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Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in Blog, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

Congratulations to Matt Matros — Winner of The Washington Post’s Election Prediction Contest

Matt Matros Wins Third WSOP Gold Bracelet


If you’re a serious poker player or fan of the game, then you probably already know the name — Matt Matros.

He’s won three World Series of Poker gold bracelets.  I was privileged enough to be at tableside with him during each one of them.

Matros’ specialty is Limit Hold’em.  But he masters just about any game that’s based on numbers and percentages.  He’s also extraordinarily gifted as a writer — having written at least one book (I believe he’s just finished another, which is a work of fiction).

I knew Matros before he was somewhat famous.  When I resided in Washington, DC — Matros contacted me out of the blue because he was looking for a poker game to play in, and he figured I might know the local scene.  Matros wrote about that experience and the game he ultimately found in his excellent book titled, The Education of a Poker Player.

I don’t do very well at making predictions.  But I knew one thing the first time I met Matros — an initial instinct confirmed by more conversations and e-mail exxchanges with the Yale graduate, who now lives in New York City.  And that was Matros was considerably smarter than me, and no doubt far more disciplined in just about everything he does.  But he’s never one to behave as though that’s the case, with anyone.  Matros initially thought he might learn something from me when contacting me about poker years ago, perhaps as someone a little older and more experienced in the business.  But the more I have gotten to know Matros, I’m the one who has become the dedicated student.

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Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Blog, General Poker | 4 comments

Remembering Sailor Roberts (2012 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee)



Note:  Melissa Hayden took this outstanding photograph of the late Sailor Roberts just before he passed away in 1995.  It is believed to be the last photo of the 1975 world poker champion.  Thanks to Melissa for providing this photo.


What follows are my remarks given at Sailor Roberts’ official induction ceremony, which took place on Ocober 30, 2012 at the Rio Las Vegas.

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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 26, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Throwing Sports Bettors Under the Bus

Las Vegas Sportsbook Photo


Yesterday, sports bettors got a rude awakening.  They weren’t just thrown under the proverbial bus.  They were mauled by a 16-wheeler of steel-belted radials encrusted with heavy snow chains.  Then, the bus cranked into reverse and the helpless collective known as the “American sports bettor” was flattened again.

In case you missed the news, sports gambling faced its own “vice squad-lite” version of so-called “Black Friday,” when authorities in New York went after several agents alleged to be involved in offshore sports gambling.  The net of dozens of arrests stretched all the way from the East Coast to Las Vegas, and even entangled Cantor’s head of sports wagering.

My reaction to yesterday’s news wasn’t so much one of surprise, but rather mild curiosity as to why it took law enforcement so long to clamp down on a blatantly conspicuous activity that’s unequivocally forbidden in most localities and states, as well as outlawed nationally by the infamous 1961 Wire Act.

A few years ago, I penned an editorial for Bluff magazine on the odd and uneasy connection between two gambling sectors — poker and sports wagering — when it comes to fighting for legalization.  Given the renewed timeliness of this issue, I thought it might be a good day to revisit this subject.

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Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

Players Television Network — The Business of Online Poker (2005)

The short-lived Players Television Network debuted at the 2005 World Series of Poker.

I was asked to moderate two panel discussions, which were later broadcast via “On Demand.”  The first show was on the late great poker legend Stu Ungar.  SEE STU UNGAR FEATURE HERE   The second show (featured here) was a panel discussion about the business of online poker.

I wasn’t at all prepared to assume the role of moderator.  I recall leaving the rigors of my job at the WSOP for an hour our so, getting abruptly fitted with a microphone, and then walking out and taking a seat in front of a live studio audience and rolling television cameras with no script.

The good thing about the unrehearsed format is that everything was spontaneous.  The bad thing is the show could have been much crisper had I been prepared.  Looking back now, I certainly would have asked more penetrating questions than what appear here.

Fortunately, the three guests who appeared on the online poker segment were outstanding.  Tony Cabot (one one of the world’s top legal experts on online gambling), Mike Sexton (then a consultant to PartyPoker), and Dan Goldman (then a consultant to PokerStars) were all in top form.

Even though this discussion might seem dated now seven years later, it holds up remakrably well over time.  Many of the things discussed that day have happened, just as predicted.

Here’s that panel discussion from 2005 that runs about 40 minutes in length.


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