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Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Blog, Travel | 14 comments

The Loneliest Highway


Las Vegas-Reno-Drive


Can the concept of “nothingness” be beautiful?

I think so.

Imagine a highway where you drive 60 miles and don’t see another car the entire way.

Imagine a highway where the nearest person is perhaps 20 to 30 miles away.

Imagine a highway with no gas stations or businesses of any kind.

Imagine a highway with no lights or power.  A place where cell phones don’t work (which is just about everywhere, if like me you’re unfortunate enough to have have AT&T).

There is a such a highway.

It’s Nevada State Highway 266, which is the desolate 60-mile stretch of asphalt that straddles across the Nevada-California border at a crux where towns and people do not exist.  You’re more likely to see a UFO on this lonely road than another vehicle.

If you head West, the highway begins its path about one hour north of the sleepy desert town of Beatty, NV.  The road empties out several ecosystems later about 20 miles south of Bishop, CA — located at the foothills of the gigantic snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range.  The other main junction from the West is California State Highway 395.

I’ve taken this incredible road perhaps two dozen times.  I think of it as a well-kept secret — until now.  When driving along it’s winding path, I feel the road is in control.  Not me.  I’m a passenger rocked into solitude within its bosom.  Driving this highway is the closest thing I’ve experienced towards achieving complete peace.  And honestly, it’s even a little frightening if you’re driving it alone.  Especially at night.

The highway is a single-lane road, except for one short stretch which plunges through a narrow canyon.  The rocky pass is so small that only one car at a time will fit through.  But since there’s no traffic, passage is easy.

The road includes a barren desert with little to see but rock and sand.  In fact, upon one’s first impression there’s no sign of life whatsoever.  Then, prickly plants suddenly appear.  Next, you see sagebrush.  The road climbs upward and starts winding.  You enter a drive through rocky cliffs.  The curves are so intense, the speed limit is 20 mph.  Then, the road quickly becomes engulfed by a forest of pine trees.  Next, the road winds back down and eventually rests in a fertile grassland with grazing cattle.  Then, the road winds up again through another mountain range, then through another short desert maze, another forest, followed by several canyons.  Finally, you end up looking at the breathtaking central valley which is bordered by the majestic High Sierras.

This is an incredible journey.  Yet, I’ve never heard or read anything about it.  Perhaps the few that have driven this lonely stretch of highway want to keep it their secret.  I don’t blame them.

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Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

2012 WSOP Championship — Greg Merson’s Moment of Victory (Video)


Here’s a two-minute video clip of the final hand of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship.

While ESPN does a remarkable job in its coverage, this video shows what it’s like to sit in the audience and watch poker history unfold.

The film quality is average, but viewers get a pretty good glimpse into the excitement of the room that night, and how the crowd reacted at the Penn and Teller Theatre at the Rio Las Vegas.  This was shot at about 4:45 am on Oct. 31, 2012.

When I shot this video, I was positioned directly behind second-place finisher Jesse Sylvia’s supporters, who predictably had a much more subdued reaction to the final hand.  The bulk of Merson’s supporters are in the foreground and swarm the stage at the moment of victory.



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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)


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Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Blog, Video 1, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

The Official WSOP Main Event Championship Final Report — and Rare Up-Close Video of Greg Merson Posing with Gold Bracelet

Here’s the final video I took on the night of Greg Merson’s amazing victory in the 2012 world poker championship.

We are arranging for Merson to pose in front of ESPN cameras and photographers in front of $8 million in cash.  I am caught handing over the WSOP gold-platinum-diamond bracelet designed by Jason of Beverly Hills to Merson has he strikes the champion’s pose.

Congratualtions to Greg Merson, the 2012 WSOP Main Event champion and WSOP “Player of the Year.”

To read the official report (with lots of statistics) which was just completed for the Main Event Championship, please click direct link here:  2012 WSOP MAIN EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP OFFICIAL REPORT

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship Coverage

2013 October Nine


Note to Readers:  Poker’s world championship will be played out this coming Monday and Tuesday at the Rio in Las Vegas.  You can watch coverage on ESPN. 

As I’ve done the past 15 years or so, I’ll be engaged in covering the Main Event Championship during most of the next three days.

You can read live updates, starting on Monday at 4 pm PST — which will be posted at:  OFFICIAL SITE OF THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER

I’m doing something unusual this year, which is covering the championship from the audience’s point of view — which means writing and reporting on the atmosphere and happenings inside the Penn and Teller Theatre, rather than just the stage and final table.  I’ll also relate some behind the scenes news.

I’ll return next week with lots of new material.


— Nolan Dalla


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