My latest for Forbes looks at what it takes to go far in the World Series of Poker’s Main Event:
It doesn’t seem like hard work when you first think about it. Pay a few hundred dollars to buy into a satellite tournament. Get a few lucky cards, win your seat in the World Series of Poker’s Main Event. Fly out to Vegas. Keep your cool, keep your focus. Catch a few more good breaks, make it to the final table. Keep your cool, and know when to hold em and when to fold em, and you’ll be counting your $8.8 million in prize money and posing with your new gold bracelet.
With the World Series of poker underway, I decided to look first at the history of the game:
The World Series of Poker, whose Main Event got underway last Monday, is today a global phenomenon, with thousands of players hoping to bluff and raise their way towards the millions of dollars at stake. Its first years were considerably smaller scale, but have some interesting lessons that still resonate today.
I wrote a little something to commemorate the Stardust’s 60th birthday for the Mob Museum:
The Stardust opened in a blaze of fireworks on July 2, 1958. With its 1,000 guest rooms, it was bigger than any hotel previously opened in Las Vegas. Size, rather than style, was the hotel’s most prominent feature. Its 16,000-square-foot casino was immense for its time, and the 140-foot bar that ran along much of its east wall was the forerunner of The D’s present-day Longbar in downtown Las Vegas.
My latest for Forbes.com is a look into the revival of bingo in Las Vegas:
Bingo’s not the newest game in town, but in the hyper-competitive Downtown Las Vegas market, one casino is using it to appeal to both traditional and younger players. While casinos often lose money at the game itself, its passionate players make it a jackpot for some casinos.
My latest talk with Craig Shacklett of URComped.com is up. In it we talk about the real impact of the Vegas Golden Knights on Las Vegas, Derek Stevens’ role in Downtown Las Vegas (and his support of the Knights) and the latest obstacles for aspiring slot YouTubers:
As a teacher, one of the most gratifying things is seeing your students go out and make their own success. So writing this story for Forbes about one of my former students was a delight:
Since last December, Michel, billed as “El Mentalista Meixcano” (the Mexican Mentalist) has starred in Ilusión Mental, a mind-reading show that is performed entirely in Spanish. The show, which runs at 5:30 p.m. four nights a week at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater, just notched an important milestone: its 100th performance. And the fact that it is thriving in a crowded, competitive (a quick scan of Vegas.com shows no less than 114 current productions) market says a great deal about the potential for Spanish-language entertainment in Las Vegas.
Last week for Forbes (how time flies!) I wrote about the ultimate impact the Vegas Golden Knights have had on Las Vegas:
Speaking of on-ice accomplishments, it would be hard to script a better first season for the team. Even a Stanley Cup win would have been a worse outcome. To use a gambling analogy: If you hit Megabucks for millions the first time you sit down at a machine, there really is no reason to play a second time. You’ll just never be able to match that jackpot (unless you’re Elmer Sherwin). Had the Knights taken home hockey’s biggest prize in their rookie year, there would have been no place to go but down.
I got interested in slot YouTubers a while back. Last week, two of them had their channels suspended, which made it newsworthy. This Forbes piece talks about the controversy:
On June 3rd at 7:28 in the morning, Brian Christopher got an email from “The YouTube Team” telling him that his video, “Smokin’ Hot Gems, BIG WIN Mammoth Power Slot Machine Pokies w Brian Christopher” had been taken down for violating content restrictions on “violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.” This was his first strike. Seconds later, he got another email telling him that “due to repeated or severe violations” of YouTube’s community guidelines, his account had been suspended. His channel, which he had been building for two years, had vanished. Hundreds of his videos, all of which feature him playing slot machines and winning jackpots, were wiped out.
The whole phenomenon of the slot channels deserves more attention, but I think the real story here is the control YouTube has over content and the opaque way that the company enforces its community guidelines.
It’s been a few days, but last week I wrote something for Forbes about Joe Asher and Delaware’s first single-game sports bet:
In the wake of PASPA’s repeal, many states have made their intentions to start taking legal bets clear. But Delaware was the first to act on its intentions. But it’s been a long struggle to taking that first bet, something that William Hill US CEO Joe Asher, who started in the betting business at Wilmington’s Brandywine Raceway at the age of 16, knows better than anybody.