Vice City

Do we even need to make a joke? It's called Poker at the Lodge.

Vice City

Those of you who don't know Dan Michalski should get to know him. He's a freelance writer for a number of publications, including the Dallas Observer, Men's Health and, I think, the venerable Car Shopper. He's also the proud papa of two relatively smart and entertaining blogs: The Scrolldown ( and Pokerati ( But being a semi-competent, semi-scatterbrained journalist is just his day job--charming as it may be. At night and on the weekends he's a pimp and a poker player and sometimes both. Seriously, his level of cool is much, much higher than it should be.

Currently, he runs a free poker tournament at The Lodge that is surprisingly legal and fun. (Dan is the kind of guy who advertises for his tournament by calling himself "Dallas Poker Champion Dan Michalski" in radio ads. Which is funny for a number of reasons, but primarily because the biggest tournament he's ever won was a 24-man local job that consisted solely of people we all knew. Oh, and he didn't "win" it exactly--he tied.) I've known Dan for a few years now, and we've played a lot of cards together, but I never made it to The Lodge tourney until a week ago. To my surprise, it was everything a poker tournament should be. Well, minus the cash prizes. Instead, in order to remain within the law, they give out Lodge gift certificates, poker-related items and other gifts.

The level of talent at the Lodge tourney (sign-up begins every Sunday at 3:30 p.m.) ranges from pretty good to pretty awful, but it's free, so who the hell cares? Plus, the waitresses do a fine job of making sure that everyone is well-lubed and has a drink in their hand. Of course, you can get that kind of service at any casino or underground game. What makes the Lodge experience so fantastic is the fact that crazy-ass Dan serves as tournament director and myriad strippers serve as dealers. (Another quick Dan story: Last week, he asked me to come early to the tourney and help set up. But when I tried to count out chips for everyone, he got frustrated and said, "Listen, I've done this before, I know what I'm doing." You're the pro, I told him, and I watched him walk off. A few minutes later, he came back, looking a little sheepish. "Uh, Gonz," he said, "I didn't bring enough decks of cards for each table. Can you go get some?")

Yeah, regardless of how amusing Dan can be, it's not all that great to see his bare breasts (though he'll tell you he has nice A cups). But it is pretty great to play cards and hang out with strippers. For a small contribution, most of the working girls will take their tops off for an entire round. That's just good fun no matter how you cut the cards. Plus, a week ago, one of the female dealers who wasn't a stripper took her top off, too.

Either way, there's a good chance that you'll see some skin while playing cards. That's what we like to call good pot odds in poker. --John Gonzalez

Lush Ladies

Every other week in the Healthy Living section of The Dallas Morning News, two women who call themselves the Lunch Ladies chat about lunch options for health-conscious readers. We don't really cotton to that kind of thinking. So we bring you the Lush Ladies, Harriett and Bambi--for those of you who prefer to drink your lunch.

This week: Bloody Marys at Angry Dog

Details: 2726 Commerce St. in Deep Ellum

Looks: There's nothing pretentious about this cocktail--no paper umbrella, no fancy glass--and we appreciate the simplicity. It means this drink has only one purpose: gettin' us nice and toasty!

Taste: While it can be a little thick at times--sorta like a tomato milk shake--the Dog's Bloody Mary tastes just fine. And since you're skipping lunch for drinking, you'll be thankful for its substance.

Harriett: A Bloody Mary is an important part of one's diet. Its hangover relief alone is exceptional. In fact, I don't know why it's not on the food pyramid. So Angry Dog had a lot to live up to, and it fared quite well. This version is top-notch, which is why I think I lost count of how many I had. Oh, I'm just kidding--who keeps count? (Tip: If you're feeling extra sassy, have the bartender make it spicy.)

Bambi: Even though the name is kinda scary, this was yummy. Except it made me think of blood, and that's gross.

Score: 4 shot glasses, on a scale of 1 to 5

Per serving:

Cal 120

Fat 0

Fiber 0

Carb 5

Protein 2

Weight Watchers

Winning Points: What?

Kill Your Tv

Last week, Jerry Jones and his cabal announced they had reached an agreement with Comcast Sports to create a 24-hour Cowboys network. The new channel will begin broadcasting in mid-September, but the Observer has already learned of a few shows to look for.

Cops: Valley Ranch: Go behind the scenes with Dallas law enforcement as they bust Cowboys players at various strip clubs around town. Watch as undercover cops sell Quincy Carter a bag of baking soda. Follow along as Dwayne Goodrich gets drunk and goes for a drive. Bonus: File footage from the legendary "White House" years.

Eating Your Way to a New You with Bill Parcells: They don't call him the Big Tuna for nothin'. Dallas' favorite coach knows how to eat and eat well. Every week, he'll give you all the information about his personal diet plan, which involves what he likes to call the "clear test." Which is: If you rub food against a piece of paper, and the fat causes it to become transparent, then that's the food for you. Before long, you and Bill will be shopping for bras to house your man teats. Bon appetit.

Vinny Testaverde Presents the Best of Golden Girls: The team's new starting quarterback once appeared on Matlock, but the Golden Girls are still his bitches. Testaverde hosts this show live from his living room, where he'll do voice-over commentary on his favorite episodes. Nothing says "I've almost reached retirement age" like sitting around in your underwear watching Blanche and Dorothy fight it out.

Extreme Makeover: Jerry Jones: Try not to turn away as doctors attempt to reconstruct his face out of various pieces of cartilage and skin left over from old cadavers. Jones, ever the trouper, will undergo a new face lift each week--which, as it turns out, is actually fewer operations than usual. Upcoming special guests include Michael Jackson and Jerry Jones doppelganger Joan Rivers.

The Mark Stepnoski and Nate Newton Show: A full hour of everyone's favorite linemen doing what they do best: passing the reefer and speaking in non sequiturs, while flipping through the latest issue of High Times. We're not sure what the actual content will be, or how many guests they'll have, but we're pretty sure that at least one of them will forget to show up for work before too long.

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