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Busting a Myth: How the 1919 “Black Sox” Gambling Scandal Actually Helped Baseball

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Sports Betting | 3 comments




A myth has been floating around for a very long time, and it’s time to put a stop to it.

For decades, major league baseball’s the so-called “Chicago Black Sox” scandal of 1919 has been cited by critics of legalized wagering as the ugly historical boogeyman.  Corruption is allegedly what happens when there’s gambling on sporting events, even though most evidence reveals this happens with far greater frequently when gambling is kept illegal and is forced underground.  Indeed, at a time when gambling was illegal just about everywhere in America, history does show several players on the 1919 Chicago White Sox conspired to lose a series of championship games because gamblers promised lucrative payoffs during an era when salaries were embarrassingly low and bribes were too tempting to pass up, at least for some.

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Pete Rose Didn’t Just Hurt Baseball, He Disgraced Sports Gambling

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Sports Betting | 0 comments




Major League Baseball made the correct decision.  Keep Pete Rose out.  Too bad gambling can’t do the same.



Yesterday, Commissioner Rob Manfred denied Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement to Major League Baseball.

Good.  The correct judgment was made.

Whether we agree with the letter and intent or not, baseball has rules.  Those rules are as strict as they are clear.  Rose not only violated those rules.  He obliterated them — both as a player and club manager.  Then, he lied thousands of times over the course of the next two decades to anyone and everyone gullible enough to listen to fairy tales about his past and present activities.  Finally, when cornered in a cesspool of lies and shown unmistakable physical evidence to the contrary, he lied again, and again.

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The Last Supper: “Buzio’s,” WSOP’s Favorite Restaurant Closes After 25 Years at Rio

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Personal, Restaurant Reviews | 5 comments



The last two customers on the final night, with Darcy and Sally at Buzio’s (Rio)


Our fondest memories are of people and places.

For many, Buzio’s at the Rio in Las Vegas was one of the fondest of places because it was full of so many good people.  It was more than just a casual restaurant.  Buzio’s was a cradle of friendship and bastion of happiness.  It was a boardroom of wheeling and dealing.  It was a place to gossip, to drown our sorrows, and to celebrate.  If the World Series of Poker, held at the Rio each summer since 2005 had an office, a break room, a social club, a watering hole, and a place of reprieve and relaxation — it was most certainly the public alcove in the form of a once-popular seafood restaurant along the so-called “bad beat hallway” leading back to the main casino.

Buzio’s served its final meal on Saturday night — December 12, 2015.  After 25 years, the restaurant closed its doors for the last time, in order to make way for a new eatery which will eventually open on the spot where where poker players clamored each night for dinner reservations, where strategy was furiously rehashed and debated, where millions in poker deals were made over shrimp cocktails, where disappointments were doused and gradually forgotten, where tournament survival was toasted, and where innumerable lasting friendships were founded.  Hostilities on hold, competitors who tried to outfox each other during the WSOP competing for their livelihoods often dined out together at Buzio’s.  Poker doesn’t have many places around like this anymore.  Sadly now, it has one less such place.

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A Life Force — U2’s Stunning “Innocence and Experience” Concert in Paris

Posted by on Dec 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments




“ISIS and these kinds of extremists are a death cult.  We’re a life cult.  Rock ’n’ roll is a life force, and it’s joy as an act of defiance.  That’s what U2 is.”

— Bono


One of the most extraordinary music events in a very long time took place in Paris earlier this week.

Irish band U2’s concert tours are always an experience for the eyes and ears.  But two back-to-back concerts on the nights of December 6th and 7th transcended rock theater and transformed an otherwise pedestrian Parisian stage into one of the great geopolitical marches of our time.

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Silence of the Shills (Is this the End for RAWA’s Hessians?)

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments


Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson listens to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting on March 29, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada


While the American Revolution was being fought, the British government found it easier to hire and arm foreign mercenaries than to recruit and train its own soldiers.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson apparently hasn’t studied that page from American history.  He’s convinced that shoveling millions of dollars into what amounts to the rusty coal furnace known as the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling will somehow deliver that most elusive of political victories — a federal bill outlawing most forms of online gaming.  That’s now seemingly a fool’s paradise after his forces were thoroughly demolished in Wednesday’s committee hearings before members of congress on Restoring America’s Wire Act, otherwise known as “RAWA.”  READ MORE ABOUT THE GREAT BATTLE OF RAWA HERE

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Online Poker’s Biggest Victory in Years (RAWA Bill Sponsor Gets Disemboweled Before His Own Subcommittee)

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Blog | 4 comments




Watching Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) flounder and fumble his way through multiple hours of congressional testimony on Wednesday reminded me of painful memories on my high school debate team.

I was engaged in a debate on some topic or other and as we went back and forth, I gradually came to realize the futility of my arguments.  By the closing remarks, I was in complete agreement with the other side.  Unfortunately, when engaged in a team debate competition, one can’t simply concede defeat and walk off the stage.  So, I used my final summation to run through the motions in a halfhearted attempt save some face and then exit the room as quickly as possible.

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It’s About Damned Time! Germany’s Angela Merkel Named “Person of the Year”

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Blog | 3 comments




If Angela Merkel walked down the street of any city in America, it’s doubtful she’d be recognized.

She’s only the most powerful woman in the world and in the opinion of many who follow global affairs, arguably the most respected head of state, at least, so far in this century.  Just in case you’re still caught in the headlights drawing a blank stare, Merkel just so happens to be Chancellor of Germany, an elected post she’s held since 2005.

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“Some Time in New York City” — Remembering 35 Years Ago Tonight

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments


Nolan Dalla at Dakota NYC 1985

Nolan Dalla in 1985 at The Dakota, Central Park West in New York City, the spot where John Lennon had been assassinated five years prior.


Thirty-five years ago tonight, on December 8, 1980 at 10:45 pm, a deranged loner stepped onto a dimly-lit New York City side street and fired four shots point blank from a loaded Charter Arms .38-caliber revolver into an inexplicable target that made no sense whatsoever.

Most of us learned of John Lennon’s murder a short time later, not from a breaking news flash, but from the oddest of sources — the rhapsodic voice of ABC sportscaster and quintessential New York journalist Howard Cosell.  A thrilling Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins was playing down to the closing seconds of what would turnout to be a game-winning field goal attempt.  As the Pats’ placekicker, a native Englishman named John Smith, was taking the field, that’s when Cosell without hesitation broke into the national telecast and stunned millions of listeners on the edge of their seats by announcing news that Lennon had been shot and was confirmed dead.

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Was Mother Teresa a Fraud?

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Blog | 4 comments




MOTHER TERESA (while being filmed in a television interview speaking to one of her “patients”):  “You are suffering like Christ on the cross.  So Jesus must be kissing you.”

CALCUTTA CANCER PATIENT (suffering unbearable pain from being terminal ill and given no painkillers):  “Then please tell him to stop kissing me.”


Few pronouncements are more blasphemous than alleging Mother Teresa was a fraud.

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