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April 07, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-07

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 7, 2004




SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

That sounds like
a police agency that's
thrown its hands in
the air."
- Lance Smith, a director at the John Jay
College of Criminal Justice in New York,
referring to the hour-long prayer sessions
that took place in all 13 Detroit Police
Department precincts yesterday, in response
to the recent rash of violence in the city, as
reported yesterday by the Detroit Free Press.


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'That's no limit holdem, baby'

ast year in the
World Series of
Poker, Scotty
Nguyen bet $100,000
into a pre-flop raiser
with nothing but an
unsuited 3-8. That's only
marginally better than 2-
7 offsuit, the worst pos-
sible starting hand. As
he raked in the chips, having forced tour-
nament professional Humberto Brenes to
fold an A-10, Scotty found the nearest
ESPN camera, looked directly into the lens
and said, "That's no limit holdem, baby."
Ten years ago, not many people would
have predicted that ESPN would be tele-
vising a card game. But things have
changed. In 1998, Matt Damon let the
world know in the movie "Rounders" that
poker is not like other forms of gambling.
It's a "skill game." In 2002, Robert
Varkonyi shocked the professional card-
playing world when he won the World
Series as an amateur. Q-10, the hand that
beat top professionals Phil Hellmuth and
Julian Gardner, has affectionately been
called "the Varkonyi" ever since. In 2003,
Chris Moneymaker solidified the notion
that "anyone can win" when he won the
championship event and took home a cash
prize of $2.5 million. He won his seat and
$10,000 buy-in by winning a $40 satellite
tournament on ultimatebet.com, an online
gaming program.
These are some of reasons I started
playing more seriously four years ago, and
many of you can probably relate. Names

like Varkonyi and Moneymaker have done
wonders for the popularity of the game,
but being the next amateur champion is the
not the only reason people around the
world are falling in love with No Limit
Texas Holdem.
The first thing you notice about No
Limit Texas Holdem is that it's structured
differently than most other games in two
important respects. First, each player at the
table is dealt only two cards, face-down. The
remaining five cards are placed face-up in
the middle of the table as community cards
(three on "the flop," one on "the turn," and
one on "the river"). The goal is to make
your best five-card poker hand with your
two down cards and the five community
cards. Combine the almost incalculable
number of hands your opponents could be
holding with the second important structural
difference of this game - that you can bet
any amount at any given point - and you
have a game that takes a paragraph to
explain and a lifetime to master. This is why
a veteran player like Scotty Nguyen, who is
just as likely to show down "the nuts" (the
best possible hand) as he is to bluff with
nothing, can bet $100,000 into Humberto
Brenes with an unsuited 3-8. That's no limit
holdem, baby.
The second thing you notice about No
Limit Texas Holdem is that because of its
structure and because the players can agree
to play for whatever stakes they chose, it
can be both fun and disturbing. Over spring
break, I played in a game at Caesar's in
Bridgeport, Ind., during which I stood up
and asked the dealer to deal me out

because I had to use the restroom. He inad-
vertently dealt me in anyway, so I looked at
my hole cards and found a suited A-Q. I
played the hand and won a $232 pot with a
flush, ace high. The gentleman to my right
said "That was almost the most expensive
piss you ever took." That's the fun part.
Later that night, a gentleman across the
table lost his last $120 (he was already
down $380 at that point) when his pocket
queens got beat by a suited 8-9. The flop
came 10-J-Q, and the turn and the river
were no help to the man with Q-Q. Still
steaming from the loss, he jacked up the
table, tore his cards in half and swore off
everyone at the table. Security led him out,
and the rest of us continued playing with a
new setup. That's the disturbing part.
On a larger scale, scenes like these
have been replayed time and time again on
ESPN at the World Series of Poker. Just
tune in on a random weekday or weekend
afternoon, and there's a good change it
will be on. But, just in case ESPN decides
not to run anymore World Series reruns,
and you're looking for something to do,
I'm going to take the initiative to organize
the first annual World Series of Michigan
tournament: $100 + 1 (for the trophy) buy-
in gets you 1,000 in tournament chips; no
re-buys and payouts according to number
of entrants. With 100 entrants, we can have
a prize pool totaling $10,000. Interested?
E-mail me. We'll figure it out. I'll see you
at the tables.
Lee can be reached at

Don't rob me of my Naked Mile
F or my cousin's down on the participants, arresting stu- dents in 2004 are as far from the liberal
wedding a couple dents who then faced misdemeanor and independent students from the 1990's
of years ago, his charges as well as thousands of dollars in as we are from the radicals of the 1960's.
friends made a brief fees. What was once a cry of freedom not That our representatives in MSA have
video of his college years. only brought about restraints from the failed to even mention an event that once
The slides were accompa- police, but also embarrassing repercus- was a prominent milestone in students'
nied with some funny sions on the Internet. Soon, the Naked lives shows their disconnect.
quotes and even the senti- Mile was dead and the only people who Secret e-mails have been floating
mental Green Day song, were willing to run were students in around for the past couple of weeks talk-
"Good Riddance (Time of bathing suits who were brave enough to ing about the resurrection of the Naked
Your Life)." To the horror weather the cold. Mile. Students want to participate and
and amusement of the 600 guests at the Contrary to some people's belief that I want to do it in a safe environment.
wedding reception, they included a picture am just interested in seeing a bunch of naked Instead of wasting their time and our
of his back as he whipped by the camera people (I can do that any day on the Inter- money voting on insubstantial national
during the Naked Mile. net), I am moved to write about this because proposals, MSA should think about
It was just something they did back the administration and police's powers annoy answering the students' concerns. Willing
then. Seniors would shed their clothes to me. This was our event. We wanted to do runners await if they can do it without the
celebrate their final escape from this insti- something silly and refreshing and were threat of serious prosecution and with the
tution and before they were forced into the bogged down by the powers that be. protection of some security. Until recently,
restraints of the "real world." The route In the years prior to the administra- the AAPD was a surprisingly rational
from Washtenaw Avenue to the Cube tion's smear campaign, the administration department that protected and served stu-
would be filled with supporters and drunk- and the Michigan Student Assembly dents fairly. It should not be difficult to
en onlookers who also were celebrating the worked together to provide Naked Mile persuade it or the administration to serve
arrival of spring and the completion of yet security. Students wore brightly colored students' needs by just letting us do our
another semester at the University. shirts and kept the crowd in check. Run- own, harmless event.
It was something Ann Arbor was known ners were not afraid of being molested and Unfortunately, MSA's thumb-twiddling
for in the 1990's and like all other things in were less bothered by the police. The sto- and administration brown-nosing have
the city that were once thought of with nos- ries from last year's Naked Mile on the become all too familiar. Instead of just
talgia and pride, it too was corrupted by peo- other hand, are completely disheartening. looking back with longing, we have only
ple who should have had no control over it. The only humorous comments were those one option, though technically illegal, to
The administration set up fliers all remarking on the speed of certain students take back the freedoms that are rightfully
across the campus announcing the dangers running from the police who were chasing ours. I invite the brave and righteous to get
of the Naked Mile. We were told that stu- them on bicycles. naked, strap on the saran wrap, run the
dents would be abused and fondled and That the administration can squash mile and bring back our Naked Mile.
that their pictures would be placed on the something in which students willingly par-
Internet for all to see. The Ann Arbor ticipated without even minimal student Chirumamilla can be reached at
Police Department also started cracking response shows that the University stu- schiruma@umich.edu.

Lecturers asked to bear
unfair burden by 'U'
One of the central issues at stake in the cur-
rent struggle between University administrators
and union leaders for LEO is job security. Uni-
versity lecturers are often hired on a year-by-
year or even term-by-term basis; they want a
contract that acknowledges their commitment to
the University and their teaching as something
more than temporary and disposable. The Uni-
versity's main response to lecturers' request for
a contract that would ensure two- or three-year
appointments is that departments need to make
such short appointments because of fluctuating

it over to lecturers - the administration con-
stantly asks lecturers to take huge risks: If you
wait, we might hire you. If you will teach one
semester, we might hire you next semester. The
situation is both bad for lecturers and bad for
students, who are taught then by instructors who
work in an environment of little or no profes-
sional acknowledgment and support.
It seems that the administration is wildly
irresponsible in asking lecturers to bear almost
completely the risk that it has to manage. If
there is no better way to predict and/or facilitate
enrollment numbers in classes, then the Univer-
sity and its departments and schools must devel-
op a more sophisticated mechanism for
managing that risk on their own. Whether they
will admit it or not, the University has in the

disempowering their teachers, and our teaching
staff is too valuable to be treated so unfairly.
University administrators should agree to a con-
tract that increases job security for and acknowl-
edges the importance of its lecturers. Refusing
to do so might drive away some of our best
teachers, and the quality of the University's
undergraduate education should be its primary
Lecturer, Department of English

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