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NCAA Hoops!! Blake Shelton concert with JH, Portland baby!

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Mar 23, '09

Posted: March 23, 2009 11:31 AM

Basically, I watched hoops all weekend long, worked out the last three days (today is Sunday), and watched golf to see if Lehman or Stricker (a Madison, Wisconsin guy) would win.  Layne Flack, EDOG (Erick Lindgren), Brandon Cantu, and a few other poker players invaded Portland to watch the NCAA Hoops tournament this weekend.  EDOG is just a huge Gonzaga fan and friend of the coach and the team, and Cantu used to live up there so he dragged Flack up there, and I almost went myself.

"Team 20" (for 20 WSOP bracelets: Cantu, Flack, Madsen, and I) had a few teams playing in Portland including Washington (out for no money) and Gonzaga (Sweet Sixteen).  Each "Sweet Sixteen" team receives 3% of the prize pool or $810, each "Elite Eight" 3 wins gets 5% ($1,350) of the prize pool; "Final four" 4 wins gets 8% ($2,160) of the prize pool; runner up with 5 wins gets 15% ($4,050) of the prize pool; and the winner with 6 wins gets 25% ($6,250) of the prize pool.   "Team 20" still has these teams dancing: Gonzaga, Villanova (good pick Layne and I), Louisville (we have 50%), Kansas (good pick Layne!), Michigan State, Syracuse, UCONN, and Missouri.  8 teams times $810 minimum apiece equals $6,480, and we need $8,000 to break even.  If all of our teams lost now, we would take a $1,500 loss.  But we have one guaranteed win in that Michigan State plays Kansas.  Even though the money isn't much for "Team 20," being a part of this pool is fun!  It gets you into a bunch of games.  I was sorry to see my Badgers lose, and Marquette as well, although we do Mizz.

On Saturday night at the last minute I texted Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford football coach, to invite him to watch Blake Shelton's concert.  He and his wife rallied and joined my wife and I at what turned out to be a pretty awesome show!  We walked into the show through the back door of the Oakland Oracle Arena near the tour busses after we were met by the tour manager Kevin, who took great care of us.  Then we headed to the private bar and hung out with Blake before he went onstage.  Blake, Rob, and the rest of the band are just so down to earth!  They are just such nice guys, and it's cool to see that.  Blake claimed he was a little nervous before he went on, only because it was Oakland, but I cannot believe how great the show was.  Blake can really sing it!  I mean these guys have at least three (or is it four) number one songs.  I've never been a country guy before, but Blake was awesome!  I actually enjoyed every single song that he sang; I mean his songs are very emotional.  Now I'm starting to add a bunch of CM songs to my IPOD including: Blake's new album, Blake's "Home," "Austin," "Some beach," and "She wouldn't be gone;" and Kenny Chesney's "Better as a memory," "Don't blink," "No shoes, no shirt, no problems;" and Carrie Underwood's "Last name," and "Jesus take the wheel;" and Sugarland's "Stay;" and Adeles "Chasing pavements."

In any case, we had "All access passes" so we watched the show from right next to the stage, and Blake came over and pointed at me a couple of times, which is always fun for me.  Afterwards we went to the private bar and we had a couple of drinks with Blake and the band; not Jim though, he was the designated driver.  My wife and I had a really fun night hanging with the band, and hanging with Jim and his wife.

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