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Posted by on Jul 25, 2015 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

An Appointment with a Bottle of Champagne — Nine Years Later

 

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Writer’s Note:  Following PART 1 and PART 2, here’s the story of my favorite dinner of the 2015 World Series of Poker, in other words — my top choice out of 51 such engagements.  There’s also a brief interlude of thanks to some friends who presented me with various gift bottles of wine and assorted liquors, which sufficiently swayed me enough to write positive things about them here. 

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Blog, Personal, Restaurant Reviews, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

My Second Best WSOP Dinner of the Year

 

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Continuing the countdown from the previous article (READ HERE)….

 

The best thing about Joe Hachem’s “Ten-Year Victory Anniversary Party,” held on the night of July 5, 2015 wasn’t the food — which was exquisite.  It wasn’t the company — which was unforgettable.  It wasn’t even the wine and cocktails — which were bountiful and best of all, free.  No, the best thing about the evening was the host — Joe Hachem.

Most of us involved in the poker game know Hachem as the 2005 world poker champion, which was won amidst a thundering chorus of chants, most notably “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.”  Remember, it was Hachem and his vocal entourage of Aussies who unwittingly changed tournament poker forever into the highly interactive spectator sport that it’s become today, with audiences shoehorned around the final table not just cheering like it’s a football game but at times even bantering back and forth with the players.  Before the night Hachem won what turned out to be last WSOP gold bracelet ever handed out at the old Binion’s Horseshoe, championship tables were hedged within a far-more subdued atmosphere, similar to what one expects of a gentlemanly chess match, with occasional outbreaks of the requisite golf clap.

But now I’m getting away from myself.  Back to the party.

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Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Personal, World Series of Poker | 3 comments

My Favorite Dinners (2015 World Series of Poker)

 

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Oh, What a Night! Amazing cast of poker characters — including Tony Hachem, Shane Warne, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Brian Rast, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and his Dad, me on the bottom left, and lots of others cool people, too. At the SECOND BEST dinner I attended at the 2015 WSOP What was the best? Read on….

 

Writer’s Note:  First in a series of I don’t know how many articles.

 

Between May 26 and July 15, I worked 51 consecutive days and nights at the 2015 World Series of Poker.

And I have it easy.  Just ask the immigrant who works outdoors and picks lettuce 345 days a year.

Such a schedule might seem excessively long, and it certainly provided yet another annual test of commitment and fortitude, an arduous ordeal which feels slightly tougher each year, first because my boss Caesar keeps on adding more and more gold bracelet events to cover (we hit 68 this year, an all-time high), but fatigue far better explained by losing sight of the evanescent signpost reading “you were once age 50” now a distant blur in the rear-view mirror.

That said, I have a bold confession to make.  Yes, I do put in long hours.  But I also enjoy some ridiculously long dinner breaks.  As the saying goes — work hard, play harder.

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Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Blog, Las Vegas, Personal, Politics, Rants and Raves, World Series of Poker | 19 comments

Thoughts on “Oklahoma Johnny” Hale’s Pledge of Allegiance Controversy at the WSOP

 

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Writer’s Note:  The views expressed are strictly my own and do not reflect the opinions nor the positions of the World Series of Poker, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, or the Rio Las Vegas.

 

I like “Oklahoma Johnny” Hale.  I respect Mr. Hale.  I think Mr. Hale has done a lot of good things for poker.

At age 88, he doesn’t quite get around as well as in his younger days.  But Mr. Hale remains mentally sharp as a tack and personifies the prevailing wisdom we all should follow that one doesn’t ever retire from the activities he enjoys and values in life.

Earlier today, Mr. Hale gave his usual opening remarks just prior to the start of the Seniors Championship, here at the 2015 World Series of Poker.  These festivities tend to be considerably longer than normal since there’s some period of reflection, including a poignant moment of remembrance for all the poker greats who are now gone, as well as patriotic fanfare connected to an age group sometimes best described as “the greatest generation.”

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Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Blog, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

The 2015 World Series of Poker at the Midway Point

 

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Writer’s Note:  With about half of the gold bracelet events on the 2015 World Series of Poker now completed, here’s a look at the record pace being set by this year’s spectacle, taking place at the Rio in Las Vegas, through July 15th.  Note the increase not just in tournaments and prize money, but secondary events such as Daily Deep Stacks.  Each and every year, the WSOP always seems to include controversy and some well-deserved criticism.  That said, I think these numbers bode well for the future of the series and the state of poker overall.  This press release was released by Seth Palansky of the WSOP and Caesars Interactive Entertainment.

 

2015 WORLD SERIES OF POKER REACHES HALFWAY MARK ON RECORD PACE

 

34 of 68 Events Complete, Entries up 48%, Average Entries per Event up 38%

 

Still Plenty of Poker Left with Exciting and New Events on Tap through July 14, 2015

 

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