Pages Menu
Categories Menu

58,278 Names Etched In Granite

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

Names on the Vietnam Memorial in Washingtoon


A visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC is an emotive experience.

One need not be a military veteran nor even an American citizen to recognize the immense power of this extraordinary artwork, which pays tribute to those a generation ago who went to a faraway land and never returned home alive.  It was our most tragic — and I might add senseless — military conflict.

I lived in Washington, DC for 12 years.  During that time, many friends and relatives visited what remains a mesmerizing city.  I always used those special occasions to travel around our capital, playing amateur guide to our nation’s most impressive monuments.  For me, each accompanying visit was a reminder.  A reinforcement of what patriotism really means.

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Jefferson Memorial and so many other attractions are powerful places to visit.  They should be seen by everyone.  In fact, I’ll go so far to say that every American has an obligation to make at least one trip to our nation’s capital to see and experience these sites firsthand.  I’m not even sure one can really call himself or herself a true American without having stood next to these structures which represent the very essence of our nation.

However, one memorial above all the rest deserved to be seen.  It moved me emotionally each and every time I visited — and always in a different way.  I must have touched the granite wall perhaps two dozen times.  Instead of becoming bored or indifferent to something I had laid eyes upon so many occasions before, each visit gave me a new perspective about our history, what personal sacrifice really means, and the value of life itself.

Read More

“Captain” Tom Franklin Sings National Anthem at Lake Tahoe (Video)

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Blog, General Poker | 0 comments


It’s Veterans Day 2012.

Today at Harveys Lake Tahoe, “Captain” Tom Franklin sang the National Anthem.  He’s a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Vietnam War.  Franklin has been a professional poker player for more than 20 years.  He’s also a World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner.

One thing is for sure.  It takes real guts to enlist and then serve in combat, as Franklin did.  It also take courage to stand up in front of 500 people and sing the National Anthem without any musical accompaniment.

Here’s a video of my introduction of Franklin, followed by his rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.


Read More

Congratulations to Matt Matros — Winner of The Washington Post’s Election Prediction Contest

Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in Blog, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

Matt Matros Wins Third WSOP Gold Bracelet


If you’re a serious poker player or fan of the game, then you probably already know the name — Matt Matros.

He’s won three World Series of Poker gold bracelets.  I was privileged enough to be at tableside with him during each one of them.

Matros’ specialty is Limit Hold’em.  But he masters just about any game that’s based on numbers and percentages.  He’s also extraordinarily gifted as a writer — having written at least one book (I believe he’s just finished another, which is a work of fiction).

I knew Matros before he was somewhat famous.  When I resided in Washington, DC — Matros contacted me out of the blue because he was looking for a poker game to play in, and he figured I might know the local scene.  Matros wrote about that experience and the game he ultimately found in his excellent book titled, The Education of a Poker Player.

I don’t do very well at making predictions.  But I knew one thing the first time I met Matros — an initial instinct confirmed by more conversations and e-mail exxchanges with the Yale graduate, who now lives in New York City.  And that was Matros was considerably smarter than me, and no doubt far more disciplined in just about everything he does.  But he’s never one to behave as though that’s the case, with anyone.  Matros initially thought he might learn something from me when contacting me about poker years ago, perhaps as someone a little older and more experienced in the business.  But the more I have gotten to know Matros, I’m the one who has become the dedicated student.

Read More

NFL Plays — Week 10

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Bad Weather Football



51 WINS – 46 LOSSES – 2 PUSHES —– (+ 6.95 units / 1 unit = $100)




Favorites destroyed the dogs last week, which is a contrarian’s nightmare.  Home dogs were slaughtered.  Given that, I was very fortunate to escape with an 8-8 win-loss mark. 

The losses were very demoralizing — as the live home dogs were pretty much out of the game early. 

Worse, I took at least three horrific beats on first quarter plays — the worst of which was in the DEN-CINCY game when an official blew a call when the runner intentionally ran ot of bounds with :22 left on the clock (the next play was a CINCY field goal).  Yet the official inexplicably let the clock run and I lost the wager.  The other horrible beat was getting points in the TAMPA-OAK first quarter.  Bucs were kicking a FG to go up with about 4 minutes left in the first, when OAK blocked the kick and runs it back 30 yards the other way.  OAK proceeds to milk the clock all the way down to :30 kicks a FG and I lose.  Then, there was HOU-BUFF where it’s scoreless until :36 seconds left and then HOU runs a trick play and throws a 40-yard touchdown pass.  Any play in bounds there would have run the clock down to a scoreless tie and a win.  DAL-ATL should have gone over as well, as the first four drives crossed midfield — including three drives within the opponents 25-yard line.  But all we could muster was 6 points. 

So, four brutal first quarter losses and three live dogs that failed to show resulted in a maddening day.  But, getting to the .500 mark was somewhat a relief considering the way the early games turned out. 

Coming off the frustration, going 8 wins and 8 losses for a net loss of -.6 units. 

My overall record remains in the black in all categories, but need to improve.  Lot’s of attractive wagers this week, including two “Best Bets.”

Making 14 wagers on Sunday.

Note:  All wagers are for amusement-purposes only.  I bear no responsibility for those who may decide to follow my plays.



Read More

Can Someone Please Bitch-Slap This Man for Me?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Rants and Raves, Sports Betting | 1 comment



Warning:  Excessive profanity follows


I’m having difficulty breathing right now.

I just got finished watching a giant ass fuck of a college football game, which was Miami playing against Virginia.  I have Virginia -1 as my biggest bet of the day (insert favorite punchline here).  The Cavaliers have been a money burner for me for a decade.  But all the stars lined up in this game for an easy cover.

Of course, things don’t always turn out as we hoped or planned.

Virginia is basically within a touchdown but behind the entire second half.  The Cavaliers drive down the field in the closing seconds and have the ball deep in Miami territory — second and goal with just enough time left to run two plays.

Fortunately, Virginia scores a touchdown and goes up 41-40.

Great for me, right?  Easy cover.  I’ve got the bastards at -1 and surely they will now tag on an easy extra point and go up by a score of 42-20, thus covering the spread by one point.

But no.

The ass clown head coach of Virginia decides to go for a TWO-POINT CONVERSION?


I mean, what the fuck!  There are THREE seconds left in the goddamned game.  All they need to do is kick the routine extra point, then squib kick the ball on the kickoff.  GAME OVER.  What’s the purpose of going for TWO POINTS when you basically have the game already won?

I was standing in front of the television inside the Harvey’s Lake Tahoe sportsbook along with several other Virginia backers.  There was almost a riot.

Of course, things could have been worse and much more ugly.  Had I actually been at that ballgame in person, I probably would have barged out of the stands and charged onto the field after the game.  They would have led me away in handcuffs.

Why in the fuck would this joker go for two points, when there’s NO WAY! Miami can come back and possibly kick a field goal with just seconds left?  Moreover, isn’t the chance of a turnover/runback greater on a full-fledged offensive play from scrimmage?  If anything, the jackass head coach of Virginia is RISKING the game by going for two.


If someone in Virginia can go to the campus and give Mike London an open-hand bitch-slap across his left jaw, I will gladly pay $20.  In cold hard cash.  Please send video for verification.

Read More

The Real Losers in the 2012 Presidential Election

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 3 comments

Las Vegas Billionaire Sheldon Adelson


Aside from President Obama and former Gov. Romney, there were several other winners and losers in Tuesday’s election.

Most are obvious.

Some are less so.

Here are the biggest losers of all, listed in no particular order:


Note:  This is Part 2.  The first part contained at least one glaring ommission, which was pointed out to me by poker pro Adam Junglen.  I undoubtedly should have mentioned statistician and writer Nate Silver — who nailed the election results with his forecast.  Aside from forgetting Silver, the biggest winners can be seen here:  THE BIGGEST WINNERS IN THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION



1.  Karl Rove and American Crossroads (PAC) — These buffoons blew a whopping $80 million in a losing cause.  EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS!  Former Bush hatchet-man Karl Rove (who’s vastly overrated as a political strategist) scrambled around the country for a year, promising wealthy donors that with their money funding his discretionary torpedo campaign he’d be able wipe out President Obama.  One wealthy donor was reportedly duped into forking over $19 million for Rove and his cronies to blow.  After the election, Rove took no responsibility for his failure.  He even had the audacity to blame President Obama’s victory on “voter suppression.”  The man has no shame, and obviously no character.

Read More

South Lake Tahoe — Restaurant Recommendations

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Blog, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | 3 comments

Note:  I’m visiting South Lake Tahoe for the next two weeks.  It’s going to be a busy weekend with the World Series of Poker Circuit in town.  The Heavenly Ski Resort is also opening up sometime next week.  So let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects — great food!


South Lake Tahoe is blessed to offer many outstanding dining options.  Moreover, the area offers an extraordinary number of excellent ethnic restaurants, especially for a small town of only about 60,000 residents.

Here’s a short list of my personal favorites.  Having spent perhaps 150 or so days and nights staying at South Lake Tahoe over the past eight years, I’ve dined out at all of these places numerous times.  I’ve posted my favorite restaurants where anyone can come and enjoy a good meal, either dining alone or with a group.  So, most of these places are not fancy, but more casual.

Listed in no particular order, here are my personal favorites:

Read More

The Real Winners in the 2012 Presidential Election

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 1 comment


Aside from President bama and former Gov. Romney, there were several other winners and losers in Tuesday’s election.  Many are obvious.  Some are not quite so obvious.

Here are some of the biggest winners, listed in no particular order:

Note:  This is Part 1.  Coming next, Part 2 will list the biggest losers.



1.  Civil Rights Activists / Gay Rights Proponents — The prospect of a majority vote in support of gay marriage would have been utterly unthinkable a few years ago.  As recently as 2004, ballot measures on civil rights for all not only failed, but were cited as a key reason why former President George Bush mobilized his conservative voting base in some swing states and won re-election.  No more.  Last Tuesday, three states — including Maine, Maryland, and Washington — voted for ballot initiatives in support of gay marriage.  The historical significance of this victory cannot be overstated.  It’s the first time that a majority of voters (statewide) elected to support equal rights for gays.  And, it didn’t happen in just one state — it happened in three.  History will look back upon 2012 as a watershed year for true constitutional protection for all, much like 1964 was the key year for civil rights legislation.

Read More