Tough beats

I like Annie Duke. Not only does she have a great poker name, she doesn't sit at the poker table with a poker face all the time. It's the same reason I enjoy watching Phil Hellmuth, even though he's a cocky SOB. His running monologues at the table are awesome. Watching Annie take down Phil in the 2004 Tournament of Champions (ESPN2 will be replaying it for months, I'm sure) was good theater, and I really wish I could get a tape of Phil's tirade when Tobey Maguire drew a four of a kind to beat Phil's full house. When she showed him the 9 but not the K after he showed her his K (the flop had K and 9 among them), his reaction was awesome. "You played a pair of 9s? That's so reckless."
Notified in advance by Jason Kottke, I set my Tivo to tape Ken Jennings' defeat on Jeopardy today. He lost to a woman named Nancy, who I liked because she had just returned from China where she'd adopted a little Chinese girl. Jennings would have won if he had nailed both his Double Jeopardy questions in round two, but he missed both of them, and that cost him about $10,000. He went into Final Jeopardy with $14,400 to Nancy's $10,000 (the third contestant, some college student, ended up in the red and didn't even make it to the final round). The Final Jeopardy answer was: "Most of this company's 70,000 seasonal white collar employees only work 4 months a year." I personally didn't know, and neither did Ken, but Nancy knew it was "H&R Block" and placed a bet of $4,401, which, if Ken had bet nothing, would have given her a $1 victory. When his answer came out wrong ("Fed Ex") Nancy gasped and put her hands to her mouth, the crowd gasped, and then they stood to give Ken a standing ovation.
Sundance announces its 2005 lineup of movies
Giddyup! Jason and I had so much fun there last year that we've planned a return trip.