Best poker reads

The 5 Best Poker Reads

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We love reading about poker. In fact, we love poker books so much that we have an entire bookshelf dedicated to them. We have books about poker players, books about poker strategy, and books about the history of poker. Our favorite poker books are the ones that are just a darn good read. We love those books that tell a good story, whether it’s the story of a poker life, or the story of a poker game. While there are many to choose from, we consider the below to be the five best poker reads.

 

Best poker reads

 

Positively Fifth Street 

Positively Fifth Street by James McManus is the first poker book that I ever read. And what a book it is. It tells the story of the 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event in which the author not only participated (after winning a satellite to buy in), but lasted much longer than expected. Many big names of the time (some still active today) are represented in the book. Chris Ferguson is here, along with TJ Cloutier and Annie Duke.

Alongside the thrilling poker action, McManus tells the tragic story of Ted Binion, the tournament’s host, murdered (supposedly) by a stripper. The history of the Binions, one of Vegas’ biggest families, is as troubling as the poker action is exciting.  If you only read one book about poker in your lifetime, make it this one. I blame McManus (even more than Chris Moneymaker) for the poker jones that lives in me to this day.

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Best things to do in Boston - Boston Common

The 9 Best Things to Do in Boston

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When you grow up near a city, you sometimes take it for granted. You may figure you have all the time in the world to see the sites. That has certainly been true for me, living 30 minutes outside of Boston for the past two decades.  Every time we get up the energy to make the trip into the big city, we’re reminded how much we love Boston. The scope of entertainment, cultural, and scenic pleasures in the greater Boston area seems limitless. If you find yourself heading for the “Hub” (of the Universe, of course), these are our picks for the nine best things to do in Boston.

While we could share dozens of favorite activities in and around Boston, we’ll stick to the highlights. One caveat: Boston is not the easiest city to drive in (an understatement of the greatest magnitude). Do yourself a favor and leave the car at home. Instead, take advantage of the aging but sufficient rail system (MBTA or the “T”). Or if budget allows, use Uber/Lyft or cabs. Nothing ruins the Boston experience more than driving in it.

Boston Common/Public Garden

The Boston Common is not only one of the best things to do in Boston – it’s also free! A bucolic space in the middle of a dense urban area is always refreshing. Starting your visit to Boston in the common will help you get a sense of the scope of the city while enjoying it’s more pastoral side. While the Common lacks the massive scope of New York’s Central Park, it provides a similar respite from the bustling city scape. Beside the lush greenery, features include the Frog Pond, which operates in various seasons as a reflecting pool, children’s spray pool, and ice rink. The Public Garden houses not only a plethora of seasonal floral offerings, but the iconic Swan Boat rides and the famous bronze ducks made famous in the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings. At Christmas, the Common is transformed into a magical landscape of lights and winter cheer. Finally, if you ignored our advice to leave your car at home, some of the most reasonable parking in Boston can be found in the giant lot that lies beneath the Common.

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How Much Can You Save When You Travel Cross Country by RV?

Ever since I came across the idea last year, Paul and I have debated the merits of RV living when we travel cross country on our poker adventure. I have been tentatively pro RV, while Paul has leaned hard toward “Are you insane?”. Then I decided to use the magic words that always pique Paul’s interest: “You know, travelling cross country by RV will be much cheaper than staying in hotels and rentals”. While I was pretty certain that living in an RV to travel cross country would save us money, I was not 100% sure. What I was certain of: Paul would immediately open an Excel spreadsheet and figure it out.

Presto, the spreadsheet was open and Paul began to enter numbers.

Scenarios and Assumptions of Cross Country Auto Travel vs. RV Living

We brainstormed the categories of expenses for our two primary scenarios:

  1. Driving in our Mazda3 and renting AirBnBs, hotels, and hopefully some house sitting; vs.
  2. RV living for the whole trip

If we take our Poker Pilgrimage via our Mazda3, we assume that we would keep our current vehicle: a 2017 model with 30,000 miles on it currently. We estimate that we’ll be at about 80,000 miles at the start of the trip and will have the car paid off.

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Mirage Poker Room Review

The Mirage Poker Room Review

The Mirage poker room is perfectly situated in middle of the Vegas Strip between Caesar’s Palace and Treasure Island.  This ideal location allows great access to poker players staying at many of the Strip hotels.  The Mirage provides a happy medium for the visiting poker player: contemporary and nice enough, but small, and perhaps without the intimidation that larger rooms may convey.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

The Mirage is not as grand as Caesar’s or as fancy as the Wynn or Aria. But it’s certainly more upscale than many of the Strip offerings.  There are plenty of higher end restaurant options on site, but there are also chain offerings such as California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks. There is a nice range of dining options at the property, both in terms of type of cuisine and price point.

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The Orleans Poker Room Review

The Orleans Casino Poker Room Review

While most major Vegas casinos tightly hug the Strip, the Orleans Hotel and Casino is relatively isolated.  Positioned several blocks west of the south end of the strip, the Orleans must provide it all in order to draw players away from more central options. And it largely succeeds. Along with the standard gaming, hotel and upscale dining, The Orleans also houses a newly renovated multi-screen movie theater and a 70-lane bowling alley. In addition, it boasts a food court with staple chains such as Fuddruckers, Sbarro, Subway and Baskin-Robbins.   There’s even a sizable arcade for the kids.

The Orleans Casino is self-sufficient, and the Orleans poker room has a similar feel. The poker room is neither the largest or fanciest of Vegas rooms, but it gets the job done.

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