William J. Bennett has been one of the most influential men in America for the last 30 years. Few citizens, if any, have had such influence on the culture, politics, ethics, and education of our nation. Yet, as a gambler, he bet it all.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943, as a boy he moved with his parents to Washington D.C. A devout Catholic, Bill attended Gonzaga High School and graduated with a B.A. Degree in Philosophy from Williams College. He went on to earn a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Texas and a Law Degree from Harvard.
Of course we all know about the moon and Jupiter and Sputnik. (Do you remember that? In 1957-fifty years ago-the Russians launched their first sputnik satellite into orbit).
I love etymology, the origin of words-where they come from, how they evolve and how we use them. But who would have ever guessed that the word satellite would become the name of a preliminary event that preceded a major poker tournament? A poker satellite is one or more table poker tournament that lets players who win these games enter big tournaments at a fraction of the entry price.
Recently on the cable television show "Inside Poker", Mike Matasow was asked to respond to the word "tradition" as it related to poker. He responded, "Well tradition, when we used to come here to Binion's Horseshoe [for the WSOP], there was so much tradition and so much feeling when you walked in.
The Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas has been welcoming guests since it opened its doors in 1946 and was named the largest casino in the world. Occupying one of the four famous downtown corners at Casino Center and Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas for six decades the Nugget got a new lease on life in 1972 with the arrival of Steve Wynn, the young Las Vegas visionary. The Golden Nugget was the first Steve Wynn Vegas project, the place where he honed his talents to build a better Las Vegas.
Dear Reader, I've had the worst luck in the history of human kind recently, okay maybe not that bad but it's been pretty darn bad I tell you. Instead of withching and moaning I've decided to take the high road in the following column...Read this if you're playing poker but you really don't feel like reading about it, sort of.
A while back, we were talking about different types of bluffs. Here's another one for you consideration, one that relies on a phenomenon known as applied luck. Applied luck is not quite the same as general, or garden-variety, luck, which just amounts to running good or running bad. To enjoy applied luck is to receive the right hand at the right time, in a confluence of cards, image, and recent history. This harmonic convergence adds up to an excellent bluffing opportunity.
NAME OF BLUFF: CAUGHT STEALING -- AND STEALING AGAIN
The 2006 World Series of Poker ended on August 10 and by August 21 the courts were involved in deciding how to distribute the $12 million first place money. According to the papers filed in Clark County district court, Crispin Leyser claims that he and Jamie Gold had a verbal agreement to split 50/50, any winnings at the main event, Leyser says he has not received a dime from Gold, and is concerned that he never will. The court has restrained the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino from distributing the money, until after the September 1 hearing date.
Hang out with a group of poker players for any serious amount of time, and you are sure to here a discussion that starts with, "I'd be rich if..." It might be something like, "I would be rich if I would learn to fold A-K when it doesn't hit the flop." A common one is, "I would be rich if those darn fish would quit their 3 outers on the River against me." A quip that really seems to be popular is, "I would be rich if I could keep those poker winnings away from the craps table."
Robert Varkonyi's biggest pay day as a poker player came on May 24, 2002. It was $2 million . . .
first prize money the day he won the World Series of Poker championship at the Horseshoe in Las Vegas.
Poker was on the verge of a lot of big things and Varkonyi sometimes thinks it might have been nice to have timed events a little differently. Maybe win the big game a year or two or three later when the number of entries paying $10,000 had climbed into the thousands and the ancillary money-making opportunities associated with winning poker's biggest event had mushroomed.
I was on the deck of Hobby's Lazybuns yacht when I noticed a lady in summer finery walking toward the slip. As she came into shouting distance she waved and asked, "Are you Mr. Newton?"
"No, but I'll get him."
I stuck my head in the cabin and said loudly, "Hobby, you've got company." As he came up from below he said, "Who is it, Joe?"
"I don't know"
Hobby walked to the deck rail and said, "Hi, I'm Hobby Newton. What can I do for you?"
"My name is Lara Mitchell. May I come aboard and talk to you about poker?"
"Poker! Yeah, I guess so. Come up the steps."