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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 2 comments

The Gold Rush Begins: 2014 World Series of Poker Starts Today




Sometimes I get asked about my favorite World Series of Poker moment.  My answer is always the same.

This one.  Right now.  As in today.

That’s because as much as I revere the past — and no one reveres poker’s history as much as I do, although James McManus could give me a solid run for my money — this is a game where everyone is fixated on two things for the time being.  Those two things are the present and the future — as in what’s about to happen today and then what follows over the next six weeks.

Opening day is the cradle of all dreams.  Opening day is anticipation of the unknown.  Opening day is mutual optimism shared by all.  Opening day is the belief that just about anything might and can happen to anyone, given the right circumstances.  Indeed, every poker player who crosses the Rio Convention Center threshold today and beyond knows that within his or her grasp the impossible dream is actually possible.

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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Video 1 | 0 comments

Rare Video Footage from the American Gaming Association (Chow Chow Chow)



The American Gaming Association (AGA), a Washington-based trade group and lobbying organization supposedly created to advance the interests of the casino industry, has suddenly reversed themselves.

Yesterday, the AGA decided to withdraw their support for legalized and regulated online gambling and poker in the United States.  This bizarre decision comes following a persistent if unproductive period of supporting legislation supported by the majority of its members.  READ EARL BURTON’S ARTICLE AT POCKET FIVES HERE

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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Blog, Book Reviews, General Poker | 1 comment

The Ten Most Important Poker Strategy Books and Why Each is Special


Books on a bookshelf


NOTE:  Visit PokerNews at the link HERE to read this article in its entirety.


Following my article titled “The 10 Most Important Poker Books and Why They’re Essential,” the good people over at PokerNews asked me to compose a similar list of books, this time exclusively dedicated to strategy.

In other words, my latest task was to select the most important strategy books ever written from the many hundreds of texts which have been published.

Before I proceed further, an explanation of the criteria I used in the selection process is warranted.

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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas | 1 comment

Scattershooting, while wondering whatever happened to….



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.


Scattershooting, while wondering whatever happened to…..Hamid Dastmalchi.

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Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, World Series of Poker | 7 comments

The Best Seat in the House: A Short History of Poker Tournament Reporting



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?

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