Saturday, January 31, 2004

January 2004 Truckin' (Vol. 3, Issue 1)

A new year, a new issue, and a new writer! Richard Bulkeley, a fellow poker blogger from New Zealand joins the staff this month with a nice air travel piece. Henry Wasserman returns with the second installment of his novel The Escape Artist. And our favorite Norwegian blogger, Sigge, recants the time he was mugged in Cuba. And I wrote three stories for this issue, one about Miami, one about traveling in 2003 and the last one is a short story that I hope you like. So sit back, relax, and enjoy! Thanks for your support, McG!

1. Miami Stories: Before We Begin... by Tenzin McGrupp
With everyone’s attention span as short as Britney Spear’s first marriage, I’ll have to bring the stories hard and fast and perhaps you’ll catch a whiff of the ocean, or feel the warm sun smiling on you, or hear some of the melodious sounds of funky Phish, and maybe you’ll start to understand why Miami was one of the greatest trips that I have ever taken... More

2. I Got Mugged… Twice! Another Cuba Story by Sigge S. Amdal
Drunk and pretty stupid, I agreed and followed them around the corner. That's when I felt a strong arm around my neck, and this younger guy, probably in his late teens, went through my pockets.... More

3. 25 by Tenzin McGrupp
I walked the streets of twenty-five cities in the last year. Some were dirty. Others were clean. Some were crowded. Others were silent. But the people were the same... More

4. The Escape Artist: Novel Excerpt #2 by Henry Wasserman
He felt a tinge of fear when he heard the surprise in her voice. He remembered the first time he’d gotten hurt, seeing the eyes of his high school trainer after he’d heard something in his knee pop. But John felt confident in his self diagnosis - he hadn’t been wrong in years... More

5. Mile High Fate by Richard Bulkeley
I have spent a wonderfully depressing length of my life in airplanes. It is wonderful, because I am usually going somewhere exciting. It is depressing because, well because it is air travel... More

6. Never Trust a Naked Guy Juggling Three Cantaloupes by Tenzin McGrupp
With her lanky fingers drenched in top shelf vodka, she unsympathetically popped both olives deep into her gaping mouth. She sensuously and slowly licked both fingers, and almost fell off her bar stool when she caught me staring at her... More
Phish Rumors

I've been smelling more Phish rumors in the last few days. Check out: Phantasy Tour Rumors. Man, the Vegas shows in April are making me go crazy!! Phish + Vegas + Pauly = Sheer Madness! Rest assured, I will be in Las vegas sometime in April for poker and Phish.
Immovable Objects 1, Pauly 0

Yes, it's true. I lost another fight. This time with a door. I woke up today very sore on my entire right side. I have scrapped knuckles, a gash in my foot, a fat lip, and my entire right shoulder is killing me! Alas, I learned my lesson and will not try to attack any doors anytime soon!

Friday, January 30, 2004

Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1. Dead Man
2. The Quiet American
3. American Wedding
4. Kurt & Courtney
5. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Thursday, January 29, 2004

"After five days in Vegas you feel like you've been here for five years." - Hunter S. Thompson

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Holy Bible
2. Cien Anos de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3. Sunset Limited by James Lee Burke
4. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
5. Jemima J : A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans by Jane Green

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Mr. Brady Goes to Washington... Hunter Sounds Off on GOP Boy!

Mr. Brady goes to Washington is written by Hunter S. Thompson where he tools on Patriots QB Tom Brady for being a political whore.

Here's a bit: "The worst thing that can happen to a gambler... picking up one of these educated rumors that the favored team's quarterback hasn't slept in four nights because of massive pressure(s) being put on him by political candidates in a cruel presidential year. That is the fate of young Tom Brady, who was happily on his way to his second Super Bowl in three years when he suddenly got ambushed and dangerously distracted by both John Kerry and (Pres.) George W. Bush, who lured Brady into the most treacherous side of politics. In the language of celebrity politics, they used him like they have used so many others -- as a pawn in their bloodthirsty game. That is what happened to me, and it caused me to hedge at least a few of my many complicated bets on the outcome of Sunday's gigantic game. When I first got wind of Tom Brady's lack of sleep and possible loss of focus when he takes the field, a wave of bad queasiness rolled over me..."

And who will the Good Doctor be picking this Sunday?

"...I started taking the Panthers plus-seven (7) last night and today. I still believe New England will win by at least three or four, simply by shutting down Stephen Davis and beating up Delhomme's receivers. The game will be a classic "defensive struggle," probably decided by field-goal kickers and pass-rushers."
The Dwindling L.A. Literacy Rate...

HDouble gave me a nice metioning on his blog: The Cards Speak.

Here's what he said: "I can barely keep up with Pauly, who posted his Foxwoods trip report. It took him 4.5 hours to get in a 2-4 game! I get mad if the wait is longer than 10 minutes in LA. Pauly knows a sucker when he sees one:

"Although I dropped $50 at Foxwoods, I made all my money back when I took some of Haley's friends for $200 betting on various Golden Globe categories (Bill Murray's win was clutch!)"

Pauly emailed me to let me know he may be in LA sometime in the future... I hope I don't have to watch his back when he starts a rumble in the $2-4 game after dropping the Hammer. I really miss the East Coast (but not Foxwoods), even if it's freezing over there... Yesterday I saw in the log files that 55% of my readers are coming in from the East Coast... confirming my suspicions about the literacy rate in LA..."

The line about the LA literacy rate made me fall down I was laughing so hard! And I love being "quoted" on other people's blogs! Keep up the great posts. HDouble is an exceptional poker player and he writes about poker theory on his site. I'll be posting the second excerpt to his novel in the next issue of Truckin'.
Tao of Poker: Writeup!

Tao of Poker was recently mentioned in an article by Iggy from Guinness & Poker. Thanks to Iggy for the shout out. He's the Godfather of all poker bloggers!!

Here's a bit: "Tao of Poker: NYC blogger and resident Phish-head Pauly is a blogger extraordinaire and his poker blog is just one small extension of his impresive body of online output. Pauly enjoys traveling around the country, chasing Phish, and playing hold'em at the nearest casino, and he writes engrossing trip reports about both experiences."
Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Kerry Wins New Hampshire!

Kerry: 39%
Dean: 26%
Clark: 13%
Edwards: 12%
Lieberman: 9%

Well the people of New Hampshire have spoken and depending on who you listened to (that is, which spin doctors that you have been listening to...) everyone has opinions on who was the real winner. It's obvious that John Kerry won with a sizeable lead. But the Howard Dean camp is saying that they scored a moral victory coming in second place after last Monday's howling incident (they were down more than 20 points in the polls). The John Edwards supporters are saying, "Just wait til we hit the South!" And of course General Clark's camp is hoping that the Michael Moore endorsement will carry more weight on a national scale. And I dunno what the Lieberman camp is spinning... poor guy looked like a deer caught in the headlights last night. He went from being the Number #2 on the ticket four years ago to a serious afterthought! Kinda like that belch that bubbles up an hour after your meal. He's still shocked over Al Gore's endorsement of Dean.

Alas, the race was narrowed to two: Kerry & Dean. And the rest of the bunch: Edwards & Clark are not looking too good as the primaries switch to a national stage. Next Tuesday, there will be seven states to cover (South Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, Delaware and North Dakota). The pundits are calling this a: TV and tarmac campaign... where the guys fly into states and small towns, hop off the airplane, smile for the cameras and give a quick sound bite for the random supporters that showed up... then it's back on the plane and off to another small town with a nice pocket of support to talk to, hands to shake, and more babies to kiss.

But the race is not over. With Kerry the obvious front runner, he'll be fielding attacks from all sides in the next week. Will he be able to handle himself? Will Edwards' southern twang steal some votes? Or will Kerry blow a huge lead and let Howard Dean slip in there. The bottom line is this: Howard Dean's campaign has better organization and has more funds. They are not going anywhere! However, with Kerry's win in New Hampshire, he should be getting more money, which he desperately needs. I read somewhere that Dean only spent 15% of his TV money on ads in New Hampshire, while Kerry spent 50% of his TV budget!! Alas, Dean's grassroots campaign via the web is more organized and more geek-saavy than Kerry's. Whoever raises more money this upcoming week will be primed to win Super Tuesday later in February.

I am not suprised that Kerry won New Hampshire, a state where the population is 95% white, because it's one of the most conservative states in the union. The obvious choice would be to pick the most conservative candidate and Kerry fit that mold. Dean is too far left for some of those folks and Kerry seemed so moderate. But now we're on the national stage, Dean will be getting more of those fringe votes... the voters who went for Ralph Nader and the Green Party and those who are just anti-Bush. And Edwards and Kerry will battle it out for the middle of the road votes... those Reagan Democrats (historically Democrats that voted for Reagan in 1980 and voted for Bush in 1988) that are essential to winning any Presidental campaign. Who will those NASCAR dads pick? Who will the younger votes float towards? Who will small businessmen support? If I knew those answers, I'd be predicting a winner for next week! Stay tuned.

Required Reading...

1. Big Test in the South is written by Adam Nagourney and appears in the NY Times.

Here's a bit: "The campaign now turns into what is in effect a national primary next Tuesday, with contests in seven states stretching from South Carolina to New Mexico. Aides to Mr. Edwards, Mr. Clark and Mr. Lieberman said they believed that this was fertile territory for their relatively moderate appeal and vowed to offer Mr. Kerry a tough fight in the days ahead. Dr. Dean, taking a page from presidential candidates from Eugene McCarthy to Bill Clinton, tried to portray his second-place showing as a win, noting that it had come just eight days after his third-place finish in Iowa."

2. The End of the World is written by Fred Barnes from The Weekly Standard.

Here's a bit: "In truth, it winnowed the Democratic field to one, John Kerry, with a second candidate, Howard Dean, barely hanging on. But three others -- Wesley Clark, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman -- insist they'll compete in at least the seven primaries on February 3. Somebody please tell them their candidacies are over. If history prevails (and it often does), Kerry will be the Democratic nominee. Every candidate, Republican or Democrat, who has won both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary has gone on to capture the nomination. Sure, Kerry is capable of screwing up so badly that he defies history, but it's not likely..."

3. Those With Endorsements May Lose by Winning is written by Jim Rutenberg from The New York Times.

Here's a bit: "It was but one weird moment in what political experts call one odd endorsement season. In states like Iowa and New Hampshire that decide on convention delegates early, the endorsements have gone well beyond the litany of newspapers, unions and politicians to include singers, filmmakers and movie stars. Whether the entertainers' support will prove more beneficial than traditional endorsements remains an open question..."

4. Clark Run Still Clouded is from The Village Voice and written by Sydney H. Schanberg, where she asks: "Why Didn't He Warn Us About War in Iraq?"

5. Dean's Camp Stiffs Iowa Deli with Tab... here's a bit: "deliveries are a little different, especially one back on the 16th of this month. That was a big order for this small business of four employees. 200 brown bag specials...with turkey, roast beef, ham and veggie sandwiches. The total...$963.01."

6. Liberal Is a Dirty Word for Geroge Carlin is an interview with one of my favorite comedians.

Here's a bit: "First of all, I'm not liberal. I'm just about (being) anti-United States. I don't like the way this country operates. I think we've ruined this place. And I think it's largely because of businessmen. And businessmen are not liberals. So if that makes me a liberal, then that's just an association. It's not a choice...."

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I Got a Job!

Alvia hired me to help promote Party Poker and various other gaming sites that her media company runs and operates. We had a phone interview and Alvia called me from India this morning to discuss our new business relationship. I'll be working on a strict commission basis with an "affiliate account" on Party Poker. I get paid per new player I bring in... but let's just say that there is a definite possibility that I could make more money signing up players on Party Poker in one week than I could slingling beers at the local tavern for an entire month. With the Tao of Poker gaining more popularity everyday and the increased web traffic, Alvia explained how a joint venture with Tao of Poker would be a lucrative match.

I don't mind aggressively promoting something that I use and believe in. Yes, Party Poker had almost 40,000 players online the other night. And I expect that number to keep on rising. It's my favorite site and all of my friends play on it. So should you.
Snow and the Oscars!

More snow expected to fall in NYC... another 10 inches? Geez. Southern California is sounding so perfect these days. You don't have to worry about slipping on an icy sidewalk in L.A., right?

The important people in Hollyweird are supposed to announce the Oscar nominations in a few minutes. Haley is super excited. She shrugged off her nasty hangover from yesterday and got up early to watch the announcements. The poor girl spent most of Monday morning clutching the porcelain god after drinking her body weight in champagne at her Golden Globes party. She's slowly recovering and vows to drink less at her Oscar's party.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I'm Back... After 48 Hours of Mayhem: Poker and the Golden Globes

Went up to Foxwoods Saturday night with Derek and returned slightly disappointed after one of my worst experiences there since I started playing poker regularly at that casino. I'll blog more specifics to the Tao of Poker on Tuesday. What was wrong? Foxwoods was a headache. It was the most crowded (the poker room) that I've ever seen. There were no less than 250-300 people waiting for a low limit game!!! Then at 6am, a little over 700 people showed up for a 200 person No Limit tournament on Sunday morning... and although I got a psuedo-ticket for Seat 197 (Derek got 198)... we were shut out due to a floor managers error. He had to squeeze 20 more people onto 20 tournament tables after they complained to the tribal gaming commission about the serious fuck-up. I got bumped! Ahhh, I was wicked pissed that I did not get to play in the tournament! I'll be writing a complaint letter very soon. So anyway, it took 4.5 hours for my $2-4 game to be called!!! Yes, I had to wait until 4am for an open seat to play! Techincally... But I kinda bucked the system and found a loophole. I actually pulled a slick move and hopped on a $4-8 table when someone's name was called and they did not answer (because they obviously got tired of waiting and went home). I could not wait three more hours to jump on a table. Derek made a similar move earlier and got onto a $2-4 table after he lost patience waiting around for ninety minutes to play.

Some odd & random Foxwoods notes: I'm great at $4-8 ($30 hourly win rate) and I got my ass handed to me at the $2-4 tables. I was up $160 the first hour that I got to a $4-8 table. Then I lost a lot of close hands.... I almost got into another fight when some old black guy accussed me of cheating (colluding with another player who kept raising my reraises - the guy had nothing and I had a full house 7s over 10s) after I took down a huge $140 pot (on a $2-4 table)... luckily my brother was at the same table and he took control of the situation and yelled at the old guy telling him and everyone within earshot who I was, how I was his brother and I never met the guy whom the black guy accussed me of being cheating partners with.... Derek seriously prevented me from kicking that guy's ass in the parking lot and getting black booked at Foxwoods... visit the Tao of Poker for the full detailed story.

Of course after hanging out with Skippy on Saturday, and then playing poker all night, I drove back to the city Sunday afternoon and went to a party on Sunday night!

Yep, it was Haley's GOLDEN GLOBES party last night! Just when I forget Haley is from L.A., there's this yearly reminder... a night when everyone gets dressed up, drinks too much, and shouts insults at the TV! I showed up looking like a mess. I stumbled in her place only to find a guy from her acting class wearing a tuxedo, sipping champagne, and chomping on a small plate of Surinamese curry potatoes in her hallway! What a scene I wandered into... Haley had been drinking since 3pm and forty actors and actresses squeezed into her apartment, dressed up like they were attending the ceremony... with plenty of designer lables, name dropping, and lots of booze flowing. Alas, I had been awake for 36 hours when I showed up... seriously undressed and found myself in room filled with Hollyweird wannabes! No Armani or Dolce suits adroned my body. I had on ripped jeans, my green Mirage hat, and a soiled t-shirt flung over my ratty thermal underwear long-sleeve shirt. Unshaven for weeks, I smelled like an unusual mixture of the third floor of a nursing home and industrial antispetic (that all casinos use). I passed out a few times on the couch (for no more than a few minutes at a time). Although I dropped $50 at Foxwoods, I made all my money back when I took some of Haley's friends for $200 betting on various Golden Globe categories (Bill Murray's win was clutch!) I laughed when a group of girls almost got into a fight because one of Haley's Columbia friends jacked up on Dexitrim and champagne said, "Nicole Kidman looked like a hooker in her odd flapper dress." Seriously, it was silly but caused quite a stir. One woman took offense to her comment. Haley almost had to call the cops when the two started shoving each other! And I thought card rooms were dangerous? Get a group of neurotic actresses together and add plenty of alcohol, various narcotics, and diet pills, and you're ripe for a bare-knuckle, hair pulling, tit squeezing, fracas!

As you can tell, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things after being out of my skull the last two days.... more updates coming for sure!
My Top 5 Favorite Chocolate Candy Bars...

1. Chunky
2. Mounds
3. Krackel
4. Junior Mints
5. Snickers
Dennis Miller's New Show

I just caught some of Dennis Miller's new gig on CNBC. He opened with a chimp! Gotta love the guy. He admitted that on his show he'll be: "A smart ass with the smart asses... and no Ed Asner!" His first guest? Gov. Arnold!!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Another Run to Foxwoods!

Derek and I are driving up to Foxwoods later tonight. Our plan is to get there around 11pm and play low limit until 7am. At that point, registration for the Sunday morning NO LIMIT tournament takes place... and we'll be ready to play! Sunday's No Limit event cost $65 ($50 to the pool, $15 entry fee) with no rebuys. On Tuesdays, the entry fee for the No Limit event is $80 with unlimited rebuys in the first two levels, plus add-ons! I don't like the Tuesday torneys, that's why I haven't been playing them. Alas, Derek is ready for his first No Limit tournament (his previous two expereinces were limit events) and I'm all pumped up for myt first No Limit event of 2004.

If I want to consider the oustide chance of winning a seat at the 2004 World Series of Poker... then I have to at least make the final table at a Foxwoods weekly tournament. I decided that 50% of the money that I win in No Limit/Limit tourneys this year will go into a separate bankroll: my WSoP bankroll. Whatever I have rolled up in my sock drawer by the time the month of May saunters around... I'll take it to Vegas to parlay that into a seat via a satellite. So far... I have: $0.
NYC Skippy!!

I spent the last three hours hanging out with Skippy and Britt They flew into NYC late last night for the weekend. They met me at my local watering hole, the infamous Cedar Tavern just before noon. I had a couple of pints and caught up with Skippy while we ate lunch.

If some of you do not know... we were freshman hall roommates at Emory in Atlanta in the early 90s. Wow. That was such a long time ago. We were terrible roommates (something we can joke about today) but we had some great times involving plenty of hijinks with some of our fellow dorm mates.

Anyway, I took them to Strand bookstore and we walked through Washington Square Park and I left them on Christopher Street. It was great to see Skippy. The last time was in Atlanta shortly before graduation. Little did we both know... we'd reunite almost ten years later in NYC... both as writers.

The funniest moment was when I had to teach Simanoff how to properly tie a scarf. He lived his adult life in the warmer climates of Gerogia and south Florida, so he's not use to this type of frigid weather. That reminded me of Molly's trip to NYC last February to see Phish. She also had a difficult time tying her scarf! Man oh man... tourists.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Positively Fifth Street

I've been reading: Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker written by James McManus. He is the author of four novels (Going to the Sun won the Carl Sandburg Award) and two books of poetry. This is one of the most interesting fiction books that I read in a long time. He covers the murder trial of Teddy Binion by his young, stripper wife and her lover for a magazine and the author wins a seat at the World Series of Poker (in 2000). A great read for sure.

Here's a touching paragraph from Page 24: "I admit I'm juiced and flush when I win and that penis feels like an acorn when I lose, plus my bankroll is paper-cut thin for a spell, but I'm hardly addicted. And I'm not gonna stop playing poker any sooner than I stop writing poems, a habit that much more expensive. The most I have ever earned for a poem is $100, and that poem took eight months to write. Usually I earn much, much less..."

I've often wondered if I was a pure poker addict. To date, writing is my number one priority. But alas, writing is my mistress... writing is the crack that I put in my crackpipe... you get the idea. So as long as I am not putting off writing to play poker... I'm doing OK!

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Emma by Jane Austen
2. Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther
3. Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn
4. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
5. Book Ends by Jane Green
Spalding Gray... Still Missing

Where did my favorite author go? Splading Gray... Becomes an Official Missing Person.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Thought to Ponder: You Are Art

You are your art. Take a look at what you've done... and that's who you really are.
Shock the Monkey!

Today is the official start of the Chinese lunar new year! This year is the: Year of the Monkey. Read an article about: The Year of the Monkey... where: "The Chinese year of the monkey is upon us, with astrologers warning of 'tumult' and 'trickery' ahead, as our web guide attests..."

To be more specific, 2004 is the year of the Wood/Green Monkey. Could it be my year?? Here's what they say: "January 22, 2004 ushers in the Year of the Wood/Green Monkey "Jia Shen". A Year of Movement, discussion and the exchange of ideas. A year highlighting: Politicians, diplomats, ambassadors, writers, spokesmen, storytellers, orators, salesmen, and confidence games. Welcome to the "Riverboat Gambler" year of the Chinese zodiac - the Irrepressible Monkey..."

And here's on more last write up on the Year of the Monkey. Try telling my Wall Street buddies this: "The lucky imp of a Monkey who rules this year will urge us to gamble, speculate and exploit risky but ingenious options. If you are quick on the draw, this year will yield huge dividends. It is definitely not a year for the faint-hearted or slow-witted. The Monkey gives no concessions and asks none in return. If there is a recession, the year of the Monkey will quickly put an end to it. Business will skyrocket under his optimistic and shrewd influence. The Monkey's resourcefulness will amaze and confound everyone...."

Alas, the Year of the Monkey could spell serious natural disasters. The last Monkey year was 1992. I cite the 1992 monster storm in south Florida... aka Hurricane Andrew which devestated eveything in it's path. Also, in 1980, Mount St. Helen's errupted in Washington state. If history is right, there will be some major natural disaster somewhere in America.

Well, that's all for now... Happy New Year!
Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1. 25th Hour
2. 21 Grams
3. Wild Man Blues
4. Kicking and Screaming
5. The Bad News Bears

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

21 Grams

Haley and I saw 21 Grams yesterday. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Ibarritu... the mind behind Amores Perros... in his first feature English speaking film, he reunites with screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga for 21 Grams. I enjoyed several aspects of the film: the screenwriting and camera work appealed to me the most. Naomi Watts was amazing and as much as Sean Penn has his head up his ass with regard to international politics, he did a stellar job as a dying man.

Here's a quick plot summary:  
"Ibarritu interweaved the different strands of their story (the three lives) out of sequence, in a spiral around the story's lynchpin, the automobile accident. Presented chronologically, the story is fairly simple: Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts) is happily married until her husband, Michael, and two daughters are run over by an ex-convict turned born-again Christian, Jack Jordan (Benicio del Toro). He flees the scene. Michael's heart is transplanted into Paul Rivers (Sean Penn), who after discovering the identity of his unwitting benefactor, turns away from his wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and becomes obsessed with Cristina. Meanwhile Jack finds himself unable to reconcile what has happened to his new-found faith..."

Here's what Haley had to say about the acting performances: "Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Bencio Del Toro should be remembered at award time."
Phish NYE Run is an article written by Kenny Bohlin from Glide Magazine. Thnaks to Alea for the link!

Here's a bit: "Phish is on the musical rise. If they were in a rut before the hiatus they have certainly broken through now. Even the lighting, always so perfect and well done is coming into new levels of excitement, stretching out into uncharted territory. I’m not sure how this run will look five or ten years from now, but presently it is the summit, the highest level reached so far. I always say I’m stunned when Phish exceeds expectation, but I have grown so used to it I sort of expect it..."

Also check out a great review of Page's band Vida Blue & The Spam Allstars and their gig in Vermont last week.

Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Iowa Down, New Hampshire Up Next

I love a good upset, except when my Yankees lose to the Marlins. Well, the people of Iowa spoke strongly Monday night and poor Dick Gephardt quit his run for the White House with tears in his eyes... like the sniffly nerd who thought he had a legitimate shot to win his high school's presidency... and then he lost miserably to the unambitious jock and even had less votes than Laukkin, the feral exchange student from Finland, who was a write-in joke candidate. Just when everyone was ready for a Dean-Bush showdown... John Kerry came out of nowhere to knock out Dean... similar to Star Wars... when Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon swooped in from the heavens and shot up Darth Vader's TIE starfighter, which was locked onto Luke Skywalker's X-wing fighter, speeding through a trench, ready to be blown to tiny inter-galactic bits (when Luke was ready to blow up the ghastly Death Star... using the 'force' of course).

The Howl of Dr. Dean!

Will Dean recover in New Hampshire? Most likey. Will Kerry and Edwards new-found support continue? It's still too hard to tell. But this next upcoming week, I expect Dean to improve upon his speeches and drop the "howling." Even the NY Times is questioning Dean's unorthodox concession speech... in which the hysterical and nefarious Dean sounded like a gangly girl with a slight lisp and bad case of acne who got dumped by her boyfriend... for her looser, dumber, sluttier, bigger breasted older sister! Indeed, Dean was angry, bitter, and frightening!

Make sure you read: A Concession Rattles the Rafters (and Some Dean Supporters). Here's my favorite part: "Howard Dean scared a lot of children last night..."

But as of right now... Dean Holds a Slight New Hampshire Lead Over Kerry.

Some related articles:
1. Still Crazy? is written by Hugh Hewitt from The Weekly Standard. Here's what he thinks: "The Democratic hopefuls can't keep their feet out of their mouths. Is anyone paying attention?"

2. Does Wesley Clark Have a Prayer? is written by Matthew Continetti from The Weekly Standard.

3. What happened to Ralph Nader? Check out: Nader and the Newmanites, written by Doug Ireland from The Nation.

4. Notes and Quotes from Campaign 2004

5. Are You Better Off? The Kitchen-Table State of the Union is written by Robert L. Borosage where he considers the state of the union as it looks from America's kitchen tables. 

Profiles of Democratic Candidates:
1. John Kerry
2. Howard Dean
3. John Edwards
4. Wesley Clark

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Derek's Thoughts on Foxwoods

I asked my brother to share with me (and the Tao of Poker readers) his thoughts on his first visit to Foxwoods earlier this month. You can read his entire write-up: Derek's Thoughts on Foxwoods.

Here's a bit: "Foxwoods poker players can be tougher to play but much more rewarding and exciting to beat. Nothing is better than robbing an old guy of his 401k money. They get so pissed when you beat them on hands. This one old guy kept slamming his cards and fists on the table every time I beat him head to head. Since the old guys play only good hands, they get really pissed and shocked when someone beats them. They think everyone young knows nothing about poker other than what they see on TV and that's is why I like sticking it to the old guys..."
Hunter's Note!

Note to Self is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson. Whether you're on the football field or the political arena, the Good Doctor reminds us that winning is a full-time job.

Here's a bit: "Sunday was a bad day for quarterbacks, and a worse day for the poor fools who bet on them. I was one of these, and I am still in shock from the horrible beating I took on the Patriots-Colts game. It put me so out of whack that I only vaguely noticed that I won big with Carolina in the second game of the day. "This is a sorry day for pro football," I said to the sheriff as he raked in his huge winnings. Both games sucked in a very deep way. It looked like a Hells Angels riot at the infamous Altamont rock festival, or even the first wild days of our latest war against Muslims in Iraq, when our finely-trained U.S. combat troops were mopping up on the bloody road to Baghdad..."

And here's who Hunter is picking to win the Super Bowl: "I figure the Patriots will win by doing the same thing they've been doing for the last 15 games. They will cripple the QB whip on the Carolina receivers like a pack of vicious hyenas on a wounded lion. The score? Let's say 21-14. Why not? This is the gambling season."

Monday, January 19, 2004

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Holy Bible
2. The Last Juror by John Grisham
3. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
4. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
5. White Death by Clive Cussler & Paul Kemprecos
New Issue of Truckin'... Coming Soon!

I have been working on the Jan 2004 issue of my blogzine Truckin'. This month I hope to add another new writer to the staff. So far, I have stories from three other writers (two fellow poker bloggers who are also writers at heart), in addition to some prose that I wrote this past week. I am in the middle of working on my Miami NYE Phish story... something that could definitely be expanded into a bigger PHISH BOOK! My only problem is: what parts should I publish?!? What started out as a 750 word piece has morphed into a 5,300 word monster (that's 20% of a novella!) I need to stop and pick out the best stuff for the issue, which I hope to have up by the end of the week (before I head off to Foxwoods).

The good news is that Truckin' is chugging along and traffic is increasing every issue. Just when I thought Truckin' was doomed to become another shelved project of mine (I have dozens of unfinished projects...), a new life was breathed back into my blogzine. Let's not forget, two main characters from one of my novels, Sweet Nothing, were spawned from Truckin' short stories.

Why did Truckin' survive a serious rough patch? I focused on the content instead of traffic (or lack there of). I know that there were a few months (in early 2003) when only two or three people read Truckin'...  but now, readership has jumped to impressive numbers thanks to a link from NYC Bloggers, and picking up residual traffic from the increased readership on the Tao of Pauly, and the insane amount of hits that the Tao of Poker generated.

A lot of pressure was taken off my shoulders when I found new writers to submit stories. For months, I penned four or five stories per issue, and that took a toll on my creative juices. Now, I can relax and focus on writing one or two main stories an issue.

Yes, some days, I'm still shocked that it's going strong. The new issue will be out soon. If you have not read last month's issue or missed some issues from 2003, feel free to browse the archives for some great reading material.
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." - Nietzsche

Sunday, January 18, 2004

New Phish CD?

Check out: Phish To Return To Studio Next Month.
29 Poker Blogs and Counting...

I added nine new links (to the left side of the Tao of Pauly via the Poker Blogs Links). It looks like everyday there is a brand new poker blog out there. So far... 29 poker blogs linked up (including Tao of Poker). I wouldn't be surprised if one of my fellow poker bloggers made won a seat this year and it to the final table of a World Series of Poker event in 2004 or next year!

Poker fever is hitting the world. The highest rated shows on Bravo and the Travel Channel in the past year have been poker related. New poker blogs are popping up everyday... from Minnesota to Central Florida, from New Zealand to New York City, from L.A. to Louisiana, from Ohio to DC, from Las Vegas to London, from Kansas City to New Dehli, from Hong Kong to Hackensack, from Texas to Toronto... you can read about everyone's new addiciton and their pursuit of the one thing we are all seeking... the title of... World Series of Poker Champion.
Leave All Emotions at the Door: NFL's Final Four

That saying was on a sign that hung up on the trading desk of a fellow Wall Street broker. He needed to remind himself that, when dealing with ridiculously huge sums of money... you need to be calm, cool, and decisive. That mantra seeps into the gambling world. When betting... without a severe detachment from your feelings and emotions... you are doomed to become a loser.

Now it's Sunday morning and there are four teams left, all vying for a shot at the Super Bowl. I have to remind myself that saying when looking at today's NFL playoff matchups. I fuckin' hate the NE Patriots. I despise them. But on paper, all signs point to: bet on New England. My head tells me to bet on the PATS. My heart tells me to take Indy. And my gut says... stay away from pro football and stick to poker, where I have more control over the outcome!

Alas, when I took Indy this year, they covered for me, plenty of times. I dunno how many times I chatted with Chicago Bob this past season, minutes before Sunday kickoff, and marveled at the line in the Indy games. Week after week, the Colts managed to cover game after game. Do you see a trend here? Well, I do.

To hell with the weather, it's not as cold as it has been in the past few days. I don't give a shit about all this "dome" vs. "outside" crap... (although it does matter when coming down to field goal kickers!)

Should I worry about the coach? New England has the edge there. How about the defense? NE has the edge there too. How about the QBs? Peyton Manning has been unconcious the last two weekends. I have not seen a performance like that out of a QB in sometime. The last player I saw get that hot in the playoffs was in hockey & baseball... the Dominator in the late 1990s (Hasek got hot that one NHL playoffs for Buffalo) and Will Clark for the SF Giants against the Cubs in the late 1980s, when he hit everything pitched to him out onto Waveland Avenue.

This past season, although I came in third place in the spread pools, I picked more winners this season than the previous two (53.2% in 2003 vs. 51% in 2002). With parity running rampant through tthe NFL, like SARS spreading through a remote Chinese village, I thought that this year was the toughest in a decade to pick winners with the spreads. So why did I end up with a high percentage? Late in the year (after Turkey Day)... I seemed to finally pick up on betting trends and I kicked ass. I took Home Dogs in December, bet heavily on hot QBs, and stuck to the favorites during division matchups. And I jumped from the middle of the pack up to the front and had a chance to win it all! Should I apply those same tactics to the playoffs? I did last week and finished 3-1!

Today, I'll go with the better QBs... Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb... and bet my farm and racehorse on both games!

Pauly's Picks:
Indy + 3 1/2 at New Enlgand
Philly -4 vs. Carolina

Rib Boy likes New England & Philly... because they are "the two best teams."

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Othello by William Shakespeare
2. Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Net Force by Tom Clancy
4. Petal on the Wind by V.C. Andrews
5. The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
College Hoops Roundup

Today there are three big games:

1. UCONN (1) at North Carolina (11): The top ranked Huskies travel to the infamous Dean Dome to take on Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. UNC lost a close game to Maryland earlier in the week and they'll look to May & McCants who are both averaging 17 points to lead the way. Felton, leading the Heels in assists, needs to step up and have a solid game and help contain UConn's superstar Ben Gordon (19 ppg). Sean May has to matchup with Okafor who leads UConn in points and rebounds (11.6 rpg). Should come down to the last five minutes.

2. Wake Forest (3) at Duke (2): Wake is coming off their only loss of the season to Texas and head into hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium. I fucking hate Duke, so I'm, pulling for Wake in this game! Super soph, Eric Williams, leading the Demon Deacons in points & rebounding, must have a perfect game (after a terrible 4 point output against Texas). They have to watch out for Duke's leading scoring Redick and their super freshman sensation Luong Deng who is having a solid season averaging 14 ppg and 6 rpg.

3. St. Joseph's (6) at Xavier: You gotta love St. Joe's! They boast one of my favorite backcourts in Jameer Nelson & Delonte West (combined scoring average: 37.7). They'll lead the way for the undefeated St. Joe's. But they have to be careful with Xavier. They are only 9-5 but historically they play tough at home. How many times over the last decade has top ranked teams walked into Xavier, only to be upset (think Cincy & Dayton)? That is why St. Joe's is only a 3 1/2 point favorite today. Watch out for swingman Romain Sato, who leads Xavier in points & rebounding.

And on Monday, Pitt (currently undefeated, and should remain so after they trounce Rutgers today) will take on UConn Monday night for a matchup between the two best teams in the Big East. That should be an exciting game. Oh and St. John's sucks. Bet heavily against them this week.
Hit Me Paris... Another HDouble Adventure

HDouble once again made me laugh with his latest (non-poker) paragraph: Don't you wish you lived near Beverly Hills?

Here's what he wrote: "I probably came as close to hitting the jackpot as I ever will walking to lunch at work yesterday. As we were crossing the street, a black Mercedes SUV rolled up, and I was staring at Paris Hilton, who was 2 feet in front of me. I yelled to my co-worker "Push me in front of that car!", but the driver sped up, and blew threw the stop sign before I could wedge myself under the tire. Man that girl is ugly."

Friday, January 16, 2004

No Cell Phone!

Until furthur notice, I do not have cell phone service. I have an unpaid bill. I can get calls, but I am unable to make them at the present time. If you need to get in contact with me, please call me on my cellie, but do not leave a message... because I am unable to retrieve messages.

So if you need to leave me a message... please do so on my voicemail in my studio. If you do not have that number, e-mail me and I'll send it to you. Sorry for the mess. Verizon sucks ass.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Current Tempature in Central Park: 3 degrees

Amount of money it would cost to get me to stand naked (with ear muffs), outside on Broadway and 72nd Street for 10 minutes: $780,425.00

Artic Weather Blankets NYC

Here's a bit: "The snow has passed but the frigid cold remains, as shivering New Yorkers dig out and plows continue to clear the streets. A little over five inches of snow have fallen on the five boroughs since Wednesday night, but now skies are clear. The bitter cold will continue the rest of the week... dropping through the afternoon to near zero overnight. Winds up to 30 miles per hour will translate into snow drifts and dangerous wind chills between 20 and 30 degrees below zero..."
Man It's Fucking Cold

My ears are colder than ice cubes. My bellybutton is frozen for fucks sake. The walk from the subway was pure hell. I imagined that the current skin scathing, harsh cold blast is what climbers on Mount Everest must endure every second up on the Mountain. I've come to the conclusion that they are crazy motherfuckers.

I heard Al Gore was at the Beacon Theatre tonight talking smack about global warning. Today was the coldest day in NYC in decades and poor Al "Stiffy" Gore got outstaged again. This time by Old Man Winter. This friggin' guy can't ctach a break. He's the dorky guy who takes the "object of his affection", the sultry, girl-next-door to the prom, but she ditches poor Al, gets drunk with the football team, then goes home with the cool guy and blows him in his pick-up truck on their way to the Dairy Queen. Stiffy Gore couldn't hit water even if he fell out of a boat. I don't think the guy could get laid in a whorehouse. That's why he really lost to Bush. Bill Clinton on the other hand, we all know that good old Bubba himself was one slick dude who's had his rocks knocked a few times by various ladies of the night. "Just like slipping your fingers in a bowling ball..." he'd gently whisper in his confident Arkansas drawl...
Heady News Update...

Hot off Drudge! The wild and the wacky. A ruskie mutant girl with X-ray vision? Girl Has X-ray Vision is a must read.

Here's a bit: "Sixteen-year-old girl Natalya (Natasha) Demkina... possesses "dual vision". She is capable of discerning a person's internal organs without using X-ray or ultrasound. Natasha has already disproved several medical diagnoses and has not made any mistakes. A series of medical experiments... provide substantial and undeniable proofs of the girls' unique abilities. "Growing up, my daughter was just an ordinary child," states Natasha's mother... "Natasha started to talk when she was only 6 months old. At 1, she could already recite Pushkin and Nekrasov by heart. By 3, Natasha mastered the alphabet and learned to operate a snowmobile... Since early childhood, Natasha has been resistant to cold temperatures. She practically walked around naked till winter. She once walked barefoot in the snow. Overall, she was just a normal kid..."

The last line was the funniest! Hey lady, your kid is a fucking alien!
Spalding Gray Still Missing...

Did Spalding Jump from the Staten Island Ferry? is an article that appeared in Newsday.

Here's a bit: "Gray's family is fearful that the troubled writer-actor, who has twice attempted suicide in the past two years, may have jumped off the Staten Island Ferry, according to a family friend... Gray's wife, Kathleen Russo, had received a report from investigators that a Staten Island Ferry employee told police that he had seen Gray, or someone resembling him, riding the ferry late Friday. The worker told police that the man got off the ferry in Manhattan... This leads the family to believe Spalding may have been making some sort of dry run..."
Fish Fry: HDouble Style!

Just read a great blog from HDouble about his trip this wekeend to the "border" to shakedown elderly fish in Primm Valley, Nevada! Looks like he should have just stood outside and mugged the poor saps before they walked into the casino. Can you send me directions to this casino?

He wrote: "But I began to feel sorry for this clueless collection of imposter poker players. They acted like they knew the game, and must have had some experience, because they knew how to bet (they still hadn't learned how to fold yet, but that's ok). I don't think there's any way that any of them had read a poker book. And I felt my killer instinct fading away, feeling like I was playing against pop warner football players rather than people who have played the game for years and years. But as I was dealt rockets for the second time, the pity faded away...."

Hey HDouble, I found a title for your new novel... The Pity Faded Away: Confessions of a L.A. Grinder.

Alas, I have felt that not-so-good feeling once or twice (when I used to work on Wall Street and you'd get a push-over client that would just blindly hand you over his life savings and I'd shake my head thinking, "Geez, what a fool. Will this guy also let me fuck his wife and his daughters too?") but for the most part you have to pump yourself up for that killer instinct and continue sucking out old people's social security money. I have a feeling that I won't see any of my social security deposits so I might as well cash in on dead money. When I first played poker in a casino, no one had any sympathy for me!! Like Canada Bill Jones said, "It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money." Too bad those miscreants don't play at Foxwoods.

Anyway, HDouble's story reminded me about the time at the Excalibur in Vegas this past December, when my brother Derek took a drunk guy sitting next to him for all his chips (he had a rack and a half of $1 chips). I never saw Derek play better, and at the same time, I never say anyone just give away their bankroll like that. That guy fell asleep (or passed out) in the middle of a hand! Derek had to nudge him so he'd call one of his bets (the drunk guy lost of course).

But we're not done with HDouble! Here's one of my favorite parts to his last entry: "My stack was up to 750 at this point, and I was running out of energy. There were two chubby, drunk looking girls watching the game from the rail for around an hour. They were looking over my shoulder, and I leaned back, initiating what turned out to bed the funniest conversation of the night. My wife had gone to bed long ago, which may have been the reason they were sweating me (why couldn't they have been hot, drunk, and good poker players? Is that too much to ask?)"
Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1. 28 Days Later
2. Gangs of New York
3. Anything Else
4. The Pianist
5. X-Men 2

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Who's for Who in 2004?

I will try to devote some time every Wednesday updating the latest carnival we call the primaries leading up to the "faux election" in November. I know that Bush is going to win, but it's gonna be fun watching the Democrats scramble to put forth a worthy candidate. If I were to vote for a Democrat... I'd pick: Howard Dean. But since I'm neither a Democrat, nor a Republican... I won't be voting for either jerkoff.

Here are some interesting reads:

1. Former President (and Emory U. professor) Jimmy Carter Offers His Support for Dean.

2. Former NY Knicks legend and former NJ Senator Bill Bradley Adds Dean's Support from Democrats, which means he won't run on an independent ticket this year. He'd be a great VP! But I think in order to get Southern votes (from Bush) the Dems will add a southerner to the ticket.

3. Former Georgia Governor and current US Senator, Democrat Zell Miller is set to back Bush pissing off Southern Democrats.

4. Washed up pop star Madonna will do anything these days to get press... she kissed Britney Spears, attempted to write children books, speaks with proper English pronunciation... and now she's backing up General Wesley Clark and his run for President.

5. World Wide Dean is an article written by Jonathan V. Last from The Weekly Standard.

6. The Doctor Is In is the Rolling Stone Interview with Howard Dean, written by Jann S. Wenner & Will Dana.

7. And don't forget to visit out Howard Dean's blog: Blog for America. I wonder if he has the Tao of Pauly linked up?

Well that's it for now. I would love to get an assignment like Dr. Hunter S. Thompson had in 1972, when he was paid by Rolling Stone magazine to follow around McGovern and Nixon all over America on the campaign trail, which he chronicled in his epic book Fear & Loathing: On the Campaign Trail 1972, all the while Hunter drank like a fish, dropped LSD like they were tic-tacs, dosed Washington Post stiffs, and ran up ridiculous hotel room service and bar bills... and missed every deadline that the editors at Rolling Stone gave him!!

Who will I endorse? I might vote for fellow poker blogger: Mean Gene who announced his candidacy for President on his blog. He wants to legalize poker in all of the 50 states! That gets my vote.

Here's what Mean Gene wrote: "Richard Nixon famously financed his first Congressional campaign with money he won playing poker. While in the Navy the future Tricky Dick saw his fellow officers playing poker and was astonished at how much money was changing hands. Gambling was verboten to a Quaker like himself, but already Nixon was showing the, ah, moral flexibilty that was to haunt him later in life. He learned to play, learned to play very well, and made a bundle. He put his poker winning to use, was elected, and the rest is history (or infamy, depending on how you look at it).

Why do I bring this up? Because, my fellow poker junkies, yesterday I announced that I am a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. I just turned 35, making me qualified for the job, and I think it's my duty as a citizen to run for the highest office in the land. And I think it's important that a poker player have the job. Think about it--who better to stare down the Kim Jong Ils and Osama bin Ladens of the world than a guy who has capped the betting after a check-raise on the river while holding nothing better than bottom pair--and WON?

And let's face facts, the leading candidates out there wouldn't exactly intimidate you at the table. George Bush would have a cheat-sheet that lists hand rankings, and you know he'd have Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove sweating him and clearing their throats and shaking their heads every time he reached for his chips. Howard Dean? Come on, the guy is one tough hand away from tilt. Say something like, "You know, I heard Vermont is just Canada without doughnuts", or, "If Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys were around today, they'd be up before the UN War Crimes Tribunal". And then sit back and wait for the steaming Governor Dean to raise you with 2-6 offsuit.

So vote for me, and I promise to bring a smart, honest, grinding attitude to the White House. Halliburton wants a multi-billion dollar contract in Iraq? Let them ante and play the game like everyone else. Some tinhorn dictator or terrorist threatens? I won't fold the hand, I'm gonna be like Scotty Nguyen and go all-in, bay-bee! Come on, be honest--wouldn't you like to see us nuke someone again? Just a little bomb, a few kilotons?

So vote for Mean Gene, and my first act as Prez will be the legalization of poker rooms in all 50 states. That's how I plan to fund my re-election campaign--I get a taste of the rake, just a taste, enough to wet my beak. I'm sure I can get more cash that way than the GOP can raise shaking down businessmen and corporations.

Mean Gene in 2004! Come on, vote for me, or else you might be facing a Phil Hellmuth candidacy in 2008."

God bless poker and God bless America.
Knicks GM Isiah Thomas Fires Head Coach...

Yep, my Knicks are making wholesale changes in the last few weeks. First they picked up Coney Island's native son Stephon Marbury. Now they fired their head coach and hired legend Lenny Wilkens (also a Brooklyn native). I hope they can make a run for the playoffs.

Read what has to say: Chaney, Malone, Kruger fired; Wilkens hired. Here's a bit: "Isiah Thomas pulled off a shocker on a bizarre day even by New York Knicks standards, firing Don Chaney and his two top assistants Wednesday and hiring Lenny Wilkens as head coach... the NBA leader in career coaching victories and losses."
Phish MTV Article

Great read... thanks to Haley for the link: Phish Unwrap Their New Year's Surprise: Mini Cheerleaders.

Here's a bit: "Suddenly the stage was crowded with funk masters, and Clinton positioned himself front and center. Bookended by Phish's own reggae-based "Makisupa Policeman," the collective engaged in a lengthy medley wherein Clinton commanded, "Make my funk the Phish funk, I wants to get funked up." It was a highlight that would not only keep fans talking, but one that compelled many to attend P-Funk's late-night warehouse show, where bassist Mike Gordon returned the favor with a guest appearance....

The band returned only 12 minutes before the countdown was to commence, easing into "Jungle Boogie," a first-time cover. Crew members scrambled to move Fishman's drums as a light blue '68 Mini Cooper detailed with pink flames was lowered in their place. The door swung open and one by one by one, like circus clowns from a magic car, sprung the members of the Palmetto High School marching band and cheerleaders wearing freaky bunny masks. Here was the horn section Anastasio had pined for the night before, and much more.

Phish deferred to the marching band's drum section through the countdown, but as the balloons fell Anastasio wailed his traditional "Auld Lang Syne" guitar interpretation, leading the whole ensemble into an instrumental rendition of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man." Then, with the stage covered in giant balloons, the marching band marched through the audience toward the back of the arena while an invisible Anastasio started "Runaway Jim."..."

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading in Airports...

1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
2. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
3. Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
4. Song Book by Nick Hornby
5. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Celebrity Poker LETDOWN

I watched the final episode of Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo with utter bewilderment. I laughed when Phil Gordon told us (the audience) about "tilting." I wondered who would win? I had my money on Paul Rudd. We share the same first name and some of my friends suggested that he could play the title role of Charlie in my screenplay Charlie's Goldfish. I really liked their graphics on best hands, which was both neat and informative. Ben Affleck came out to the Loser's Lounge and acted like a cool guy. He wanted to get all the celebrities together for a "real live game"... the man's addicted to cards, I tell you! Sometimes that makes me wonder about that guy... I mean I fuckin' love poker, but if J. Lo was my girlfriend, I'd be spending less time at the poker room in the Bellagio with Matt Damon (thanks to Linda from Table Tango for the great Matt & Ben tales!) and rubbing elbows with shmucks like me at Foxwoods and devote a shitload more time sitting around spreading suntan lotion over J. Lo's firm, yet supple buttocks. Sorry for the tangent, back to poker! From Phil Gordon's commentary I sensed he had the hots for Nicole Blondie Whatshername? I mean his huge erection nearly toppled the commentator's desk. With the insane ratings and poker's new found popularity... I'm sure they'll be another season/special of Celebrity Poker Letdown.

Here's my "wish list" of the next installment of Celebrity Poker Letdown:

Table 1: Ozzie Osbourne, Paris Hilton, Screech from Saved by the Bell, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart
Table 2: Jenna Jameson, Kirk Cameron, Bea Arthur, Jimmy Carter, Dieon Sanders
Table 3: Gary Coleman, Hunter S. Thompson, Liza Minneli, Al Sharpton, Hugh Grant
Table 4: James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio, Penn (but not Teller), Britney Spears, Minnie Me, Dennis Rodman

Ok, I'm going to stop now. I don't want to give Bravo any wild ideas for free... and the thoughts of Michael Jackson squealing the words, "I'm all in!" kinda freaks me out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

"Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way. He should stay the hell out of writing classes and find out what's happening around the corner. And bad luck for the young poet would be a rich father, an early marriage, an early success or the ability to do anything well..." - Charles Bukowski
Spalding Gray Still Missing...

I have a bad feeling that Spalding killed himself. He is one dark fellow. The writer/actor was born in Providence, Rhode Island and started his own theatre group in NYC. It's a sad fact, but true... one of my favorite writers had been fighting depression over the last two years. Check out what E! said in their article: Spalding Gray Missing.

Here's a bit: "In September of 2002, Gray attempted suicide by taking his sailboat out to sea and jumping overboard. However, he stopped himself and climbed back aboard the boat. A week later, he tried to jump off a bridge near his Hamptons' home in North Haven. At the time, his wife, Kathleen Russo, told the New York Post he was seeking treatment for depression. "He's done everything he possibly can to try to get better. But depression, combined with the head trauma, and the wrong cocktail of antidepressants, and Sept. 11, have been too much for him," she told the Post.That year, Gray had himself committed to a mental hospital in New York and underwent electroshock therapy. But those around him say he hasn't been able to shake his mental illness completely."

2004 World Series Still On!!

World Series of Poker will happen but location remains undecided was written by Adam Goldman from the AP.

Here's a bit: "The popular World Series of Poker will take place this year but where the cards are dealt remains undecided, new owner Harrah's Entertainment said Tuesday.

"It is our intent to make sure the World Series of Poker continues,"Harrah's spokesman David Strow said."It's just so early in the process to speculate where the World Series of Poker will be held."

Harrah's secured the rights to the world's premier poker event when it signed an agreement Monday to buy the storied Binion's Horseshoe Hotel&Casino for about $50 million, according to a source familiar with the deal."
Hunter S. Thompson's Back!! Being a Betting Man...

Hunter returns (he broke his leg while in Hawaii on assignment last month) with a great article... Being a Betting Man: from the Pats, to Howard Dean to Charlie Hustle, the Good Doctor tells us where to put our money.

Here's a bit: "My attorney called form Boston last week and said he would bet almost Anything on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. His voice sounded crazy and deeply excited. I could tell he had the gambling fever.

"Anything?" I asked him. "Okay. How about giving me the Colts plus 10 this Sunday? Let's take these games one at a time."

"Ten!" he yelled. "That's ridiculous! The spread is only three and a half. I would never give you 10 points. the Colts are the hottest team in the playoffs right now. They are playing PERFECT football. Don't insult me with your stupid sucker bets!"

I laughed and hung up the phone. I knew he was a helpless junkie for betting on the Patriots at almost any price. So I decided to work him a bit. I knew he would be calling back soon...

...The Colts have been good to me against Denver and Kansas City, so I am not about to dump them now. That would generate bad mojo and worse karma. So I will bet them again on Sunday, along with five or six points -- and nevermind what I said yesterday about the folly of betting your heart instead of your head. Somebody's hot streak is going to end Sunday. The winners will go on to the Super Bowl, and the losers will feel suicidal, as always. Hell, I might even lose, myself, but why worry? Not even a super-gambler can win all the time.

My own W-L figures are about 70 percent for the season. I can live with that anytime, so why not bet the underdogs on Sunday? It is not entirely smart, but I am doing it anyway, gambling that both Indy and Carolina will at least beat the spread.

I am also betting that Howard Dean will win both Iowa and New Hampshire, and that Pete Rose will NEVER be voted into baseball's Hall of Fame. That truthless swine should have been put to sleep a long time ago."
Breaking News!

Harrah's to Buy Binion's.

Thanks to London Froggy who blogged the article. There will definitely be a 2004 WSoP. I was worried when the IRS shut down Binion's the other day. I was gearing up for a shot at this year's World Series of Poker, where there were rumors of a $3 Million first prize and possibly over a thousand entries.
Monday Night Limit Tournament at Foxwoods

I just blogged a detailed report to the Tao of Poker on how I did in the tournament!

Here's a bit: "On Monday nights Foxwoods has a Limit Hold'em Tournament that cost $65. The entry fee is $15 and $50 goes to the actual prize pool... with 211 in the tournament that meant $10,550 in the prize pool! $3,500 would go to the winner and the tourney paid out 27 places (20-27 got 1% or roughly $100).

Level 1: Blinds $25-25, Betting: $25-50... First hand I am the little blind with Q-Jo. I limp in and raised a bet in front of me when Qs-Js-3d flops. Pauly just flopped top two pair!! I raised and two callers. Nothing of interest falls on the turn. Old Guy #2 with the PATS hat bet $50 and I raised him to $100. He calls. On the river a spade hits and I don't like that at all. I was hoping he held A-Q or something like that. He checked and I bet $50. He just calls and turns over 8-4 spades! I was so pissed getting river'd like that. The very next hand, I'm on the button with A-Qo. I come in for a raise and five callers. I caught an ace on the flop (with two small hearts) and after the turn (Kd) its me and the old guy in the Pats hat. I caught another ace on the river, but that ace also was the third heart. Did I just get fucked again? He turned over 3-4 suited and my semi-monster A-Q did not hold up. The French guy next to met started a barrage of insults to the far end of the table.

"What kind of crap is that? Winning with shit on two flushes like that?"

He shook his head and said what I was thinking. Two hands into the tourney I was down $500. You start with $2000 in chips and I was down to $1500 and it was not even 7:10pm!!"
Gil's Photolog...

Check out: Embedded in Brooklyn a photoblog by Gil Shapir!
"Texas can be a strange place if you dont know the right people..." - Joker from Bathtub Gin.
Monday Trip to Foxwoods

Visit the Tao of Poker to read up the full report on my trip to Foxwoods!

Here's a bit: "Derek and I rented a car and drove up to Foxwoods... and play all afternoon until the Monday Night Limit Hold'em Tournament ($65 buy-in). I asked Haley if she wanted to tag along, but she had an acting class, so she declined...

I had a nice sized bankroll (still in tact after trips to Las Vegas and Miami... the only hit was a $200 ugly loss on Dec. 23rd during an impromptu run to Foxwoods to meet Senor & Jay) and was ready to kick some ass. Some days I walked into card rooms with a positive, yet cocky attitude... and yesterday was no different...

Five hours into our session, I was up $120. I was up nearly $160 at one point, but I hovered around the $100-120 sector most of the afternoon. I had over $300 in chips at the table... I had the big stack and everyone new that sat down assumed I won all of that there. Eventually, I got "river'd" a few times and lost a huge pot on a full house to an old guy who showed up with his wife. They never played in a casino before. They openly admitted that they watched poker "on the TV." I'm always suspect of anyone who refers to television as "the TV."..."
Spalding Gray... Missing!

Spalding Gray Reported Missing... yes one of my favorite writers is nowhere to be found! He is the author of Swimming to Cambodia.

Monday, January 12, 2004

My Life as a Fantasy Camp...

Iggy from Guinness and Poker recenlty blogged this on 1.3.03:
"Tao of Poker is in Miami, beating the hell out of the recently legalized Florida low-limit hold em games. Phish fans should read his Phish reports and poker players should read his poker reports. Pauly's life is a fantasy camp. People should PAY to live as Pauly!!"
Thanks Iggy! I realized somewhere on the beach in South Florida watching the sun rise one early morning that I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Alas, that pushes me to continue this amazing ride. I will be starting new seminars on February 1st... you pay me $2,500 and I'll tell you how to have a balls out time of your life. Thanks again, Iggy!
Sigge's Facelift!

Sigge recently tweaked his weblog. Check out his new and improved site! Here's what he wrote: "As you can see, I've been doing some idle work during my off-time in X-mas, and I hope you like it. The new and improved blog has a nicer and more userfriendly look to it, it welcomes you as a visitor and helpfully shows you where to go to do what. Now, there are still some changes that must be done, so hold on to your hats..."

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Britney & Vegas...

"I've been to Vegas and I can tell you -- some quickie wedding at 5 in the morning is the least crazy thing you can do in Vegas. A crazy thing in Vegas is, 'uh, maybe we should buy another eight ball and then figure out what to do with the body.' That's Vegas. Everybody I know has a Vegas wife or husband. It's nothing. Ned Flanders got married in Vegas." - John Stewart, on Britney Spears' Vegas marriage
NFL Playoffs Best Bets

Who do I like? Carolina +7 1/2, Tennesse +6, KC - 3, and Green Bay +6.

Rib Boy likes: Carolina and KC.

HDouble reported on his site that he'll be going with: the UNDER in the Carolina/St. Louis and Indy at +3. Here's what he said: "I'm waffling on my original prediction here, after Peyton's masterful play calling last week (he's one of the few QBs that calls his own plays) and the Indy special teams. The Chiefs win by capitalizing on their opponents mistakes, and I think Peyton interceptions or Edge fumbling could lose it for the Colts, but I don't see it happening."

Friday, January 09, 2004

The Taos on Hiatus?!?

Jerry suggested: "You should put up on your Taos that you are on hiatus becasue I'm sure it would make them feel better than you were just too lazy to blog. I would have been pissed these days if I did not know your intentions of a break (well deserved mind you) and kept seeing no new posts - but hey, thats just me - a person who loves to read about others lives and live through that - I have been living through Leticia - the 17 year old masterbating fiend who is stil iin high school but thinks she may want to be a stripper - I got the link from Belle!"

Despite the rumors you heard...

1. I did not fly to Vegas to wed Britney Spears, although she's been hanging out in Miami! And the reason I have not been blogging has nothing to do with all those nasty rumors... getting Britney drunk on Mai Tais and dragging her down the aisle of the Little White Chapel on the Strip is not quite my style.

2. I did not lose my entire poker bankroll at the Dog Track and I do not owe a guy named Slow Jimmy $4K! My poker loses are somehwere near $35 for the entire Florida trip.

3. That odd rumor of a "secret wedding" in Jamaica with Haley is definitely not true.

As most of you already knew, I took an unscheduled hiatus... almost a week long break from the blogging world. All of my sites... the Tao of Poker included, have not been worked on in over a week.

So... why Pauly? There are several factors, but the main reason for the hiatus is that I had been blogging heavily for the last two years or so... without any major breaks. Even when I was on vacation, I was blogging. I needed a short hiatus to recharge, rest up, and spend a "technology free" week. Alas, part of my 2004 Resolutions were to become less dependent upon technology... and I embraced ceratin aspects of my new mantra while on holiday in Florida. But I'm back... sort of... I'll be blogging on and off this weekend. But rest assured, I'll be back in full swing by Tuesday!! Until then, feel free to check out my archives and several of my short stories in Truckin'. I know you have not read all of them!! See ya, McG

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year!!

Greetings from Miami, the "city of lights" and all things crazy. There was not a better place for Phish to play this year. They took over the entire city for four days and busted out some of the best music I heard in a very long time. I sincerely had the best time and the most fun since 9.11... and after a long year... a very long year... filled with highs and lows, ups and downs, creative highs and personal lows... I found myself in Miami at the end of the year to reflect on the brevity of life and the absurdity of mental attachments that for years held me back from becoming my true self. I made new friendships and re-established old connections.... for a nice mix of shared enthusiasm and dire passions. For sure, Miami was a serious party town and no one throws a party like Phish. Some of my best New Year's Eves have been at Phish shows and last night was no different.

12.31.03 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Set 1 (1:20): Wilson Reprise > Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekpaug Groove, MoMA Dance, Guyute, YEM, First Tube > Tube

Set 2 (1:05): Stash, Seven Below, Lawn Boy, Chalkdust > Slave > Chakdust

Set 3 (1:30): Jungle Boogie (with Marching Band) > Auld Lang Syne > Iron Man, Runaway Jim > Miami Jam > Simple, Reba, I Didn't Know > Feel My Heat > HYHU, Antelope
Encore: Frankenstien