Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Truckin' November 2004 (Vol. 3, Issue 11)

It's national novel writing month and this is the NaNoWriMo issue featuring two novel excerpts. I included a bit of Gumbo, my latest novel. Dave Simanoff is sharing some of his novel, Good Boy. This issue also includes a few short stories. Richard Bulkeley is back with a tale about his Canadian adventures. We have two newly added staff writers; Asphnxma wrote up a South American street brawl... one of my favorite topics, and then there's Acceptance, a play written by Grubby. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Friends by Richard Bulkeley
The ugly lights went on at the bar, and the girl stood up. She was one of those interchangeable Canadian blondes who does their thing at bars all over this fine country... More

2. NaNo Excerpt: Gumbo by Tenzin McGrupp
In my gut I conceded that I might possibly die. But if I was going to meet my end, I'd rather die by the poor driving skills of a crazy drunk Limey with two teenaged hookers in the back seat than die a morbid prolonged death induced by nut cancer and lying in a sterilized hospital room with tubes and machines keeping me alive long enough to milk my insurance plans... More

3. NaNo Excerpt: Good Boy by Dave Simanoff
I wondered how long she could continue interjecting the word “totally” into every sentence. I counted. She said the word thirty-six times before she got to the front of the line, hung up and placed her order: some impossibly complicated coffee drink with low-fat milk and caramel... More

4. Cocoon by Asphnxma
There's no fear in the moment. In the moment, you react. Your reptile brain assumes command of the ship, ignoring the confusion and the blurred images as adrenalin courses through your system and the fight-or-flight instinct takes over... More

5. Acceptance by Grubby
When I was twelve years old
Going on thirteen,
Thirteen rising,
My parents told me I was adopted.
This was to help me because my mother,
My birth mother,
Had come looking for me
And my parents wanted to return me
Like an overdue book from the library... More
WPBT Holiday Classic Update

Thanks to Maudie for the T-shirt design!

11 days until Vegas. How about an update? The Poker Prof mentioned that we now have both Ron Rose and Tom McEvoy coming to the breakfast at Sam's Town to hang out and talk shop with all of the bloggers, in addition to Charlie Shoten (who will be playing in the tournament with us). Being able to pick the minds of some great players will be an amazing opportunity to help improve all of our games and also a chance to ask questions about life as a professional gambler. I will be running a Hilton Sisters Challenge during the tournament and online at Party Poker on the same day. Stay tuned for details.
What: WPBT Holiday Classic
When: Saturday, Dec. 11th at 1 pm PCT
Where: Sam's Town Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Buy in: $50 ($45 prize pool + $5 dealer toke)
The Game: No Limit Texas Hold'em
Prizes: TBD with a prize for last place and a Cowboy hat (Thanks Joaquin) for first; plus random bounties featuring some of Santos' artwork

Breakfast Meet & Greet: 10am PCT at Sam's Town (exact location TBA)
Shots with Al Cant Hang: As soon as you get busted

Bloggers & others expected to play at the Holiday Classic:
1. Me
2. Derek from Poker in the Weeds
3. Poker Prof
4. Dick from Buy It In Vegas
5. Riding the F Train
6. Boy Genius
7. Bad Blood
8. Bill Rini
9. Felicia
10. Glenn
11. Joaquin
12. Otis
13. Al Cant Hang
14. Mrs. Cant Hang
15. Maudie
16. Signor Ferrari
17. - EV
18. Bob
19. Grubby
20. Mas from Genius of Poker
21. Charlie Shoten
22. Foiled Coup from Lasvegasvegas
23. Flip Chip from Lasvegasvegas
24. Martin from JMC Automatic
25. G-Rob from Up for Poker *** recently added
26. CJ from Up for Poker *** recently added
I hope I didn't miss anybody. We have a few names on the maybe list (Grubette!, HDouble, Glyphic, Iggy?) and a few on waiting list (Big Mike). Stay tuned for more updates. Unfortunately both Coach and The Poker Geek and Wil Wheaton will not be able to attend. Any questions? Shoot me an email. I'll be sending around a group email in the next few days. Check your inboxes.

I'm arriving on Friday around Noon (with Derek) and checking into my hotel room. I expect to play poker straight until Midnight or 1am. That's when I'll have a dinner break and start drinking with bloggers at various bars in Vegas until the wee hours. I hope to get enough rest to sleep off my hangover and find some time to write before the breakfast meet & greet. Ah, but what's a Vegas trip without an upset stomach, pounding headache, and no sleep?

Getting Blogged in Badger Land

I got some ink on a Kenosha, Wisconsin poker blog! Here's what Ryan from Pokeratta recently wrote in an entry called Outclassed. Here's a bit:
I noticed that the Good Doctor was playing at a $25NL table with a healthy $90 stack. I'd not had the chance to play with him yet. I sat down after a 10 minute wait and posted my blind. I won a small pot early when I raised preflop with pocket 6's, and got another 6 on the turn.

After a while a shitload of big-name bloggers came to the table, and I got my first taste of a blogger convention. We had myself, Pauly, Maudie, BadBlood, Otis, SirFWALGMan, and The BlogFather all at the same table, with AlCan'tHang and Pauly's brother Derek on the rail. It took Iggy about 30 seconds to go from $25 to $100. It was amazing. With all the talent at the table I was bound to learn something. I did. Here's what I learned:

I am NOT good enough to be sitting with these guys.
We're way overrated! But it's always a blast to play with people you know.
Bono's Peak of Uncoolness

Everytime I hear U2, I have this sudden urge to buy an iPod. I wonder why?

I remember a time when rock stars were cool. They'd get drunk for breakfast, trash hotel rooms, snort too many drugs, bang groupies and starlets with frozen fish and drumsticks, puke out the back window of their tour bus, and taunt politicians. Bono was at Clinton's Presidential Library opening for fuck's sake, palm pressing and shmoozing with Beltway insiders. Sid Vicious never would have done that. Now I have them trying to sell me soda, fast food, or electronic devices or worse, telling me who I should vote for in the upcoming Presidential election. There comes a time when I have to shout out, "Stop being whores and just play your instruments... loudly!" Keith Moon never would have pitched McDs.

So, Bono, fuck you... you sober Mick. From one Mick to a fellow Mick, I'm disappointed in your latest antics. You're supposed to be acting a lot more like Colin Farrell and a lot less like Kenny G.

Holy shit... no joke, but that fuckin' i Pod commercial came on as I was spell checking this entry. Argggggh! Fuck you, Bono!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Last 5 Flicks I Watched...
1. Mean Girls
2. The Girl Next Door
3. Dazed and Confused
4. Trainspotting
5. Igby Goes Down
Mondays Are Fundays
"People on 'ludes should not drive." - Spicoli
It feels good to be back after a full week of blogging. I got sick yesterday and spent most of last night and this morning in bed fighting a brutal fever. I'm trying to shake it off.

I forgot to give source credit to the lovely Mrs. Cant Hang who shared a recipe for French Toast with me when I crashed at chez Hang in September. Al Cant Hang is a lucky guy! Anyway, my French Toast from scratch idea went off without any problems. I'm never getting married, but if I do... one of the requirements will have to be kitchen competence. And you know who that comment is directed to!

In 11 days I'll be in Las Vegas and that is all I can think about. I played a lot of poker this weekend on Party Poker working off a reload bonus and trying to win some money to cover my airfare and hotel to Vegas. It's cool that I am able to shift between two passions of mine. Ten days ago all I could think about was writing and finishing the novel. I blocked out the rest of the world during that process. It was fun to come back into society and catch up with friends, surf my favorite blogs and read my favorite news sites. I've been watching a good amount of basketball (including my favorite sport, college hoops). I've also jumped back into movie viewing. I hit the video store for the first time in months and picked up a couple of flicks I had been wanting to see for sometime.

The night before Turkey Day, I watched Dazed and Confused with my brother. Wooderson is the coolest fuckin' dude on the planet. I had this thing that I used to say to myself before I talked to a woman I really liked. I'd say, "Act like Wooderson. Be cool." And instead I always ended up talking and acting like Woody Allen.

On Saturday, Briana and I watched Mean Girls. I was impressed with Tina Fey's script. I think that might have been her acting debut as well, playing the math teacher. SNL cast member Amy Poehler played the "cool mom" and I wished she had gotten more screen time because she's hilarious. Too bad Lindsey Lohan got all skanked out after she shot the movie. She had so much potential and took the Tara Reid path to Hollyweird slutiness. I'm glad that I did not attend public school. I was fortunate that I was educated at private schools and without a doubt that kept me in line. Just imagine how much more of a loose cannon I'd be if I weren't disciplined by nuns and priests in my formative years? Anyway, Briana had a rough time in high school. She went to a stuffy all girls private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and she told me some horror stories. Some of the other girls used to hate her because her family happened to own a certain famous cultural institution which bared the same last name. And yeah there was a clique of "Plastics" that were the ruling hierarchy of the tenth grade. They made her life miserable. I'm trying to get her to write a blog about her experiences or even a Truckin' story. At some point we were all picked on as a child and that material is something we can all relate to on some level.

Bankroll Me

I said I'd discuss my partnership with my friend Briana in more detail. She's bankrolling me on Party Poker and loves seeing her name blogged. She's a whore for attention. Aren't most blondes? So, I'm solo when it comes to other poker sites and live play.

What exactly does bankrolling mean? She covers all my loses and we split my winnings 50-50. I won $90 the other night but technically, I only got to pocket $45.

Before my hiatus, I had been suffering a horrible losing streak starting from my birthday (late Sept.) through Halloween. My Party Poker bankroll took almost a $900 hit. My cash bankroll was fleeced for more than $1000. All the badbeats, suckouts, and loose mistakes caught up to me. That trip to the Borgata with the bloggers killed me, along with a bad performance at the Blue Parrot and a few losing sessions at Foxwoods which helped deplete my cash roll.

Yep, my overall bankroll is looking thinner than a strung out, anorexic, Eastern European, cokehead model. I was concerned about having sufficient funds for the upcoming Vegas trip and luckily Briana was open to hearing about investment opportunities specifically regarding becoming my backer. I explained to her that I had made an error cashing out $200-250 a week (for ten straight weeks) out of my Party Poker account to pay for my summer traveling and fun in the sun. Because I withdrew money from my bankroll to cover my expenses, that left me with a very small cushion to absorb any bad streaks. I was also skimming out of my cash bankroll, another no-no. I knew what I was doing was a mortal sin for poker players and took a chance. Life's short and I'm one to live in the moment. Following Phish on their last tour and seeing friends this summer was a bigger priority than padding my bankroll. Obviously, that's a flaw in my overall poker outlook that I'll have to address in the future. For moment, the temporary solution was to find a backer to absorb any incurred loses between now and Vegas, in order to preserve whatever cash I had lying around.

The first problem I had with this partnership was the friendship factor. Never do business with friends. But I don't know too many people who were willing to hand over $500 in cash and take a walk to a Western Union office to send a wire transfer to Gibraltar. Yep, in the last six months, I have sent cash to several countries -- Venezuela, Costa Rica, Curaco -- mostly in South America to fund poker accounts and my sports book account. I wonder if that suspicious financial activity will get me flagged by the suits at Homeland Security? Alas, it came down to a simple fact that she's got faith in me. Poor girl. I wonder if I blow her seed money, if will she still trust me?

The second factor of concern was having to split my winnings 50-50. Sure I won't be losing with my money, but my online income will be cut in half. The only thing I can do to counteract that is to move up in limits (especially in SNGs from $30 to $50 and $100). Since I play no limit I guess after I clear my bonus, I'll head to the $100 and $200 tables. Hopefully I'll go on a decent run and I'll be able to rebuild up my bankroll and go back to being solo next year.

So far this has been working out and although I thrive on pressure, Briana hasn't been on my case breathing down my neck expecting results, like a George Steinbrenner. Our partnership will give her more incentive to read my poker blog, but she still admits I'm speaking another language when I ramble on relentlessly about poker. And watching Celebrity Poker Letdown won't help her much, although it might hold her short attention span enough that she'd pick up on some lingo.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. The Holy Bible
2. The Godfather Returns by Mark Winegardner
3. Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella
4. 1984 by George Orwell
5. Three (Plays) by Tennessee: Sweet Bird of Youth/The Rose Tatto/The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Today feels like a Sunday.
Today's TO DO List:
1. Edit new issue of Truckin'
2. Watch the Knicks game
3. Write for two hours
4. Make French Toast from scratch
5. Fire up Party Poker and track down my favorite fish to donate to the Pauly Vegas Fund

This is for Molly.
Friday Night Lights
"Don't you have homes?" - Judge Smails, Caddyshack
The best parties in life are the ones that spring up spontaneously. It seemed like a normal night. I fired up Party Poker to work off my reload bonus and headed for the NL tables while my brother was played a few SNGs. I sat down at a table and right away I realized I was playing with a loose maniac, one of the craziest I had ever seen on Party Poker (email me and I'll send you his screen name). Any hand he decided to play, he would move all in. I tagged him quickly and waited. He got a few other players on tilt who tried to call him with a better than marginal hand. He was killing pocket pairs and big slick with shit. Against those crazy guys, you really need to wait for the nuts and strike. Over the long run, your big hands will hold up against 97s. I was tempted to push with hands like A7s. Sure it's a sketchy hand, but at my table that was a dominant hand, especially heads up with the maniac. He went from $5 to $100 in about twenty minutes. That guy was pushing all in preflop with any ace; A2, A4s, A6. He pushed with small connectors 56o, 34o, and even pushed with any face J8o, Q6, K2o. His best hand was a AQ and if I called with my A7s, I would have flopped trips.

I was chatting with Bad Blood and I told him to get to my table quickly before the maniac lost all his money. Like I said, he loosened up the table and two other guys (that the maniac badbeated and were on tilt) starting calling big bets preflop with marginal hands, even if the manic folded preflop. It was one of those rare opportunities where if you had the balls of a cliff diver and the patience of a Buddhist monk, you could triple your buy in on one hand.

I waited and waited until I hit a huge flop. With pocket 3s on the button, I called a medium sized bet preflop. Four players including the maniac and one of the guys on tilt. The flop 10-5-3. I checked there was a small bet and then the maniac raised to $10. I moved all in (I had about $30) and he called with 10-8. My set held up and I doubled up! I was ready to leave and play a $50 SNG and maybe a three table SNG when Iggy sat down. Shit. Well, fuck, I had to stick around a little while longer. Bad Blood got on the waiting list and then I noticed that Ryan from Pokerrata sat down in Seat 1. Before I knew it, SirFwalgman and Bad Blood were seated. Then Otis and Maudie joined the mix for a table of seven poker bloggers and three clueless folks. Again, it felt like that scene in Rounders at the Taj. My brother pointed out to me that six of us were all seated in a row. Pretty cool.
The lineup...
Seat 1: Ryan from Pokerrata
Seat 2: BadBlood
Seat 3: Pauly
Seat 4: Otis
Seat 7: Maudie
Seat 9: SirFWalgman
Seat 10: Iggy
We had both AlCantHang and Derek on the rail. And just like that, it was a blogger convention. No invites. No RSVPs. I simply sat down and didn't hide myself from the player search function. If you build it, they will come. And like cockroaches scurrying through my kitchen at 3am, poker bloggers quickly found their way to my table. It was my first excursion with Ryan and my second table appearance with SirFwalgman and Iggy this week. Otis, Bad Blood, and Maudie? Ah, I've played with them so much at this point that our games are like peas and carrots. Too bad the loose maniac left! We would have taken all his money. But there was another $100 stacks at the table, a guy who had loosened up via one of the several bad beats from the maniac.

Hammer a Trois

I had one bad beat. My suited slick lost to AJ when they nimrod hit his Jack on the river. I let Iggy bluff me out of a pot and folded 99 to his 44! I tried to bluff with the hammer and had to fold on the turn when I knew the other guy hit his flush. Speaking of the hammer, it was dropped three times in a row, each time by a different blogger! First it was BadBlood who dropped $25 of his stack in a valiant losing effort to one of the loose guys. Then Iggy dropped the hammer on a huge pot, soon after, it was Otis. Three in a row. All bloggers. Grubby would have been proud.

Things got a little hectic for a Friday night on Party Poker. The bloggers were jacking up the pots preflop and postflop. The $100 stack wrote in the chat, "This is fun. This is the best table ever." I think AlCantHang wrote something back like, "You have no idea." Within an hour, the poor schmuck dropped his entire stack, most of it to Iggy. I wanted to stay all night, but I had some writing to do before I crashed. Tons of fun for sure. And to think, I never expected to be playing with one blogger, let alone six! Al Cant Hang called me a blogger magnet. Maybe so. Too bad I couldn't walk into a bar in NYC and have women flock to my table like my fellow bloggers online at Party Poker. I'd have to drop my pants of course and gyrate my hips into order to draw that some sort of attention in a bar. And thank God for the internet. Where else can I play poker in my boxers, with a Grateful Dead bootleg from Red Rocks blasting in the background, while shouting obscenities like Bobby Knight at my computer screen?

Before I crashed I saw my brother take down 3rd place in a $50 SNG. Way to go. See you at the tables tonight. Two weeks from today, it's the Holiday Classic at Sam's Town!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Post Turkey Day Musings

I had a decent Turkey Day, waking up early to write after a long poker session the night before on Party Poker where I failed to win a seat to the tournament in Costa Rica. Next time. I managed to get a couple of hours of writing in before noon. There were times this month when I wrote for five or six hours nonstop (up to eight or ten hours a day), so a two hour session seemed effortless. It's kinda like training for a marathon, running the marathon, and then a few days later going out for a quick jog. I had been working diligently on my poker blog the last few days (with some quality posts) and this weekend I expect to crank out the next issue of Truckin'. Aside from the hiatus earlier this month from blogging, I felt that the overall quality of writing in my blogs since the end of the summer was subpar. I was determined to return from my hiatus refreshed and with a serious effort to improve my slacking effort. We'll see how long I can keep it up.

Recent Writing Music Included...
1. Medeski, Martin & Wood
2. John Coltrane
3. Traffic
4. Garage a Trois
5. Vida Blue

I am a fan of the IFC program Dinner for Five starring Jon Favreau where he invites four actors/writers/directors/producers to a sit down dinner in a posh eatery and they yap about the industry. IFC started a tradition of a Thanksgiving Marathon where they aired every single episode and I had a chance to see a few I missed and to watch some of my favorites. If I could invite a series of his guests to a dinner with me to shoot the shit, I'd select George Carlin, Kevin Smith, Faizon Love, and Tracy Ulman. They all seemed to be the funniest with the most bizarre stories to tell about Hollyweird and the independent film making process.

Football was not as exciting as it could have been. Peyton Manning whooped the Lions, but at least Kevin Jones rushed for 99 yards (he's on my fantasy team). The second game was an exercise in futility with the lowly Bears taking on an even more inept Dallas Cowgirls. Gambling on football this season has been as lucrative as opening up a Starbucks in downtown Fallujah.

Last night, I played a Stud high/low tournament on Pokerstars and came in 239th out of 3667. I did not make the money but I guess I should feel good about outlasting 3000+ players. Too bad 239th place paid the same as 3667th place. Late late night, I also hopped on Party Poker and had the lead in a three table tournament and blew it! I ended up coming in 7th out of 30. I had the Hilton Sisters cracked by Big Slick. I managed to get four aces again! The second time this week. I won a huge pot too. In other poker news, I have to play over 500 hands before Monday if I want to earn a reload bonus of $100. I'm halfway there. Jeez, I just realized that two weeks from right now, I'll be getting off the plane at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas with my brother. Man, I cannot wait. That's 336 hours from now. I haven't been this excited about a trip in a long time. I'm going to be meeting a few poker pros (Charlie Shoten and Ron Rose) and poker bloggers that I have never met before. That's always a great experience, meeting new people with shared interests. Plus I get to get shithoused drunk with AlCantHang and Big Mike.


"Where were you when certain people died?" Someone recently asked me about Kurt Cobain. I was in college in Atlanta at the time of his alleged suicide, and I was eating dinner at Eats (I love their cheese tortellini) with some friends when we heard the news on the radio. I'm an affirm believer that he was killed by Courtney Love, the fuckin' skeevy cuntbag. The news of his death did not impact me as much as it had a greater impact upon my generation (I think some nimwits dubbed us Gen X after Doug Copeland's novel). When Jerry Garcia died a year later, shit, that hurt. I went to see an afternoon Yankees game with Jerry where Cal Ripken hit two homeruns in a Baltimore win. I stopped by the museum after the game to meet up with some coworkers for cocktails. My friend Karen walked over and gave me a huge hug and said she was "so sorry." A few other coworkers came over to offer their condolences. That's when I found out about Jerry Garcia dying. I bolted for Strawberry Fields and hung out at the Imagine circle with hundreds of other deadheads and hippies. That's a night that I'll never forget. I always wondered if that officially marked the end of the 1960s. How about the Pope? Flashback to 1980 (or 1981), and I was at little league practice after school when one of my teammates, Kenny Kleinman, told me "Your Pope got shot." Kenny was Jewish if you hadn't picked up on that. He was only in charge for a little bit before he was marked for a hit. Wasn't JP1 poisoned? His reign was just a month. Looks like Pope JP2 was bulletproof. He's still hanging on. Of course what would the 1980s be without big time assassinations and failed attempts? JP2, Reagan, John Lennon. I woke up and saw the news that day, oh boy. That's how I found out about Lennon, while eating my Fruit Loops. I was at judo practice when Reagan was shot. When I got home I watched the news footage. If John Hinkley were a better shot, Pappa Bush would have been a two plus term President.

I watched The Girl Next Door after dinner. Man, Elisha Cuthbert is smoking. The movie was flawed (she should have gotten more screen time) but it reminded me of a 1980s flick. I'd cast her in any of my films. Make sure you vote for her when Sigge starts open voting for his Woman of the Year next week. I waish I could rambling on and on about her. Alas, I have stuff to do.

That's it for now. Time for me to hit the tables at Party Poker.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!
All In

Julie sent me this article the other day; Placing bet on poker mag All In. It appeared in the NY Daily News earlier this week. Here's a bit:
After publishing two test issues of All In from Seattle, the editor and publisher moved the mag to Manhattan and lined up Time Warner to distribute the premiere to Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble and other big outlets.

"We expect to be the fastest-growing magazine in 2005," he told the Daily News yesterday, saying he'll guarantee advertisers a circulation of 150,000 by February.
My poker blog was written up in the first issue of All In. If you'd like to read a text version of the article visit: The Viral Phenomenon of Poker Blogs written by HDouble.

I hope to be writing an article in an upcoming issue. Stay tuned for more details.
Lions, Turkeys, and Bears

For the Turkey Day football games, I'm going with the Lions +9.5 and the Bears +3.5. Let's hope Kevin Jones has a monster game.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Four Aces

I returned to the tables at Party Poker two nights ago. On Monday night I sat down and played in a Caribbean Poker Satellite Sub-Qualifier. First place paid a seat in the Qualifier. If I win the Qualifier, I make it into the satellite. Basically the winner of the actual satellite gets to go to San Jose, Costa Rica to play in 2004 Caribbean Poker Classic, getting accomodations for four nights and airfare for two people.
Sub-Qaulifer > Qualifier > Satellite > Costa Rica!
A minor technicality sprung up. Who do I take if I win?

OK, here's the situation. I won the Sub-Qualifier on Monday and a seat in the Qualifier. Of course I had a few railbirds cheering me on. Al Cant Hang was there and I always push myself to play better when I have fans watching, especally poker bloggers. Last night I played in the Qualifier and came in fifth place. I didn't get good hands. I was a little down and played in another Sub-qualifier to lift my spirits. I won my second one in two nights, this time I had Jason sweating me. I got lucky as fuck, catching cards left and right. He saw me take down a monster pot with four aces!! It was a lot of fun when you get hands like that. I slowplayed (a term for sandbagging my hand, I let the other players think I had a weaker hand and didn't raise until the last betting opportunity to maximize my winnings) and got a guy to push his stack all in on the river when he hit a full house. My four of a kind was no match. That was all the confidence I needed and I ended up winning my second Sub-Q in consecutive nights. I'll be playing the Qualifier later today.Here's what Jason wrote on his poker blog:
One of the best parts of the tourneys came on the first hand I watched, when Pauly went and hit quad aces! The great part is this guy totally bet into him, and even re-raised him, not believing the doctor had the goods. Very cool. He hung in there without any good cards for quite a while and then managed to catch a series of spectacular suckouts en route to a head-up match with the player who'd been ahead for most of the tournament. I've never been much of a heads-up player, but I recognize good heads-up play when I see it, and I can say that Pauly played very well when it was down to just two. Varied betting and good aggression kept him from every going too far down - if I remember correctly he never trailed by more than 500 chips after the first hand - and yet another spectacular suckout won the whole show for him when his two paired on the river to beat a dominating hand.
Here's the problem. I had a horrible run at the tables from my birthday through Halloween. Atlantic City was a tough trip. The tables at Party Poker were unkind. I dropped almost $2,000 in my worst stretch since I got whooped in Vegas last April. With a bankroll thinner than an anorexic, strung-out, free-basing, Belgium model, I recently agreed to let someone bankroll my play online at Party Poker. If you are bankrolled, you play with someone else's money. If you lose, well, they absorb the losses. You don't lose anything. If you win, you split the winnings (usually 50-50). My earning potential is cut in half, but if I'm still stuck in an atrocious losing streak, at least it's not my money.

Well, a friend of mine who does not play poker (nor gambles) decided to bankroll me after a long conversation the other night. It was clear that this was a trial basis and if all goes well, we'll sit down and discuss plans for 2005. So, if I win the package to Costa Rica, I guess I have to take Briana instead of my brother since she bankrolled me. Thanks again B! Despite the rumors in the past, I was going to always take my brother with me on any tournament I happened to win a seat in major tournaments (Estonia, England, Australia, and now Costa Rica). Let's hope I have this problem in a few days, because it means I won a trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. I'm sure Briana will let me take my brother. I'll have to rework my contract for next year.

I had been trying last month to win a trip to Australia in January. That's on hold for the moment because the 2004 Caribbean Poker Classic is due to start next week! When I get back from Vegas I can try to win a seat at the Aussie Poker Championships. More to come.

Vegas in how many days, Bob?
Rhode Island Stories: More Adventures in Babysitting

I've been back for a while, but I haven't had the time to write up a few stories from Narragansett. The most recent tale involves Senor and a deer. Where he lives near Point Judith, there are a ton of deer hanging around. Although I had never seen one single deer during my time at his house, his wife insists that they come out very early in the morning and wander through their back yard. Little Senor usually runs up to the window and scares them away. Last week on a misty and foggy night, on his way back from an errand with Little Senor fast asleep in the backseat, Senor was driving down Ocean Road and a deer appeared out of nowhere. He slammed on his breaks knowing that he was going to hit the poor animal. Little Senor slept through the whole thing. Senor drove back to the house and inspected his car. The estimated damages were in the $900 range. Later on he found out that if you hit a deer on a state road and call the police to file a report, that the state will pay for any incurred damages. Now they tell him! By the way have you ever had to remove a hoof from your front quarter panel?

One afternoon, we went back to the Friendly's with the waitress who was in love with Little Senor. She was excited to serve us again. Senor was feeding Little Senor lemons and the kid was loving them. I got a spicy buffalo chicken sandwich with seasoned fries. Yummy. There were no hot college girls hanging out, so I couldn't use the little guy to help me meet co-eds.

I wandered around and took pictures in between writing sessions. I would walk out to the ocean and sit for an unspecified amount of time and let my mind wander. I spent a lot of time the first week daydreaming and I eventually ran of to Foxwoods to meet a Felicia and Glenn who were in town to play in a World Poker Finals tournament. Before the event started, I happened to meet Greg Raymer aka Fossil Man. He won $5 Million at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas earlier this year. All you have to do is turn on ESPN or ESPN2 at a random time of the day, and you'll see repeats of the WSoP. He's the dude with the funky sunglasses. Anyway, Felicia introduced me as "This is Pauly, he's a real writer." That made me feel pretty good, even though I should have been back at Senor's working on a new novel instead of hanging out in a casino talking shop with a bunch of poker pros (and a World Champion) at 8:50am on a Thursday morning.

I had one adventure in babysitting. Well, one and a half. If you don't remember, I had my first brush with daycare looking after Little Senor back in May. I barely survived. I was better prepared this time. One instance, Senor and Ang went outside to get somethings out of the car and I had to keep an eye on Little Senor. No problems there. The other time, it was an impromptu babysitting session. I was writing in the kitchen during Little Senor's nap. Senor and Ang were both downstairs in the basement. Senor was working on a take home midterm and Ang was busy with household duties. I thought I heard crying from upstairs and I went to investigate. They have a door with a big glass window leading to the bedroom and I could see Little Senor in tears standing up in his crib. I gave him a pacifier and put him back down to sleep. I thought the problem was solved and I walked out of the room. He popped back up and cried again. I picked him up and took him downstairs with me. I knew that his parents were busy working and I figured I'd give them a little break. I sat him on the couch and turned on the TV. Dr. Suess's Cat in the Hat was playing so we watched that for a while. A few minutes later, Ang appeared and I told her what happened. Senor thought that was hilarious. He said my babysitting skills were vastly approving. Anyway, Little Senor is constantly running around the house and he's got a few teeth too. The kid loves to eat for a one year old.

Over the holiday weekend, I'll finally get around to writing a final update on Gumbo. And I'll try to go into specific details about the creation of the manuscript.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror by Anonymous
2. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
4. The Holy Bible
5. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lost Youth and Kobe Beef

I got an email from Armando over the weekend. He was flying up from Sao Paolo, Brazil where he lives and works. He would be in NYC for a series of business meetings and wanted to know if I was available for lunch.

"Lunch," I wrote back to him in an email, "is for fuckin' old ladies."

He got a good laugh out of it, but regretted that he couldn't get extremely wasted since he had important meetings. Armando and I have known each other since we were 18 years old when we met in college. He lived next door to me for two years in my fraternity house and he has witnessed first hand my wildest days as a raging alcoholic. My 30s have been tame compared to my rambunctious late teens. We were raging drunk every night, raising hell in the deep south. I was a loose cannon indeed, consuming a fifth of Jim Beam a day, and knocking back liquor like an Al Cant Hang clone.

I'll tell you one quick Armando story. Flashback to 1992 during our Sophomore year. We were drinking in my room doing an Hour of Power (the abbreviated version of The Century Club). That's when you drink a shot of beer every minute for an hour. Armando was friends with a bunch of Thetas, the girls from the Southern sorority, and they drank like fishes! To make things interesting, Armando and I added a shot of Jagermeister every ten minutes. By the end of the hour, I was shitfaced with 60 shots of beer in me and 6 shots of Jager. We went off to PJ's, the local Thursday night hangout. I headed straight for the bar and ordered more Jager shots. That's the last thing I recall before I blacked out. For someone who's been partying hard for almost fifteen years, I am proud to say that I've rarely blacked out. That night with Armando and the Thetas was one of the rare instances. At some point during the night at PJ's, I got into a fight with a dickhead named Billy, who was a Pike. The bouncers and bartenders were all members of the Pike fraternity and although they were dickhead jocks and muscleheads, they took a liking to me. I played basketball with everyone on their team and luckily that's what saved me from getting my ass stomped. Supposedly, I got a ride home from one of the Thetas, bought everyone in the car Dunkin' Donuts and passed out on our front porch. Burgess, one of my brothers, carried me down to my room where my roommate was watching a movie with his girlfriend and their friends. "Dude, this belongs to you," Burgess said as he pushed me in the room and I fell to the ground. I woke up six hours later on the floor of my room surrounded by empty Milwaukee's Best Light cans, with the worst hangover in years and I still have a rash on my arm that's never went away. On my way to class a few days later, my friend Holly came up to me and was so happy to see me alive. "Man, I had never seen you more wasted."

End college flashback.

I had not seen Armando in over two years since he moved to Greece then to Brazil. I met him at his hotel in Midtown and we took a walk to a place his mother suggested, Rue 57. Armando was buying me lunch, courtesy of his corporate card, and he encouraged me to get whatever I wanted. I settled for a draft beer while we waited to be seated. Located on the corner of 57th and 6th Avenue, Rue 57 looks like a cheesy, overpriced French bistro, a Eurotrash place I normally wouldn't prefer to spend my time at. However, it was not as bad as I thought. The food was excellent and service mediocre. Rue 57 is a Parisian brasserie and sushi bar, a unique combo, as was it's clientele, a mix of Midwestern tourists and Midtown suits on lunch. The interesting menu offered up sushi dishes as well as classic Parisian cuisine. Armando went for the Smoked Atlantic Salmon with Cucumber, Red Onion Compote, Creme Fraiche and a warm Dill Biscuit. I decided on trying the mini Kobe beef burgers. For $30, you got a small order of pomme frites (fries) and three silver dollar sized burgers. I never had the infamous Kobe beef before (insert Kobe Bryant attempted rape joke here) and was eager to experience the most expensive beef on the planet. The Japanese massage their cows and feed them beer and high grade food. Fine with me. As I lifted the tiny burger to eat, I took a medium sized bite and slowly let the Kobe beef dissolve in my mouth. Unbelievable! It melted in my mouth and was not saturated in fats and oils like a normal cheeseburger. I now had a last meal choice if I was to be on Death Row. I also decided right away that if I won the World Series of Poker, that the first thing I was going to splurge on was to buy my brother and myself a Kobe steak dinner.

Anyway, Armando and I quickly caught up on our lives. He reads my blog frequently from Brazil, so he had a general idea what was up with me and wanted to hear about the juicy nuggets of gossip about some of the people we went to school with and more importantly, he wanted to hear about all the cool and non-blogworthy things (the unabridged tales of sex, drugs, and aberrant behavior) I had been doing with my life in the last few years. I told him some of the highlights (like the phone sex girl) and lowlights (like the day of the dreaded e.p.t. purchase). We shared stories about all the guys and girls we went to school with that were having kids. Five years ago everyone was getting married. Now they're popping out kids at a disgusting rate. These were the same people who just a few years ago openly embraced binge drinking, experimental psychedelic usage, and sexual promiscuity (sometimes all in the same weekday night) and now they're living in Red states, working for the Man, and driving Volvos.

We touched on the usual topics we seem to talk about in addition to stupid materialistic Americans, corruption in South America, Eastern European cities, and Catholicism in Brazil. At some point the question was posed, "If you could go back in time ten years ago, what would you say to the 22 year old version of yourself?" I had mentioned a couple of general things that everyone would say. I would have told myself to worry a lot less about things I have no control over and I would have emphasized that I should take more risks, oh and to travel more (especially to see more Grateful Dead shows before Jerry died). Also, I would have told myself something about not being naive with the friends in my life thinking that I could implicitly trust them all of the time. The term friends is a loose definition and it's always been changing and shifting over the last fifteen years. I would tell myself to show more loyalty to my closer friends and be more cautious with trusting all friends in general. After all, who has not been betrayed by someone we thought we could trust? I'd be giving myself a stern warning. I also would have dispensed some much needed relationship advice. Not that I know anything more about women at 32 than I knew at 22. But I could give some tips like:
1. Never date a woman who... has more ex-boyfriends than pairs of shoes in her closet.
2. Never date a woman who... has more than two pets.
3. Never date a woman who... routinely abuses people in food service and customer service.
4. Never date a woman who... has no idea what Matthew McConaughey's greatest film role was.
5. Never date a woman who... drinks more than you.
If I knew those five things, shit, if I knew one of those things, entire sections of my life would have been a lot easier. All joking aside, it was great to catch up with an old friend. Eating Kobe beef burgers in a French restaurant with Armando was the last thing I expected to do when I woke up today. And he planted the Brazil seed in my mind. Yep, Brazil makes the short list of places I'd like to visit in 2005. Up there with Alaska, Paris, Nepal, and Norway (to meet Sigge and all those Nordic female groupies I have been hearing about). Let's hope I have a great run in Vegas and can scratch up enough cash for plane fare.

Alright, alright, alright!!
Al-Qaeda's Armies by Jon Schanzer

Al-Qaeda's Armies is now available on Amazon.com.

Buy this book! Al-Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups & The Next Generation of Terror is something that Jon Schanzer had been working on the last few years and we'll finally be able to read up on his extensive research as one of America's top terror experts. I've been fortunate to have known and been friends Schanzer since we started college back in 1990 and I speak for all of his friends when I say that we are all proud of his hard work. Al-Qaeda's Armies is a must read and you should add it to your winter reading list. Plus, you get to see me mentioned in the Acknowledgements Section. I've never seen my name in a "real" book before and I'm certainly grateful.
Be Careful What You Blog

Someday I'm going to walk away from all of my blogs and not tell anyone. I'll start a new one as an anonymous blogger, or maybe I'll call myself Chester from Iowa. I'll ramble on incessantly about corn and other agricultural things like pork bellies and silos and Fred Hoiberg. (If anyone gets the Mayoral reference, I'll give them $1.) Eventually I'll build up a small following of bored fellow Iowans and maybe a North Dakotan or two, but that would be fine with me. My former fans would have to scour the internet for hours on end, sifting though boring blog after boring blog, hoping to catch a glimpse of my new blog, The Tao of Scorn.

Traveling the Too-Much-Information Highway is an article written by Heather Hunter. She's the author of This Fish Needs a Bicycle. I found this article over at Material Squirrel.

Here's a bit:
Because the Musician and I had met through our respective Web logs - and thus always understood that oversharing was an inherent risk - our relationship had never been terribly traditional. We didn't seem to spend time wondering what the other person was thinking. In my case, I figured I'd just write about it anyway.

But unlike me, the Musician rarely wrote about his dating habits. He had conspicuously failed to blog about our own relationship, and so I was blissfully ignorant of other women in his life. Suddenly, with the discovery of the Young Photographer's blog, that bliss was gone. Gone also were the days when I assumed night-vision goggles would be necessary to stalk a lover. All I had to do was open my Internet Explorer. Although good sense told me that blog-stalking my lover's lover wasn't the healthiest approach to the situation, compulsion trumped reason, and I stalked freely.

It wasn't long before I knew about her preferred sexual position (her toes had to be pointed), her birth control (the pill) and her cup size (34C). And the more I read, the more I was convinced that she was more stylish, more intelligent and more charming than I could ever be. If she wrote about applying a "contouring duo" eye shadow before one of her dates with the Musician, my mind raced: Did I even own a contouring duo, much less know how to use one? If she mentioned wearing vintage Chanel to a press junket, I became painfully aware of the conspicuous lack of silk, vintage or otherwise, in my wardrobe. I bought more silk.

Still, it remained: my shoes weren't expensive enough, my social engagements not nearly as glamorous, and my freckles not half as lovable. Despite knowing that he didn't expose his love life in his blog, I began combing through the Musician's daily entries for any mention of her and for any unthinkable indication that he might like her more than me.
I don't think I'm the Musician she's talking about. This freaked me out the first time I read it. I laughed the second time and then the third time I started to actually think about the people in my life and it made me wonder... who's cyberstalking me?

Jilted ex-girlfriends? Future lovers? Curious classmates? Jealous rivals? Albino nuclear physicists? Collection Agencies? There was that one girl back when I lived in Brooklyn, whatshername? She had a Canuck accent and I met her on the F Train. I'm sure she decided to google.ca me on a lonely Saturday night up in Nova Scotia. And I met a sizzling blonde at my Gambler's Anonymous meeting, I mentioned I had a blog and she said she'd check it out. How about those guys I went to college with from my dorm? They must wondered what the hell happened to me? And how about those knuckleheads who can't stand I'm a better writer than they are and are not having as much fun as me? And then there's that freaky looking white dude who looks like Doc Brown from Back to the Future, I dunno why he keeps emailing me.

I've done my best to not specifically talk about my romantic life. Most of the time there's not much to talk about. And when there is something going on, I'm usually very discreet about my relationships. The female involved is well aware of my extensive blogging and prefers not to be mentioned in my daily musings on life, which something I respect. Besides, I think folks are more curious about my feeding habits (French Toast with bacon and cheese fries for lunch, oh and an iced tea), than specifically what did I do to whom, at what time, in what location, in what oriface, oh and what was playing on the radio and maybe I had some deep insightful thing to say during the said sex act. Sure puts a different spin on Pieces of Pauly.
Last night around 12:14am, I pushed aside Amber's pink Victoria's Secret thong and began fingering her in the back seat of a taxi as it sped down Lexington Avenue. Jugdish, my friendly driver from New Dehli, chatted with me briefly about the warm November weather while a Kamar Samu CD played on his stereo loud enough to drown out the increased volume of Amber's moaning. That's when I had a moment of clarity. Kierkegaard was right after all. "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
I have several stories about meeting fans of my blog or other bloggers I know through each other's blogs. I've become friends with a fair amount of them especially the ones I got the chance of meeting. And I do have a couple of random lurid sex tales with female fans, but that not really fans, more like extra-friendly admirers and/or fellow bloggers. As much as I know that most of my friends and readers are deranged sex-freaks, I will not be going into detail about those. I'm not naming names. That's the kind of things that get you shot. You'll have to read the novel instead.

Anyway, there was one person who was cyber stalking me a couple of years ago. She had been reading my blog for months before she finally sent me an email. Yadda, yadda, yadda... the next thing I know were having phone sex. Ah, you don't want to hear this... do you?

Monday, November 22, 2004

Second Draft Done

I finished the second draft of Gumbo earlier this morning (shortly before sunrise). Expect very long, rambling, verbose posts in the next few days. I can't help myself. I'm used to churning out 5 to 6,000 words a day!

I'm done with major writing projects for the next few months (with the exception of Truckin')and I intend to celebrate the completion of my fifth novel by partying my nuts off and playing lots of poker nonstop through the Spring. I work hard and I definitely play harder. I've been a good boy the last few weeks with my sobriety and passive lifestyle resembling more like a Catholic nun than the nomadic, unshaven burnout that snarled at me in the mirrior at the end of the summer. I was speeding in the fast lane of life all summer and if you offered me a line of drain cleaner, I would have snorted it in a second, and chased it with a half a bottle of cold medicine. Definitely feels good to have cleaned up my act. Spending time in Rhode Island helped out a lot and writing is always a life saver. If you like bad boy Pauly, never fear. My squeaky clean image will be shattered at first sight of Al Cant Hang ordering a round of SoCo shots in Las Vegas.

Vegas in how many days? I cannot wait until I smirk at the bright lights and brush off the advances of silicon happy escorts at the Bellagio. Vegas couldn't come quicker. Grubby sent me an email this morning. He wants to go to Atlantic City for a few days before Vegas. Don't tempt me, bro. My bankroll is still hurting after I lost a $500+ pot to the Grubster at the Borgata in Septmeber.

Someone recently asked me... What's your novel about? I didn't have an answer at the time because it wasn't complete. Now after penning over 54,000 words, I can honestly say that it's 100% pure Americana trash. Indeed, Gumbo is nothing short of pure narcissistic drivel. For all you poker addicts out there, I included a random poker scene. A chapter of the novel takes place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Other locales include Amsterdam, New York, and Seattle. I let the self-appointed Tao of Pauly's sex tips expert, Briana, take a sneak peak at Chapter 1. When she was done she had a horrified look on her face. When I asked her to share her thoughts she muttered, "Wow, you weren't kidding. Sex, drugs, AND rock and roll." She was only on page 9.

Escorts and Hold'em

Alexa, my favorite NYC escort by night, blogger by day, recently jetted off to Vegas with her girlfriends. She wrote up some of her trip report called Texas Hold'em - Sin City. Here's a bit:
The dealer turns over the final card on the green felt. "How much can I bet?"

The dealer replies, "As much as you have on the table. There's no limit at these tables."

"Oh, is that what all in means?"


"OK, then I think I'm all in." I reach over and start pushing my chips in.

The man sitting next to me takes his dirty baseball cap off, scratches his head and spits into an empty beer bottle. He's been chewing tobacco and spitting the whole time. Disgusting.
Alexa is a fan of my poker blog and I'm sure I've mentioned her blog on my sites(s) before. Glad to see she's having fun in Sin City. Does the poker content qualify her as a poker blogger? I'll ask her if she wants to play in Holiday Classic. Check out her site.

Ron Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season after his involvment in one of the more retarded blemishes on the face of the NBA. That's what happenes in the Big D when you have an NHL lockout. It reminds me of that old joke... A bunch of people when to see the Pacers play the Pistons and a hockey game broke out in the stands.

Unless you've been living under a rock the last few days, the brawl at the Pictons-Pacers game has been big news everywhere. I love a good brawl, but that was a little ridiculous. Ron Artest is a two bit punk and now I'm glad the Knicks didn't draft him (I know they drafted the inept and invisible Fredrick Weiss and is one of the many reasons why I hate the Dolans. Never draft a French athlete under any circumstances). I guess now that Artest is done for the season he'll have all the time he wants to pursue his music career. Here's a link to a picture gallery of the brawl.

If anything comes out of this it's that NBA players will know to never go into the stands ever again no matter what. Now if someone comes onto the court or field of play, well that's another story. They deserve everything they get... and more. That little punk who got the bitch slapped out of him... well, that dipshit got what was coming to him. And you know he's going to sue everyone possible for 8 figures.

Every party involved is to blame. The players should have acted like professionals and ignored the taunts and thrown debris from the idiot fans. That's why they get paid the big bucks... to ignore them and act in a professional matter. The fans are a bunch of inbred retards. Some of them should go to jail and not be allowed to file lawsuits against the NBA players. The lot of them should not be allowed to attend major sporting events. Security has to shoulder some of the blame. As does the media outlets (including this blog) for sensationalizing the brawl. Sure, it sells pictures and ad space. But what makes me cringe that the mob metality took over fast. Everyone was lucky it did not get uglier.

If Americans were as passionate about politics as they were about sports, we'd be better off as a country. Ah, give the sports world a week or so to come up with another newsworthy fodder for the masses.

Make sure you read what Mean Gene had to say on his poker blog. Here's a bit:
After Artest was dragged back to the court some complete moron ran onto the court and started waggling his shoulders like he was ready to rumble. Artest clipped him with a punch and then started duking it out with another idiot as a security guard grabbed the first dude--just as Jermaine O'Neal clocked the guy with a right across the jaw. By then most of the Pacer players started heading for the tunnel and their locker room, where they were doused with beer, Coke, popcorn, and anything else at hand. Someone chucked a chair into a mass of people including O'Neal, but it looked like it didn't connect with anyone directly. A ref got hit in the face with a plastic bottle full of beer, and I saw at least one other person who looked like he got hit in the face with a thrown object. Jamaal Tinsley tried to run back through the tunnel and hit the fans about with what looked like a broom or dustbin, but he was pushed back inside.
In case you haven't been watching, the NY Knicks won two out of their last three and blew the game at Dallas this weekend when they had a chance to beat the Mavs.

Basketbrawl Part II

America's second best writer (Ho hum HST's got the juice) Neal Pollock sounded off on the brawl. Here's a bit:
If George W. Bush Ran The NBA... Ron Artest would win the Most Valuable Player Award.

Intelligence would show that the drink the fan threw on Artest contained a teaspoonful of anthrax.

All NBA fans would be reclassfied as enemy combatants.

The owners would push through a midnight rule change that makes it impossible to suspend any player who "shares the goals" of the NBA.

And the government would scale back financial aid for hundreds of thousands of low-income college students, thereby creating more interest in the NBA as a career option.
Pollock cracked me up today.

Basketbrawl Part III

Mike Wise had a few things to say about the brawl in an article titled NBA Meltdown Provides Blame Aplenty which appeared in the Washington Post. Here's a bit:
Most who have seen the video respond with shock and disbelief. But this has been coming for a while. Players and fans have been on a collision course for some time. And, frankly, it's surprising an ugly event of this magnitude didn't happen sooner. If you want the sad truth, some players actually respect what Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal did to those fans. It made them feel empowered in a way that every player who has ever been harassed wants to feel.

It's surprising John Starks did not bum-rush the man in Indianapolis, who stood behind the Knicks bench for much of the late 1990s, yelling, "Hey, psycho boy!"

It's surprising that Dennis Rodman, the Artest of his day, did not inspire such anger and violence between player and fan. The antics of players like Rodman and Artest are tolerated by their teams because they help them win. Better channeling that emotional fine line on the court than deal with it in counseling, those teams figure. Counseling gets no one to the playoffs.

We are to blame, too. The only relationships some players have with their fans are on the drive to the game. They turn on the radio and hear the vitriolic people who call them names. They hear the national "host" who incites them. Knowing tension and anger sell, broadcast executives find someone to fit their suits, Crossfire-style. They hire people who will take sides on sports issues the way people take sides on Roe v. Wade.
Wise had some great points. I'm suprised something of this nature didn't happen sooner.
List of 5

It's been a while since I did a list of five random things. So, here you go.

Last 5 Movies I Watched...
1. Bookies
2. Supersize Me
3. For the Love of Money
4. Master and Commander
5. Miracle

5 Poker Bloggers That I Think Will Make the Final Table at WBPT Holiday Classic in Las Vegas...
1. Me
2. Derek
3. Boy Genius
4. Bad Blood
5. Maudie

5 Random Non-Tara Reid Boob's Referrals from Google...
1. Trey playing with Widespread Panic tour rumors
2. The bong store on Long Island
3. Download The OC scripts
4. Shana Hiatt high school yearbook photo
5. Mutated pancake nipple

5 Random Things I'm Addicted To...
1. Orange Gatorade
2. Playing Poker in Las Vegas
3. Summer from The OC
4. Donuts
5. Marijuana

5 CDs I Hope I Get for Christmas...
1. Jerry Garcia Band: Live at Kean College
2. Widespread Panic: Jackassolantern
3. Jimmy Cliff: The Harder They Come
4. Sidney Bechet and Django Reinhardt: Deux Geants De Jazz
5. Velvet Underground: Live at Max's Kansas City

Happy Belated Birthday!

A couple of folks are due belated birthday greetings... Girtz, Boogie, Jessica, and Felicia... all had birthdays during my hiatus. Sorry that I have to group everyone in one blog entry. Better late than never!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Las Vegas Holiday Classic Update

I'll be back on Monday with plenty of poker content to post on the Tao of Poker and lots of general blogging here.

Don't forget the next leg of the World Poker Bloggers Tour stops at Paradise Poker for the Grublog Poker Classic II this Sunday. Visit Grubby for more details. Unfortunately, I will be unable to participate in Sunday's event. I am still working on the second draft of Gumbo and there's no poker in my future until I complete that task. And yeah, I'm jonesin' to hit the tables at Party Poker. I'll also be missing Coach's home game and two birthday parties in NYC. I had a tough decision to make, but I'm sticking to my writing schedule. After this weekend, I'll have the next few months free to circle the shark infested waters at Party Poker and see my friends to party it up in the big city.

21 Days Til Vegas!

OK, thanks to both the Poker Prof and Dick for carrying the ball for me in my hiatus. I will be back in the swing of things by Monday and I'll be able to step back in the loop and hammer out the final details for the blogger tournament. In the last week or so Dick from Sam's Town and the Poker Prof have been organizing what's going to be a kick ass event.
What: WPBT Holiday Classic
When: Saturday, Dec. 11th at 1pm PCT
Where: Sam's Town Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Buy in: $50 ($45 prize pool + $5 dealer toke)
The Game: No Limit Texas Hold'em
1. Seats? There are a few seats still available. Email me if you are a poker blogger (or a member of the Swedish Bikini Team) and you'd like to play.

2. Rooms? If you are looking for a room, please contact Dick at Sam's Town. The direct line to poker room is (702) 454-8092 or 1-800 897-8696 (DO NOT ASK FOR RESERVATIONS), instead ask for Dick Gatewood. He's off on Sundays and some Mondays. Please book today before the rooms fill up due to the Rodeo Finals. He's hooking up bloggers with a $69 room rate. That's a nice discount.

3. Bounties and bonuses? If you have any ideas please let me know. Joaquin suggested he'd offer up a cowboy hat for the winner. That was a great idea. I already picked up a "Loser's Lounge" prize for the first person knocked out. And of course I'll be running a Hilton Sisters Challenge. J Santos will be offering up some of his poker related artwork for a prize. In addition, Dick is hard at work trying to secure us a little more money towards the prize pool.

4. T-shirts? If you are playing and you haven't contacted Maudie, please do so. She's hard at work getting shirts made and she needs your t-shirt size.

If you don't know, the Poker Prof was able to get pro Charlie Shoten (WPT Borgata runner up) to participate in the event, and they are working on getting a few other professionals to hang out and talk to us about poker and stuff before the tournament. I heard that Tom McEvoy (1983 WSoP winner and four total WSoP bracelets) is a maybe. That's pretty cool. I never envisioned that this random idea I had would grow into a legitimate event in Vegas! Dick arranged Sam's Town to possibly offer us a complimentary continental breakfast starting at 10:00am on Saturday morning. That would give the bloggers a chance to meet everyone else and talk with some of the professional players and of course do early bird shots with Al Cant Hang. What a great idea!

So far we have at least 24-25 players (some of your favorite poker bloggers) with a few maybes. In exactly three weeks, I'll be in Las Vegas and it couldn't come sooner. More to come.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

First Draft Done!

Sometime just before sunrise, I completed the final chapter which meant that I am now done with the first draft of Gumbo. I will be crashing now and taking the day off from writing. On Friday, I'll begin writing the second draft which will take up to five or six days.

If you are currently writing a NaNoWriMo novel (BG, MeanGene, Jason) send me a 750-1000 word excerpt and I'll publish in this month's issue of Truckin'. Please send it to me sooner than later. Thanks.
Trishelle for Sale

Trishelle from the Real World Las Vegas has offered herself up to the highest bidder on ebay. I think someone was not hugged enough as a child. I'd rather spend the $1,150 and get two hookers. At least she does not have a mutated pancake nipple.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


I reached the 50k mark sometime around 4:20pm EST. I guess I officially won NaNoWriMo. I'm not quite done yet still working on the final chapter.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Week 2 Update

Ocean view

I completed Week 2, my first real full week of writing Gumbo, and I'm happy to say that I'm way ahead of schedule with 35,000+ words. After a slow start and penning only 3380 words in the first week (all in one single session), I'm more than pleased with some of the characters. I've set the novel to take place in several cities, at least in six different locales so far, and that's been a lot of fun to write.
This week's binge:
Monday: 6734 words
Tuesday: 6440
Wednesday: 6085
Thursday: 4639
Friday: 5801
Saturday: 1971
I actually hit than 5,000 words on Saturday. I didn't like the majority of what I wrote and decided to make a crucial decision and rewrite the bulk of the chapter. I put aside what I originally wrote for future use as a springboard if I ever choose to go back and re-write the novel heading in that particular direction. As is, I needed a break. On Sunday I rested and didn't even look at any of the previous pages. I wanted some distance. I wanted a fresh start today. The material I was grappling with on Saturday was hyper-intense, personal, and at times painful. I had to visit some not so nice memories of my past and that serious task drained me emotionally (for the first time this project). There has come a point in every one of my previous novels where I hit an point of emotional exhaustion (usually due to sleep deprivation) and I had to walk away for a day to preserve my sanity.

I usually begin each session reading the previous chapter twice. That gives me a better idea of where I'm headed. I print up pages at the end of the writing day. Before I crash I'll take notes and read it through. At some point everyday, I make an effort to read the entire novel from start to finish. With almost 70% done, it takes me a lot longer to do that but that also tells me that I'm very close to finishing up.

The chapters are all about the same length, on the average of 5,000+ words.
Chapter 1: 5083
Chapter 2: 5034
Chapter 3: 6440
Chapter 4: 4563
Chapter 5: 5344
Chapter 6: 6618
I am trying to work at a slower pace to insure that I don't rush the ending, a major flaw in my previous manuscripts. As I'm approaching the final stretch, I don't want to burn out. It's going to take all my energy to stay focused.

Visit Gumbo for five different novel excerpts and updates. I might post another later today.

OK, I should be done with the first draft by Friday. Which is good news. I can proofread the manuscript over the weekend, tweak the dialogue and have a completed second draft done a few days before Turkey Day. And then, finally, I can get back in the loop reading my favorite blogs, playing poker at Party Poker, hanging out in NYC, and before you know it I'll be back to full time blogging infecting the cyber world with my drivel.

Random Pictures

For all my Phishy phriends.

I posted a couple of pictures to Gumbo that I took in Rhode Island when I was not writing. Take a peek. Maybe I'll post more.

Fantasy Pauly

For complete fantasy pools updates, visit Pauly's Pub. If you haven't paid me for the football pool, please make arrangements today otherwise I will send Al Cant Hang to your house. He's drink all your booze and eat all your food until you pay me.

Poker Bloggers Tournament in Vegas

Yes, twenty five days from now I'll be in Las Vegas. There are only a few seats left for the Holiday Classic (Dec. 11th at 1pm PCT at Sam's Town Casino, $50 entry fee) and if you are a poker blogger and want to play in the tournament, send me an email ASAP. If you need a room for the weekend, contact Dick the poker room manager from Sam's Town. He helped arrange a special poker rate for us at $69 a night. I'm still shocked I was able to get a Las Vegas casino to host a private tourney for my friends! We will be having at least one celebrity guest.

The following bloggers have confirmed their Vegas appearance: Me, Derek, BG, Bob, Al Cant Hang and Mrs. Hang, Otis, Maudie, Bad Blood, The Poker Prof, Dick, Flip Chip, The Film Geek, Grubby, Felicia and Glenn, Foiled Coup, F Train, Signor Ferrari from Rick's Cafe, and Joaquin from My Little Poker Blog.

More to come.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thanks to Tara's Mutated Pancake Nipple

Wow! Thanks to the Tara Reid incident, I got a record number of hits on Tuesday. I almost topped 1,000 visits for the day. That's Tao of Poker territory. In the last few days, I got almost 2,000 new visitors looking for Tara Reid's mutated pancake nipple (to steal that eloquent description from Daddy). The wonders of the internet. I hope some of them signed up for Party Poker using my bonus code: TAO4.

Gumbo Update

The novel is coming along soomthly. Visit Gumbo to read four different novel excerpts that I posted. I'm writing at a good pace and I should hit the halfway point sometime Thursday afternoon. I was hoping to hit the midway point by this weekend and I surpassed my goal. If I push myself and write up to 6,000 words a day, I'll have this novel done by Monday night. I don't think I can keep up that pace, but I feel confident I'll have a first draft completed within a week's time. The sooner I finish, the sooner I can get back into the loop and return to regularly scheduled blogging. More to come.

Man, I'll be in Vegas in four weeks too. Yikes!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Tara Reid's Boob Shoot

I'm interrupting my hiatus to blog this link: Tara Reid's Boob Slip (Courtesy of Xax). I've been getting numerous emails sending me the pictures or asking me for the pics. And in the last 24 hours, I've gotten over 270 hits from Google/Yahoo searches looking for Tara Reid's breasts. Our favorite party girl got liquored up at P Diddy's birthday bash and showed the world her hideous fake breasts.

Update: Check out The Superficial for a video clip of the boob incident.

Join Party Poker today!

In other news, the new novel is slowly moving along. Check out Gumbo for excerpts and some pictures of Rhode Island. Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 01, 2004

On Hiatus

Dear Friends, Readers, and Fellow Bloggers;

Earlier this afternoon I took the first steps in another wild journey otherwise known as the brutality of writing my fifth novel and participating in NaNoWriMo. This attempt will be another chance for me to experiment with fiction writing. Any thoughts on the process of the new novel, will be posted on a new blog called: Gumbo.

As of today, I am taking a hiatus from full time blogging and from part-time playing poker to concentrate on this new literary project. I am leaving NYC and withdrawing from society for an unspecified amount of time, relocating to Narragansett, Rhode Island to write in a less stressful setting. I penned all of my previous novels (and both screenplays) in my old studio in NYC. I have never completed a major writing project in any other environment. I have a challenging and terrifying task ahead of me. And I'm ready to write.

I write fast. Two years ago I completed my first novel, Jack Tripper Stole My Dog, in ten days while working fulltime trading stocks. I slept an hour a night during that run and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Check out Gumbo for updates and novel excerpts. I expect to be "back in the loop" shortly after Turkey Day and will publish a new issue of Truckin' soon after. Until then, let me apologize in advance if you have a difficult time reaching me.

Best of luck to my friends and fellow bloggers who are participating in NaNo. I am looking forward to reading your first drafts. Godspeed. Thanks for reading and more importantly... for your support.

Neutiquam erro,

P.S. To continue reading the Tao of Pauly, click here.