I usually wait for movies to come to Red Box or even on TV but lately, I’ve been on a “movie in the theater” kick. Our local cinema has the wonderful recliner seats and Wednesdays are Seniors Specials. Just $4.00 for a movie. The popcorn is still exorbitant but with an AARP card, you can get a break on refreshments. I had a left over from Christmas, Regal gift card, so I was a cheap date. (I took myself to the movies.) A couple of weeks ago, I saw “Bad Moms.” You would think this would be a family movie. You would be wrong. After being in the poker world for decades, you could think my ears would be accustomed to harsh, even vile language; you would be wrong. This movie was overflowing with very unfamily-friendly language. Funny in some parts, totally unnecessary in others. Glad I didn’t pay $12.00 to see this one, but it was worth $4.00. A nice break from real life.
Most recently, I saw “Florence Foster Jenkins.” I love true stories and this one was a hoot. A sweet, yet unusual love story. A lot of laughs and well done by Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Simon Helberg. Streep will likely win another Academy Award for this one and who knew Grant could dance? One dance scene was incredible! I wish I could have rewound it and watched it several times. Helberg (Howard on “The Big Band Theory”) is a magnificent pianist!) Who knew? I heard other movie goers talking about his talent. They said the producers romanced him for the part; not only for his appearance but also for his talent. You don’t have to be a music lover to enjoy this movie.
Now I anxiously await the movie “Sully”, opening in early Sept.9. I love the true story and I love Tom Hanks.
I also anxiously await the upcoming documentary about Women in Poker. A little backstory: Jan Fisher and Linda Johnson were having dinner one night, a couple of years ago, at a Japanese restaurant where folks share a table. They met and started talking to some folks in town for a convention. Turns out these folks were movie makers in general, documentaries in particular. “What a great idea for a documentary!” They said after hearing about Jan and Linda’s careers. And that was the beginning. I was delighted to be asked to participate and can’t wait to see the outcome.
On another subject: Attention all mixed game poker players. Binion’s is turning back the clock to the way poker used to be. Beginning this Friday, Aug. 26, at 3 P.M. they will be spreading mixed game tournaments four days a week, including Triple Stud (my favorite), Mixed Triple Draw, Mixed Pot limit and HORSE. Buy-ins range from $125 to $200. Call Binion’s for details, 702-382-1600. I hope to see you there!
It has been and will continue to be, a long hot summer in Las Vegas. The World Series of Poker has come and gone and I am sorry to have to admit that I, personally, had a rather dismal series. Certainly nothing to brag about. However, playing and winning is only part of the fun and excitement of the WSOP. Every summer, we celebrate what has become known as “Ladies Week”. It is always the days surrounding the Ladies World Championship. Lots of parties, tournaments, and get togethers happen at this time. This year, the Raes hosted a 4th of July dinner at a local restaurant, followed by desserts and watching fireworks from their backyard. This year, their dinner was, of course decorated with red, white and blue. The patriotic decorations, followed by patriotic music by a quartet, and a surprise gift, an acappella solo by poker friend, Georgia Napolitano. Georgia is the daughter of Mark and Tina Napolitano. What a voice this young woman has been blessed with! Her spontaneous rendition of “The National Anthem” gave most goosebumps and many patriotic tears and definitely brought down the house. After the standing ovation, my BFF Hermie, who has been blind for a number of years, was motivated to speak to the crowd. She said, “In 1951, my life began in the Hawaiian Islands. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state. All my life I have been very proud to be an American. When I lost my vision, things were tough, but at least I couldn’t see the awful things that were happening in this world and in our country. Tonight, I am glad to tell you that I ‘hear’ the American spirit is alive and well!” Another emotional and patriotic moment that brought down the house!
After a memorable dinner and entertainment, we all traveled the short distance to the Raes, where there was an assortment of desserts that, as my friend Della would say, could make you slap your Pappa. (This is a very good thing, she assures me.) The list of confections would make any bakery envious.
The following evening, Shirley our poker friend from Lake Tahoe had a “Sweet Suite Party” for a bunch of the girls. Shirley had a connection and managed to get a beautiful suite at one of the major casinos. The only man present was James Gilmore. James is a Professor of Communications and Journalism and Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He was there with Dr. Tracy Halcomb, a Professor of Communications at Flager College in St. Augustine, Florida. If what I am about to tell you is a big secret, nobody told me. James and Tracy were in town putting finishing touches on a Documentary about “Women in Poker.” Even after filming, there is a lot of work before the finished product is ready to view, but I’ll certainly let you know.
Shirley’s Sweet Suite party offered all the leftover desserts from Doralee’s 4th of July party plus some new additions.
The following day, the film crew and 10 poker playing gals came to my house for lunch and a poker game for the film. What a dessert spread we had … all the sweets from Doralee’s and Shirley’s parties were on display and attacked again.
Even for those of us who did not win a huge hunk of money, we certainly were winners in the friendship department.
From the time I was six or seven years old until my 15th year, I looked forward to summer camp with much anticipation. It was as exciting a time in my young life as was Christmas. Perhaps more so because it lasted longer. I knew I would meet up with old friends and make new ones. I knew that if all went well, I would have great challenges with great rewards! Unlike today, where kids get awards for showing up, we had to win to collect a prize or trophy, either our team or us as individuals, depending on the competition. We had to practice, play well, and get lucky in order to win. Today, as a 60 something adult I look forward to our poker summer camp with just as much anticipation as my childhood self looked forward to four weeks at Youth Incorporated Camp.
Today I was putting together a calendar of events that I am interested in, and what is going on where, during our Poker Summer Camp in Las Vegas. I would have to have the energy of a 21-year-old on speed and a Trump wealth bankroll to play all that I would like to play. However, today, with the huge growth in poker competition, one does not have to have the wealth. Just a normal bankroll will do. A moderate bankroll might not get you into a world championship event, but it sure as heck can get you into some of the side tournaments, which will be happening all over Las Vegas from the middle of this month, everyday, all day and evening, through the middle of July. I plan to use these smaller buy-in tournaments to satellite into the events that I hope to play at the 2016 World Series of Poker. Whew! If you are going to be in the city and you are a poker player who loves competition and the possibility of turning an average, even a small bankroll into a major win, check it out: Aria, Binions, Golden Nugget, Venetian, Wynn and of course, the WSOP at the Rio. Good luck dear peeps, unless I am in your pot!
On another subject, I saw a good movie the other day, “Mother’s Day.” Many would call this a chick flick, but if you’re a guy type person, and go to see this movie and claim not to enjoy it, you’re a liar! It’s not very often that a feel good, funny movie with a deep message comes along. Do yourself a favor, go see it!On yet another subject, another great review for you: The Horseshoe Casino Poker room in Tunica, Miss. The room and the employees are terrific! I had the pleasure of visiting Tunica (and Memphis, Beale Street and B.B. Kings ) with the Senior Poker Tour March 30 – April 5. What a great time! I had not been there for a couple of years, but I am happy to report that nothing has changed from the great Southern cooking to the truly outstanding poker room staff.
If you have time to spare, go by air! What a mess the airports were, coming and going! I could have driven home for the hours I had to wait (along with another zillion unhappy travelers.) When I am super wealthy, I am going to buy a jet like Trumps and avoid all that hassel!
I just returned from 4 days in Reno where I joined the LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) for Nevada State Ladies Poker championship at the classy and beautiful Peppermill Casino. I didn’t win a dime, but I had such a good time, greeting old friends and meeting new ones.
There is a documentary movie being made about Ladies in Poker and we got to see a preview. When Jan and Linda were approached about this project, believe me, they had heard this pitch before. Both thought, “Yea, yea a movie, sure, prove it.” And then, if it went any further, the possible producers would eventually come back to them and request help with financing. Not this time. This group actually got a grant, made a promo then got a bigger grant from a University to complete the project. It is all very exciting.
Ladies tournaments are different. Believe me, I would rather play the men as the ladies are double tough. They are tough, but they are also softies. One of the Peppermill ‘s cocktail waitresses was “great with child.” She was having a terrible time delivering all the drinks and bottles of water. Not only did some of the girls help her out, one of them took up a tip collection. Baby needs new shoes, sure enough. That baby will end up with new baby furniture to go with the shoes. These gals are generous!
One of the funniest stories I heard was when Della told her boyfriend that she was getting to the age where she was considering having a little work done, so perhaps she could look as young as she feels. He was ardently opposed to the idea. He assured her that she looked just fine and did not need to spend her hard-earned money on such vanity. Not long after, Della showed him a picture of a beautiful woman, a poker player, on the beach during one of the fabulous Card Player Cruises. For all of us who know and love this lady, she is one knock-out-good-looking woman. And, as Della explained to her fellow, she and this poker lady are about the same age. He then said, “Honey, it’s your money and if you want to spend it on improving yourself, so what if it’s vanity. You go for it!”Congratulations to all the winners and a special congrats to Linda Johnson, our First Lady of Poker, for making the final table in all three events and winning the first one! LJ, as many of us call her, is one hell of a poker player! Creme de la creme, indeed!
Don’t miss the next big LIPS reunion, during Ladies Week during the World Series of Poker, in Las Vegas this coming July. Go to Ladies International Poker Series for dates, times, and places. Hope to see you there!