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A Pain in the Back

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Blog, Personal | 7 comments




When it comes to good health, I won the lottery.

At least until now.

Never once have I faced a serious health issue.  That’s really remarkable for someone who crossed the 50-yard-line two years ago and lived what some might consider an unorthodox lifestyle.  In fact, it’s kinda’ shocking I’ve never had a health scare before.

Well, maybe things are finally starting to catch up with me.  This past Saturday morning, I threw my back out.  I haven’t been able to walk in four days.  The pain has been excruciating.

I’ve tolerated lower back issues off an on for several years.  But when something flared up, the pain usually went away after just a day or so.  Not this time.

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Washed-Up Politicians for Sale — Cheap

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Blog, Politics | 1 comment



Former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, just another pimped out politician for sale


Everything’s for sale if the price is right.

Especially, washed-up politicians.

Take for instance the discarded rejects plucked out of the political junkyard who have been recruited by both sides in the online gambling debate, which is currently underway in Washington.  A cursory glance of the “free agents” signed by both camps leaves a lot to be desired.  Problem is, virtually none of these people who have joined the ongoing debate recently have any credibility.  Everyone knows their opinions and voices were for sale.

An organization billing itself as the “Coalition to Stop Online Gambling,” which in reality is a one-man front bankrolled almost entirely by billionaire bully Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, recently announced they’ve added the services of a former U.S. Senator named Blanche Lincoln to their board.  Don’t worry — you’re not alone.  I had to look up her name, too.

Hiring a former senator who served two full terms might seem to be a feather in the cap of any political organization vying for attention.  That is, until one realizes Sen. Lincoln has sold off enough of her feathers already to stuff a chicken.  She’s repeatedly pimped herself out to powerful multinational conglomerates willing to pay her price, including most recently — Walmart and Monsanto.  Now, add Adelson’s name to her little black book of “do no-good.”  Does anyone see a pattern emerging here?  First Walmart, then Monsanto, now Adelson — three mega-giants in their respective fields willing to do just about anything to gain political favor and destroy competition.  Hand it to Sen. Lincoln, though.  At least she’s consistent in the kind of company she keeps.

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Ten Common Things I’ve Never Done

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Blog, Personal | 7 comments




My dear friend Linda Johnson wrote a nice column recently.

Titled “25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me,” the column contained many fun facts about Linda, and even a few surprises.  Read the full article here:  CARD PLAYER MAGAZINE LINK

I suspect most of us could create a list similar to this, though probably not as unusual as the one Linda put together.  Most of us have varied interests outside our careers and family life.  We have other facets to our personality which aren’t always known publicly, or seen by others.

Since Linda already took the high road, I was determined to pursue another.  Rather than list the unusual things that I’ve done (which are abundantly obvious if you visit this website with any regularly), I decided instead to list several of the common things that I haven’t done before.

Here’s my list of ten common things I’ve never experienced which might seem unusual to most people:

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Patriotic Needles in Wacko Haystacks

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment





There are lots people out there with good intentions who are worried about what our government is doing.

Unfortunately, they often latch on to dangerous causes led by misguided fanatics.

Take the case of Cliven Bundy and his ongoing conflict with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), or more broadly — his fight against the federal government.  Incredibly, Bundy has been gaining plenty of support recently from good people who probably think they’re doing something patriotic.  But when you examine this case and his beliefs a little closer, what they’re really supporting is someone who is a traitor to this nation.

Should you doubt this, read on.  What would you call someone who has made the following public pronouncements:

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My New Rule

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments




My New Rule:  Anyone who invites me to play a time-wasting social game automatically gets blocked and un-friended.

No exceptions!

In other words, if you send me an unsolicited junk invitation, your punishment will be excommunication and eternal damnation.

Got it?

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A Republican House Divided

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog, Las Vegas, Politics | 3 comments




Two inexplicable events happened this past weekend here in Southern Nevada.

First, a heavily-armed mob numbering more than a thousand gathered just outside the small town of Bunkerville, which is about 80 miles from Las Vegas.  The mob gathered in support of an outlaw rancher who admits he owes the national treasury more than a million dollars in fees and back payments.  He’s openly defied several court orders and continues to ignore federal laws which presumably govern everyone else, but obviously don’t apply to him.

About the same time, a similiar number of Nevada Republicans held their semi-annual convention at the South Point Casino, in Las Vegas.  Delegates and party loyalists met on Saturday and Sunday to hammer out a new state platform and endorse a slate of candidates for the upcoming primaries.

While these events might seem unrelated, the two groups that assembled a little more than an hour’s drive apart have essentially come to define today’s conservative movement — not just here in Nevada, but across many western states.

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Reasons Why Each of the “Top Ten Most Important Poker Books” Were Selected (Video)

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Blog, Book Reviews, General Poker, Talking Points | 0 comments




Earlier this week, I promised to explain my reasoning for THE TOP TEN MOST IMPORTANT POKER BOOKS EVER WRITTEN AND WHY THEY’RE ESSENTIAL.

Today’s video does precisely that.

It’s much longer than usual, running at 45 minutes.  With ten books on the agenda, that’s about 4 to 5 minutes of discussion per book — hardly enough time given the depth and complexity of some of these master works.

Think of a low-budget (make that “no-budget”) Brian Lamb’s BOOK TV program on C-SPAN, which is a full one-hour discussion.  That’s what I was going for with this video.

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A Solid Wager on Tonight’s Pacquiao-Bradley Fight

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Blog, Sports Betting | 1 comment




Matt Lessinger is one of the best wagering analysts I know.  He’s what I call “solid.”  I don’t even need an explanation when I’m told that Lessinger has taken a position.  I can be confident the work’s already been done and he has the right side.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he always wins.  It just means he’s made a solid wager based on getting the best value.  Ideally, that’s all you can hope for when you engage in sports wagering.

Lessinger is not a tout.  He doesn’t sell his picks.  He’s not even connected in any way to the sports gambling business.

Yet, Lessinger has appeared in a variety of public and private forums, ranging from sports betting discussion groups to National Public Radio (NPR).  I’ve followed his advice and bet his recommendations for many years — mostly on the non-traditional events he specializes in to a great extent.  Lessinger handicaps events like boxing, MMA/UFC, team season-win totals, propositions, and (most unusual of all) Grammy Awards, Academy Awards, and things like that.  In fact, he’s perhaps the best handicapper in the world on these kinds of once-a-year events , one of the reasons he’s appeared as a guest on NPR to analyze the chances of various artists winning awards.  You should read his analysis of the Grammys sometime.  Amazing.

Lessinger is also a well-established poker writer, having written countless columns for many years.  He also authored The Book of Bluffs.  Lessinger is married and lives in the Bay area.  He and his wife recently had a baby, their first.  Congratulations, Matt.

A few days ago, Lessinger shared his thoughts on the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, which takes place tonight in Las Vegas.  I requested permission to share his analysis with the public.  He was gracious enough to agree.  Naturally, I must post a disclaimer that this information is for entertainment only.  I’m not trying to influence people to go out and make wagers.  Just in case you are interested in boxing, I expect you will find this interesting.

What follows is Matt Lessinger’s comments (which appeared in an e-mail) on the fight:

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My Rant Against the Republican National Convention Coming to Las Vegas (Video)

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Blog, Las Vegas, Politics, Rants and Raves, Talking Points | 3 comments




“My message to Republicans considering holding their 2016 national convention in Las Vegas is this….STAY OUT!  WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE!”


In the news today, the far-right wing of the Republican Party (translation:  THE REPUBLICAN PARTY) made it official.

They oppose the 2016 Republican National Convention being held in Las Vegas.


Las Vegas had been reported as one of the early frontrunners to host the next national convention.  If either major political party were to hold its gathering in Las Vegas, that would indeed be big news for our fair city, which still seems determined to try and diversify its image and shed its association with gambling (and other forms of “vice”).

Meanwhile, most of us frankly don’t care what anyone else thinks of us.  We’re perfectly happy to live here and let everyone think we’re a bunch of gangsters.  Maybe that will keep people from moving here.  Well on second thought, given that Las Vegas has been one of America’s fastest-growing cities for the past decade, maybe not.

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Non-Fiction Poker Books that Missed the Cut (“Talking Points with Nolan Dalla”)

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, Talking Points, Video 1 | 3 comments



Yesterday, I posted a list of (what I believe to be) the most important poker books ever written.

Unfortunately, several worthy non-fiction narrative contenders weren’t even mentioned, and missed the cut.

So today, I’m going to rectify that, at least in part, with a video blog (vlog) on some other poker books which merit consideration.

This is Part 1 of 2 in a continuation of the (weekly) video series called “Talking Points.”  The next part will be a more in-depth discussion of why I listed the books ranked 1 through 10.

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