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Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Blog, Book Reviews, General Poker, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 4 comments

Book Review — Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster who Created Vegas Poker




If the late Benny Binion’s life was ever to be made into a movie, now with Sam Peckinpah long gone, the rightful heir to what amounts to a biographical gold mine should fall to Quentin Tarentino.  If and when that movie does get made, let’s hope the masterful film director bases his first script on the new book written by Doug J. Swanson about the often comical and always curious life of the legendary casino patriarch who was loathed and feared by a few, but also widely respected and loved by far more.

Blood Aces:  The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster who Created Vegas Poker doesn’t necessarily cover much new territory, especially to those who already know of Binion’s shady past.  It simply tells the story far better and in much greater detail than any other available source.  Moreover, it places Binion into proper context among his peers, consisting mostly of gangsters and Mafia dons.  However, instead of a fedora, Binion always wore a cowboy hat.

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Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Blog, Book Reviews, General Poker, Video 1 | 0 comments

More on Anthony Holden’s “Big Deal” (Video)




Shortly after writing and posting my list of the best non-fiction poker narratives ever written, I made a lengthy video which expounded upon the reasons why various books were selected.  READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

Unfortunately, the video was cut short, leaving many viewers to wonder why I selected Anthony Holden’s “Big Deal” in the top position.

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Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Blog | 5 comments

The Shadow of Chad Brown’s Smile




Writer’s Note:  Late last night, Chad Brown passed away in New York City, the place of his birth.  He died at the excruciatingly unjust age of 52.  I was asked to write a tribute to Chad, which appears HERE at  Writing that narrative reminded me of an afternoon with him earlier this year.  I had the opportunity to visit Chad here in Las Vegas.  At the time, he was staying with Vanessa Rousso.  Although the pair had already been divorced for a few years by then, they remained very close and were good friends until the very end of his life.  Accompanying me on that day was Rich Korbin, the longtime marketing executive at  This is the story of that special time and place.

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Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Announcing: 888Poker to Sponsor “Poker Night in America”




Note:  Last week, we announced “Poker Night in America’s” new deal with CBS Sports.  The first show airs this Sunday night.  We’ll be on for 26 consecutive weeks, running through the end of the year.  More breaking news with today’s announcement that 888Poker will be a sponsor.  Read  more:  “POKER NIGHT IN AMERICA” — POKER’S NEXT BIG THING, by Robbie Strazynski


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Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Blog, General Poker, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

Five-Card Draw Dealt at WSOP for First Time in 32 Years




David Sklansky was dragging the final pot of the tournament the last time that ancient mariner of all poker games was dealt out at the World Series of Poker.  That was way back in 1982, when the oldest poker game on record was played one final time.

Five-Card Draw was always the game played by our fathers and grandfathers.  Perhaps a few grandmothers, too.  It was the poker game spread on the battlefields of World War II, played by soldiers passing the time.  It was the game which usually appeared in movies, at least up until Rounders and the poker boom changed everything.

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