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Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations. Blume covers education for the L. He has won the top investigative reporting prize from the L. Press Club and been named print journalist of the year by the L. Society of Professional Journalists. Despite rumors to the contrary, his books are not actually written by his pet rabbit, Quiche; the rabbit is merely his typist. Adventure With a Smirk Sunday, Boxer is the junior United States Senator from California, serving since A lifelong Democrat, she previously served in the House of Representatives for 10 years, from to Married for more than 50 years, she lives in California, where she raised two children and has four grandchildren.
Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life. Jesse Unruh and the Art of Power Politics. Since the late s, Boyle has published 14 novels and 10 story collections. The Middle East and Beyond Saturday, 3 p. A lifelong Los Angeles resident, Braxton has written for the L. Times for more than three decades. He is currently the deputy TV editor for the Calendar section and has also written extensively about trends and cultural issues in the entertainment field.
She lives in Ireland. Fantasy and World Building Sunday, 3 p. Dangerous Lives, Dark Secrets Sunday, 3: Breznican was born and raised in western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsurgh in Bridel is a director, choreographer, playwright, librettist, performer and teacher of acting, movement and clown. In , he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. With legendary producer Rick Rubin at the helm, the boys—Henry and Rupert Stansall—confidently channel their knowledge and early influences of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and the Stones all while continuing the tradition of the modern rock crooner started by the likes of Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker, and Ian McCulloch.
Brown has written and illustrated more than two dozen books for young readers. Bringing History to Life Saturday, 4 p. Brown is director of author marketing for Goodreads. He leads the Goodreads Author Program, through which he helps thousands of authors find readers for their books. Brownstein is a musician, writer and actor. In , she reunited With Sleater-Kinney to release a new album and tour internationally through Bryant writes about the 19th-century American South and American legal history.
He is currently professor of history at Georgia Southern University. Buckley is the author of the Undertow trilogy for young adults. He has also worked as a stand-up comic, TV writer, pasta maker and singer in a punk rock band.
He lives in Brooklyn With his wife, Alison, and their son, Finn. A League of Their Own: A Perfect Culinary Blend: Contemporary Art and Social Engagement Saturday, 4: With deep roots in South and Central America, Buyepongo draw heavily from the Latino musical culture.
Buyepongo create a very vibrant polyrhythmic sound by seamlessly fusing merengue, punta and cumbia. Poetry and the Arts: Byrne is a leading British poet, reading from his first book published in the U. Born in New York, he now lives in British Columbia. Calle was born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Venezuela. He studied social communication at Central University of Venezuela. He is currently deputy editor of the publications Hoy and Fin de Semana, in addition to being entertainment editor.
Campbell was born in Kenya but raised and educated in Scotland. A Bookstore Booth April 9, She previously served as founding Managing Editor of EmergingUS, a digital magazine founded by Jose Antonio Vargas that explores the emerging American identity and lives at the intersection of race, immigration, and identity in a multicultural America. Cardona is a poet, literary translator and actor, as well as the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Hemingway Grant and the USA Best Book Award.
Lives in Transition Sunday, noon, Seeley G. Suspense in Series Sunday, 1 p. Carter, as the L. Times Test Kitchen director, oversees the testing of all recipes that appear in the L. A Princess Leia Adventure. The Rest of the Story Sunday, 1: Gevrina Catalina is a reporter, host, writer, producer and director.
Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger steampunk fantasy series from Harper Voyager. She lives in her native city of L. With her husband and basset hound. Agents and Alibis Saturday, 4 p. Chadburn, when not teaching, can usually be found protesting somewhere. Lives Intertwined Saturday, 2: Chainani believes in fairy tales wholeheartedly. When studying at Harvard, he practically created his own fairy tale major.
He is an acclaimed screenwriter and graduate of the MFA film directing program at Columbia University. The Ever Never Handbook. Epic Adventures Sunday, 10 a. She studied art and education at Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then spent a decade working With kids in schools in underserved communities.
California and the Imagination Sunday, Chang is vice president and general manager for Fly. Chang is an avid traveler, having visited all seven continents and off-the-beaten-path places such as North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia, Guatamala, Jordan and elsewhere.
He is currently conducting research for his first book. Finding Travel Bargains Sunday, 3: Times Book Prize in Current Interest. She spent most of to in Afghanistan, much of that time in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar. She then worked for two commanders of the international troops and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A Pashtu-speaker, she lived among ordinary Kandaharis. She is now a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Shaping the Past, Shaping the Future Saturday, History on the Page Saturday, He is a managing editor at The Scofield and lives in Los Angeles. The Ties That Bind Sunday, 3: Chin is an Asian food expert, cookbook author, tv host and food blogger. Chou was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.
His art is influenced by prominent and obscure artists as well as by Southern California lifestyle and culture. Christie is CEO of Christie Strategies LLC, an independent media and political firm providing government relations and strategic communications consulting. A former special assistant to President George W. Her books have more than 36 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than 35 languages.
The Long Arm of the Law Saturday, 1 p. Clough is a native of Paterson, N. He is an active year police veteran and founder of the Airport Crimes Investigations Detail. His client list includes ExxonMobil, Visa, Motorola and many others.
In addition to speaking and training, Kevin is the founder of Corporate Travel Safety, which provides consulting services and travel safety products. She has won various journalistic awards including the L.
Cohen is an author, historian and leading national expert on women and American politics. The Politics of Sex in America. My Brain and Other Wonders. Living Beyond Fear Sunday, 2: She lives and writes in Los Angeles. A Bookstore Booth April 9, 1: Magical Realism on the Page Saturday, The series has been published in more than 30 languages.
Conklin is a writer, reader and life-long lover of books and those who create them. Melanie spent a decade as a product designer and approaches her writing With the same three-dimensional thinking and fastidious attention to detail. A Bookstore Booth April 10, 4: America Star Books Booth His books have sold over 60 million copies worldwide.
Constantine is a poet based in Los Angeles. Corddry is an American actor and comedian. Cormier is a chef and director of food services at the Los Angeles Mission, where he supervises an operation that serves 1, to 1, meals daily. Corrigan is the assistant managing editor for Arts and Entertainment, leading one of the L. Covering Diversity in Hollywood: Corwin is the author of five books.
Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary. The Art of the Real Sunday, 10 a. Curwen is an award-winning staff writer for the L. Times, where he has worked as editor of the Outdoors section, deputy editor of the Book Review and an editor for features.
He has received an Academy of American Poets prize and a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for mental health journalism, and he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for his story about a grizzly bear attack in Montana. Power to the People Sunday, The Art of Travel Writing: Daley is the director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles and she also teaches academic writing at Caltech. Her work has appeared in the L. Lives Unraveling Saturday, 4: Danylyshyn is a native of Waukegan, Ill.
He and his wife Jennifer live in Los Angeles With their own group of animals: Alex, Ava and Anya. Dare is a librarian, mother and writer. Romance Between the Covers Sunday, 11 a. Author Solutions Booth Daum is a columnist for the L. The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku. Day and Livia Dare is the New York Times and international best-selling author of over 20 award-winning novels sold in more than 40 countries.
She is a No. Lionsgate has optioned her Crossfire series for TV. De la Cruz is the author of many best-selling novels, including the Blue Bloods series. De la O was born and raised in Southern California. Both sides of her family arrived in the Los Angeles area before William Mulholland built the aqueduct that brought in water from the eastern Sierras.
As a marine biologist, she got to travel the world before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.
Woody, Wilshire and South L. Selected Histories Sunday, 3 p. Deville strives to create positive energy and unity through music. They incorporate choreography and a constant groove to keep the audience dancing and hope to provoke feelings of happiness, love and passion. Over the years, she has worked With many acclaimed authors, including J. She is also co-board president of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.
Off-Kilter Saturday, 1 p. Dinkelspiel is an award-winning journalist who spent over 20 years in the newspaper business. The Dark Side of California Saturday, 10 a. Doe, co-founder of the L. When DJ Bonebrake joined X in mid the line-up was complete. John has recorded eight solo records With numerous renowned singers and players, more recently including Dan Auerbach and Aimee Mann.
Times Book Prize for Biography. Pink is a girl color… Booth April 9, 2: Pink is a girl color… Booth April 9, Searching for Hope on a Global Scale Saturday, 1 p. Duneier is the Maurice P. The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea.
She works as associate editor of Coast Magazine, an arts and lifestyle publication. Live Through This Saturday, 1: In he won a Windham Campbell Prize for nonfiction. Creative Media Publishing Booth April 9, A summa cum laude graduate of USC, Easton is a private writing instructor and hosts book clubs for tweens and teens. He oversees all operations in North America including brand marketing, online advertising, content marketing and sales.
Eichelberger has over 10 years of experience in new venture business development, finance and marketing. Buried Secrets Saturday, 4: El Reda currently serves as sports editor of Hoy Los Angeles. Elder is a playwright, painter, and filmmaker living in the San Fernando Valley. She received an O. Henry Prize for her first published short story, and her essays about writing and parenting have appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.
What Everyone Needs to Know. Henrietta Elmore-Smith Booth April 9, Enni is a young adult novelist and the creator and host of the First Draft Podcast, a series of interviews With young adult and middle-grade authors. Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. Times Book Prize in Fiction. Ephron was a Newsweek writer for nearly 15 years, serving as national security correspondent, deputy Washington bureau chief and Jerusalem bureau chief.
Erskine is a humor columnist and editor for the L. He writes for the Sports, Travel and Saturday sections and does occasional duty on the Travel editing staff. A visiting professor at Cal State L. Esquivel writes about the Inland Empire for the L. Prior to joining the L. Times in , she was a freelance writer, worked in Spanish-language radio and was an occasional substitute teacher.
Covering the Story Saturday, 4: Belief Outside the Margins Sunday, 2: Evenson teaches creative writing at CalArts. His awards and honors include three O.
Faderman is an internationally known LGBT historian. He is internationally known for his popular books on archaeology, history and climate change and has won numerous awards for his writing. Building Blocks of Daily Life Sunday, 1: Author Solutions Booth April 9, Finnegan is a politics reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Since joining The Times in , he has covered campaigns for president, governor and mayor.
Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, has worked on a boat and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. The New and the Now Sunday, 3 p. An Emerging Voices Anthology. With Friends Like These … Saturday, 4 p. Folick plays psycho grunge ballads and existential crisis rock—equal parts soft and hard. She lives in Downtown LA with her books and her disco ball. Foroutan was born in Iran and spent her early childhood there. She has been named to the Hedgebrook fellowship and residency and received funding from the Elizabeth George Foundation, among other institutions.
She currently lives in Los Angeles With her husband and two daughters. Franke has produced over literary events across Southern California and was named a Face to Watch by the L. Writing the Surreal Saturday, 1 p.
Friedmann is an award-winning science writer who has written on topics ranging from astrophysics to zoology to the history and science of ink. She is editor of ScienceWriters magazine, published by the National Assn. He calls his music a combination of folk, blues, Americana and pop. His greatest influence is Paul Simon. He plays the guitar as well as the banjo, mandolin, harmonica and piano. Gabis is an award-winning poet and prose writer. She lives and teaches in New York City. The Echoes of War Saturday, 4: Garvey is deputy managing editor for digital at the L.
Times, With broad responsibility including breaking news on the Web, the home page, the data team and the presentation of online projects.
She has managed a series of innovative online projects, including Mapping L. Times Teacher Ratings database. Before becoming a writer, Garvin acted in films and TV and toured nationally as the frontman of a rock band. Perspective and Perception Sunday, 3 p. Gavron is the author of seven books, which have been translated into 11 languages. The son of English immigrants, he grew up in a small village near Jerusalem and lives in Tel Aviv.
Gay is the author of three books: On the Edge Saturday, Gerhardt was born and raised in Cheltenham, Penn. He found time to attend many school dances in constant pursuit of various Miranda Mullalys.
Since graduating from West Chester University, he has worked as a teacher. He currently lives in Los Angeles. Gerson is the community engagement editor at the Los Angeles Times. A journalist and educator, her work focuses on multiethnic communities and innovations in participatory media. Gerson was the founding editor of Alhambra Source, a research-based site investigating how local news can foster civic engagement.
Gerstler is a writer of poetry, nonfiction and journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Gioia is the Poet Laureate of California. For six years he was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Anne Girard is the pen name for Diane Haeger. A chance meeting With the famed author Irving Stone 25 years ago sharply focused her ambition to tell great stories from history.
The author of seven books on contemporary social issues, sociologist Barry Glassner is president of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. Gold is a columnist and restaurant critic for the L. He has written for LA Weekly and Gourmet magazine, among other publications. He won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, a first for a food writer. Comedic Personal Essays Saturday, 4 p. Goldberg is the editor and publisher of the Cancer Letter, a publication focused on the business and politics of cancer.
Born in Moscow, he now lives in Washington, D. Goldman founded Charm City Cakes in , when demand for his extraordinary cake creations required him to fling off the oppression of his day job and follow his dream of being his own boss. Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home. Gomez-Glez is a playwright and novelist. Her plays have been performed in Spain and the U. She teaches at USC. Goo was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she navigated her childhood by practicing extreme bossy lord-dom over her many cousins.
His current book project explores the rise of the deportation regime and the expulsion of Mexicans from the United States over the last century. Goodman has written about U. Migration, Integration and Communities in Transition Sunday, Goyal is a journalist. In , he was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Henry Prize Stories and numerous Best American anthologies. Writing the Writer Sunday, 4 p.
His academic research focuses on cultural productions and social movements in the Central American diasporas, particularly those of Guatemalans and Salvadorans in the U. Gumbel is an award-winning journalist and former longtime correspondent for British newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent, and he has been on the scene at a number of international conflicts.
Hall indulges her obsession With distant lands and far-flung adventures as often as she can. She has played With baby tigers in Thailand and learned to make homemade pasta in Italy.
In her past life, she was a bookstore events coordinator and marketing manager. A Bookstore Booth April 10, Hamilton, former journalist, Fulbright scholar and Edgar Award finalist, is the author of seven crime novels set in L. Hamm is the Travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. She was born in Syracuse, N.
Her varied media career has taken her from McPherson, Kan. Hamm has twice received individual Lowell Thomas Awards. A partner in both the renowned bookstore Family and the movie theater Cinefamily, Harkham lives in Los Angeles With his wife and three children. Harkness is an art director for the Walt Disney Animation Studios. He took office on July 1, Perspectives on the Past: Writing Young Adult History Saturday, 1: A collection of her Ask Polly columns will be published in July of this year.
Playing With Form Sunday, 1 p. Born in Virginia and raised in Alabama, Hawkins taught high school English for three years before becoming a full-time writer.
A Bookstore Booth April 9, 3: Author of the famed Port Huron Statement, Hayden was a leader in the student, anti-war and civil rights protests in the s. He was elected to the California legislature in , serving for 18 years. Hayes is an illustrator, musician, graphic novelist, songwriter and producer. Drawing on Real Life Saturday, 1 p. Hazzard worked as a paramedic from to , primarily at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Exploring Truth and Purpose Sunday, Henwood is a licensed clinical social worker who has served as an administrator, clinician and researcher for organizations serving adults experiencing homelessness and serious health conditions.
He helped start and served as the clinical director for Pathways to Housing, Inc. Hepola has written many stories about drinking and eating too much. Times Book Prize finalist in Biography. Mid-Century Lives Saturday, Herrera is the U. Poetry Reading Saturday, 2: Hesse is a features writer at the Washington Post, where she writes widely shared longform pieces and covers royal weddings, political campaigns and White House state dinners.
Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has written for the L. Times for over 20 years. Hirahara is the award-winning author of two mystery series. A former editor of the Rafu Shimpo newspaper, she also has written nonfiction books and middle- grade novels.
Ho has been a seminal force in the surf and skateboarding worlds for more than four decades. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, the L. Times and The Atlantic. Howells has worked as a writer and editor for almost two decades. As a managing editor at a small press, he oversaw the publication of dozens of textbooks in the social sciences and he has worked on the Web as an editor and producer, managing teams of writers. His fiction has appeared in various publications and is forthcoming in an anthology from Forest Publications.
Timothy School in Los Angeles. Huffington is the president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and author of 15 books.
The Huffington Post, launched in , is one of the most widely-read and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. In , the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. A Time of Season, Poetry: Formed in by Rob Waller and brothers Paul and Anthony Lacques, the Hawks have been known for their signature sound: Isenberg is a prize-winning author and journalist. Jacobs is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. A History of American Secularism.
A Secular History of Conversion. New and Rediscovered Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen. Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before moving to Los Angeles, where she lives With her comedy-writer husband and their two children.
Jones is the Robert A. Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories. Jack Jones Literary Arts is her literary publicity company. Jones is executive chef at Crossroads. The Sex Pistols inspired a punk rock revolution starting in the U. An Edgar and Agatha finalist, Kandel is currently finishing the first book in her new L. At Loose Ends Saturday, 3 p. Keating lives in Venice, Calif.
She has always had wild and vivid dreams and has been known to rearrange furniture in her sleep. Keegan is a staff writer covering film at the L. The Life and Films of James Cameron. Times, she was the Hollywood correspondent for Time magazine. Kellogg, book editor of the L. She has been editor of LAist. Kelly is the youth services coordinator for the Santa Monica Public Library system. Over the past 25 years, he has served on local, state, and national award committees.
His most recent committee was the Caldecott Award and he has the Calde-tatt to prove it. Kent is an author, screenwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. Kepnes is a native of Cape Cod, Mass. Kindley is senior editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. He teaches at Claremont McKenna College.
Kipen is the founder and co-director of Libros Schmibros, a lending library and bookshop in L. He was book critic and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle for seven years before becoming the director of literature for the National Endowment for the Arts A Lens on the Past Saturday, Kirkman is a stand-up comedian, writer and actress. She lives With her husband in Pasadena. Her critical writing has appeared in PAJ: Classic Horror Stories, Knoll is a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan and articles editor at Self magazine.
She lives in New York City With her husband. Writing Page and Screen Saturday, 2: Koertge, a fixture on the L. Kohli is a reporter covering education for the Los Angeles Times. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining The Times in Kolsby has written for the L. Ulin, was first published serially.
Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.
Love and Other Disasters Sunday, Kraft is deputy managing editor of the L. Times, is responsible for the front page, the Column One feature and major investigative, explanatory and narrative reporting projects. During more than two decades at The Times, Kraft has been a national and foreign correspondent as well as a news department head. A former book editor, Maris takes special pleasure in critiquing her own writing.
Krozser, publisher of Booksquare. Her plus books have garnered starred reviews and awards. Times, Los Angeles magazine and many other publications. She has received a fellowship in fiction from the National Foundation for the Arts, and her stories have appeared in Tin House, Bomb and the O. Lapidos is the editor of the L. Times op-ed page and the Sunday opinion section. She previously worked at Slate as a culture editor and the New York Times as the opinion section staff editor.
There she launched the Taking Note blog and wrote editorials on various topics, including marijuana legalization, the presidential contest and the mid-term elections. Larson is a film, TV and novel writer born in Rochester, Minn. A Bookstore Booth April 10, 2: Divorce, Online Dating and Other Failures. He is poetry co-chair for the Brooklyn Book Festival and lives in Brooklyn.
Lee is a political reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Prior to joining the newspaper in August , Lee worked for three years at the Denver Post and covered state and national politics. Currently, Lee is the chairman and chief creative officer of POW! Entertainment, where he continues to create characters and superhero franchises for a new generation. A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. The Art of the Essay Saturday, 2: Leo also co-founded BestKidsApps. A native of England, he started reporting for the paper in and has written about foster care, county government, jail violence, law enforcement issues and crime, among other subjects.
Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the L. Liang, visual information specialist, is an advocate for increasing diversity in national parks. Using his fine arts degree, he works towards this goal through a variety of visual media, such as publications, photography, the web and social media. Lisicky is the author of five books: Echoes of the Past Saturday, 10 a. GL, is a bilingual, educational hip-hop artist focused on helping students learn another language through rhythm, repetition and motivation.
GL learned Spanish while serving in the Marine Corps at age GL has been touring the U. She has been working in TV and radio for over 11 years, covering topics such as culture, sports, ecology, music and health. Longo is a biogerontologist and cell biologist known for his studies on the role of starvation and nutrient response genes on cellular protection, aging and diseases and for proposing that longevity is regulated by similar genes and mechanisms in many eukaryotes.
Lopez is a columnist at the L. Times who writes about life and culture in California. Times Columnist Steve Lopez Saturday, 1 p. Lord is an author, critic and cartoonist. The Private Life of Rocket Science. Low was a longtime editor for the L.
She is now the managing editor at Black Clock. Lozano is active in the vibrant Los Angeles Latino arts scene. Pictures on the Page Saturday, Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Africa. Lummis is a writer, arts organizer and influential teacher of poetry in Los Angeles.
Lutz is the founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and the author of books on weeping, slackers, nervousness and the function of criticism at the present time. He is a professor of creative writing at UC Riverside.
The Road Home Saturday, 1: Lynch is a writer and editor at the L. MacHale is the author of the best-selling Pendragon series. Previously she was a staff writer at Salon, Newsday and SmartMoney. She was a Tin House Scholar in Poetry. She was born in Connecticut, but she currently resides in Santa Monica, where she drinks too much coffee and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste.
Mallery has entertained millions of readers With her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Markoff joined the New York Times in March as a reporter for the business section.
He now writes for the science section from San Francisco. Times Book Prize finalist in Science and Technology. Marr writes fiction for adults, teens and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and have been bestsellers in the U. His work has appeared in the L. He is a founding member of the Temblors, a new collective of L. From Page to Stage: She served as editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter and was program coordinator at the Poetry Project from through Eras of Music Sunday, 11 a.
McClure lives in Olympia, Wash. A native of Sussex, England, McDonald studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University before working as a music journalist and entertainment critic. I had to pinch myself to believe my good fortune. It was about having a voice and being heard. It was about having access to the top. It was about having a seat at the table. It was about the very real possibility of shaping an industry and making a difference in a multi-billion dollar company.
It was about being in the game. The big game was played within the hidden walls of data centers stocked with servers uploaded with cutting-edge gaming software and sophisticated storage systems. PokerStars ranked a distant second. Between and , every luck box who won a major televised poker tournament was signing a deal. It was the Gold Rush. Leaving the Horseshoe and joining PokerStars was like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. PokerStars was growing so fast that no one could keep up.
Isai resided in Richmond Hill, a suburb of Toronto. Mark lived in London. Dan lived in Los Angeles. Rich lived in Denver. Terrence Chan, hired to oversee Customer Support, lived in Vancouver. Thomas Koo was also in support and lived in Costa Rica. Joe Versaci, who handled advertising, lived in Ohio. I was the only PokerStars employee based in Las Vegas.
Later, PokerStars set up company offices on the Isle of Man. But during the early years, most employees worked out of their homes. Initially, most PokerStars staff were American or Canadian. Within five years, PokerStars would go from a tightly-knit cyber confederation of close friends and colleagues unified by a single purpose and a common mission to a vast European-based international company.
Every week was the start of some new project. Every day was an adventure. This edginess was totally crafted by design, inspired by the mysterious man at the top. One of these days, hopefully soon, people connected to poker will come to know and better understand the monumental contributions made to the growth of the game by Isai Scheinberg.
His personal ambition, his management style, his attention to even the most absurd tiny detail should be the curriculum for courses taught at Wharton or the London Business School. To give a better perspective of Isai, consider that he bought his family home in Richmond Hill sometime during the mid, about the time he immigrated to Canada from Israel. Years later, after Isai had clearly joined the exclusive billionaires club, despite being perhaps 1,times richer, Isai was still living in the same house.
Isai wanted no publicity for himself whatsoever. Isai was generous, almost to a fault. Some of the early programmers who worked with him on design and did preliminary Beta testing were awarded six- and seven-figure packages.
Many deals were done the old-fashioned way, with handshakes. A human need was a human need. To do the right thing was the right thing. Among insiders at PokerStars, the stories are legendary. My first day began with the initial conference call, ultimately kickstarting the bold new venture which was to become the European Poker Tour EPT.
PokerStars was the antithesis of a job. You might as well have ripped clocks off every wall in the house and thrown your wristwatch into the garbage. Over the next many years, I was on many a conference calls scheduled at 5 am. Creation and financing of the EPT were to be done with one purpose in mind, and that was to get on television with a regular program that would blanket the European continent.
The pillar of success in the online poker business had been sculpted by our primary rival, PartyPoker. Just a few years earlier, PartyPoker had been a floundering startup company, very likely to go under and be forgotten had it not been for the exemplary marketing brilliance of Mike Sexton, then their main spokesperson. Mike had dual roles in poker, much like myself, which was quite common back in those days. He also appeared in most of the commercials which aired during the broadcast for PartyPoker.
Buy it all up! Take every spot you can get! But back then, no one knew if television commercials promoting an online poker site would prove successful. It could have bombed.
PartyPoker could have lost millions. They should have quadrupled it. Anyone watching the nationally-televised WPT, which was drawing about a million viewers a week, would eventually perhaps inevitably want to play poker.
Fortunately, things were about to turn around fast. In poker, this is what we call — going on a rush. Working as Director of Communications for PokerStars was like being the tour manager of the Rolling Stones at the height of their popularity, only with less heroin and lots more booze.
We lived and played and worked and partied like rock stars. I never worked harder. I also never had more fun. I had meetings at casinos at 2 am. I never called in sick — because there was no such thing as calling in sick. I never asked to take a day off nor requested a vacation — because there was no such thing as a day off or a vacation. So long as the work got done and the mission was advanced, which was to catch PartyPoker, no one gave a damn about your schedule or personal habits.
It was the ultimate in Byzantine libertarianism. We met with movie stars. We partied with the Miami Heat. We crafted deals with NHL teams.
We paid celebrities to wear our logo. We went to Le Mans car races. We even met Donald Trump. We held jam-packed press conferences in New York, announcing the signings of new poker ambassadors.
We made the cover of Cigar Aficionado. We did a press event in Dallas with a poker game for celebrities, and half the Dallas Mavericks team showed up. We had a private box at a Mavericks game and owner Mark Cuban came up to see us, eager to meet the new world poker champion, Greg Raymer, who had just signed a major deal with us.
We even got a feature story aired on 60 Minutes , widely considered the pinnacle of mass media exposure. The show was watched by an estimated 16 million viewers, making it very likely the single most viewed poker-related television broadcast of all time.
CBS legend Dan Rather was still working as one of the correspondents. Supposedly sick of interviewing presidents and prime ministers, Rather specifically asked for the assignment I would find out later when I spoke with him in the CBS studio and flew back from another story he had been working on in Japan just to interview Chris Moneymaker and do the voiceover for the feature.
I love my life. Ignited by Isai and Mark, and kindled by Dan, the spark of a new idea was always welcome in any discussion. We held phone calls and exchanged e-mails constantly. No idea was off the table. Nothing was too crazy. The Sporting News story can be read here. It was a culture. It was a mindset. While it will sound arrogant and probably piss off rivals who worked at the time for other sites, PokerStars had the superior product.
We had the best game interface. We had exemplary customer support. For instance, one strictly-enforced rule at PokerStars was — all customer inquiries, including detailed complaints, were to be addressed within one hour.
Similarly, the people who specialized in online security, some who I knew quite well long before we were all working together at PokerStars, truly were the anonymous champions of the company. It was a glamor job. I might as well have been head of PR for Lexus or Apple — highly-respected companies widely acknowledged to produce superior products.
Selling PokerStars to the booming online gambling market was like doing marketing for Guinness beer in Ireland on St. We were about to sign two more superstars — Daniel Negreanu and Barry Greenstein.
We were also carpet bombing the airwaves with television commercials just about everywhere. The EPT was underway. Sometimes, a believer in a cause can be made into an even stronger believer and when that happens, he becomes a diehard activist.