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Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Blog, Essays, Featured, Personal | 3 comments

We Are Not Who We Seem




Someone approached me a few days ago.  His comment took me by surprise.

“You’re not at all what you seem to be,” he stated.  “You’re not at all what I expected.”

Huh?  I wasn’t sure how to take those comments exactly.  I’m not what I seem to be?  I’m not what he expected?  How’s that?

The man went on to explain he’d read my writings.  He’d watched some videos, where I often rant about various topics that piss me off.  He even mentioned that he’d seen me on the “Poker Night in America” television show, where I occasionally go off the deep end towards the end of the program.

Yet, in person, I was none of those outlandish things he expected.  Perhaps he was expecting some kind of crazed lunatic.  I guess I turned out to be a little boring to him.  I was certainly disappointing.

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Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Travel | 0 comments

Wild Ending to Pittsburgh Penguins-New York Rangers Game




Final score:  NY Rangers-3, Pittsburgh Penguins-2

But wait.

That wasn’t the final score.

In one of the wildest NHL games you’ll ever see, the closing moments of tonight’s New York Rangers–Pittsburgh Penguins game played in Downtown Pittsburgh ended as a shocker.  It was so insane, almost half of the 18,000 fans in attendance completely missed it.  Here’s what happened.

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Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

2014 Poker Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony




Earlier tonight, I had the great honor of emceeing this year’s annual Poker Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

I’m deeply grateful to Ty Stewart and Seth Palansky (from Caesars Entertainment) for being chosen by them to host the event and for being permitted to stand along with so many poker legends, both past and present.

The Class of 2014 was comprised to two inductees — Jack McClelland and Daniel Negreanu.  Both of these exceptional gentlemen have contributed to the game immensely in different ways — McClelland primarily as a tournament official and industry leader, and Negreanu as a poker player and ambassador.  I was pleased to see quite contrasting individuals honored in this way, which reveals there are many ways to be successful, have an impact, and make the game better.  Both honorees have done exactly that, and more.

The night was made even more special because we all returned to the hallowed “place that made poker famous” (that’s the casino’s catchy tagline).  Binion’s Gambling Hall (formally Binion’s Horseshoe) rolled out the red carpet for everyone who attended, hosting the gathering inside what used to be known as Benny’s Bullpen.  Now, it’s called the Longhorn Room.  My deepest thanks goes to Michelle, Paul, Jerry, Brad, and all the other fine people working at Binion’s who helped put the evening together, and who keep the tradition alive.

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Politics | 0 comments

Libertarian Candidate Tony Mangnall Covers the Pointspread!



North Dakota’s Libertarian candidate drowning his political sorrows with a magnum micro-brew


We didn’t win, but at least we covered the pointspread.

Anthony “Tony” Mangnall, the Libertarian Party candidate for Tax Commissioner in North Dakota can now boast precisely that.  He lost, but at least he covered.  Sort of like the Oakland Raiders, last week.  Call it political “bragging rights.”

Mangnall, the television producer–heavy metal guitarist–counterculture maven drew a whopping 6.39 percent of the statewide vote.  That’s over 15,000 ballots cast for an avowed atheist who worships Slayer and owns two stray cats.  He’s even got a hot tattooed girlfriend in his wheelhouse.

Is this a great country or what?

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Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, Travel | 2 comments

A Very Different FARGO Experience



(L to R) Steven “Ice’ Eidenstein, Steve Goldman, Rich Korbin, Nolan Dalla, Chris O’Connor at Bobby Flay’s in Mohegan Sun Casino — attending FARGO 2014


Who knew that a casual trip to the local Starbucks followed by a conversation out in the parking lot would result in me flying to Connecticut for five days to attend an annual poker gathering where I was invited to be the guest speaker.

That’s exactly what happened as I recently attended my first FARGO event in 13 years.

FARGO probably isn’t what you think.  It has nothing to do with North Dakota, although you might see a few “Big Lebowski” types in the group.  FARGO is an acronym for the “Fall” version of “BARGE,” which is the largest and longest-running poker annual convention which attracts different kinds of people to the host city for the purposes of two things — to play poker and have fun.  What happens at FARGO stays at FARGO.

The parent group called BARGE formed 25 years ago.  It now has about 250 regulars.  FARGO, which is its close cousin in the northeast, has taken place since 1997.  There’s even an Atlantic City contingent called ATLARGE, which also meets every spring.  Like I said, I went to the first five FARGO events, but haven’t been back since I moved west.

I had no idea all the fun I was missing.

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