Hawaiian Gardens shift manager Nancy Grout says it was the long ago phone call from a girlfriend that changed everything, taking her across the country and into a new life.
She was back home in Pittsburgh on a break from studies at a Miami fashion school on a day in the mid- 1970s when she got a call from the friend whose family had moved to Las Vegas.
"Her father had been a policeman in Pittsburgh," Nancy says, "and he went out to Las Vegas to be a security guard at the MGM which was then the new big place in town."
This is the third and final installment of Jennifer Matiran's interview with Annie Duke.
During their initial conversation, Annie said, "I know players that have more talent in their pinky than I do in my whole body and they're broke."
"What do you mean?"
Jennifer asked. "They have leaks," said Annie.
"Leaks, what are leaks?" Jennifer asked curiously. "Leaks are when someone wins at the poker table and then proceeds to bet what they won on something else, and they end up losing everything they won in the first place."
David "Chip" Reese was, born in Dayton Ohio in 1951 and died in his sleep December 4, 2007. Widely regarded as one of the best poker players in the world and the youngest player inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, this profile was done by Phil Hevener a few years ago. Poker Player Newspaper is presenting it again, in honor of Reese's memory. -Lou Krieger, Editor
David 'Chip' Reese died in his sleep early on the morning of December 4, 2008. He 'folded' quietly, and although he may have lost this, the last hand he played, he was a winner in the game of life.
Jesse Jones figures he took a big step forward on behalf of poker players everywhere two years ago when the World Poker Association was incorporated.
He had arrived, it seemed, at the right moment with a good idea. The retired real estate investor and cancer survivor who calls Las Vegas home, figures the best is still to come as WPA membership grows.
Going home again felt like a good idea, something he could afford to do, so Jerry Yang and his family said goodbye to Southern California and headed north. That was last summer after Yang played his way through 6,357 players to win the $8.25 million first prize that goes with taking the main event at the World Series of Poker.
This kind of money can put big decisions within easy reach, so he and his wife quit their jobs and returned to the Fresno area where he had gone to high school before heading off to seek his fortune.
He was on the road again, poker pro Lee Watkinson and his friends.
There he was on an afternoon in mid-September, sitting around his London hotel waiting for a plane out of there, still deciding on his next stop in search of poker table action.
How many British pro players can you name? I imagine most North American poker enthusiasts can only think of a handful of the most high profile players, such as Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot, Roland de Wolfe, or maybe Ram Vaswani. There is however one player from over here who you should also know about, as his status in the UK is nothing short of legendary.
Normandie Casino General Manager Karlo Deza was a college student when he landed his first job in the poker business at the Gardena casino.
It was 1994, Deza was 21, trying to help his mom out and had been told that working as a poker dealer would be a good gig, a nice way of getting over the hump, financially speaking, as he moved toward a degree while also helping his family get what it needed in this land of opportunity that they called home. Deza had arrived on the West Coast with his mother from the Philippines some years before.
Venetian Poker Operations Director Kathy Raymond was recalling the essence of that long ago time when she reached one of those life-changing moments and decided enough is enough. This was the early 1990s, a time when poker was a refuge she visited to escape the rigors of her 8 to 5 job as a certified public accountant.
A CPA, of all things ... if the people who know her now can even imagine such a thing.
"I was bored out of my head," is the way she remembers it. There had to be something with a bit more pizzazz to it, and so she gave the issue serious thought.