BARGE brings cyberspace friends into reality in Las Vegas

Big August Rec. Gambling Excursion (BARGE) members met at the Venetian in Las Vegas this month for their annual gathering, bringing together more than 200 famous poker players, mathematicians, fanatics, and more from the Usenet cyberspace world to meet in the real world.

Some of the active members of the group include William Chen, who became a two-time bracelet winner during the 2006 World Series of Poker, as well as WSOP media director Nolan Dalla, and poker pros Phil Gordon, Andy Bloch, and Sabyl Cohen.

There's more to the group than poker though. Considering Chen has a Ph.D. in mathematics, Gordon has a degree in computer science, and Andy Bloch has a law degree from Harvard as well as two degrees from MIT, they fit right into the brainy crowd of professors, scientists, and analysts that share a passion for poker and gambling.

During the excursion to Vegas, the group sets up their own poker tournaments with events for their significant others and events that add several variations to regular poker games to make them more challenging. Members also had the opportunity to attend a banquet with Gordon providing most of the entertainment, and a symposium for people to come together for intellectual discussion as well as music and drinks.

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