Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I admit it: when I was a kid, I loved "The Partridge Family." I wanted to be as smart-alecky as Danny Bonaduce (though I grew up a tad more sane than he did), had a crush on Susan Dey, and wished I had a mom as cool as Shirley Jones. So it is perhaps not surprising that my first real awareness of one of the most strangely named (and hard to spell) cities in this country came from a 1974 Partridge Family hit and the accompanying episode of the television show.
Today for the first time ever, I'm heading there. My BFF Cardgrrl is visiting her sister for a few days, and I'm joining them. I am not planning on taking my computer, so probably won't be posting anything until after I get back to Vegas. But I do expect to spend some pokering time in the Sandia casino. Look for me there if you live in the area.
In the meantime, for those of you who may have missed the musical gem referred to in the first paragraph above, enjoy this sampling from the relevant episode:
And for those of you who have difficulty playing Flash videos, you can listen to the song on Lala.com with no video here.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
I got an email today from PokerStars that was so weird that at first I thought it was a prank or fishing expedition of some sort. But after a while I realized that it was legit.
Here's the offer: I write a series of five blog posts, and they'll give me a $22 entry into one of the upcoming SCOOP tournaments. Each blog post has to contain a specific sentence, embedded in which will be a link to--guess where?--PokerStars. The first required sentence was included in this email, and then four subsequent emails will say what sentence and link must be included in the subsequent blog posts. There are some additional prizes (more tournament entries, of course) for being especially clever about incorporating the requisite words.
I won't be doing that. At first I thought about writing a mud-slinging post about how sleazy the whole thing is and how I'm repulsed that Stars would sink so low. But on reflection I thought better of it. I like PokerStars. I genuinely do, and they don't have to pay me to say so. Furthermore, they have been very generous with freerolls for us lowly bloggers for only the minimal shilling work of putting up their logo in one post.
There's an old joke about a man and woman at a dinner party, and they get to discussing whether she would have sex with a stranger for a million dollars. She allows as how she might. He then asks if she would do it for $10. She gets all huffy and says, "What kind of woman do you think I am?" He replies, "We've already established that. Now we're just dickering over the price."
Well, it's kind of like that. I'm willing to do one post with the logo as the price of my admission ticket, but even though it's only a difference in degree rather than kind, I'm not willing to do five posts with specified sentences and embedded links. That's probably logically inconsistent, but it's how I feel about it. I have been offered a lot more money than the Stars offer represents to write posts on particular subjects with embedded links to the sponsor's site. Some places will even offer to write the whole post. I just have to put it up, pretend that I wrote it, and collect the money. I have always turned down such things. I want this blog to be my voice, and I'm uncomfortable with mixing the content and the sponsorship. The ads are the ads, the copy is the copy, and unless I clearly tell you otherwise, there is neither spillover of content nor influence on what I have to say.
(To their credit, nothing in the email from Stars says that I couldn't be entirely open about the fact that the post is to gain a tourney entry, etc. The other offers I mentioned all come with the caveat that I can't tell readers it's a paid thing. That's what makes me feel that I'd be sullied by accepting them.)
So, PokerStars, I am sincerely grateful for how you've dealt with poker bloggers in the past, and I hope such generosity will be repeated in the future. I don't think the current offer is as ethically problematic as those advertisers that want to, in effect, silently buy a post. But it's still just a little much for my taste.
I now see that Bastin received the same offer and already beat me to posting about it--see here. I'm sure if you follow many poker blogs you'll be hearing about it. And if you see the same sentences suddenly showing up in several places, now you'll know why.