Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Bayside resident prepares for national poker tournament


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Benjamin Fang

Michael Golub is going all in, with a prize pool set at an estimated $5 million to be had.

“I’m a fiend for poker, man,” the Bayside resident said soon after finding out that he will be playing in a poker tournament in Los Angeles against hundreds of “heavyweights,” as he puts it.

Golub, 66, won an online poker game on Mother’s Day against thousands of other players in a tournament hosted by an online member site of World Poker Tournament. But since online gambling is illegal in New York, the poker company offers prizes instead and Golub’s was an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to play in the Season XIII World Poker Tournament.

“All the big boys will be there,” he said. “But I’m coming back to Bayside with that money, baby.”

Riding a wave of success in the poker syndicate with victories across the poker land, Golub is known by other players as Diamond Mike, a reference to the exorbitant amount of diamonds he wears during live games. The diamonds are accentuated by the all black clothes he often dons. In his left ear, a tiffany diamond hangs.

Golub didn’t always have such valuable jewelry. He grew up in the Bronx and as a child he played poker to make extra money. But it was only in the last five years he began to seriously play and he credits his recent successes on his 22 years of experience with the NYPD.

After several years of working in Bronx as a beat cop and then as a narcotics officer in Brooklyn North, Golub said he was promoted to third grade detective.

“They called me Homicide Mike because my forte was getting confessions out of people,” he said. “And that helps me with poker now to get a read on my opponents.”

Golub was a detective in the 70s and 80s and he and his partner pierced their ears at the time, something that Golub said police members didn’t do at the time. His nickname has changed and the value of the contents in his left ear lobe has gone up. The stakes have changed but he still employs the same set of skills in both fields.

“I’ll get to a game early and listen to the conversations other players are having. Can I exploit him? What’s his image?” he said. “But in the end, I’m just partying my ass off.”

 

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Flushing resident in near-fatal motorcycle accident, family raising $500K for medical fees


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Michaelides family


The family of a Flushing resident and St. John’s University alum who was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident on Father’s Day is in a desperate struggle to raise half a million dollars for medical fees.

Anthony Michaelides, 25, lost control of his bike on June 15 while trying to merge into a freeway in Los Angeles and hit the guardrail, propelling him over the barrier and more than 100 feet down into a ravine, family members said.

He suffered double lung collapse, bleeding from his brain, a ruptured spleen, a lacerated aorta, severe damage to his liver, fractured wrists and a broken left arm. Despite the injuries, paramedics found him alive and currently he is in stable condition at Los Angeles County General Hospital under heavy sedation. His family is hoping to raise money through upcoming events and crowdfunding site CrowdRise.

“He is one of the sweetest and most generous persons you could meet. Whenever you needed help he was always right there,” said Michaelides’ cousin, Krysta, who started the CrowdRise page. “This is such a tragedy, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. I think about him every day. But doing this and collecting donations like this is gathering positive vibes. It’s keeping me busy and in my mind, keeping Anthony alive for me.”

The family has raised nearly $50,000 on CrowdRise already. Michaelides’ alma mater, Frank Sinatra School for the Arts High School, is organizing a show with proceeds to benefit him to be announced at a later date.

Family and friends will host fundraising events at Republic Bar in Astoria on Wednesday night, in Pita Pan restaurant on Saturday, and in Five Guys Burgers and Fries chains in The Bay Terrace shopping center on Friday and Saturday in the College Point location. Proceeds from sales during the day at the eateries will go toward Michaelides. There will also be #saveanthony shirts on sale for $15 during the events.

Michaelides graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in psychology, and then earned a master’s last year from New York University in education counseling. His goal was to be a guidance counselor at Frank Sinatra, but since there were no open opportunities he moved to Los Angeles late last year.

The school called Michaelides a few weeks before his accident to let him know there was a position opening, a sibling said, but now he won’t be able to take it.

“It’s just really bad luck. Everything that happened is bad luck,” said Michaelides’ sister, Connie. “It would mean a lot to the family if he did get his dream job, but our priority is for him to get better.”

 

To donate, please visit the CrowdRise page.

To learn more about Anthony Michaelides, please click here

Upcoming fundraising event times and locations:

Wednesday, June 25th
Republic Bar
3329 Astoria Blvd
Astoria, NY 11103

Saturday, June 28th
Pita Pan
37-15 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11103
11 am- 2 am 

Friday, June 27th
Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Bay Terrace Shopping Center
210-33 26th avenue
Bayside, NY 11360
4 pm – 9 pm

Saturday, June 28th
Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Northside Plaza/College Point
132-01 14th avenue
Queens, NY 11356
4 pm – 9 pm

 

 

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JFK most likely U.S. airport to spread disease


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

If a disease is to spread across the country, JFK Airport will most likely be the starting point.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study looked at the 40 largest airports in the country to determine the most likely to spread a contagion throughout the nation, with JFK topping the list.

The Queens airport’s ranking had nothing to do with sick passengers or cleanliness — though waiting times were considered — but with how a disease may advance to other parts of the world.

“Our work is the first to look at the spatial spreading of contagion processes at early times, and to propose a predictor for which ‘nodes’ — in this case, airports — will lead to more aggressive spatial spreading,” says Ruben Juanes, the ARCO Associate Professor in Energy Studies in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The spread of disease was compared to the dissemination of information over social networks and the connectivity of JFK’s connecting airports vaulted it to the top of the list.

The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, was done to help determine measures for containing infections and distributing vaccinations in the early days of a contagion.

JFK is followed on the list by Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Newark, O’Hare and Dulles.

 

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam

Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to three years in state prison in a grand theft auto case. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea. The judge said the theft scheme showed sophistication and extensive planning. Dykstra was immediately remanded to custody and he walked into the court’s back room, hands in his pockets. Read More: New York Post

 

Judge says trustee can go after phony $83M profits Mets owners received from Madoff Ponzi scheme

The Mets’ owners will have to cough up their phony profits from investing with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, a judge ruled today. But Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff said the exact amount — which Madoff bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard pegged at $83.3 million — “will be determined in a subsequent order and may require further briefing and oral argument.” Read More: New York Post

 

MTA won’t give cancer survivor door-to-door service

It’s been a rough ride for a 69-year-old, retired school teacher from Brooklyn. The MTA is refusing to provide door-to-door “Access-A-Ride” service for ailing grandmother Iris Marcus, who fought off stage-three breast cancer seven years ago but says she can’t walk more than several steps without feeling severe pain from a degenerative back disease and diabetes-induced ulcerated feet. For six years, the Midwood senior relied on Access-A-Ride to commute to her doctors and other destinations. Read More: New York Post

NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Efforts Get Show Of Support

Muslim leaders joined Long Island Congressman Peter King today in support of the New York City Police Department’s efforts that some say unfairly target Muslims. The group spoke this morning at a news conference outside police headquarters organized by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. They say the police department’s counter-terrorism efforts – including the monitoring of Muslim communities in and around the city and at area colleges – is necessary to keep New Yorkers safe. Read More: NY1

 

Demi Moore heads home to LA after rehab

Demi Moore has returned to Los Angeles following a stint in rehab. Moore, 49, appeared relaxed and tanned as she emerged from her private plane Sunday evening donning a white sweater and jean shorts with an unidentified man as her escort, in photos obtained by TMZ. Read More: New York Post

 

Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn nude photo scandal: Hacker leaks stars’ racy cell phone pictures online

The two latest victims in Hollywood’s ongoing nude photo hacking scandal, Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn, are claiming that though some of the released personal photos are of them, others are most definitely not. Namely, the naked ones. A full-frontal nude photo allegedly of Munn, 31, surfaced on the Internet Sunday, but sources close to her deny that the snaps are of the “I Don’t Know How She Does It” actress, according to TMZ. Read More: Daily News

The Economy is a Circus


| letters@queenscourier.com

As 2011 moves along, the economy of our nation continues to be in shambles. The unemployment rate continues to be high, people are continuing to lose their jobs, homes and health insurance, prices on everything from food to clothes to fuel to medicine continue to rise and we have a president and Congress who continue to battle over how to bring this recession under control.

They still cannot seem to be in any agreement on this very critical and increasingly- volatile issue. We are seeing mounting protests all across the country from New York City to Los Angeles to Dallas. People are fed up and disgusted with the state of affairs, and they very well should be.

The state of affairs is indeed very gloomy, and this is no longer a recession, it has become a depression. Wake up congress and President Barack Obama – do the jobs that you were elected to do, and stop all of this political infighting.

We have a circus in Washington, with the president as the head ringmaster and members of Congress as underworked, overpaid clowns.

 

John Amato

Fresh Meadows