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Posted by on Nov 18, 2012 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 3 comments

Who Would You Most Like to Have Dinner With?


Top of Harvey's Lake Tahoe 2012


Photo Caption:  Dinner tonight at “19,” which is high atop the Harveys Resort and Casino at beautiful Lake Tahoe.  I wolfed down a 20-ounce coffee-rubbed rib-eye, with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, a house salad, a full bottle of Pellegrino, two double expressos, and two bottles of Caymus (shared, of course).  Epic dinners like these always bring about great conversation, especially when you are with great company like Steve Schorr (Race and Sportsbook Manager) and Glen Cademartori (Caesars Entertainment Marketing Director for Northern Nevada).  Dinners like this are what living life is all about.  Tonight’s dinner prompted the following thoughts and column:


I wish there were 36 hours in the day, instead of 24.

I wish there were eight days in the week, instead of seven.

I wish I had more time.


There’s not enough time to read all the books I want to read.  There’s not enough time to listen to all the music I want to hear.  There’s not enough time to travel to all the places I want to go.  There’s not enough time to make all the friends I’d like to meet.  There’s not enough time to covet those family relationships and friendships that I’m already blessed to have.  There’s not enough time fulfill a vast cauldron of desires.

Indeed, each of us lives inside an hourglass.  The sand beneath our feet is always shifting and slowly disappears, one grain at a time, one ticking second at a time.  At some point — no one knows exactly when — the sand runs out.  Our hourglass becomes empty.  And then, we will be gone.

When you think about it, other than our good health, time is our most precious resource.

Why then do we waste so much of it?


Tonight at dinner, the conversation turned to living a good life.

A random question came up that made me to pause and think.  And quite frankly, I got stumped.  I usually have quick answers for just about everything.  That’s what comes with being opinionated.  But a question was asked that I still have trouble answering.  Perhaps you’d like to pretend you’re dining with us over a few bottles of wine and you suddenly get asked the following:

If you could pick one person in the world to have a long one-on-one dinner conversation with, who would it be?

Let’s embellish this just a bit.  You must make two choices.  The first choice must be someone living.  The second choice must be someone deceased.

I find this a very difficult question to answer.

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Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Blog, Personal | 2 comments

Some Personal Advice — Never Try to Eat Chili While Driving



I’m one of those drivers you absolutely hate.

I yap on the cell phone while driving.

I text while driving.

I fiddle with the music on my iPod while driving.

I eat while driving — many times with a knife and fork (fortunately, the car has good alignment so I don’t need to have my hands on the wheel).

I used to shave while driving — that was before I quit shaving.

As for drinking while driving, let’s just not go there.  Don’t ask, don’t tell.

But one thing I most certainly will not never do again is eat a bowl of hot chili while driving.

En route from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe a few days ago, I stopped off in Bishop, CA  There was no way in hell I was going to waste 20 minutes sitting in the restaurant eating, when the more practical thing was to get the food “to go.”  I call this multi-tasking.

Well, you can see what happened from the photo above.  I won’t even show you what my shirt looked like, which now pretty much looks like an infant’s bib.  I dribbled chili all over myself like a two-year-old.  Fortunately, the chili wasn’t steaming hot or it might have burned the family jewels.

Which leads me to wonder — if I scorched my crotch eating hot chili, could I sue the restaurant for a million dollars like the bat-shit crazy hot coffee lady?

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in Blog, Personal | 4 comments

My Disgusting Relapse — 215 to 228

Nolan Dalla Running at The Lakes 2012


I’ve written extensively about my struggle to stay in shape.  Well — this past week was a very bad week.

Do you know how difficult it is to work out every single day of the week?  Can you picture the drudgery of hoofing five fucking miles — no matter how hot it is outside or how few hours you slept last night?  Well, I did it.  60 straight days last summer working the World Series of Poker from noon until 3 am every day — and I was up at 10 am every single morning to run in the 108-degree heat.  The sweat was like a baptism.

My diet plan worked.  In fact, it didn’t just work.  It kicked fucking ass.

Ten months ago, I started out as a 262-pound blob of laziness and worked it off one grueling step at a time.  Make no mistake.  I don’t like to run.  The pain was often intense.  I had plenty of excuses to skip days, but never did.  I had good reasons to cut my workout, but never took a shortcut.  I was determined to stick to the plan.  My idea — and it worked like magic – was to eat and drink myself silly, but then to work off every pound by pummeling the pavement five miles per day, seven days a week.  I’m not religious.  But if I have a belief, it is in the power of human willpower.  If I can do it, anyone can.

It’s no mistake that the very first blog post I wrote some four months ago was about running.  For me, it was a mental and physcial challenge to do someting I had never done and then stuck to it.  It was — a life transformation.

And so, I proudly reported that nine months after my workout ritual began — I managed to drop from 262 all the way down to 215.  That’s an astonishing 47 pounds, or about 17 percent of my total body mass.  Incredibly, I never missed a meal.  I never missed a drink.  I ate WHATEVER I WANTED.  I drank two cocktails and a bottle of wine a day — more when someone else was buying.  Warren Lush comes to mind.  I ran those meals and manhattans off and fucking loved living life.

Well, all journeys worth taking have bumpy roads and detours.  I’ve just taken one.  And now, I need to get back onto the highway.

It all started out five weeks ago when I worked two weeks at Bossier City, Louisiana.  A grueling schedule caused me to shorten my run route down to just two miles per day.  Then, it was off to France for ten more days and nights.  I drank and ate even more than normal in Cannes — while averaging just three miles per day, instead of five.  Next, my journey took me to Hammond-Gary, Indiana where the nauseating oil refineries and an exhausting schedule caused me to totally abandon my workout program for ten straight days.

So, according to my estimate — I have departed my ritual for 35 days.  I have run an estimated 100 less miles than would have been normal.

What do you think happened to my weight during this time?

As I stated previously, my low number was 215 pounts, which I proudly carried in early September.  Life was so good, I was eating quarts of Baskin-Robbins and washing it all down with Malbec.  Goddamn, what a statement of pride — 215 pounds, down from 262.

Upon my return from five weeks spent on the road, I stepped on the scale.  I feared the worst.  Like some kind of ashamed addict that had relapsed, I looked down over a jello-like gut.  The number was a kick in the groin.



I gained 13 pounds in just over a month.

I have written about this before.  I could not give one flying assfuck about the number.  I have no numeric goal.  For me, the diet and the commitment to health is a statement.  It’s a demonstration of mind over matter.  It’s a personal conquest over the forces from within.  It’s showing everyone that might be watching that one need not sacrifice nor be denied of life’s greatest pleasures.  The answer is simply to work it all off with a dedicated ritual of running and exercise.

I had lost it all, or should I say, gained in all in one utterly detestable period of dishonor.

Fortunately, I’m now back to my ritual of running five miles — up the hills and through the searing heat.  Once again, I flip off the jackasses that drive in the right-hand lane oblivious to my struggle on the sidewalks, sreaming profanity at the lazy-ass motherfuckers in their speeding Benzes and BMWs who come within inches of ending my life with the indifferent arrogance.  My ankles are sore.  I have cramps in my thighs.  I was desperately out of breath.  But my will stays strong.  There’s nothing I look forward to more than the next trek around The Lakes, the next five mile circle.

I am back.  With a vengeance.  I am going to get rid of these 13 pounds..  And then more.

And after that, I’m eating a 16-ounce rib-eye and loaded backed potato.  Don’t bring me margarine.  I demand real butter.

I’m in the zone, and when I’m in the zone — it’s always happy hour.


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Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Personal | 0 comments

2012 Poker Hall of Fame — Official Induction Ceremony


Just prior to the conclusion of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, I had the great honor of introducing poker legend Crandell Addington, who accepted the Poker Hall of Fame trophy on behalf of his freind and colleague, the late Sailor Roberts.

Roberts, who won the 1975 world poker championship, was posthumously inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame “Class of 2012.”  The other inductee this year was Eric Drache.

The ceremony was held at the Rio Las Vegas.  The Poker Hall of Fame now has 44 members.  Congratulations to both Sailor Roberts and Eric Drache.

Photos are courtesy of Joe Giron and Joe Giron Photography (LINK)


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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Blog, Personal | 2 comments

Pervert Alert — Unidentified Man Stalking Women’s Restroom



This is a public service announcement.

Be on the lookout for a sick pervert in the habit of trolling women’s restrooms.

He was recently photographed on Thursday at noon in the tiny desert town of Shoshone, California at a Chevron gas station.  The perverted man appeared shocked just as he was caught in the act of leaving a women’s restroom.  Check out the look on his face.  This disgusting man is clearly guilty of immoral acts, and perhaps worse.

This man is a danger to society.  He remains at large and was last seen headed in the direction of Las Vegas.

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