By Max Shapiro
“Hey Maxey,” Big Denny bellowed on my latest visit to his dumpy card shack, “did ya hear about da Minnysoda Poker Hall of Fame?”
“That’s ‘Minnesota,’” I corrected him.
“Oh, yeah, dat’s da name of da city.”
“Minnesota is a state,” I said wearily.
“Yeah, whatever. But did ya hear about dere Poker Hall a’ Fame?”
“Yes, I read about it. It was started by the Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino to honor poker players from that state and those who helped the development of poker in Minnesota. So what about it?”
“Well,” the big guy explained, since Minnysoda is startin’ one, I figgered I could do da same an’ have a Barstow Poker Hall a’ Fame.”
Article by Derrick Oliver-Dewan
Spend a few minutes with Joe Purvis and you’ll understand why they call him ‘Poker Joe’. He loves the game. A construction worker for 22 years, Purvis began playing in the mid-80’s in the tool sheds on construction sites, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he became fully immersed in this American pastime.
“They started calling me ‘Poker Joe’ after I launched a few online forums for friends,” he says, thinking back to the days when he was an affiliate for a number of poker sites.
Purvis, a guy who’s played in more than 40 casinos all over the USA, is always working; he’s organized online and live tournaments for charities like LUPUS and disabled veterans, everything from events in hotel banquet rooms with local card sharks to nationally advertised contests featuring the likes of Jerry Yang, the 2007 World Series of Poker main event champion.
Now, he’s devoting his time and energy to an exciting new project, what he hopes will become a ‘new wave’ of poker entertainment - Your Poker Radio. In the wake of 'Black Friday', Purvis believes there is a definite need for this type of service.
by Barbara Rogers
Art by Robby Becker
This piece of art (above) reflects my brain on poker. I couldn't say it better with words. But poker dealer Robby Becker speaks to the poker player in us through his art. Robby and his wife left Vegas for Southern Florida and now he deals poker for Director Of Poker Operations, David Litvin, at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida as one of David's best dealers. His passion for art extends beyond poker. It includes plenty of beach themes and vistas from urban golf courses to fantastic sci-fi worlds. Robby's poker art specializes in colorful spay paint on canvas in abstract forms and adding the poker theme. This has drawn so much attention to his work that David has made arrangement for Robby's work to be on display at Mardi Gras poker room. You can see more by going to robbybeckerart.com. You may want to invest in his art before he becomes famous, while it's still affordable.
By Shari Geller
The television show Breaking Bad and its story of a milquetoast high school teacher’s transformation into a cold-blooded killer has become a cultural touchstone for a good segment of America. As the show wraps up its five-season run, many are looking at the main character’s arc in all its Shakespearean glory and ignominy. As with any great tragedy, there are lessons to be learned from the main character’s rise and fall, including some that can help you - not to build a meth empire, but to become a more successful poker player.
by Shari Geller
Tracing poker’s history, highlighting its rise from the Moneymaker effect to its stumble in the wake of Black Friday, “All In: The Poker Movie” is a must see documentary for any poker fan. Director, Douglas Tirola had a difficult duty, trying to tell a story that is still evolving. He traces this uniquely American pastime from its outlaw roots, through its mainstream acceptance to the current murky state. But what comes through is the love that poker players have for this maddening game, and how that will ultimately lead to a new poker boom.
by Roger Rodd
“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it” —Lou Holtz
If I would’ve bet my house on New England in Super Bowl 46, and if I could’ve chosen any NFL receiver playing today, only Larry Fitzgerald would’ve been my choice over Wes Welker, when Brady launched that pass. That’s an undisputed fact for three reasons:
My years and knowledge from playing wideout, I have never owned a house, and you’ve got to have crap in your head to bet on football games.
Welker shaved off his mustache after the game. At the post game interview he spoke faintly through eyes that clearly were welling with tears. That precipitates two more solid facts:
Welker is superstitious. In America, only a football player can cry and still be considered a man. Try crying to a few of your pals the next time your woman dumps you. They’ll be casting you for the lead in “Brokeback Mountain 2.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather during Poker Player’s Alaskan cruise. I spent three days prior to the cruise in Seattle and it was in the mid 60’s and sunny every day. I believe the residents of Seattle don’t want outsiders to know how nice it is so they say it rains all the time. We set sail on August 5 for Juneau, from there to Skagway, then to the Sawyer Glacier, and last was my favorite, Victoria, BC. What a beautiful city!
BELLAGIO CHIP THIEF ARRESTED
The down-on-his-luck son of a Las Vegas municipal judge was arrested February 2, alleged to be the motorcycle-riding robber who burst into the Bellagio, brandished a pistol, and fled with approximately $1.5 million in casino chips grabbed from a craps table. Anthony Corleo, 29, has been accused of armed robbery and is also a suspect in at least one other Las Vegas casino heist. Corleo, formerly of Pueblo, Colorado, declared bankruptcy in 2009 after running failed disk-jockey and limo-service businesses, and moved in with his father, George Assad, a controversial Las Vegas judge.
This year’s World Series of Poker broadcast on ESPN started strong, with ratings for the $50,000 Player’s Championship up 16% over last year’s numbers. Changes were made to the TV coverage of the WSOP Main Event with the airing of additional broadcasts and the inclusion of some graphics and poker terminology for the more knowledgeable fan (notating who was UTG, for example). Like the last two years, the final table was delayed for almost four months so that viewers could follow the Main Event and become invested in the outcome.