Sunday, February 29, 2004

Quote of the Day
"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." - P. J. O'Rourke
Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1.Pirates of the Caribbean
2. City of God
3. Wonderland
4. Old School
5. Ocean's Eleven
The Oscars!

For some actors, tonight is like Christmas, the Superbowl, and the Senior Prom all rolled up into one big glamorous event. Alas, Haley is having her fifth annual NYC Oscar Party tonight, and if her Golden Globes party was any indication... tonight should be the event of the year. Yes, everyone will be getting dressed up for this black tie event. What will I be wearing? I know that's what's on everyone's mind. I showed up at Haley's Golden Globes party last month looking like a hoodlum, after playing poker at Foxwoods with my brother for a 24 staright hours.

Well, I should start off with some movie, film, and industry news... right?

Yesterday, the IFC Indie Spirt Awards were held in Santa Monica honoring the best independent films from last year. Lost in Translation fared very well, winning best picture, best director, best screenplay, and best actor. In his acceptance speech, Bill Murray mused, "I did not prepare a speech, because that would not be very independent, would it?"

And yes, some organizations give out awards for futility in film. The Razzies are one such organization, and the winner of their categories go home with the infamous Golden Raspberry award. Ben Affleck, J. Lo and Gigli Swept the Razzies taking down six categories.

OK, let's get back to the Oscars! Oscar organizers are worried about politically active celebrities hijacking the podium to spout off their politcial views much how Michael Moore did last year during his acceptance speech for best documentary film. Keep an eye on Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, and Tim Robbins... all three have been nominated and might push off their personal views on the Bush Junta and world politics. Should make things interesting.

And Hollyweird is all about image right? be sure to read: Handicapping Best-Worst Dressed.

Security is always a concern espeically when there's plenty of famous people around during a live event.

And everyone know I love to gamble. I took $200 off of some of Haley's acting buddies during the Golden Globes and I'll be running a betting pool at her party tonight. (I'm sorry I didn't get to run a pool via the Tao of Pauly this year... I was swamped with deadlines for PGL and Truckin'!) Anyway, check out some Oscar odds posted by Gold Derby.

And now, here's my favorite part of this blog. Where I announce my picks...

Best Actor
Favorite: Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Pauly's Pick: Bill Murray (Lost in Translation)

Best Actress
Favorite: Charlize Theron (Monster)
Pauly's Pick: Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

Best Film
Favorite: The Return of the King
Pauly's Pick: The Return of the King

Best Director
Favorite: Peter Jackson (LOTR: The Return of the King)
Pauly's Pick: Peter Jackson

Best Original Screenplay
Favorite: Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
Pauly's Pick: Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)

Best Supporting Actor
Favorite: Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Pauly's Pick: Djimon Hounsou (In America)

Best Supporting Actress
Favorite: Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain)
Pauly's Pick: Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April)

The closest race is in the run for Best Actor. Will Sean Penn smoke Bill Murray? Or will Johnny Depp be the late surprise (after he picked up the SAG award for best actor)? Best supporting actress is also up for debate. I guess the only way to find out... is to watch!

Here's another article: Handicapping the Oscars from

And alas, stay tuned in the upcoming weeks when I'll be announcing the winners of the first annual Pauly's.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Quote of the Day
"The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews." - William Faulkner

Truckin' February 2004 (Vol. 3, Issue 2)

Welcome back to my favorite blog-zine. This month I wrote my second Miami Story and yet another Subway Story. Sigge penned his third Cuban adventure. Richard Bulkeley returns with his second story, this one about bus travel. And I'm happy to add another new scribe to the mix: Paris Wispy. She shares a great story and becomes our first Canadian writer to join the staff. I am proud to have an international issue this month with New Zealand, Norway, Canada, and NYC being highly represented. So sit back, relax, and enjoy! Thanks for your support. Thanks, McG.

1. A Monday Subway Story by Tenzin McGrupp
He was surprised I'd said anything. He expected to get away with blantant littering. So many people in New York did that and I never had the balls to call some one out on their uncouth behavior. I proudly pointed to the ground and he looked around as though he were looking for a dropped glove or a misplaced wallet.... More
2. Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright by Paris Wispy
The unrelenting humidity and humanity of Delhi overwhelms me. People press in and jostle and yell and I grip my father's hand tightly as we emerge from the terminal... More
3. History Will Absolve This... Another Cuba Story by Sigge Amdal
When we got there, however, we met someone we'd seen before: the entire Afrocuban Allstars were hanging around with a group of American girls... More
4. Rules of the Road by Richard Bulkeley
Long Haul bus travel in this modern era of budget airlines, and rampant car ownership is truly the domain of the different. The experience could be compared to a long plane trip, but that would be missing many of the nuances... More
5. At the Dog Track by Tenzin McGrupp
Everyone that I played with at my table was over the age of 65. I had no remorse about the possibility of taking some of their social security money... but hey, they're at the dog track, looking to piss money away, so I figured I'd stop in and see if I could crack that game... More
The site and this issue has been updated with the new comments feature. Thanks again.
5 Songs I Want to Hear Phish Open with in Las Vegas...

2. Punch You In The Eye
3. Cross-eyed & Painless
4. Shafty
5. Gotta Jibboo

By the way, I was shutout of Vegas lottery this week. Alas, thanks to Senor who scored at least two tickets to the Phish, so I'll be going to at least the Saturday night show. I'm not worried. Tickets go onsale next weekend.

In fact, for the last eight Phish shows... I only had gotten lottery tickets for just one show. I scored the rest thru Ticketbastard and from great ticket karma (thanks mainly to Japhamily for the November shows and Bruce Cohen for the Miami tix!) Hopefully, Molly scored some tickets!! Stay tuned.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Wil Wheaton's Poker Blogs...

Everyone's blogging about poker these days. If it's good enough for Wil Wheaton to blog, then it's good enough for the Tao of Pauly! Fellow poker blogger Chris Halverson mentioned the link on his site. Wil's an active blogger and an excellent writer specifically when he talks about his first No Limit tournament at a sketchy place in Hollyweird. Check out: Lying in Odessa Part I. Here's a bit:
"You play poker, right?" my friend said to me a few weeks earlier, as we waited for the subway.

"Yeah. You have a game?" I said. I've been looking for something similar to The Tuesday Night Game ever since I read Big Deal.

"Sort of. You ever heard of the Odessa Room?"

I shook my head. "I'm spectacularly uncool, Shane, and I live in suburbia. What's the Odessa Room?"

"It's an honest-to-goodness speakeasy in Hollywood. Twice a month they have poker tournaments."
And make sure you take a look at his second entry: Lying in Odessa Part II. Here's a bit of that:
We play a few hands, but my cards are shit, and I don't get into any pots. It's okay, I'll be patient. Stick to the plan.

For a game in Hollywood, there's precious little coffehousing, until Mr. Lawyer says to me, "Hey guy, aren't you an actor?"

I hate that question, because I always have to answer, "I used to be."

"Whaddaya mean, 'used to be?'" Says the guy to my right. He's a Webmaster from Long Beach who could have saved an hour on the freeway and played at the Bicycle, but I find out later that he comes here because he's a starfucker.

"I haven't done any acting in a long time. I'm a writer now." This answer doesn't seem to satisfy them, so I say, "I only act when something really great comes along."
I think now that Wil is blogging poker on his site, he techically qualifies to play in the next event on the World Poker Blogger Tour.
PGL Headaches

With 30 hours remaining in the deadline for Project Greenlight 3, I have run into a serious problem. According to the fine print of rules on the PGL site I am in deeeeeeep shit. Here's why:
Screenplays must be no less than 80 pages and no longer than 140 pages.
I can get around the PG-13 restriction that they have been touting, but the rule about screenplay length is the major headache. I mentioned that my script is over 217 pages in the standard industry format of 12 font. PGL restricts scripts to 140 pages. In essence, if I want to submit my script to PGL, then I must trim my script down by 70 pages... and cut out 1/3 of the entire screenplay, otherwise my entry will be disqualified.

Two words for Matt & Ben... Go fuck yourselves. I read Good Will Hunting and the Oscar winning script was over 180 pages.

I already toned down the drug use, the sex scenes, the incest and the gang rape scenes. The original screenplay would have gotten an NC-17 rating. I made a small concession already to tone down the content for an R audience, and I am unwilling to go any further.

I begrudgingly cut 10 pages out of the script, now at 207 pages. The screenplay stands as it is... and I will not chop it up for the schmucks over at PGL and Miramax. I don't give a shit if Harvey Wienstein could have me whacked in a heartbeat. If he wants to get the chance to make The Baby & Winky Movie... then he'll have to read all 207 pages of it. The first two PGL movies sucked moose cock. If they want a winner, they are going to have to take the time and read 70 extra pages. And if I get disqualified, oh well. I'll find someone else that will read my screenplay. I just won't be a pawn for the entertainment industry and churn out 90 minutes of mindless PG-13 crapola.

I have too much invested in my work and the characters to sell them out and tell a half-assed story with only 2/3 of the plot line. What would Goodfellas be like if 1/3 was cut out? Shit. That's what.

Anyway, thanks again to Alex at Prom On Mars for the support and telling me abou the news release. We're both utilizing the PGL format to promote our works instead of trying to win the contest. I applaud him for his efforts.
Getting Ink... A Press Release

I love getting press. Affiliated Websites Submit Scripts to Project Greenlight is a press release with the tagline... "Two Web Creators submit screenplays to Project Greenlight."

Here's a bit:
(PRWEB) February 28, 2004 -- In a completely precedented move, Tenzin McGrupp and Alex Bernstein, creators of two affiliated websites have submitted separate screenplays to the newest Project Greenlight screenplay competition, the contest hosted by Hollywood superstars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Mr. McGrupp creator of the popular web blog, TAO OF PAULY (, has submitted "Sweet Nothing" a screenplay based on his online "Baby and Winky" stories. Mr. Bernstein has submitted "Prom On Mars," a script based on his web-comic PROM ON MARS (

And how are the websites affiliated?

"We've got links at each other's websites," says Bernstein.

"Yeah. We don't know Ben or Matt or anything," says McGrupp. "But damn, it'd be cool to win PGL!"

Mr. Bernstein concurs.

In addition to the "Baby and Winky" stories, Mr. McGrupp's site plays host to a large community of interactive readers and authors. The site includes Mr. McGrupp's travelogues, Phish journalism and information on McGrupp's recent poker games.

Mr. Bernstein's site is driven purely by the "Prom on Mars" web-comic. There are numerous Prom features at the site, including Mr. Bernstein's own Prom Blog, FAQs and an archive featuring over 100 strips.

And, of course, a link to Mr. McGrupp's site.
Much thanks to Alex over at Prom on Mars for the shout-out. Best of luck this year.

Reader Mail

1. Re: Poker content

Modeski wrote:
Dear Modeski, Thank you for your suggestion, but I might add that the Tao of Pauly does contain 74% non-poker content, so feast on that. I get more complaints over Phish blogs than poker entries. And I have no intentions on blogging less about either subjects. Get used to it. See ya, McG

Can you...?

Can you do what I do?

Can you look out at a chaotic sea and smell the tranquility?

Can you jump from one worn roof top to cluttered roof top with the ease of a haunting arctic chill?

Can you orgasmically smell the tantalizing aroma of fresh baked bagels early in the morning after closing down the last slovenly bar on the block?

Can you dream original thoughts like fluffy clouds in heaven that looks like thick marshmallows or Billy Dee Williams?

Can you deflect the constant hordes of tongue numbing slings and avoid the orgy of jealousy ridden arrows, thrust upon the royal court from angry, hopeless pallid peasants who have not been properly intellectually fed in decades?

Can you look up at the 3am sky, rub your bloodshot vulnerable eyes and count the stars in the Southern sky?

Can you pick out three painful things that would make you cry on cue?

Can you see without your old glasses, when your fragile vision is skewed with them anyway?

Can you hear the distant rumble of the subways and the eye popping shrieks from well-lubed drag queens from the upper floor of your suburban home?

Can you feel the cocaine attack your languid bloodstream like a possessed vampire roaming the darkened streets for supine victims?

Can you regenerate your dormant taste buds and finally taste the fire in your cup when you wake up in the morning and cannot find your way out of your generic cell?

Can you foolishly slap down the nebbish welfare children that tug on your shirt sleeves demanding pennies and old pieces of bread to eat with their government cheese?

Can you forcibly vomit on the vain bodybuilder who poses into the reflection on the subway window?

Can you dance in between the snowflakes during a blizzard and give nicknames to each one as they melt on your fingers, your steaming body heat destroying nature's perfection in a supersecond?

Can you ride a horse like a cowboy and drink it's urine when you are out of water and have not had a drop in three and a half days?

Can you somberly lick the unhealed wounds on the soles of your feet and pick the vexatious splinters out of your toes with your teeth?

Can you wander the rancorous streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras and avoid fistfights with drunk tourists from Lagos?

Can you honestly look into my aloof eyes and drift off to an angelic sleep?

Can you do what I do?

Thursday, February 26, 2004

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

1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2. Up and Out by Ariella Papa
3. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
4. The Holy Bible
5. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Pieces of Pauly

This morning, my breakfast consisted of 2 waffles with Country Crock spread, a garlic bagel with extra butter, 2 glasses of lemonade and a slice of marble loaf poundcake. And lunch was a pastrami sandwich on a roll with lots of mustard and fries (with water to drink). For dinner, Briana bought me sushi! I ate a spicy tuna roll and four pieces of maguro a la carte, miso soup and green tea ice cream for dessert.
The Baby & Winky Movie: Excerpt #1

I have a new found respect for writers adapting previously published material. It's not as easy as one would think. The basic reason why books that are made into movies are almost always not as good as the original book is due to a few reasons:
1. Films tend to follow linear storytelling, and novels often do not.

2. Time constraints in film limits the adaptation, where by plots are often thinned down and lesser important aspects are always omitted.

3. The screenplay is one person's interpretation of the material. It's not always the same vision that you conjured up when reading.
My problem was simple... I used too many words in my novel and have several long passages that were difficult to translate onto the big screen. I had to employ Voice Overs (V.O.) in several scenes.

In the film Adaptation, the main character, writer Charlie Kaufman gets hired to adapt Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief. He complains to his agent in one scene, how he's having a hard time translating Orlean's work into screenplay format. He used the phrase, "sprawling New Yorker shit," in describing her writing style. I felt the same way. The only positive aspect of the difficult adapation of the Baby & Winky Novel was that I got to write the screenplay, so I am presenting my vision of how I think the story should be told on film.

OK, I am done with the second draft. Here's the original text from Sweet Nothing: The Baby and Winky Novel:
The lights were out and three other people sat on the floor. I glanced around Baby's smoky room. It was a mess. A huge tapestry covered up the front window and that made her room very dark except for the glimmer of light from a couple of small candles. Dirty clothes, empty beer and soda cans cluttered the floor space. There was a small couch off to the side with a few folding chairs. In the corner I saw an old Safeway shopping cart that apparently served as Baby's closet. It was filled with more clothes and personal items. She had a mattress sprawled out on the floor without any sheets and pillows. Several empty McDonald's bags and dozens of cigarette butts completed her undecorated room.

"Which one of you is Baby?" I asked as I looked at two young girls and two wasted guys.

"Are you a cop?" a skinny girl with pink dreadlocks slowly answered in a southern drawl.

"No. But I play one on TV."
And here's how it looks in the new screenplay, The Baby & Winky Movie:


The lights are out and three wasted teenagers sit on the floor. Baby's smoky room is a mess. A huge tapestry covers up the front window and makes her room very dark except for the glimmer of light from a couple of small candles. Dirty clothes, empty beer and soda cans clutter the floor space. There is a small couch off to the side with a few folding chairs. In the corner, an old Safeway shopping cart serves as Baby's closet. It is filled with more clothes and personal items. She has a mattress sprawled out on the floor without any sheets and pillows. Several empty McDonald's bags and dozens of cigarette butts complete her undecorated room. BABY, a skinny girl with pink dreadlocks and no shoes, sits in one of the corners.
Close the fucking door!

Which one of you is Baby?

Are you a cop? (She answers in a thick southern drawl.)

No. But I play one on TV.
That's it. Stay tuned for another excerpt next week.
News Roundup: Haiti, Howard Stern, and Rounders

Haiti is under seige from rebels. Shock Jock Stern got pulled from numerous radio stations owned by Clear Channel and the co-writer of the most famous poker film Rounders sounds off on the dark side of gambling and it's sudden popularity.

Fathers, Sons, and Gambling... The Big Gamble: Is It All in the Cards For My Son Too? is written by Brian Koppleman. Here's a bit:
Poker is the new Tribeca: prime media real estate. It is on TV at least three nights a week, and prominently featured in the slicks, where articles trumpeting the poker craze seem to be mandatory front-of-the-book content. (At this rate, Regis should be hosting his own poker show by year’s end.)

Here’s the problem: Sam knows that I co-wrote the film Rounders. It was partially based on my experiences playing poker in New York’s underground card clubs, and its growing popularity on video and DVD is often credited with starting the current poker craze. Mostly, I am proud of this. But …

Crisis: Haiti... Pressure Mounts for Aristide to Resign as rebels are turning the country upside down. Looks like the Americans are sitting this one out. Will France send troops? Here's a bit:
Pressure mounted Thursday for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign, with France blaming him for the chaos in Haiti and urging that he be replaced by a transitional government.

Pro-Aristide supporters manned flaming roadblocks throughout Port-au-Prince and braced for a rebel attack while motorists lined up for dwindling supplies of gasoline amid shuttered businesses and otherwise empty streets.

Foreigners fled the island nation amid isolated looting, and President Bush said the United States is encouraging the international community to provide a strong "security presence."

Howard Stern Banned... Clear Channel Suspends Stern's Radio Show... oh the horror, the horror. Publicity stunt or does Clear Channel suck? Here's a bit:
The nation's largest radio station chain took shock jock Howard Stern off the air in six markets, saying his sexually explicit show did not meet the company's newly revised programming standards. The move came on the eve of Thursday's congressional hearing on broadcast indecency. It was not immediately clear how long Stern would stay off the Clear Channel stations.

Stern's show has graphic references to sex and regularly includes strippers and pornographic movie stars as on-air guests. The show that prompted Clear Channel to act aired Tuesday and included a man discussing an alleged sexual encounter with hotel heiress Paris Hilton.

"I could blow my stack. I'm trying to be cryptic," (Stern) said. "To tell you the truth, I don't know what's going on. They are so afraid of me and what this show represents."

Thursday Poem: Holy Water

Swans swimming,
Junkie grinning,
and Julio's pimping
Down by the schoolyard.

He pushed his lackadaisical
Dime bags of Mexican brick,
His gut protruding underneath a
Tight t-shirt.

Little ball of flesh rolled up
Inside a velvet wrapped
Hat box, the stench of old
Mothballs made me cough.

A family of frogs were
Drowned upside down in
Holy Water, the cosmic glue
Threading and deceiving the Mother Hen.

A crowded table of soused and
Stoned newspaper writers
Spun murky tales about the
Hopeless futures of their multiple ex-wives.

Satan's nephew spotted
Snowflakes with odd names like
Alister and Owsley. as he yelled,
"Beware of the tainted Blotter."

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Quote of the Day
"The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself." - James Thurber
Pieces of Pauly

What did I eat in the last 25 hours?

On Tuesday night, I ate at the Manhattan Diner with Haley. I had a cheese burger deluxe (medium-well) with french fries drenched in mayonaise. I drank water but had a slice of cherry pie afterwards. My late night snack was a couple of mini Snckers bars and I ate some microwave popcorn during the movie we watched.

For breakfast on Wednesday, I ate a slice of marble loaf pound cake then played in a poker tournament on Party Poker. Lunch time? Salami and cheese sandwich on a potato roll with a lot of spicy deli mustard. I drank some lemonade. And for dinner... I ate cheese tortellini with spicy marinara sauce and garlic bread.
Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Nader's In, Bush Bans Gay Nuptials, Mean Gene Gets More Funds

What was bigger news? Bush wants an amendment to ban same-sex marriages or Ralph Nader deciding to run for President?

Signor Ferrai had some interesting things to say over at Rick's Cafe in a post called: Smacking of Hubris, Nader Decides to Run. The Dems are up in arms over Nader's decision. Check out Dear Mr. Nader a letter written by Jack Rabbit. And also read An Open Letter to Mr. Nader from The Nation.

On the Democratic front... John Kerry is seeking to consolidate the lead ahead of Super Tuesday (March 2). And John Edwards unveiled his plan to cut poverty in America.

In other news, Gene Bromberg (a.k.a. Mean Gene) recently won the first ever poker bloggers tournament. And out of a page of Richard Nixon's game plan, he's using his poker winnings to finance his run for the White House.

How do I feel about gay marriages? I'm all for them... not because I am a Gay Rights activist. I actually know very little to nothing about that situation and I will not pretend to stand up and say who is right and who is wrong when I honestly don't care. What I do get fired up about is the federal government making laws that limit's a person right to be in love with whoever they want to be (OK... there are valid reasons and laws why adults cannot marry children and why having sex with goats is bad) but in all honesty, what happens between two consenting adults is no one's business but their own. For some people, marriage is the ultimate fulfillment of one's love for another. And I'm not going to mess with that and neither should Mr. Bush. What concerns me is that this issue should not garner the media attention that it has been getting. I feel that education, terror prevention, and employment should be the three main issues come this November. And unfortunately, it looks like neither side is putting up solid fundamental principles on all three of my important issues which are essential for America to improve upon itself and become the strong nation that we once were. We're losing jobs, thousands of jobs overseas, and that is more of a concern for me than whether or not two guys or two girls want to get married. The fact that our schools are seriously underfunded, scares me. Europeans and Asians speak better English than the kids in our public schools. And I feel that only the Bush Junta will properly conduct a war on terror (although I'm not happy with the various Homeland Security snafus and fuckups, not to mention that Draconian Patriot Act) while the Dems would enact a more passive approach and honestly, the only way to reason with a fundamentalist... is to kill them before they kill you.

And how do I feel about Nader? Stay tuned and I will talking about his run in the upcoming weeks.

Next week: Super Tuesday updates.

Editor's Note: This post is labeled NPC... No Poker Content.

I'm listening to a Phish bootleg from Denver 11.17.97. The boys opened up with Tweezer that night and it was a smoking version. That was a rare night when Phish performed Tweezer and did not play Tweezer Reprise at some point later in the show. I know that The Joker loved that entire show. It's part of the Year of the Funk when Phish threw down some of their heaviest space-funk. Ah, I'dlove to go back into time and tour with Phish again in 1997 and 1998... just before the scene got too out of control and the boys got burnt out.

Anyway, the first five minutes it's all about Mike's bass. Seven minutes into Tweezer, they start smoking it up. At fifteen minutes in the jam, the groove takes off into some of that freaky-ass stop and start jamming while Trey hits homeruns with some heavy funk rifts. Man, I love writing when this show is on in the background.
Re: Heavy Poker Content to the Tao of Pauly

I am grateful to have loyal readers. Thanks for your support. But this site is not for them and it's definitely not for you. It's for me. Let's get this out in the open. If you don't like the content... tough shit. After all this site is called Tao of Pauly... not the Tao of You.

I have been getting suggestions (I am being loose with that word, Haley gripes about it all the time) about the heavy poker content on the Tao of Pauly. I started to think if what people were saying was true. So I did a little investigating.

I got one of my Tao of Poker interns to back track and crunch some numbers for me. In the 24 days in February, I had 131 entries and 31 blogs contained poker related content (I do not count Friday's Reader Mail as poker content). Do the math: 23.6% of my blogs, or roughly 1 in 4 discuss poker. I was surprised that the number was so high, but then again, I must say that more than 1/4 of my life this past month has been spent playing poker... so overall, I could be blogging more poker stuff, so quit yer bitchin!

Alas, poker has not taken over my life, but it's a sincere passion. I devoted a fair amount of time this year improving my game, in addition to trying to supplement my income by hitting the tables. Most bloggers bitch and moan about their jobs on their sites (actually everyone in life does that). Well, poker is sort of like a job for me. So when I have a bad day, I write about it. If I have a great night, I write about it.

Poker fever is sweeping the nation. I was playing before it was popular. Now everyone including their grandmother wants to learn how to play. I get asked all the time for advice and lessons from newbies.

Poker is a social activity. Most people talk about their weekend doings and goings. Well, I do that too. Sometimes part of my social activity is playing poker. So to me, a blog about my games is just an extension of my daily life. This site is called the TAO of Pauly. Tao (or DAO in Chinese texts) is translated as the Way. This site is the Way of Pauly... and alas, poker has crossed into my path this past year and will continue to be a serious aspect of my life. Get used to it.

I always write about my travel tales. And much like following Phish around the country, I found myself playing poker in different parts of America, whether it was the dog track in Hollywood with Jerry or at Foxwoods with Derek and Senor... or my upcoming trip to Vegas (or my many previous trips to vegas)... and I would share the interesting stories about such places. It would be irresponsible of me as a writer to omit the oddities of poker rooms and the characters I met along the way. To me those types of entries are more part of my life as a writer, than my life as a poker player. Some of my readers distinguish the two, I do not.

I despise people who complain about TV programming. If you don't like what you are watching, then change the channel fuckwad. The Tao of Pauly offers up 76.4% NON-poker content, so skip over the poker stuff, and read the rest. Most of you do that anyway. If you don't like what you read here, then visit my blog-zine Truckin' where you have hundreds of short stories to entertain you.

Of course, the day after Haley's poker game, she quickly asked if I was going to blog the night's events to both Taos. So in that instance, it was perfectly OK to have poker related content, as long as Haley was the centerpiece. (I'm sorry I had to use that as an example, but it fit perfectly!)

Anyway, this entry was not to attack my reader's opinions... rather to defend what I write about. This is my site. I can write whatever the fuck I want and will continue to do so. The best thing about not being a slave to the Man is that I don't have to edit my content for Big Brother's eyes. And I'm not a whore to the public... so I won't bow to public opinion.

I do blog serious and lengthy posts to the Tao of Poker. Most of the time I link up certain posts and give the readers here a chance to read more or skip over it. I never expected that the Tao of Poker would get fifty times more hits per day than the Tao of Pauly. It has gotten recognition from other poker sites. The Tao of Poker was named #3 on the Top 10 Poker Blogs list, in addition to being discussed in more than one article about poker. It's read on six continents and I cannot explain why my site is as popular or more so than the rest of the bunch. Well, obviously it's because of the author. I combined two of my passions into one site... writing + poker = Tao of Poker . I have been cross-marketing my sites. I post specific NON-poker posts to the Tao of Poker to promote my literary blog-zine and my life as a writer.

And I know that poker is gaining popularity everyday. Some folks might search for POKER in Google and come up with the Tao of Pauly due to the 23% poker content. I could not think of a better way to increase my readership.

Without poker, I never would have made some new friends. I never would have gotten job offers, found new writers for Truckin', and I definitely would not have been interviewed by the local press.

If I never moved the heavy poker content off the Tao of Pauly and onto a new site... Tao of Poker... then the Tao of Pauly would be my most popular site getting over 500 hits a week.

I think it's kinda selfish for people to say they want more or less of something from my DAILY PERSONAL JOURNAL. This site is not for the public, it's not for the people... it's for me to vent and to promote myself as a writer.

The first time I start to tweak the content for readers... is when I lose my integrity... and I lose all artistic freedom. This spat with my readers has very little to do with poker, and more to do with personal expression and the freedom to say what I want, when I want. If you are sick of poker, too bad. If you want something more to your liking, then start your own blog and you'll see how difficult it is to maintain a website for an extended period of time.

One final thought... I really could care less if you are not interested in poker. Guess what? I am. So you know what's coming the next few weeks... more poker content to the Tao of Pauly! Y'all never should have complained.
Party Poker Musings

I got to play with Jerry yesterday for a little over an hour. We were on the same table ($.50-$1)and he kicked ass. He won $35 plus in an hour playing the lowest limit! I won $20+ at the same table. It was good to us. When we moved tables, I got housed by some nimrod who called a pre-flop raise with 4-7 against my J-J! Oh well.

I played in two online tournaments this week. On Monday, I placed 210 out of 944. First place paid $911. My A-10 suited lost to A-A and I got knocked out. This morning, I was shortstacked with A-A and I went all-in. The chipleader had Q-Q and called me. I lost when he flopped a Queen and I came in 393rd place out of 971. That was the biggest tournament I played in to date. First place paid $1019 and the Top 100 places were paid prize money.

Schanzer and Singer downloaded Party Poker software in the past week. My vision of putting together a famous Phis weekly poker game is almost a reality. I'm getting Bob and Senor to get with the program so I can request a private table on Party Poker and I can have a weekly game with my old fraternity brothers, who are separated by distance and each live in different cities (Providence, NYC, Chicago, DC, Miami, & Atlanta). The wonders of the interent can bring us together once a week or twice a month, just like old times.

Wednesday Poem: Gumball

As a small child
I stood in front of those large
Gumball machines, shiny red in color,
Linked up with three others in
Two rows, where one or two
Sold candy and the rest
Tempted your change with
Prizes and plastic crap, but
Eight-year olds still
Salivated like geriatric degenerate
Gamblers slumped over a
Slot machine in Reno.

I rented Wonderland with Haley last night. I saw it in the theatres last year sometime and it's a crazy movie. Just how some folks like action movies, or some people love romantic comedies... well I'm a sucker for a good drug movie! Wonderland tells the story about the brutal Wonderland Murders in L.A. during the summer of 1981... involving a strung out John Holmes, the veteran porn legend, who some say played a vital role in the slayings. The films sorts through the facts and gives a slanted view of what went down. Haley grew up in the Hollywood Hills right around that time (She was 1 when the murders went down) and that area was always known as a seedy party section of L.A., where you could score anything from grass to mescaline and from coke to heroin. Lisa Kudrow's performance as the estranged wife of John Holmes was amazing. She really showed off her acting chops in this flick. Alas, there was very little sex (I was told this movie was like Boogie Nights) and much more drug use. There was so much cocaine floating around that it was ridiculous! I felt like I needed a couple of days of detox afterwards.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

New Feature: Comments!

I finally caved in to my reader's demands. In order to make my sites... Penguin friendly... I added a new Comments feature after each blog. The Poker Penguin had been urging me to get with the program and add comments. When I added the feature to the Tao of Poker yesterday, the Penguin commented:
"See - I am the voice of the people."
So now... I will give it a shot. Please do not abuse this new feature, or you will be banned from all TAO sites and I will add your name to Pauly's Shitlist.
Second Draft

I am currently working on the second draft of The Baby & Winky Movie. I will blog an excerpt and some more stuff on Thursday!
5 Songs I Want to Hear Phish Play in Las Vegas...

1. MoMA Dance
2. Sneaking Sally
3. Halley's Comet
4. My Friend, My Friend
5. Foam
Big Loser Last Night...

I just blogged a post to the Tao fo Poker about last night's home game at Ferrari's. I lost $150. Ouch. It was ugly. I lost nearly $200 in the last ninety minutes. I fucked up. Here's who played:
The Monday Night Poker line-up:

Seat 1: Swish (sports writer)
Seat 2: Coach (arrived late)
Seat 3: Rick
Seat 4: Ferrari
Seat 5: Matt (options trader)
Seat 6: Anthony (architect)
Seat 7: Joel
Seat 8: Pauly!
And here's an excerpt of my post:
I just got my nut flush. Swish bet and I raised. He re-raised! I could not believe it... there's not a better feeling in poker than when someone raises you when you have the nuts! We went back and forth a couple of times re-raising each other. That's when Swish said, "Look, we're going to be doing this all night. How many chips do you have left? Let's just end this now."
More Snow?

I woke up this moring to snow flurries!

Monday, February 23, 2004

First Draft Complete

I finished the first draft of The Baby and Winky Movie sometime Saturday night. The screenplay is 217 pages. It's a monster! The original manuscript, Sweet Nothing: The Baby and Winky Novel, was only 52,000 words and the screenplay is 3,000 words less... after I cutout several sections. The formatting makes the screenplay longer. I'm going to post more specifics later this week, in addition to a sample.
Grublog Poker Classic... Pauly Takes 23rd Place

It was not a pretty night... I played not-so-good and walked away with a 23rd place finish in the first inaugural World Blogger Poker Tour. At least I wasn't the first one knocked out. My Q-J suited was no match for K-7. Alas... I had a great time playing with my fellow poker bloggers!

There were 32 players (each forking over $20) for a prize pool of $640. First place took home $256! And the first six places paid out.

Who won? Mean Gene took home the first WBPT event! He edged out The Fat Guy who won a hand with four Kings! Wow... I was rooting for the Fat Guy!

Alas, if you don't know... Mean Gene is also running for President! He'll now have some more campaign funds! Congrats again to Mean Gene, the Fat Guy, all my fellow poker bloggers, and expeically to... Grubby, who hosted this event!

The Final Table:
1. Mean Gene
2. The Fat Guy
3. Anisotropy
4. Poker Code
5. Grubby
6. Poker Penguin
7. Felicia Lee
8. Love & Casino War
9. Life of Falco
10. The Cards Speak

The next event is: March10th!

HDouble had a mini-write-up on his site. Here's what he wrote about me:
Poor Pauly. I made a loose call with J2h in the big blinds, and flopped J2. Pauly called me to the river with his pocket 9s, and it didn't leave him much room to work with. Pocket 9s seemed to be the big loser this tourney...
Actually I think that I folded Q-Q to HDouble's J-2 two pair! It was not happy to do that, but HDouble had been bullying me all night!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Pauly's Week of Prep for the Grublog Classic

Editor's Note: The Grublog Poker Classic is tonight at 9pm!

Haley asked, "What the fuck is that under your pillow?"

I answered, "The Bible!"

I have been sleeping with Doyle Brunson's Super System under my pillow the last few nights. I hope the words from the Master himself will seep into my brain during my sleeping hours.

I have been running 10 miles each night and doing power yoga for no less than four hours a day. When I meditate, all I can envision are flops, flops, and more flops.

I have been taking notes from other bloggers... I decided to take the best of what I have read and apply it to my tourney prep. If I want to beat my fellow bloggers, I have to get inside their heads. Haley explained it to me... from an actor's standpoint... sort of like how method actors (such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro) prepare for a difficult role.

So in order to beat them in the first poker bloggers online tournament, then... I must become them!

For example, out a page of Iggy's daily diet, I am drinking Guinness like it's water. I have consumed enough Guinness in the last week that I could drown an entire tiny Japanese fishing village. I also ran up a huge tab at the Cedar Tavern so now I have to win the next two blogger tourneys if I want to pay off my bar bill by St. Patrick's Day. Oh, the Guinness... I have put on 10 pounds, the women that live in my apartment building seem a lot more attractive these days, but I feel more confident about going all-in with 10-9 off suit.

Right off of Grubby's site, I am following his diet. I am devouring Wendy's in a frenzied manner, much like Bill Clinton's weakness for donuts and interns. Frosty's taste awesome at 11am in the morning, especially when you dip your fries into them.

Like HDouble, I started memorizing EV charts and totally scrutinized all of my hand histories. Now I am dreaming about percentages. For example, during my last dream... I was on a beautiful sandy beach sipping a pina coloda with one of those pink umbrellas, when a leggy model walked up to me slightly dripping from a quick dip in the ocean. She is wearing one of those dental floss thin bikinis. Before I started talking to her, I realized, I had just a 4% chance of seeing her naked. So I folded!!

And yes, I took the Fat Guy's advice... "Get your war face on!" Alas, I have been watching continuous showings of Apocalypse Now and A Clockwork Orange... to pump me up for Sunday. I stole some of Haley's lipstick and marked my face with various streaks of L'Paige Chocolate and pink frosted... a cheap substitue for war paint... but I thought I looked fabulous! The boys from Queer Eye would have been impressed with blending of both shades.

Watch out. I'm pumped... drunk... and fired up for some poker!

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Last 5 Movies I Saw...

1. American Splendor
2. Bowling for Columbine
3. Lost in Translation
4. Horns and Halos
5. The Color of Money

Saturday Poem: Sugarcoated

A siren, a flash, then a
Rooftop loses it’s darkness
In a small glimmer of a somberness.
Different heights,
Majestic lights,
On a warm winter nights.

The early evening wind
Blows gently, unlike when
The brazen howl cuts my face
Like a dull razor.
The blood from my
Facial wounds burn like small fires,
But do not taste like the
Wounds from my soul,
Which make my eyes look mean
And I wonder if the heavens can contain
All of my immoral thoughts on long afternoons
When I am desperate,
And I dull my demons with a combination of
Ironic wit and
Sullen pints of cheap ale.

I glimpsed at the colorful stars,
As the ancient jets fly by,
And pollute the defenseless
Air with manufactured toxins
And rude passengers from Queens.

I wonder who really likes
The overrated photographer, and his
Overpriced images
Which look nice at first sight.
His art is nothing more than
Shallow objects of desire.
The realization arises that
Blind men in pajamas have better
Vision that most commercial artists these days.
Ask the out of work
Sugar factory workers.
They’ll tell you what’s up.

Friday, February 20, 2004

The Tao of Senor
"The world is a fucked up place!" - Senor
The Baby & Winky Movie Update

So far I am more than half way done with the adaptation. It's a real pain in the ass sometimes. Alas, I hope to have it done by Sunday afternoon.
Wicked Funny Link

Red Sox Nation Raises Terror Alert to Red is a hilarious read! Here's a bit:
Red Sox Nation raised their terror alert status on Sunday to red, citing recent activity by the dictator of the New York Yankees, largely considered the ‘Evil Empire’ of the modern world.

The Boston Red Sox created this color-coded terror alert warning system last year to help the organization and their fans measure the threat of the Yankees winning the next World Series. Any time the Yankees trade for, or sign a player, the terror alert status rises.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

"Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life." - Anais Nin
Tha Baby & Winky Movie

In a recent poll, I asked: What should I submit to Project Greenlight 3? Well, the results are in:
1. The Blind Kangaroo 32%
2. Write a new screenplay 24%
3. Jack Tripper Stole My Dog 20%
4. Baby & Winky 20%
5. Re-sumbit: Charlie's Goldfish 4%
Well, it looks like the readers picked The Blind Kangaroo... as the screenplay they want to see written. But too bad!! I decided to adapt Sweet Nothing (a.k.a. The Baby & Winky Novel) and sumbit the screenplay to PGL3. Updates to come.
Yesterday's Poker Update

I took a break after writing all night to play in a 10:30 am EST multi-table NL tournament ($5 + $1) on Party Poker on Wednesday morning. That would be my last time to play online before the Sunday blogger tourney. I came in 89th last week, and this week there were over 827 entrants. First 90 places pay in the money and I was determined to grind my way to a Top 50 finish.

Alas, I played super tight and my K-Q suited took down J-J. It was a scary flop: A-K-10... I went all on the river when a King fell to give me a set of Kings... then it go ugly. My Q-Q went up against an A-J suited AND pcoket aces... the A-A knocked us both out. I played only two hands in 90 minutes... and ended up 292nd.

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

1. Social Crimes by Jane Stanton Hitchcock
2. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson
3. Culture of Fear by Barry Glasner
4. Dying to Please by Linda Howard
5. Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Making the Deadline...

Senor graciously pushed back our trip to Foxwoods one week (From Feb. 24 to March 2)... in order for me to have an extra day to write for the Project Greenlight deadline of Feb. 28th. Derek will now also be able to go... since he had a business trip scheduled the week before.

Yes, I am sick and I am in the middle of writing a screenplay. Monday, I cranked out 50 pages. I am adapting one of my unpublished novels, and so far, I've gotten through 3 chapters. Adaptation is far more time consuming that actual writing. It's a lot less fun too.

Speaking of deadlines, Phish mail order lottery ends today at Noon. I got my plane tickets to Vegas... I got a hotel room for one week... I know what poker tournaments that I'll be playing in (and have a bankroll to fund the entry fees)... and all I need now is... Phish tickets!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

"Take what you can use and let the rest go by." - Ken Kesey
Poker Blogger World Tour (PBWT)

Well, the inaugural event on the Poker Blogger World Tour is this Sunday! Yes, I am a charter member of the PBWT. You can join... the only requirement is that you must run a poker blog/journal. So far there are two online poker tournaments scheduled in the upcoming weeks. And a third tourney is in the works by one of our British bloggers. There are currently 17 entries ($340 prize pool) and almost 30 are expected to play.

2004 Events
1. Grublog Poker Classic - Sunday, February 22 @ 9 PM EST (hosted by Grubby)
2. Poker Blogger World Tour II - Wednesday, March 10 @ 9 PM EST (hosted by Iggy)
3. British Classic - TBA (hosted by London Froggy)
4. The Pauly World Open - TBA (hosted by yours truly)

In addition to a percentage of the prize pool, here's what the first place winner of the Grublog Poker Classic gets:
1. a free entry into the next PBWPT (March 10). A $20+2 value.

2. a complete set of 650 poker chips from Old Vegas Chips. Start your own hold'em game with these casino-style, 11.5-gram clay chips, dealer and blind buttons, six racks, and two decks of cards -- all snugly fit in a handsome aluminum case. See a picture of it here. A $475 value.

3. the book POKER! (Las Vegas Style) by Bill "Bulldog" Sykes, from The Gambler's Book Shop. A $9.95 value.

4. a magazine subscription to your choice of Ski, PC Magazine, Gamepro, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Computer Gaming World, or Field and Stream. Up to a $64 value
Anyway, I'll be ready to play Sunbday night!! Grubby was bold enought to ask Ben Affleck to play. Here's what he wrote on his site:
Yo Ben Affleck! Stop hiding behind your publicist. What, are you scared to play against us bloggers? Why have you not responded to my emails? WE WILL NOT BE IGNORED. Who's with me? Where'd everyone go? Suffice to say, Mr. Affleck is #2 to reject The Grublog Poker Classic. That doesn't mean you have to! We have 12 so far. Don't forget to sign up! Feb. 22 is just around the corner.
Canada Condemns Conan

Skippy sent me this link: Canada Condemns 'Racist' Conan O'Brien TV Show... which is an interesting read. I caught that hilarious episode on a re-run (Comedy Central reruns Conan's show the day after). Here's a bit:
Canada's government on Friday condemned a show by U.S. late-night television host Conan O'Brien that insulted people in French-speaking Quebec and seemed to suggest everyone in the province was homosexual.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Last 5 Bootlegs I Listened To...

1. Phish 6.14.00 (Fukuoka, Japan)
2. Miles Davis 11.7.67 (Paris, France)
3. The Grateful Dead 12.30.77 (San Francisco, CA)
4. Galactic 10.19.99 (Asheville, NC)
5. John Coltrane 3.15.61 (New York, NY)
The Trade
"George Steinbrenner is the center of evil in the universe." - Ben Affleck

I'm sorry Ben. But let's talk about real evil. I sat through Bounce... twice.

OK, here's how I can explain this entire Red Sox-Yankees-A Rod mess to non-sports and non-baseball fans. Imagine if Britney Spears showed up at your front door... naked... and you told her to go home! That's how the Red Sox screwed up. The had a chance to tarde for A Rod and failed. The Yankees... they just happened to be sitting on their front steps, when a desperate, naked, Britney sauntered by.

I called up Senor at one point this weekend to hear his reactions to the now infamous trade. Here's the exact conversation that we had:
Pauly: Hey how about that trade, huh?

Senor: Look (in a serious tone)... I'm here watching the Costa Rica soccer game with my son. If you want to talk about soccer, that's fine. But that will be the only professional sport that we will be discussing.

Pauly: (a pause for several seconds) Well, that's cool. Put Jodd on the phone. I want to tell him that the Yankees just traded for A Rod!
Senor was joking of course. Jodd is super excited for the Yankees. It will be his first real season.

But perhaps this entire mess can be better understood by disecting the relationship of Ben and J. Lo, because just the like Red Sox, he had the best thing around fall into his lap... but didn't have the balls to close the deal. What were you thinking, man? Honestly, I dunno what makes me feel better... the Yankees getting the best player in baseball? Or the Red Sox not getting the best player in baseball! Either way, it was a sweet deal.
Haleywood Home Game

Haley invited some of her friends over for a night of poker. I should have realized it was going to be a different night when Haley passed a sushi menu around when her guests arrived. That was a first of many firsts over the night. I never ate sushi at a poker game before. The players varied from two beginners to two regular casinos players. And here's the line-up:

Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 2: Haley (our hostess)
Seat 3: Josh (Investment Banker, Jenna's brother)
Seat 4: Jenna (assistant editor)
Seat 5: Briana (the "Elevator Button" heiress)
Seat 6: Sandy (computer programmer by day, drag-queen by night)
Seat 7: Skye (actress/waitress)

My brother had to work, so I asked Josh to sit in. I wanted at least one other person who knows how to play to be there to help out the lesser-experienced players. Josh is a solid player and has played in Vegas and Reno before, but he's a definite calling station! Jenna is Haley's old roomie at Columbia. She's is a very quiet person in general and takes her time before she makes any decisions. Briana is a riot. Her grandfather started his own business when he was twenty years old. He started making buttons for elevators and after WWII, there was an 80% chance that any button you pressed in an elevator on the East Coast was made by his company. Briana is the heiress of said fortune. (Can you say dead money?) Sandy is a drag queen that Haley knows from her acting class. He looks like a young Sidney Poitier and was a good poker player. Skye is an chain-smoking actress from California. Enough said.

The first two hours were slow. Haley made Margaritas and everyone got sloshed very quickly. It was supposed to be a tutorial on poker, instead everyone was fooling around too much and joking around. I eventually settled everyone down and told the newbies what hands beats what. I made cheat sheets for everyone and dealt out play chips. We played dealer's choice. And five-card draw with multiple wild cards seemed to be the most popular game. They crew liked Baseball (3 & 9 wild, buy a card with a 4) and Follow the Queen. I got them to play rounds of Hold'em which they all picked up quickly. After the sushi came, it was time to play for real money.

Everyone bought in for $20 and we played twenty-five cent antes, with $1 max bet per round. Haley dealt first and she called Seven-card stud with threes wild. Of course she dealt herself two threes and took the first pot. Within the hour, Briana had to do a re-buy. She won a huge pot of Hold'em when she flopped two queens and an ace when she held A-Q. But it was all downhill from there.

By midnight, the tally looked like this:
Pauly +20
Josh +10
Haley +10
Sandy +10
Skye -5
Jenna -5
Briana -40
At one point, Briana asked, "So when the hell do I get to go all-in?"

I laughed. She had been watching too much Celebrity Poker Letdown. I told her that we're playing Limit poker. If she wanted to play No Limit, well that's a different story. I quickly convinced everyone to put up $20 for a mini No Limit tournament. Can you say quick cash? $140 winner takes all. Everyone agreed. Blinds were $1-$2 and would go up every twenty minutes.

Jenna was the first to get knocked out. I felt bad. I had K-J suited. She had A-3. I caught a flush on the flop. She quietly bowed out. When the blinds went up to $2-$4, Sandy made a pre-flop raise. Everyone called. I had 9-8 on the button. The flop: A-A-9. Haley folded. Josh went all-in. Briana called. So did Skye! Sandy called and I folded! Everyone turned over their cards. Sandy had 9-9! His fullhouse was leading. I was glad I folded. Josh and Skye both had aces with face card kickers. And Briana? She had the Hammer!! Beware of a Prada wearing, hammer wielding elevator button heiress! OK, so on the turn: 2 and on the river: 8. Sandy took down a huge pot and knocked out three people! He was the chip leader by a huge lead, with me and Haley left.

Haley's Big Bluff

I'm on the button, I got J-J. I was going to raise, but at the last moment, I decided to smooth call. Haley is the little blind and she raises! Sandy called and I had to make a decision. I carefully studied Haley. She was very quiet and avoiding eye contact. She played fairly tight all night. I had to presume she had a pocket pair, maybe Queens? I had to re-raise to find out. If she called, I had her. If she raised, I would be in trouble. I raised. Haley quickly re-raised! Sandy folded and I had to make a tough decision. I didn't have too many chips left, and neither did Haley. Maybe she was trying to steal the blinds? But would she know about that level of strategy involving short-handed play? She couldn't know. She must have a hand. Even if she didn't have a pair, a king or an ace would be death if one of them hit a flop. I just called. I had to see a flop.
D'oh! I made her for Queens. But what if she has an ace? As soon as I dealt the flop, I saw her eyes glance at her chips when the Ace fell. Haley goes all-in. She's got at least one ace, possibly pocket aces. I would be drawing dead. I peeked at my cards. I was about to fold when Briana yelled out, "She's obviously bluffing you!"

I stopped and looked at Haley again. Was she bluffing me? She's an actress after all. Could she pretending to be bluffing, and actually have a real hand, and wants me to call? I started thinking too much and over analyzed the situation. Haley's played Stella in A Street Car Named Desire. She's been Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet. She's got acting in her blood. She has to be bluffing. But then I recalled how she was really quiet when she first got her cards. I thought of the old adage... "if a fish acts weak, he's got a hand." I turned over my Jacks and pushed the pot towards Haley. Everyone was shocked. Even Haley.

"You have a saying, 'No free cards!' And you told me never to show my cards, but I'm dying to show you what I have," she said almost falling out of her chair.

At that point, I knew she didn't have pocket aces. Haley flipped over: 3-8 off suit. Ouch. That hurt. I was so embarrassed! Haley won't stop talking about it. Three long days later, she still won't shut up!

"I bluffed Mr. Tao of Poker!"

Two hands later, I knocked her out when I went all-in with J-10 suited and flopped a straight. I was heads-up with a drag queen! At some point I asked Sandy how he/she learned how to play poker. Sandy replied, "The Army!" I was shocked. Don't ask, don't tell, right?

I didn't have enough chips and lost when my Q-Q lost to a 6-7 suited when Sandy caught a flush on the river. Sandy walked away with $140 ($150 total). I broke even.
Haleywood Home Game Final Tally:
Sandy +150
Pauly 0
Josh -10
Haley -10
Skye -25
Jenna -25
Briana -60

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Thought of the Day

To improve my poker playing, I have been delving deep into Zen philosophy to hone my "in the moment" decision making. I have also been reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War to gain some better insight into ancient warfare and how I can apply that to my No Limit poker game. Here's a passage from Sun Tzu:
In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack - the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like moving in a circle - you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination?
Active Day in NYC Sports

My two favorite teams made big moves today. The NY Knicks just made five-man trade with the Bucks and Hawks. And of course, everyone is talking (or bitching about especially in Boston) the NY Yankees acquiring A Rod from the Texas Rangers. And the big loser in that deal was the Boston Red Sox (who failed to trade for A Rod last month) of course.

This deal is drawing comparisons to when the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. Larry Mahnken wrote on his blog Replacement Level Yankees:
84 years later, the Red Sox have once again lost out on an all-time great to the New York Yankees. No, the trade is not truly comparable to the Ruth sale, and the ramifications are nowhere near as great, but the Red Sox did pass on Rodriguez for the same reason they shipped out Ruth: it was a good business decision. The Yankees, on the other hand, saw the opportunity to get a player who could contribute things to the team that no other combination of players could do, and they appear to have taken it.
Oh well. This summer will be exciting for sure!
The Fat Guy Sounds Off on A-Rod!!

Yes, it's getting close to a reality. Here's another ESPN article: Rangers Get Flexibility with Sorriano.

And Texas' favorite poker blogger The Fat Guy is wicked pissed. He had a hilarious write-up on his blog: Basbeall's Version of Satan Wins Again. Here's a bit:
Man, I really and truly hate baseball now. I can live with Asshole-Rod going to the Red Sox, but not to the evil fucking Yankees. Not for a fucking second baseman. Not for fucking cash to be paid out TO TO TO TO Steinbrenner. NOT FOR NO MOTHERFUCKING PITCHING!!!!

FLEXI-FUCKING-BILITY!?!?!?! I can't put enough cusswords in here to describe how much I hate Tom Hicks and John Hart. I've done my absolute best to understand what they're up against with Dickhead Rodriguez and Satan's Agent Scott Boras, but this is sheer fucking lunacy. Sell the team, Tom. Fire John fucking Hart and sell the fucking team. Flexibility is for fucking small business -- not for fucking major league baseball teams. Baseball teams try to win. The only good thing about it is that there is no other place for that fucking Rodriguez to go. I hope and I will commence to pray that the Yankees suffer mightily for the rest of that jackass' career, and for time fucking immemorial. They will be unanswered. Damn, I just cannot FUCKING believe we can't get a fucking pitcher out of them. That pussy Soriano will fuck up somehow, and he'll be useless. He'll be Lee fucking Mazilli to the tenth fucking power, another Harold Moneybags Baines. God damn them all to hell. I'll clean this up tomorrow, or delete it, or something. Bastards. Fuckheads

Goddamn, I hate you motherfuckers who act like it's your god-given right to own the rights to every great ball player, and that the rest of the world doesn't have a fucking clue. Fuck it, and fuck you.
The Fat Guy rocks! He's one of the best bloggers out there... and I dug his Lee Mazilli and Harold Baines references!

Saturday, February 14, 2004

"What we do is never understood, but only praised and blamed." - Nietzsche
East Coast, Fuck You!

You gotta love Marty Beckerman! I was given his book the other day... and it kicks ass. Anyway, check out his latest article East Coast, Fuck You: A Generation's Last Beacon of Truth, Light and Beauty Strikes Back Against the New England Lit-Hipster Establishment. Marty sounds off on just about everything. Here's my favorite paragprah that sums up NYC perfectly:
As everyone who's anyone knows, books and albums are meant to be appreciated, not actually enjoyed. This is why Hipsters pay absolutely ridiculous rents to live in New York City—so they can bitch about all the writers/musicians who actually make enough money to buy their own food.

This is because all Hipsters want to be writers/musicians, but—thanks to East Coast Mediocrity—are unable to create anything with Heart, Soul or Passion. Thus, America is plagued with this eternally jealous, quasi-artistic subculture of snooty, ambitious (yet soul-dead) intellectual drones who dictate that "literature" can only be cynical, worthless bullshit reaffirming their lifelong belief that life isn't worth living.

You know these people—they wear horn-rimmed glasses, listen to bad garage/grunge bands (sloppy female singers encouraged), avoid bathing and talk shit about anyone talented enough to be successful as an artist. Granted, most of the successful writers/musicians in America are untalented scum, but that's only because the good writers/musicians are scared of losing their Hipster Credibility by actually marketing themselves to the Mainstream.

In effect, these Nazis keep pop-culture from being worthwhile ("If you go on MTV, you're a sellout," "If you pitch a manuscript to Random House, you're a sellout," "If you don't need your mommy to pay your rent anymore, you're a sellout"), then they have the audacity to complain about the fact that pop-culture sucks.

Again, New Englanders love nothing more than Mediocrity, and eventually these Snooty Hipster Fucks become the literature professors and music critics who declare that you're "uncultured" because you think Virginia Woolf was a pretentious cunt and the Velvet Underground only had five good songs. Remember: Art only matters when it doesn't matter to anyone.
But there's more. Marty talks about the differences between East Coast and West Coast drug usage...
It's an overgeneralization that soft drugs like marijuana and psilocybin-enriched mushrooms are more prevalent on the West Coast, while cocaine, pills, methadone and speed are easier to procure on the East Coast. In actuality, L.A. is full of cokeheads/pill-poppers and NYC is full of stoners. However, the reasons for taking drugs seem to be different on each side of the continent.

On the West Coast, smoking weed is a joyous, merry activity done for giggles and making the food at Taco Bell taste better. Sure, a lot of people take it too far and eventually refuse to do anything without getting stoned first, but the point is they're still having fun.

On the East Coast, however, kids take drugs because they need drugs to get through life.

A-Rod to Yanks?

Oh my goodness! A-Rod Willing to Play 3B is one of the lead stories on ESPN. Here's a bit:
Now it's the New York Yankees who are trying to trade for Alex Rodriguez. The American League champions and the Texas Rangers were closing in Saturday on a deal that would bring A-Rod to the Bronx for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named... Newsday reported on its Web site Saturday afternoon that A-Rod is so desperate to get out of Texas that he'd be willing to switch positions to play at third base, allowing Yankees captain Derek Jeter to stay at shortstop.

Rodriguez hit .298 last season with 47 homers, 118 RBIs and 17 stolen bases, and Soriano batted .290 with 38 homers, 91 RBIs and 35 steals.
Happy Birthday, Haley!!

Yes, today is the Tao of Pauly's second favorite actress's birthday! Haley turns 24 today!
Happy Birthday Bob!

Chicago Bob is celebrating his birthday... have a great day!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Quote of the Day
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius
Kicking Ass on Party Poker!!

I just requested that Party Poker send me a check... for this week's winnings!! It's my first cashout since I opened up my account. I won $96 this morning play No Limit ring games in just about three hours of play. For the week, I am up almost $150... not including Monday night's game... but overall, I ended up with my most successful week of the year playing cards. Beats working for a living right? My win hourly win rate for the week is: $32 per hour. Sweet. .. Let's hope I can keep this run up.

Haley's Home Game...

I don't have the time to blog all the details of Haley's poker game last night! It was a crazy event, and I got very drunk, something I never do when I play cards. Most of the details are cloudy at best. I broke even and did not lose any money. The highlights included Haley's bluff of the century, after she put a wicked move on me and bluffed at a huge pot when we were playing a mini No Limit tournament... alas, I finished in 2nd out of seven players... and lost all my chips to a Drag Queen!! Yeah, he/she was a friend from Haley's acting class... and he/she walked away with $140 in prize money!! If I didn't fall for Haley's bluff, I might have had more chips and I never would have let the Queen of Chelsea take me down!! More details to come... stay tuned.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

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

1. When Your Lover Is a Liar by Susan Forward
2. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
4. Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver W. Sacks
Poker 101: Haley's Home Game

Tonight, I am teaching Haley and her friends how to play poker. It's a rare Thursday night off for Haley... and she took the opportunity to have a home game, comprised of some friends from college and from her acting class. I'm not expecting to play a lot, rather tonight is more of an introduction to poker rules and basic strategy. I am anticipating a lot of games with "wild cards"... but I will teach everyone how to play Texas Hold'em. Haley's been practicing hold'em on a video game that I suggested she try out. More to come for sure.

Ugarte's Poker Grovel #10...

Ugarte, despite being absent from Monday's night game (due to a laundry incident), updated his site and posted an excellent write-up on the game... which included the 5 card Stud "Replace" game that Rick ran into trouble with. But here's my favorite part:
In giving me an abbreviated game report (Coach) gave an unsolicited shout-out to fellow blogger Pauly, calling him "deceptively good."
I dig the adjective from Coach!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

"I don't want to advocate the use of drugs, violence, or insanity, but in my case it certainly has worked." - Hunter S. Thompson
Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Kerry's a Hoot in the South

Another week of campaigning, and another candidate bites the dust! Wesley Clark ducked out of the race last night after he came in third in both Virginia and Tennessee. Well, John Kerry claimed a decisive win and proved that he can go into a Southern state and appeal to young moderates and take away vote from Edwards. He was the big loser this week. Perhaps Clark took away several of his votes, but he failed to make any headway against Kerry. His days are numbered.

Howard Dean was virtually absent in the South and instead concentrated on the Midwest, specifically Wisconsin... a state which he said that if he didn't win, he would quit the race, but then backed off. Dean got good news when local labor unions in Wisconsin threw their support behind him. He's all pissed off that one of Kerry's supporters had been financing anti-Dean ads.

So as Kerry leaps in front of the pack looking ahead to a two man race. The Democrats have been attacking Bush, specifically his military service record during Vietnam, which is ridiculous that they are focusing on a topic that no one really cares about. In spite, the White House released Bush's dental records from 1973!

Will Dean pick up some ground and make a run? 70% of the delegates are elected after March 2... so if he can win Wisconsin, he'll stick it out. Kerry has not been raked over the coals like Dean and Bush (back in 2000), so he really hasn't been heavily scrutinized. But it appears that his support is less for him and more a vote against Bush.

Related links:

1. Old Harvard Crimson Interview Reveals A More Radical John Kerry... where the Crimson reported Kerry called for U.N. control of troops in 1970. Here's a bit:
“I’m an internationalist,” Kerry told The Crimson. “I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.” Kerry said he wanted “to almost eliminate CIA activity. The CIA is fighting its own war in Laos and nobody seems to care.”

2. Delegates Scorecard

Whew... What an Hour!

I took up HDouble's advice and played a No Limit $25 Ring game on Party Poker, where you buy-in for $25. And that was the best choice I made all day! Within one hour... I walked away up $57!! That's a nice hourly win rate... and logged out up $40 for the day! I got some ridiculous hands... which I'll blog the details later as well. One table was shorthanded... like 5 of us for a good fifteen minutes, so I left that table and joined one with 8 players... and that's when I caught a nice run of cards! I got A-A twice and K-K once...all inside a five minute span!!

Anyway, thanks again to HDouble for suggesting those soft games! Here's what he wrote last week on his site:
1. NL $50/$25 Ring: The true grinder's game, the lower limit ring games on Party are full of passive pre-flop players, who are happy to go in with top pair. In many games, you will find 7 or 8 people limping in for the minimum bet. In a no-limit game, this is the grinder's dream. Just sit and wait for the nuts or near nuts, push all your chips in, and double up when one or more players calls. The implied odds of multiway pots are through the roof if you can be pretty sure that you can get one caller to the showdown. Just think, you can play 25 hands for $1, and only have to flop a big hand (and get at least 1 caller) once to double up. Not a bad hourly rate. The downside is that this style of play is barely poker-- almost no strategy, and very little risk, but it will get you the money in the long run.
For the week, I'm up $100 or so... and I'm fixing to play more cards with Haley's friends tomorrow night... teaching some of her friends from her acting class how to play poker. Can you say, "Fresh fish?"
Bounced! 89th Place...

I came in 89th place today in a No Limit poker tournament on Party Poker. There were 786 entrants and I played for 2.5 hours before I got bounced! Entry fee was $6. Total prize pool was almost $4000... with $900 going to first place, $550 to second, and $275 to third. The tourney paid prize money to the Top 60 finishers (51st thru 60th got $15 each). And I was pretty close to making it... I grinded my way to the Top 90 and went on tilt and got knocked out after a horrible bad beat when my A-K lost to an A-3 suited when the fucker caught a flush on the river. I was playing very well, made some bold moves and semi-bluffs and was easily in the Top 40 money wise before I got knocked out. I'll blog more details to the Tao of Poker later... I'm too irked to talk about this insanity some more.

OK, OK... so 89th out of 786 is not too bad for my first multi-table tournament. I made it to the Top 10%... but I got so close I felt I had a chance to win it all... and that's why that bad beat hurt. Man, I was playing some of the best poker I played in a long time... OK, I'll really stop now.

Just in case you were wondering... SNGs (Sit and gos) are single table or ten person tournaments (each Texas hold'em table seats 10 players). So when I won my first SNG, I placed first out of 10. Yesterday I came in 5/10 and 6/10 in the 2 SNGs that I bought into. I've played in 8 or 9 SNGs since last Tuesday, with a first place and a third place finish.

Today, I played in a multi-table tournament with 786 players. I think for $6, I'll play in at leats one or two of those a week. It's a great way to hone my No Limit skills. And plus, it's great practice for the upcoming poker blogger tournament called Grublog Poker Classic... held online on Feb. 22nd! I'm pumped and I'm ready to play against my fellow poker bloggers.
Schanzer Talks About His Trip to Iraq on Fox News... and Played Poker in Tahoe!!

I watched Jon Schanzer get interviewed on FOX News this morning. It was slightly more than four minutes and the Tao of Pauly's favorite terrorism expert wore a snazzy gray tie! He talked about his recent trip to Iraq where he interviewed several prisoners. During his TV appearance, he briefly chatted about his interviews with Al Qaeda members and one special interview with a high ranking Iraqi intelligence officer.

Schanzer pointed out that according to the intelligence officer he spoke with, Saddam and Al Qadea had been forming an alliance as far back as 1996. He also suggested that stopping suicide bombers in Iraq will be extremely difficult situation to deal with in the upcoming months. Too bad they didn't give him more time! Good job, Rib!

Schanzer also sent me this article: Al Qaeda Memo Shows Frustration. Here's a bit:
Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq are failing to entice Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims into a bloody civil war and are discouraged by America's resolve to stick it out in Baghdad... reported on a memo seized in a coalition raid and believed to have been written by Abu Musab Zarqawi. A Palestinian traveling on a Jordanian passport, Zarqawi is described as al Qaeda's top man in Iraq, directing attacks on Americans and Iraqis.

But that's not all... Schanzer is not just a terrorism expert! He's also a poker player! He recently took a trip Tahoe and here's what he wrote me:
"I played about 1.5 hours worth of Hold 'em at Harvey's Casino in Lake Tahoe over the weekend (I think it was on the California side of the street). It's a small room with about 10 tables. You either play $3-6 or $4-8. Lot of guys coming off the slopes for some free drinks and a chance for $$$. At my table, we played with a guy who had come in 2nd place in a tournament the week before. He wasn't all that. I reraised him a few times with a mediocre two-pair hand, prompting him to fold. (Yes, I felt like a tough guy). Anyway, the action was good, environment ok, and coffee terrible. I didn't play long, because I was with my pops - and when we're in a casino together, it's all dice, all the time. Still, another good poker venue to know about, if you're ever skiing in Tahoe."

Nice write-up! See you in Atlantic City next month?!?!?

I got my ass handed to me on the tables yesterday. I came in 5th and 6th places yesterday in SNGs on Party Poker. Ugly day for sure! I hope that today, I get better cards.
Archie's Penis

I'm Certain That Archie Had a Huge Cock is a hilarious read!! Here's a bit:
As I sifted through digest after double digest of archived Archie comics, wondering why women were attracted to this homely, teenage underdog, I suddenly realized: Archie must have a huge cock. There's no other explanation.

As you can see, Archie is quite proud of his package.

While Archie was as poor as a pauper, and could barely scrape up enough cash for a hamburger and a malt, he probably had enough meat in his pants to satisfy both the rich bitch and the good girl. And the reason he drove that jalopy is probably because it had enough bounce in the back seat to drive the girls wild.
The Bohemians Are Coming!!
Bohemian: a person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior...
The Bohemian Index is a funny and entertaining read. Here's the tagline:
Not in ‘number of illegal clubs’ or art-supply stores, that’s for sure: So how, really, do you measure ‘bohemian-ness’ in New York City? Dorothy Gambrell developed a method of calculation, and has maps to illustrate her findings.
You can click on the maps to see if you live in a Bohemian part of NYC.
Arch Enemy: Super Size Me!!

Arch Enemy is an interesting read. They talk about one of the films making waves at Sundance this year called: Super Size Me! Here's a bit:
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's new documentary, "Super Size Me," details his 30-day McDonald's diet and subsequent health woes... Spurlock decided to become a gastronomical guinea pig.

His mission: To eat three meals a day for 30 days at McDonald's and document the impact on his health.

Scores of cheeseburgers, hundreds of fries and dozens of chocolate shakes later, the formerly strapping 6-foot-2 New Yorker - who started out at a healthy 185 pounds - had packed on 25 pounds.

But his supersized shape was the least of his problems. Within a few days of beginning his drive-through diet, Spurlock, 33, was vomiting out the window of his car, and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Spurlock's entire body deteriorated. His liver became toxic, his cholesterol shot up from a low 165 to 230, his libido flagged and he suffered headaches and depression.
This is the film that McDonald's does not want you to see!
Laws of Newton

Check out this great read... an interview between photographer Helmut Newton and the LA Weekly.
Janet's Boob Shot Staged: Interesting Pic!

A Philly radio station has been bragging about this photo: Justin with Snaps!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

"Not our location is important, but the direction in which we move." - Tolstoy
Hilarious Concert Reviews

The Joker over at Bathtub Gin recently posted this link to: hilarious show reviews. Here's a sample:
"When I finally talked to said dude he said he ended up completely naked running down the side of the highway before he got picked up by the cops and taken to the hospital where he spent 5 days in a psyche-ward."
Schanzer on TV

Schanzer will be making an appearance on Fox News on Wednsday around 9:20 am. Check him out!
Royal Flush Nails!

Check out: NYC Poker Babe's Nails!
NYC Home Game Week 2: Hammer Time!

For a complete detailed write-up, visit the Tao of Poker. Here's a bit:
The crew consisted of a few lawyers and the other half were professionals of some sort. I was the sole bohemian. The only lowlight was that Ugarte was unable to play! But Rick was there and he brought his younger brother. The line-up...

Seat 1: Sugata
Seat 2: Rick
Seat 3: Om
Seat 4: Ferrari
Seat 5: Joel the banker
Seat 6: "Coach"
Seat 7: Lil Smith (Rick's brother)
Seat 8: Pauly!

Well, the game started out with six people and a $100 buy-in. I told myself two things:

1. I would play tighter in the first few hours.
2. Improve my Omaha game by playing less starting hands.
The Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Down in the Zero by Andrew Vachss
2. The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis
3. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
4. Music of Chance by Paul Auster
5. The Holy Bible
The Paulys....

Wow! After just 24 hours of voting... I've gotten some impressive stats! 36 of you voted for Film of the Year... and almost 30 of you voted for Worst Movie of 2003.

So far: Lost In Translation and Return of the King are currently tied for tops!! With Old School right behind. And it's coming down to Gigli and Kangaroo Jack for the worst flick! Keep on voting... polls will be open the rest of the month!
William Hung

Yes, my brother sent me this link: He's the hilarious guy from American Idol. Check out the Ricky Martin & Bill Hung tribute video that some frat boys made!
Monday Poker Game

Just got back from a night of poker hosted by Ferrari with eight players. It was a great night for Pauly... I won $81! I was up $101... but suggested a "winner take all" No Limit mini-tournament of Texas Hold'em. There were four of us left at that point... $20 each... for a total of $80 to the winner. Alas, I lost and came in 3rd and Ferrari won it all! Overall, it was my second stint at the home game... andI played much better. I will blog the deatils later! Alas, Ugarte was a no-show! He had to work, but Rick was there with his younger brother. Coach was the big winner with almost $200, followed by Ferrari at $140 and yours truly at $81.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Thought of the Day
"Knowing others is wisdom... knowing yourself is Enlightenment." - Lao Tzu
3rd Place in a NL SNG!

I just finished in 3rd place (the top three places gets paid) in an online poker tournament on I had a chance to win it all, but blew the chip lead. Visit the Tao of Poker for a detailed write-up. In my last three No Limit Sit and Go (NL SNG) tournaments... I placed 3rd, 6th, and 1st!