Last night’s wine dinner, featuring selections from Markham Vineyards
Writer’s Note: Today, I’m launching a new semi-occasional column which I’ll update every month, or so. It’s called “Scattershooting.” I borrowed ripped-off this concept from a former legendary sportswriter named Blackie Sherrod, who used to write for the now-defunct Dallas Times-Herald. Blackie wrote a column every Sunday which appeared in the Sports section. He’d post short snippets about what was going on in sports and elsewhere, and then give his opinions. Blackie always began his column with the familiar trademark line, “Scattershooting, while wondering whatever happened to…..” — followed by some famous name that seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. Here’s “Scattershooting” column number one.
1990 world champion Mansour Matloubi, watched closely by the poker press corps
If winning a major poker tournament represents the game’s greatest glory, reporting on such events can sometimes be its worst drudgery.
The best seat in the house rarely means actually being seated. More typically, tournament reporting means standing on one’s feet for hours at a time. It means arriving earlier and leaving much later than players. If you think sitting at a poker table and playing in a tournament is work, then try standing for a very long while and then running back and forth to a laptop to regularly in order to update player chip counts for what might be as many as a dozen poker tables. Most egregious of all, however — tournament reporters rarely receive much notice from anyone, except in the rare instances (relatively speaking) when some detail gets reported wrongly.
Frankly, the poker community disappoints me to a great extent — and by this I mean the players. Many are thankless and have become spoiled. I’ve worked with dozens of dedicated poker enthusiasts over the years, including many who have worked for the very biggest poker websites to the smallest foreign-language outlets struggling to survive. When these reporters initially start out, they’re often thrown straight into the fire. These young writers are almost always eager to do a good job. But they rarely get a simple thank you or a kind word from anyone. That’s even the case today. Think about it. When’s the last time you showed some appreciation to someone working hard to do a good job out on the floor, someone who is actively contributing to the game and not just its legacy, but yours, as well?
Following multiple telephone conversations and e-mail exchanges I had with several key people on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, I have come closer to a viable explanation as to what really took place regarding Mr. Tomko’s (alleged) involvement with the controversial editorial which appeared in The Press of Atlantic City (newspaper and website), which was subsequently re-reported by other media.