Thrity-six hours ago, my cell phone rang. Or chimed. Or whatever cell phones do.
It was Todd Anderson on the other end, the brains behind “Poker Night in America,” the new show which debuted last week on CBS Sports.
“We want you to film a segment which we’re going to insert at the end of each show,” Todd said.
Great, I thought. What does he want to film?
“We want to film you,” Todd insisted. “We want this to be like an Andy Rooney piece at the end of 60 Minutes.”
Wait a bleeping minute. Isn’t Andy Rooney dead?
If poker is a game of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror, then writing about poker is quite often seemingly endless monotany interrupted by occasional episodes of exhilaration.
The wonderful staff of writers at Poker News do their very best to make the game fun for readers. I’m constantly marveled at how creative they are in describing what basically amounts to a repeat of cards, hands, and flops that has been seen and reseen many times over. Nothing is original once you’ve been covering this game for a few years. You end up seeing it all. Over and over and over.
What makes the game special, and magical on occasion, are the people and personalities. Even the bizarre moments can be wildly entertaining to read about. Consider the following account posted at Poker News, and linked to the coverage at WSOP.com.
There are many writers here who also do some great work. I wish I had time and space to link to all of those who help to give us different perspectives, as well as a few laughs. My deepest gratitude to everyone who sacrifices their summer to be here at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The following incident which happened right after the dinner break was written about by two outstanding writer-reporters, Remko Rinkema and Rich Ryan:
Georgia should change it’s official nickname to “The Vigilante State.”
Think of how exciting all those sleepy magnolia-canopied streets are about to become with law and order — Dirty Harry style.
Out of my way, you punk! Bam!
Earlier this week, a new law went into effect where it’s now legal to openly carry a firearm in Georgia. Now, any licensed gun owner can bring a loaded weapon into a business — provided that establishment agrees to let them inside. Seriously, that’s the way the law is written. Which now makes me wonder — what business owner is going to turn away a customer packing heat?
Imagine this exchange — Go away, Sir. We don’t want you or your gun in here.
Note: It’s July 4th. Time for my annual rant against fireworks. Parts of this article appeared in last year’s rant.
I’ve had it with fireworks. I don’t like them.
What’s the fucking point of igniting a bunch of cheap toys that whistle, crack, and pop? What sick joker creams his pants over that, other an some goofy infant? I just don’t get it.
With Henry Orenstein at the 2014 WSOP moments after he cashed out in eighth place in the Seven-Card Stud World Championship.
A few days ago, when Henry Orenstein entered the $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud event here at the 2014 World Series of Poker, not many thought he had much of a chance playing against many of the best players in the world. Let’s face it, at 90-years-old, just making it through the grind of the three-day poker tournament would be difficult enough, let alone outplaying the rest of the field.
Writer’s Note: Late last night, Chad Brown passed away in New York City, the place of his birth. He died at the excruciatingly unjust age of 52. I was asked to write a tribute to Chad, which appears HERE at WSOP.com. Writing that narrative reminded me of an afternoon with him earlier this year. I had the opportunity to visit Chad here in Las Vegas. At the time, he was staying with Vanessa Rousso. Although the pair had already been divorced for a few years by then, they remained very close and were good friends until the very end of his life. Accompanying me on that day was Rich Korbin, the longtime marketing executive at PokerStars.com. This is the story of that special time and place.
Thanks to Remko Rinkema at Poker News for this nice feature and tribute to 90-year-old Henry Orenstein, who participated in today’s $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud Championship. This marks his first appearance at the World Series of Poker in several years.
I was interviewed by Remko and was asked about Mr. Orenstein. It was a great honor to speak about him, albeit briefly.
Who’s the evil trickster responsible for bait and switching the Blue Bunny ice cream machine? That’s the refigerator full of frozen tasty treats inside the employee breakroom here at the 2014 World Series of Poker.
Tonight, our new television show “Poker Night in America” debuts on the CBS Sports Network. The show runs for one hour starting at 9 pm CST. We will air over the next 26 consecutive weeks.
In case you already have plans on Sunday’s, all shows are repeated the following Saturday night.
Many people have asked me how and where to find their local channel.
What follows is a link to the CBS Sports Network. You can type in your zip code and cable provider and the channel will appear. Here in Las Vegas, it’s channel 221 if you have Direct TV.
At today’s official gold bracelet ceremony, Chad Brown was awarded an honorary World Series of Poker gold bracelet.
Here’s the speech that WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel delivered onstage in front of a packed tournament room that fell eerily silent: