Here’s The River: ‘N.Y. Times’ Bets On Poker Column

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By: E&P Staff

Now even the Good Gray Lady of New York has caught the fever for Texas Hold ‘Em poker.

This Saturday, The New York Times launches a weekly column on poker written by James McManus, the Chicago novelist who wrote a non-fiction book about how he won $250,000 at the 2000 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

The column, simply titled “Poker,” will appear weekly in the Saturday Sports section of the Times. The newspaper promises the column will “cover the world of poker including its lore, lingo, home games, games held online, and major tournaments.” McManus will write for both aficionados and the newcomers attracted to the game by the many television shows devoted to Texas Hold ‘Em.

“While poker has attracted an immense following on TV and the Internet, nobody is writing the kind of regular column Jim will give us, a literate combination of the drama, strategy, psychology, and color of card play that should interest both serious players and the simply curious,” Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said in the Wednesday announcement of the column.

The newspaper said McManus’ pieces will take its place alongside “other top-quality game columns” on bridge, chess, and video games.

McManus, a writing teacher at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is the author of “Positively Fifth Street,” the account of how, on an assignment from Harper’s magazine, he entered the World Series of Poker with a $4,000 stake that he parlayed into a $10,000 seat in the tournament. McManus ended up fifth out of 512 players, with a total win of $250,000.

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