A Little WSJ Slice of Trump’s Life

Here’s a good Wall Street Journal story this morning on yet another Trump feud, this one with a former casino partner.

It’s not hugely important or anything, and it knows it: The Journal doesn’t stretch to try to make a larger point—something it used to have a bad habit of doing back in the nut-graph days. This is just one of those bread-and-butter Journal stories you like to see—good reporting and writing on a business conflict.

Texas banker and math whiz Andrew Beal honed his skills by anticipating other players’ moves in multimillion-dollar poker games.

But Mr. Beal got blindsided when his friend and former business partner Donald Trump switched sides in the bankruptcy-court struggle over Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which owns the three Trump casinos in Atlantic City, N.J.

There’s nice color here. Trump is Trump, but this Beal guy gives him a run for his money:

During his Texas Hold ‘Em heyday between 2001 and 2004, the banker insisted on such high stakes that a group of the best poker players in the country had to pool their resources to play against him, dubbing themselves “the Corporation.”


Mr. Beal dropped out of college but has a math theory named after him.

Most reporters wouldn’t have bothered to ask whether the two were still friends, but it adds to the narrative here:

Messrs. Trump and Beal both say they are still friends, although Mr. Beal declines to discuss his initial reaction to Mr. Trump’s decision to switch sides.

You get the feeling it would be unprintable. Only these kind of guys can screw each other on millions of dollars worth of business and still claim to be friends.

Nice piece.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.