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Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Blog, Essays, General Poker, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 2 comments

Current State and Future Prospects for the Casino Gambling Industry (or “What I Learned at G2E 2015)

 

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With Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming at G2E 2015

 

Preface:  This past week, I attended the 2015 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas.  This was my eighth time to attend what is the world’s largest annual casino and gambling conference.  I’ve had the honor of speaking and appearing on two panel discussions in past years.  However, this time I attended solely as a media representative with the intent to report on much of what I learned, and speculate on the direction this sector is headed.  The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and do not reflect any of my past or present employers or associates.

 

[Gaming vs. Gambling:  I do not use the terms gaming and gambling interchangeably.  Gaming refers to interactive games not involving wagering.  Gambling refers to games of chance which including wagering.  Hence, when “gaming” is used herein any of my writings, it’s not a euphemism for “gambling.”]

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Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Talking Points, Video 1, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

Chats with Tats (My WSOP Interview with Tatiana Pasalic)

 

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One of the privileges of working at the World Series of Poker every year is getting the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people, many who work in media.

Tatiana Pasalic and I have done numerous interviews together.  Our most recent segment was posted at CalvinAyre.com, which appeared just a few days ago at their website.

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Posted by on Jul 25, 2015 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

An Appointment with a Bottle of Champagne — Nine Years Later

 

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Writer’s Note:  Following PART 1 and PART 2, here’s the story of my favorite dinner of the 2015 World Series of Poker, in other words — my top choice out of 51 such engagements.  There’s also a brief interlude of thanks to some friends who presented me with various gift bottles of wine and assorted liquors, which sufficiently swayed me enough to write positive things about them here. 

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Blog, Personal, Restaurant Reviews, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

My Second Best WSOP Dinner of the Year

 

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Continuing the countdown from the previous article (READ HERE)….

 

The best thing about Joe Hachem’s “Ten-Year Victory Anniversary Party,” held on the night of July 5, 2015 wasn’t the food — which was exquisite.  It wasn’t the company — which was unforgettable.  It wasn’t even the wine and cocktails — which were bountiful and best of all, free.  No, the best thing about the evening was the host — Joe Hachem.

Most of us involved in the poker game know Hachem as the 2005 world poker champion, which was won amidst a thundering chorus of chants, most notably “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.”  Remember, it was Hachem and his vocal entourage of Aussies who unwittingly changed tournament poker forever into the highly interactive spectator sport that it’s become today, with audiences shoehorned around the final table not just cheering like it’s a football game but at times even bantering back and forth with the players.  Before the night Hachem won what turned out to be last WSOP gold bracelet ever handed out at the old Binion’s Horseshoe, championship tables were hedged within a far-more subdued atmosphere, similar to what one expects of a gentlemanly chess match, with occasional outbreaks of the requisite golf clap.

But now I’m getting away from myself.  Back to the party.

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Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Personal, World Series of Poker | 3 comments

My Favorite Dinners (2015 World Series of Poker)

 

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Oh, What a Night! Amazing cast of poker characters — including Tony Hachem, Shane Warne, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Brian Rast, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and his Dad, me on the bottom left, and lots of others cool people, too. At the SECOND BEST dinner I attended at the 2015 WSOP What was the best? Read on….

 

Writer’s Note:  First in a series of I don’t know how many articles.

 

Between May 26 and July 15, I worked 51 consecutive days and nights at the 2015 World Series of Poker.

And I have it easy.  Just ask the immigrant who works outdoors and picks lettuce 345 days a year.

Such a schedule might seem excessively long, and it certainly provided yet another annual test of commitment and fortitude, an arduous ordeal which feels slightly tougher each year, first because my boss Caesar keeps on adding more and more gold bracelet events to cover (we hit 68 this year, an all-time high), but fatigue far better explained by losing sight of the evanescent signpost reading “you were once age 50” now a distant blur in the rear-view mirror.

That said, I have a bold confession to make.  Yes, I do put in long hours.  But I also enjoy some ridiculously long dinner breaks.  As the saying goes — work hard, play harder.

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