Pat O’Brien next losing hand: TV poker, which has already jumped the card shark years ago


Pat O’Brien, what are you wearing? You look so hot. Why not some stripped-down TV poker?

Something called the Epic Poker League has announced a deal with CBS to buy time on the network for 20 hours of programming on five events from the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

O’Brien, currently trying to rehab his career as a midday sports-talk show radio host, has decided to be the master of ceremonies. Ali Nejad, a guy, is his sidekick.

Most of the Epic tournaments coming up in February will air on Velocity, a Discovery Communications network launching in October.

We’d love to do more on this, but we’ve completely lost interest. Here’s a link to something that tells more about it (linked here).

Whatever minimal audience the O’Brien-Hartman-Jacobs show on Fox Sports Radio must draw these days, you’ve got to think they’re just keeping him onboard in case he has another meltdown.

We’ll leave it as this: TV poker has jumped the card shark. So O’Brien is going to bring it back?

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Don’t cheat yourself on Jeter HBO special


Nearly four weeks after he went 5-for-5 and reached the 3,000-hit mark, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is the focus of a prime-time HBO one-hour documentary the debuts tonight at 9 p.m. with many replays

“Derek Jeter 3K” is the result of MLB Productions giving HBO its kind of “24/7” access to document the moment he accomplished July 9 against Tampa Bay with a home run.

Jeter actually wore a microphone during two games, including the one in which he reached the 3,000 career hit milestone. The MLB Productions camera crews tagged along with him at his home and during rehab on a calf injury. Interviews are also inserted with Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, Joe Torre, Curtis Granderson, Dave Winfield, Minka Kelly and Billy Crystal.

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As the MLB trade deadline approaches, it’s tricky tweets


Ken Rosenthal tweeted it within the last hour:

Furcal 7-for-18, 2 2B last 5G. #Dodgers willing to include significant cash. Furcal owed about $4M. #tradedeadline #MLB

That’s shorthand for: The Dodgers want to get rid of Rafael Furcal. If you didn’t already know.

Rosenthal, Fox’s MLB columnist and reporter, must grit his teeth every time he tweets.

He admitted as much the other day on the MLB Network (where he also works) when asked about how social media impacts information floating out there as the trading deadline nears,

“The social media explosion has added a whole new variable . . . There’s no question, and the presence of Twitter right now is a huge change in reporting for all of us, in every sport. The difference now is you get information and people put it out there — sometimes I do it too – instantaneously, and it’s one source, not multiple sources which we were taught to do. … It’s a short-term attention-span kind of thing and I am not sure, to be perfectly honest, it has been a constructive development for journalism.”

The MLB Network will be all atwitter as the deadline approaches, with Rosenthal part of the process, joining Peter Gammons and Jon Heyman as the main tweeters. There’s a two-hour live special on Saturday at 8 a.m., and then 10 hours of coverage on Sunday starting at 8:30 a.m. senior writer Jonathan Mayo and MLB Network Insiders and sportswriters Phil Rogers, Richard Justice and Tracy Ringolsby will contribute analysis on-air throughout the day.

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Another Becks out of body(wear) experience

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We’re not even sure what to make of the term “bodywear.”

Even if it’s one word, two words, hyphenated or some kind of fancy accent mark.

The Urban Dictionary admits it can’t define it (linked here). But the more we surf around for how it’s used, the more it seems to be stuff that you wear closer to your body than you would, say, a life jacket or a feather boa.

What David Beckham might have to offer to world in this category, we’ll apparently soon find out.

The hip apparel store H&M (linked here) announced today that the Galaxy’s global icon will “make his Bodywear range for men” available starting next February.

“Over the past year, I’ve been developing my Bodywear range with my team and I’m
extremely positive about what we have designed and produced,” Beckham is quoted as saying in a press release, coming out a day after he participated in the MLS’s All-Star game against his old team, Manchester United, in New York, affording him to be around for the announcement.

“The final piece in the jigsaw was a retail partner who has the vision and capability to distribute these products globally. In H&M we have found the perfect partner to collaborate with going forward, I’m excited and looking forward to showcasing the range to H&M customers from February.”

The release explains how Beckham and his business partner Simon Fuller announced earlier this year the launch of a new “Brand Identity and DAVID BECKHAM branded product line” to include bodywear.

“This partnership with H&M is an important step in the evolution of David’s journey from
sporting hero to entrepreneur and icon,” said Fuller.

We’re still looking for a sleeve of Beckham arm tats that we could wear to the next Galaxy game. Which would be the first one we attended in a long while.

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ESPN Films’ next batch of docs


Documentary film makers Morgan Spurlock and Mike Tollin are listed among those who’ll debut new sports-related films on ESPN as the desert portion to the “30 For 30” series starting on Sept. 27 at 5 p.m.

A new film will debut on Tuesday nights during the fall. The lineup:


Sept. 27: “Catching Hell” (Alex Gibney/Gary Cohen): The two-hour production focuses on Steve Bartman and Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Gibney relates the scapegoat compulsion to his own frustration as a Red Sox fan when Bill Buckner was similarly singled out for letting a fateful ground ball go through his legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Gibney engages Buckner and his story as a means of exploring what has kept Bartman so silent despite highly lucrative offers to tell his side of the story.

Oct 4: “Rene” (Eric Drath): It’s 90 minutes of Renee Richards and her battle to enter the 1977 U.S. Open as the first transgender tennis player. Simultaneously, it follows her today as she struggles to cope with a life of contradictions and personal conflict.

Oct. 11: “The Dotted Line” (Morgan Spurlock/Jeremy Chilnick): A look at what it takes to be a big-time agent in the competitive world of major league sports. Agents Peter Greenberg and Eugene Lee are profiled along with their clients New York Mets’ pitcher Johan Santana (Greenberg’s) and NFL hopefuls Jacquian Williams and Robert Hughes (Lee’s).


Oct. 18: “Unguarded” (Jonathan Hock/Philip Aromando): Chris Herren, Fall River, Massachusetts’ high school basketball superstar, played for Boston University, for Jerry Tarkanian’s Fresno State team, bounced around the NBA (once playing for his Celtics) and around the globe. He failed drug tests wherever he played. Ultimately, he found redemption through the game, but only after it led him down a path of alcohol and drug addiction that nearly killed him.

Oct. 25: “The Real Rocky” (Jeff Feuerzeig/Mike Tollin): Chuck Wepner is a liquor salesman from Bayonne, N.J. who drives a Cadillac with “Champ” vanity plates. Is he the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky”? Yup.

Nov. 1: “Charismatic: (Steve Michaels/Jonathan Koch): In June of 1999 an unlikely colt named Charismatic, with down and out jockey Chris Antley aboard, headed down the stretch at the Belmont Stakes, just seconds away from becoming the first Triple Crown winner in nearly 21 years.


Nov. 8: “Roll Tide/War Eagle” (Martin Khodabakhshian): With two Heisman trophies, two national championships and one crazed fan, the biggest rivalry in college sports, Auburn vs. Alabama, has reached new heights in the last two years.

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