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Harry Reid Stoops to New Lows (Why I Won’t be Voting for Jacky Rosen for Congress)

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments





Earlier today, someone called me asking political questions.  Within 30 seconds, I realized this was yet another push poll, which is a dirty and despicably misleading campaign tactic innocently disguised as a telephone survey, but which in reality is entirely intended to do one thing — sway voter opinion based on a series of loaded questions.

In other words, there’s no poll.  They lie about who they’re representing.  They lie about what their true intent is.  Perhaps most aggravating — they play you for a sucker.

Naturally, I went along with this bogus charade because I thought something interesting might come of it.  I was right.  Here once again, I came ear to ear with grass roots democracy in action, in its most disreputable form.

I live in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district, which includes a large section of Las Vegas and Henderson.  This is an open seat right now in the upcoming 2016 election, which means both major parties have a shot of winning the race.  For many years, this district has flip-flopped back and forth between Democrats and Republicans.

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Facing the Firing Squad: Terrence Chan

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Facing the Firing Squad, General Poker | 0 comments





Were I to chose one word to describe Terrence Chan, that word would be…. genuine.

Terrence is one of the most genuine people I have ever met and known.

Arguably above all characteristics, Terrence is genuinely curious — about almost everything.  He’s genuinely humble.  He’s genuinely giving.  He’s genuinely focused.  He’s genuinely dedicated.  And, he’s genuinely good at whatever he pursues, if not great at just about everything he truly sets his mind to accomplishing.

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Dealing with Depression

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 4 comments


Feeling blue


A Personal Note from Nolan Dalla:  

What you are about to read is a manifestation of courage.

What follows is a previously-unpublished essay on the mental malady of depression.  

It was written by a very close and dear friend of mine who is often afflicted with severe bouts of the disorder.  These common bouts have dispensed debilitation and even thoughts of suicide, on occasion.  

On the surface, nothing seems wrong.  By looking at him and observing his very successful career and comfortable lifestyle, complete with a loving family and plenty of friends, you’d probably never guess that he suffers from depression.  You’d never know he’s spent agonizing periods of his life stuck in a dark place which has no boundaries, virtually incapacitated within a self-contained prison surrounded by invisible bars, from which there appears to be no escaping, often requiring the care, the compassion, and the direct intervention of others who understand.

I am ashamed to say there was a time once, until quite recently even, when I didn’t understand much about depression.  I lacked the capacity to empathize with those who dealt with mental health issues in their lives.  Worse, I’ve written harshly about some people in the past — such as ex-pro football player Junior Seau and actor Philip Seymour Hoffman — who took the most violent escape possible, committing suicide and overdosing by accident.  It took me considerable time and some serious contemplation to eventually come to the realization that depression isn’t something typically within control of the sufferer.  They are the bearers of an affliction, not the cause of it.  It’s a burden with heavy shackles with no key within reach.

Speaking to the author of this essay over a considerable period of time, then followed by a episodes of reflection, gave me a far greater understanding of the serious illness of depression.  It helped me not only to empathize with those who must deal with it, sometimes daily, but also enabled me to see the painful struggles and in some cases appreciate the strides made by those crawling from the darkness, one new dawn at a time.  

Although he prefers not to use his name, nor take any credit as the author, he has granted me permission to print his thoughts here in their entirety.  His hope is that by writing openly about his malady, he can better cope with his own struggle.  Just as important, his words might be able to comfort others out there who are enduring their own crisis within, trying to find a clearer path out of the abyss of confusion.  

Finally, even for the more mentally fit, this essay might serve to enlighten readers who continue to look upon depression as I once did, maligned by our own ignorance and misunderstanding.  Let us try to open up our minds, free ourselves, listen to this brave voice.  Let us learn.      

That’s my hope and intent.


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What’s the Toughest Sport for an Amateur to Compete In?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2016 in Blog, Book Reviews, Essays, Uncategorized | 7 comments


George playing with the Detroit Lions, Detroit, 1963. Football: Detroit Lions QB George Plimpton Credit: Walter Iooss Jr. SetNumber: X9402 079016940


In the fall of 1963, a mostly unknown journalist, writer, literary critic, and wanna-be professional athlete named George Plimpton walked into training camp with the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

Plimpton didn’t fit the mold of an athlete.  He was slow.  He was clumsy.  He was the oldest player on the team.  He arrived in camp as an undrafted 36-year-old “rookie” quarterback (he’d graduated from Harvard, 14 years earlier).  Although his lofty sights were set on getting into shape, completing drills with the team, learning the playbook, and suiting up to play in a preseason game, fact was — when he first stepped onto the football field he didn’t even know how to position his hands and take a snap from center.

Predictably, the results were disastrous.

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Avi’s Rubin’s TED Talk on Hacking Watches, Refrigerators, Guns, and More

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 0 comments


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I first met Avi Rubin at the Maryland Live! Casino about three years ago.

We were shooting a high-stakes live cash game for “Poker Night in America,” on CBS Sports.  At the time, we were looking for interesting non-professional poker players who might add some personality to the game to be featured on national television.

Since the casino is located within a short driving distance of both Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD, I knew we’d attract several fascinating people to our game who, aside from loving poker, were highly accomplished and in some cases were at the top of their respective fields.

From the instant I saw his photograph, I knew that Rubin looked familiar, and I was right.  He’d appeared as the expert on a recent episode of “60 Minutes,” on the subject of network security issues in electronic voting, which was a hot topic that was being considered at the time.  Come to find out, he also served as a consultant to the White House.  Naturally, choosing Rubin to be on the show was an instant affirmative, given his background and unusual stature.

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Vegas Con Man Swindles Suckers with Gambling System

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas | 9 comments




Beware.  Mark Georgantas has a gambling system.

The 53-year-old “professional gambler,” who promotes himself under the tawdry alias “Pure Cash,” insists he’s discovered the secret on how to beat casinos at their own game.  He claims to have won huge profits at blackjack, baccarat, craps, and roulette.  Moreover, the spoils of his secret systems have been shared with an elite clique of privileged investors.

Pray tell, how do I get in on the action?

Lucky for us, Georgantas is generous.  According to multiple gambling websites and user posts made at various online forums, he’s been marketing his betting systems as intellectual property of several private investment companies.  He’s claims that one his firms, “Monster Gaming Entertainment LLC,” would earn $250 million in profit on a $700,000 investment.  Another of his companies, “Monster Intellectual Holdings LLC,” was projected to earn $400 million on a mere $50,000 investment.  But his crown jewel in the bustling financial empire of the imagination was something called “Monster Gaming Products LLC, which would earn back a whopping $4 billion on a $250,000 investment.  Not prone to idleness, he’s also the self-appointed president a company called “21 Matrix, Inc.,” although no one is quite sure exactly what the company produces (other than victims, perhaps).

Georgantas has been trolling victims throughout Nevada and California in recent years looking for suckers while pulling off all sorts of different scams, many connected to gambling.  According to a Jan. 17, 2016 story about Georgantas which ran in the Las Vegas Review Journal:

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The Distrust and Downfall of Authority

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 6 comments




A new movie came out this past weekend which is sweeping across America.  It’s called “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

The critics reviews have been scathing. gave it a 10 on scale of 100.  RotttenTomatoes was far more generous, scoring it a 29/100.  One critic wrote:  “….another incompetent endeavor from an almost shockingly untalented filmmaker.”  Another penned:  “There’s not an ounce of fun to be found in the film’s entire two and half hours.”  Then, there was this zinger:  “If Christopher Reeve were alive he’d be suing for character libel.”


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Does Anyone Notice a Problem with Nebraska’s New License Plates?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Rants and Raves | 1 comment




Question:  What’s the man doing on the new State of Nebraska license plates?

According to Nebraska’s governor, Pete Ricketts (yes, that’s his real name), the image shows the image of a “sower.”

Hmm — that’s not what I’d call it.

I discovered that a sower is properly defined as “someone who scatters or places seeds where they will grow.”

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

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