Photo taken last week which shows the Mike Sexton book before it was stolen
Mike Sexton should be proud.
Someone ripped off the new book Sexton personally gave to me, right off my desk, out in the open, at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Someone out there is a thief!
The backstory goes like this: I’m at the Rio working the 2016 World Series of Poker for 51-straight days and nights. Since I’m toiling away inside a casino, just about every square inch of the property is covered by the watchful eye of surveillance cameras. It’s almost impossible for someone to steal something and it not be recorded on video.
For this reason, I often leave my humble possessions completely out in the open, in clear public view. I realize there are some risks at doing this, since not everyone who walks through a casino is honest. I know — such a pessimistic outlook on humanity. However, it’s way too much trouble to lock away everything at my desk each and every time I have to leave the room for whatever reason. So, I leave most of my things at the desk which no one seems to bother with.
All friendships begin among strangers.
Just moments ago, a stranger came up to me at the Rio, here at the 2016 World Series of Poker. He said some nice things and after exchanging a few pleasantries, I assumed the short conversation had run its course.
Then, right as he was about to leave, he pulled a small piece of paper out of his pocket and showed me something that I found quite inspiring. The man’s name is Ron Elkins.
Now before going much further with the story, let me make it clear that I have no aspirations of winning a bundle of money at the WSOP. I work on the house side. So, I have to live my dreams vicariously through others. Yes, I’m impartial in my writings and coverage. But like anyone, I also cheer for my friends and the people I like.
Ron showed me a piece of paper, perhaps 2 inches by 3 inches. What captured my attention were the words written on the back side of a worn out business card.
Another World Series of Poker begins tomorrow.
Out of the 47 series which have taken place since the first small gathering at the old Binion’s Horseshoe back in 1970, I’ve attended about half of them — at least in some capacity as either a player, writer, or executive. My first WSOP was in 1985.
For the past 15 years, I’ve worked under the official title of “Media Director,” which has in recent years become something of a nom de plume. Let’s face it. The media can’t be directed. The last thing I have is any control over the media. It’s like herding cats.
I think most of us would agree this is a transitional time for poker, as well as for the WSOP. Then again, the game is always in a state of transition. Everything’s changing constantly. No two years, nor two series, nor two tournaments are ever comparable.
MEET JOE GIRON
Joe Giron might be the hardest-working man in poker that few people ever see. That’s because he’s always “behind the camera” — literally.
He’s been covering poker’s biggest events for more than a decade, spending night and day staking out the tables to find the perfect shot to capture that glorious moment of ecstasy or the agony of crushing disappointment. Getting that perfect image within the frame of the lens might take minutes or hours to set up. Like a hunter seeking its prey. Giron waits. He waits as long as it takes. Then, he pounces and snaps an image for posterity at just the right instant.
I’ve decided to pass on attending this year’s American Poker Awards, to be held in Los Angeles this weekend.
There are a number of reasons for this, which I won’t get into at the moment. I do want to express my support for the idea of handing out awards to those who have improved the game and for recognizing players and insiders who have made significant contributions over a certain period of time.
Are awards like this frivolous? Perhaps they are. But since just about every other business, sport, and art form honors its super achievers and icons, then so too should we. Even science, mathematics, economics, and literature indulge in their very own annual awards ceremonies. Poker, which is played by about 100 million people worldwide, rightly deserves a special night of spectacle, and the APA’s creators and organizers — Alex Dreyfus in particular — deserves our appreciation for making this happen.