Old friends from college joke that I used to spend more time with The Washington Post every morning than I ever did with my studies.

So I suppose it’s fitting that my first job in the business was as a news aide for the Post. I wrote my first newspaper stories there as an occasional freelancer for the paper’s Metro section.

After that, I worked for two weekly papers in D.C., Washington Jewish Week and Legal Times, where I covered the Justice Department among other beats. In 2000, I jumped to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I wrote about everything from terrorism and murder trials to the outbreak of mad cow disease in central Washington state. From there, I moved to the Las Vegas Sun, where I covered the local and federal courts as well as city hall during the reign of former mayor Oscar Goodman.

During my time at the Sun, I was awarded a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan, from 2007-08.

All in all, I’ve been a journalist for more than two decades. I’ve won a dozen regional and national reporting awards.

After a decade out West, I’m delighted to be back in the Washington, D.C. area.

High Stakes is my first book.

Skolnik rips off the sparkly silicone sheen of glamour that coats the (Las Vegas) Strip...”

—J. Patrick Coolican, columnist for the Las Vegas Sun

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