I write to you now from Kinder, a sleepy Louisiana town not far from the Texas border. I'm at the Coushatta resort, an Indian casino that is holding its annual 7 Clans Poker Cup Series and I'm here writing about it for Rounder magazine.
Things have improved for Rounder since last I wrote. The magazine has been sold to new owners and I think they really know what they're doing and I see the magazine succeeding. Under past ownership, I had to meet the editor at a Birmingham gas station to get my check, which was written out of the owner's insurance business account. That didn't exactly inspire confidence in the long-term stability of that employment situation, which proved to be accurate when the mag temporarily folded.
Now we're back and better than ever. Rounder has steadily improved and I'm trying to implement ideas to make it more interesting. For example, this month we did a cute thing with some poker pros about what they wanted for Christmas, with responses from Robert Williamson III about wanting "crazy socks" and constant TV time bubbler Joe Sebok wanting to make a WPT final table. We will also tackle headier stuff that other magazines won't touch, such as the recent Absolute Poker scandal (a major advertiser in all of the other major poker mags). I'm also working on future articles on topics like RFID technology in tournament chips, the life of an online poker pro, and others. I've also dug up my old story on the Andy Bloch Project and Tom Sims that Bluff rejected two years ago and we will probably run it as part of a WSOP preview.
Several years ago I had an email conversation with Jay Greenspan, then the owner of PokerSavvy.com, about turning his website into a magazine, but nothing came of it. This was in the days when Card Player and Poker Player were the only two poker publications in existence. So you can see how exciting it is for me to be part of building a new poker magazine.
Before coming to Kinder, I spent several days in New Orleans. Amy also got to come for the weekend and enjoyed the Crescent City in her first trip there. The WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's was an interesting one, with Josh Arieh, one of the few notable pros in attendance, running over the field until the end, when up and comer Andy Philachack took home the title.