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Author Profile: Michael Kaplan

Michael Kaplan
Publications I have written for include New York Post, New York Times, Wired, Playboy and Cigar Aficionado. Four books of mine have been published, a few more are in the works (including a collection of my gambling stories) and a piece I wrote on Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, aka Baccarat Machine, was recently optioned for a movie.

I am a journalist who writes on a broad range of topics – including technology, crime, business, music/movies, art, food, booze, travel  and general vice– with a specialization in gambling. Over the years, I have interviewed and written about some of the world’s most talented, most successful gamblers. From poker, they include Tom Dwan and Doyle Brunson. In casino gambling, I’ve profiled the likes of James Grosjean and Don Johnson. Top sports bettors I’ve chatted up are three guys christened William: Billy Baxter, Bill Benter and Billy Walters.

My interest is in people who are advantage players from all areas. Whether they manage to beat casino games, the Wall Street game, the sex game or the game of life, I want to know more. I’m intrigued by those with the skills to reverse engineer things, figure out how to overcome odds (hopefully frustrating the annoying squares while they do it), avoid breaking the law and possess the discipline to actually win without letting emotions get in the way.

By being around very smart, very talented people in these worlds. I’ve learned a few moves myself and managed to capitalize on them at least a little bit. That said, I have been known to blow it when the pressure is truly on and the stakes are high. It’s like Mike Tyson — who I’ve interviewed! — says: “Everybody’s got a plan until they are punched in the face.” Of course, I might be saying this last bit in the hope of being underestimated by whoever is reading this. Or maybe not…

Publications I have written for include New York Post, New York Times, Wired, Playboy and Cigar Aficionado. Four books of mine have been published, a few more are in the works (including a collection of my gambling stories) and a piece I wrote on Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, aka Baccarat Machine, was recently optioned for a movie.

My favorite things to do:

Uhm, report and write cool stories.