I received an e-mail from a loyal reader recently which contained some good advice. He made two suggestions for my blog.
First, he wanted to hear more poker and gambling stories. That’s a reasonable request. So, look for more stories in the near future.
Second, he suggested making my blog more personal by sharing things I do on a day-to-day basis.
I must admit the thought to reducing this site to some kind of sick twitter update — such as informing the world of what I ordered for lunch strikes me as ridiculously narcissistic and utterly immaterial. That said, I very much believe “who we are” is defined by “what we do.” So, I will acquiesce to this occasionally and bore the world with the trivialities of my personal life.
For those who don’t remember Barry, he was probably best known for his widely-read column in Card Player magazine which ran for nearly ten years. Barry also authored two excellent poker books — both on Limit Hold’em, which was his specialty.
Barry was a real poker pro. He spent most evenings playing at the Bellagio, where the $30-60 Limit Hold’em game served as his office. Barry’s contemporaries included highly-respected player-writers — including Roy Cooke, Mason Malmuth, Jim Brier, Dr. Alan Schoonmaker and others who wrote about the game as they played it for a living.
But Barry was so much more than just a poker writer and colleague.
He was one of the most decent men I ever met. He was a genuinely good person. He was both an intellectual and emotional mentor to those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Please take a few minutes to watch this short 11-minute video I made last year as a tribute to Barry. The video was shown at his funeral.
A few notes about this video: Special thanks to Betty Tanenbaum and Lupe Soto for providing many of the photos which appear. Also, thanks to Ashley Adams, the excellent writer and radio personality who provided the two-minute audio clip of Barry which is heard during the middle of this video.
The first part of the retrospective shows Barry’s personal life. The second interlude highlights his career in poker.
Here’s a two-minute video clip of the final hand of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship.
While ESPN does a remarkable job in its coverage, this video shows what it’s like to sit in the audience and watch poker history unfold.
The film quality is average, but viewers get a pretty good glimpse into the excitement of the room that night, and how the crowd reacted at the Penn and Teller Theatre at the Rio Las Vegas. This was shot at about 4:45 am on Oct. 31, 2012.
When I shot this video, I was positioned directly behind second-place finisher Jesse Sylvia’s supporters, who predictably had a much more subdued reaction to the final hand. The bulk of Merson’s supporters are in the foreground and swarm the stage at the moment of victory.
I’m doing something unusual this year, which is covering the championship from the audience’s point of view — which means writing and reporting on the atmosphere and happenings inside the Penn and Teller Theatre, rather than just the stage and final table. I’ll also relate some behind the scenes news.
The short-lived Players Television Network debuted at the 2005 World Series of Poker.
I was asked to moderate two panel discussions, which were later broadcast via “On Demand.” The first show was on the late great poker legend Stu Ungar. SEE STU UNGAR FEATURE HERE The second show (featured here) was a panel discussion about the business of online poker.
I wasn’t at all prepared to assume the role of moderator. I recall leaving the rigors of my job at the WSOP for an hour our so, getting abruptly fitted with a microphone, and then walking out and taking a seat in front of a live studio audience and rolling television cameras with no script.
The good thing about the unrehearsed format is that everything was spontaneous. The bad thing is the show could have been much crisper had I been prepared. Looking back now, I certainly would have asked more penetrating questions than what appear here.
Fortunately, the three guests who appeared on the online poker segment were outstanding. Tony Cabot (one one of the world’s top legal experts on online gambling), Mike Sexton (then a consultant to PartyPoker), and Dan Goldman (then a consultant to PokerStars) were all in top form.
Even though this discussion might seem dated now seven years later, it holds up remakrably well over time. Many of the things discussed that day have happened, just as predicted.
Here’s that panel discussion from 2005 that runs about 40 minutes in length.