Poker Personalities: Vanessa Selbst

The Fifteen Greatest Poker Personalities

When I first started watching poker on TV in the early 2000s, I believed that many of the leading poker personalities just could not be real people. So many were straight out of central casting. Cowboys, magicians, professors, ex-cons…even Jesus showed up. There were so many engaging individuals with such varying styles. It seemed too good to be true.

Over the past twenty years, as poker’s online presence rocketed the player base, and poker theory and study expanded as well, poker became a more serious endeavor. There were more players winning major events playing silently and methodically. However, some of the great characters persevered and enjoyed increased TV audiences. And new unique personalities emerged. So today I offer my rundown of the fifteen greatest poker personalities of all time.

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The Best Shows To Stream Part 1: Comedies and Post-Apocalyptic Shows

For many poker players 2020 has been rough. Many states have shuttered their poker rooms, and others have seen rooms open and close again. Now, with winter ahead, we  are all seeking other distractions. While we have personally added hiking as a healthy alternative (and started an Instagram account to document it), there’s still a lot of time to fill. And nothing fills those dark winter evenings like great, long, streaming series. While we joke that we have “finished Netflix” we still continuously seek new series. As we do, we figured we’d share some of the best shows to stream with our poker brethren.

We’re going to focus on series that not everyone has seen. We know you know about The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Game of Thrones (ok, confession time, incredibly we skipped that one). Instead, we’ll share some of the lower profile shows you may not have heard of. Since these are some of the best shows streaming has to offer, not many are really obscure, but we imagine there will be one or two you will have missed. We’re also sharing our favorite international shows, including the best non-English speaking shows for those who don’t mind subtitles.

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Charity Poker The Brook

Charity Poker, New Hampshire Style

Poker and charity are seldom uttered in the same breath. Sure, special tournaments are sometimes held to raise money for a specific charity. The poker being played at such events is generally for fun, and many of the players are novices. Thus, charity poker usually connotes something very different from  traditional competitive poker.

When the state of New Hampshire started offering legal poker and gaming in 1977, they linked it with charitable giving. Thirty-five percent of all poker and table game proceeds (after prizes) in New Hampshire go to designated charities. Further, of course, the State gathers another 10% in tax revenue. As of October 2020, 15 locations in the state offer poker and contribute to charity and tax revenue. We’ve long wondered what those numbers look like.

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Designing the Perfect Poker Room

What would the perfect poker room look like? From all the rooms you’ve attended what features and services would create the ideal playing experience? Sure, these days you may just be looking for a room that’s open. But let’s look ahead (and back) to simpler times when all of our favorite poker rooms are open and safe an ready for action. Here are the features that make up our perfect poker room.

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Tampa Bay Vacation: Riverwalk

Our Tampa Bay Vacation

In 2018, Heather and I visited Atlantic Beach (Jacksonville area) and Northeast Florida. We gave it a resounding, and slightly unexpected, big thumbs up. In 2019, we took a highly anticipated extended vacation to South Florida. We came away mildly disappointed with Miami and the Keys. The only logical next step was to see what the other poker rich section of Florida – Tampa – had to offer. So in the last week of February, we combined a work and fun (and poker!) excursion to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area for a Tampa Bay vacation. While there were things we really liked and others, not so much, most of all we are glad we didn’t decide to vacation in March this year.

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