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Playing Poker for a Great Cause: Jennifer Harman’s Nevada SPCA Benefit at Planet Hollywood

Posted by on Nov 14, 2015 in Blog, Essays, General Poker, Las Vegas, Personal | 3 comments


Screenshot 2015-11-14 at 9.57.51 AM


I was delighted to be invited to play in last night’s poker charity event held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Each year for as long as I can remember, poker pro and legend Jennifer Harman has given something back by organizing and hosting a charity benefit for the Nevada SPCA (be warned about visiting the site — you might fall in love and end up adopting an animal).  The Nevada SPCA does fabulous work rescuing needy animals, and helping to find them loving homes.  I cannot write or say enough good things for this organization and the fine people who do this kind of work.

Friday night’s gala included several speeches, public and silent auctions, a red carpet extravaganza, dozens of cute and cuddly animals, and a charity poker tournament designed to raise money for the Nevada SPCA.  We were informed that for each $50 raised, that would save one dog or cat.  Hundreds of people showed up, and 180 players entered the tournament, with multiple re-buys.  First place was a seat into next year’s WSOP Main Event Championship valued at $10,000 (which would have been ironic had I won it, since due to obvious restrictions I would not be able to play).  What really mattered was coming out, supporting this great cause, and helping to raise awareness for these innocent animals who desperately need our love and care, and deserve so much more than the tough beats these creatures have been dealt in life.

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The War on Christmas Cups

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Politics, Rants and Raves | 0 comments




The conservative movement has perfected the dark art of victimhood to detestable new lows, even for them.

Once again, they’ve torn out the most incendiary pages of the far right’s twisted Machiavellian playbook, butchered most of the facts, and ignited the tinder box brimming over with anger and paranoia.  Once again, they’ve manipulated a seemingly trivial event for their own selfish political (and financial) gain.  Once again, they’ve frightened the living daylights out of their most gullible followers.  And once again, their dubious tactics seem to be working.  Like I said, it’s a dark art.

Whether it’s guns, or Bibles, or banks, or big oil they’re credulously protecting with the incessant screams of shrill voices and enraged sense of false patriotism, these susceptible pawns shifting around on the American political chessboard have sardined themselves with the rest of the can of crazies in what’s increasing become a vicious collective mass hysteria of guppies with unmistakable aims to obfuscate any attempt at rational discourse.  Their favored tactic?  Sling enough shit around, and something is bound to stick somewhere.

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Bridge of Spies (Movie Review)

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Blog, Movie Reviews, Politics | 1 comment


‘Bridge of Spies’ by DreamWorks Studios.


Steven Spielberg has become the quintessential film director of our time in bringing history to life.  Several of his movies, based on actual events, take place in the past.  But the consistent themes of humanitarianism and emotional sentiment that his very best films have managed to evoke in audiences worldwide remains just as apropos to our present and future.

The cinematic artisan who gave us indelibly moving reenactments of the Holocaust (“Schindler’s List,” which I rank as the best film ever made), the D-Day invasion (“Saving Private Ryan”), the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games (“Munich”), and a post-American Civil War political crisis (“Lincoln”), most recently has undertaken one of lesser-known flash points of the Cold War.

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Tonight’s Pigeon Shit Football Pick (Guaranteed Winner)

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Blog, Essays | 3 comments




Note:  5 Minute Video Rant Below


After the Atlanta Falcons shit all over my teaser wheel yesterday, costing me a swing of about $6,400, the time has come to adopt a totally new football betting methodology.

That’s right.  I’m past the point of being on tilt.  What comes after tilt and bridge jumping?  You’re about to find out.

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Is Great Sportswriting Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 in Blog, Essays | 3 comments




The first book I remember reading from cover to cover was a prematurely scripted ten-year history of the Dallas Cowboys during their formative years of the 1960’s.

Dallas Cowboys”  Pro or Con?,” penned by the late Dallas Morning News sportswriter Sam Blair, was released in 1970.  It’s long since out of print, and beyond dated.  To give some perspective, this is a book that came out during the first year Monday Night Football went on the air.  Nonetheless, almost 45 years after being absorbed by the narrative, passages of the book remain imprinted upon my conscious, leaving lasting memories which has instilled great affection for traditions that remain with me to this day.  Why so?

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NFL Week 8: Picks and Predictions

Posted by on Oct 31, 2015 in Blog, Essays | 2 comments


Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi is carried off Lambeau Field on the shoulders of fullback Jimmy Taylor, left, and Paul Hornung after winning the NFL championship from the Cleveland Browns 23-12 in Green Bay, Wis., on Jan. 2, 1966. (AP Photo)






NET GAIN/LOSS:  + $667.


LAST WEEK:  16 — 8 — 0 (+$1,440)


This week, I’m posting a “modified” teaser wheel.  What this means is, one anchor team gets chosen and then is wheeled with many other teams.  However, I’m tossing out the bad number situations, and ill-advised teasers across the zero (pick).  So, I’m not teasing the entire board, just the situations that I think are favorable.

Regarding criticism of this strategy, I’m the first to acknowledge that teasers aren’t as appealing as several years ago when the games were lower scoring and more balanced.  The league instituted rule changes which now hinder defenses (especially pass defense) and allow offenses to pretty much get away with anything.  This has created higher-scoring games and more variance, which in turn has reduced the advantages that teasers once provided.  Some even insist that teasers shouldn’t be played at all, given that 6 points (the typical teaser margin) is no longer enough points to make them viable.

Nonetheless, I’m still convinced that teasing superior teams down to the prospect of “just win the game” remains worthy of consideration in some spots.  This week’s Tampa Bay-Atlanta matchup appears to be just such a situation, with one team coming off a demoralizing road loss and traveling again, versus a 6-1 team at home that hasn’t played well the last two weeks, but should be motivated here.

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Why the Republican Debate Question About Daily Fantasy Sports Deserved to be Answered (but Wasn’t)

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 2 comments




It wasn’t just Daily Fantasy Sports which lost a rare chance to shine in a national spotlight and be taken seriously as a legitimate political issue during last night’s Republican Presidential Debate, which was held in Boulder, CO.

We all lost.  

That’s right.  Every proponent of legalized and regulated sports betting and online poker/gambling in America missed out on the golden opportunity to hear each and every major candidate on that stage being required to make an official statement when it comes to the freedom of individuals to make their own choices and then justify their position in front of millions of viewers and voters, about half of which are estimated to have gambled within just the past year.

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