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Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, World Series of Poker | 2 comments

Thoughts on the 2014 Poker Hall of Fame Inductees (Jack McClelland and Daniel Negreanu)



Earlier today, the Poker Hall of Fame governing council announced the selection of two individuals for induction as the “Class of 2014.”

The latest inductees are Jack McClelland and Daniel Negreanu.  They will be officially welcomed into the prestigious ring of honor on November 9th, one day before the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship (final table) is played.

Induction into the Poker Hall of Fame is the game’s supreme honor.  To date, only 48 persons have been selected in the 35-year history of the exclusive fraternity.  Of these honorees, 23 are still living.

This marks the first year that I wasn’t part of the governing council.  However, I did have a vote in the process and casted my ballot.  The choice from among the ten nominees was a difficult one to make, which was taken very seriously.  I see virtually all the ten nominees as being worthy of consideration and expect that some of them will be inducted in the years to come.

In the end, the living Poker Hall of Fame members, along with key media people voted and selected two truly outstanding poker professionals.  I am thrilled with this year’s class, and look forward to congratulating them personally when the official induction ceremony takes place.  I also have the great honor of serving as emcee at the event, which will be held at Binion’s Gambling Hall, the site of so much poker history and so many memories.

To Jack McClelland and Daniel Negreanu — well done!  You both deserve it!

Here’s the official press release which came out earlier today, from Seth Palansky at Caeasars Entertainment:

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Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, Travel | 1 comment

A Very Different FARGO Experience



(L to R) Steven “Ice’ Eidenstein, Steve Goldman, Rich Korbin, Nolan Dalla, Chris O’Connor at Bobby Flay’s in Mohegan Sun Casino — attending FARGO 2014


Who knew that a casual trip to the local Starbucks followed by a conversation out in the parking lot would result in me flying to Connecticut for five days to attend an annual poker gathering where I was invited to be the guest speaker.

That’s exactly what happened as I recently attended my first FARGO event in 13 years.

FARGO probably isn’t what you think.  It has nothing to do with North Dakota, although you might see a few “Big Lebowski” types in the group.  FARGO is an acronym for the “Fall” version of “BARGE,” which is the largest and longest-running poker annual convention which attracts different kinds of people to the host city for the purposes of two things — to play poker and have fun.  What happens at FARGO stays at FARGO.

The parent group called BARGE formed 25 years ago.  It now has about 250 regulars.  FARGO, which is its close cousin in the northeast, has taken place since 1997.  There’s even an Atlantic City contingent called ATLARGE, which also meets every spring.  Like I said, I went to the first five FARGO events, but haven’t been back since I moved west.

I had no idea all the fun I was missing.

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Blog, General Poker | 6 comments

A Random Act of Kindness at the Poker Table


NAPT Mohegan Sun S1_$5KMainEvent_Day1_JoeGiron


I don’t know her name.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever know who she is.  In fact, I probably won’t ever see her again.

But she certainly made an impression on me, and a positive one at that.  Bear with me, the story is worth it.

Last night, I played No-Limit Hold’em ($2-5 blinds) at the Mohegan Sun Casino.  The game was full on a very busy Friday night inside the poker room.

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, Personal, Picture 1, World Series of Poker | 5 comments

More Classic Poker Photos from My Private Collection



(Photo:  At the 2002 World Series of Poker….with no grey hair yet) 



Here’s another sampling of my private collection of poker photography.

All of my snapshots were taken between the years 1997 and 2003.  They were locked inside a file cabinet for more than a decade.  Now I think is a good time to share these images with those of you who enjoy looking back on the game’s history.  With the 2014 world championship November Nine as well as the Poker Hall of Fame announcement and induction ceremony coming soon, let’s now take a look back on some of poker’s best.

Read my original display of classic photographs here:  POKER HALL OF FAME:  PAST AND PRESENT (A PHOTO ESSAY)

Accompanying each photo, I’ve added some personal thoughts as to what I remember about the photos and the people in them, when they were taken.

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Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, Politics, Sports Betting | 5 comments

Lies, Lies, and Videotape — Sheldon Adelson Skewers Poker Players Again




Yesterday, Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns and operates The Venetian Luxury Hotel Resort Casino in Las Vegas, appeared as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Global Gaming Expo, which is the world’s largest casino industry annual convention.

I attended.

To put it kindly, Mr. Adelson’s 50-minute talk received what I would classify as a lukewarm response.  Unlike the Sands Expo Center’s main ballroom which was filled to full standing-room only capacity the day before, when fellow casino mogul Steve Wynn spoke to a similar gathering, the allure of Mr. Adelson’s appearance filled only about two-thirds of the seats in the room, despite ideal placement as the prime time speaker on the show’s biggest afternoon (Wednesday).  Some attendees boycotting?  Mass disinterest?  Perhaps those who didn’t bother to show up to see the man who rules his mighty kingdom in the flesh already realized what most of the rest of us didn’t — that Mr. Adelson is a selfish, rambling bore.  Despite this, one might have expected this far-more controversial public figure and political lightning rod to draw a significantly bigger crowd, but that didn’t happen (see photo evidence at conclusion of this article).

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