Thursday Links

Gambling winners & losers, music lists of the decade and way, waaaaaaaay too much about Jersey Shore. Settle in.

The Gambler Who Blew $127 Million

During a year-long gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos in 2007, Terrance Watanabe managed to lose nearly $127 million.

The run is believed to be one of the biggest losing streaks by an individual in Las Vegas history. It devoured much of Mr. Watanabe’s personal fortune, he says, which he built up over more than two decades running his family’s party-favor import business in Omaha, Neb. It also benefitted the two casinos’ parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which derived about 5.6% of its Las Vegas gambling revenue from Mr. Watanabe that year.

Watanabe would have done well to have this guy gamble with him. He actually supports a family picking up losing tickets that aren’t.

Do MLB teams need defined closers?

As someone who is somewhat caught between the world of statistical analysis and actually being involved in the game I’ve thought a lot about how I would handle the closer situation if I were a manager. In this instance I feel like players pitch better when they have a definitive role, thus I would disagree with statistics that say that you should play match ups in the 9th inning unless you have an elite closer. The fact is that it is nearly impossible to be locked in where you need to be to pitch for the entire game, in every situation.

Obligatory NCAA Football playoff article for the year. It’s actually well researched & written and until something of the sort is implemented I’ll continue to not care about college football.

Some enterprising souls managed to legally scam both the US government and the credit card companies.

Enthusiasts of frequent-flier mileage have all kinds of crazy strategies for racking up credits, but few have been as quick and easy as turning coins into miles.

At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off.

Coin buyers charged the purchases, sold in boxes of 250 coins, to a credit card that offers frequent-flier mile awards, then took the shipments straight to the bank. They then used the coins they deposited to pay their credit-card bills. Their only cost: the car trip to make the deposit.

Top Music of the Decade

Paste Magazine
The AV Club
Rolling Stone

MTV’s Jersey Shore is the newest best worst reality television program ever. It’s probably not worth the time and brain cells killed to sit and watch full episodes of this, but the clips and quotes are outstanding. From Vulture:

“You have your penis pierced. I love it.” —Jenni “JWOWW”
After housemates Pauly D and Jenni “JWOWW” found themselves a little bit buzzed and falling prey to the always romantic strains of house music at club Karma [Side Note: We’re strongly considering hitting up Google Maps and making a road trip there this weekend], they made their way back to the share and started making out. It was there and then that we learned that “the party’s in Pauly D’s pants tonight” (his words, not ours), and that said party was pierced.

“I feel like this is beneath me. I’m a bartender. I do great things.” —Angelina “Jolie”
We’ve all been in a position at one time or another when we’ve felt like our unique talents might be going overlooked in the workplace. However, we imagine that only a small fraction of you ever had this epiphany while putting airbrushed tank tops on hangers in a souvenir T-shirt joint on the boardwalk. Thanks to Angelina, though, we can now all empathize with her plight. She’s sort of like the Erin Brockovich of Shore Store.

“I love the Situation.” —Mike “the Situation”
And now, so does America! You see, our boy Mike has dubbed himself “the Situation,” which provides him with the opportunity to lift up his shirt and display his rippling abdominal muscles at a moment’s notice simply by asking women, “Do you love the Situation?” while pointing at his six-pack. You might think this outright display of peacocking wouldn’t work in a post-Mystery world, but surprisingly, it works like gangbusters. Not only do women coo and fawn in his presence, he was able to sell multiple factions of guidettes booty shorts emblazoned with his catchphrase, quickly proving himself to be one of America’s all-time greatest salesmen. Could “I love the Situation” be the new “Eat my shorts, man”? Quite possibly!

You can get catchphrase emblazoned clothing here.

Lastly a couple of videos, first some clips from the actual show and then a “parody” of an audition tape for season 2.