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Exciting Times for Golf and Poker Fans

In celebrating our 76th blog post since we started about three months ago, today we decided to take a break from cigars, cigars, cigars and talk about some of the things cigar smokers love… primarilly golf and poker.

On the Old Course in Scotland it’s already late afternoon at the British Open. The early reports have John Daly shooting a career-tying best of 66 on the venerable course that gets credit for being the birthplace of golf. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods is one stroke behind Daly (-5) in an 8-way tie for T5, and is showing some hints of his former glory.

But the big story was Irishman Rory McIlroy, who sunk seven birdie putts and an eagle to go nine under and jump to an early lead. His 63 ties the record for lowest score in a major championship. Twice he drove 300+ yards to the green, taking advantage of ideal golfing conditions with almost no wind and very manageable greens. Of course, we’ve got three more days of action-packed golf and this year’s Open looks like it’s going to be an exciting one, as long as the rain holds off.

In other news of sports you can still play while smoking a cigar, in Las Vegas the poker world is whittling down a field of 7,319 in the second-largest World Series of Poker since the championship began in 1970. Exactly 747 players will make the money and take a piece of the $68,798,600 prize pool, with nearly $9 million going to first place. There are just 205 players remaining, and at this point everyone is guaranteed at least a $48,847 payday.

Most of the best-known poker pros have already been eliminated, but some big names are still fighting. Johnny Chan is 9th in chips, and the Orient Express sees no sign of slowing, snapping a fool off with KK vs. QJo to add a million in chips to his stack before play ended yesterday. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, hot off the heels of winning this year’s $50,000 buy-in Player’s Championship event and his first bracelet, is 30th in chips. Other notables still in the running include online pro Phil “OMGClayAiken” Glafond (85th), poker celebrity Jean-Robert Bellande (103rd), and nosebleed-stakes player David Benyamine (178th).

Play resumes today as Day 5 of the tournament kicks off. They’ll fight through sick calls and suck-outs to get down to the final table, at which point the nine remaining contenders will go on break until November 9th, when action will resume. We’re rooting for Chan to come in second and an unknown to take first, as to replicate the “Moneymaker Effect” that Chris Moneymaker created when he turned a $39 satellite into $2.5 million at the 2003 WSOP. He kick-started an explosion in poker’s popularity with online sites flourishing and games breaking out in basements and garages all over the country. That’s the beauty of the game — anyone can win and everyone thinks they’re better than the next guy. It’s no secret the marketing department here has been known to take down a few K’s here and there on the felt… but we could always use some more fish in the tank.

Enjoy your golf and poker, and don’t forget the cigars!