South Florida Gambling

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Vanessa Rousso compares "The Art of War" with "The Art of Poker"

Vanessa Rousso appeared at the Isle Casino and Racing Monday morning, before playing in the Battle at the Beach $900 deep-stack poker tournament.

Rousso is in town promoting her Big Slick boot camp: It's $399 and is April 5 at the Isle, April 11 at Orange Park and April 26 at Palm Beach Kennel.

The gist: She read Sun Tzu's The Art of War -- and re-read it and re-read it -- and says it applies to poker.

For example: The line, roughly about knowing yourself and you'll win some of the time; know your opponent and you'll win some of the time. Know yourself and know your opponent, and that's where the big payoff comes.

We shot some video of her talking about it, and will have it up on Tuesday. She posed for photos with the All in Free Poker gang and Mike Smith, the Isle's prominent poker room manager.

As of 3:15 p.m., she's still alive in the tournament, which began at 12:30 p.m. It's Day 1B of the tournament; 41 survived Day 1A and will return Tuesday. Chip leader: Hayden Fortini, with 180,500 chips. Maurice Hawkins lurks in eighth with 118,000.

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About the author
Maybe you've made the right play, maybe you haven't. Your heart speeds up, your stomach rumbles.

That's why it's called gambling.

ACTION is a view of the numbers, the psychology and the flavor of gambling here in South Florida, through our lens.

We do have one sure bet. There's something here for you.

NICK SORTAL began playing 3-card "gut" and "Indian poker" on high school band trips, moved on to "night baseball" and "pass the trash" during a Dr. Pepper-infused midnight game in the 1980s at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and now play in a regular neighborhood Hold 'Em game in Plantation. I have been given the assignment of writing about the gambling life in South Florida casinos for the Sun-Sentinel...which means sitting around watching poker on TV now counts as research.
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