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WSOP Interview on Women in Poker July 23, 2012

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I’m composing a long and ambitious piece about my experience at the World Series of Poker. In other words, look for it in August. If you follow me on twitter, you know a lot about the ups and downs of my 2012 WSOP. I had a fantastic time obviously (not hard at “adult summer camp”) but I didn’t run well at poker in several key moments, for instance my bustout hand in the Main Event.

Women did fantastically at this year’s WSOP. Though two beautiful young women narrowly missed out on final-tabling the Main Event (see Hitler’s reaction), Vanessa Selbst won a bracelet in the ten-game mix and Amanda Musumeci and Jackie Glazier both placed 2nd in No Limit Hold Em events. See my PokerStars Women article on Selbst.

I was interviewed on QuadJacks about ChessBitch, women in poker and the WSOP Ladies Event.

Accidentally Grinding & the 2012 WSOP May 29, 2012

Posted by Administrator in : chess,feminism,poker,travel , 6 comments

Years ago, before I played poker at all, I showed my brother Greg aka “curtains”, an early draft of my first book, Chess Bitch. In the final chapter I chronicled my second US Women’s Championship title win and wrote about how Greg, also an International chess Master, had switched from chess to grinding online poker.

Greg circled the word “grinding” in red. “Grinding is sort of an insult” he explained, for players who are so mediocre they have to play as many hours as possible to get by. He wasn’t grinding, but gliding on a four-hour workday while developing early theory of sit-n-gos. So I edited the section to: “Greg had been earning a good living playing [poker] online and occasionally flying off to tournaments. While I was playing at the World Women’s Championship in Russia, Greg [was] in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker.”

Greg and I have since traded places. I play more poker while retaining a deep involvement in chess, while Greg stopped playing poker after Black Friday, both due to a renewed passion for the royal game and a dislike for live poker.

Grinding also means something different in 2012 than in those poker boom years.

At the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this year, I became good friends with a MTT and live-cash game pro Jamie Kerstetter. Some of my most vivid memories from the Bahamas were talking intently to Jamie about poker, life & gossip as slot machines, chattering poker heroes and waves barely registered in the background. “If you’re still in the game in 2012”, Jamie pointed out, you are probably grinding. This would no longer read as a vague insult.

And perhaps we were good examples. Neither Jamie or I were sponsored players, millionaires or tagging along high-rolling boyfriends at the lavish Atlantis resort. Yet there we were in January to play cards and drink alcoholic milkshakes in the sunshine.

A little over a year ago, Katie Stone, a poker player and entrepreneur I knew from the chess world invited me to be one of four “Grindettes” along with Jamie and Katie Dozier. The idea of the group was to travel to events, work on training and media projects to inspire other women and show that many lesser-known females were also strong players.

Flattered, I agreed right away even though I don’t consider myself a pure poker grinder. Since Black Friday, I can’t squeeze in the ~20 hours of weekly poker I used to, though I play on Bovada and watch more poker training videos than ever. But I surely qualify as a life grinder. From editing Chess Life Online to producing the Extreme Chess Championships, preparing chess lessons, promoting my books and writing for PokerStars Women, I’m constantly multi-tabling word docs. I express darker thoughts via video art projects like Poker Fairy Tale. It’s diverse and wonderful but often exhausting.

All the women in our group work hard and attack the game from slightly different angles. Jamie is witty, streaks her blonde hair pink and is a clear unbiased favorite to win this year’s WSOP National Championship, an exclusive freeroll limited to 200 players. Jamie qualified by beasting in a number of WSOP-Circuit events. Katie Dozier has a strong mathematical understanding of the game and combines creativity with a strong work ethic in projects like her novel, The Superuser and a column for Cardplayer. Finally, Katie Stone thinks big, from forming the Grindettes to the nationwide series of chess camps she ran when I first met her.

At the final table of a side event at Monte Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final

And it feels like my own work is starting to pay off. Next month, starting on June 16 I’ll play about ten WSOP events, including most of the weekend 1500s and 1Ks, the Ladies Event and the Main Event. I have mixed feelings on the massive fields these events attract. The adrenalin rush and education of a final table is so much harder to reach.

I made my first major live final table at the Delaware Park Classic, which I played after teaching at a seminar led by former World poker champion Greg Raymer. The $1060 buy-in attracted 312 players for a deep but grueling three-day schedule. Three pros I met there Alex Queen, Adam Cook and Michael Marder made the final table and were also eyeing the top prize of 72K. Keyed up by the stakes and amazing support from friends, I was shaking during the first orbit. An hour later, a debatably avoidable cooler (nines vs. aces) halved my stack after which my decisions were relatively straightforward. I finished at peace with my play in 5th for a 12K payday. A few weeks later, I final tabled another MTT in Monaco, and was more relaxed, though I finished 5th again. I can’t imagine making such mental game progress by mincashing or 4xing my buy-in at a WSOP 1K.

But the WSOP is seductive still, not only for that sparkling jewelry but also for fields filled with dreamers who would normally avoid 1Ks. I pre-sold just over 50% of my action, so decided not to advertise shares on the open market via twitter or twoplustwo. Huge fields drastically increase variance so playing for so much of myself may be suspect bankroll management. But I feel good about my game, have been running well lately in life and poker, and want to save some points for potential swaps. To counter, I’ll be disciplining myself against leakage at the WSOP. The bankroll I spend at the WSOP is strictly going toward my share of MTTs, with the possible exception of Chinese poker. I’ll certainly take on all comers in my latest chess chance concoction, Chinese poker chess (I’m playing with Greg in the photo.)

To stay updated on my Vegas hijinks (with very occasional chip counts) follow @Jenshahade & @Grindettes. Till then, check out my PokerStars Women piece on the European Poker Tour in Monaco. Also jam to the video that is getting me in the mood for bad BRM in Vegas.

X Chess Part II: A Battle of the Sexes February 6, 2012

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Those of you who follow me on twitter know I’ve been traveling at a rapid pace this winter. From the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas to the Borgata Winter Open to New York for the premiere of the X Chess Championships, this season has been all about go, go, go. I have so much more to tell you but for now, check out Episode II of Extreme “X Chess” Championships and let me know what you think.

Stay posted on the Xtreme Chess Championships on twitter, facebook and subscribe to our youtube channel.

Naked Chess in Amsterdam December 4, 2011

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The original, “Naked Chess” was a reversal of the famous photograph of Marcel Duchamp playing against a naked woman, as a promotion for the book Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. The piece has since then been reworked into a more visceral edit for PokerFairytale.com and now has debuted as an art installation in Amsterdam.

The De Kring art society in Amsterdam hosted the closing ceremony of the Max Euwe Memorial on November 20th. I played against three nude opponents as the prize-giving commenced. In addition to referencing Marcel Duchamp, the striking visuals showed two important themes. Firstly, it was a humorous take on the many tourists who come to Amsterdam for sex and drugs. Here we had a show that was only sexual on the surface but at heart cerebral. Secondly, it played off the general theme of simultaneous exhibitions, which are so common in the chess world. The master or grandmaster giving the simul is in a position of power and by defeating numerous opponents at once, the public and the media is informed of her dominance.

More photos are on the official site–the piece was also featured in the Amsterdam Daily “Het Parool” and inspired the following drawing by Edgar Jansen.

Short Stacked Shamus of Hard Boiled Poker wrote a blog on strip poker and art about a recent installation in New York, “I’ll Raise You Once” by Zefrey Throwell. Shamus also touched on naked chess:

The strip poker piece reminds me of a similar but more interesting work, a short film titled “Naked” in which poker pro and chess champ Jennifer Shahade plays chess against a nude male amateur, Jason Bretz. That piece plays off of a famous photo of Marcel Duchamp (a big influence on the Fluxus crowd), reversing the roles of the man and woman to make a comment on the relationship of the sexes.

Naked Checkmate from Poker Fairy Tale on Vimeo.

The Max Euwe Memorial tournament itself was also very exciting, featuring a combination of veterans, strong young players and inspiring female players such as Pia Cramling, one of the first women to earn the Grandmaster title. Find more information on the event on the official website which also features more details on my other appearances in Amsterdam and the closing ceremony.

A Poker Life After Vegas August 9, 2011

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It took me a while to recover from the whirlwind of poker play, socializing and hard work at the World Series of Poker. An absolutely unforgettable experience. Check out my article on PokerStars Women for an in-depth account of my Main Event. I also played in a lot of women’s poker tournaments in Vegas and met some incredible female poker crushers, including the lovely ladies aka the Grindettes, Katie Stone, Katie Dozier & Jamie Kerstetter.

While in Vegas, I thought about some of the things I’m doing right and other things I need to do to take my game to the next level. Frankly, because of Black Friday I frequently wandered the halls of the Rio, wondering: “What’s Next?” Playing online was always my main poker activity. Would I quit poker after WSOP, despite feeling more connected and passionate about the game than ever before? Happily, I think I’ve found enough projects & plans to stay pretty involved in the world of poker for at least the rest of the year. Look for more details as the summer turns to autumn. And if you haven’t already done so, watch Cin I, Cin II and Goldilocks on Poker Fairytale. Those projects express more deeply in images & sounds than I can in words and that’s why Daniel and I made them. This may be my favorite:

Cin II from Poker Fairy Tale on Vimeo.

Play Like a Girl in Orlando August 6, 2011

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I’m in Orlando for the US Open, the USCF’s premiere adult event. Tomorrow, on Saturday 8/6 I’ll be hosting a book signing at the USCF Store. If you can’t make it in person, consider supporting my efforts as well as USCF’s and 9 Queens by ordering a copy of Play Like a Girl for your sister, mom or friend. If you want to learn more about Play Like a Girl, see the book trailer and an in-depth (and very flattering) review on Chess Vibes. Or if you’re more in the mood for a good read than puzzle-solving, pick up the ever popular Chess Bitch or Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. *sales pitch over*

While in Orlando, I also played in the Fischer Random side event, which was a lot of fun. For those of you who don’t know, Fischer Random chess shuffles the pieces on the back row into one of 960 possible positions, hence the name by which Fischer Random goes by in Europe, “Chess 960″. Just like in chess, the game begins symmetrically.

I’d never played any Fischer Random chess except for blitz games, and my initial impressions after the event was very positive. Because my opening preparation is pretty rusty, it was relaxing to be on a level playing field. I also enjoyed having to come up with original opening concepts from move one, rather than following well-trodden paths. I’ll definitely be writing an article on CLO about the event and my games in it, so look out for that.

One of the reasons I played in the event is I’m an organizer and commentator for the upcoming K v. Q: Battle of the Sexes event coming up in Saint Louis. The event, also known as Kings vs. Queens, will feature both “regular” rapid and Fischer Random rapid games. K v. Q will coincide with the opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame on September 9th. Should be a very exciting week for me as I’m also on the board of directors for the World Chess HOF- check out our snazzy new website!

Everyone’s favorite American chess dynamo GM Hikaru Nakamura is surprisingly playing in Orlando, a huge treat for his many fans here. The last time I saw Hikaru, we were having a ball at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. That was less than a month ago, but somehow it feels like another eon. Follow the Orlando chess action on uschess.org/clo and Monroi.com.

The ABC Diet July 21, 2011

Posted by Jennifer in : feminism,food , add a comment

I wrote this chronicle of an alphabetic diet about six years ago. At the time, I was a single New Yorker with free time in spades and a complicated relationship with food. On each day of my ABC Diet, I ate only foods that started with the corresponding letter, starting with “A” and ending 26 days later with “Z.” Reading this on my plane ride home from Vegas, I realized two things. I should have taken a Xanax on X-day and it was time to post the story.

A day
Foods begin with A rarely, and those that do mix badly. A-foods are mostly munching foods, so throughout the day I snack on almonds, apricots and apples. I read about a woman who spends two years in near isolation to write her book on menstruation, meanwhile eating mostly red foods and drinking only red beers. Such commitment dwarfs my own attempt in constructing artificial boundaries.

My caffeine addiction is painfully clear by evening, when my head pounds so violently I can hardly breathe or think. I run to the grocery store, where I buy an assortment of caffeinated teas, which includes one entitled “Awake.” Lying on my couch practically paralyzed, I can’t even boil the water for tea.. I throw up, in the bathroom. Apparently, my body did not take to the absurd combination of raw avocado and asparagus as a dinner.

Still nauseated, my head pounds as I climb into bed at 8 pm, the earliest I’ve gone to bed in years. As I fall asleep I think about how easily my mind is able to group the foods that I’ve eaten into the category of ‘A’; I even had a dream the night before about apples, almonds and avocados. In contrast to this neat mental organization, my stomach cannot comprehend the bizarre combinations that I’m ingesting, bringing into focus the mind-body conflict. The animal parts of me are not in alignment with my human cognition. A primitive stomach, an over-refined mind.

B day
I wake up at 5 am. My brother Greg is also awake, so we take the subway into the city together- it is the loneliest hour in Manhattan. I buy a bagel with butter, some blueberries and a banana. I feel pure with the letter B, until I break down and stop to buy a cup of “black coffee”, hoping to avoid the catastrophic coffee withdrawal of the day before. Greg asks a stupid question to the cashier, “Do you have breakfast foods that begin with B, my sister is on the ABC diet” She laughs, mentions bagels (duh), and then says: “That sounds like a fun diet, I’ve never heard of it. But shouldn’t you wait for C to have your coffee?” Half an hour later, in Washington Square Park, I give away half the cup of coffee to a homeless man who claims to be Bob Dylan.

For lunch I have steamed beef, broccoli and brown rice. I wolf it down. B is a far better day than A.

Although my diet is more focused on nouns and adjectives, at night I venture to a local café called Verb. I purchase a moist brownie from a barista with a name that starts with a B. He looks like he divides his time between rock-band practice and the gym. B. accosts me in mock formal diction:

“I see you preferred to purchase your beverage from another establishment.”

I explain to him why I am drinking black currant tea.

When the next customer comes along, he doesn’t want to stop chatting: “Come back on ‘X’ and we’ll fix you up a good drink with lots of protein in it” I leave the café pleased, because I’ve rarely been able to advance conversations with attractive cashiers further than “do you have soy milk?” But the ABC diet is not all about eating brownies and meeting beautiful men at coffee shops. Results are atypical.

C day
My dad always jokes that he’s on a permanent “C-diet”, “I see it and I eat it.” Any diet that prohibits a large group of foods will make most people lose weight. The ABC Diet is perfect for someone with a totally open palette, like me, while it’s pretty terrible for vegetarians, diabetics, picky eaters or carnivores. A friend recently asked me which foods I don’t like but I had a lot of trouble coming up with an answer. She on the other hand, went on about a hatred for rice.

Although C is a haze of delicious offerings, chocolate, cheese and coffee, my appetite is still held back. Throughout the ABC diet, I continually reject offerings that I would ordinarily consume without thought. I go to an art opening where they are serving only Blue Ribbon beer. Just after, I go to a bar to drink Coronas with a friend who orders a plate of onion rings, which I can’t touch. My roommate brings home a party spread from work, with bread, fruit and cheese, which is the only thing I can eat. There are no crackers.

D day
Tonight, I eat with my friend G. at Hop Sing, a Chinatown restaurant. There are so many New York’s, so many side streets, personalities, energies, neighborhoods, restaurants and types of food to eat. It’s overwhelming at times, causing me to take the same pathways, rarely veering into unexplored territories. The ABC diet forces variety. Eating pork dumplings and duck smothered in black bean sauce, I promise myself to explore Chinatown more often.

Later that evening, G. stops at a bodega for a coffee and a sweet. I get a decaf coffee and try to convince her to buy a Double Chocolate muffin so I can have some. G. teases me for tacking on ‘decaf’ and ‘double’ to make foods legitimate: “This ABC diet of yours- it’s like a word game.”

F day
I have a brunch date with D., a furniture designer. We settle in at a cozy French café, and once our food arrives, D. takes a big bite of his chicken sandwich and implores me to try it.
“The thing is, I’m on a diet…”
“What kind of diet allows you to eat French toast?”
“I’m on the F-day of the ABC diet”
After thinking and talking about it for a bit, D. approves of the ABC diet, and even suggests getting Frapuccionos later, which brings up a crucial question in the ABC diet: Do brand names count? Impulsively, I decide that yes, they do count.
At night, I go drinking with a friend and order Frangelicas and Fuzzy Navels and soak it up with French fries (double points!).

I day
I’ve always had a particular weakness for ice cream, and recall certain weeks of my life where ice-cream has been a mainstay. Like in Venice, when I savored a tiramisu and raspberry gelato, while strolling underneath canals and amidst biennale exhibits. The treat was delightful, but also gluttonous: it was my fourth gelato of the day. One brutally cold January, my teeth ached too badly for solid food so I subsisted on Ben N Jerry’s, tomato soup and various juices. Despite the pain, I liked having my choices for dinner whittled down to a Rocky Road milkshake or carrot juice. When ice cream is the only choice, ice cream changes from a guilty pleasure to a necessary pleasure.

J day
Most of the foods I eat on J-day annoy me in their gastronomic incompetence. Jalapenos don’t belong in corn bread. Jasmine tea is a poor substitute for coffee. Jell-O is for children. Jellybeans are for children too. Jack and coke is a drink I would never choose to order if I wasn’t on this stupid diet. I feel like I entered into a sexy game, only to find myself too proud to turn back when the alphabetic restraints start to hurt. The worst thing about the ABC diet is that it requires one to eat a lot of junk food. There are so many different names or kinds of candy bars and desserts, but fewer ways to label healthy foods. I long for some healthy, delicious meal like a salmon salad or tofu stir-fry.

In my past dieting history, I would quit after one or two days, but even more often, by the afternoon. As a feminist, I felt embarrassed whenever I wanted to lose weight, and would be secretive about it, denying it at all costs and immediately ordering chocolate cake if someone asked if I was on a diet. But the ABC diet is different. As much as I want a cup of coffee and a healthy meal, I refuse to drop this project. More importantly, I feel no shame to be on the diet. And I think it’s because the ABC diet is rooted not in self-hate but in fun.

The bright moment of J-day comes serendipitously, when I run into a lesbian friend, T. on the street, who asks me if I want to grab dinner. I warn her I am on a highly restrictive diet: “You don’t have to lose weight,” she assures me, but when I tell her about my diet she laughs, and finds a bar and grill with Cajun Food. I order the jambalaya and lick the plate clean.

K day
I’m surprised that it is so difficult to think of foods that began with K, but my brother is not. “Of course K is going to be hard-it’s an unusual letter. Don’t you know K is worth five points in Scrabble?” Upon checking my scrabble set later, I see that Greg was right. The only letters more valuable are J, Q, X and Z.

At some point during my diet, I saw a petite Korean designer at a cafe, working away on his laptop. The intensity of his focus piqued my curiosity, so I peered over to his screen and saw intricate designs of letters—prompting me to inquire upon his favorite letter: “Probably K,” he replied immediately, “It’s exotic, sexy, one of the newer letters in the language.” He then explained why he thought so many brand names such as Klondike, Kit-Kat (I eat one for a mid-day snack on K-day) and Krispy Kreme begin with K; they have a certain commercial punch, and don’t carry the soft or hard ambiguity that C sometimes does.

Knish is my first meal of K-day. It costs only a dollar fifty, and I get what I pay for. It is a concentrated slab of blandness, palatable only after I smear on globs of spicy mustard. I find some solace in knowing that bread stuffed with potatoes is the ultimate anti-Atkins meal.

Dinner is kielbasa. I’ve lived near a large Polish population for three years, so it’s about time to try the glorified hot dog. It’s tasty, but afterwards my heart beats at a disturbingly quick pace.

M day
Today I visit F., a friend who is about to go on a 7-day juice fast. F. has done some modeling work, resembles Charlize Theron and is sometimes stopped on the street for autographs. Despite being slender already, she often embarks on new diets. This time, F. assures me that the main point of her fast is not to lose weight, but to instill discipline, though she admits guiltily, “Ok- I am psyched to lose ten pounds.” I can relate to her double purpose to lose weight and gain control. The freedom to eat whatever you want brings a responsibility to choose wisely and know you can only blame yourself if you come back from a birthday party bloated from cake and mojitos.

In preparation for her fast, F. is limiting herself to raw fruits and vegetables. Luckily, she has mangos, mesclun and mushrooms in the refrigerator so she can eat her raw foods and I can eat my M-foods, both of us in peace with our respective diets.

P day
I remember avoiding an enticing platter of cheese danishes, chocolate croissants, bear claws and lemon tarts, sitting down with a carton of yogurt and a banana. A fit man sat down next to me at this breakfast buffet. Sixteen at the time, I watched in surprise as he scarfed down two huge raspberry danishes dripping with frosting. Eating two danishes would never be that simple for me. I might experience heightened pleasure in a haze of gluttonous guilt, because food, like sex can be even better when illicit. I became sad with the thought that I may never be able to enjoy sober over-eating with such pure sensual pleasure.

I was wrong. On the P-day of the ABC diet I eat pepperoni pizza and pecan pie (both double points!) with a masculine, careless abandon. There is no guilty aftertaste.

Q day
The surprising number of Q-foods is well chronicled in White Men Can’t Jump (1992). The character Gloria, played by Rosie Perez, goes on Jeopardy and tears through the category “Foods that Begin with Q” with answers such as “quince” “quiche” and “quinoa.”

When I was a teenager, I was hyper aware of the first letters of boys I date. Promoting my obsession was the junior-high school way of opening a Coke Can, a popular recess game in my circle. Not simply by flipping the tab, but flipping up and down, reciting the alphabet until it loosened- the letter on which it finally broke off was the first letter of the next boy I was to date. Of course, this game allows for human intervention. I remember if I had a crush on a certain Rafael, I would be very gentle till say- “M”, when I would begin to push the tab with all my strength- perhaps jumping the gun, the tab might fall to the floor on Q.

In alphabetic dieting, Q is surprisingly easy, but in alphabetic dating it would be the toughest letter. I imagine extending my repertoire of hangouts from downtown and Brooklyn into Harlem, Chelsea and Queens, looking for my beloved Quintin, or alternatively, Quandrew.

I cheat today. After ordering takeaway quesadillas at a Mexican deli, I walk into a coffee shop, where the aroma of espresso intoxicates me. I take out my wallet, purchase a coffee, and rush home with the exhilarating feeling of fugitive activity, like I’m a kid again stealing a Snickers bar from the corner-store.

U day
For dinner I have U-don noodles with a date, who also orders U-don noodles. He’s annoyed that I won’t drink whiskey with him: ‘I can’t believe your diet includes beverages.” I can’t believe I’m going on a second date with this guy. The last time we went out was when I was traveling in his hometown London. The date ended badly at 5 AM, when I caught him guzzling scotch from a bottle and kissing another boy.

X day
Today is the dreaded day of the ABC diet. There are no foods that begin with X, except for a protein bar I find called Xtreme energy, which come in Chocolate Raspberry and Orange Carrot Supreme. I’ve eaten two by 4 pm. They taste like candy. In the evening, my friend B. stops by and we walk around. After a few hours, I feel dizzy and want to go home. Nothing is as fun as usual when fasting.

To coax myself to sleep, I contemplate yogurt and yellowtail, the foods I eat the next day.

Z day
For the last day of the ABC diet, my friend G. comes over and cooks ziti with zucchini, and I uncork a bottle of zinfandel. The Miss America pageant is on T.V and we decide to watch it as we eat—though we do so with a detached air of superiority. As Miss Michigan struts down the aisle in casual wear, tight jeans and halter-top, the announcer explains that a month ago, she read a tabloid that called her fat, “So she lost ten pounds! And she goes to Harvard! Smart and looks great in jeans- can’t beat that.” I watch and laugh, but really I am sad for all the female energy poured into diets. For years, I’ve been frustrated by the tragicomedy of the dieting industry. As these thoughts roll through my head for the thousandth time, I realize that having used the alphabet to express my bewilderment makes me feel better. My diet was a psychological success, though it may have been a failure by traditional criteria: I lost just seven pounds instead of the expected twenty-six.

Back to A-Z
I break the ABC diet at midnight (On previous days, letters had switched at 6 am), drink a double latte and dance till five in the morning.

On the day after Z, I go out to brunch with girlfriends. Looking over the menu, it occurs to me that I can order whatever I want, regardless of the letter that the food begins with. I choose the sampler platter, which includes a tiny portion of everything on the menu- A pancake, an egg, a sausage link, a slice of bacon, a corn on the cob, a side of potatoes and a small fruit salad.

I’m back to the American good life, where there are no restrictions on what I can eat. I trust I will be well fed, but as for satisfaction- there are no guarantees.

Poker Fairytale is Live! July 5, 2011

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Poker Fairytale is up and running and I am in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Life is good. Check out one of my favorite videos below and look for an essay about the site on this blog soon.

Goldilocks from Poker Fairy Tale on Vimeo.

Lipstick Checkmate: The Play Like a Girl Trailer February 15, 2011

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The Play Like a Girl! Tactics by 9 Queens (Mongoose Press, 2011) trailer is live.

Even though I’m hardly a make-up fiend, I was able to find 70% of the pieces in mostly abandoned make-up bags and vanity drawers.

Finding sixteen of one item was the main problem, but lipstick was the clear aesthetic and conceptual choice. A thirty dollar Chanel lipstick, purchased because I cannot afford anything else Chanel, co-mingled with one buck steals at the drugstore bargain bin. A pawn is still just a pawn.

Enjoy some stills from the shoot and pick up a copy of the book on 9queens.org, amazon, Mongoosepress or USCF Sales.

Play Like a Girl! Tactics by 9 Queens February 10, 2011

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My new book, Play Like a Girl! Tactics by 9 Queens has arrived. The book is filled with chess puzzles and combinations, all executed by female players and is a perfect “prequel” to my first book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport. All the author royalties go to 9 Queens initiatives to bring chess to inner-city youth and girls. Find out more on the Mongoose Press homepage and look for more details coming soon.