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Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

Players Television Network — The Business of Online Poker (2005)

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.

 

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Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, Video 1, World Series of Poker | 3 comments

Players Television Network — Looking Back on the Life of Stu Ungar

Photo by Ulvis Alberts (1981)

 

Writer’s Note:   Last week, Stu Ungar would have celebrated his 59th birthday (Birthdate — September 8, 1953).

 

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.  The second show 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 four guests who appeared on the Stu Ungar segment were outstanding.  Madeline Ungar (Stuey’s former wife), Stefanie Ungar (Stuey’s Daughter), Larry Grossman (Las Vegas radio personality and gambling authority) and Peter Alson (writer and my co-author on Stuey’s biography “One of a Kind”) were all in top form.

In the coming weeks and months ahead, from time to time, I’ll be writing more about my personal recollections of Ungar — particularly during that tragic final year of his life when I spent the most time with him.  I look forward to telling some stories that were not included in the book which might interest poker fans.

In the meantime, here’s the panel discussion from 2005 that runs about 30 minutes in length.

 

 

 

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Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews | 5 comments

Lon Bronson All-Star Band — Best Free Show in Las Vegas

 

Lon Bronson Band in Las Vegas

 

Las Vegas is home to many of the best musicians and performers and in the world.

These artists play shows night after night on the Las Vegas Strip.  Casino showrooms are loaded with great singers, guitarists, piano players, trumpet players, backup vocalists, string players, and drummers.

But let’s face it.  Playing the same set of songs night after night gets old pretty quick.  No matter how great the show is, these are supremely-talented performers with creative minds.  Everyone needs to break the mold on occasion.

Incredibly, several of Las Vegas’ top musicians — virtually all of whom play the expensive headliner shows at the biggest casinos — gather from time to time and put on an impromptu jamming session.  Led by longtime bandleader and trumpeter Lon Bronson, his “All-Star Band” often has a dozen or more of the best session musicians in the city on a single stage.

I mean, where else can you see a show with a ten-piece horn section in a showroom that holds a couple of hundred people?

The band sure isn’t doing this for the money.

That’s because — the show is free.

That’s right — FREE.

In a throwback to the good old days of yesteryear when Las Vegas casinos really understood the entertainment business, when they packed their lounges with some of the best acts in the world and then invited everyone to flood in and enjoy the party at no cost (aside from the added gambling revenue), Stations Casinos has decided to revive that old formula.

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Posted by on Sep 1, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas | 1 comment

Women in Poker Hall of Fame — 2012 Induction Ceremony

Women in Poker Hall of Fame

 

The Women in Poker Hall fo Fame — 2012 Official Induction Ceremony was held earier tonight on Friday, August 31st.  The gala took place at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas.

This marked the fifth annual induction ceremony.  The inaugural took place back in 2008.  I’ve had the great pleasure of attending all five years.

The Women in Poker Hall of Fame is vitally important to the game for several reasons.  First and foremost, it honors the tremendous accomplishements and contributions of many fine women who have given of themselves to the game and to the poker industry.  The Women in Poker Hall of Fame also serves to unite all poker players and enthusiasts — both male and female — who share a bona fide commitment to encourage more women to play and enjoy the game.  Finally, the Women in Poker Hall of Fame and its Board Members are actively engaged with several extraordinary charties, mostly notably Poker Gives.

Before I tell you a little more about how tonight’s ceremony went, first I’d like to add some perspective to the women in poker movement.  Calling women in poker a “movement” might seem out of place.  But it isn’t.  For many years, poker was one of the last bastians of overt chauvinism.  Treating women crudely wasn’t just accepted, in was sport (anyone who doubts this should talk to the few women who were around in the 1970s and 1980s, who broke the gender barrier).

Alas, it might be impossible to imagine such a time when women weren’t welcome inside poker rooms.  But there was such a time, and it wasn’t that long ago.  Unless a female was considered attractive and worked as a poker dealer or a cocktail waitress, women were made to feel unwelcome at the poker table.  Poker was a man’s game.

But a few women, a few very brave women, shattered the invisible barrier that surrounded the poker scene.

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Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas | 2 comments

In Suppport of the Nomination of David Sklansky into the Poker Hall of Fame — Class of 2012

David Sklansky

 

Writer’s Note:  The opinions expressed here are entirely those of Nolan Dalla.  These views do not reflect the official position of the World Series of Poker, Poker Hall of Fame, Caesars Entertainment, or its staff.

 

Nominations for the Poker Hall of Fame were opened to the public earlier this week.  Poker players and fans from all over the world over the age of 21 may visit WSOP.COM and nominate any person they wish as a candidate for the Poker Hall of Fame.

The nomination process is only the first step towards selecting who will ultimately be enshrined as the “Class of 2012.”  Usually, no more than one or two persons are inducted each year.

After nominations are accepted and closed, the top ten nominees will be placed on an official ballot.  Those ballots will then be sent to a special voting committee, comprised of all existing Poker Hall of Fame inductees (living) and established media who have demonstrated a knowledge and commitment to the game for many years.

Persons who receive the most votes from the members of the special committee will become enshrined into the Poker Hall of Fame — as the Class of 2012.  The official induction ceremony takes place on the night of the WSOP Main Event Championship finale, to be held in Las Vegas in late October.

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