. On-screen, he's never really done much. But Dave says Dudley started working for Vince Sr. back in the 1940s, when Sr. was a boxing promoter, and was essentially his Vince Sr.'s driver and assistant. Dudley did a lot of odd jobs for the company during those early years, working ticket booths and stuff like that, but to most people, he was just kinda known as Vince Sr.'s limo driver. So when he was indicted into the WWF Hall of Fame a few years ago, it was a pretty controversial decision among a lot of people, given that someone like Bruno Sammartino isn't in, by the company's limo driver is. Anyway, before his death, Vince Sr. made Vince Jr. promise to take care of Dudley and keep him on the payroll. So for the last 18 years or so, even though he doesn't work for the company, Vince McMahon has continued to pay him a salary. He also bought him a new car as a gift some years back.
Billy and Chuck's recent tag team title win makes Billy Gunn the most decorated tag team wrestler in WWF history, as he's now held the tag titles 9 times (3 as part of the Smoking Gunns, 5 as part of New Age Outlaws, and now once with he and Chuck). The previous record was Mick Foley, with 8. (to the best of my research, if we're only talking WWF/WWE tag title reigns, that record is now held by Edge).
USA Network CEO Barry Diller took part in a lecture at Syracuse University and talked about losing the WWF to TNN. When asked why it happened, he responded, "Because I'm a dope." He said he didn't fight hard enough to keep the WWF and admitted the loss hurt, but also said it may have been the best thing for them in the long-run because pro wrestling doesn't really fit the direction they're planning to take the network. He said wrestling fans came for wrestling and left immediately after it was over and there was never any cross-over fans who stuck around to watch the next show or anything like that. He said they could never figure out what to connect wrestling to within the rest of their properties.
WWF held a try out camp in Cincinnati and reportedly, nobody was particularly impressive, including AJ Styles. The knock on Styles was that he's average looking and too small. Wrestler Sonny Siaki was said to be the most impressive, but he also rubbed people the wrong way with his attitude so probably not gonna make the cut this time. Matt Morgan, who was on the Tough Enough casting special last season got a tryout and since he has no formal training, he was pretty awful but he's big so Dave seems to think he'll get a chance anyway. The other one they were impressed by was a woman named Erin Bray, who was one of the final 25 picked for the original Tough Enough. But then some other contestants spotted her out on a date with one of the show's judges and they threw a fit, which resulted in Bray not making the final 13. Another wrestler, Travis Tomko, is a guy who has worked some indies and is a former bodyguard for Limp Bizkit ("Tomko, gimme a beat." "No.")
Rock was a presenter at the NAACP Awards and Dave thinks he looked pretty great for a guy who was almost murdered in an ambulance by the NWO a few days earlier. Cheeky Dave is just the best.
Speaking of, Dave throws in a random paragraph to backhandedly shit on Kevin Nash. For years, people in the business joked that Lex Luger made the most money with the least ability or drawing power of anyone ever in wrestling. Dave says it's gotta be Nash. For example, Nash is not wrestling and is only going to be in Hall's corner for the match at Wrestlemania (his knees really are giving him problems), but he has been promised that he's going to get the same type of payoff as if he was the guy in the match working with Austin in the semi-main event. Not to mention all the huge contracts he signed in WCW, or how he got a huge-by-WWF-standards deal here, plus got Vince to cave to almost all his other demands regarding schedule and bringing back Scott Hall, among other things. (I mean, while Dave is being kind of a dick here, I don't think he's really wrong either. When it comes to top draws in the history of the business, Nash isn't anywhere near even the top 10 or 20. And he's never exactly been a great wrestler. But since the 90s, Nash always managed to make sure he gets PAID like he's in that upper echelon. Nash is one of those very few wrestlers who isn't entranced by the fame or the fake accolades. He treats wrestling for what it is: a business. It's the way they pay their mortgages and buy groceries, just like you and me at our jobs. I love it. I laugh my ass off every time I hear "Brock Lesnar signed a huge new contract to only work 6 matches a year." Good for him. I hope he gets even more money for less dates next year. You should always know your worth and never let your employer take you for anything less. Nash has always been one of the guys to do that and he's probably going to die comfortably in a nice house while these other guys from his era are still clinging to fame at 60 years old doing $300 indie shows on crippled knees. Anyway, that's my soapbox). Dave seems to feel the same way and admits, love him or hate him, you gotta give Nash credit for being one of the smartest guys in the biz.
Fear Factor featuring the Hardyz, Lita, Test, Molly Holly, and Jacquelyn aired this week. First they had to climb up a rope ladder hanging from a helicopter over the river and they all made it up except Jeff Hardy who slipped near the top and fell (knowing Jeff, he probably purposely let go so he could take the big fall for fun). Lita also got eliminated for being the slowest one up the ladder. Next they had to chug a gross drink that included bile, rooster testicals, spleen, and some animal brains all blended together. Molly Holly almost vomited after one sip and was out. Jackie and Matt succeeded. Test refused to even try. So then it came down to Matt vs. Jackie and they had to walk across the tops of high poles and move flags around. Matt Hardy ended up winning the whole thing and won $50,000 for charity.
Sunday Night Heat is being converted into one of the B-shows like Metal and Jakked. Awhile back, they started airing Heat from the WWF New York restaurant but the production costs of that were high. So in a cost-cutting move, they're just gonna tape dark matches and throw them on Heat the same way they do those other shows, featuring all the nobodies that can't ever get TV time on the main shows.
As mentioned last week, Scott Hall has been taking a drug called Antabuse, which makes him violently sick when he drinks or even smells alcohol. It caused him to get sick after Raw last week when Austin poured beer all over him in a bit after the cameras were off. Hall has said he is clean and has been clean for awhile, except for the incident a couple weeks ago where he fell off the wagon. Others are skeptical and question if Hall only takes his medication on TV days and needless to say, there's some doubt here.
Everywhere he goes, Brian Christopher has been telling people he's coming back to WWF after Wrestlemania, but contrary to what he's saying, Dave says there are zero plans for that (indeed, it does not happen).
FRIDAY:More on WWA's PPV disaster, the landscape for any new promotion attempting to start up, WWF huge show in Japan, WWF loses appeal over "WWF" initials, Bret Hart given offer for Wrestlemania 18, and tons more...
A Vegas Miracle - how I won $129,000 in my 3rd tournament ever
This is how I won $129,000 in my 3rd ever poker tournament. Note: don't try this, it probably won't turn out well for you. I spent about 6 months grinding up a $5,000 bankroll playing home/casino games ranging from .5/1 to 1/3. The week that I hit that $5,000 mark, Matt, one of my best friends from college informed me that his job had placed him in Las Vegas for the next month and that I could crash with him for a few nights if I wanted to come on out west. I had frequent flyer miles for the flight and some Mlife/Fremont hotel comps for the rest of the trip. My grand total for flight and lodging for 10 days came to $200. Now, I’m not going to bore you guys with low-level cash hand histories. The next 10 days were filled with me playing lowstakes poker for 10-12 hours a day. It’s as fun as it sounds – it’s not. I was having a good time in Vegas otherwise – but towards the end of the trip I had a realization: 1/2’s the same everywhere. I didn’t have to fly out to the desert to raise to $7 preflop. After 10 days, my grand total from poker (and a fair amount of dumb degenerate shit on Fremont) was -$186. That wasn’t what I came out to do — I knew that I was a better player than my recent results had indicated. The morning of my return flight, I decided I was going to play tournaments until I either busted my $5,000 bankroll or hit something worthwhile. I impulsively decided to not get on my plane at 11:30am. Checkout time from Luxor was at 11:00 – and I didn’t know where I was going yet. I had 30 minutes to pack up my stuff and figure out where I was going before they’d charge me a fee. I sorted TripAdvisor by cheapest first – I’ve stayed in crappy hostels/motels before and overall am a very low maintenance person. I figured that by staying somewhere for $20 a night, I’d be able to maximize the amount of shots I could take before flying back home. I accepted that there was a real chance I’d go back broke – but I didn’t really care. If I didn’t take my shot now, then when? I booked the cheapest bed in Vegas - a 6-person shared hostel just past the Stratosphere. Let's just say you get what you pay for — it was not a happy place. A fair amount of the people in there were bordering on homelessness and there was barbed wire surrounding their outdoor gym. In addition to this, I had the constant stress of knowing that all that separated my bankroll from the rest of my roommates was a tiny lock. I took the Deuce to the strip, lived off food comps, and turned down invites from my friends to hang out. I was in town to play poker, nothing else. Disclaimer: I had never played tournaments prior to heading out to Vegas. My only knowledge of hand ranges was from watching televised events. I downloaded a free Nash chart app on my phone while on the Deuce to the strip and studied it for 5 minutes – whatever, I get the jist of it. Let’s play some cards. The first day of doing this I played the $140 daily at the Aria. Top 13 spots paid -- I finished in 15th. It was depressing to say the least — I felt as if I was at rock bottom. Before the first night of sleeping at the hostel I called the airline to see if I could get on the flight that I had deliberately missed the day prior. I couldn't. I made it my goal to at least cash something so that I could get a decent hotel room. I couldn’t have slept more than 2-3 hours the first night there. One of my roommates was loudly vomiting all night, the sheets itched, and I was going through an existential crisis... like dude, you’ve got a finance degree and you’re really doing this shit? While on the bus to the strip, I opened Poker Atlas and saw that there was a $200 satellite to win a seat into the $1,600 Venetian main event. I decided that I was going to go take a shot at that. I was at risk twice in the satellite but after studying the GTO method on how to win coinflips, I persevered and won a seat to the main. The first day was surreal – once again, I was running on minimal sleep due to my housing arrangements, but I remember the following hands from day 1:
Button opens to 2.2x, I’m in the BB with Q9cc. SB folds, we go HU to a flop of 832c. He c-bets, I call. Turn 4x, x/x. River Ax. I check, he bets, I x/r to like 3x his bet, he insta folds. I take it down and show air.
UTG+1 opens, MP calls, I flat on the button with K10ss. 3 ways to a flop of Qs43xx. UTG+1 bets 40% pot, MP calls, I call. Turn is the Js. UTG+1 bets 60% pot, MP calls, I flat. River comes the 8s. UTG+1 snap bets 80%. MP flats, I flat. I announce king high flush, they both muck.
Folds to the SB, he limps, I look down at Q10o, and check. Flop comes KQ6r. He leads 35%, I call. Turn 10. He bets, I call. River comes a J. He bets, I tank for about 45 seconds then flick in a call, he shows 76o… ship it.
The average stack after day 1 was around 40k, I bagged like 65k. I walked back to the Deuce stop outside of the Venetian and headed on my 30 minute ride back home. I kept thinking to myself, someone’s gotta win this thing, why not me? I had to get in the money for this tournament to be able to get the fuck out of there. A min cash here was over $3k – that was more than enough for me to get a suite on Fremont for a few nights and party for a bit, then get home with my head held high. Day 2: I get up at 7am after already being completely awake for the past 4 hours. There’s no way I slept more than 3 hours last night. I hit the Denny’s by the Stratosphere then get on the Deuce. I get to the Venetian and feel like I’m about to fall asleep. I go to the self-serve coffee/tea dispenser in the middle of the room and make myself an iced coffee. I get to my table, and the cocktail waitress comes around. I ask for another iced coffee and toss her a fiver. Here are some highlights from the 1st half of day 2:
I open 97ss on the button, BB flats. Flop comes AK3s. BB checks, I bet 35%. He throws out a 5k chip – which I interpret as a x/r to my bet. I groan, make a joke about it being the first hand of the day, and start to muck. The dealer stops my cards midway before hitting the muck, and informs me that he didn’t raise, that he called my flop bet. Everyone laughs, I go silent and wait for him to make change. Turn is the 2s. He thinks for a second and bets 30%. I tank for like 30 seconds, then flat. River is a blank. He thinks for a second, then checks. I bet like 30% pot. He tells me that I’m an angle shooter and mucks. I tell him I’m not an angle shooter and show my 9 high. Everyone laughs, we get on with playing.
CO opens, I 3b 87dd in the SB to 4x, he flats. Flop comes 1032d. I check, he checks. Turn is the 6d. I bet 55% pot, he flats. River comes the Kd. I bet 60%, he tanks, tells me he thinks I backdoored diamonds, then folds. Damn, these players are pretty good.
I open KK UTG to 2.5x, UTG +1 flats. Heads up to a flop of K43r. x/x. Turn 8, I bet 40% pot, he calls. River 3, I bet 80% pot, he tanks, then calls with AK.
I bring my 3 racks of chips to the new table and immediately get some comments – whatever, I’m just on a heater, it happens. At this point, my body was giving out. I was trying my hardest not to fall asleep in between every hand. Cutoff opens, I’m in the SB, I look down at KK. I put in the 3b, folds back to him. He puts in a healthy 4. We’re the two big stacks at the table – I’d guess he was 50bb effective while I was around 65bb. God damn, am I good enough to fold kings here? No, I’m not. I shove, he snaps, I know that I’ve just fucked up my tournament. He shows the aces. The dealer puts a king in the window, and I hold. I’m for sure the chip leader now. I lose a few 40/60 and 60/40 flips and chip down a bit. I still have a very healthy stack, probably around 80bb. The next 3 hands are from the second half of day 2:
Aggro Asian guy on the button. Folds to him, he opens to 2.2x, SB folds, I look down at 43ss and raise to 7.5x, he flats.
Flop comes 894cc. I check, he bets, I call. Turn’s another 9. I check, he bets 75% pot, I call. River’s the 10c. I check, he bets 1.2x pot. I ask the dealer for a count of the bet – meanwhile, villain looks like he’s going to shit himself. I flick in a chip, he throws down KcQx. I laugh a little, show my 43ss, and obnoxiously say ship it.
I open KQo UTG+1, MP 3bets me. I figure that a 4b from UTG+1 could take it down a fair amount of the time, so I decide to go for it. He thinks for a second and flats.
Flop comes AK4r. I check, he checks back. Turn is a 6, goes x/x again. River’s another brick. I put in a 30% value bet. He does a little grimace and tanks for like 20 seconds. It looks like he’s going to fold so I start verbally telling him that his queens are good. The dealer informs me that you’re not allowed to talk about your hand to another player. I inform him that I’m not talking about my hand, I’m talking about villains’ hand. Dealer laughs and lets me continue to antagonize villain. MP starts talking back, asking if I’m really bluffing. I inform him that once he folds, I’ll show the bluff. He ends up calling, I snap show, he pays me then gets up from the table to go for a walk.
We’re playing 6 handed. UTG opens, MP flats, I flat TT on the button. 3 ways to a flop of AT9ccc. UTG bets 50% pot, MP folds, I put in a medium sized raise. He thinks about it and flats.
The turn is the Kd. He pauses for a second then checks. I figured AxKc was his most likely combo. I didn’t think he could fold AxKc to any sizing – I decide to overbet jam 2x pot. He tanks for like 5 min and eventually lets it go. He tells me later he folded AxKc. Nice fold sir. I finished day two 2nd in chips out of the 64 players remaining. More importantly, I was in the money. My friend Matt offered to give me a ride to the hostel to grab my stuff. On the way to the hostel I’m telling Matt how trash the place is and he’s kind of like yeah man, whatever, it can’t be that bad. We gather my belongings and head on out. Matt remarked to me that the hostel reminded him of jail mixed with a summer camp. I open a same night hotel app and see a room at the Four Queens available for $110. The lady at check in was nice enough – however, she informed me that the only room they had available at my price point was a smoking room overlooking the Fremont St. experience. I paid the $20 to upgrade to a non-smoking in the quiet part of the hotel. Vegas man, I swear. It’s like 2am at this point -- I get to my room, sit on the bed and close my eyes. I open them and it’s 11:00am. Ah fuck man, I gotta get to the Venetian. I hop in the shower, brush my teeth, and freshen up. Even if I don’t have clean clothes, whatever, I’m second in the main, who cares. Some interesting hands from the first part of Day 3:
I had two inexcusable punts in this tournament. This is the first one: I open 5h5c from LP, BB calls. Flop comes J62hhh. x/x. Turn is a 4x. x, I bet 50% pot, BB jams 15bb. I called – and immediately realized I fucked up, big time. He had 2 big chips in his stack that I didn’t see, making his shove effectively like 25bb. In addition, I didn’t have the 5h, I had the 5d. I really didn’t ask for a count or double check my hole cards. Villain turns over 64o and holds. In my defense, I literally didn’t know what ICM meant at the time. Whoops.
Someone who I recognize from poker TV jams 22bb UTG. I’m in the CO with JJ, I ask him how much it is, he’s talkative and seems genuinely comfortable/down for me to call. I fold – I run into him a few days later at the Aria, he tells me he had AA there. I believe him.
CO opens, button instantly jams 30bb effective. I’m in the SB with TT and 25bb – live reads, we’re flipping. I call for all in my effective stack, CO folds, button has AQ. I hold. He’s not happy I called with tens. Oh well, sorry bro, gg.
MP opens, CO 3 bets to 7bb, button jams 20bb. I look down at 2 black aces in the big blind. I reshove, MP folds, CO calls off his 20bb stack. I’m up against AQ and QQ. I hold.
Even with my atrocious punt earlier in the day, I’m the chip leader again. We’re down to about 15 left in the field. UTG opens, I 3b AKo on the button, he jams 20bb, I call. He has 99, a king comes on the flop and he’s gone. It’s day 3 of the main and we’re playing 5 handed with 12 people left. Let’s fucking go.
Button opens to 2.5x, I’m in the BB with A8dd, I flat. Flop comes A104r, I check, he bets, I call. Turn is a 7, x/x. River A, I bet 1.2x pot. He tanks, calls, I show, I’m good.
CO opens to 2.5x, I’m in the BB with 108dd, I flat. Flop comes Kd4x2d, it goes x/x. Turn is a Kx, I check, he bets 60% pot, I flat. River is the 4d. I check, he bets pot. I tank and let it go. He tells me later he checked back a weak king on the flop.
SB completes, I’m in the BB with J9o and I check my option. Flop comes Q108r. The SB donks out into me for 60% pot. I flat. Turn comes a brick and he leads into me for 60% again. I raise to 3.5x his turn bet, he thinks for a while then flats. River is another brick. He bets 80% pot into me. I tank for a while, then shove. He starts laughing and folds QQ face up.
Less than a week ago I was grinding buffet comps at Planet Hollywood. Now I have guys correctly folding top set to me. I’ve made it to the final table. I pick up a few small pots and the two shortstacks at the table get eliminated in quick succession. This is without a doubt the most pointless and just plain out stupid punt of my entire life: I open J2dd on the button into a ~18bb SB and a GTO robot with mid 7 figures in career earnings in the BB. Don’t do this, this is quite literally lighting money on fire. SB folds, BB flats. Flop comes Kh8h3d. I cbet, BB calls. Turn is the Kd, goes x/x. River comes a 7h, he leads into me for half pot. Whatever, I’m going for it – I put in a raise. He thinks for all of 5 seconds then calls me with KQh. Wow, I just punted away $50,000 in ICM. Jesus Christ dude, what the fuck. For the next orbit or two, I’m clearly pissed at myself. I get up after my button and do a lap around the poker room – I’m good. The monkey tilt is gone, and I’m ready to get back to playing normal ranges. Anyway, nothing else really happens for a while – I look down at AKo UTG and raise it up. Folds around to the BB, he thinks for a while, then jams for about 20bb. I snap, he has AQo. I hold. I’m now second in chips. We go on a 10-minute break. When I get back to the table, the prospect of a 5-way chop comes up. We’re all tired – and the pay jumps are very significant. If you couldn’t tell from this story, I’m a degenerate, but in this spot, I’m willing to reduce variance a bit. We run the numbers and come to an agreement – we all agree to take a very slight ICM bump to give 1st place a bit more money than his stack is worth. I just won $129,000 -- huh? This was my second tournament cash – not too bad considering that it was my third tournament ever. Maybe I should start learning how to play MTT’s now. I take $124,000 in a check and $5,000 in cash. I’m leaving Vegas in 4 days and don’t plan on coming home with any of the cash. The winner of the tournament’s a pretty cool guy and he asks if I want to crash in his guest room tonight… like yeah, if that’s a real offer, I’m down. I pick up my toiletry bag from the Venetian concierge and we hit the Uber. The next morning Matt picks me up at his house – I hit the Chase bank and deposit the $124,000. I take Matt and my other friend, Spencer out to the Sterling Brunch over at Bally’s – the entire time, Spencer just kept repeating “Davis, what the fuck”. I don’t know dude, seriously, what the fuck. I get a suite at the D downtown that night and (very) long story short I end up hitting $100 on a number at roulette at 5am. It’s time for bed. Here’s a link to my Hendon Mob, verifying my tournament result. Hopefully I see some of you guys at the WSOP in 2021. https://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=783521 Davis
So I had this idea for a guitar hero game (though we might not ever see one again, but a man can dream). I call it, Guitar Hero: Reawakened. The quest mode for this picks up, let us say, a year or 2 after the events of Warriors of Rock. The Demi-god witnesses terrible events as EVERY warrior (some that did not get warrior forms in WoR will receive one as well as 2 characters debuting in this game), except for 3 (Axel Steel, Johnny Napalm, and Judy Nails), are under the spell of an unknown entity (revealed to be Lou later on) The demi-god, realizing the 3 that are unaffected will not be able to handle the threat without a fourth member, seeks out Izzy Sparks (also unaffected) to recruit him and join the three in free the others from the spell and saving the world through rock and roll. Izzy's warrior form could be a humanoid tiger. Guitar battles would happen in every venue starting with the second one before the encore. The battles would have the format from guitar hero 3. The only voice acting would be the narrations from the Demi-god. For songlists, these are songs I feel would fit in the game and are just ideas. For the venues, the names you see from venue 2 onwards are not the characters you play, but who you will have to face in a guitar battle in that venue. The character in bracket is who would face that rocker if you do one-player mode. Venue 1: Izzy Sparks and his transformation into a warrior (he is with his band in this before joining the other 3 main characters of this game) His basic doubles the active star power duration, while his effect+ makes it quadruple the duration. Location is Tiger Alley. Songlist:
More Than This - Roxy Music
Heart of Glass - Blondie
Clones (We're All) - Alice Cooper
All I Want is Everything - Def Leppard
Far Far Away - Slade
I Won't Forget You - Poison
Carrie - Europe
It's My Life - Bon Jovi
Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra
Animal I Have Become - Three Days Grace (Encore)
2: New character with warrior form of an ogre. [Johnny] Songlist:
Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash
My Name is Human - Highly Suspect
New Divide - Linkin Park
Fight for Your Right - Beastie Boys
21st Century (Digital Boy) - Bad Religion
Vertigo - U2
Fake It - Seether
Buddy Holly - Weezer
Hero - Chad Kroeger of Nickelback
Like a Stone - Audioslave
3: another new character (This one's warrior power can be this: basic would double the multiplier [that is without star power at all, so max multiplier would be x8 without star power without other powers combining with it] while the effect+ makes it triple the current multiplier. Warrior form is that of a humanoid polar bear) Location is Polar Dome where outside is snowing and cold. [Izzy] Songlist:
Pardon Me - Incubus
My Demons - Starset
One Last Breath - Creed
I'm So Sick - Flyleaf
Bound for the Floor - Local H
The Otherside - Red Sun Rising
Alive - POD
Cold - Crossfade
Dead & Bloated - Stone Temple Pilots
Back Against the Wall - Cage the Elephant
4: Eddie Knox (His basic power in quickplay could be that a missed note reduces rock meter by half of how much it would usually go down. Warrior power would make it only a quarter of it. His warrior form is the appearance of a zombie gambler) Location would be the Knox Casino. [Johnny] Songlist:
Juke Box Hero - Foreigner
China Grove - The Doobie Brothers
Feel Like Makin' Love - Bad Company
Partytime - 45 Grave
Just What I Needed - The Cars
Bungle In The Jungle - Jethro Tull
Down on the Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Simple Man - lynyrd skynyrd
Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones
Tom Sawyer - Rush (Encore)
5: Echo Tesla (Metallic Factory) [Izzy] Songlist:
The Hand that Feeds - Nine Inch Nails
When Worlds Collide - Powerman 5000
Sweet Dreams - Marilyn Manson
Everything Zen - Bush
I Stay Away - Alice in Chains
Dragula - Rob Zombie
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins
Hole in the Earth - Deftones
Strum & Drang - KMFDM (Encore)
Halfway Point: Soundgarden telephantasm experience (if they are willing to sell the license to use 5 or 6 of their songs from the telephantasm album in order to retrieve the artifact of the same name). For the story for these songs, I would imagine this being narrated by guitarist Kim A. Thayil. Songlist (All by Soundgarden)
Black Hole Sun
Fell on Black Days
6: Lars Umlaut (Razorback Castle) [Axel]
Cirice - Ghost
Aerials - System of a Down
Mudshovel - Staind
Here to Stay - Korn
Megasus (Song and Band)
Amerika - Rammstein
Ex's and Oh's - Atreyu
Stupify - Disturbed
Tear Away - Drowning Pool
Celestial Crown/Barael's Blade - The Sword (Encore)
Death by Rock N' Roll - The Pretty Reckless (Encore)
10: Lou at the Rock Underworld (this would be a full battle of the bands instead of a regular guitar battle, but normal guitar battle rules still apply). Lou's band consists of himself on guitar, the grim reaper on vocals, the minotaur on drums, and an unknown fourth member on bass. Songlist:
Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero - Stone Sour
Your Betrayal - Bullet For My Valentine
Oblivion - Mastodon
Tornado of Souls - Megadeth
Facing Hell - Ozzy Osbourne
Isolation - Alter Bridge
Arms of Sorrow - Killswitch Engage
The Negative One - Slipknot
Rainbow in the Dark - Dio
Shepherd of Fire - Avenged Sevenfold (Encore) (Since they are in warrior forms already to start the venue, you get to select 2 additional warrior powers to aid you in the encore).
Final Boss battle with ALL 12 rockers freed (will split into three groups of 4, can be arranged for which group, but the final group is locked with Axel, Izzy, Johnny, and Judy, though you will have ALL 12 warrior powers for the final song (I feel 7empest by Tool would fit well). Songlist:
Am I Evil? - Metallica
Among the Living - Anthrax
7empest - Tool (The four main characters play this final song, they are all-powerful (meaning they have all 12 warrior powers to aid them in this).
For this, when it is a guitar battle, encore, the telephantasm experience, or the FINAL boss, they will be in warrior forms. Otherwise, in regular songs (except for venue 10), they will be in human form. Bonus: God of Rock. (The Demi God has his own band as he heads for his homeland (Mt. Rocklympus) for a rock concert. After ALL songs in the quest mode have reached max stars, the god of rock [demi's father] appears and says he enjoyed the concert and challenges the demi-god to a guitar battle, the latter immediately accepting. After Demi-god defeats his father, the latter joins him in his band for the final encore of the game.) Songlist:
Paradise City - Guns N' Roses
Troopers of the Stars - Dragonforce
Farewell, Mona Lisa - The Dillinger Escape Plan
Delusions of SavioRepentless - Slayer
Halls of Valhalla - Judas Priest
As Loke Falls - Amon Amarth
Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden
Laser Cannon Deth Sentence - Dethklok
Hexed - Children of Bodom
Ghost Walking - Lamb of God
Green Grass and High Tides - The Outlaws (Final Encore)
For some post-launch DLC, I would definitely have both parts of Dream Theater's Metropolis, both part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper the song and part 2: Scenes from a Memory the album. There would be a dream-like venue for this one. The characters playing this will likely be the four main characters from quest mode in warrior or even spirit form. Due to Axel, Johnny, and Judy not having their own venues in quest mode, Stage of Kings, CBGB, and Infernal Hall, their respective venues from WoR, will return as Quickplay+ venues. My band lineup in this one would be Johnny Napalm on vocals, Axel Steel on drums, Judy Nails on guitar, and Izzy Sparks on bass. I feel arranging the lineup at will should be an option as well. Also every other guitar hero fictional character that has appeared in any of the guitar hero games will be in this, including those that did not appear in quest mode in this game. However, they will be unlockable through quickplay+. That includes Clive Winston, Xavier Stone, Midori, the four that debuted in world tour, etc. Also including some guest characters like Illidan Stormrage from Warcraft [includes his venue either The Dark Portal on the Outland side or Black Temple or Argus and maybe Reinhardt from Overwatch. Character designs will be based off the designs from Warriors of Rock. For the visual effects for when star power is active, I have Axel's instrument surrounded by a mini-sandstorm or earth shaking around him (I don't know), Johnny's emitting green smoke (like when he transformed into a warrior in WoR), Izzy's emits sparks of electricity, and (my personal favorite visual effect) Judy's lights up on fire. To compensate for the lack of punk rock on here, I have the idea for a punk rock pack as dlc which includes, but not limited to: Ten in 2010 by Bad Religion, Come out and Play by The Offspring, Dave's Possessed Hair Medley by Sum 41, etc.
You asked for it, here it is: Meeting McCarthy (1992)
Meeting McCarthy by Garry Wallace Southern Quarterly, 1992, 30(4), 134-139 In March of 1989, while traveling to El Paso with Betty Carey, I was afforded the opportunity of meeting Cormac McCarthy. Betty Carey, of Las Vegas World Series of Poker fame, was writing a book about her adventures as a professional gambler. She had arranged to meet with McCarthy to discuss her current writing, as well as to rendezvous with their common friend, Frank Morton, another gambler. What follows is my best recollection of the several conversations that took place over three days of our visit. I made no tape recording or notes during these informal, quite friendly talks, but wrote what I remembered in a journal after returning from El Paso. This account is recreated from chapters in my unpublished novel based on my year-long writing partnership with Betty Carey, and is as accurate as memory allows. Where I felt reasonable confident about actual words, I have used direct quotations. Elsewhere, I have paraphrased. On a bright spring Sunday morning, Betty and I awaited McCarthy in a quaint family restaurant on Mesa Avenue in El Paso, where Cormac suggested we meet to have brunch. Betty clutched a handkerchief to absorb the perspiration from her hands. She was nervous, as was I. Each time the entrance door opened, we glanced in anticipation. Finally a man, nondescript—medium build, short hair, a dull plaid shirt—walked down the short flight of stairs, his eyes searching the lower tier where we seated. It was Cormac McCarthy. Betty smiled and we got up to greet her friend. McCarthy asked about Betty’s book. He had been privy to her very first draft, written three years before. Her stories were about life as a gambler. For thirteen years she had won and lost fortunes, sitting at poker tables across the country with men like Jack Strauss and Amarillo Slim, risking life to hijackers, still able to spirit away tidy sums unknown to anyone but herself. Betty told McCarthy that so much had happened since that first draft that she was in the process of rewriting the whole story. Betty had allegedly been cheated in a Las Vegas casino scam. There were allegations of Gaming Commission and FBI coverups. Her case was then on appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court, ultimately to be thrown out because of the statute of limitations. She asked McCarthy if it was common for writers to do so much rewriting. He said he knew a few writers who would compose a hundred pages of a novel and then have to start over, but that he usually knew where his own novels were going from the start. Betty told McCarthy that she and I had written the screenplay of her story, and that ICM of Los Angeles had said it possessed some of the same appeal as Silkwood. She failed to mention that the agent had turned it down for being “awkwardly written,” because we’d portrayed Betty as an “arrogant and unsympathetic character,” and because “the authors seem inexperienced in mapping out dramatic framework.” She said, “I’m writing my book in a suspense format. I want it to be a best seller.” “I don’t read best sellers,” McCarthy said. Feeling responsible for the latest direction the book had taken, I explained, “What she means by ‘best seller’ is that she wants the facts of the casino scam to reach as many people as possible.” With a curt nod McCarthy indicated that he had understood that to be Betty’s meaning. He acted friendly yet cool toward me, a stranger. McCarthy asked if there was a particular author that Betty was patterning her novel after. I mentioned Ken Follett. McCarthy nodded and said that Follet (sic) was good. He mentioned also that Stephen King was a good writer. From his earlier comment on best sellers, I wasn’t sure if McCarthy had read these authors or if he was speaking from hearsay. “What do you read?” I asked. McCarthy said he read mostly nonfiction, although he did enjoy Hemingway. Betty and I had a conversation the day before with Irving Brown and his wife, proprietors of a used and rare book store on Mesa Avenue. An acquaintance of McCarthy as well as a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso, Brown told us that McCarthy—an unpretentious man who often did his laundry right next door—considered Melville the greatest author, and that he read books about astronomy and physics. Brown especially liked the part in Suttree where Cornelius sees his reflection in the glass door and thinks, “Suttree and anti-Suttree.” Brown said that in his opinion McCarthy had over-read Plato. Betty mentioned how hard it was to find the time to write. When I said, “You have to be selfish,” McCarthy agreed, but substituted the word “ruthless.” Betty listed a few of the interruptions she had to put up with, eliciting McCarthy’s remark that he could write in a train station if he had to, but not if somebody kept asking for directions. McCarthy said that he wrote in the morning, every morning. “Why not write every day?” he asked rhetorically. “In the afternoon I visit friends. You can’t write all day long.” When Betty said she wished she could just run away from her obligations and be free to write, McCarthy recalled that once he had spent an entire year doing little more than playing pool with his friends. Betty and McCarthy talked about their lives, the consequences of their successes. Betty said that no more would she consent to interviews because so often they changed the story, often sensationalizing her life beyond reality. McCarthy agreed, saying that he would not do interviews.1 He told Betty that J. D. Salinger had given only one interview throughout his career as a novelist, to elementary children. “Do you teach?” I asked. Looking at me sternly, McCarthy said that he did not, and he seemed not to want to discuss it further. He mentioned an author, Robert Fulghum, who had published a somewhat humorous book about learning all you need to know by the time you graduate from kindergarten. McCarthy gave a few examples: “To tell the truth. Not to hit each other. To be fair.” Betty laughed. “I like that,” she said. From the things McCarthy said about academia, I understood him to believe that many of human beings’ problems arose from pursuits in education. In a later conversation about spiritual experiences, McCarthy said that education often got in the way of understanding. He added that in certain Eskimo cultures, art, of both high and low quality, was seen as good. Art was a personal expression. Nobody went around telling children how to do theirs differently. Betty said she felt different from most people in our society, that she was very much a loner and that her friends would not be considered mainstream. McCarthy referred to himself and Betty as “outlaws.” He gazed at her and said, “Look who we are. We’re desperate people.” They had both lived such uncommon lives that their spirits were easily kindred. I felt that my own life had been too sheltered. Again I asked McCarthy if he could recommend any good books or authors that a beginning writer should read. He said, “All great writers read all other great writers.” Upon further prodding, he mentioned several of John McFee’s books and The Song Lines by Bruce Chatwin. McCarthy said that he knew Larry McMurtry; because McCarthy loved the television movie “Lonesome Dove” so much, he said that he would never read the book. Betty mentioned her love of traveling and said that some people had suggested she write a book about her travels, or a how-to-on poker, and forget the nonsense about exposing the alleged casino scam that had cheated her out of many thousands of dollars. Betty asked about what she could and could not write about other people. McCarthy said that writers had great latitude in their writing and, on a question about other people’s ideas, said, “If you like it, use it.” I believe this came under the axiom that everything had already been written and that most ideas were neither unique in themselves nor original. Brunch ended and the coffee pot went dry. I picked up the bill. Betty and I drove the camper back to the motel with McCarthy following in his old beater. The exterior of his car had been sandblasted to the metal and touched up with primer paint. It looked prepped for the body shop. Even with my untrained ear, I could tell the engine ran well. At the motel Betty dug into her briefcase for her most recently drafted chapter, which she handed to McCarthy, apologizing for its not being typed. McCarthy said, “That’s all right. We’re friends. We do things like this for each other.” The next day, Betty and I met McCarthy at an out-of-the-way health food store that served frozen yogurt and sandwiches. We ordered at the counter and took seats at a small table next to the front window. After we were served, the conversation turned to writing. Betty asked which person it would be best to write her story in, and McCarthy said that was always a hard question to answer. He asked which person she felt most comfortable writing in, and Betty said that both the first and third had their benefits, but that she just couldn’t decide. She wanted McCarthy to tell her which to use, and he could not do that. He offered suggestions quite sparingly. To a question about how descriptive to make Betty’s book, McCarthy said that the point of most novels could be told in a paragraph. The reason they’re longer is so the author can tell a story. And he said, “Don’t ever treat your audience as if they’re stupid. Your reader is smart.” “Have you read Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying?” McCarthy asked. She had not. He explained that each chapter of the novel had been written in the first person from the perspective of each of the different characters. When he suggested that Betty might try something like that, I could see hopelessness on Betty’s face. She had been working on her book for over three years. McCarthy mentioned that Faulkner had written the novel during his spare moments while working on a manual labor job at night. He said that Faulkner had even used a wheelbarrow on which to compose the story. McCarthy said that Faulkner never expected the novel to become great, and that the novel had a certain amateurish quality that gave the book its great appeal. He said that Betty should not be overly concerned if her writing was not professional, and that she should try to retain the natural quality that her writing had, as that was often the mark of literature. Because Betty was having trouble getting the most recent draft of the novel started, McCarthy suggested that she could try writing the ending of her story first, then the beginning. He told her to get a tape recorder and tell her stories into a microphone and then play them back. Betty talked about the most recent developments of her story, but even with McCarthy she was hesitant to reveal many of the specifics. McCarthy became curious when Betty described the four levels by which she categorized poker players. She explained that the top two levels involved the reading of “tells” (short for “telegraphing”), and the ability to send out misleading “false tells.” She mentioned how she tested people by asking “set up” questions and viewing their responses. She would often ask questions to which she was sure a person would lie, and then remember what behaviors accompanied those responses. “Fascinating,” McCarthy said. “Do I have any tells?” Betty laughed and studied him more closely. “I haven’t noticed any yet.” That night, in a freak blizzard, Betty and I drove to a motel across town where Frank Morton was spending the night on his way home from Los Angeles. Frank was the classic itinerant gambler, as well as a somewhat unorthodox evangelist. He was the liaison who had initially brought McCarthy and Betty together. A tall man with graying hair, Frank spoke with a voice that was garbled with years of cigarette smoking, and his breathing was labored. I found him friendly and rather opinionated, but he would listen to your ideas if you could break into the stream of his talk. After McCarthy arrived, we all climbed into Frank’s car. The snow and sleet moved on, leaving a violent sand storm in its wake. Frank followed McCarthy’s directions to a Mexican restaurant, and by the time we got there, the wind had died. Frank talked on about the hate among the races in L.A., about people’s lack of trust and the general downfall of the human condition. Each of us added opinions now and then, but it was Frank who monopolized the conversation and filled the air with smoke. We were his congregation. McCarthy sat and listened, offering few observations of his own. Back at his motel room, Frank related a number of personal religious experiences that he had had over the years, pointing out the flaws in other people’s lack of faith. I challenged him, saying that one day science would understand these unexplained phenomena for what they really were. McCarthy commented that some cultures used drugs to enhance the spiritual experience, and that he had tried LSD before the drug was made illegal. He said that it had helped to open his eyes to these kinds of experiences. Betty recounted having seen the image of Christ on a bus while in Costa Rica. This had been at a time following the casino scam when Betty had been on the run. She said that her experience was as real as our sitting together in the motel room. It had not been a dream or hallucination. Always the skeptic, I said, “But how does that prove Christianity? Why not Buddha or Allah? You saw Jesus because you were raised in Jesus-land.” I looked to Frank and McCarthy. Their expressions were sympathetic. McCarthy was slumped into one of the chairs with his left leg slung over the arm rest. He appeared a very patient listener. He said that he felt sorry for me because I was unable to grasp this concept of spiritual experience. He said that people all over the world, in every religion, were familiar with this experience. He asked if I’d ever read William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience. I had not. His attitude seemed to indicate that in this book were the answers to many of the questions posed during our evening discussion. I was nonplussed. “Truth,” McCarthy said about what writers must accomplish in their writing. “But what exactly is truth?” I asked. “Truth,” he repeated, his implications tacit. The next morning, Betty and I were at the motel when McCarthy arrived to go over his response to Betty’s chapter. He had written his critique on separate, smaller pieces of paper. Point by point, he went over his comments, offering occasional praise while not sparing the rod. Afterwards, I listed the three qualities I believed necessary for a person to become a successful writher: “To read a lot. To write a lot. To experience a lot.” McCarthy said that we all had experience enough from which to write. Months after our visit, I wrote McCarthy, completing a few thoughts I’d been unable to that night we discussed spiritual experiences. Some time later, I received his reply. He said that the religious experience is always described through the symbols of a particular culture and thus is somewhat misrepresented by them. He indicated that even the religious person is often uncomfortable with such experiences and accounts of them, and that those who have not had a religious experience cannot comprehend it through second-hand accounts, even good ones like James’s Varieties of Religious Experience. He went on to say that he thinks the mystical experience is a direct apprehension of reality, unmediated by symbol, and he ended with the thought that our inability to see spiritual truth is the greater mystery. NOTES 1 He has recently made an exception to this rule, granting an interview to the Richard B. Woodward of the New York Times Magazine on the occasion of the publication of All the Pretty Horses. My account of our visit with McCarthy, neither intended nor conducted as an interview, is published here with his knowledge.
An organization based in Reno thinks so and is appealing to Nevada’s gaming industry to follow the lead of Las Vegas’ Park MGM and go smoke-free on casino floors in response to the COVID pandemic. This is momentous news as it will be the only fully smoke-free casino and resort in Las Vegas. Vdara, another MGM resort, is also smoke-free, but does not have its own casino. Vegas casinos may seem like a public-health holdover from yesteryear, but according to the American Lung Association, only 28 states have truly comprehensive smoke-free laws. MGM Resorts says that when Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas reopen at the end of the month, the hotels will comprise the first fully smoke-free resort -- including its casino -- on the Las Vegas Strip. 54 thoughts on “ Some Las Vegas Casinos Could Be Smoke-Free Upon Reopening ” Dean May 14, 2020 at 1:18 pm. I would hope that the state mandates any casino opening bans smoking at this time. Obviously, smokers are not wearing masks and exhaling smoke will create more droplets in the air and blow them further than regular breathing. For smokers, Las Vegas is a haven—a desert oasis where they can smoke cigarettes butt-to-butt day and night on the casino floor without fear of interruption or complaint. Park MGM casino in Las Vegas reopens with smoke-free policy 3,000-room property room will prohibit tobacco smoke inside First smoke-free resort on Las Vegas Strip opens: 'My clothes aren't smelling' Ed Komenda. Reno Gazette Journal. View Comments . LAS VEGAS – The ashtrays are gone. The card table view is clear ... Customers with a smoking habit will trade in Marlboro Reds for nicotine gum once Park MGM reopens in Las Vegas. Why? Because the massive, 3,000-room resort is set to become The Strip’s first smoke-free casino.. Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas are set to reopen on Sept. 30, the company recently announced.Earlier in the year, all US casinos were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Upon reopening, The Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas will now be smoke free, meaning it's the first smoke-free casino resort on the Strip. “We’re making the facility completely non-smoking because ... If you don’t smoke and don’t like secondary smoking you’ll probably try to gamble in smoke-free casinos. Are there any in Las Vegas? Let’s dispel a myth immediately: casinos do NOT need to allow smoking to be successful. In Vancouver (Canada, where we have spent significant amounts of time in the last few years) there […]
Smoke free, non smoking casinos in Las Vegas could be the new reality, as a rumor reported has a major property on the Las Vegas Strip going to non smoking o... By Ken Ritter The Associated PressOne of the last Las Vegas Strip resorts to reopen after coronavirus closures will be the first to be smoke-free, MGM Reso... 10 Things That Will SHOCK You About Traveling The World S1 • E47 Visit Las Vegas - 10 Things That Will SHOCK You About Las Vegas - Duration: 11:33. Wolters World Recommended for you The First Smoke Free Hotel on the Las Vegas! Park MGM Full Room, Casino & Pool Tour + Our Dinner at Eataly! Personal Social Media Links: Katie's Instagram ... they had been demonstrating all week outside the global gaming expo. it's purpose is to prevent smoking allowed in the casinos in las vegas ... the group is ... Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas will open their doors on Sept. 30, completing the reopening of all MGM Resorts International properties around the world followi... Vintage Las Vegas at its best. Fantastic color as we journey down the Las Vegas strip with views of the Desert Inn, the Desert Spa, billboards for El Morocc... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue