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Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Blog, Book Reviews, Essays, General Poker | 2 comments

Book Review: Mike Sexton’s “Life’s a Gamble”

 

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Mike Sexton has arguably done more for poker than anyone else in the game.

The longtime high-stakes cash game player and tournament champion, tireless promoter, writer, industry consultant, and popular television personality who’s probably best known to millions as the beaming host and commentator for the World Poker Tour hasn’t merely witnessed poker’s long and colorful history during all the times of boom and bust.  He’s also been one of the integral piston rods driving the poker engine.  Unlike many others who have chronicled the game’s most memorable moments from afar, merely as post-game observers, Sexton has actually sat in the most memorable games, played with all the legends, and been privy to secrets and many of the most intimate conversations which took place at many of the game’s most crucial junctions.

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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 12 comments

Random Thoughts

 

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I didn’t plan on taking two weeks off from my writing.

But I did.

The mechanics of writing a daily column come easy.  Natural even.

Conveying genuine enthusiasm for subject matter is what has become far, far, far more challenging.

Mustering up motivation, particularly when faced with the creeping reality of long-form narrative’s indisputable decline has become a mental gauntlet.  Market realities are an inhibitor of the creative process.  Ask any writer worth a damn.  Why toil over a keyboard when 250 viewers might click the content, on a good day?

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Posted by on Apr 17, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

The Words and Wisdom of Jonathan Gold

 

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The Words and Wisdom of Jonathan Gold (a.k.a. food critic of the Los Angeles Times)

A food writer reveals the local ethnic restaurant isn’t just a cozy place to eat; for millions of new immigrants, it’s the modern-day highway to the new American dream and a reflection of who we are

 

If sprawling boulevards lined with ethnic restaurants up and down the sidewalk define the cultural boundaries of our greatest cities, then food writing and the art of criticism have become our culinary cartography.

In Los Angeles, one of the world’s undisputed food capitals, that makes restaurant critic Jonathan Gold the city’s Ferdinand Magellen.  Voyaging atop his exploratory palate and innate gift for empathy, and later persuaded by the scribe of his fondest recommendations and “Best of….” lists, when we read Gold’s words we’re taken on a circumnavigation around the globe, sometimes without ever leaving the same zip code.

Within this seemingly endless urban checkerboard of combustible cultures, a city where where a fabulous new Korean restaurant is typically be wedged in between a Dunkin Doughnuts and a Dollar Store, distances in and around Los Angeles aren’t measured in miles.  Distances are measured by time — as in the amount of time if takes to drive from one place to another.  Even a seemingly short drive of just a couple of miles can take an hour or more during the busiest time of day, and in LA, at whatever the hour, it always seems to be the busiest time of day.  This fact of daily life and living has made the automobile here, more than in any other city, the extension of one’s personality and an advertorial moxie.

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Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 6 comments

The Distrust and Downfall of Authority

 

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A new movie came out this past weekend which is sweeping across America.  It’s called “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

The critics reviews have been scathing.  Slate.com gave it a 10 on scale of 100.  RotttenTomatoes was far more generous, scoring it a 29/100.  One critic wrote:  “….another incompetent endeavor from an almost shockingly untalented filmmaker.”  Another penned:  “There’s not an ounce of fun to be found in the film’s entire two and half hours.”  Then, there was this zinger:  “If Christopher Reeve were alive he’d be suing for character libel.”

Bam!

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Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Blog, Essays, General Poker | 9 comments

Remembering Stanley Sludikoff (Gambling Publisher and Pioneer)

 

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Now is a time to remember and reflect upon someone truly remarkable.  He left an indelible imprint upon the gaming industry and gambling culture.  His name was Stanley Sludikoff.  He was a pioneer, a visionary, an educator, and a giant.

Today, there are thousands of gambling-related websites in many different languages.  There are online casinos and  sportsbooks operating in more than 100 countries.  There are countless books, guides, and other periodicals, including several hundred titles on poker alone.  There’s a treasure trove of gambling information out there, both narratives and on strategy.  It’s virtually impossible to remember an earlier era when none of this existed.

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