Poker Chips — and Nuts

Posted May 30, 2008 at 6:01pm

Politicians learn quickly to develop poker faces, but it looks like Jimmy Moran, son of Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), has a ways to go in that department. The younger Moran is the star of a YouTube video clip quite accurately titled “Congressman’s Son Goes Crazy Playing Poker,” which shows him playing online poker … and going, well, bonkers.

[IMGCAP(1)]Jimmy Moran tells HOH that the much-passed-around-Washington clip — in which he gestures wildly, screams and jumps up and down from his computer chair in the manner of an obsessive football fan watching his team win the Super Bowl — was shot by filmmaker Bruce Ryan, who is making a documentary about the World Series of Poker. He says he was surprised to see how his antics looked onscreen. “I called up [the filmmaker] and said, ‘I look like an idiot!’” the 39-year-old Moran tells us. But he says his animated performance would hardly shock his friends and family, who’ve seen him even wilder, like when he won a world-championship poker tournament a few years back.

In the YouTube clip, Moran, who is a regional director for Domino’s Pizza, is shown at his desk in his Virginia home during one of the qualifying rounds for the WSOP. Moran explained to poker-clueless HOH that he went from being in 400-something place to winning, a development that quite apparently excited him even though no money was at stake.

“That’s what time it is!” he yells at the screen at one point after playing a winning hand. “You got a watch? ’Cause that’s what time it is!”

And Moran seemed none too pleased with his sudden online fame, which meant that he’s been fielding calls from amused friends and a few reporters. “No offense to you, but I’ve got better things to do than answer questions about what an idiot I am,” he joked.

Paper (Upper) Cuts. Since HOH loves a good fight, we thought we’d stir one up between two Senatorial fighters-cum-authors.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) published his memoir, “The Good Fight,” last month to much fanfare (think an appearance on “The Daily Show” and a splashy Washington book party).

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) followed on his heels a few weeks later with a similarly titled book, “A Time to Fight,” and did his own media blitz (Hello, Dave Letterman!).

Now it looks like the junior Senator from Virginia has bested his own Majority Leader in the book-sales game — at our Friday deadline, Webb’s book was trouncing Reid’s on book retailer Amazon.com’s sales rankings.

Webb’s book was No. 178 among all books to Reid’s lowly rank of 9,479. And Webb’s was No.1 among public-policy books.

To be fair, the guy is a professional author. And Reid might take comfort in the fact that both he and Webb are being beaten by another fellow Senator, Barack Obama (D-Ill.), whose blockbuster book “The Audacity of Hope” was at No. 72.

We’ll just have to see if all three Senators get a sales-ranking KO from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose own book is slated to hit bookstands in late July.

Larry Craig’s Economic Stimulus. If there’s anything more American than baseball, it’s making fun of politicians. Or maybe it’s engaging in a bit of opportunistic capitalism.

All three of those national pastimes are on display on eBay right now, where bobble-foot dolls clearly intended to ape Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and his men’s room arrest are going for nearly 200 bucks.

The dolls were given as a promotion at a May 25 game of the St. Paul Saints, a minor league baseball team. Sean Aronson, the team’s director of media relations, says he’s seen fans reselling the dolls on eBay for as much as $200 in recent days. The team gave away 2,500 of the plastic dolls — which, Aronson was quick to point out, do not specifically reference Craig but rather feature a pair of dress-shoe-clad feet protruding from a bathroom stall — and said they’d have ordered more if they could have predicted the wild popularity of the novelties.

He says he doesn’t mind fans taking advantage of the demand for the wiggly footed toys. “Everyone’s going to try to profit from something, and with the economy where it is, people are doing what they can,” he tells HOH.

It’s the Pits. Politically savvy comedian Dennis Miller nabs plenty of political types for his weekday radio show, so HOH wasn’t that surprised when Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) appeared as a guest on Friday. But the show got an extra dose of Congressional humor when Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) —a regular fixture on “The Dennis Miller Show” — called in to ask McCotter to spend money during his trip to Southern California, where the show is based.

“We need your money much more than you need it in Detroit,” Dreier said, with McCotter responding: “Sadly, David, I’m Scotch-Irish, so you’re not going to get a lot out of me.”

Nonetheless, Dreier continued to tease McCotter, telling Miller he was on the 10 freeway, headed to film a segment for CNN.

“I’m driving myself. … I don’t have the stretch limousine that Thaddeus McCotter has,” he said.

Things were decidedly naughtier early in the show, when Miller announced certain callers would receive free access to a subscribers-only area on his Web site. Those folks, Miller joked, would be offered free sponge baths to be performed by his loyal sidekick, Salman. Somehow, the whole thing wound up with McCotter also being offered a sponge bath, and the Congressman seemed up for it, quipping: “He says he’s going to wax my pits when we’re done.”

Scandal, on the Rocks. In Washington, politics and booze are a popular mix. Esquire magazine is clearly hip to that fact, naming the bar at the Mayflower Hotel — which most recently rocketed to fame as the setting for a rendezvous between former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his pricey hooker — to its annual list of best bars. Hill watering holes Tune Inn and Hawk ’n’ Dove are Esquire picks from previous years.

The allure of the Mayflower bar, according to the men’s mag, is the generous pours, low lighting and the history. “Here, spies have spied on spies,” Esquire announces. “Interns have been interrogated. And assignations by the score. Many involving Kennedys. Spitzer padded right by this dark bar on the way upstairs to end his career.”

We’ll drink to that.

Briefly Quoted. “Just for pleasure.”

— Adult film star Stormy Daniels, telling HOH the reason for her previous visits to Washington, D.C. Daniels was in town last week, this time for work (no, not that kind) promoting software that helps parents block adult Web sites on home computers.

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