Pages Menu
TwitterFacebooklogin
Categories Menu

Posted by on Aug 4, 2012 in Blog, Personal, Travel | 0 comments

Trip Report — Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City (Part 4)

XII:  SATURDAY EVENING:  AT-LARGE BANQUET

Speaking to any audience in the poker community is a challenge.  Think about it.  Most poker groups are full of novice recreational players — unsophisticated star-struck newcomers who pretty much salt lick any speaker’s ass and chomp any poker tidbit like its a carrot dangling in front of a mule.  But this group I’m with tonight has a considerably higher threshold of expectation, which is precisely why some of our past BARGE speakers were misfires (including yours truly).  Bottom Line:  It’s not easy to entertain as well as inform a group with some of the brightest and most experienced minds in the game.

In short — it’s hard to hit a triple crown with any speaker at a poker gathering, which in my view consists of:  1. A speaker who “gets us,” 2: A speaker who is informative, and 3. A speaker who is entertaining.  If we hit on two of those cylinders, that’s a double.  Three is a home run.

I was pleased when I initially heard that John Pappas would be this year’s speaker.  For those who do not know him, John serves as the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).  It’s an organization to which I give a mixed grade, which would probably be a “C” mixed with an “I” for INCOMPLETE.  But I certainly respect the fine work John has done and I am eager to hear his latest from the political front.

I thought John hit a solid single on at the banquet with his speech.  There was nothing earth-shattering nor newsworthy about it.  But, he essentially covered all the bases with the latest with what’s happening in poker at the moment, especially with regards to online poker legalization.  I do think John could have been a little more revealing about the work he does, and would very much have liked to hear some behind-the-scene stories about what he’s seen an experienced.  I can only imagine the roadblocks of ignorance he’s up against with the clueless whores we elect as lawmakers.  Some candid revelations about what happens in the trenches of lobbying could have been entertaining.  But, you can’t fetch the winning hand from the muck and so this too shall pass.

Now, let’s move on to what you are waiting for — the ballbusting.

Read More

Posted by on Aug 3, 2012 in General Poker, Personal, Rants and Raves | 6 comments

Trip Report — I Hate Philadelphia (Part 3)

I Hate Philadelphia

 

IX:  PHILADELPHIA

 

I hate Philadelphia.  It’s Detroit — with one major difference.  There are actually people LIVING in Philadelphia.

Which begs a serious question, why the fuck would anyone want to LIVE in Philadelphia?

The first part of this blog will be an attempt to fill in that elusive blank with some kind of explanation.  Call it a Hail Mary of logic.

I always feel compelled to give some background to these rants.  I lived in the Northeast for ten years.  I visited Philadelphia at least 100 times, so I’m no stranger to the scene.  Ninety or so of those visits were passing through on the way to Atlantic City, but many occasions turned into what I can only describe as an anti-vacation vacation.

So, let’s play a little game, shall we?

Question: If I say a word, what word immediately comes into your mind?  What image immediately comes up when confronted with the word “Philadelphia?”  For instance, when one thinks of Denver, the rocky mountains come to mind.  When one thinks of St. Louis, maybe it’s the famous Gateway Arch.  With New Orleans, it’s probably the French Quarter.

My mental flash drive of Philadelphia pretty much is an crash dump of rusted out ship hulls, decaying half-empty warehouses, lead smelters, oil refineries, welfare cheats, and dark, dirty, cold impersonal streets littered with filth.

I know.  Stereotyping is wrong, except for when it just so happens to be dead on accurate.

And so, I arrive in this hellhole on a Tuesday night.  It’s 35 degrees, drizzling and getting dark, which seems like the ideal metaphoric mood for this miserable place.

From the outside, the so-called PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT looks EXACTLY like the new Aria (Las Vegas) — only if it were laying on it’s side.  The airport is a giant gray steel and glass structure — kind of a cross between some Orwellianesque stage set and what one imagines the headquarters to the Social Security Administration to look like.

I remind myself that this will be one of three times I will actually fly into Philadelphia within a six-month period — which is three times too many as far as I’m concerned.  I was here for two weeks back in December (nothing spoils the holiday spirit more than spending the Christmas preamble in weary action-starved Atlantic City).

What’s most astonishing is that some people actually take PRIDE in being from Philadelphia — which is sort of like admitting you were birthed out of the ass of a pit bull.  I know people can’t help WHERE they were born.  But show some fucking humility.  Listen.  No one is fucking impressed that you grew up where they filmed “Rocky” — correction.  Make that Rocky 1, Rocky 2, Rocky 3, Rocky 4, and Rocky 5 — or that you flunked out of Penn.  I mean this is a place where everyone in the city looks like Burt Young — and I’m talking about the females here.  You’ve got nothing to be fucking proud of.

When I meet someone from Philadelphia, here’s what I EXPECT to hear.  Takes notes:

“Hi! My name is Sal.  Even though I have lived most of my life in a filthy hellhole with scumbags, it hasn’t rubbed off on me (too much) and I’m actually a pretty decent guy….if you give me the chance.”

I’m reasonable.  I don’t judge.

That’s an introduction I can accept.  Someone who speaks truth, from the heart.

Read More

Posted by on Aug 1, 2012 in General Poker, Personal | 0 comments

Trip Report — Confessions of a Twisted Mind (Part 1)

Singer Island in Florida

 

I.  ORLANDO, FLORIDA

 

I am not making this up.

Each and every time I must endure a trip to Florida, I’m reminded of the musings of writer Dave Barry.

Barry is (in)famous for his witty non-stop Florida-bashing.  Since Barry actually resides in South Florida, he gets away with offending just about everyone in the Sunshine State.  For two decades, Barry was a writer for The Miami Herald, penning a masterful column that was eventually nationally syndicated.  Barry’s writings were routinely infused with humor at the expense of all the gator-skinned sun-baked Floridians — which he characterizes as doddering elderly, angry Cuban exiles, and crazed dope dealers all entwined in chaotic bliss.  Okay, so actually that’s *my* characterization — not his.

I suspect that Barry got away with much of what he wrote largely because he’s one of “them.”  It’s sort of like a family, or a fraternity, or a minority group.  You can’t criticize and be funny at anyone’s expense without actually being a member of the crazy family.

Read More

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Blog, General Poker | 2 comments

A Statement by Nolan Dalla on the Settlement Agreement on Pokerstars’ Acquisition of Full Tilt Poker

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today’s settlement agreement between PokerStars and the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), which includes an announcement that PokerStars will acquire the entirety of Full Tilt Poker’s global assets, is an encouraging development for all poker players, and particularly positive news for those owed monies via their immobilized account deposits.

In fact, today’s news is the first break in the black cloud that has hung over the poker industry for 15 months.  Given PokerStars’ longstanding reputation for integrity and the commendable manner in which they handled their own player-deposit crisis during 2011, all poker players should be grateful to the ownership and management team of this company for assuming a leadership role in what have been troubled times for the poker industry.

However, today’s announcement does nothing, nor should in any way, abdicate any of the principals associated with Full Tilt Poker for their irresponsible actions, criminal or not.  Neither does the announcement serve in any way to remedy the gross negligence that led up to the crisis, nor amend the utter indifference of Full Tilt Poker and its principals to the suffering of innumerable poker players who endured severe financial and emotional hardships since the events of April 2011.

Full Tilt Poker’s actions during both the pre- and post-Black Friday period, represented an unprecedented level of irresponsibility and a grotesque violation of trust.  The damage these industry outcasts have done to players, public confidence, and the game overall lingers and will not be forgotten nor forgiven until the principals have provided explanation, apology, and restitution.

Conversely, the actions of PokerStars during this crisis have continued to win favor from the poker community at large.  I am optimistic that all poker players – residing both inside and outside the United States — who are deemed “victims” in the precise language contained in the official press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York on this date will be reimbursed IN FULL (emphasis mine).  Moreover, the USDOJ should do everything in its considerable powers to ensure that all monies are returned as quickly as possible to all victims.

Nolan Dalla
Las Vegas, Nevada
July 31, 2012

Writer’s Note:  The opinions expressed here are my own and do not in any way reflect the position of any company, publication, website, or entity with which I have been associated.

Read More
css.php