Michael Sall | U.S. Green Building Council
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Michael Sall

Villanova, PA

Michael Sall is an exceptional personality of New York as an author of A Predator's Guide. He has also known as best money gin player by the 80's. Currently, as a best-selling author, he is achieving new heights. He is flexible, creative and a team player. He works with patience what he does. He was unbeatable at gin rummy and destroyed his closest rivals. He honed his card game skills as a young boy. A sawdust joint is an end-of-the line kind of gambling parlor. It's a place without frills and pretension.This column will be about gambling and gamblers; about regular people who play games for money. Most won't be geniuses or savants. Some will win a little money. Many will lose a lot. But all of them will have a good sawdust story to tell.
It had been years since either of us had done anything like this. I figured our days of chasing action around the city were behind us—spending the night in strange industrial spaces playing cards with even stranger people, asking guys to vouch for us, yelling into intercom boxes that we know so-and-so and we’ve shot pool with so-and-so, late-night phone calls telling us that the game is really wild right now and get down here fast. We were adults now. We gambled like squares—out in the open in a smoke-filled racino, or huddled over a computer late at night like creepy perverts. This outing had proved that we had lost the ability to sniff out underground games, and this diner would be the site of our surrender. We corralled a booth, ordered eggs and coffee, stuck the knock card in an empty glass, and dealt the cards. Michael Sall, author of A Predator’s Guide, climbed his way up from playing in country club games in Philadelphia in the 70s to being the best money gin player in New York City by the 80s. By 1996, the year he started working on A Predator’s Guide, Sall had made enough money from gambling on gin that he would never need to work again. He decided to cement his legacy by writing the authoritative book on the game. About a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sall.
It took a year and a half to complete. He went through multiple drafts because, according to him, “as I wrote the book I realized that a lot of what I took to be true, wasn’t.” He reconsidered some of his core concepts. In spending so much time thinking about the game away from the table he was able to develop entirely new concepts that had never occurred to him before. “Gin has two elements. One is peeling back the layers of ideas and discovering new ones. The other is to apply the new ideas to your game, to integrate them with your existing ideas.”