Joey Knish, R.I.P. ; Online Gambling No Sure Thing; Mayweather, Pacquiao Look Ahead


joey knish


Joel “Bagels” Rosenberg, aka Joey Knish, Passes Away


By Dan Katz


A legend of poker that most poker fans simultaneously both knew and did not know passed away last Thursday. Joel “Bagels” Rosenberg, the inspiration for the character Joey Knish in the seminal poker film, Rounders, suffered a heart attack at the age of 58.

Rosenberg was the classic poker grinder, plugging away to pay the bills in the underground clubs of New York City, most notably the famous Mayfair. In an article on, Rounders writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who got to know Rosenberg during their years researching for the film, eulogized their friend, saying, “…two things set Joel apart from most of the other men and women grinding it out at the Mayfair. The first was his kindness: Although he’d gut you at the table, away from it, he wanted the best for you, encouraged you.”

“The second was his worldview,” they added, “which was absurdist and hilarious. Bagels knew that this whole life thing was a con; he was in on the joke, but he was still going to play it for all it was worth.”

In the film that we all love, Rosenberg’s attitude about poker was conveyed brilliantly by John Turturro in what was perhaps his most famous line when Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) came to him asking for money and then criticized him for not having the “stones” to play for the big bucks:

Stones? You little punk. I’m not playing for the thrill of fuckin’ victory here. I owe rent, alimony, child support. I play for money. My kids eat. I got stones enough not chase cards, action, the fuckin’ pipedreams of winning the World Series on ESPN.

But arguably the most famous line in poker circles was delivered by Worm, Edward Norton’s character: “In the poker game of life, women are the rake man. They are the fuckin’ rake.”

Thing is, though, that was something Rosenberg told Koppleman and Levien, just matter-of-factly, at three in the morning at the Mayfair. It was just one of a great many lines that he would utter on any given day.

In the Grantland article, the writers told the story of what was perhaps Rosenberg’s “greatest moment:”

He was in a hand with an obnoxious card player in a yarmulke, Irving. Irving bluffed, Bagels raised (also bluffing). When Irving folded, Bagels showed the bluff.

Irving, acting all offended, said to Bagels, who was also Jewish, “How could you do that to one of your people?” As he was raking the pot, Bagels looked at him and said, “Your people? C’mon, Irv, you’re the only Jew I know who took Germany, plus the points!”

There were and are scores of poker players like Joel Rosenberg, grinding away, making money to pay the rent, alimony, child support. But there was only one Bagels and we were all lucky to get to know him, even if we didn’t know him personally.

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no gambling allowed 14

Online Gambling Not a Sure Bet in America

Regulated online gambling in the USA is off to a dismal start with estimated revenues from the legal offerings in New Jersey only at around seven percent of what the governor Chris Christie proposed.

Christie predicted last May that New Jersey would earn $180 million per year from the 15% internet gambling tax. Yet the offering has produced only $12 million. A recent article by Rafi Farber on Calvin Ayres web site suggests that Christie doesn’t really understand the economic nature of internet betting. The article explains that gambling does not produce tangible wealth. The entertainment and gambling industry is a consumer industry. Producer industries are farming, construction, technology, that sort of thing. The only thing gambling produces on net is consumer satisfaction, which is not tangible wealth.

Understanding that tangible wealth comes from money generated from an outside source is the key to seeing why the situation in New Jersey is what it is. The consumer of the online gambling products must live in New Jersey and therefore the money is just going round and around in the same location, no new money is being injected into the economy. Christie made his predictions based on information supplied by the Atlantic City land based casinos that derives their income mostly from outsiders visiting those venues. There are other factors that have been playing havoc with the introduction of online betting in New Jersey, one being credit card companies’ refusal to take transactions from online gamblers even though they are legal now.

The legal question regarding the offering of online betting on sports still hangs in the balance for New Jersey. Federal legalization of online betting is also up in the air with the attack by Las Vegas Sand Casino owner Sheldon Adelson gaining momentum with support from the Native American Casino operators. The American Gaming Association also withdrew support last week for legalizing online gaming nationally.

This is a reprint from


mayweather, pacman
Mayweather, Pacquiao contemplate next opponents; Arum leaves open possibility of super bout

Floyd a -350 hypothetical favorite

Floyd Mayweather’s next fight could be a rematch with Marcos Maidana.
By: Marcus DiNitto


Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are both planning their next fights for later this year, although neither boxer’s opponent is yet known.

They won’t be fighting each other this year, that’s for sure, and while Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum leaves open the possibility of the two eventually meeting in the ring, skepticism that it will ever happen abounds.

Arum said the two could fight in 2016 when Mayweather’s deal with Showtime has expired, or even next year if Showtime and rival network HBO agree to host the bout together.

“HBO is willing to do it. And you never know, anything can happen in 2016,” Arum said.

The ball, though, is in the other guy’s court.

“From Arum and Manny’s standpoint, whenever they can get it done, that would be terrific, but this isn’t really going to be their choice,” Bill King, who covers boxing for SportsBusiness Journal, told The Linemakers on Sporting News. “Mayweather is the money side of the fight, so if Mayweather wants to fight him it will happen; if Mayweather doesn’t want to fight him it won’t happen.

“There have been other fights historically that took a long time to come together, and they generally don’t come together until the guy that has the leverage runs out of other opponents. The question isn’t how much Floyd can make fighting Manny, it’s how much Floyd can make not fighting Manny.”

Asked to make a hypothetical line on a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, The Linemakers’ Jimmy Vaccaro said Mayweather would be about a -350 favorite.

Juan Manuel Marquez – yawn – is Arum’s first choice for Pacquiao’s next opponent. Forgive our lack of enthusiasm, but we’ve seen that movie before – four times, in fact. In the latest episode, in December 2012, Marquez, after being dominated for most of the fight, knocked Pacquiao out in the sixth round. Pacquiao beat Marquez in the two previous meetings, and first one ended in a draw.

Amir Khan is also a possibility for Pacquiao in November, Arum said, but that could rest on how a power struggle within Golden Boy Promotions shakes out.

“If Oscar (De La Hoya) takes over the company like he’s talking about, we’re open to those guys also,” Arum told The Associated Press. “The other guy (Richard Schaefer) says he won’t deal with me, so we’ll see what Oscar says.”

Las Vegas, meanwhile, appears to be a longshot to land the fight, as Arum calls the Chinese gambling mecca of Macau “our first choice.”

Mayweather’s next fight is slated for Sept. 13, and Vegas – Money’s hometown – is the front runner to host it, of course. His last nine fights have been at MGM Grand

“Floyd will go on Sept. 13 and we’re looking at who he’s going to fight and where he is going to fight,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN. “Obviously, Las Vegas is his home and the MGM Grand is always the leading candidate but we will take a look at our other options.”

One of those options is the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Mayweather has never fought professionally in New York City.

As far as who Floyd will fight, a rematch with Marcos Maidana is a possibility. Maidana did not make life easy for Mayweather on May 3, as Mayweather emerged with a majority decision after what many boxing observers called the toughest fight of his career.

“He’s definitely in the mix,” Ellerbe said.

Other candidates, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, are Kahn, in addition to Golden Boy fighters like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman.

Stay tuned to The Linemakers, as we’ll have odds on the next fights for Mayweather and Pacquiao as soon as opponents are announced and wagering is opened in Las Vegas

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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