Dr. William Antholis: "China, the U.S., and Gambling."
Dr. William Antholis (Ph.D., Yale, 1993) is Managing Director of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, where he also serves as a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies. Dr. Antholis' current research focus is on China, and he is also active with the Brookings Mountain West initiative in Las Vegas. Dr. Antholis' career includes jobs advising several White Houses; among these roles, he was director of international economic affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998, and he also held the title of Deputy Director of the White House Climate Change policy team. Dr. Antholis' presentation focused on his observations on the relationship between Chinese and American economic, policy, leisure, and gambling dynamics. This was a unique opportunity to hear from a leading international scholar - of a caliber who rarely opines on gambling matters - and on a subject of profound importance to the future of the gambling studies field.
Chad Millman: "The ESPN-ification of Gambling."
Chad Millman, Senior Deputy Editor at ESPN The Magazine, is ESPN's "gambling guru." He writes the "Behind the Bets" blog for espn.com, he is the author of the bestselling book The Odds: One Season, Three Gamblers and the Death of Their Las Vegas, and he frequently contributes gambling stories to the network's newsmagazine TV program, E:60. His presentation focused on the ways in which television has changed the presentation of poker, football, and any number of other sporting events - both for better and for worse.
Panel: The Everyday Lives of the Stars of the World Series of Poker.
This was your chance to both observe the World Series of Poker in person (as the event took place just down the road, on the same dates as the conference), and to hear from some of the event's major stars. This conference panel was populated with some of the highest-profile players in this universe, and focused not on their "star lives," but on the everyday lives of the modern poker player - especially given the evolving legal and policy landscape both online and in brick and mortar settings. In a separate panel, World Series of Poker executives discussed the future of this pioneering event.
Andy Bloch: "The MIT Blackjack Team, Fifteen Years Later."
Andy Bloch is perhaps the most famous member of the infamous MIT card-counting team, and he is the rare professional gambler whose expertise bridges the blackjack and poker worlds. Mr. Bloch holds two electrical engineering degrees from MIT and a JD from Harvard Law School. In 1997, he skipped his last week of law classes in order to play in the World Series of Poker main event, and has since earned more than $4 million in tournament winnings, including multiple final tables at both the World Series of Poker and on the World Poker Tour. His presentation provided a look back at the notorious team's card counting exploits, the real theory and brilliance behind their mathematical approach, and an update on the team's current lives in the gambling universe.