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Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, Politics, World Series of Poker | 9 comments

The World Series of Poker According to Sheldon Adelson




I wonder what Sheldon Adleson would do if — in some alternative universe — he was assigned to cover the World Series of Poker.

Imagine the billionaire casino mogul and crackpot conservative standing out on the tournament floor covering the poker action.  How would he report on what’s going on?  What would be write?

Based on his preposterous comments from in an utterly baffling appearance on Bloomberg TV earlier this week, Adelson is convinced that poker is a game of luck.  Not a game of skill.  A game of luck.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Adelson is a ruthless businessman who built a vast empire on gambling.  Yet, he apparently has no actual understanding of gambling, nor the differences between games of skill and luck.  Here’s what Adelson said on Bloomberg TV as reported in Business Insider (READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE):

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Posted by on Jun 20, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, Personal, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

Thanks for the Interview, Lee Davy




I have enjoyed Lee Davy’s work in the poker world for some time.

Usually, he interviews poker players and celebrities.  But earlier today, he interviewed me, for nearly 40 minutes.  I’m humbled by his interest.

We talked mostly about the 2013 WSOP at the midway point.

Here’s a link to Lee Davy’s interview with me this afternoon, and a cut and paste of the nice things he wrote:


When you first meet Nolan Dalla you can feel the warmth that emanates from him. He is a wonderfully articulate man, and a loving man, but what endears him to me the most is his willingness to wander into the spotlight and answer any question that you throw at him. A very rare commodity in a world where most people find themselves tied in more knots than Anastasia Steele.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has officially reached the mid-point of the 44th Annual jamboree for anyone and everyone associated with poker. The 31st bracelet is about to clasp itself onto the wrist of one of the players remaining in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8-or-Better, and the early prognosis is good with participation up 27% versus 2012 levels.

If you want to understand how well the series is performing then who better to track down than the WSOP Director of Media? During the interview with Dalla we discuss the underlying reasons why their has been an increase in player numbers as well as a whole range of other broader topics that include the emergence of the Canadians at this years series, the punishment of David Diaz, the wonderful story of Ken Lind and I even managed to pull a few tears out of the great man’s eye as he recounted his magical WSOP moments.

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Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Blog, World Series of Poker | 7 comments

2003 WSOP: The Morning After Moneymaker



All smiles on the eve of the 2003 WSOP Main Event


Writer’s Note:  This is the latest chapter on Chris Moneymaker’s victory at the 2003 World Series of Poker and (some of) what went on behind the scenes at Binion’s Horseshoe — before, during, and after.



PART 1 (War of the Binions)

PART 2 and PART 3 (Day One as Director of Public Relations for Binion’s Horseshoe / The Sit Down)

PART 4 and PART 5 (Send in the Clowns / The Decline and Death of the World Series of Poker)

PART 6 (Friends of the Family)

PART 7 and PART 8 (839 /But What’s His Real Name?)

PART 9 and PART 10 (Championship Day / He Doesn’t Stand a Chance, It’s Over)


Part 11:  Poker’s Sonic Boom

A frequent question I get asked is — at what instant did I realize everything had changed?

I’d be lying were I to answer it was the moment when Chris Moneymaker won.

Instead, it was the morning after.

The 2003 World Series of Poker didn’t just conclude on a high note.  It ended with a blast that would go so far as to transform popular culture, especially among young people.  I later condensed this phenomenon into a simple catchphrase which became known as “poker’s sonic boom.”

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Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Blog, Las Vegas, Sports Betting, World Series of Poker | 2 comments

Sportsbetting with God



I.  The Set-Up

I won’t use his real name.

Let’s just call him “Sam.”

If you play at the World Series of Poker, then you probably know Sam.  Which is why we’ll keep his identity a secret.

A few weeks ago, Sam made a big sports wager.  He bet something like $45,000 to win $10,000 on the San Antonio Spurs moneyline in playoff game against the Golden State Warriors.  His reasoning was a follows (his exact words):

1.  There’s no way San Antonio will lose this game.  

2.  This is a sure-fire way to pick up a quick $10,000.

Doing some basic math, this game represented a whopping $55,000 swing.  That’s the actual financial risk based on the outcome.

Basketball fans will instantly recall the game I’m talking about.  It was a comeback for the ages.  San Antonio overcame a 16-point deficit with four minutes left, forced double overtime, and ended up winning the game in a shocker.  It wasn’t a miracle.  It was way beyond that.  No NBA team in history ever came back from such a huge margin in such a short amount of time.  Since Sam bet Spurs on the moneyline, that meant he simply needed his team to win the game.  He wasn’t laying points.

Yesterday, Sam described the course of events which took place while he was watching that epic game, and the amazing comeback by the Spurs.  Sam spent most of the game at home pacing the floor, just as many sports bettors do.  He was about the turn off the television in disgust, sickened by what he was watching.  He was about to be stuck 45-thousand-dollars.

His angst was made much worse by this being a game Sam had no intention of betting on.

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas, Personal, World Series of Poker | 3 comments

He Doesn’t Stand a Chance, It’s Over (Moneymaker Series Continues — Part 6)




Writer’s Note:  This is the sixth in an extended series of articles about Chris Moneymaker’s victory at the 2003 World Series of Poker and what went on behind the scenes at the legendary Binion’s Horseshoe — before, during, and after, where I worked as Director of Public Relations. 

I’d also like to note that another great read was released this week at  Writer Eric Raskin penned an outstanding oral history of the final table, with interviews of many who witnessed poker’s most memorable moment.  I urge readers to check out Raskin’s excellent article here:  “When We Held Kings.”


CLICK HERE — Introduction

CLICK HERE — PART 1 (War of the Binions)

CLICK HERE– PARTS 2 AND 3 (Day One as Director of Public Relations for Binion’s Horseshoe / The Sit Down)

CLICK HERE — PARTS 4 AND 5 (Send in the Clowns / The Decline and Death of the World Series of Poker)

CLICK HERE — PART 6 (Friends of the Family)

CLICK HERE — PARTS 7 AND 8 (“839” /But What’s His Real Name?)


“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”

                                                                — Oscar Wilde


Part 9:  Championship Day (May 20, 2003)

The 2003 World Series of Poker finale included a bit of everything.

It had intrigue, suspense, surprise, triumph, tragedy, and even a bit of mystery.

Of all the championship final tables over the past quarter century, that year’s cast of characters was right off the pages of a Hollywood script.  Everybody watching the show could pick one of the finalists to root for (or against) among those nine who took seats on Friday at noon inside Benny’s Bullpen.

That final table included an astounding seven players who had won (or would later win) WSOP gold bracelets — a collection of talent unheard of since the very earliest days of the championship during the 1970’s.  Chris Moneymaker, Sammy Farha, Dan Harrington, Jason Lester, Amir Vahedi, David Grey, and David Singer all now have WSOP wins.  But some captivating underdogs also captured our interest — potential stars that millions of viewers would come to know through a bombardment of broadcasts later shown on ESPN.  “The nine” became as famous as any characters on a hit reality TV series.

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