Monday, February 23, 2015

Recent Reads

Thought I’d take a post today to pass along some interesting poker-related reads from the last few days.

Last week over on BLUFF there appeared a lengthy, entertaining feature by Will O’Connor describing “The Last Hours of the Taj Mahal Poker Room” that’s worth a look.

Late last year it appeared as though the Trump Taj Mahal would become the fifth Atlantic City casino to close in 2014, though it managed to remain open after declaring bankruptcy in September, then settling a major dispute with employees over the paying of benefits, then getting a $20 million loan from a creditor in late December to help keep the doors open.

The poker room -- the one Mike and Worm take a trip to in Rounders and a one-time focal point of east coast poker -- closed down just before midnight on February 15th, and the feature describes in detail the scene during those final hours. Word is there are intentions to reopen the room this summer, although that plan (like the future of the Trump Taj Mahal) is uncertain.

Late last week another longish -- not entirely unrelated -- piece went up over on Rob’s Vegas and Poker Blog titled “Dominick Muzio and the State of Poker Today.”

Readers of this blog have likely found Rob’s blog over the last three-plus years since he started it to share interesting stories of his own low-limit adventures among many other items of poker-related interest. In this post he speaks at length with Muzio, a dealer in LV since 2009 who also works as a floor/shift supervisor at Treasure Island.

The theme of the conversation concerns why live poker has become less fun (and less popular) of late, and Muzio shares a number of thoughts to help explain that trend while also proposing ideas for reversing it. Some topics covered include math-versus-feel players, the dominance of no-limit hold’em, payout schedules for tournaments, the (relative) lack of online poker, and the social aspect of the game.

Check it out, and for an addendum adding other thoughts on the same issue see Grange95’s post “Making Poker Fun Again.”

Finally, you probably heard about the Bitcoin-based Seals With Clubs site going down a couple of weeks ago, and now apparently for good. You might also have heard how Bryan Micon, the best-known face of the site, had his Las Vegas home raided by gun-toting agents serving a warrant from the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Giovanni Angioni spoke with Micon for PokerNews and the interview appears amid a feature explaining what happened with the site and the raid titled “Seals With Clubs Chairman Bryan Micon: ‘The Police Raid Was Completely Unnecessary.’

Micon talks about the history and final demise of Seals With Clubs, his hasty move to Antigua, and plans for the impending launch of SwC 2.0. Kind of a wild, confusing story, and thus another intriguing read.

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