Monday, December 26, 2011


Just a matter of time

The following is courtesy of Yahoo:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration cleared the way for U.S. states to legalize Internet poker and certain other online betting in a switch that may help them reap billions in tax revenue and spur web-based gambling.

A Justice Department opinion dated September and made public on Friday reversed decades of previous policy that included civil and criminal charges against operators of some of the most popular online poker sites.

Until now, the department held that online gambling in all forms was illegal under the Wire Act of 1961, which bars wagers via telecommunications that cross state lines or international borders.

The new interpretation, by the department's Office of Legal Counsel, said the Wire Act applies only to bets on a "sporting event or contest," not to a state's use of the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within its borders or abroad.

"The United States Department of Justice has given the online gaming community a big, big present," said I. Nelson Rose, a gaming law expert at Whittier Law School who consults for governments and the industry.

The question at issue was whether proposals by Illinois and New York to use the Internet and out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults violated the Wire Act.

But the department's conclusion would eliminate "almost every federal anti-gambling law that could apply to gaming that is legal under state laws," Rose wrote on his blog at

If a state legalized intra-state games such as poker, as Nevada and the District of Columbia have done, "there is simply no federal law that could apply" against their operators, he said.

The department's opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz, said the law's legislative history showed that Congress's overriding goal had been to halt wire communications for sports gambling, notably off-track betting on horse races.

Congress also had been concerned about rapid transmission of betting information on baseball, basketball, football and boxing among other sports-related events or contests, she summarized the legislative history as showing.

"The ordinary meaning of the phrase 'sporting event or contest' does not encompass lotteries," Seitz wrote. "Accordingly, we conclude that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibitions of the Wire Act."

The department expressed no opinion about a provision in the law that lets prosecutors shut down phone lines where interstate or foreign gambling is taking place.

Many of the 50 U.S. states may be interested in creating online lotteries to boost tax revenues and help offset the ripple effect of a federal deficit-reduction push.

The global online gambling industry grew 12 percent last year to as much as $30 billion, according to a survey in March by Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, based on the Isle of Man, where online gambling is legal.

Federal prosecutors in April charged three of the biggest Internet poker companies with fraud and money-laundering along with violations of another federal law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006.

The government outlined an alleged scheme by owners of the three largest online poker companies - Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars - to funnel gambling profits to online shell companies that would appear legitimate to banks processing payments.

(Editing by Derek Caney)

(This story version corrects the year to 2006 in the penultimate paragraph

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Consolidated blog

All of my blog entries on various topics are now consolidated under a single heading: This Week's Chess Safari.

Please go there -

Here is an index as of 8/27/11:

Photo above: My most attentive chess student!

The purpose of this index, organized by topic, is to make it easier for visitors to my blog to quickly find what might be of interest. Just click on the appropriate link and your browser will take you there.


One more game from the Portland Centennial
, 8/20/11
Yes I said it, Yes I believed it, Yes I've changed my mind!, 8/17/11
More games from the Portland Centennial, 8/16/11
4-way tie in Portland Centennial, 8/15/11
Portland Chess Club Centennial ends today, 8/14/11
There's more to life than chess, 8/13/11
Centennial tourney is underway!, 8/12/11
115 entries and counting..., 8/11/11
3 Days 'til Portland Chess Club Centennial, 8/9/11
Northwest Chess Cover Photo, 8/5/11
All Over the Board, 8/1/11
2011 Susan Polgar Girls Invitational, 7/30/11
Janniro & Deeth are 2011 Oregon Senior Chess Co-champions, 7/14/11
Grandmaster Sighting on Puget Sound, 2/15/10
A nice game from the Oregon Open, 9/10/09
The Other Side of the Story, 7/2/09
Drug Testing in Chess???, 3/26/09
Resignation; The Great Laptop Caper, 3/12/09
Old Game vs. the World Champ, 3/5/09
Susan Polgar Foundation, 2/28/09
Relentless King Hunt, 1/8/09
Double Bronze for U.S. Chess Teams, 11/26/08
U.S. Olympiad Teams in the hunt for Medals, 11/24/08
New Blog on, 11/19/08
Jennifer Shahade cashes in WSOP again, 10/13/08
Chess Combination: SOLUTION, 9/5/08
Chess Combination , 9/2/08
Problem Solution, 6/12/08
What's the Best Move?, 6/11/08
McKay Tartan Books No. 4, 5/22/08
Happy Birthday Dr. Saidy, 5/16/08
Congratulations Susan & Tommy, 5/14/08
Tactics, Tactics, Tactics, 5/9/08
McKay Tartan Books Nos. 1 - 3, 4/17/08
Change in Plans Required , 4/1/08
20 Seconds Chess, 3/29/08
Chess Blogosphere, 3/12/08
Chessville interview with Paul Truong, 3/3/08
Make that 800!, 2/19/08
Dick Cavett's Interview of Bobby Fischer, 2/10/08
He's never coming home, 1/18/08
How about some chess?, 11/16/07
Walter Browne cashes in 3 W.S.O.P. events,7/10/07

Mr. & Mrs. Boris Spassky, Mr. & Mrs. Al Lawrence, Mr. & Mrs. Lev Alburt offer a toast to all of you.


Consolidated blog, 8/27/11
Playing for the hurricane victims, 4/16/09
The Caboose, 4/9/09
"Action Dan" Harrington, 2/7/09
Fleet Street Games closing Oct. 31st, 10/21/08
2006 World Series of Poker: Event 18, 10/13/08
Playing No Limit Hold'em Reduces Alzheimer's, 9/17/08
Aaron's wisdom, 8/19/08
In the running for a seat at the WSOP, 5/30/08
Thank You, whoever you are..., 4/29/08
Pendleton Trip Report, 11/13/07
How to Give your Cat a Pill while playing Poker Online, 8/8/07
Ozark Mountain Poker Wedding, 3/30/07
Minnie's Soda, 12/6/06
My Inner Donkey, 11/21/06
Is the PartyPoker Over? , 10/13/06
My Poker Resume, 9/20/06
2006 WSOP, 7/30/06
Foxwoods Trip Report, 2/22/06
Learning the Hard Way, 1/20/06
Tunica Media Event, 1/9/06

"All Over the Board", my Memoir

I have to share this
, 7/23/11
Mile 14 - Behind the Wall, 10/9/10
I Write Like...check this out, 7/16/10
Memories of my Hospital Stay, 6/4/09
Turnaround Hospital Administrator, 2/14/09
Mile 5: Embrace of a Lifetime SECOND DRAFT, 8/20/08
Pitch for my Book, (Archives) 7/24/08
Mile 4: Bobbi, Sue and Kathrine, 7/17/08, draft
Mile 3: So Many Colors in the Rainbow, 1/22/08
Mile 1: Everything that comes before..., 11/22/06

Miscellaneous Ramblings & Links

Johnny the Younger, rest in peace, 8/22/11
It must be the link to the stupid human trick, 8/7/11
Far Above Cayuga's Waters
, 8/4/11
Rest in Peace, George, 7/14/10
Knowledge: a different part of the Ocean, 3/11/10
C'mon over to our house, 8/6/09
Vuvuzela, 6/29/09
In a Blink, 6/25/09
The Great Light, 5/28/09
Memoir, 5/21/09
US & Canadian Health Care, 4/30/09
Banana Hammocks, yes or no?, 4/23/09
Some Useful Web Sites, 2/21/09
Consolidation, 1/29/09
Field Report, 10/14/08
Get your latest sports news at... , 5/29/08
It's Time, 2/28/08
Manny Alexander, et. al., 12/13/07
Links, 12/9/07
Happy Thanksgiving, 11/22/07
Christian Parent Warning, 11/18/07
Hall breaks Olympic Trials marathon record, 11/5/07
Reflections, 11/1/07
Red Sox Nation, 10/28/07
Copyright Violation, 7/22/07
Olympic Games, 6/1/07
Cooperstown's Loss, 2/7/07
Death of a web site, 11/15/06


Jane Olivor Updates, 5/14/09
La Vie en Rose, 5/7/09
Delilah on Nightline tonight, 11/12/08
Jane Olivor on YouTube, 10/9/08
Heaven Help My Heart, 2/11/08
Jane Olivor (archives), 12/11/07

Friends & Family
Please Join Us July 10, 6/30/11
You know you're from Boston if..., 5/20/11
Emma Pumpelly (1847 - abt. 1925), 4/2/11
Searching for Daniel Pumpelly, 10/14/10
Twenty Years, 4/16/10
Master Handicapper & Grandmaster Friend, 6/18/09
Tom Derderian on Bobbi Gibb, 3/19/09
NMC Team Members, Worcester MA 1966, 4/2/09
Family Tree, 1/1/09
Happy Birthday Rick Bayko, 10/15/08
Delilah's New Book, 9/16/08
Happy Father's Day, 6/15/08
A Hundred Pounds, 1/29/08
Bad Hands, Bad Faith, 12/18/07
Inlaws, 11/26/07
Eddie heads back to NC, 11/19/07
Happy Halloween, 10/29/07
San Diego Honeymoon, 9/22/07
More Wedding Photos, 5/6/07

Married!!, 4/28/07
Some 2006 Photos, 1/22/07
Leave the Driving to Us, 12/12/06
Safe Return, 12/3/06
Die Fledermaus, 11/30/06
Guest Weblog, 11/29/06
Easy Eddie, 11/18/06
On the Road Again, 11/17/06
What Rain?, 11/16/06
Delilah's words to her listeners..., 8/15/06

Greyhounds & other pets

Wiz Dog, 6/11/09
My dog ate my...what?, 1/22/09
Greyhounds watching greyhounds, 1/15/09
Barney was The Man, 12/25/08
Back in the box, (Frannie) 11/7/08
Atascocita Carla, (Frannie) 2/24/08
Westminster Kennel Club, (Frannie) 2/12/08
And the Winner is..., (Frannie) 2/3/08
Older greyhound posts, go here

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Fleet Street Games Closing Oct. 31st

Sadly, we have learned that PSO experiment with Fleet Street Games has failed and the site will close on October 31, 2008. Here is the announcement:

Dear PSO Members,
We regret to inform you that FleetStreetGames will cease operations at 11:59 PM on October 31st. The site will operate normally until that time.

There will be no scheduled events from 1st November 2008.
PSO will remain open of course and continue providing our customers with first class poker education materials and promotions at the regular rates. All funds in your account can be cashed out via the website at after the card room closes or can be used to purchase extended, discounted periods for PSO membership.

Be on the lookout for new exciting promotions coming to PokerSchoolOnline over the coming months!

We would like to thank you for your participation in FleetStreetGames over the past few months and apologize for any inconvenience this causes our loyal customers.

Best regards,

The PokerSchoolOnline Team
Tim Kopp
PSO Card Room Manager

Monday, October 13, 2008


2006 World Series of Poker: Event 18

Here is the link to Event 18 of the 2006 World Series of Poker, $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em, which I blogged for It was played on July 11-12, 2006.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Playing No-Limit Hold’em Reduces Alzheimer’s

My friend Leon Morford ("Sailor Moe" on PSO) is an experienced veteran of life showing no signs of Alzheimer's disease, as can be easily determined by viewing this photo.

For the first meal on the train I was seated in the dining car next to an attorney. At least, I figured, I’d have a chance to think about something other than what to do with pocket sixes first to act in middle position with a medium stack at an aggressive table in shallow money near the bubble. Not that I was obsessed about poker or anything.

“What do you do for work?” he said.
“I retired from a 20-year career in hospital administration,” I replied.
“Oh, well what do you think is the cause of health care costs being so high,” he queried.

I looked him in the eyes to get a good read on him. “How far are you going?” I said.
“To Rochester. Why do you ask?”
“I’ll have to give you the short answer then. The former Canadian Minister of Health put it most succinctly,” I told him. “The problem with Americans is that they view death as an option. A disproportionate share of the medical costs in the U.S. are incurred in the last 90 days of life. Canadians, it seems, are a bit more conservative when it comes to so-called heroic measures to pull out all the stops so grandma can hang on a few more days or hours.”
“What about malpractice and litigation, or advances in technology?” he asked.
“Sorry, we don’t have nearly enough time.” I answered. “Let me know when you are planning a trip to Seattle.”

Somewhere between Schenectady and Utica I overheard the train passengers a few seats in front talking about Alzheimer’s disease. “Recent studies have shown that vigorous mental exercise decreases the risk of Alzheimers,” one of them remarked. They discussed activities like crossword puzzles and Scrabble. Chess, as Grandmaster Arnold Denker often pointed out, is also a good example. Is it a stretch to include poker on the list? I think not. I can see the headline now: Playing No-Limit Hold’em Reduces Alzheimer’s.

There are skills that good poker players exhibit that are similar to chess. That is why many strong chess players are able to do well on the poker tournament trail. Among these skills are the ability to read opponents, calculating actual and implied pot odds, recognizing betting patterns, planning moves that will impact future hands, minding ones “Ms and Qs” (a la Dan Harrington) . As far as I’m concerned, these constitute cerebral gymnastics clearly in the category of vigorous mental exercise.

I had the pleasure of knowing Arnold Denker into his late eighties and, as far as I could tell, he never lost the use of a single brain cell. He was the United States Chess Champion in 1944. Many years later, at age 88, he was still winning tournaments. On a drive from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in 2002 he recounted his prior assertion that beginning when he started playing chess at age 5, and continuing to the present day, he never met a chess master with Alzheimer’s. Other problems, for sure, but never Alzheimer’s.

Look around at the poker world. Doyle Brunson certainly doesn’t have it. Amarillo Slim Preston seems a little off at times but, apparently, he’s always been that way. I had a chance to sit and chat with Oklahoma Johnny Hale, the Gentleman Gambler who is in his late seventies. We talked in Tunica in January 2006. Nine months later in Minnesota he recognized me instantly; no signs of dementia there. Old-timer John Bonetti’s body may be slowing down, but his mind is still sharp. Then there’s Dan Harrington. He has the compound mental insulation provided from chess and poker…and backgammon too.

Prior to leaving home on this trip, I examined my itinerary and noticed that I would have a 10-hour stopover in Chicago. So I sent an e-mail to one of my PSO mentors, David “Hitman” Roemer. “Let’s do lunch,” I said. He graciously sent me his cell phone number so I could contact him after I arrived. After replying with the tongue-in-cheek comment that I would copy and paste his number in the newsgroup, I pressed the print button on my computer. Then I whipped the paper out of the printer and tossed it in my briefcase.

As the train pulled into the station in Erie, PA, I decided to fetch the printout so it would be handy once I got to Chicago. I found it but half the number was missing. The page had torn when I grabbed it and I never looked at it when I was still home. Am I getting dementia? It’s got to be a sign of early Alzheimer’s for sure. Nah, can’t be. I play chess and poker.

The late Jim Fixx, prior to dropping dead from a heart attack in his late thirties, observed that running marathons can make a person permanently immune form coronary artery disease. Could Arnold be barking up the wrong medical tree? Might I become case study numero uno refuting the latest myth about Alzheimer’s disease?

I want to believe that it’s not likely. My friend Harold Dondis once quipped that “if you can still spell it, then you don’t have it.” Well, that’s easy enough to check. Let’s see…A, L, Z, E…shoot!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Aaron's wisdom

In order to keep this blog active, I will post a few of my poker coach's best hints. Please e-mail me if you are looking for a poker coach and I will put you in touch with Aaron. He's the best!!

Blind vs. Blind

Play in blind vs. blind situations is a little different to be sure. Remember that your opponent will miss the flop 2/3rds of the time. That means a couple things:

1) Hands that can win a showdown unimproved (like Ax and pp's) go up in value, while drawing hands go down in value.

2) The aggressor will win the pot more often than not.

The first thing to assess is your opponent. Are they too tight or too loose? Do they understand #'s 1 & 2 above and adjust properly, or not? Obviously these are questions you may not immediately know the answer too, but you'll want to assess this as the game goes. And make your best guess until you know better... for instance, if a player has been very tight thus far, then the first time I'm heads up in the blind with them I would assume they will remain tight until I see differently.

After you've got the best assessment of your opponent you can make, then utilize a strategy to take maximum advantage of them. If they're tight, be aggressive early in the hand. If they're loose-passive, see more flops with them and continue to value bet when you connect/back off when you miss and they call. If they're aggressive and have position on you, tighten up a bit preflop but trap them when you do pick up a hand. Etc.

Lets say I've got an "average player" with me in the blinds, not excessively tight, loose, aggressive, or passive. (All players are in this category the first time I see them, until I get information on them). My general approach from the SB is to limp fairly liberally. I love post flop play, and believe I have an edge vs. the average joe in this arena. So being out of position I'd like to see a cheap flop with marginal hands and decide how to proceed post flop. If I have a decent hand (the type that can win a showdown unimproved), I'll often make my standard raise in that case in order to help define my opponents hand and take control (or win the blinds right there). If I get called I will lead on most flops, in line with the 2/3rds miss thing. That goes for a total miss or top set, I'll lead away as the preflop raiser is expected to do. Please note again I'm talking about an average player, or someone new to me. If it's a player I know well and knows me, my approach may be different depending on the opponent. If I'm in the BB and they limp, I will raise somewhat liberally and make a continuation bet on the flop if checked to. If the SB raises, I will take a flop with them liberally since I have position and relish the post flop play. I'll reraise them with any reasonable holding that could win a showdown unimproved.

All of this doesn't mean to play or contest the blinds every time, there's no shame in folding. If you never throw away your hand in a blind vs. blind situation, you'll rapidly get little respect in these situations. Some people like this, feeling their big hands will get paid off hansomely (and they will). But I disagree with that strategy. Big hands don't come all that often... most of these situations post flop will be marginal hands faced with tough decisions. If your opponent doesn't respect you because you contest the pot every time, they're more liable to play back at you, and their hand will be much harder to define.

I hope this helps.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Walter Browne cashes in 3 WSOP Events

Frank Niro (standing, left) with Grandmaster Walter Browne, Miami, FL, March 2003.

Chess Grandmaster Walter S. Browne of Berkeley, CA, cashed in three events at the 38th Annual World Series of Poker held at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.

June 6, 2007 #10 No Limit Hold'em 7th Place $58,515 prize

June 9, 2006 #16 H.O.R.S.E. 2nd Place $131,790 prize

July 1, 2007 #51 S.H.O.E. 62nd Place $2,192 prize

Total winnings for Walter in the three 2007 WSOP events: $192,497

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My Poker Resume

My name is Frank and I am a poker addict, More specifically, a PSO poker addict (the worst kind). So I thought I would come here and get therapy because it was either that or the asylum.

I am divorced with four children including two girls in college. My oldest son and his wife are expecting my first grand child in November. Originally trained as a C.P.A. I was diverted into the health industry by a drunk driver who ended my dreams of competing in the 1972 Olympic Marathon.

After a lengthy hospitalization and 19 operations on my legs I worked my way up the ladder from patient to hospital auditor to hospital consultant to Assistant Administrator to C.F.O. and eventually to the boss. It was a wonderful but challenging career which I had to put behind me after a stroke in 1997 at age 48.

Following that I was coaxed to come out of retirement to serve as Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation from 2001 to 2003. An untimely heart attack made that situation untenable. So now I am writing a book, enjoying life's many gifts, and playing lots and lots of poker.

1. What is your previous poker experience?

Long story, if you don't mind...

I have been playing poker longer than I can actually remember. My grandfather had a set of chips that I used to put in my mouth around age 4. So to show me what they were really for, he and my grandmother began playing draw poker (and later stud) with me way back then. In college, my fraternity brothers and I had weekend marathon sessions of 'man or mouse' (sometimes called 'guts'). Those games continued for awhile in home games but I was eventually enticed by another game: chess. I have played tournament chess for 35 years.

In the meantime I spent a lot of time in casinos where I became competent at blackjack. So I played that game whenever I could...mostly at Foxwoods and in Vegas. I walked through the poker room at Foxwoods a dozen times without ever taking a seat; the lines were daunting I guess.

I started playing poker seriously in August 2003 (the details are in my profile). More recently I have been encouraged by the poker successes of childhood friends Dan Harrington, Howard Lederer and Alan Shaw (depraved on PSO). I met with Dan in November 2004 at Foxwoods to interview him for my book, in which I pay tribute to his inspirational life story. He encouraged me to play in the Senior Event where I surprised myself by finishing in the money...

I was eliminated in a hand with Men 'the master' Nguyen when I was ahead until...oh, you know (no bad beat stories from this guy). Anyway, Men the master went on to win $48,000 in the event. I was able, in the process, to sit next to him for nearly five hours and observe his tactics and demeanor. It was then that I knew for sure that this game was far more skill than luck!

I spent the entire month of December 2004 in Tunica, MS playing poker 4-8 hours per day and played in at least three live tournaments per week while waiting for the PSO convention to begin. I won my first live poker tournament ($1,441) at the Grand on the Friday night before Christmas. Unfortunately, I slipped on some ice and disclocated my shoulder on New Year's Eve and had to return home to Connecticut. I missed the PSO convention and did not return to Tunica until January 2006.

2. What do you like most and least about poker?

I enjoy the competition and am intrigued by the application of my chess skills: visualization, patience, planning ahead, pattern recognition... combined with my love of numbers.

I hate the cards... sometimes. And I would prefer it if poker tournaments were played away from casinos (as they are with chess). No need to get into the reasons why.

3. What, in general, are you hoping to get out of my course?

More skills for my bag of poker tricks; a clearer understanding; a more complete perspective; plug some leaks; make new friends.

4. If you could take away only one specific thing from this course, what would be the most important for you?

Eradicate the weak part of my tight-weak self.

5. What is your table image when you play (tight, loose, aggressive, etc)?

I just said it...tight-weak... and predictable. Easy to push off pots, but aggressive with good cards. I'm like a snapping turtle.

6. What opponent type gives you the most trouble?

Same as what others have said: Aggressive players who can vary their play, adapt to my style, and read my damn cards.

Those from PSO who come to mind: was, Mcarter, depraved, thehazyone, xymox and many others. Some are I don't want to encourage them to take more advantage of me.

7. When you bet and an opponent raises you, how do you typically respond?

Fold. Sometimes think for a long time, then fold. Occasionally I reraise. I rarely just call in this situation. Depends on the pot odds.

8. How often do you take notes on your opponents?

Habitually! I have been fastidious about taking notes on every player at PSO for two years. I observe tables, review profiles, statistics, rankings and bust orders. I take notes of specific hands. But I ain't sharing

Anyway, I took thehazyone's 4-week program in August 2005 and am astounded by how much I didn't know about big bet poker. Now that I am looking into the well I am wondering, "How deep is the well"? Please help, all of you, answer that question.

With the help of my new best friend Stacey on PSO (RIVERHATER2) and at the suggestion of Scott (Marshfield), I became the moderator of the newest Study Group of PSO (founded 9/13/05...Stacey & hazy's birthday). I am so proud of the people in that group. There are some real budding superstars. I have determined that if I can get better at poker, then I can serve them better. That's important to me. So I am here.

Of course if I can win a few bucks on the tournament trail and pick up a few tidbits for my book along the way, that would be nice also.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Delilah's words to her listeners...

From Delilah’s August 2006 electronic newsletter to her listeners…

Many years ago, when I broadcast my show from the Prudential Towers in Boston, I became friends with a wonderful man named Frank Niro. His two darling little girls were the same age as my son, and they played together in my front yard at an “Indian” themed birthday party. Frank’s housemate at the time, a beautiful woman named Brenda, became one of my closest friends. The three of us laughed an awful lot and faced life’s challenges with a great deal of gusto, thanks in part to Frank’s very Italian zeal for living.

Frank took me on my first trip to New York City to see a Broadway play. He often jokes about how excited he was to take me on a long road trip and show me the amazing sites of New England – he is quite a history buff – but instead he had a snoring passenger sitting next to him during the five hour drive to Manhattan!

A fabulous distance runner in his teen years, Frank ran marathons and won all sorts of awards. But when Frank was 19 he was hit by a car, breaking his legs, hips and nearly every bone in his lower body. He spent two or three years in the hospital, crippled by the accident. Not one to be kept down, Frank taught himself how to walk again, and even how to run. His gait is a bit different from most runners, but his passion for running was not diminished. The man refuses to give up!

When we first met, Frank was the chief administrator for a large hospital chain. He was a soft-spoken but powerful businessman who knew the ins and outs of corporate life. At the time, I was struggling to make ends meet – cooking ramen noodles and scraping to pay a mortgage. When I couldn’t afford to buy the materials to convert the attic into a small apartment for Producer Janey, Frank donated the funds to purchase the sheet rock, wood, nails and paint. A few years later when my financial situation had improved, I attempted to pay him back. Frank’s response was, “Pay it forward. It was a gift, not a loan.”

I have never forgotten his generosity or his example. I have tried, at every turn, to “pay it forward” and to bless others who are just starting out, or trying to do something good for others. And each time someone has said “I will pay this back”, I repeat Frank’s words.

Ten years ago I lost touch with Frank. I didn’t hear from him and thought he had just dropped off the face of the earth. Then about a year ago he contacted me and told me he’d had a debilitating stroke, followed by a heart attack, and had been fighting for his life. He had to give up his career in hospital administration and go on permanent disability. He next project was to write a book about his incredible life. I invited Frank to take a train to come visit me, take advantage of the peaceful environment at the farm, and finish his book.

That was about three months ago. Since his arrival Frank has helped me with my foundation, Point Hope. He has helped friends of mine who are starting small businesses. He has joined the local chamber of commerce and a church and even a bowling league. He HASN’T had a chance to write even a single chapter in his book because he is so busy helping me and those I love, but I suspect he will finish it sooner rather than later.

I laugh when I imagine his business friends from Boston, the doctors and other executives who knew Frank when he was getting up at 5 a.m. to direct the expansions of hospital facilities and running multi-million dollar operating departments. Today he awakens at the crack of dawn because the roosters crow right outside his window, demanding that he get up and pay attention to them! When I think about how God first brought me into Frank’s life, and how all these many years later we are friends once again. I can’t help but think of the Michael W. Smith song “Friends”. The lyrics of the chorus say “A friend’s a friend forever when the Lord’s the Lord of them...”

Frank inspires me to always follow my passions and my dreams. Although he is disabled and will need to use a wheelchair, Frank is determined to “run” the Boston Marathon again in a few years. When he does, he will become the first person to finish the marathon in less than three hours both running, with his legs, and using his arms to wheel himself in a chair. He could have given up a number of times in his life, but instead of giving up or giving in, he gets back up and starts all over again. His zest for life is one of the many reasons I cherish our friendship (well, that and the fact that my chickens adore him).

Delilah (

Click here for Janet Kornblum's 8/2/06 article about Delilah in USA Today

Sunday, July 30, 2006


2006 WSOP

I was privileged to be invited to blog some of the events at the 2006 World Series of Poker for

Here are the links to the events that I covered:

Event #5 - $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Short-handed

Event #5 - Final table

Greetings! Frank Niro here. I'm pleased to be part of the PokerPages 2006 WSOP reporting team. The cards went in the air a few minutes after 12 noon despite the absence of many of the combatants. Normally, this wouldn't be a big factor. But in a short-handed event, with only six players at each table, the blinds come around much more quickly. The early action seems to be a battle for the unguarded blinds....

Go to to read more (links above).

Here's a related article on Dutch Boyd's win of Event #5

Event #26 - $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha

Congratulations to Spiros Mitrokostas for his first WSOP final table. Does anyone wish to accept a friendly wager that it will not be his last?

(Frank Niro, a/k/a ChessSafari, reporting for the 2006 WSOP coverage team)

Go to to read more (link above).

Event #29 - $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em

Looking around the room, there seems to be an abundance of former bracelet winners as well as a few world champions in the field. We will collect some names for you as play moves along...
1. Last year's main event winner Joseph Hachem, reigning World Champion
2. 2004 World Champion, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer
3. 2000 World Champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - 5 bracelets
4. T.J. Cloutier - 6 bracelets
5. Daniel Negreanu - 3 bracelets
6. Humberto Brenes - 2 bracelets
7. Steve Zolotow - 2 bracelets
8. John Juanda - 3 bracelets
9. Erik Seidel - 7 bracelets - finished second to Johnny Chan in 1988 Main Event

more... (click link above)

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