I guess I’ll start with the reason that I’m happy. The Phillies won!!! It’s a huge shock to my system to see a major championship in Philadelphia. The last title that we won was in 1983 when the 76ers won the NBA title. I was about 11 months old when that happened, so I don’t exactly remember it. I’m still having trouble even comprehending the idea that a Philadelphia team won a major title. It’s just awesome and crazy. It’s too bad I wasn’t there for any of the games and I won’t be there for the parade down Broad Street. Oh well.
Now the sad part. A friend of mine who worked at a local casino here in Costa Rica was murdered in cold blood on Monday night/early Tuesday morning. This girl was a waitress/bartender and she worked there most nights with her sister. They left the casino with another casino employee and shortly thereafter they were attacked, driven around the city and who knows what else before my friend was shot in the head on the side of the road. And her sister, who I also know, was shot twice and left to die, but luckily she survived. I am both shocked and saddened by this terrible crime. Both of these girls were very nice and the sister who was killed had a seven year old son. It’s so sad to know that, for whatever reason, a few guys decided to act so violently and change these girls’ lives forever. The sister who survived will never have the same life without her sister — they worked together and, from what I could tell, they were great friends as well.
I am told that Costa Rican police have already arrested the guys they believe to be responsible. Hopefully the girls who survived can identify them and those guys will be severely punished for what they did. But… I talked to a few Costa Ricans about some of the murders that happen in this country and they said it has gotten worse in the last five years or so. I told them that the Costa Rican government needs to do something to fix the problem IMMEDIATELY because, right now, the prevailing opinion in the United States is that Costa Rica is one of the safest Central/South American countries for Americans to travel to. It has a very significant number of ecotourists who spend a lot of money every year and support a lot of Costa Rican businesses. As everyone knows, it’s very easy to lose that reputation. If American tourists get killed in Costa Rica, word will filter back and, very quickly, Costa Rica will see all of those tourism dollars dry up. In a tough economic climate where it’s already hard to get people to travel, murders and senseless killings will only make it harder to convince Americans to go to Costa Rica. I really hope, for everyone’s sake, that the Costa Rican government comes to its senses and takes swift and strong action against these sorts of senseless crimes. If they don’t and these crimes start to spread into the tourist community, then Costa Rica may find out the hard way that it’s VERY hard to gain back a safe reputation. And that would be a terrible thing for the country because even more people would be poor and desperate and crime would only increase due to the sort of economic conditions that would arise. It would basically be a downward spiral that could be hard or even impossible to stop.
On a completely separate note, my friend Nadia over at Bodog just got her poker tournament series restarted. I’ve posted about it before … it’s known as the Bodonkey. Last night 43 people showed up — including Rizen who was the “special bounty guest player” for the week. I assume other people will be brought in for the same role over the coming weeks. The tournament series basically has a few thousand dollars added to it, along with weekly prizes and added money. Granted it isn’t anything huge, but it is a way to grind out some extra $, meet other poker bloggers and play in a pretty small/fun private tournament. It’s nothing like wading through another 1000+ person field on PokerStars where you make the final table once in a blue moon (granted those tournaments offer great value in the long-run, but they can also offer great frustration). I guess I should also mention that Bodog has had some major problems recently. I’m aware of them. I can assure you from speaking to the people I know at Bodog that the problems are related to processing. They are having enormous problems with processing deposits and cashouts to US players. They aren’t doing anything intentionally — believe me, their problems are costing them an enormous amount of money and a ton of business. But I believe they have good intentions and I think they will continue to provide good value on the poker side of things. Anyway, if you have any interest in the Bodonkey or if you want to play in it sometime, check out Bodog Poker. Thanks again to Nadia for working hard to put it together and for paying attention to us poker bloggers!