Friday, April 30, 2004

Kentucky Derby

Saturday is the Kentucky Derby! This year I am outsourcing my Kentucky Derb stuff... to Boy Genius. After all his blog's tagline reads: random thoughts and thoroughbred selections. And that's his poker blog too!

My Picks for Saturday is a great start. BG also give us tips on "what to do with $50"... here's a bit:
Two Trifecta Wheels:

8 (Master David), 11 (The Cliff's Edge), 12 (Borrego), 18 (Tapit) WITH 8/11/12/18 WITH 3 (Lionheart) = $12

Repeat, with Lionheart keyed into Place, with 8/11/12/18 surrounding = $12

With the $26 remaining, take $5 to Win fliers on the following horses: Pollard's Vision, Friends Lake, Borrego, Read The Footnotes, Birdstone

Prices should be pretty healthy on these five, returning $60-$150 if they win.
Thanks BG! Also you should read his other entries on the Kentucky Derby.

Pauly's Picks:
1. Tapit
2. The Cliff's Edge
3. Read the Footnotes

Thursday, April 29, 2004

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

1. The Holy Bible
2. Charm School by Nelson Demille
3. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
4. The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
5. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
Poker on The OC

Wow. It was so cool to see poker collide with pop culture, during a scene on the new hot show The OC, in an episode where the guys went to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Ryan was playing Texas Hold'em with a truck driver and he won a huge pot with pocket Aces. I think he had a fullboat Aces over Kings. OK, what did you expect for network TV? And yeah, what's Vegas without a hooker scene?

Editor's Note: OK... I posted the above entry to the Tao of Poker and it stirred some debate among poker bloggers. They just don't chat about poker. Check out the full comments if you like. Here's the highlights:
Bot Genius wrote: "That hooker was my type of girl. Deliciously thick. Yum. And I have a hard time deciding if Aunt Haley is hot or not. Shes got a weird hairline, and semi-mongoloidal features. But somehow, she makes it work..."
OK, of course I had to respond... and here's what I wrote:
Haley's hot for sure... she needs a new hair style, but I think they gave her the bangs to cove rup her HUGE forehead. I have a weakness for cokehead strippers like Homer Simpson has for Duff and jelly donuts. However, I don't think she's as hot as the other chicks.

1. Summer
2. Theresea
3. Marissa
4. Haley
5. Anna
6. Seth's Mom

Ah, Summer... I saw her on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. Wow.
And yes... more debate on the hotness of the chicks on The OC. I got a quick answer from Boy Genius. He responded:
Just on my tastes alone:

1. Anna
2. Summer (gets knocked down a point because my cousin is her doppelganger)
3. Teresa
4. Seth's mom
5. Marissa
6. Julie Cooper
7. Haley

I'd have to wedge Bonnie Somerville (the blonde lawyer hitting on Sandy at the new firm) in there at about #3, right above Teresa. And the hooker from last night, because of the bad hair, would be right about #4 behind Teresa.
Amen, brother. I decided to change my original list and move Anna past Haley. Coked up stripper or not... Anna's a spicy banana!

By the way, BG will you introduce me to your cousin (aka Summer lookalike) if I promise you 5% of my future WPT earnings?
Gone to Pot: I Wanna Party with This Girl...

NYU Pot Princess Perky After Bust... as a 18 year old student was busted for dealing out of her dorm room. She even ripped off the undercover cops she was selling to. Now that's fuckin' funny. Here's a bit:
She repeatedly sold marijuana, cocaine, acid and hallucinogenic mushrooms to undercover cops, even after being busted for pot possession in New Jersey, prosecutors said.

The budding pusher was so bold, she routinely shorted the narcs — once giving a cop an eighth of an ounce of marijuana and charging him for half an ounce...
And the last line made me chuckle:
Diaco's arrest was the talk of NYU, where students said it was obvious something fishy had been going on in her dorm room. "I was kind of surprised it took until the end of April," said one freshman who lives on her floor. "Today might be the first day in a few months that the entire floor won't smell like pot."
Schanzer Bumped by White House Press Conference

Just chatted with Schanzer and he apologized for not being on Fox New this afternoon.... with a White House press conference and breaking news in the Jayson Williams murder trial... his segment was kicked to the curb. At least he wasn't bumped by Slappy the Wonder Midget. That would have been insulting. Next time! I'll be watching...
Schanzer on TV: Fox News Channel at 2:30 pm EST

Jon Schanzer just sent me this email:
I'll be going on Fox today at 2:30pm to talk about al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and U.S. efforts to snag him after a string of terror attacks in Iraq and elsewhere.
Check him out if you can. A red tie today? I think the odds are 3-1 for red. 5-1 for yellow and 7-1 for blue.
Pics of Ryongchon Blast

Train-wreck and Explosion is an interesting series of satellite photos... before and after the explosion in North Korea.
Turn Off Your TV!

Turn Off the TV is a story written by Kristal Brent Zook. Here's a bit:
Most were shocked to learn that, by age 65, the average American will have watched nine years of television. Looking back on our lives from the rocking chair, do you suppose we'll wonder what grand dreams we might have chased with those hours instead?
My Favorite Kangaroo

Kangaroo wins award for saving farmer is a hilarious read. Here's a bit:
A kangaroo named Lulu is to receive a national bravery award after raising the alarm to save an Australian farmer knocked unconscious by a fallen tree branch.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Otis, My Man!

I love getting blogged. Otis posted a random mentioning onto Up for Poker... What Would Pauly Do? Here's a bit:
I'm not a tourney report writer. Grubby is good at that. So is Pauly. Me, I'm a trip report writer, which sucks when I've just taken second place in a True Poker multi-table tournament. I didn't take a trip. I sat here for hours while my back turned into a giant monkey fist and I let some chump (actually, he was a helluva player) take first place. Now I'm all jacked up on adrenaline and testosterone. It's almost 2am. I have to get up in five hours for a very important court hearing. And I can't move from this chair.

It's at this point that I quite seriously asked myself, "What would Pauly do?"

Unfortunately, I have no frame of reference. I'm southern (by marriage anyway), he's city. He just went to Vegas, I haven't been in seven months. He would have something interesting to say here. Damn it.
Ad Free Tao of Pauly

Check out this link: Tao of Pauly (Ad Free) designed by Sigge. Thanks buddy, you rock. Make sure you visit his latest project: The Pamphlet of the Permanent Penguin Removal. It's quite the funny read!
Pimping Wise

He's not just a poker player, he's also a kick ass sports writer! Check out A III-Point Attempt for the Hoyas, an article written by poker buddy Mike Wise, columnist for The Washington Post. Here's a bit:
Papa bear was on hand, giving his progeny his blessing. Big John shook hands with the university suits who remembered what a grand time they had in the 1980s, when the Hoyas and their coach were king and pity the visiting sophomore who came into the paint with a meek layup.

But after the sap had dried and the nostalgia had played out, was it awful to inquire: Why this blast from the past?

Really, of all the important college jobs John Thompson, Hall of Famer, could have helped procure for his son, John III, who gave up a very good gig at Princeton, why rebuilding Georgetown?
The Fat Guy, Film Critic

Just laughed pretty hard at the Fat Guy's review of Kill Bill, Vol. I. Here's a bit:
Pretty damn good movie, even with all the krazy Monty Python pressure-sprayer spurting blood. Tarantino is obviously certifiable, and might possibly have a few issues he's working out on screen. Uma's hotter than a $2 pistol. Daryl Hannah gives me the creeps with that Red Cross eye-patch.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Make Peace with Pot

An interesting article appeared in the NY Times yesterday. Make Peace with Pot is written by Eric Schlosser where he sounds off on the failing War on Pot. He's also the author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. Here's a bit:
About 700,000 people were arrested in the United States for violating marijuana laws in 2002 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) — more than were arrested for heroin or cocaine. Almost 90 percent of these marijuana arrests were for simple possession, a crime that in most cases is a misdemeanor. But even a misdemeanor conviction can easily lead to time in jail, the suspension of a driver's license, the loss of a job. And in many states possession of an ounce is a felony. Those convicted of a marijuana felony, even if they are disabled, can be prohibited from receiving federal welfare payments or food stamps. Convicted murderers and rapists, however, are still eligible for those benefits.
And this paragraph sums up exactly how I feel on the shadyness factor of the anti-pot movement in DC:
This year the White House's national antidrug media campaign will spend $170 million, working closely with the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The idea of a "drug-free America" may seem appealing. But it's hard to believe that anyone seriously hopes to achieve that goal in a nation where millions of children are routinely given Ritalin, antidepressants are prescribed to cure shyness, and the pharmaceutical industry aggressively promotes pills to help middle-aged men have sex. Clearly, some recreational drugs are thought to be O.K. Thus it isn't surprising that the Partnership for a Drug-Free America originally received much of its financing from cigarette, alcohol and pharmaceutical companies like Hoffmann-La Roche, Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds and Anheuser-Busch.
And some final points:
Here's an idea: people who smoke too much marijuana should be treated the same way as people who drink too much alcohol. They need help, not the threat of arrest, imprisonment and unemployment.

More important, denying a relatively safe, potentially useful medicine to patients is irrational and cruel. In 1972 a commission appointed by President Richard Nixon concluded that marijuana should be decriminalized in the United States. The commission's aim was not to encourage the use of marijuana, but to "demythologize it." Although Nixon rejected the commission's findings, they remain no less valid today: "For the vast majority of recreational users," the 2002 Canadian Senate committee found, "cannabis use presents no harmful consequences for physical, psychological or social well-being in either the short or long term."

The current war on marijuana is a monumental waste of money and a source of pointless misery. America's drug warriors, much like its marijuana smokers, seem under the spell of a powerful intoxicant. They are not thinking clearly.

Ferrari's No Limit Tourney #1
"Eighty percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen
I played in a tournament last night at Signor Ferrari's. Here's some of the highlights from my write-up that I posted to the Tao of Poker:
If only it were that easy. I had a bad feeling about the tournament. Why? Because I was in the middle of a horrible nightmare. What's worse? Getting no cards and losing or getting good cards and losing? OK. We're on the same friggin' page here. Let's continue. Ever since I arrived in Vegas, I have never seen so many pairs. Pocket pairs. High ones. The Jerkoffs. The Hiltons. The Dudes. (My nicknames for pocket J-Q-K). And this ain't online poker I'm moaning about (I'm convinced the sites are programmed to give out a higher percentage of better hands than in "real life") and I'm talking about Las Fuckin' Vegas. I was playing live games daily and saw a ridiculous amount of top tier playing hands... so much that I've been able to play much tighter and muck those marginal hands which got me in a slew of trouble. It's easy to fold an A-small when you know a pocket pair is coming soon. I eagerly kissed the illustrious K-Jo good bye especially when I knew the Hilton Sisters are right around the corner. I haven't played KJo in weeks. And that Varkoyni hand... Q-10? See ya! Have fun in Brooklyn with all the other babushkas.

So in Vegas I got hot cards. Sizzling. I had burn marks on my fingers from all the hot cards I got, just like a crackhead developed after firing up too many late afternoon hits off the crackpipe. Ensuing, was a desperate series of beat downs.... like when those baton swinging, water spraying, juiced-up Chicago cops beat up all those hippies en masse at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It was bloody chaos. Outdrawn. Badbeated. River'd. Smacked down like a redheaded child at a family picnic. Monsters losing to field mice. You get the gist.

And this past weekend on the tables at Party Poker were no better. Al Can't Hang witnessed the carnage, as did many of you.
Exhibit 1a: Sun, 11:17am EST... 4-4 losing to 3-4o. Party Fish called my preflop raise in LP and my reraised me on the flop 2-4-7 after I made my set. When he caught the straight on the river, he wrote in the chat. "Sorry, I thought you were bluffing?"
With a distasteful shake of my head, I kept plodding though the online waters and saw great hand after hand being taken down. It spooked me for sure, and was part of the reason I walked into Ferrari's not feeling so good about my game. But like Woody Allen said...
The NL Tournament Players
Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 2: Austin aka College Boy
Seat 3: Coach
Seat 4: Ugarte
Seat 5: Rick Blaine
Seat 6: Mike 1.0
Seat 7: James
Seat 8: Swish
Seat 9: Mike 2.0
Seat 10: Ferrari
There were four guys named Mike at the game. But I was most happiest that Swish showed up! He moved to DC recently and made the drive just to play and see everyone. That was way cool. The games have lacked a certain... je ne sais quois... since Swish moved. Anyway, everyone got $100 in chips to equal their buy-in. Top 4 places paid: 50%, 25%, 15%, and 10%. $500 to the winner. I was looking to make my money back... at least.
For more details of what happened to me in the tournament, visit Tao of Poker. Check ou the final results:
Congrats to the winner: James. He rallied back from next to nothing to beat Ugarte headsup. And good job to Ugarte, who pulled in a second place finish. And yeah, I was impressed with the exploits of College Boy, who was a good sport the entire night, allowing everyone to let his moniker stick. Well College Boy schooled most of us.
The Final Tally:
1. $500 James
2. $250 Ugarte
3. $150 College Boy
4. $100 Ferrari

5. Mike 2.0
6. Mike 1.0
7. Coach
8. Rick Blaine
9. Pauly
10. Swish
Congrats again to the winners and thanks to Ferrari for organizing the event.
As you can see I did poorly. But afterwards we played in a side game, something I called: Late Night Poker: The Losers Lounge. Here's a bit of that writeup which included a flashback from Atlanta and a cat incident:
Marie showed up to join the side game which was played on Ferrari's coffee table and on his couch. It reminded me of the home games I played back in my college days in Atlanta... at Jerry and Schanzer's apartment. That was when we would have two games going on at once... with upwards of 14 people playing at the dining room table and on the coffee table. The sorortiy girls who lived across the hall were hooked. They played every night with us, yep... every night in the summer of 1994 that we played poker. And yeah Schanzer had a three legged cat to amuse us in between hands. Those were the days, and I might get around to writing up some great stories from games that happened a decade ago this upcoming summer. Good times for sure.

OK, flashback aside, it was fun to get a cash game going. Rick sat on the floor. Marie sat on the edge of the coffee table and Swish opened up the window to get some fresh air into the apartment. And that led to some comic relief. Ferrari has two cats and one of them was attracted to the ledge of the window. Despite plenty of pleas to the "tournament table" about the curious cat, Ferrari insisted that the cats were fine and not to worry about a wide open window. Ferrari lives on the 19th floor, but he was bogged down in the middle of a hand... so we were all still concerned for the cats safety. Swish blurted out, "This is like a Disney flick... That Darn Cat!" To which, Coach could not stop laughing. He was brought to tears over the obscure Disney reference, and Swish showed us why he's missed at the games ever week. And in some morbid way, we all agreed that it would have been kinda cool to see a cat fall 19 stories. Not necessarily Ferrari's cat. That would have been fucked up. But not on our watch, so Swish closed the window and the cat drama ceased.
For a more detailed write up of the Loser's Lounge game, visit the Tao of Poker. All in all, I had a fun time, despite getting bounced in 9th place.

Monday, April 26, 2004

A Thought to Ponder
"The Taoist sage has no ambitions, therefore he can never fail. He who never fails always succeeds. And he who always succeeds is all-powerful." - Lao Tzu
To apply the teaches of the Tao to writing is an essential thing for me to incorporate into my life. The main focus has always been: to write everyday. But there were times when my outlook changed... and I get caught up in the search for fame, and monetary compensation, and praise... and my work, in addition to my mental faculties and creative juices suffered.

To write everyday and say what I honestly want to say... is what keeps me away from the brink of personal failure. I lost sight of that basic premise to Lao Tzu's teachings.
Guess Paris?

Briana sent me this link: Guess Who's the New Guess Girl?
Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1. Mighty Aphrodite
2. Trees Lounge
3. Kill Bill, Vol. I
4. The Darien Gap
5. I'll Take Sweden
Will Ferrell = Ignatious J. Reilly?

Wow... the Pulitzer Prize winning novel... Confederacy of Dunces is being discussed as a feature film! With SNL star/alum Will Ferrell to star as John Kennedy Toole's literary alter ego, Igantious J. Reilly. Wow. I'm sure that Iggy is pumped!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sports Roundup: NFL Draft Day 2 & Tonight's Best Bet

The NY Jets have 10 picks. Their first round pick yesterday was Jonathan Vilma, a linebacker from Miami. Some folks are scorning the NY Giants for trading too many picks to get #1 pick Eli Manning.

I watched a lot of NBA playoff hoops in Vegas and been paying close attention to the spreads and betting lines. Today, I like Houston +3 1/2 against the LALA Lakers. Yao Ming is playing tough against Shaq. And fuck Kobe and Big Chief Triangle. Take Van Guny, Yao, Steve Franics and the Rockets at home. Check out this article: Fading the Lakers for Fun and Profit.

The Knicks play the Nets tonight. They ain't going anywhere. And the Yankees suck. They can't hit.
Schanzer = Shhh-HAND-zer

I watched Jon Schanzer speak on Fox News yesterday about the recent attacks in Basra, Iraq. The news anchor butchered his last name... several times. Oh well. As always, great job. He handled her questions like a champ.
A Few Quality Poker Blogs

HDouble over at The Cards Speak is one of my favorite (overall) blogs due to the quality of writing, in addition to the quality of content. Anyone who quotes Shakespeare is "the Dude" in my book. Speaking of the Dude... check out his Big Lebowski posts: The Dude Abides: More Lebowski Wisdom and Zen and the Art of the Dude. Here's my favorite part:
The Nihilist is the typical tourney player who complains about a bad beat. Accept that short term luck is the most important factor in tourneys. Your AA is a big favorite, but not that big. Suck it up and get ready for the next tourney.
The Poker Penguin is back with a post. He's a great writer. Here's what made me chuckle:
Once again I am in de Nile, and the water smells like every single Egyptian is trying to take a piss on my head. I am a better player than these idiots. One rocket scientist called three bets pre-flop with T3 off only to kick my KK in the head with a runner runner flush. I mean someone's got to be scripting this shit right? Online poker is rigged, and it's rigged to kick me square in the junk whenver I have just gotten over the last time it kicked me in the junk.
In the immortal words of Homer J. Simpson... "It's funny because it's true." Check out his entry about The Seven Deadly Sins.

Alas, both Iggy and Chris Halverson got shoutouts on Wil Wheaton's blog. Very cool.

Earlier this morning, I watched Maudie take down two huge pots in a NL ring game. It was awesome! Good job grinding it out there. Maudie. And what's a Sunday morning without Al Can't Hang sending me pictures of one of my favorite Canadian actresses?
Genocide in the Sudan

On her blog yesterday, Ingrid pointed out Jim Moore's blog, and more specifically his entry called More on using blogs and the net to stop a genocide in progress. Here's a bit of what Jim wrote:
I am writing to invite you to join together to witness to and stop a genocide. The genocide is happenng right now in Sudan, as we speak, in the area known as Darfur.  Despite the Sudanese government's trying to cover it up--by blocking press and NGO access (e.g. an Al Jazeera reporter was put in prison last week for trying to report), as well as using as surrogates "private militias" that are government supplied, the word is getting out.  But not enough is being done, not enough world attention is flowing into witness and intervention, and the aid and human rights organizations in the area need money for supplies and transportation and communication.
Here's the only news blurb on the Sudan incident.... Sudan: Government and Militias Conspire in Darfur Killings. And here's a bit of that article:
The janjaweed are no longer simply militias supported by the Sudanese government. These militias work in unison with government troops, with total impunity for their massive crimes. Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of attacks by Arab militias, known as janjaweed, in almost a month of research inside Darfur.
Let's hope that this matter gets more attention.
Escorts at the Bellagio

I forgot to mention this... but I never saw so many high priced hookers (street walkers, prostitutes, escorts, massasge therapists, hos, etc.) at the Bellagio during the weekend prior to the WPT Championships. They were swarming around the bar across from the poker room at the sports book. I'm from the big city... I'm a writer... I've seen a lot of movies... and I know a hooker when I see one. My initial impression was: "Wow, there are sure a lot of hot women here tonight... and they all have implants."

And then I figured it out. They were too good looking. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I was approached by one particular femme du soir at the bar. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fairly decent looking guy and I can talk to anyone. But it's been a while since a very good looking woman tried to pick me up in a bar. The last one... well the last one was so shitfaced hammered that she passed out in the cab ride on the way home. Oh well. At least I got a cool cellphone and a credit card to fund my Party Poker account. (By the way, I was joking about that. I didn't steal her credit cards, just her cash and her tin of altoids).

Anyway, I figured I blog that juicy nugget of Bellagio hookers... just because with so many poker blogs out there and new ones starting every day, you just can't have a regular poker blog these days. Alas, I don't think you'll find any specific hookers and poker blogs just yet. If there was one, Iggy would have mentioned it. I read poker blogs. I read hooker blogs. How about a blog from a hooker who services Las Vegas poker players? I'll even give you a head start with a name.... Nut Flushes. That would be interesting.

OK, for the new issue of my literary blogzine Truckin', I wrote a short story inspired by true events that went down at the Bellagio involving a hooker and yours truly. Stay tuned. I'll blog the link as soon as I publish the April issue.
Pictures of the Day

I just saw some pictures of the insane explosion in North Korea earlier this week that nearly wiped out an entire town.
Getting Recognized on Party Poker

I hopped on Party Poker yesterday afternoon and I was watching fellow poker blogger Al Can't Hang play. I left a comment in the chat box to tell Al what table I was playing at. Aparanetly, one of the players at his table from Texas just started his own poker blog and recognized both Al and me! In the chat he said something to the effect, "I like your blog Pauly". Which was pretty amazing. Al was more excited because earlier into his session, it was the first time he has been noticed on Party Poker by a random reader of his blog. Here's what Al said about the experience:
I feel famous like Iggy or Pauly.
I'm getting more and more cyber railbirds, either fellow poker bloggers, or readers of my site, who like to watch me play on Party Poker. It's kinda cool.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Back at the Tables on Party Poker!

I'm back home in NYC now, so it's time to hit the tables at Party Poker. Sign up today and get a fatty bonus. Don't forget to mention the bonus code: TAO4 when you sign up. See ya at the tables.
Draft Dodger?

Eli Manning was picked #1 by San Diego, then traded to the NY Giants for their pick, NC State QB Philip Rivers, in one of the bigger dramas this draft.
Schanzer Article: Assassinations Keep Hamas Off Balance

FYI... Jon Schanzer will be making an appearance on Fox News Channel at 4:20pm EST.

Assassinations Keep Hamas Off Balance is written by Schanzer and appears in the LA Jewish Journal. Here's a bit:
In the last three years, Israel has taken out dozens of top Hamas operatives in the West Bank, and it vows to hit more. Following the Yassin and Rantisi executions, a number of Hamas leaders in Gaza went underground, fearing for their lives.

Hamas is further frustrated by successful Israeli efforts to stymie attacks. Specifically, the West Bank security fence has prevented suicide attacks from former Hamas strongholds in the northern West Bank towns of Jenin and Nablus.

Whereas these two towns were once a common launch point for suicide operations in Israel, the new barrier has all but reduced Hamas’ ability to attack from there. According to Israeli intelligence sources, the inability to attack, in addition to the targeted assassinations of a number of Hamas leaders, has actually led recently to a small decline in popularity for Hamas in the West Bank.
Another excellent read from Schanzer.
Lordy Lordy!! Biscuits for Breakfast

I picked up a dozen Popeye's biscuits on my way to my brother's place to watch the NFL draft and the Yankeees-Redsux game. The biscuits were fresh, just out of the oven. The price for a dozen? $4.20. I'm not a fan of fast food, but I crave Popeye's biscuits.
Former NFL Player Turned Army Ranger Killed in Afghanistan

Pat Tillman was killed serving as a US Army Ranger the other day. He used to play for the Arizona Cardinals and joined the Army after the events of 9.11. Here's a bit:
U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Matthew Beevers said Saturday that Tillman was killed in a firefight at about 7 p.m. on a road near Sperah, about 25 miles southwest of a U.S. base at Khost. After coming under fire, Tillman's patrol got out of their vehicles and gave chase, moving toward the spot of the ambush. Beevers said the fighting was "sustained" and lasted 15-20 minutes.
Losing Our Edge: Friedman Speaks

Losing Our Edge is an article written by Thomas Friedman and appeared in the NY Times. Thanks to Signor Ferrari who suggested the link. Here's a bit:
Other executives complained bitterly that the Department of Homeland Security is making it so hard for legitimate foreigners to get visas to study or work in America that many have given up the age-old dream of coming here. Instead, they are studying in England and other Western European nations, and even China. This is leading to a twofold disaster.

First, one of America's greatest assets — its ability to skim the cream off the first-round intellectual draft choices from around the world and bring them to our shores to innovate — will be diminished, and that in turn will shrink our talent pool. And second, we could lose a whole generation of foreigners who would normally come here to study, and then would take American ideas and American relationships back home. In a decade we will feel that loss in America's standing around the world.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Schanzer on TV

Jon Schanzer will be making an appearance on the Fox News Channel on Saturday at 4:20pm EST. Y'all know what I'll be doing at 4:20....
Central Park Tree Tryst

This made me laugh. Gay Lovers Go Out On a Limb is a story about two naked guys in a tree. Just another normal day in NYC.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading On the Subway...

1. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
2. The Holy Bible
3. Unless by Carol Shields
4. Straight Man by Richard Russo
5. What I Lived For by Joyce Carol Oates
My WSoP Shootout at Binion's

I posted a complete version to the Tao of Poker, of my attempt to win a seat at the 2004 World Series of Poker at Binion's Horsehoe. Here's a bit:
The Players:
Seat 1: Old Japanese Guy
Seat 2: Rich Local = Mr. Big Shot
Seat 3: Crazy British Guy
Seat 4: Young Dorky Kid a.k.a. Unabomber Wannabe
Seat 5: Elderly Black Guy
Seat 6: Old White Guy
Seat 7: Midwestern Tourist
Seat 8: NJ Tourist
Seat 9: Pauly
Seat 10: Local Pro

Binion's looks nice since they reopened the place. I got there early at noon to play in the daily satellites. I came in 4th out of 10 in a single table tournament. $125 was the buy-in. The winner got $1000 in Tournament chips... good towards the next round of the shootout or to use in any 2004 WSoP event. My table was a mixture of a few tourists and Binion's locals, otherwise known as sharks.
My brother was playing one at a different table and he came in 3rd! I expect he'll submit a writeup soon. I was super impressed with his run. He also ran into pocket Aces on a button raise and fell for it... he lost to a monster flop: A-Q-Q.

Overall, I'm a better player than last year at the same time. But in 2003, I came in 2nd place... in the same satellite and I had no clue what I was doing then! Oh well... if I hadn't taken such a hit on my bankroll at the time and didn't have to meet NYC Poker Babe at the Bellagio, I would have played in another one. But one was enough.

In the next week or so, I'll play ina few WSoP qualifiers on Party Poker.
10 Years Ago Today... The Best Phish Show Ever?

4.23.94 Atlanta might be one of the best Phish shows in the history of Phishdom, and I was there... with Beano, Smitty, Singer, Dutch, and Chicago Bob and his brother. Merl Saunders made a rare appearance and made the show. Smitty can be heard screaming "Yeah Mike!" in the middle of an acapella Ginseng Sullivan. Check those bootlegs.

At the time, it was probably my 20th show or so and it was the best live concert I had ever seen. Funky Bitch opener? A rare Esther? Fee > Peaches.... holy shit! Set 2 opener of Wilson > Antelope? Back when Antelope was a sizzler. They even busted out Mound! And those were the days when no one shouted "Harry" during Harry Hood. A what's a show in the deep South without a Freebird encore!

Even a decade later, the show stands out as one of my Top 5 Phish shows of all time.

The setlist:
04-23-94 Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA

1: Funky Bitch, Rift, Fee-> Peaches en Regalia, Poor Heart, Stash, Esther, Down With Disease, Caravan*, High-Heel Sneakers*

2: Wilson-> Run Like an Antelope, Mound, Sample in a Jar, Sparkle, Ginseng Sullivan**, Harry Hood, You Enjoy Myself-> Keyboard Jam#-> Who by Fire, Golgi Apparatus

E: Freebird

*With Merl Saunders on keyboards.
**Acoustic and without mics.
#With Colonel Bruce Hampton and all of Phish on keyboards.
Man, those were the days! Shoot me an email if you have that some on CD. I've been looking for a fresh copy for a while now. I have it on audio tape... and it's worn out!

One more parting note... that night was Beano's first Phish show!! Just a few weeks earlier, he saw his first Grateful Dead show with me!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

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

1. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
2. Hating America: The New World Sport by John Gibson
3. Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
4. Bleachers by John Grisham
5. The Known World by Edward P. Jones
The Return of the Uber Post

Iggy from Guinness and Poker is famous for his Guinness-inspired uber-posts of massive length. Now that I am officially back on the East Coast, I will resume regular blogging duties, while I try to piece together fragments of this previous monster holiday I experienced in Las Vegas into a more edible entry, for now, stay tuned.

In random news from the police blotter, Kevin Spacey got mugged in a London park at 4:20am. What the hell was he doing there? Some say he was drunk looking for some action, he insists he was walking his dog.

The photo of the day has to be: Side Boobage originally found by HDouble.

Did you know that poets die sooner than regular writers? I should write more poetry. Stinky Pants was kind enough to point out the link to me.

Al Can't Hang has been in Key West with Mrs. Can't Hang and one really really drunk monkey! Looks like Al caught a monster fish! I hope to reel in those next time I'm in Florida.

Congrats to Rick Blaine for winning the blogger poker tourney this past Sunday. The only reason he won... was because I was in Las Vegas! And Signor Ferrari sent me this link: Trade Sports and an additional link explaining Trade Sports.

And last, but not least... Briana was bothering me for over a week to post: Everything to Know About Fellatio. The list of definitions at the bottom of the article were kinda funny. It finally explains why Briana is a Master Shuttlecocker!
Congrats to Sigge!

I must say that I am proud of Sigge. He finished his first novel this past week. Bravo!! That's amazing, you should be proud of your literary efforts... all before the age of 20. I didn't sign off on a complete final draft until I was 30. Well done!
Maudie Reflects on OC... 4.19.95

Maudie from Poker Perspectives mentioned the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing nine years ago Monday. It's touching and honest and after 9.11, I'm afarid a lot of people forgot about what happened to the citizens of Oklahoma. Check out here entry. Here's a bit:
April 19, 1995 I was driving to work when I turned on my radio in the middle of pleas for donations of blood and where to go. Something bad had happened, but I didn't know what. I thought a gas main must have blown.

When I got to work, I turned on a little tv I had in my office for weather emergencies (I was managing a performing arts facility at the time). I still could not determine what had happened. It wasn't until I got online that the story began to piece together. A car bomb had exploded and destroyed the Murrah Building. People were killed and many injured. As the details and speculation began to mount, shock and disbelief set in. Of course, I, like so many others, immediately blamed "them" - foreign terroists. The shock and disbelief was nothing, though, to the utter outrage I would feel later upon learning that it was one of "our own" who perpetrated this evil.

As the day wore on, I remained glued to the television, radio, internet - anything that would keep me informed. Gradually an overwhelming need to "do something" to help swept over me. I was not alone in that feeling. Thousands of other Oklahomans were feeling the same way. It's what we do. In times of disaster and tragedy we help one another.

Periodically during the reports, a request for needed items at the site would go out. One of the requests was for pillows, blankets, tarps, and umbrellas - bad weather had started to come in. At last - something I could do. I had several umbrellas at the theatre that had been left behind after events and numerous extra pillows and a tarp at my house. I also grabbed every blanket I had and loaded everything in my truck and drove up to the city to the drop-off location, just a few blocks from the site.
Great read. Thanks for sharing, Maudie.
Schanzer Speaks on Iraqi Violence

Jon Schanzer recently published an article called: IRAQI VIOLENCE: SHI'I-SUNNI COLLISION OR COLLUSION? for the latest issue of Policy Watch. He blogged his article which he co-authored with Ryan Philips to his blog. Here's a bit:
The collusion between Iraqi Shi'i and Sunni elements took many by surprise. After all, dominance by the minority Sunnis over the majority, downtrodden Shi'i population has generated mistrust and hatred for almost a century. A recently intercepted memo from al-Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi even revealed plans to exploit this historical friction by prompting internecine conflict between the two communities. While the most recent example of Shi'i-Sunni collusion against U.S. forces in Iraq was brief, the situation will require careful monitoring. A historical precedent of significant Shi'i-Sunni cooperation does exist both in Iraq and in other parts of the region.
As always, another great read from Schanzer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Photo of the Day...

The Phish shows in Las Vegas fuckin' rocked! Here is some evidence from the Saturday show.
5 Coolest Cities I Have Seen Phish Perform...
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. New Orleans, LA
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Miami, FL
5. NYC

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A Decent Run... and I'm Now a Local!

I had a nice string of cards last night and posted my first winning day since day 1. I'll write more later. Not to Fear, Ingrid, I turned the corner and my losing streak is over.

I played in a World Series of Poker satellite at Binion's and came in 4th place. I shall write more info later.

When I sit at the poker tables, everyone asks me if I'm from Vegas. That's awesome. Both locals and tourists... I guess I don't look like a tourist. Haley suggested that sometimes "you have to look the part", so I dress semi-casual, like a well-to-do gambler would wear... I started saying, "Yeah.. I live on the other side of the Valley."

It's even better when the dealers and cocktail waitress call me by my name: "Pauly, you're turn to bet..." or "Pauly, sweetie, another ginger ale with two cherries?"

One dealer named Sang calls me, "Mr. Pauly", and sounds more like, "Meeeee-stahhhh Pawwwww-eeee."

Vegas rocks. Tourists are so stupid... if they were smart, they would have vacationed elsewhere.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Confessions of a Losing Poker Player

2:43 am PCT... Las Vegas... Man, do I suck cow eggs these days. I dunno what happened? My bankroll has vanished before my eyes. I have lost more money in the last week... than the average American makes in an entire month of working. Think about that for a moment... some of you get paid every other week. Imagine losing both paychecks for the month of April... and you'll get some semblance of what I have been enduring the last few days. And here's the scary part... I did not play poker or gamble for two entire days, while partying down at Phish concerts and I was mired in a serious festive binge and a narcotic orgy while hanging out with Phishy chicks almost half my age.

What the hell happened? I guess the Vegas Gods purposely booked Phish for three days because they knew it would draw me and my entire wad of cash out into the middle of the desert, where I'd quickly fall ill to the fatal illness of greed and debauchery. I am a weak person, it's a known fact. And yes, the demons of Vegas quietly lulled me into entangling myself into their web of despair and darkness and gluttony. Like a mirage in the distance, I thought I saw sand angels dancing and twirling in the cool Nevada night, their soft voices enticing me with orgasmic whispers and tickling me with smooth feathers. But I was wrong. I was ambushed by gutless thieves, an army of henchmen who shook me until all the change and hundred dollar bills fell off of my body.

I just scrapped together a few dollars to buy breakfast... the crappy buffet where they serve other degenerate gamblers and Grandmas with thinning blue hair, one foot in the grave and the other firmly planted in front of the Wheel of Fortune $1 slot machines.

Have you ever smelled the stench of old people near death, combined with burnt buffet style bacon? It's an awful smell that had etched itself into my memory banks. I could just walk out into the middle of the desert and never return. And would anyone notice?

And here's the scary part... I don't want to leave. I could live here for sure. I was greeted with luke warm thoughts about writing for three hours straight, then wandering down Las Vegas Blvd. every day past the leggy blondes from California and go into my new office... the poker room at the Mirage and attempt to steal away hard earned cash from tourists from Indiana and Northern California. I could watch my eyes glow in the reflection of the three billion lights that illuminate Vegas. Could I just move out to the middle of the desert and never return to NYC... and would anyone ever notice?

A Las Vegas Blog

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Pieces of Pauly

A Las Vegas edition... what did I eat? I chowed on a blackened chicken sandwich with fries for lunch. I had a Wendy's Frosty for a snack and ate two grilled cheese sandwiches and a veggie burrito after the Phish show. I drank several gallons of water and one iced tea.
Phishy Vegas Night 3: Step Into the Meatstick

Wow, another amazing show, with a rowdy crowd... chanting Meatstick during setbreak, with Trey and the boys happy to oblige. Juts got in after partying all night with heads from all over the country. I make new friends fast, especially in Vegas! Here's the setlist:
4.17.04 Las Vegas, NV
Set I (1:20): Soul Shakedown Party, Halley's Comet > Tweezer, Ginseng Sullivan, Horn, Sample in a Jar, Piper > Frankenstein, David Bowie

Set II (1:35): Meatstick, Pebbles and Marbles > Prince Caspian > Simple, Friday, Ghost, You Enjoy Myself, Tweezer (Meatstick) Reprise***

Encore: Wolfman's Brother, The Squirming Coil

*** Tweezer Reprise had replacemnt lyrics: "Wont You Step Into The Meatstick"
I got to the venue super early again, because everyone else realized if they wanted a good seat, they had to wait in line early by 6pm (show beagn at 8:15). I snagged pretty much the same seat in the same section, Sec 119 at the side of the stage, four rows from Page. I had some cool San Diego guys in front of me (yeah, met quite a few quality people from San Diego on my trip) who drove out that morning for the show. To my left was a nice couple from NYC. We were all ready to get lit and get the show going.

Like true rock stars Phish started 45 minutes late to an antsy crowd, everyone wasted from three days of partying without much sleep. They opened with a mellow Bob Marley cover of Soul Shakedown Party before ripping into a rare and hot Halley's Comet. That's Haley's favorite Phish song of course and I gave her a call. Halley's > Tweezer was a sensational segue. Trey appeared to be having too much fun on Tweezer and it was the first point of the night when the band creatively fed off the crowd's energy. The middle jam in Tweezer had a high funk content, before it got spacey and trippy. The ultimate crowd favorite: Sample in a Jar might have been one of the best live versions I have ever seen, with the crowd hanging on every lyric and note, and Trey embracing every moment of the tune. One of the highlights of the entire run for sure.

Piper is a tune that they have been tearing to shreds with some kick ass jams 10 minutes into the song. Again, you never know what direction Piper will go and this time they steam rolled right into a phatty Frankenstein. Fishman showed everyone why they named the band after him with his amazing rendition of the infamous drum solo on Frankenstein. The gang closed the hot first set with David Bowie.... another crowd energy feeder.

After a long set break, I was getting pretty shitty, and I was hoping for a kick ass second set. I alredy knew that Friday's show... Night 2 was the peak of the Vegas run, so my expectations were not overly high. I just wanted to hear some solid playing and hoped they'd not play too many new songs. The crowd was rambunctious and attempted "the wave" in between chanting the lyrics to Meatstick.

When the boys took the stage the crowd was still chanting the lyrics to Meatstick. After a brief huddle on stage, they began to play Meatstick, which got the enthusiastic crowd grooving. Mike & Trey did the Meatstick dance and afterwards busted into Japanese lyrics for Meatstick, that the band learned from friends in Japan while on tour in 2000. It was a nice homage to Japhans & Japhamily everywhere and to Japan itself... that no matter where you've gone or where you are... memories of the Japan Phish Tour in 2000... lingered everywhere. It was a personal moment and highlight and made the show for me. (Again, if you didn't go see Phish in Japan, it was probably just liek a regular tune...)

Normally, I'm not fond of Pebbles & Marbles. However, I always like it when I am not a fan of a song, then a band plays it so well, that I loved every second of it... that happened with Pebbles & Marbles. Man oh man, Trey ripped the shit out of the jam a good 10 minutes in, and I found myself cheering loudly in approval. Caspian was average but Simple was a lot of fun. They slowed it down for the last bit, into a mellow jam that was delicious. I enjoy Friday and I knew some otehrs disagreed. It has slow Trey lyrics followed by several minutes of jamming. A perfect smoke a bowl song. Then... the boys brought back the desert funk. Ghost was insanely good starting out slow and allowing the funkification of the song to take a life of it's own. Tight was one word I used to describe the song when I jotted it down in my notes. I figured at that point, we'd be due a heavy hitter... and the boys broke out You Enjoy Myself.... which they segued into Tweezer Reprise. During YEM, the crowd went ape shit just before the "Boy, May, God, Shit" part. The crowd was rocking and the boys again fed off of that energy and vibe. Trey fell of the trampoline a few times during that part of YEM and ripped out a sizzling solo right after that incident. Tweezer Reprise had the lyrics switched and Trey replaced the word "Tweezer" with "Meatstick". It was goofy and Trey looked liked he was having a shitload of fun.... something I noticed the entire run.

The only time I saw him dejected was after AC/DC Bag the first night when he admittedly looked upset with his shaky performance after he admitted to the crowd, "That sucked."

The encore was a nice double dip of Wolfman's Brother, one of my favorite songs of all time and Squirming Coil ensuing. Wolfman's had a few "Fluffhead" and "Sneaking Sally" and "Simple" teases, and everyone was hoping for Fluffhead to be busted out. Alas, the ended the run with Squirming Coil, and because I was so close to Page, it was awesome to see him on his amazing solo to end Coil. The other members left the stage and left Page alone for five minutes while he played his grand piano. That was special and when he walked off stage, I knew it was over... and that Phish once again proved to me why they are the best live musical act around. To do what they do night after night for twenty plus years is truly amazing. To do it in Las Vegas is a dream come true. The older I get, the more respect I start to have for Phish (on a larger scale) and I have developed a reluctance to embrace several more popular/mainstream bands that get the spotlight (media, MTV, videos, buzz) and fade away a year or two later, never to be heard from again.... until they resurface fat and broke, on VH1's one hit wonders, a decade later.

The shows were better than the Vegas shows in 2000 (think Kid Rock and I was so pleased he did not show up!) and they had some moments that rivaled Miami.

The overall 3 day highlights included:
(Thursday): MoMa Dance, Timber Ho!, Drowned > 2001, Slave to the Traffic Light and the unexpected Sneaking Sally encore.

(Friday): Rockk & Roll, Boogie On, Strange Design, Gumbo, Taste, Twist, Waves, Loving Cup and Harry Hood for the encore.

(Saturday): Halley's Comet, Sample in a Jar, Bowie, Meatstick, Pebbles & Ghost
Without a doubt, Vegas night 2 was one of the best shows I have seen post-haitus. I'll write more later for sure!
Poker in Vegas Day 5 Update: Sweating Glenn

I didn't play cards Saturday. Been too wasted to focus and play. I headed to the Bellagio today to meet Felicia. Her husband was playing in a satellite for the WPT Championships. It cost $2500 to enter and the room was filled with celebrities. I found Felicia fairly quickly and she was standing on the rail right behind Glenn's table.

We walked around and my brother found Dutch "Tool Boy" Boyd sitting at one of the front tables wearing a bandana. My brother said he looked like a "Gimp". I also saw poker royalty... TJ Cloutier, Evelyn Ng, Howard Lederer, Paul Darden, Andy Bloch, Mel Judah... all playing in the satellite. And Erik Siedel was sitting at the table adjacent from Glenn. I recognized some guy, a regular from Foxwoods, but I didn't know his name.
Glenn played tight... going all-in a few times with no callers. He had AA and also went allin, without any callers. He doubled up with KK but a few hands later was knocked out when his set of 9s lost to a set of 10s. D'oh! He was playing well, and it was cool to watch the satellite.

Felicia suggested that we play in a $280 one table super staellite. The winner gets a $2500 seat in Sunday's satellite. We were going to split the prize money no matter what happened (if either of us won, we'd chop up the $2500). For me, it was a better deal since Felicia is a better NL player. I wanted to play despite my tired a semi wasted state. But I had a show to leave for a 5pm and the satellites didn't start until 4pm. I had to decline.
We might catch up with them later tonight. But it was very cool to meet Felicia & Glenn and see TJ Cloutier, and my favorite player Howard Lederer.

More to come... will try to play in a super satelllite at Binion's Sunday!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Boogie On Phish... Vegas Night 2

The cow-funk has morphed into the desert funk.
Phish 4.16.04 Las Vegas, NV
Set (1:15): Seven Below, Rock & Roll > Boogie On Reggae Woman, Back on the Train > Possum, Strange Design, Gumbo, Brian & Robert, Taste

Set 2 (1:50): Gotta Jibboo > Twist, Camel Walk, Wilson, HYHU > Love You > HYHU, Waves, Life Boy, Silent in the Morning > The Horse, Loving Cuo

Encore (0:10): Harry Hood
That was the better show out of the two!

The first set was one of the best first sets I have ever seen.Not one song that I did not to want to hear! I sat 5 row behind Page and my section was very cool. Some Chicago heads and a couple of cool folks from Southern & Northen California. Met one sufer dude from Redondo Beach who kept calling me, "Pauly Braugh!" I met an older Phishy chick from San Fran named Sandy, who hooked me up with some pharmies. She called Gumbo!

The signs I saw hung up on the rafters...
1. Fluffhead
2. Funkify Your Life!
3. Tela
4. Play Fluffhead for us newlyweds.
5. The G-Spot
I got there 3 hours earlier and snagged a great seat. First set was unreal. Rock & Roll is my favorite Velvet Underground tune and Page rocked it out and Mike went off on Boggie On, high funk action on that song. Man, Phish brought the desert funk to everyone. Possum was high energy and a crowd pleaser. Strange Design was a lovely Page song and Senor's favorite Phish song... the one song he puts on all the mix tapes he made for girls he really liked. And Gumbo was sick! The girl next to me called it... the jam out of Taste was one of the best I have seen in some time. The boys were on and the venue cleaned up the sound compared to the first night.

I called Gotta Jibboo opener. The Twist > Jam was freaky and funky something I'm calling the Vegas Jam. Camel Walk was unexpected. Crowd plaser = Wilson. Fishman was doing freaky stuff during Love You, with his musical suit. Waves is one of my favorite songs from Round Room. I love Trey's noodling on Waves. Life Boy, Horse > Silent.... equals old school Phish. I was pretty fucked up at that point. Then the boys jammed out a killer Loving Cup.

Hood closer was a sweet, sweet, sweet closer. I went home happy.

Mike was the MVP last night. Page impressed me on Rock & Roll. And Trey ripped the shit out of Taste. Wow.... the best show I have seen in some time. Not one song that I didn't want to hear!

Tonight's wsih list?
1. Fluffhead
2. Mike's Song
3. Tube
4. Theme from the Bottom


Friday, April 16, 2004

Mini Phish Review - Night 1

I got in early and snagged a great seat. General admission shows are cool if you get there early, which I did, two hours before show time. I found a perfect seat right by Page and settled down. I was solo and got chummy with the guy next to me, a cool Deadhead from Michigan. We also had some cool people in our section while is an important factor to enjoying the show. One guy near me was experiecing his first show and he had a blast.

There were two signs/sheets that phans made. One hung from the upper deck and said: Fluffhead. I would love to see Fluffhead. The other sign hung across from me on Mike's side of the stage... Funkify your life!.

First set was medicore with some great moments. AC/DC Bag was sweet. MoMA Dance was highly funky and smokin' at the same time. I was shocked to actual hear some of my favorite songs. Roggae was a cool selection and I got a flashback of one of the best versions I ever heard.... in Las Vegas in 1998. Stash was solid, but the segue into Timber Ho! was sizzling. The crowd was pumped for that jam, and of course, Phish ended an hour and twenty-five minute set on a hot note. They took a lot of time in between songs, trying to figure out what to play. No setlists, they go out and play by feel.

The second set opened up with a smooth 46 Days > Drowned > 2001 > Down with Disease > Free. It was one of those things that make Phish shows special. Drowned kicked ass and I loved Page's piano during the monster start to the second set. 2001 was spacy and mellow, but intense, and both the band and the crowd fed off of each other's energy. That was a special highlight. It's someting you can't hear on a bootleg, and only experience live.

the second part of Set 2 was interesting... Scent of a Mule > Girls, Grils, Girls > Scent of a Mule... then two new songs. I dig Scent, but the Jay-Z cover was misplaced. OK, Jen Harswick singing was amazing. i wish she sang on other tunes. Trey can't rap... and showed whey he's a very very very white boy from Vermont. Sure, it was funny, but I was happy that Kid Rock didn't show up.

Then the boys made me feel special. Slave to the Traffic Light is my favorite song, and somethign they don't play too much. To catch a Vegas Slave was epic for me. It made the show... and the run! I can walk away happy, even if the next two shows suck... whcih they wont.

I called Sneaking Sally a few weeks ago when I posted songs I want to hear in Vegas. It was wishful thinking, but when they busted into it... the crowd was super happy. The did some weird vocal jam at the end with lyrics poking fun at Fishman's dress.

Chris Kuroda was nto working the lights this tour. The new light guy was subpar in the first set... but got his shit together in set 2. Overall, the crowd was rambunctious and fun. It was a fun show... and I can't wait for tonight.
Phish in Vegas Setlist: Night 1

Great show with some amazing moments. Sat Page side, 8 rows back. Kick ass seat. The boys played my favorite song... Slave to the Traffic Light! And they busted out the mellow-cow-funk with a hot MoMA Dance. Alas, the encore... Sneaking Sally was the shit. Here's the setlist:
4.14.04 Las Vegas, NV
Set 1: Buried Alive > AC/DC Bag, Limb by Limb, Moma Dance, Old Home Place, Roggae, Water in the Sky, All of these Dreams, Stash > Timber Ho!

Set 2: 46 Days, Drowned > 2001 > Down with Disease > Free, Scent of a Mule > Girls, Girls, Girls** (Jay-Z cover) > Scent of a Mule, Secret Smile, Crowd Control, Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley > Vocal Jam

Notes: ** with Jen Hartswick
Just got in and I'm still a lit monkey. I was drunk, high, and tripping... and I was the most sober person at the show. I'll write a review tomorrow.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Well Rested Pauly

I got 5 hours of sleep last night. I was so exhausted. It's funny because I only got 2.5 hours the night before. I decided that instead of playing cards until sun up, I'd crash early and get some rest before three insane Phish concerts... it takes a toll on the body... being in the hot sun and partying all night like rock stars. I feel better.

I gave a deaf guy $1 yesterday... hoping that my karma improves.
Today's schedule:
Noon: Luxor Tourney with my brother
2-5: Poker at the Mirage or Excalibur
5-6: Dinner
6-7: Phish parking lot... trying to find some phriends
7-8: Go inside the venue and find a fatty seat
8-Midnight: My 137th Phish show!
1-4am: Late night poker
That's it for now.
Phish Summer Tour!

Wow... Brooklyn Phish? Amazing. I'm going to try to go to all of the shows... and if I do, I'll get to see my 150th Phish show by this summer. I saw my 100th show in the summer of 2000. Senor and I might take Jodd to his first Phish show this summer!
Phish Summer Tour
June 17 KeySpan Park, Brooklyn, NY
June 18 KeySpan Park, Brooklyn, NY
June 19 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
June 20 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
June 23 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN (Deer Creek)
June 24 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN (Deer Creek)
June 25 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI
June 26 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI

August 10 Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA (Great Woods)
August 11 Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA (Great Woods)
August 12 Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ
Wow... tonight starts the run! I heard from a very reliable source that Phish will retun to Miami for NYE. Man oh man. I'm already booking my flight! Miami, Phish, Jerry & the dogtrack!
5 Songs I Want to Hear Phish Play... Tonight!!

1. Tube
2. Fluffhead
3. Theme from the Bottom
4. Slave to the Traffic Light
5. Cross Eyed & Painless
Vegas Day 2 Update Part I: D'oh the Humanity!

12:31pm PCT... Luxor tournament. $28 entry fee. 50+ players. I was one of the first 10 knocked out. I made the money in December when I was there last and only played one hand. This time I played 3... AJ and won and two big losers. AK lost to J-8s and my 99 lost to 55. Both times I river'd by a pair or a set. I was moderately pissed and stormed out of the Luxor. I took the tram to Mandalay Bay and bumped into a Phishead friend of mine while he was signing up for a $1-5 stud game! It was cool. I didn't know Chris from Boston played poker. Alas, the line was too long for a $4-8 game and after 30 minutes, I took a cab to the Mirage.

I love the Mirage. It's one of my favorite places on Earth.

The wait for $3-6 was as long and hellacious as Courtney Love's rap sheet. With the Bellagio dark... most of the poker action happened in the Mirage. I reluctantly sat at a $6-12 table and played tighter than tight. I won a huge pot early, semi-bluffed at another one when I was on the button and was up almost $195. Then I played nothing over the next two hours... and when I finally did... I got proper fucked.

The guy in the corner was a huge black guy and he mentioned that he played pro football somehwere. Linebacker sized (6'4" & 325 lbs.), he was intimdating for sure, especially when his hole cards looked like a flimsy business card in the hands of a giant. Anyway, he saw pretty much every flop... which was a problem.

3:43pm PCT... Pauly got AA in the big blind. I brought it in for a reraise when the button raised. The football player called. Of course I lost to his 9-6o when he caught a straight on the river. I was wicked pissed and wanted to kick his ass. I glared down at him. A bad beat is a bad beat and you should expect the other guy to be steamed. (The first raiser had QQ). That cost me a few dollars.

5:02pm PCT... Pauly got AKs in the little blind. I raised and of course the football player called and caught a pair ont he river. He had Q-8. I couldn't believe it. More astonished was the rest of the table when I barked down at his end, "You lucky motherfucker."

That was probably not a smart thing to do. He could sqaush me like a baby cockaroach. Dejected, I counted up my chips and left. I rerally wanted to bust that guy, but my mindset was reaching tilt and I didn't want to play a higher limit than I normally play on tilt. I only lost $105, but I was up almsot $200 so it was a $300 swing on two hands... AA and AK.

The highlight of the afternoon was sitting across from a former showgirl/stripper. She had a diamond ring on her finger the size of a softball. I dunno what was more fake...
1. Her boobs.
2. Her tan.
3. Her dyed blonde hair.
Anyway, she was nice and I helped her out a few times explaining to her what the blinds were. She told me she liked watching Celebrity Poker Showdown. She told me all her turn ons (guys with a great sense of humor... and yes, I told her the infamous Prison Joke) and turn offs (guys with hairy backs... I said she could rub mine... smooth as a seal!).

She was not too bright. All I could think was... I have some prime real estate in Arizona I like to sell you. Yes, the dumb blonde, with watermelon sized boobs took down a huge pot with her low pocket pair. And the IQ level of the entire table was lowered by her mere appearance. I think it has to do with the brain activity of males which is seriously compromised when any amount of silicone is within 10 yards of said male.

Celebrity sighting... I saw Mel Judah playing $75-150 Omaha 8 at the table right behind me.

Ok. I'm waiting for my brother to arrive. Gonna blow off that chick I met at the Excalibur yesterday. I have a fishy suspicion that she's an integral part of a Chinese organ theives ring. And I'd like to keep my kidneys for now. More to come.

Part II: Getting Spanked & Playing with Phisheads

I got to play with two guys at my table who were going to see Phish. It was cool to chat with them. I lost $80 on several vicious bad beats. AK cracked more than once.

A Las Vegas Blog...

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Vegas Day 1 Update...

It was hell getting out of NYC. My flight was delayed due to some nasty weather and I ended up hoping on the flight before mine... via standby and it actually left at roughly the same time as my scheduled flight. Go figure. I flew JetBlue which means free Direct TV. I watched a John Belushi biography on A&E and watched an episode of Band of Brothers on the History Channel (an amazing series).

When I got to Vegas I was hit by a wave of inspiration and I went to my room to write for just twenty minutes. Well, twenty minutes turned into two hours... and I dragged myself away. I didn't come to Vegas to write... but I didn't want to deny myself the chance to get out some good shit.

I played $2-6 spread game at the Excalibur because I was too lazy and cheap to head over to the Mirage. With the Bellagio still dark, I expected the Mirage to be uber crowded. At my table were two old Asian guys, a doctor from NYC, two middle-aged women from the Midwest (with some expensive jewlery... and yes, they saw almost every flop). My favorites were a guy from Holland and a drunk Swede who sat next to me. He was on a rush.

I also flirted with an adorable girl from San Diego. She looked like Jen Garner (I know Halverson's eyes just perked up while reading this)... except she was hotter! She sat next to me, drank vodka tonics like they were water, and recanted how she watched poker on TV all the time. I wanted to say something about my site, blah blah blah... but I didn't. She laughed and rolled her eyes when I told her I was going to see Phish. She invited me to an Ozomatli concert tonight at the House of Blues. Something to consider...

Ok... poker talk... I won $60 in a few hours then crashed. I got decent hands QQ 2x, KK, AKs. I was down $50 early... so I had a decent run late. I took Jen Garner lookalike for a huge pot when I raised preflop with 88 and caught my 8 on the flop... K-8-Q. Her KQs screwed her as she bet into me all the way to the river.

I just got up and registered for the Noon tourney at the Luxor ($28) then I'll head over to the Mirage afterwards for some $3-6.

Right now, I'm almost in heaven. It's perfect weather, I'm gonna play poker, Phish will be here in less than 36 hours, my brother arrives tonight, plus I'm watching reruns of Dawson's Creek while I blog. And just in case you were wondering... Katie Holmes is my favorite actress. Hubba hubba.

The only thing that would make this pure heaven is if the NGC (Nevada Gaming Commision) would allow me to smoke pot at the poker tables. I did make a suggestion... and I hope to hear from the NGC very soon.

Stay tuned.

A Las Vegas blog...
Top 10 Phish in Las Vegas Moments: #2 Halloween and Velvet Underground's Loaded

Senor said that it was the greatest Phish show he's ever seen. It's in my Top 5 all time. One of the greatest and craziest nigths of my life, and I was happy to share it with Senor and Phish.

Here's the setlist from that night:
10-31-98 Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

1: Axilla (I), Punch You in the Eye, Roggae, Birds of a Feather, Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley -> Chalk Dust Torture -> Lawn Boy, Mike's Song* -> Frankie Says -> Weekapaug Groove (1:15)

2: Who Loves the Sun, Sweet Jane, Rock and Roll, Cool It Down, New Age, Head Held High, Lonesome Cowboy Bill, I Found a Reason, Train Round the Bend, Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (1:20)

3: Wolfman's Brother** -> Piper -> Ghost (0:55)

E: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise (0:09)

Set 2 was the "musical costume", the album "Loaded" by The Velvet Underground. The vocal breakdown for that set is: "Who Loves the Sun" (Trey); "Sweet Jane" (Page); "Rock and Roll" (Page); "Cool It Down" (Trey/Page); "New Age" (Trey); "Head Held High" (Trey); "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" (Fish); "I Found A Reason" (Trey/Mike); "Train Round the Bend" (Mike/Fish); "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" (Page).

*With "Simple" teases. **With a 15-minute Ambient Jam (remniscent of Lemonwheel Ambient set; possibly including "Lifeboy," "Esther," "Makisupa" teases; with a glowstick war, lots of fog, and Fish on vacuum; ending with a "Ghost" tease). Then followed a 5-minute funk jam (similar to Traffic's "Low Sparks of High-Heeled Boys"; ended with a "Sleeping Monkey" tease) and then a quiet jam before segueing into "Piper." Altogether, more than 22 minutes between "Wolfman's" and "Piper."
An amazing show indeed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Last 12 Shows...

I realized that I saw the last 12 shows that Phish played... starting back in the end of the summer tour.... 2 shows in Philly, 2 shows at the IT festival in Maine... the "20th Anniversary shows" on the East Coast in Long Island, Philly, Albany, and Boston... of ocurse, the 4 shows in Miami for the NYE run... and now the next three in Vegas. That might be a personal record for Pauly. I must consult my former tour mates and buddies... but I'm sure either 8 or 10 consecutive shows is my former record. Insane, huh?

I must say, that I caught 6 amazing shows in that run (2 kick ass shows!) with the rest of them all solid. Phish has been playing some of their best shit since Japan 2000. That's been my incentive to see more shows.
Top 10 Phish in Las Vegas Moments: #3 Jay's Chicken Fingers

The Halloween show... 1998... was one of the most wasted moments of my life. I can't recall a time since then when I was so far out there... so out of control that I had no idea what was going on. Most people get like that after one hit of a joint... alas, I was on four hits of high power blotter LSD. If I knew better, I would have only taken two... but I did what I did and Senor was equally lit up.

I used to close my eyes a lot at shows back then. I would space out and let the music take my mind to places I had never been before. And indeed, my physical body was in Las Vegas, but my mind was some where outside of Pluto or beyond. I was in the middle of a moment, a geniune melding of Phish's melodies and my brain activity... it was an amazing internal experience. I lost track of time and space and forgot where I was. When I opened my eyes, I was lost for a few moments until I got my bearings. I realized I was at a Phish concert when I saw the stage and Trey singing. Senor was to my right was dancing like a fiend. A group of Phishy chicks were hugging each other in front of me... and I turned to my left and saw Jay, Senor's brother, who was sitting down and eating a basket full of chicken fingers. It was the most shocking thing I ever saw (in my state of mind...), I mean, who eat's a basket of chicken fingers at a Phish show? Jay.... that's who. And he was enjoying every bite. When I tapped Senor on the shoulder and let him know what was up, he burst out in his unique Senor laugh... a combination of a howl of a derranged man with the tinge of giddyness of an excited schoolgirl. He laughed so hard that people several rows in front of us turned around in bewilderment to check out what all the ruckus was about. It was just us... Senor laughing hysterically, me perplexed over the scene... and Jay munching on the best basket of chicken fingers in his life.

Ah... that was a wild night. I lost my shit later on in the middle of the Sahara casino and had to be taken up to our room by my buddy Ty, to calm down. Yeah, I know... I never get that shithoused that I needed a babysitter. And of course, who could forget about the fist fight I almost got into... when our cab driver made some not so nice remarks to the death of Jerry Garcia. I wanted to kick the shit out of him right there. I wish I did, it would have made for a better story.
Warm and Sunny Las Vegas

I just checked the Vegas weather. Nice... no rain. Fuck the rain. If I wanted rain I would have never left Seattle.
Another Stormy Monday at Ferrari's

Monday nights are poker nights at Signor Ferrari's. I just posted a nice lengthy writeup to the Tao of Poker. Check it out. Here's a bit:
11:39pm EST... I called a preflop raise from Coach. I should had known that he had a premium hand, but I suspected he had a marginal hand was raising only because he was on the button. Man... was I wrong. I had J-10 suited so I called. The flop: A-K-Q. Coach had trip Aces. I flopped a Broadway straight. I was properly fucked on the turn like a cheap strung out hooker... when a King fell and Coach made his fullhouse. "Oh the humanity!" as Iggy would scream in a drunken tirade! I suspected superhuman strength when he raised me. I just called and prayed for a miracle on the river. Alas, I was drawing dead. He flipped over his cards... and I was smoked. Aces full of Kings. That whooped my straight. I had just fifty cents left... and felt so.... used and abused and had no money left. I should have chosen a career in porn, sure, I'm still just a piece of meat, but at least I would have gotten off few times.
OK off for Las Vegas... See ya!
The Sports Guy & Vegas

Coach suggested this link: Destructive things with no guilt which is written by Bill Simmons. It's hilarious. Here's a bit:
1. Know exactly how much you're prepared to lose when you sit down. I mean, exactly. It's your "Worst-case Scenario" figure. You don't even have to tell anyone what it is.

2. If you're getting killed at one casino, leave treadmarks and head to another.

3. If you don't like the way other people are playing at the table, or if you're getting a bad vibe from the dealer, just find another table. It's that easy.

4. Pace yourself. You know the old saying, "It's a marathon, not a sprint"? Well, Saturday gambling is like a triathlon. Just make sure you don't pull a Julie Moss.
Thanks Coach!
The 5 Coolest Venues I Have Seen Phish...
1. Hibyia Park, Tokyo, Japan
2. Madison Square Garden, NYC
3. The Gorge, George, WA
4. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
5. Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia

The 5 Coolest Cities I Have Seen Phish...
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. New Orleans, LA
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Miami, FL
5. NYC
Lost on a Rainy NYC Night

Something happened about ninety minutes ago... that is worth at least a short story, but for now... due to time constraints, I'll just mention the overview of what happened.

I left Signor Ferrari's at 2am. Played poker all night and was mentally drained. I was in a hurry to get outta there. I played like shit all night and lost $75. It was pouring out, heavy droplets of rain and the street corners were all flooded with massive puddles the size of small lakes. No cabs in sight. I walked several long blocks across town to the subway station on Seventh Avenue. My plan was to take the train uptown and meet up with Haley. It was going to be the last time we could hang out before I left for Vegas. She had to work until Midnight, so she was up and about. Alas, I was going to call her to let her know I was on my way. Just before I walked into the subway, I realized I left my cell phone at Ferrari's! I never do shit like that. The phone is the first thing I check for... alas, I was in a rush and my mind was focused on other things... including replaying every bad hand of poker fromt he previous five hours... and anticipating my trip to Vegas and three Phish concerts, while forgetting about the now.... in the moment. I had to walk all the way back to Ferrari's in the cold, pouring rain. I was miserable.

When I got my cell phone back, I walked one block and a cab pulled up. Normally, I'd take the subway to 72nd Street. But for some reason I said, "Fuck it." and splurged, probably because I was soaking wet and wasted too much time go back to Ferrari's.

My cab driver was a young Pakistani man by the name of Mohhammed Ali. I'm not shitting you, that's what his picture ID said. Anyway, his wife was sitting in the front seat riding shotgun and eating some sweet smelling food. I wanted to ask, but chose not to get involved. I thought it was kinda weird, almost 2:30am in NYC and a cabbie is driving around the Upper West Side with his wife on one of the worst nights weather wise in a long time and a dejected card player in the backseat. Oh well. Of course as the cab pulled up to Haley's corner, the rain was reduced to a minor drizzle.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Chris Rock Thing

Thanks to Ingrid at Me and Ophelia who pointed out the link on her blog: Chris Rock Thing. It's a story about a local girl who got a new cell phone and was assigned Chris Rock's old number. Hijinks ensue. Here's a bit:
I picked up the phone, flipped open the top and questioned, "Uh, hell-o?" "Is Chris Rock there?" Chris Rock?! Of course not! That's ridiculous. "No," I replied. I figured the caller's asking for "Chris Rock" must have been some sort of inside joke with a friend of his, but he'd dialed my number instead of his friend's by mistake. I continued, "This is my new cell phone number -- so you've got the wrong number." "Oh," the caller replied, "I must have dialed wrong." We hung up, and I didn't think anything more of it.
Well written bit by a chick named Laura.
Boston Dead Tickets... Jodd's First Show

It's official, I just scored tickets to The Dead... late July in Boston at historic Great Woods. I will be going to at least one show this summer with Senor and Jodd! Pumped for sure. It's like 109 days until that show and I'll be counting every day!
Billie Holiday Sings to Me...

Lady in Satin is one of my Top 10 albums of all time. Billie Holiday's voice is as unique and kick ass as Shakespeare's writing and Michael Jordan's basketball ability. I have been listening to her a lot the past few days while I write. Amazing stuff I have been churning out, all inspired by Billie's voice.
You Gotta Love Bubba!

Mike Mussina won his 200th game yesterday as the Yankees came from behind to defeat the Chicago White Sox behind two sensational plays by Bubba Crosby... my new favorite Yankee! Bubba's Bash Rocks Stadium is a great read. Here's a bit:
In addition to his fourth-inning dinger, Crosby recorded five putouts, including a courageous catch on Magglio Ordonez's third-inning liner, a snag that sent Crosby face-first into the wall in right-center.

"I know it's padded, I know it's safe," he said with a laugh. "I know it's not gonna hurt too much."

Actually, Crosby said, the violent collision felt great, partially because he never knew how it felt to hear 37,484 fans cheering for him, but mostly because he knew how much yesterday meant to Mussina. The righty had failed in four previous chances to reach 200; after giving up three runs in the first inning it looked he would come up short again.
Way to go Bubba!
Reader Warning!! Heavy Phish & Poker Content the Next 10 days....

Get used to it. No complaints. Deal with it.

New Phish CD

Guess what the new Phish album is called? Check out what fellow Japhan Jebbie recently mentioned to me in an email:
Heard the new album... it's fuckin sick... like disco funky Pink Floyd Zepplin craziness and it's called UNDERMIND... and Scents and Subtle Sounds, Spread It Around and Crowd Control... are on it and lots of super cool new songs.
Thanks Jebbie. I expect to hear a fair amount of new shit at the upcoming shows!
5 Random Cities I Never Would Have Visited if I Didn't See Phish There...
1. Nagoya, Japan
2. Columbus, Ohio
3. Las Cruces, New Mexico
4. Sandstone, Kansas
5. Deer Creek, Indiana
Al Can't Hang's Read of the Day

Yes... Al Can't Hang sent me this link: Beckham ****s Woman (Or Not). So What? is an article written by John Nicholson.
5 Random Phish Songs I Want to Hear in Las Vegas...

1. Guleah Papyrus
2. Sample in a Jar
3. Cars Trucks Buses
4. Reba
5. Fluffhead

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Penguin Droppings
"Somedays you're the pigeon, and somedays you're the statue." - The Poker Penguin
The Year of Elisha

Sigge accepted my submission for his 2004 Female of the Year contest.... Elisha Cuthbert. Last year I was stumping for Katie Holmes, who lost a close contest. This year, I hope to drum up support for the lovely and talented star of 24. Alas, here's one of Sigge's favorite pics of her.
Top 10 Phish in Las Vegas Moments: #4 Breakouts of Spock's Brain & Dinner and a Movie

29 Sept 2000... In the first set the boys busted out a rare Spock's Brain, a song only played five times before and not even appearing in a show since 1995. And in the second set a old school favorite Dinner and Movie, which had only been played four times since I graduated college in 1994. The second set was highlighted by an appearnce from Kid Rock who played four cover songs with Phish. A rare show with some rare tunes, and an even stranger special guest.
Masterful Mickelson

Phil Mickelson won the Masters today after five birdies on the back nine today and edged out a hot round from Ernie Els. Down two strokes with sixholes to play, Mickelson raored back and birdied the infamous 18th hole to secure his first win in a major. Simply amazing.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. The Holy Bible
3. Holes by Louis Sachar
4. Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
5. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Phish Tickets!

Here are my Phish tickets to the shows later this week (Thurs, Fri & Sat) in Vegas. Now I am starting to get restless... between poker and Phish, I will be one happy camper this upcoming week.
Top 10 Phish in Las Vegas Moments: #5 Trey's Glowstick

At the end of an eeire third set on Halloween in 1998, Trey walked off stage and before he did that, he bowed, only to get nailed in the head with a glowstick.
5 Most Random Places I Have Seen Phish Concerts...
1. Boise, Idaho
2. Fukuoka, Japan
3. Pelham, Alabama
4. Limestone, Maine
5. Alpine Valley, Wisconsin
Call Home Mr. President

Nasty, Brutish, and Short is an article written by Thomas Friedman and appears in the NY Times. Here's a bit:
Arab leaders also have a vital interest in working with the U.S. to quell the turmoil in Iraq and to re-empower the potentially moderate center. As unpleasant as it may be for them to help the Bush team — and as worrisome as free elections in Iraq might be to unelected leaders of the Arab world — having oil-rich Iraq taken over partly by Baathist radicals happy to work with Al Qaeda and partly by Shiite radicals happy to work with Iran will be even worse. It will empower radicals across the Arab region, and freeze the infant reform process there.
Iggy Does Good and Another Profitable Saturday

Congrats to uber-player Iggy for his feat today. You rock bro.

Alas, I had an interesting day as I watched the Yankees game and the Masters and hit the tables at Party Poker. First up, I played at the NL ring game with Grubby. He's my hero... playing three $30 SNGs at the same time while sitting in the ring game with me. He saw me get my first ever four of a kind! I had 10-10, flopped a 10 and told Grubby I was going to hit the quads... which I promptly did on the river. A huge pot for sure.

Played NL with Stinky Pants for a little bit and one of Al Can't Hang's buddies... Lanlow. When I was playing multiple tables, NL and $2-4 with Maudie... I hit my second four of a kind of the day in the NL game. Four sixes this time. I was on a roll.

I had a $22/hr win rate at the NL ring games. I had a +9BB performance at the $2-4 table and then bumped up to $3-6 to test out the games that I have been hearing about. I did fairly well, up 15BB for the session. I think my bankroll is almost at a point where I can play those games with more frequency.

Before I left for the day, I played a $5 SNG with Jerry and placed second. Played one with him on Friday and won it all. Alas, I had one of my best days on Party Poker. Every game I seemed to play, I hit flops with my good cards.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

"Though lovers be lost love shall not." - Dylan Thomas
Top 10 Phish in Las Vegas Moments: #6 Walfredo

30 Sept 2000... the boys took the stage, but they walked to different spots. Page, normally on the piano, walked behind the drum kit and began playing drums. Fishman, the drummer walked up and put on Mike's bass and began to play bass. Trey took a seat at the piano and Mike took over at guitar. The started Walfredo, a rare tune, and in an even rarer that they played an entire song not playing their normal instruments. Could you tell the difference. Sure, bit it was amazing that they sill pulled it off.
Walking and Talking Near the Hot House

It has been almost a year since I last spoke to the lanky girl with the sunflowers. She spoke to me recently, but I was sad to learn that her words, her voice, her image... all came to me in a dream one night, while I slumbered in a place I was not familiar with, falling asleep just minutes before I was scheduled to arise to catch a long flight home. I thought the girl with the sunflowers was standing there in front of me and speaking my name. She wanted to tell me a story about one of her cats. Alas, when I awoke, it was someone else standing there, calling my name, attempting to wake me up because I was late for the airport. And my face grimaced with the first thought of that particular day, a harsh reminder that she was absent from my life, and the only chance meeting we'd have would be a lingering thought or a passing memory.

I often would get rushed by an unwarranted flashback of her bittersweet smile, or her silky hands, or the way she elegantly sipped very expensive wine in dark restaurants that I could never afford to eat in, let alone, walk in front of without shouting cruel obscenities to the lazy hipsters that lined the street side cafe-style seats and chatted mindlessly on their new cellphones to other poseurs in the same situation across town.

There were times when after long nights of writing my fingers to the bone or numbing the demons that angered my insides, I willingly passed out on the crowded early morning subways, and visions of her sunshine blond hair danced with me while I sat in a medium-sized state of awareness... not fully awake, but not full asleep ... the middle ground, where dreams are on the horizon, and faded memories become clear to the touch and sweet to the smell.

I wandered down semi-crowded Sunday afternoon streets in Midtown, past the tourists and the pious church goers, past the Yuppie couples that held each other's hands and bags of gourmet groceries, and I walked briskly on autopilot, headed South of course, with snippets of past conversations amusing me as I tried to imagine what it would have looked like if I spoke to her today.

What would I say? The soil beneath my feet is tainted with the blood of a thousand thirsty men and women? Should I say that the air I breathe has been polluted with the toxins of a million cars and the excessive waste of the manufacturing communities I so despise? Should I bring up the poisoned water that I refuse to drink? And suggest that the reason I drink vodka regularly these days has little to do with my desire to tweak my sobriety at any instance? Rather to build up a tolerance to the germs and biological entities that secretly enter our water supply each day? Can I tell her, with a straight face, that I still buy coloring books and do my best to color inside the lines, but alas, my hands always slip and I ended up coloring right off the fuckin' page?