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Vegas, According to my phone August 10, 2014

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My yearly trip to Vegas for the World Series of Poker is my favorite time of year. A week after covering the US Chess Championship in Saint Louis, I was strapped in for my first live poker in months.




After a week of bricks, I moved on to covering the National Open in Las Vegas and also played in the G/10 Championship at the Riviera.

Daniel and I also filmed a video for CLO on the Millionaire Chess Open with GM Maurice Ashley. As usual, Vegas local and X Chess Champ Elliott Liu showed the chessplayers a good time. Here we are at one of my favorite spots in Vegas, Insert Coins.



Then I met with my friend Renae Garcia about REG “Raising for Effective Giving”, a non-profit she founded along with Liv Boeree, Phil Grussiem and Igor Kurganov.



I helped Daniel direct some promotional video for them and after learning more, decided to sign up and pledge 2% of my tournament winnings. I was just in time to win a contest for free training with Igor and Phil.
I wrote about that experience and some thoughts on giving on the PokerStars Blog.

I also had a great time at the Chad Brown Memorial tournament sponsored by PokerStars, which raised over $70,000 for charity.




My quick trip to Los Angeles for Adventures of the Mind “TED for teens” was another highlight. I played a simul against the high school students. After winning the final game, I was told by one high school girl that “I had so much swag it was ridiculous.” A sincere compliment from a teenager is no joke.




Back in Vegas, tournaments weren’t going too well for me so I kept my spirits up by running like god in Open Face Chinese. From my hotel room, I made a video for RunItOnce, which included some live hand histories:



Truly, the beauty of Chinese Poker is you can play it ANYWHERE.

Below are some of my favorite interviews in Vegas, including a dual one for the Mark Hoke show with Katie Dozier.


Seeing and rooting on friends like Katie is one of the best things about the WSOP. I was really proud of my friend Melissa Burr for her amazing performance, which Jen Newell covered in an excellent profile piece for Cardschat.




Some other fun Vegas pix:













When I finally left Las Vegas, a few days later than originally planned, I overslept for my flight. I haven’t been late for a flight in a decade. I’ve been waiting for a sign that I need to ease up and schedule in more breaks from travel.

But not quite yet. I’m too excited about my next batch of trips. First I head to Indiana for a Yamie Chess Simul with Scouts and panel talks at Gen Con, Then it’s off to STL for commentary of the Sinquefield Cup, the strongest chess tournament in history. Soon after, I’ll head to Europe for some WCOOP events (World Championship of Online of Poker), the Isle of Mann UKIPT & the PokerStars Chess International.

Follow me on twitter and Instagram for real-time updates.