Pages Menu
TwitterFacebooklogin
Categories Menu

Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Personal | 0 comments

2012 Poker Hall of Fame — Official Induction Ceremony

 

Just prior to the conclusion of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, I had the great honor of introducing poker legend Crandell Addington, who accepted the Poker Hall of Fame trophy on behalf of his freind and colleague, the late Sailor Roberts.

Roberts, who won the 1975 world poker championship, was posthumously inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame “Class of 2012.”  The other inductee this year was Eric Drache.

The ceremony was held at the Rio Las Vegas.  The Poker Hall of Fame now has 44 members.  Congratulations to both Sailor Roberts and Eric Drache.

Photos are courtesy of Joe Giron and Joe Giron Photography (LINK)

 

Read More

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas | 10 comments

The $188,000-Dollar Bill (What Happened to Binion’s Horseshoe’s Famous Million-Dollar Collection?)

 

10000-bill

 

Who would dare spend $188,000 on something that’s worth only $10,000 at face value?

An anonymous bidder at a Florida auction house recently purchased one of the rarest novelties of United States currency that’s ever been minted.  Only about 300 of these so-called “bearer banknotes” are known to exist.  They are so rare that most people probably wouldn’t be able to identify the face on the bill.  Yet, there’s a good chance many of you reading this article have seen and even stood alongside one-hundred of these banknotes in pristine condition, unaware that collection represented about one-third of all such bills in the world.  You may gave even had your photo taken with this one, which was sold.  Although they do remain legal tender, the U.S. Treasury Department began pulling the banknotes from circulation in 1969.  What remains out there has been snapped up by collectors.  That’s what makes them so rare.

Read More

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments

The Story Behind ESPN’s Documentary of “One of a Kind” (Stu Ungar’s Biography)

 

ungar

 

One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey ‘the Kid’ Ungar was released nine years ago this week, in May of 2005.

As a first-time author, finishing that book provided relief more than any sense of personal accomplishment.  To this day, I’d like to go back and re-do the entire process all over again.  I’d be especially eager to repeat my one-on-one interviews with Stuey, if that were possible.  I just think they could have been done better.

Not that I have regrets about how the biography turned out.  But had it not been for my former agents at Venture Literary, Greg Dinkin and Frank R. Scatoni, and most certainly had Peter Alson not ridden to the rescue (who deserves a lot more credit on this project than he’s been given), the dusty manuscript of that would-be book might still be sitting on my desk somewhere, buried along with countless other unfinished masterpieces.

Read More

Posted by on Dec 1, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, Restaurant Reviews | 1 comment

Restaurant Review: Kelly’s (Las Vegas) / Dinner With Terrence Chan & Co.

 

Photos of Kelly's Restaurant, Long Beach
This photo of Kelly’s Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

INTRODUCTION:

It’s rare to get four very busy people who live in different cities together for a festive meal.  Fortunately, that was the occasion last night at a new restaurant located on Paradise Road, in Las Vegas.

I joined good friends Rich Korbin (who works for one of the better-known companies in the poker business — I’ll leave it at that), Glen Cadamartori (Marketing Director for Caesars Entertainment), and Terrence Chan (one of the best Limit Hold’em players in the world and currently a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter) for drinks and dinner.

We chose a new steakhouse which just opened up about a week ago, called Kelly’s.

The following narrative will be a combination restaurant review and recount of our dinner conversation, which went three all-too-brief hours.

 

ABOUT KELLY’S:

I’m a carnivore.  Morten’s of Chicago, Ruth’s Chris, Del Frisco’s, The Palm, Smith and Wollensky — pick any of these places and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a good meal.

Friday night, we decided to go a different route.  Since both Ruth’s Chris steakhouse locations have now closed in Las Vegas (victims of the economy, no doubt), we noted that a new restaurant had opened up at the old Ruth’s Chris location on Paradise Road.  This is positioned in a busy strip mall, across the street from Del Frisco’s.  In fact, Yoli’s — the excellent Brazilian-style steakhouse — is also located along the same row of businesses.

Kelly’s has only one other location, so their excursion into the highly-competitive Las Vegas restaurant market is a major step for the privately-owned landmark based in Long Beach, CA.

Indeed, “Kelly’s Restaurant” has been an institution in Long Beach for more than 30 years.  It’s very much an old-style “power lunch” kind of place.  However, given its close proximity to the ocean and fresh seafood, there are many other menu options, as well.  One has to wonder if this would be a rubber-stamp of the proven Long Beach venue.  Or, would the new owners decide opt for a different flair near the Las Vegas Strip.

Upon first glance, Kelly’s looks very much like what was the former Ruth’s Chris restaurant.  Perhaps when the new owners moved in, they realized that redecorating costs would be minimal, since the dark-wood, white-table cloth ambiance would perfectly match the atmosphere Kelly’s would be trying to create.

Some holiday decorations around the bar and dining area added to a festive feel.  That cordiality was enhanced by very personal attention from the host (actually series of hosts) which greeted our party warmly as we made our way to the table.

Upon taking a seat — the look, the feel, the atmosphere all are what one would expect at a first-class steakhouse.  Add live music in the bar area provided by a piano-playing crooner performing old standards, and you have all the makings of a great night out on the town.

Read More

Posted by on Aug 1, 2012 in General Poker, Personal | 0 comments

Trip Report — Confessions of a Twisted Mind (Part 1)

Singer Island in Florida

 

I.  ORLANDO, FLORIDA

 

I am not making this up.

Each and every time I must endure a trip to Florida, I’m reminded of the musings of writer Dave Barry.

Barry is (in)famous for his witty non-stop Florida-bashing.  Since Barry actually resides in South Florida, he gets away with offending just about everyone in the Sunshine State.  For two decades, Barry was a writer for The Miami Herald, penning a masterful column that was eventually nationally syndicated.  Barry’s writings were routinely infused with humor at the expense of all the gator-skinned sun-baked Floridians — which he characterizes as doddering elderly, angry Cuban exiles, and crazed dope dealers all entwined in chaotic bliss.  Okay, so actually that’s *my* characterization — not his.

I suspect that Barry got away with much of what he wrote largely because he’s one of “them.”  It’s sort of like a family, or a fraternity, or a minority group.  You can’t criticize and be funny at anyone’s expense without actually being a member of the crazy family.

Read More
css.php