Chat with Andrew Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com poker columnist Andrew Feldman will stop by to chat about the World Series of Poker and take any other poker questions you may have. He'll be joined by Norman Chad.
Chad serves as co-host of the World Series of Poker. He also writes a weekly syndicated sports column, Couch Slouch, which appears in 20 newspapers, including the Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Cleveland Plain Dealer. He also previously wrote a sports column for Sports Illustrated and a syndicated NFL picks humor column for 12 years.
Be sure to check out ESPN.com's coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Send your questions now and join Feldman and Chad Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Andrew Feldman (1:57 PM)
Hey everyone! I'm happy to say that Norman Chad will be stopping by to take some questions today so send 'em in and ask Norman all about his first WSOP cash yesterday and of course, the HORSE final table.
Norman Chad (2:06 PM)
Norman Chad?? I'm pretty pumped. Well done Feldman.
Roger (Jersey Shore)
Norm - where did "whamboozled" come from?
Norman Chad (2:07 PM)
Whamboozled. It actually originates from when my first ex-wife left me and I naturally said to one of my closest friends 'Believe it or not Jodi whamboozled me." It just makes sense when you go all in or if you're down in chips. When you get eliminated, you get whamboozled.
How many prewritten phil comments do you have? Do you have them on notecards and then when he does something you use them?
Norman Chad (2:09 PM)
For some reason people seem to think that I walk around all day with notecards. Even if I go to the bank and I want to make a withdrawl, it has to be on a note card. Incredibly, I have virtually no pre-written Phil cards. It comes naturally when I see them.
espn streak for the cash question, who wins the 50k horse title? player that already has a bracelet or player that doesnt. what do you guys think?
Norman Chad (2:12 PM)
I don't know that answer. All I know is that if Vitaly Lunkin, who if he walked up to me in 7-11, I would ask him if he wanted a big gulp or super big gulp since I didn't recognize him...If he wins tonight, after winning the 40K, he should be President or deported. It's just not possible! He beat a field of 2700 last year, so he can beat the big fields, then if he can beat the two most elite fields the poker world can offer, its unbelievable! It's Vitaly Lunkin!
How many times did you just sit down and watch Bill Gazes getting hit in the face with the football before you were actually able to do a take on that episode of then uts?
Norman Chad (2:14 PM)
You know, actually, that particular five second sequence, which I've seen 25 times, I've laughed out loud 25 times. When the ball hits him in the face, I fall off the couch. I can't see that enough. You can't script those things.
Norman, are you gonna pick Phil Ivey in this year's ME? Is he out of your doghouse with this year's performance so far?
Norman Chad (2:16 PM)
He's in my doghouse, but this is a very simple gambling thing. If you keep playing 27 in roulette, you don't get off it. Once you do, it comes in. I've picked the right HORSE and I'm glad to see that Phil has made some adjustments and I think he's more focused. I will pick him until the cows come home. What am I going to go with Vitaly Lunkin? No, I'm picking Phil Ivey.
Norm, I like that sometimes you offer criticism and call players out on things like perceived slowrolls or bad behavior (e.g., Cantu vs. Losev and Scotty's HORSE outburst). Do most of your editorial comments like these make it into the broadcasts, or do many fall victim to the ESPN editors?
Norman Chad (2:18 PM)
Actually, I am quite blessed that my producers let me say 95% of what I want to say. Once in a while they'll stop me and say that instead of the Mussolini comment, can you talk about playing J-10?
How much time does it take to do the commentaries and other stories shown during the broadcasts?
Norman Chad (2:19 PM)
We take longer than we'd like to produce. When Lon and I go in and tape a 1 hr broadcast, it doesn't take 1 hr. We start at 10 am and generally finish at 6 or 7 at night, with a lunch break. We're exhausted when it's done which is weird since we're sitting there watching a TV screen and commenting on poker we've already seen. I can't complain about it though.
Wake Forest (?)
How many colleges internationally are "the Deamon Deacons"?
Norman Chad (2:20 PM)
It's quite amazing. From what I can tell, the Deamon Deacons are the nickname of over 110 colleges and nations. It's a great nickname. Probably my favorite college nicknames and much better than Wildcats or Trojans. Deamon Deacons!
is it hard to comment on a final table when you already know who wins?
Norman Chad (2:21 PM)
It's no different that commenting on a marriage when I already know how that ends up. Getting back to Phil Ivey, I explained to my father how we did the broadcasts the first year and he was asking me why I didn't pick Chris Moneymaker. He was yelling at my at dinner since I picked the wrong guy even though I know who won.
How did it feel to get to go up to the cashier at the Rio and actually leave with money?
Norman Chad (2:23 PM)
I am now 1 for 12 in WSOP tournaments for cashing. I am 1 for 3 in marriages, so I'm actually doing better there than tournaments. It felt good. I'd never seen the payout room at the Rio and it was very nice to go in there.
Harry (Rhode Island)
After watching so much poker over the past few years and having the benefit of knowing what the players held, do you find you can pick up on tells better now than you did before you got the ESPN gig?
Norman Chad (2:25 PM)
Absolutely not. What disappoints me is that for all the hold 'em I've watched (including seeing the hole cards) my hold 'em game today is as bad as it was 6 years ago. I cannot play hold 'em. I play all the other games OK, but not hold 'em.
I'm playing in the Main Event. Is there a more surefire way for me to guarantee TV time than to wear something (or have a sign) saying something about being the next ex-Mrs. Norman Chad?
Norman Chad (2:27 PM)
We've already had one person play that card. That will be it. By the way, I was quite taken aback my the marriage proposal and my wife wasn't happy that I didn't give her an immediate no to the person. We will not be guaranteeing anyone TV time because of a sign to be my next ex-wife.
Would you ever consider playing Mike Sexton heads-up in some kind of challenge? What about if it was your own money (i.e., not sponsored by ESPN or some other station)?
Norman Chad (2:28 PM)
Who's Mike Sexton? He's a TV face. He's cashed maybe 35 times at the WSOP. He's just a TV guy. Why would I bother playing him heads-up. It's not beneath my station, but he's been playing for 25 years and has a bracelet.
Does that same older couple still follow Phil Ivey around? If Phil makes the November Nine, will you please do a story on them?
Norman Chad (2:29 PM)
Yes, they do still follow Phil around. They are very nice and I give Phil a lot of credit in how nicely he's treated them over the years. It might be weird or unusual for him, but he's always cordial with them and I give Phil a lot of credit.
Congrats on your cash this year. Do people recognize you at the tabel as the "funny man" from the WSOP telecasts and try to joke with you at the table. Must be tought to stay concentrated.
Norman Chad (2:31 PM)
No, it's actually enjoyable. If they're playing with a Hellmuth or Matusow, people will target them and try to bluff and beat them. I don't have that type of thing about me. They either think I'm funny or they think I'm annoying, but they're not going to come after me for my chips. It's always comfortable to play and when I'm in regular games I'm very talkative, it's different in a tournament, but when I do start talking, it's always fun.
On the money bubble of a tourney the other day I was rivered by, you guessed it, the ACE OF SPADES. Can we agree it's no longer the prettiest card in the deck?
Norman Chad (2:32 PM)
In poker, it's all about making the right decisions. Just because you were rivered by the ace of spades in one hand, does not mean its not the prettiest card in the deck. Its the prettiest card in the deck every day of the week and twice on Sundays. It's the prettiest card in the deck. Next question.
Norm, how do you feel about ESPN televising the Ante Up For Africa? Does Annie Duke really need more publicity? I love the cause but can we change the tourney to a PLO with rebuys?
Norman Chad (2:36 PM)
It's hard to argue against a charity event. I think I did argue about the charity event because I did want to televised the 50K, but when you're arguing against an event that's charity for people in Darfur, you really sound like an ___. It's for a good cause and it'll be great to show. You are correct though, Annie Duke doesn't need more TV time anywhere.
Joe (Green Bay) [via mobile]
Who do you have a bigger crush on, Kara Scott or Patrik Antonius?
Norman Chad (2:37 PM)
Frankly it's a coin flip.
Phil Hellmuth (Vegas)
What's been your personal favorite of my 1-liners?
Norman Chad (2:40 PM)
As good as all his 1-liners are, it's amazing since they come off the top of his head and he has moments where he is clinically insane at the table, but for some reason last year when he went off on idiots from Northern Europe. To specify where these players are coming something nobody else would do. His hands waving! I use his lines in my home game too, "This idiot from ____" is a line I use all the time.
Lon (not your Lon) (Tracy, CA)
If you could change one thing about the commentary you do what would it be? Now I expect a funny answer, but a serious answer tacked on the end would be cool as well. :)
Norman Chad (2:43 PM)
Well, if I could change 1 thing, it would be actually knowing what I'm talking about. I don't hide this. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a good hold 'em player and I'm not good at analyzing hold 'em. Even if I was good, I wouldn't analyze it more since that's not the way I'm doing the commentary, but it would be nice to tell someone something semi-intelligent once a show. It's not happening, it's not going to happen, so I'll just talk about the color of their shirt.
Danny Noonan (The Shack)
Any good golf prop bets this year? Lindgren for 72 holes this time? What about other prop bets like the scooter race between Texas Dolly and Amarillo Slim? Did you bet on Doyle?
Norman Chad (2:47 PM)
The scooter race between Doyle and Amarillo should not have been sanctioned by the Nevada gaming commission. That was a preposterous race. Lives were in danger in that hallway in the Rio. I do not know who won, I do not care who won. I hope that doesn't air.
I love Lon and your chemistry on the broadcasts. His dry jabs he takes every so often despite playing the straight man with great commentary make the show for me. Is he actually funnier than you?
Norman Chad (2:49 PM)
That is a very smart question. I believe Lon goes to sleep every night believing he is taller than me (which is correct), better looking than me (which is correct), older than me (which is correct), and funnier than me (which is a statistical improbability!)
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Do you ever get the sense that Lon wishes he was working a bowling tourney in Missouri rather than be with you doing poker?
Norman Chad (2:50 PM)
That is also a very smart question. In this regard, I have to feel for Lon. I mentioned in an earlier question how long it takes us to do a 1 hr broadcast. He spends a lot of time in a very small area sitting next to me. Even when I say something he doesn't think he's funny, he is supposed to laugh. He has a deceivingly tough position. It's a tough place to be for 32 broadcasts a year.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
How much would it take for you to show up at my home game and do live commentary?
Norman Chad (2:52 PM)
That's usually simple. Round trip business class, doesn't have to be first class, pick me up at the airport. I wouldn't mind a good bottle of Cabernet and whatever the food is there, that's fine, as long as there aren't brussel sprouts.
If you won the main event, what would you do with the winnings? (Besides pay off the ex's)
Norman Chad (2:53 PM)
To pay off all my ex's, I need a main event field in excess of 15,000. There's no reason to try to win the main event, it only gets me halfway home alimony-wise.
What's the worst play you've seen while you've been doing commentary?
Norman Chad (2:55 PM)
Even though its not the worst play, James McManus calling down Alex Powers with Q-high just because he had put him on tilt and he wanted to see what Alex had, then his Q-high became J-high! Jack high!
If Phil Ivey is the Tiger Woods of poker, who is the Wilt Chamberlain, who gets all the ladies? Since you're off the market now.
Norman Chad (2:56 PM)
So being that I live in LA, as long as I plan my game so that you wouldn't have to drive in rush-hour and I have a good bottle of cab, you are in?
Norman Chad (2:59 PM)
In LA, when you meet someone for dating purposes, you have to ask them your area code to see if they're datable. Same thing with a home game. I have a 1 freeway limit. I'm not going to 2 or 3. One of my friends is 7 freeways over and he has to owe me money if I'm going to see him. If you're 1 freeway away, I'm in.
Tarp (Manayunk, PA)
Name 3 players that would be at your ideal final table (viewing entertainment purposes).
Norman Chad (3:00 PM)
Phil Hellmuth, because he's Phil Hellmuth. Daniel Negreanu, because he's always a positive viewing experience and Phil Ivey because he would not say a word while he watched Phil Hellmuth not stop talking.
Carlos Beltran (The DL)
Have you ever watched a telecast and said to yourself "did I really just say that?"
Norman Chad (3:02 PM)
I try not to watch the telecasts afterwards. There's no upside. The downside is that while I have watched them once in awhile, I think to myself, did I really just say that? That is abundantly stupid. Also when I watch them, I hear the mistakes I've made. I just want to pull my hair out. These episodes get watched by many other people to make sure we don't make mistakes! I don't like watching them.
Norman Chad (3:02 PM)
I've got nothing left! Sqadoosh. Have a good afternoon.
Andrew Feldman (3:04 PM)
Thanks for all the answers Norman! Don't forget that you can watch the final table of the $50K HORSE on ESPN360.com at 5 p.m. ET! See you tomorrow!