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ales of Team Carborundum
    20th Feb 2002
Jesse May
Jesse May, multiple author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes a bi-weekly column.
Most people know Jesse as "the voice of poker" from his colourful commentary in CH4's late Night Poker. Jesse is also the author of the widely respected novel, Shut Up And Deal, which looks deep into the poker playing life. Its the hard faced 21st Century Cincinnati Kid.

Jesse is also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the world.
Email : Jesse May
    Vegas gets weird
Las Vegas starts getting weird after about the second week. I once got into town and ran into Morty the Bookmaker, who was on a fifteen day binge of sights, sounds, and Vegas gambling pleasures. His eyes were as big as donuts. And he asked me as a friend, to take charge of making sure that he made his flight the following morning. If I don’t get on that plane, he said, there’s no telling what might happen. After a particularly spectacular night during which I don’t know where we weren’t, Morty was safely locked in my car and on a cross-town journey towards McCarran Airport. It was at this time that he started demanding that I turn around and drop him off at the Las Vegas Hilton. Round about the second week, Vegas starts getting pretty weird.

I’m thinking about this because I’ve now been stationed here for just over two weeks, and things are starting to get funky. I had a knock on my door this morning and a man was standing there demanding to shampoo my room. He had an entire cart full of high powered equipment and a large electric sander. I can only guess that the staff has been talking. Maybe I should do a wash or something.

Team Carborundum pretty much swept the book during this past Superbowl. “You’re Not Gonna Sing for Us” Sammy has attended the Superbowl here for seven years running and every year he loads up on the underdog on the money line. And he usually goes home scratching a broke ass. But not this year. This was his biggest price yet, at 5-1, and the biggest bet I’ve ever seen him make. And when that last field goal was on its way, Sammy was standing on his chair and screaming for glory. It was the first time he had moved in three hours. Others were sent to fetch him beers because he didn’t want to Jinx New England by leaving his seat. The biggest winner in town, however, was the esteemed Charles Barkley, who reportedly bet $500,000 on the Patriots at +14 and another $50,000 on them on the money line over at Mandalay Bay. That three quarters of a million dollar windfall has probably made him feel much better about not rejoining Jordan in the NBA. Who says retirement’s no fun? Good game.

They’re hot and heavy with the Oscar odds already. I’ve even seen lines for best foreign film, but TC is interested in the Best Actor category, where they’ve installed Russell Crowe as the pre-award favorite. Have I seen A Beautiful Mind? No. Do I care to? It’s immaterial. They aren’t giving the Best Actor award to the same guy two years in a row. It would demean the academy. It would make Crowe too powerful. And while we’re on the subject of power makers, do you realize how much it would mean to the studio if Lord of The Rings wins for Best Picture? They got two sequels already in the bag for this thing. This studio would do anything for Lord of the Rings to win. It would set them for years to come. TC is declaring Lord of the Rings its political lock of the century, and no, we haven’t seen that one yet either.

Team Carborundum has already come in very heavy on the Kentucky Derby future pools. Cato the Greek was lucky enough to catch the horse named Came Home when he ran a race on the Saturday before Superbowl. Cato described a horse who had every reason to lose and then some. Bumped in traffic, caught on the rail, trapped around the far turn, but still angling out four wide in the stretch run and blowing away the field like they were stuck in mud. He’s talking about another Easy Goer here. Maybe. But 50-1 Derby future tickets are floating all around TC members, as we loaded up for bear before the price came in to 30-1 and then 17-1 during this past weekend’s prep races. If Came Home wins his next start scheduled for March 2, then you could be looking at one of the Derby favorites, and at that point a 15-1 ticket wouldn’t be so bad either. I may continue to press, but I’ve been in Vegas more than two weeks already so don’t pay me any mind at all. Just get me to the airport on time. Please.
Charles Barkley
Editor's note
Charles Barkley, known as Sir Charles, was an NBA star if you didn't know. Before he retired in late '99 he joined an elite group of players who have scored 20,000 points and collected 10,000 rebounds, the tenth player to reach that mark. Even more impressive, he is one of only 4 players to reach 20,000 points, 10,000 rebound and 3,500 assists. Kareem, Wilt and Elgin Baylor are the other 3 to reach this plateau. Most surprisingly he is only 6ft 6ins tall.