Great event at SNCCC last night

As I mentioned a few days ago, last night I was scheduled to give a talk at the meeting of the Southern Nevada Casino Collectibles Club

I had a great time talking to the collectors. Usually when I speak to groups, I  give a straight talk about casino history. But knowing how savvy collectors are about casino history (I learn something just about every time I talk to one), I skipped that and instead we had a great Q&A where I pointed them to some sources for their own historical research and shared some of my finds.

It was fun because it was a chance to talk about the behind-the-scenes aspects of my job (and my research/writing) that I don’t usually get to.

I also brought a few copies of the new book and sold (and signed) them all, making this my first book signing event for Roll the Bones (Casino Edition)

All of which made me think I should do this more often. If you’ve got a group in Southern Nevada and are looking for a speaker, I’d be happy to give a brief talk about what I do and what I’ve written. It’d be nice if I could bring a few books to sell as well.

And if you’re coming to town for a convention or are an event planned, I also do convention speaking. I’ve got two main talks that I give.

The first is Seven Things You Should Know About Casinos, which explains some of the tricks of the casino trade to novice audiences and is a perfect fit for the first day’s lunch speaker. It’s humorous, and people get a good overview of the odds of different games, casino history, the mob, counting cards, and casino etiquette. 

The second is How Bugsy Blew It: Leadership Lessons from a Las Vegas Legend. This one is a good fit as a management/leadership/motivational talk. I share the real story of how Bugsy Siegel took control over the Flamingo project and nearly ran it into the ground before getting murdered by an unknown assailant in 1947, but with a hook: what can leaders learn from his mistakes? It’s a different spin on the usual motivational talk, but one that has some good lessons for everyone.

If you’re interested in having me speak to your group, whether it’s a social group of Las Vegas locals or a visiting convention group, contact me


Steve Friess speaking at UNLV

As promised, here’s information about the latest Author Event sponsored by UNLV Libraries and the Center for Gaming Research. Steve Friess, who you might know as one of the most famous Vegas podcasters around, will be speaking at UNLV November 8. From the CGR website:

WHAT: Steve Friess, author of GAY VEGAS, will speak, answer questions, and sign copies of his guide to “the other side” of Las Vegas .

WHEN: Thursday, November 8, from 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Extended Study Lounge, first floor of Lied Library, at UNLV

DETAILS: Friess will read from and speak about his book, current issues in Las Vegas , and recent trends in gay life in America . Gay Vegas looks at the popular tourist mecca through a gay and lesbian lens. He writes snappily about the sometimes-hidden, sometimes-obvious same-sex side of Las Vegas .

Friess, a Las Vegas-based freelance writer, is a regular contributor to USA Today , The New York Times , Newsweek and dozens of other major periodicals as well as a Las Vegas Weekly columnist and a regular contributor to KNPR’s “State of Nevada .” A Las Vegas resident since 1996, he founded the Las Vegas chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Friess and his partner, KVBC Executive Producer Miles Smith, co-host the weekly celebrity-interview podcast, “The Strip.”
Center for Gaming Research: Special Events

This event should be interesting: in addition to having written a great book, Steve interviews some of the major players in Las Vegas, so he should have a great deal to say.


Manhattan signing

If you live in the New York area and have long been curious about Roll the Bones but haven’t gotten around to buying your copy yet, you don’t have to wait any longer. While I was in town yesterday, I had an impropmtu signing at Borders Columbus Circle. When I walked into the store, there were two copies of Roll the Bones on the shelf–when I left, there were two copies on the shelf with “signed by author” stickers on the front and some fresh scribblings inside. So if you want an autographed, first-edition hardcover of Roll the Bones and are going to be in the area, go ahead and pick one up before they are gone.

The funny thing is that I got carded while visiting office buildings (they check your ID before letting you up), but didn’t get asked to show proof of identification or authorship to sign the books. I guess they figured that if I was some weirdo who got his jollies by signing other people’s books, I would have said I was someone with more than two books in stock.


Rolling in the East

Here’s today’s Roll the Bones update: the long-anticipated East Coast book launch event has finally been announced:

WHAT: Official East Coast launch event, Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling
WHEN: Sunday, October 22, 2 pm
WHERE: Foxwoods Resort Casino
WHO: Author David G. Schwartz will be reading from his book, answering questions, and signing copies

Those of you in the New England/New York/Mid-Atlantic area who were bummed out over not being able attend the Global Launch Spectacular in Las Vegas (October 7, 2 p.m., at Mandalay Place) now have another option.

Seriously, thanks to Foxwoods for hosting the signing. The book opens with the Mystic Massacre and eventual birth of Foxwoods, so it’s the most appropriate place for a signing I can think of.