Dan Podheiser – Ohio woman balances passion for poker with love for her job

Dan Podheiser – Ohio woman balances passion for poker with love for her job
Dan Podheiser – Ohio woman balances passion for poker with love for her jobLAS VEGAS – Annette Wood is a lot like many other recreational players who entered the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event.The Akron, Ohio native earned her $10,000 buy-in to poker’s premier event by winning her home poker league, a 17-week tournament series played by 15-20 friends at the local VFW.Annette Wood plays in the Amazon Room at the Rio during Day 1B of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. (photo by Dan Podheiser/Casino City) But Wood stands out from her fellow Main Event players for at least one reason. If she wins the tournament and several million dollars, she’s still going back to work.Wood is the director of day services for Midwest Innovations, an Ohio-based company that provides developmental services for disabled adults. As Wood describes, the adults come in and are taken out into the community to learn life skills, while earning minimum wage in the process.The job is Wood’s passion. Poker comes second.“I love my job,” Wood said. “It’s the best job in the world.”Playing in her first World Series of Poker event, Wood said walking into the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino for the first time was a little nerve-wracking. But once she sat down, she wasn’t intimidated seeing pros like Phil Galfond and JC Tran sitting near her table.“They’re just regular people playing a game they love,” Wood said. “I love my job and I’m good at it and they’re good at what they do.”It’s that ability to put things in perspective that gave Wood a calm demeanor on Day 1B on Monday afternoon. Of course, she’s no slouch at the table, either. Wood says she plays three or four times a week at home, either at the VFW or at local card clubs. She also reads a lot of poker books – Jonathan Little’s books are her favorites – and watches videos by training sites Poker on Air and Crush Live Poker.Wood has come a long way since learning poker only seven years ago, when she started going to local “Vegas nights” with her father. But she belongs in the Main Event with pros and amateurs alike.“I had a little butterflies at first but I was OK,” Wood said. “I was ready to play.”Back home in Akron, Wood says she has family and friends cheering her on, from her husband, Derby, to her daughter, Noelle, and the rest of the VFW gang.“They’re all kind of living through me,” she said.In the last level of Day 1B, Wood fell short of her ultimate goal when she finally busted from the Main Event. She says she plans to stay in Las Vegas until at least the weekend.Wood said that even if she had won the Main Event, she would still have gone back to work. She planned to donate some money to charity, and she’d build a gym for kids who need a place to go after school.She’ll still play poker. But it will always be her second passion.“I get up every morning and I love to go to work,” Wood said. “Just like the pros love to play poker.”

Outside Inspiration

Outside Inspiration
Outside InspirationIn today’s increasingly competitive gaming environment, casino resort operators are constantly on the lookout for products and technologies that can set them apart from the crowd. Sometimes, inspiration for these game-changing devices can be found looking outside the box; at how other businesses have overcome similar issues to the ones now facing your property. For resorts suffering from bland and uninspired public spaces, Norcross, Ga.-based NanoLumens—a supplier of visualization solutions—offers two recent non-gaming examples on how to better engage an audience in an open, hospitality environment. When Australia-based Melbourne Central, a landmark retail property located in the Melbourne Central Business district, was re-branded from a traditional regional shopping center into a premier retail, leisure and lifestyle destination, owner GPT Group felt something more was needed for the property’s atrium area. The company turned to NanoLumens who, with the help of Digital Place Solutions, installed a double-sided NanoSlim LED portrait sized display in the atrium. The display, which measures 21.9 feet high12.5 feet wide and hangs directly in the center of the conical shaped atrium, is Nanolumens’ largest NanoSlim installation to date. “Melbourne Central sits at the very heart of the city’s central business district,” explained Gerry Thorley, co-founder and director of Digital Place Solutions.  “It is literally a hub for retailers, transportation, and thousands of business professionals who work in the nearby tower offices.  The GPT Group sought to create a compelling visual display solution to engage and galvanize the attention of the many thousands of pedestrians who pass through the atrium every day.  When we presented GPT Divisional Director John Rankin with the NanoLumens solution, he immediately understood the impact the display would have on pedestrians and, more importantly, on the marketers seeking to reach these pedestrians.” According to GPT’s John Rankin, this location is precisely what he was looking to turn into a premier advertising medium—something he was able to achieve with the NanoLumens display.  “To stand out in an environment like this the display has to be extremely bright and sharp in terms of image resolution.  The images themselves have to be presented in a seamless way that doesn’t detract from the marketer’s message.” Meanwhile, TD Garden, the Boston, Mass.-based arena that is home to the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics sports franchises, was undergoing a renovation and felt it needed a visual solution for its concourses and other fan gathering areas. Owner Delaware North turned to NanoLumens, which installed 40 of its NanoSlim LED displays. In addition, TD Garden became the first property to utilize next generation NanoLumens Transparent Visualization displays.  On display in Legends, TD Garden’s newly renovated and largest restaurant, the new NanoLumens Transparent Visualization display utilizes state-of-the-art nano-optical particle diffusion.  The NanoLumens Transparent Visualization displays allow objects to seamlessly float in space and are part of an increasing line of large-scale visualization solutions now being developed by the pioneering tech leader that introduced the world to flexible LED displays. “Delaware North and the Jacobs family are committed to bringing fans a first class experience at the TD Garden,” said Lorraine Spadaro, vice president of technology at TD Garden.  “The Nanolumens technology provides exceptional functionality, delivering architecturally flexible display canvas for our hi-res digital content for our fans and corporate clients.”  Working with leading Fortune 500 clients on five continents, Norcross, Ga.-based NanoLumens continues to pioneer visualization solutions. For more information, visit www.NanoLumens.com.