“TOPGOLF” – A waste of time and money

 

Last year my wife gifted my son and I gift cards to the new-to-Kansas City attraction known as TOPGOLF..  TOPGOLF is basically an elevated driving range with various targets which you can hit to score points while competing against your friends.  Sounds fun, I know, but the constant hassles are not worth the energy and time spent.

Depending on where you live, the hourly rates may differ from the ones in KC.  Here the cost is $25 an hour if you go before noon, $35 an hour between noon and five o’clock and $45 an hour after five.  We got there at 11:30 a.m. and were sent to one of the elevated tees.  We were going to play for two hours (thinking since we were there before noon that the cost would be $50.00) but learned that, even if you’re there before noon, once the clock strikes “12” the price goes up.  Not wanting to pay $60 we elected for play for 90 mins at a cost of $42.50.

My son “signed in” to the game and his name appeared on the screen.  We tried to “add a player” but were unable to.  I finally signaled one of the employees and he came over.  We explained the situation and he said that I’d have to pay $5.00 to add my name.  I told him we had already paid for the time and he told me that there is also a $5.00 charge to come in.  It reminded me of the old casinos here in Kansas City -when they first opened you had to pay a $15.00 “docking fee” to go inside.  That’s right…you had to give them money for them to allow you to spend your money!  I agreed to pay the five bucks and we began hitting balls.

At TOPGOLF, if you want a ball you have to wave your club over a sensor, which then has a machine spit a ball out.  Sadly for us, you had to wave your club over the sensor repeatedly…sometimes five or six times…before a ball came out.  The constant wait for a ball obviously ate into our time.  Also, we would alternate our shots but sometimes, even though I was noted as the player up, after I hit the ball it would suddenly change to my son and award him the points.  At 12:15 everything stopped and a message on the screen told us we had 15-minutes left to play.  As we had signed up for 90-minutes we were surprised to see this.  After a few minutes I tracked down the same employee.  Again he came over and pushed some buttons.  “You only paid for an hour,” he told us.  “No,” I said, “we requested 90 minutes.  The cost was $42.50.”  Again, he had to push some buttons.  The whole exchange probably took another five minutes off of our playing time.  I mentioned that and he shrugged.  It was obvious he could care less.  I jokingly said to my son, “well, this isn’t going to look good in my write up.”  As if I had flicked a switch, he immediately showed some interest in us, asking if there was anything he could do for us.  I told him “no.”  A few minutes the manager approached us and asked the same thing.  I explained to her all of the problems we had had and how we had probably lost 15-minutes of our time to glitches.   Obviously she felt that, despite hearing about all of the problems we had had, none of them qualified for the “something I can do” request to be followed up with actually doing something.  No “I’m sorry, let me extend your time” or “I’m sorry, let me get you a pass to come back another time.  Like the previous employee, she just shrugged.  She walked away, we finished up and left.

Maybe when everything is working properly TOPGOLF is a fun time.  But if I’m going to drop $45, I’m going to play 18 holes.

 

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection First Time Ever on Blu-ray!

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A LANDMARK COLLECTION SHOWCASING THE LEGENDARY MONSTERS IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY

UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COMPLETE 30-FILM COLLECTION AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY ON AUGUST 28, 2018 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula(1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942),Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

 

BONUS FEATURES:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
  • 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
  • 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
  • Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
  • 13 Expert Feature Commentaries
  • Archival Footage
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailers

 

DVD Review “Muppet Babies: Time To Play!”

Voice Cast: Matt Danner; Melanie Harrison; Dee Bradley Baker; Ben Diskin; Eric Bauza; Jessica DiCicco; and Jenny Slate
Number of discs: 1
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 14, 2018
Run Time: 92 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Growing up in the 80’s, I was a huge fan of the original “Muppet Babies” series and when I heard that the show was being re-imagined for Disney Junior audience, I couldn’t have been happier, now with a 6 year old of my own to enjoy. Let me start with the fact that my daughter honestly has never been a fan of The Muppets at all, so I was hesitate introducing this show. Let me tell you from the moment that theme song hit her eyes lit up and she was hooked. Since her first viewing, this show has people her favorite to watch, she has seen each episode numerous times now.

The voice cast is legit for this re-imagination. There is some amazing talent brought in here for this show including Matt Danner as Kermit the Frog; Melanie Harrison as Piggy; Dee Bradley Baker as Animal; Ben Diskin as Gonzo; Eric Bauza as Fozzie Bear; Jessica DiCicco as a brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin; and Jenny Slate as Miss Nancy. Disney went all out for this one and delivered for the parents as well as kids.

“Muppet Babies: Time To Play!” is the first volume DVD released for this The episodes included “Sir Kermit the Brave/Animal Fly Airplane”; “Super Fabulous vs. Captain Icecube/Piggy’s Time Machine”; “The Great Muppet Sport-A-thon/You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend”; “Hatastrophe/Fly South”; and even two bonus episodes “How Kermit Got His Groove/One Small Problem” and “Playground Pirates/The Blanket Fort”.

There are also 10 “Muppet Babies: Show & Tell” Shorts with each of the characters. Other special features include The Great Muppet (Short) Musical and 6 Music Videos including “What’s So Scary About The Dark?”; “Never Have To Say Goodbye (To The Summer)”; “Get Back In The Game”; “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”; “You Can Be A Dancer”; “Muppet Pirate Shanty”. Honestly I was impressed to see so many special features on a kids DVD but this one is jam packed! Can’t wait for future volumes!

“Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series” Rolls into Orlando for Very First Time: Athletes & Trucks Revealed

Orlando, FL — April 3, 2018 — Feld Entertainment, the worldwide leader in live family entertainment, announces that tickets for the all new Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series will be available on pre-sale this week for the August 18, 2018 tour stop in Orlando, FL at Amway Center. The new season will bring motor sport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family and is unlike anything ever seen at the stadium style events.

Monster Jam has been coming to Orlando to the Camping World Stadium for more than 30 years. The Triple Threat Arena Tour debuts in Orlando for the first time and is an entirely different format than Orlando fans have seen at the stadium. This upcoming tour will feature eight of the most talented Monster Jam drivers competing on three vehicles during the competition. Orlando fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks closer to the action than ever before. The eight athletes all competing in individual racing and skill competitions and overall event championship are:

1. Grave Digger – Tyler Menninga
2. Max D – Colton Eichelberger
3. El Toro Loco – Kayla Blood
4. Scooby Doo – Myranda Cozad
5. Zombie – Bari Musawwir
6. Soldier Fortune Black Ops – Tony Ochs
7. Megalodon – TBA
8. Monster Mutt Rottweiler – TBA
*Note: Trucks & Drivers are subject to change

Show Times for Saturday, August 18, 2018:
1:00pm show (Pit Party from 10:30am – Noon)
Pit Party to take place inside the venue on the arena floor
7:00pm show

Media Mikes is excited to be provided a special discount for our readers: Save $5 off select seats with code 5BLOG. Not valid on VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires August 17, 2018.

Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable, Monster Jam takes center stage in the world’s most iconic venues like Amway Center, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered, larger-than-life trucks to the limit.

Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track. Following racing, just like the show at Camping World Stadium, Monster Jam fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones. This tour features two female athletes among the eight total competitors.

Tickets will go on pre-sale to Feld Preferred members on April 10, 2018 at 10:00AM ET. The public on sale will take place on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 10:00AM ET. All tickets are reserved. Pit Party passes are available for purchase in advance as well via the Venue Box Office, Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Subject to facility fee, plus convenience and handling charges. Amway Center is located at 400 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801. For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740, or e-mail
groupsales@feldinc.com. To be one of the first to know about any other promotions and gain access to the best seating in the arena, sign up to become a Feld Entertainment preferred member at FeldEntertainment.com.
For more information on a Monster Jam near you, please log onto MonsterJam.com or follow us via our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that uplift the human spirit and bring people together. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Sesame Street Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information

I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

Guess who had a good time at the Kansas City Crypticon??

PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

A few years ago I wrote a very scathing review of the Kansas City Crypticon Convention.  I felt my review was honest and it was based on not only my own observations but those of people I spoke with, both convention guests and attendees.  While I continued to attend each year, I didn’t write anything about the show because I didn’t want it to look like I was uncaring or that I was just looking to continually kick the organization.

 

 

 

 

Last year the show left the nasty hotel (recently torn down by the city) it called home and headed an hour north up Interstate 29 to the birthplace of Jesse James:  St. Joseph, Missouri.  I wasn’t able to attend last year because of a previous commitment that weekend but this year I decided to check it out.  And what I discovered was a pretty cool con.

The show was held at the St. Joseph Civic Center, and I thought the layout was perfect.  The bottom, open middle section was set up for the dealers.  Whereas in Kansas City the dealers rooms were always cramped and hard to navigate, here they were a breeze to explore.  Plenty of room, and a nice selection of goods.  The upper level was devoted to a few dealers and ALL of the celebrity guests.  The area was bright and clean and every celebrity had a very nice banner, as opposed to the construction paper and magic marker creations from the past.

And the celeb lineup was first class.  As this is mostly a horror-themed convention, the guest list was perfect.  Linda Blair from The Exorcist.  Nick Castle and P.J. Soles from Halloween.  William Kaat from Carrie.  And, for fans of more recent horror, you couldn’t do any better than “American Horror Story’s” Dennis O’Hare.  These guests, and about a dozen more, greeted fans and many of them (especially the Halloween gang) seemed to have a steady line at their tables.  Autograph/photo op prices were pretty reasonable as well, which is always a good thing at one of these events.

One of my “bucket list” celebs – William Kaat. He shared some great stories with me.

Congratulations to the people behind the Crypticon conventions.  You’ve done an amazing job in transforming your show from one of the worse in the Midwest to a destination event.  I look forward to next year.

No hard feelings?  🙂

Ahoy Mateys! “Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion” Launches July 17th on Nintendo Switch™, Playstation®4, Xbox One™, and PC

Hilarity Ensues in The Latest Launch Trailer Featuring the Swashbuckling Gang

LONDON – July 17, 2018 – Outright Games today announced that much-anticipated open world adventure game, Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion, is available starting today on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One™ and PC for $39.99.  Based on Cartoon Network’s award-winning TV series, Adventure Time, the game is rated E10 for Everyone and is  available at retail locations and first-party digital stores in the US starting today, July 17th and will launch globally July 20th.  

The latest side-splitting adventure will have gamers setting sail as they play as Finn, Jake, BMO and Marceline to explore fan-favorite kingdoms and meet the beloved characters from Cartoon Network’s popular TV animation series, Adventure Time.

The game starts with a flooded Land of Ooo, in which familiar kingdoms are cut off from each other by rising waters. In their newly constructed boat, named Jeff, Finn and Jake set sail to investigate what the junk went down.

During their adventures, Finn and Jake will recruit friends to join their crew, jump into swashbuckling fights, interrogate characters for clues, and traverse the new and dangerous sea to locations across Ooo.

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion Gameplay Features Include:

  • Freely explore the Land of Ooo
  • 3D visuals that match the art-style of the show
  • Playable fan-favorite characters: Finn, Jake, BMO, and Marceline
  • An original Adventure Time story, voiced by the series’ voice cast.
  • Tactical combat
  • Hero progression
  • Pirates – “Shiver me timbers!”

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is now available in the US on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One™ and PC on July 17, 2018 and July 20, 2018 globally.

                                                                # # #

About Outright Games:

Founded in 2016, and based in the UK and US, Outright Games is a family business making family entertainment. We are passionate about creating great games with quality licenses, as we understand the value of brands, and the relationships they share with consumers. We use our expertise to create high-quality video games, combined with our ability to distribute on a global scale. Wherever the Outright Games logo is found, you can feel assured that the game will be suitable and fun for the whole family to play together.

www.OutrightGames.com

About Cartoon Network:

Cartoon Network is Turner’s global entertainment brand and the # 1 animation network in the U.S., offering the best in original content for kids and families with such hits as, Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls, Steven Universe, We Bare Bears and The Amazing World of Gumball. Seen in 192 countries and over 400 million homes, Cartoon Network inspires the next generation of creators and innovators by engaging its audience at the intersection of creativity and technology. Its award-winning pro-social initiative, Stop Bullying: Speak Up is an acknowledged and often used resource for kids and adults looking for tools that can assist in dealing with the ongoing issue of bullying.

Cartoon Network is part of Turner, a WarnerMedia company, a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. These efforts are fueled by data-driven insights and industry-leading technology. Turner owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world, including Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, ELEAGUE, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super Deluxe, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), TNT, truTV and Turner Sports.

It’s Time to “Answer That Question, or Take the Physical Challenge,” As Nickelodeon Brings Back “Double Dare” in Brand-New Series!

Double Dare Returns This Summer for a New Generation of Trivia, Stunts, Wringers, Hamster Wheels and Nose Picking

BURBANK, Calif.–April 25, 2018–Nickelodeon is bringing back the original kids’ game show Double Dare this summer with 40 brand-new episodes, giving a new generation of fans the chance to compete in the messiest and most physically challenging competition of their lives. With Double Dare remaining an iconic touchstone for its original millennial audiences, the new version will feature the gameplay and challenges they remember, as well as appearances from blasts from the past and stars from today.

Double Dare features two teams competing to win prizes by answering brain-bending trivia questions, completing messy, physical stunts and ultimately facing the infamous obstacle course–the human hamster wheel; the classic gigantic mouth; the wringer; and the iconic Double Dare nose.

Double Dare premiered on Oct. 6, 1986, on Nickelodeon, and ran from 1986-1993, making it the network’s longest running game show. Shortly after its debut, Double Dare became one of the most popular original daily programs on cable television. The series went into syndication in 1988, and was later revamped as Super Sloppy Double Dare in 1989. The show also ran on broadcast television as Family Double Dare in 1988, followed by new versions on Nick, including Double Dare 2000.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated kids’ basic cable network for 22 consecutive years.

 

 

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Film Review “A Wrinkle In Time”

Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine.
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 109 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I have to admit I saw “A Wrinkle in Time” with no previous notion that it was a best selling book series. I had no idea what it was about. I knew it had a stellar cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine…and a story of a strong female lead. That was enough for me. This film marks the first film to cost over $100 million to be directed by a woman of color, neAva DuVernay. Now that is an important milestone, unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee that it will be a good movie though. I rarely find myself saying “Damn, I wish this film was longer” but with “A Wrinkle in Time”. I felt like I wanted more. More backstory, more depth with the characters and the magic that they are controlling in the film. Packs a solid heart and delivers beautiful and sometimes trippy visuals but feels rushed and scattered by the end.

Here is Disney’s official one-liner for those who aren’t familiar with the book “From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.”

It’s weird even though Oprah Winfrey has her constant talk show and is everywhere always, I really never really think of her as an actress. She really didn’t do anything special here but I enjoyed her character. Reese Witherspoon personally is not a favorite actress of mine. She is cute in the film and pretty funny, so that was a nice surprise. Mindy Kaling is someone I honestly, can’t stand watching but they used her very well in this film quoting popular quotes of history and culture primarily as her only dialogue. So she ended up being cute and didn’t annoy me as usual. Chris Pine felt like he was channeling his inner Flynn from “TRON”, which is not a bad thing. This guy just rules in anything he does. Storm Reid is easily the winner here. She stole my heart and I really think she has a long career in Hollywood as she grows up. Same goes for Levi Miller. I saw him in “Better Watch Out” last year and I knew he has promise. His character was also well done and very likable.

This film does pack some really solid visuals, my only issue was that it really felt like a green screen. I felt the exact same way about “Oz, the Great and Powerful”. It was kind of a little too CGI for me. Parents be wary, I probably wouldn’t recommend this film for kids under the age of 10 due to content and a few disturbing scenes. I didn’t expect this film to have a dark side like it does but it is intense and definitely adds in a good way for the adults to enjoy but just be weary of the little ones. This is not all pretty colors and rainbows.

So overall,  this isn’t a terrible move by any means. I can’t say that I am disappointed since I had no expectations. But I can definitely say that I have thought about this movie since seeing it and how important of a message it carries despite the fact that it wasn’t perfect. It features a strong female and how she embraces herself in order to save her father. It is a great story overall, I just wish the film didn’t get lost trying to wow so much with the visuals. I would still say that this is worth seeing in theaters at least to catch the whole trippy ride. Just pace yourself for a slow moving, slightly confusing yet heart filled journey.

Poison, Cheap Trick and Pop Evil Join Forces For “Poison…Nothin’ But A Good Time” Summer Tour

POISON, CHEAP TRICK AND POP EVIL
JOIN FORCES FOR “POISON…NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIME 2018” U.S. SUMMER TOUR
STARTING MAY 18 IN IRVINE, CA
TICKETS ON-SALE STARTING FEBRUARY 9 AND 10

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 6, 2018) — Music fans wanting a little variety with their summer tour package will get that very thing with the “Poison…Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018” tour. Iconic rock band POISON, with all original members, will be joined by CHEAP TRICK and POP EVIL on its trek across the U.S. this summer. The tour is set to launch May 18 in Irvine, CA at Five Points Amphitheatre.

Check out this video to learn more about the “Poison…Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018” tour here:

Produced by Live Nation, tickets for various cities will go on sale starting Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10. Each band will be offering their own exclusive VIP packages and meet & greet opportunities beginning February 6 at 12pm local time. POISON will be offering direct-to-fan access to the best seats in the house via their own exclusive pre-sales at PoisonOfficial.com for access to exclusive content, ticket pre-sales and VIP packages. VIP Packages for CHEAP TRICK will be available for all dates, details for which can be found at www.CheapTrick.com. POP EVIL will also be offering VIP meet & greets at PopEvilVIP.com. For more information about the “Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018” tour, please visit Livenation.com.

The bands are fired up to make the journey across the U.S. together. Bret Michaels, POISON lead singer and noted philanthropist says, “The all original POISON is headlining again this summer. It’s going to be a mega concert and party combined. We will be playing all the hits and bringing high energy rock and roll good times. I promise this will be awesome. My friends CHEAP TRICK and POP EVIL will be joining us as well as some special guests on select dates. Again, I know all the bands with all the hits will be giving 1000%!!! Over the last years, POISON has got to co-headline with some great bands: Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name a few, but I promise again, C.C., Bobby, Rikki and myself together will bring NOTHING BUT A GOOD TIME!!!”

“POISON is a just great American Rock and Roll Band,” declares Bob Roux, President of U.S. Concerts, Live Nation. “Along with CHEAP TRICK, this show is going to be Nothing But A Good Time – The Full Tilt Party of the Summer. POISON and CHEAP TRICK always deliver the goods.”

Rick Nielsen, CHEAP TRICK (lead guitar) proclaims, “Another Poison/Cheap Trick Tour!!! It’s always been FUN with these guys!”

While POP EVIL singer Leigh Kakaty concludes, “This summer is going to be an exciting one for POP EVIL, that’s for sure! What a fantastic opportunity to bring our live show across the country on the big stage with such legends like POISON and CHEAP TRICK.”

Check out the “Poison…Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018” tour at any of the following stops.

DATE CITY VENUE

Fri 5/18 Irvine, CA Five Points Amphitheatre
* Sat 5/19 Las Vegas, NV The Joint
* Sun 5/20 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort
Tue 5/22 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
Wed 5/23 Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Fri 5/25 Kansas City, KS Sprint Center
* Sat 5/26 St. Louis, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Thu 5/31 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheatre
* Sat 6/2 Dallas, TX Toyota Pavilion at Irving Music Factory
* Sun 6/3 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
* Tue 6/5 Atlanta, GA Verizon Amphitheatre
Thu 6/7 Indianapolis, IN Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
* Fri 6/8 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
* Sat 6/9 Chicago, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
* Sun 6/10 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
* Tue 6/12 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center
Wed 6/13 Syracuse, NY Lakeview Amphitheatre
Thu 6/14 Hartford, CT The Xfinity Theatre
Fri 6/15 Gilford, NH Bank of NH Pavilion
* Sun 6/17 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Tue 6/19 Toronto, ONT. The Budweiser Stage
* Thu 6/21 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach
Fri 6/22 Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
* Sat 6/23 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sun 6/24 Allentown, PA PPL Center

* POISON, CHEAP TRICK, to be announced

Moorman: The Inside Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time – a review

Anyone who knows anything about poker and the online version of the game in particular, will need no introduction to Chris Moorman. But, in case you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years without access to the internet, here’s a brief introduction.

Moorman is widely recognized as being the most successful online poker player of all time with career earnings to date of over $14 million – and he’s still only 32. His career stats are equally incredible, according to his own website, he’s achieved top 3 finishes in a total of 718 tournaments and won $5.1 million in live tournaments. He’s also received some of the highest accolades in the game having been named the World Series of Poker’s Player of the Year in 2011 and achieving honor of receiving a WSOP bracelet at the 2017 WSOP event in Las Vegas – the poker equivalent of a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Another accolade that he received came in 2016 when he became an official 888poker Ambassador, a role which involves representing one of the biggest online poker sites at tournaments and other events. Another part of the role includes streaming of his games on Twitch for poker fans round the world to see a true expert in action. He was also clearly delighted with the move and was quoted as saying, “888 is doing big things and really is working hard to expand their reach in poker. Things like sponsoring the WSOP and the Super High Roller Bowl have shown they are committed to their growth of the brand and I can’t wait to see what they have coming up in the future”.

Moving into print

As you’d expect, ever since he started showing such a flair for the game publishers started beating a path to his door imploring him to share his knowledge and expertise with a world of poker players eager to get an insight into his winning strategies.

So, in 2014, he published his first book which was called Moorman’s Book of Poker. It took the unusual route of not simply being a book of theory but one in which Moorman applied his knowledge and skill in analysing 80 online tournament hands that were played by his collaborator on the book, a middling-ability online poker player called Byron Jacobs. The idea behind this was to produce a book that would be of real practical use to the average player, far more so than focusing on games played by Moorman itself.

Despite initial reticence by some critics to wholeheartedly praise the book it has gone on to become a classic and an invaluable part of any ambitious online poker player’s library.

So when it was announced early in 2017 that the next book from Moorman was on its way, anticipation began to mount as to what form it would take. Many were hoping for more strategy from the master while others were looking for more insights into what the man is really like and how he has reached his world-beating position today.

The second edition

When the book, Moorman : The Inside Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time, was eventually published in August 2017 everyone was delighted by what they found. For strategy-seekers they were more than satisfied with the second, larger, section of the book in which Chris analyses some of his winning hands from tournaments and, for bio-fans, the first third of the book which tells them all they need to know about this undisputed giant of the online game is the section that fascinates the most. And what a life story this is! Especially for someone who has managed to fit so much in to a mere three decades of life.

The fast lane to success

Moorman was born in 1985 in Essex and early on in life he started to show a great ability at cards, in his case bridge. In fact, he even went on to represent England in the game and achieved Master status at the age of just 14. His other great early passion was pool at which he also excelled, leading his team from Essex University to become winners of the national championships in 2004.

It was while at uni where he was taking an economics degree that Moorman first became entranced by the world of online poker – a game which meant that he could exploit both his card playing skills and mathematical acumen to the full. Very soon he began winning significant amounts of money which, to prevent his parents from discovering its true source, he told them that he earned by working in a supermarket. Unsurprisingly, as his wins began to mount up Moorman decided that his time would be better spent playing online than studying for his degree and he dropped out before completing the course.

All this is excitingly chronicled in the book along with a host of other anecdotes that make it a real page turner. For example, there was the time in 2011 when he had just won a 1 million euro prize in a Cannes casino receiving his winnings in cash. In a hurry to make it to another tournament in Italy and with no time to bank it, he stuffed all the notes into a rucksack and spent a day travelling around with a fortune in his hand luggage.

A masterclass in theory

But for the true students of poker it’s the second section of the book that provides the real nuggets of information to digest and enjoy. One by one, Moorman goes through 68 hands that he has played in the past giving a detailed commentary about how and why he played the in the way that he did. To provide an even deeper perspective, other leading players including Daniel Negreanu, Liv Boeree and Dominik Nitsche (incidentally, another 888poker Ambassador) also comment on the hands providing a true insight into a great poker mind by other equally talented professionals.

It all adds up to over 400 pages of captivating reading for anyone who wants to improve their poker game – and even as a motivational book which underlines the importance of commitment and self-belief for anyone who wants to succeed in any field at all.

The autobiographical section is especially strong in this respect and it would hardly be surprising if it also manged to encourage some readers with no experience of online poker to have a dabble themselves. The tactical section, while for more advanced players, will surely motivate many to approach their play in a new and more confident way.

So while it may be unlikely that we’ll be seeing a serious challenger to Moorman in the online arena any time soon, readers of this book could well find themselves rising a little higher towards the incredible peaks that he has achieved – undoubtedly, a big reward for quite a modest outlay.

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Professional Video Gaming Hits the Big Time in China

When it comes to besieging an enemy stronghold with a combination of spells and swords, Ming Kai is a man whose talents eclipses those belonging to the people around him. The 24-year old player is one of the very best in the League of Legends game, which is one of the most popular multiplayer internet-based games in the world.

Kai Trains Every Day

Kai, who moved to Shanghai from the inland city of Wuhan to train alongside his teammates on one of China’s top LoL teams, EDwardGaming, revealed that he trains every day of the week. Generally, he will begin playing at the training centre for the eSports team, located in an office building, at around 14h00 and finish 13 hours later, although he will take breaks for food. As a member for the team for the past four years, Kai has managed to take home almost US$400 000 from the various tournaments he has taken part in, where the way he plays the game is viewed by paying spectators either onsite or online.

eSports Paying More and More

These kinds of eSports are starting to be more profitable for professional players like Kai, and Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, two of the biggest Internet companies in China, are looking for their piece of the action too.

Tencent owns a majority stake in the League of Legends’ developer, Riot Games, and took over Finland’s Supercell last year, the makers of Clash of Clans, in a deal that totalled US$8.6 billion. Alibaba’s Alisports, meanwhile, is promoting eSports as equal to traditional sports, and are arguing that the games should feature in the Olympics. Perhaps online blackjack players can start a petition to have this king of casino games garner a spot as well?

Big eSports Tournaments Being Organised

Both Tencent and Alibaba are spending a lot of money organising tournaments in which teams like Kai’s face off inside an arena. On the 4th of November, in fact, about 40 000 fans watched the finals of the 2017 LoL World Championship unfold at the Beijing National Stadium, in which a prize pool of US$4.6 million was on the cards. Tickets for this Championship, the first of its kind to be held in China, were priced at between RMB¥280 and RMB¥1280, or US$42 to US$192, and sold out in a matter of minutes.

The Evolution of eSports in China

The PriceWaterhouseCooper advisory firm put the size of the Chinese eSports industry at an estimated US$56 million last year, making it the third largest globally, behind the USA and South Korea. PriceWaterhouseCooper sees this market increasing to around US$182 million by the year 2021. iResearch, an internet research company from China, estimates that the country’s paying eSports audience currently exceeds 170 million people.

Wilson Chow, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Practice Leader for PriceWaterhouseCooper China, has stated that the evolution of eSports is very exciting, especially the staggering speed at which it is occurring in China.

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TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups Hit Stores in Time For Holiday Shopping!

Have you ever wanted a stuffed plush dog that actually walked around with you. Well, no lie, no gimmick. That is what the “Peppy Pups” does. It is kid powered dog toy that includes a collar and leash. You walk and the dog walks with you. It is simple and no batteries are needed. This is an awesome idea for a kids toy because it gets them up and on their feet and away from all electronic devices.

Here is some details about what is sure to be one of this holiday season’s hottest toys: “The only cuddly plush that can run, jump, wag its tail and interact with children like a real dog, TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups are brimming with personality and inviting cuddles with its fluffy tail and soft tuft of hair. Peppy Pups feature charming collar and bone tag, and branded paw pads. Eager to move and shake just like a real dog, Peppy Pups spring, bounce, jump, waddle and grove; turning heads as they go — no batteries needed!

Peppy Pups is the soft and cuddly friend your child has been looking for, without the responsibility or commitment of a regular puppy! This walking dog toy has pep and bounce in his step wherever your child decides to walk him, making him a lively, enthusiastic companion. Let your little one use the leash so he can walk-along in the park, on the sidewalk, or even in the house. With a fluffy white tail and a snuggly coat, Peppy Pup will be easy to love and cuddle, just like a real puppy. This little stuffed toy features a silly facial expression, and he can even perform tricks, like flips. Peppy Pup will be your child’s best friend.”

So if you are tired of your kids opening their presents this holiday season and then spending hours putting the toys together or not having the required thousand of batteries they need to operate them, then the Peppy Pups is a great solution for your shopping needs!

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Win a copy of Time Life’s “The Wonder Years: The Complete Series”

In preparation for the upcoming “The Wonder Years: The Complete Series” DVD box set re-issue on August 23rd Media Mikes and Time Life would like to give fans of the show a chance to win a copy of the series for their very own. Please leave us a comment below or email us your favorite memory from the show. This give away will remain open until Wednesday, August 31st at 5pm, Eastern Time. One entry per-person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select a winner and notify them via email.

“THE WONDER YEARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES”

For six seasons, The Wonder Years captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America in the late ’60s, as seen through the life and times of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage).
Audiences eagerly followed his evolution as a typical awkward teenager who remembered every moment of his transition from childhood with excruciating detail and remarkable hindsight. From his first kiss with Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) to his friendship with Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and the ups and downs of the Arnold family, fans shared in laughter, love, and loss, but above all, wonder.

This 22-DVD set contains all 115 episodes from the six seasons of this landmark series that aired from 1988 to 1993. Included in this specially-priced slipcase set are complete show notes with episode synopses, cast member reflections, “Current Events,” and more plus nearly 12 hours of bonus material, as well as an astounding soundtrack of over 300 classic period songs as they were featured in the original broadcasts featuring such artists as: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and of course, Joe Cocker’s unforgettable theme.

BONUS FEATURES
• Highlights from the first cast reunion in 16 years
• Roundtable discussions with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage, and Josh Saviano
• 6 newly produced featurettes
• Farewell set tour
• One-hour ABC broadcast of the series finale
• Exclusive interviews with the show’s creators and cast including Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, Josh Saviano, Alley Mills, Dan Lauria, Olivia d’Abo, Jason Hervey, and more!

ABOUT THE WONDER YEARS
The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 following ABC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XXII, and the affectionate look at growing up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in suburban America was unlike anything else on television. It was 1968 — the year of Nixon, space walks, Mod Squad, and Vietnam. Enter Kevin Arnold, a sixth grader at Kennedy Junior High School. Set against the suburban backdrop of Anytown, USA, Kevin sought to minimize his teenage angst while dealing with an older, noogie-happy brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), a rebellious sister, Karen (Olivia d’Abo), distant, workaholic father, Jack (Dan Lauria) and doting housewife mother, Norma (Alley Mills). Add to the mix Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), his nerdy, allergy-riddled best friend, a potential love interest in winsome girl-next-door Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) and narration by an older, wiser, wittier Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern) to add perspective to the nostalgia, and you have the perfect recipe for TV greatness.

The contest is now closed and the winner has been emailed.

Blu-ray Review “Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fourth Season”

Actors: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Emile De Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Run Time: 966 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Once Upon a Time” is a show that has been better with each season. With the star of a new season, the series adds so many great characters into this fantasy world. ABC (aka Disney) has an endless number of characters to choose from to continue this series for quite some time. This season has been split into two halves, The Snow Queen, which mixes in the world of “Frozen” and introduces Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff to the show. The second half is the Queens of Darkness, which features a trio of villains including the return of Maleficent, and newcomers Cruella de Vil and Ursula. Other new characters introduced are the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Little Bo Peep, and Poseidon rounded out a very impressive fourth season. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for season five.

Official Premise: Soon after Emma and Hook unwittingly bring Elsa of Arendelle to Storybrooke, they encounter the mysterious Snow Queen, whose relentless obsession with both Emma and Elsa has chilling consequences. Meanwhile, it appears Regina has at last found true love with Robin Hood, but how will she react when her happy ending is thwarted yet again by a maddening twist of fate? Then, a banished Rumplestiltskin enlists the Queens of Darkness (Maleficent, Ursula, Cruella De Vil) in an insidious scheme to rewrite their own stories and corrupt the Savior by turning her newly blissful heart pitch-black.

The Blu-ray presentation is very impressive. All 23 episodes from season 4 look amazing with their 1080p transfer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks also impressive as well. There are some decent never-before-seen bonus features included. “Defrosting Frozen” looks into the introduction from “Frozen” into the series. “Behind the Magic Tour” features Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin taking us backstage. “Three Who Stayed” focuses on the lasting three residents from Storybrooke. Lastly there are some bloopers, deleted scenes and some fun audio commentaries included rounding out this impressive release.

Blu-ray Review “Adventure Time: The Complete Fifth Season”

Studio: Cartoon Network
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2015
Run Time: 561 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Adventure Time” continues to be one of my favorite shows on Cartoon Network. The show is so inventive and plain out weird as hell. It has creativity slipping out from every scene. The colors are so rich and trippy. There is never an episode that doesn’t make me laugh out of loud yet at the same time a little freaked out. The fifth season is easily one of the best season’s to date as well. I love how the each episode of the show is able to be watched individually yet hardcore fans are able to appreciate the season’s continuity. I can’t get enough of this show…period!

Official Premise: Are you a Jake fan? Great! Because Season 5 has a ridiculous amount of momentous Jake moments!! Like when he became Jake the Dad. That time he tracked down Jake Jr.’s kidnapper (sort of). Who can forget the masterpiece that is his Most Delicious Sandwich?! And he shares these moments with his best bro Finn and friends in a total of 52 episodes, all for you!

Here is a full list of episodes: 1. Finn the Human, 2. Jake the Dog, 3. Five More Short Graybles, 4. Up a Tree, 5. All the Little People, 6. Jake the Dad, 7. Davey, 8. Mystery Dungeon, 9. All Your Fault, 10. Little Dude, 11. Bad Little Boy, 12. Vault of Bones 13. The Great Bird Man, 14. Simon and Marcy, 15. A Glitch Is a Glitch, 16. Puhoy, 17. BMO Lost, 18. Princess Potluck, 19. James Baxter the Horse, 20. Shh!, 21. The Suitor, 22. The Party’s Over, Isla de Señorita, 23. One Last Job, 24. Another Five More Short Graybles, 25. Candy Streets, 26. Wizards Only, Fools

Episodes Continued… 27. Jake Suit, 28. Be More, 29. Sky Witch, 30. Frost & Fire, 31. Too Old, 32. Earth & Water, 33. Time Sandwich, 34. The Vault, 35. Love Games, 36. Dungeon Train, 37. The Box Prince, 38. Red Starved, 39. We Fixed a Truck, 40. Play Date, 41. The Pit, 42. James, 43. Root Beer Guy, 44. Apple Wedding, 45. Blade of Grass, 46. Rattleballs, 47. The Red Throne, 48. Betty, 49. Bad Timing, 50. Lemonhope (1), 51. Lemonhope (2), 52. Billy’s Bucket List

If you are an “Adventure Time” fan then this a set is awesome because it features a whopping 52 episodes as listed above. That adds up to nearly 600 minutes of cartoon genius. The 1080p transfer looks awesome and really impresses on Blu-ray. There are two main downfalls to this Blu-ray though. The first is the audio track, which only boasts a poor Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which is barely DVD quality. The “Adventure Time” Blu-rays have all been the same with this feature and even though it sounds ok, we deserve better. The other is that that the only special feature included though is an exclusive Behind the Scenes featurette, which is cool but I would love some commentary for sure.

 

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