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Tales from the free poker postseason

February 8, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken Feb. 8, 2018 Author’s note: This post includes a brief reference to criminal activity that may upset some readers. I’ve placed a trigger warning to mark the relevant text. MEM It’s been nearly nine months since I last wrote about poker. But my experience Tuesday night makes it time to revisit the […]

Robert does me dirty: In which a terrible man beats me terribly at free poker

June 13, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken June 13, 2017 Time for more tales of free poker! Last night, shortly after the late tournament consolidated from two tables to one, blinds were 10,000–20,000; as it happened, 20,000 was all that the fellow in the big blind had. I was sitting in first position with suited ace-10, both hearts. […]

Four friends go all in on murder in the modest direct-to-video suspenser ‘The Poker Club’

March 30, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken March 30, 2017 The Poker Club is a modestly effective direct-to-video suspense film about four friends who struggle to hold their lives together after one of them accidentally kills a burglar. The 2008 movie, based on a novel by prolific author Ed Gorman, begins as Bill, Neil, Curtis and Aaron are playing […]

More tales of free poker: The hungry and disgruntled player

July 13, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken July 13, 2016 The evening started off well enough. In an early hand against a man named Aziz, whom I know sometimes plays junk, I started off with the ace and jack of diamonds and hit a jack on the flop, which gave me top pair and top kicker. He […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: The rest of the mess

June 13, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken June 13, 2016 Tournament of champions semifinals, Tuesday afternoon, June 7, 2016. When I busted out of the national championship event, I wasn’t quite done with my pursuit of glory. By virtue of a second-place finish in a tavern tournament of champions event a few months earlier, I had qualified for […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 3, tournament 5

June 12, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken June 12, 2016 National championship finals, Tuesday morning, June 7, 2016. When I got back to the motel early Tuesday after that night’s epic near-miss, I asked the front desk clerk for some paper, a pen and some tape. wrote a note to my roommates: “Please wake me up at […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 2, tournament 4

June 11, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken June 11, 2016 Tag team tournament, Monday evening, June 6, 2016. After a nap, I set aside my misgivings and reported to the Mohegan Sun Poconos ballroom, hoping to kick some tail and win some money. There were 234 two-person teams in the event. I started off at table 3 in […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 2, interlude

June 11, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken June 11, 2016 Monday afternoon, June 6, 2016. Once I advanced to Tuesday morning’s national championship competition, I had a problem: What should I do with myself for the rest of Monday? I’d initially considered playing in Monday’s 1 p.m. bounty tournament. But although it may have been possible to buy in […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 2, tournament 3

June 10, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken June 10, 2016 National championship finals, flight 1, Monday morning, June 6, 2016. Shortly before 11 a.m., I took my seat in a large ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono outside Wilkes-Barre, Pa. There were nearly 200 other players in the room, all intent on one thing: Winning lots of chips over […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 1, tournament 2

June 9, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken June 9, 2016 Deep stack tournament, Sunday evening, June 5, 2016. After a slow start, I hit a long stretch where nearly everything I do seemed to work out. I didn’t score a lot of huge pots, but I built my stack with nearly every hand I played. One of the players […]