Mon, 18 November 2013
EPISODE 129- Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas: How Jay Sarno Inspired Modern Las Vegas by David G. Schwartz
I first got interested in gambling as a kid growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the 1970s. Some of my earliest memories are of the classic hotels of the city being imploded to make way for modern casinos with hotel towers that had none of the charm of the original. Despite this early evidence of that, perhaps, history might not have the strongest hold over people, I decided to major in it as an undergrad, along with anthropology. When it came time to go to grad school, I chose history over anthropology, though I can't recall as I'm writing this exactly why I made that decision. In grad school I was preparing myself for a career as a college history professor when a small exercise called the dissertation stepped in my way. I would have to choose something to write a book-length historical study on, and it had to be something that would contribute in some way to the literature. That's when I remembered the questions I'd had about casinos as a kid: Why did they need to blow up those beautiful old buildings to build new ones that didn't look nearly as nice? If they just wanted to gamble, why didn't they just let people gamble wherever they wanted? With a few questions like that, I was on my way to writing a dissertation that got me researching casinos. From there, I haven't looked back, except for the year that I spent after I got my degree working in casino surveillance in Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal casino. I'd worked at the Taj earlier in security,and spending some time in surveillance gave me an appreciation for just how complex casinos are, and it kindled an interest in a whole other set of questions. Since arriving at UNLV back in 2001, I've been running the Center for Gaming Research, which has let me look at some very interesting areas of gambling and Las Vegas history. My website has a ton of info about my writing, professional, and creative work. So feel free to check it out at www.dgschwartz.com.
Sat, 13 July 2013
EPISODE 124-- WSOP JULY 2013--DOUG HULL TALKING ABOUT HIS BOOK -- POKER PLAYS YOU CAN USE--EDITED BY ED MILLER
The book comes in two major sections. First you’ll read a series of hand examples. These examples are designed to show you the difference between how a typical no-limit hold’em player thinks and how a professional-level player thinks. Each of these hand examples represents a small improvement you can make in your play. The second section turns the lessons from the first section into missions you can do on your own. These missions are the equivalent of recipes in a book on nutrition or exercises in a workout book. Doing the missions—doing them as often and using as much your brain on them as possible—are what will make you a better poker player. Do the missions, and you’ll see results. Ignore the missions, and you likely won’t." from the Foreword by Ed Miller -Author of Playing the Player, How To Read Hands At No-Limit Hold’em, Small Stakes Hold’em
Doug has been found at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun poker rooms since 2001. When he is not perfecting this craft, he is blacksmithing, woodcarving or developing his permaculture homestead in Massachusetts. He has authored an engineering textbook, co-authored a second and contributed to a third. He has taught countless people to use MATLAB through his blog at MathWorks.com. Reach him at hull@ThreeBarrelBluff.com.
Fri, 14 June 2013
Reading Poker Tells is being called the best book about poker tells by many players, both amateur and professional. Besides cataloging the most common poker-related behavioral patterns, the book gives a mental framework for analyzing and remembering poker tells.
From the Author:
I have always been primarily interested in the psychological aspects of poker. I like studying people, figuring out their personal strategies and tendencies, and trying to use that knowledge to my advantage. I love calling a big bluff, betting someone off a hand when I sense weakness, and reading the psychological ebb and flow of individual players and the game as a whole. I think poker is a tremendously deep game; the more I have studied it, the more psychological complexity I find.
I used to play poker for a living. Now I just use it as a supplemental source of income. Several factors went into my decision to stop playing professionally. The most important one was related to anxiety/stress; I realized that I basically was not mentally cut out for the life I was trying to lead. I’ve come to believe that some people are just better-equipped for the cumulative stresses of professional poker playing. Better-equipped than I am, for sure. Just as I believe that the psychological aspects of the game are under-rated by most players, I also believe that a proper psychological mindset is key to being a high-stakes winner. (I’m still undecided if the proper mindset is always inherent or can be learned.)
This blog is focused on poker tells, but don’t take this to mean that I think tells are the most important thing in the game. I don’t. They’re a very small part of the game. But I do believe that the importance of tells is vastly under-rated by even a lot of experienced players. And I think that being good at reading tells is one of those things that can make a very good player a fantastic player.
I don’t believe this subject is well-addressed by the mostly-inferior books on poker tells and poker psychology out there. In my opinion, Mike Caro’s book from 30 years ago is still the best book out there on the subject, which is not saying a lot. There have been several other misleading, badly-written, and just plain stupid books put out over the years, mostly by people who are not poker players, or who do not play significant stakes.
This is all very strange to me. I know there are plenty of players like myself who use tells on a regular basis to get an edge on the competition. And there are plenty of superior players who know more about this subject than I do. I don’t pretend to be a guru on poker tells. The things I know are common tricks of the trade to many professional poker players. But nobody’s writing about it. I don’t know why; it might really be due to the fact that most good live players are having too much fun taking people’s money to sit down and write about these things. (And if it wasn’t for my complex, love-hate relationship with poker, I’d probably be doing a lot more playing and a lot less writing.)
Sat, 25 February 2012
As a child, Wendy relished the small frontier town of Las Vegas. But as a teenager in the 1970s, Wendy's troubled home life and rebellious spirit led her to the legendary Horseshoe Club on Fremont Street, where she hooked up with Ted Binion, youngest son of notorious gambling figure Benny Binion. Her affair with the casino scion soon devolved into dalliances with high-rolling gamblers and suitcase deliveries of cash to Midwest mobsters. Binion then passed off Wendy like a trophy to Tom Hanley, a man thirty-nine years older who nonetheless drew her affections and ultimately married her. In partnership with his sadistic son, Gramby, Tom was a mob hitman. Wendy became a terrified and silent witness to his numerous crimes. Authorities say Hanley may have been responsible for more than twenty murders over three decades. Vegas Rag Doll paints a compelling portrait of the final years of organized crime in Las Vegas. In a fascinating era when legitimate facades disguised dark secrets, Wendy had a front-row seat - and a knack for survival.
Fri, 20 January 2012
This book specializes in the Gentlemen's Clubs in Las Vegas. Valarie Amber is well known in the industry as one of the top VIP dancers working in Las Vegas for the past 10 years. She wrote this book to help and educate young women all over who are considering entering the dance world in Las Vegas. This book will also help women who are currently working as dancers and it will also educate Society on the reality on how the Gentlemen's clubs in Las Vegas work. This book will help young ladies work in an environment that can be intimidating to those who visit or work in it. Thousands of dancers travel from all over the United States to work in the Gentlemen's Clubs in Las Vegas and millions of customers travel to Las Vegas to visit our Gentlemen's clubs. This is not your average Gentlemen's club. Because of the nature of the business mainly in Las Vegas, in this book, Valarie teaches the girls how to work safely and productively. The Las Vegas Gentlemen's Clubs are very different than your average strip club in any other state because of it's location and reputation of the city, Las Vegas. It's a whole different world not like any other- dancers and customers don't realize it until they are in it. This is the first book of it's kind which was originally written mainly as a guide for dancers but has surprisingly crossed over attracting high interest from men, women in other professions and now, society wants to know more.
Biography of “Valarie Amber”
My family moved to Los Angeles California when I was 5 years old and we have lived humbly ever since. My mother was a housewife and my father was a workaholic, very strict parents. Coming from a family of 5 brothers and sisters, we were always in competition with each other. I married at age 28 when my husband decided to become a drug addict, our marriage ended and caused me to flea from L.A. for my own safety & financial reasons and that’s when I discovered Las Vegas. Since I didn’t begin dancing at a young age like most dancers do, I come from a business background where I worked for private investors helping to open up various businesses and organizing the functions of the business. Also, I was involved in the entertainment industry, formally a Soul Train dancer, model, trained professional dancer, actress (playing extras on several TV shows etc…) and worked as an executive secretary for Channel 52 (Telemundo). My background gave me focus as I entered a world unknown to me and to the average person. I quickly had to figure out the type of business I became involved in and create a technique that would work for me to keep my reputation in good standing without running into trouble or getting involved with various groups that may cause me my future. I created and became my own media mobile for this industry and it worked for me. This industry showed me a different side of life and learned survival skills. For that I am thank full. It has made me who I am today and allowed me to explore areas of my life I would have never known. Prior to writing my book, dancers were offering me money to teach them techniques that can work for them. I ultimately approached one of the biggest Gentlemen’s clubs in Las Vegas offering to teach its dancers how to work in this industry in such a way that it would also benefit the club. Other clubs heard about what I was doing and inquired about my courses, trying to get me to teach in their facilities as well. Although soon after I had to stop teaching the classes to dancers when my older sister became ill of a brain tumor, I needed to help take care of her. At the same time, I also know that a huge need for training existed in this industry. I decided to write a book for the industry about how to earn good money as a dancer in a respectable way all the while taking care of my sister with her illness. As she passed, I inherited her kids and kept a solid promise to her that her kids will always be taken care of and that I would finish my book as she saw a huge need for this type of information to be told. Having worked in Las Vegas for the past 10 years as a tope VIP dancer and maintaining my status at my age proves that no boundaries exist that prevent a woman from being sexy and successful at any age regardless of the business she is in. Currently, I am working on my second book of a three part series of “The Naked Truth in a Gentlemen’s Club”. This industry has become a huge trend and an epidemic within dancers.
Wed, 21 September 2011
Greg Niemann graduated with a degree in journalism from California State University, Los Angeles, and is an accredited business communicator. He was a communications manager and publications editor with United Parcel Service for over 34 years before he retired in January 1995. Niemann was president of both the Los Angeles and Orange County chapters of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and was named Communicator of the Year by that organization. He has also served on the board of directors of the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC).
He worked for UPS as a teenager in 1957-58, and then served in the U.S. Army in Germany where he earned the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) with the highest score in the battalion. He returned to UPS as a Hollywood center delivery driver, and was promoted into management where he edited the company magazine, the Big Idea, in Southern California. Later he coordinated the editing of numerous company publications throughout the West Coast, and often helped organize visits of key UPS executives. He has personally known every UPS CEO from founder Jim Casey to the recent Mike Eskew.
Since retirement, he has been a newspaper columnist and still contributes regularly to several publications. Presently, Niemann is on staff of the San Clemente Journal, writing the award-winning South of the Border column and a travel column featuring Palm Springs and other desert destinations. Most of his articles are travel- or Baja-related, including a series on the Baja missions along with numerous fishing and off-road racing articles.
Niemann’s books include Baja Fever, Baja Legends, Palm Springs Legends, Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS and Las Vegas Legends. The memoirs brought out in Baja Fever created a loyal following of Baja fans. Baja Legends, which focuses on the characters, events, and locations that put Baja California on the map, won an award from the Outdoor Writers Association of California, and is in its third printing. Palm Springs Legends has been one of the top sellers in all Coachella Valley bookstores since its release, and is now also in its third printing. Big Brown is in several languages world-wide, and Las Vegas Legends is being released by Sunbelt Publications in mid-2011.
A popular speaker, Niemann has presented numerous slide shows and/or book signings at venues including: Barnes & Noble, Borders, Costco, Discover Baja Travel Club; Distant Lands Travel Club, Book Expo America, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. He is a member of the Friends of the Palm Springs Library, the Palm Springs Historical Society, the Las Vegas/Clark County Library District Foundation, and the Friends of Classic Las Vegas. He enjoys big game ocean fishing, fresh water fishing, and other outdoor activities, like hiking, bicycling, and rafting.
Niemann is a fourth generation Californian whose great grandfather at one time published the Pomona Progress and Independent. He and his wife reside in southern California. They travel as much as possible and also have a weekend home in Baja California, Mexico.
Sat, 27 August 2011
A former casino executive and 12-year resident of Las Vegas, Andrew McLean was a table games employee at the Flamingo, the Dunes, and Circus Circus. He’s a graduate of Michigan State University, 1972, and along with his partner and soul mate, Liz (Jenny) Rouse, resides along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.
McLean is the bestselling lead author of Investing in Real Estate (6th Edition) and co-author with George H. Ross, Donald Trump’s right-hand man in Trump Strategies For Real Estate; Billionaire Lessons For the Small Investor, published in four languages by John Wiley & Sons.
“The Las Vegas Chronicles by Andrew McLean is a truly remarkable read. After doing extensive research for my Las Vegas police and Mob books, I figured I knew most everything worth knowing about Sin City. At least that’s what I thought until I read this book.
—Denny Griffin, author
—“BR” Bob L. Riley, Aerospace Engineer retired
—Al Rainosek, Ph.D
Sat, 18 June 2011
Sheldon and his wife, Christine (known collectively as “Team Smith”), have been collecting for more than 25 years! First, they just had random items that “walked away” from the casinos with them – because they just liked them or forgot they had them! But, in the last ten years or so, they have collected casino memorabilia in earnest! “Team Smith’s” primary collection is $1 Nevada chips. However, some say their house looks like a mini-museum! Before leaving Chicago for Las Vegas, they helped organize the Chicago-land Chippers!
Until his retirement and relocation, Sheldon ran a not-for-profit educational institution (TestWatch Research Institute Ltd.) and he has been known to say that “Chips are much easier to work with than students and their parents!” Sheldon and his wife became members a little over ten years ago and have been very active ever since! In addition to serving as Vice-President, Sheldon is also both the Publicity Director and Education Director for the CC>CC.
As Publicity Director, Sheldon significantly expanded the number of articles, placements and announcements regarding the Club and the Annual Convention in national magazines and newspapers, all of which he hopes has helped the Club gain more national attention. Recently, Sheldon was instrumental in arranging for TV’s “American Pickers” to visit club member Doug Deems in Kingman, AZ!
As the Education Director, Sheldon arranges for interesting topics and knowledgeable presenters for the Educational Seminars at the Club’s Annual Convention. These seminars provide additional reasons why collectors of casino memorabilia -- and those who love the history of gambling across the U.S. and around the world -- come to the CC>CC Convention.
Sheldon has also brought PAYPAL to the Club. This provides an easier method of collecting dues and processing purchases from and for the club. He was also able to bring the CC>CC to eBay! Through eBay, the CC>CC now has access to the world’s largest online marketplace – and it to us! Under eBay rules, our Club is “not-for-profit,” which allows members to donate items for sale and now receive a tax donation letter.
Sheldon and Christine have 5.5 grandchildren and more are expected within the year! Their blended family has 2 sons, 1 daughter, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 ex-daughter-in-law, 2 brothers, 2 sisters-in-law, 2 nieces, 2 nephews and assorted cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and pets – all of whom (except the pets!) are expected to be on the look-out for casino memorabilia, chips from wherever they all travel, and anything that is even remotely related to gaming, gambling, or games of chance! One of Sheldon’s Chicago friends affectionately dubs himself, “Sheldon’s chip-mule” because of all the chips he brings back from his many cruises!
Sat, 11 June 2011
Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt is one of the real success stories of online poker. He’s the “Average Joe” who started playing micro-stakes games and eventually turned that into millions of dollars and a sponsorship deal with PokerStars. In his first book, “Treat Your Poker Like a Business,” Schmidt revealed some of the secrets to becoming an internet success story and laid out the blueprint for how micro- and small-stakes players could follow in his footsteps.
Coming off the acclaim of his first book, Schmidt teamed up with Christopher Hoppe to write his second book, “Don’t Listen to Phil Hellmuth,” which claims to correct the 50 worst pieces of poker advice you’ve ever heard. The book is available for $49.99 either as a hard copy or a PDF file that can be loaded onto most popular e-reading devices.
The concept of the book is pretty provocative and clearly the title was meant to stir the pot and create a bit of controversy. For a book being sold strictly online, there’s some leeway when it comes to self-promotional methods, so I can’t come down too hard on the shameless attempt to grab headlines through the title alone.
Nevertheless, as a player who plays small-stakes games and looking to make the jump into mid-stakes games by the end of this year, I find myself agreeing with the concept of the book more and more: the advice we all heard when we first jumped into poker is woefully outdated. The books aims to take that advice and give it a real world spin.
The books starts with an unapologetic look at the advice of years gone by from poker commentators on television and instructors on websites. The tone of the book is much more analytical than anything else, which was a good move since a book with a bratty and spiteful tone would have lost a lot of readers. The introduction sets the tone well and demonstrates the reality that poker is an organic game that is constantly evolving.
The book consists of 50 chapters, each of which has a common misconception in the game of poker. Each chapter states the misconception and then deconstructs the truth and falsehood behind it while demonstrating its reality in today’s micro- and small-stakes games. Each chapter is about four pages long and most have hand history examples if the concept calls for one.
I’m sure there will be plenty of debate regarding the advice, but the idea is that the mind will be thinking about interesting poker spots. There’s a real world look at the games in the context of each misconception and there’s definitely bound to be some nuggets of golden advice for all readers in the 50 chapters in the book.
The book isn’t necessarily linear, meaning the chapters don’t have to be read in order to make sense. If you find some of the misconceptions particularly juicy from the table of contents, skipping to them is appropriate and doesn’t take away from the experience of reading the book.
The second part of the book is a section entitled “25 Hands with Dusty Schmidt,” where the authors take a look at hands from the mid- and high-stakes cash games and break down the play. There are a lot of interesting spots that Schmidt played and there’s a strong emphasis on playing back at an opponent type and range. Again, there’s bound to be discussion about the lines Schmidt took and the summaries given.
After about 80 pages encompassing those hand histories, the final part of the book is the “Study” section, which contains a 27-page, 60-question quiz. The answers to the quiz are given on the last page so you can check.
PokerNewsDaily Book Review
Thu, 14 April 2011
The 14 contributors to this insubstantial anthology, most of whom lack science fiction publishing credentials, bypass focused extrapolation in favor of satire surrealism, and vaguely hinted catastrophes. The best of the lot is Chris Niles's "Sin's Last Stand," in which Las Vegas is finally overwhelmed by the tyranny of the religious right, sort of like The Handmaid's Tale condensed to 12 pages. Felicia Campbell's "4/18" destroys Vegas with a mysterious toxin that freezes gamblers, revelers, and debauchees in place forever. Vu Tran's "Kubla Khan" is genuinely haunting, and there is even a parody of Harlan Ellison in C.J. Mosher's "A Girl and Her Cat," but longtime SF readers looking for a richness of ideas won't find it here.
This is an interesting and important book. It blends serious literary intentions with what have been typically called genre concerns to make a collection that really speaks to contemporary fears in our culture.