Preface: Every World Series of Poker is special. Attend enough of them, and each year becomes a well-defined moment and a new entry onto one’s personal timeline. What creates such indelible impressions? Not the poker hands. Not the prize money. Not even the coveted gold bracelets – and I have witnessed more than half of the final hands that have taken place in the tournament’s 45-year history. Rather, it’s the people. It’s all the interesting personalities and their unique stories that I remember, and even revere, the most. This year, I had the great pleasure of meeting two remarkable people who I believe you will find just as fascinating as I did.
What do you get when you cross the nation’s most famous and widely-respected forensic pathologist with a high-powered criminal defense attorney who was once portrayed in a movie by Academy Award Winning Actress Helen Mirren?
Answer – Criminal jurisprudence’s consummate power couple.
Between Michael Baden and Linda Kenney Baden, they have independently worked on more celebrated legal cases and appeared at more notable trials that any couple alive.
Who could have guessed they’re also poker players?
If poker is a game of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror, then writing about poker is quite often seemingly endless monotany interrupted by occasional episodes of exhilaration.
The wonderful staff of writers at Poker News do their very best to make the game fun for readers. I’m constantly marveled at how creative they are in describing what basically amounts to a repeat of cards, hands, and flops that has been seen and reseen many times over. Nothing is original once you’ve been covering this game for a few years. You end up seeing it all. Over and over and over.
What makes the game special, and magical on occasion, are the people and personalities. Even the bizarre moments can be wildly entertaining to read about. Consider the following account posted at Poker News, and linked to the coverage at WSOP.com.
There are many writers here who also do some great work. I wish I had time and space to link to all of those who help to give us different perspectives, as well as a few laughs. My deepest gratitude to everyone who sacrifices their summer to be here at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The following incident which happened right after the dinner break was written about by two outstanding writer-reporters, Remko Rinkema and Rich Ryan:
Thanks to Remko Rinkema at Poker News for this nice feature and tribute to 90-year-old Henry Orenstein, who participated in today’s $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud Championship. This marks his first appearance at the World Series of Poker in several years.
I was interviewed by Remko and was asked about Mr. Orenstein. It was a great honor to speak about him, albeit briefly.
Who’s the evil trickster responsible for bait and switching the Blue Bunny ice cream machine? That’s the refigerator full of frozen tasty treats inside the employee breakroom here at the 2014 World Series of Poker.
The crime scene — June 19th
A serious crime has been commited.
Someone has stolen the Blue Bunny machine out of the employee breakroom.
Each day at the 2014 World Series of Poker, employees could enjoy a fine selection of Blue Bunny ice cream products. We had vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry treats. A visit (or two, or three) to Blue Bunny freezer was the highlight of my work day, other than my nightly dinner at the restaurant.