THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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  • Media Reviews posted periodically
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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Las Vegas THEN & NOW

Then: The Thunderbird Casino on the Strip had a quarter-horse racetrack on it’s grounds in the 1950s. It had two things going against it: July & August. The owners sold the track and after another renaming as the Silverbird, the casino became the El Rancho.
Now: The site is home to the luxury Turnberry Place and a London-themed casino.

Then: During the mid-1950s, you could catch Old Blue Eyes in a lounge act for the price of a 75-cent drink and still have a quarter left for the tip.
Now: The cost to see a headliner starts at about $50 and goes up.

Then: You could buy the Stardust in 1954 for around $15 million.
Now: Steve Wynn’s Bellagio opened in 1998. Cost: $1.8 billion. Don’t even ask about Wynn Las Vegas. You could buy several small countries for the cost of construction.

Then: If you worked in a Las Vegas casino in the 1970s and a co-worker asked for a ride home, you automatically said yes because very few places were more than a 10-minute car ride.
Now: If a co-worker asks you for a lift today, you better get out a map and gauge the distance. It could take up to an hour or more of your time.

Then: A little more than 7 years ago, poker was all but dead in the U.S. The few poker rooms that still spread games were frequented mostly by older men who had been playing since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Now: It’s hard to keep track of the new poker rooms springing up on the Strip and elsewhere due mostly to the phenomenal success of TV poker.

Slick Going Gangbusters... Borders Books McCarran Airport location in Las Vegas.

Sales of THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist have surged well above the 500 mark at this key Borders store.

Don't miss Slick's regular Monday afternoon booksignings at the store. He'll tell you stories that don't appear in the book.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


This true story of Slick's just goes to show that if you live long enough, some things really do change.

Slick: A police car stopped me. In the past, that always meant there was gonna be some sort of trouble. This time the cop asked me, "Are you advertising to be a thief?"

No I'm not that stupid," I tell him and show him the book THIEF that I always carry with me. Don't you know, he buys it for the full retail price.

That's the first time I was stopped by the police where they paid me instead of the other way around. Here's the photo that made him wonder.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Definition: In a H.O.R.S.E. poker game or tournament, the kind of poker played each round varies. There are five:
H = Hold'em
O = Omaha
R = Razz
S = Seven-card Stud
E = Seven-card Stud high/low Eight or better

If you're playing a H.O.R.S.E. rotation game, the game would change every time the dealer button made a full round. In tournaments, the game changes at the end of each round, or after a set and predetermined amount of time.

In 2006, the World Series of Poker introduced a $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event and rotated games after each hour-long round, until the final table, when they switched to no-limit Hold'em until the end.

(Full explanation by Toby Bochan, Your Guide to Poker)

Monday, August 6, 2007


Anyone interested in an intimate, personal tour of Northern Italy with best selling novelist/screenwriter, James Dalessandro? Renowned NY literary agent and Hollywood producer, Peter Miller, asked me to post the following info regarding this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I told him I'd be more than happy to pass on the word. Below are Mr. Miller's comments:

Hello Friends,

Many of you know about James Dalessandro, one of my writing clients and dear friends. James is the author of the best selling novel 1906 and screenwriter of the upcoming Warner Brothers film, which will be directed by Brad Bird. James is also fluent in Italian, has spent a lot of time in Northern Italy, and is leading a small group (24 people max.) to Northern Italy.

This is an extraordinary tour: 3 days in the Cingue Terre (the "Five Lands on the Italian Riviera), 4 days in a Villa near Florence (built in 1427) and 3 nights on Lago Maggiore (the Big Lake near Milan). Several of James' San Francisco screen writing students are going, so James invited me for 5 nights to meet and speak with them about their writing and the book and film business.

I am sending this to you to see if anyone might be interested in joining us. We'll be taking boat rides on the Mediterranean, visiting the Uffizi Museum in Florence, and staying in marvelous accommodations. I am completely excited about this trip.

Click on to James' web site at and see "ITALY WITH JAMES DALESSANDRO."

Also note:
Click here: JV PIXAR News: Updated: Brad Bird Reconfirms That He Is Directing 1906 Next! But Is He Doing It For Pixar? Please join us, there are about 6 slots left in this small group.

All the best,

Peter Miller

Peter Miller, President
45 West 21st Street - 4th Floor
New York, NY 10010
212-929-1222, FAX 212-206-0238

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I was in the Stratosphere poker room today and couldn’t help thinking how things have changed in such a short time. Not too many years ago, if you saw someone under 50 in a poker room he was lost. It was always a fight for the poker room manager to convince the casino manager to keep the room open with attendance dicey at best. You needed shills or proposition players just to start a game. And Seven Card Stud was the bread-and-butter game in all poker rooms.

If you’re under 50, I probably lost you in the first paragraph. It’s likely you don’t know what shills or prop. players are, either, as few rooms use them anymore. Now there are waiting lines to get in a game and the casino manager is the poker room manager’s friend. (At least he’s usually not the enemy.) The big turnaround came with the popularity of Internet gambling and Texas Holdem that's creating an army of new players = $$$$$$ for the casino.

Now there’s a tournament called HORSE. If you know what it means, email the answer below under comments. I’ll post the answer Tuesday, August 7.