Monday, July 31, 2006

More Pictures and Living in a Bubble

Fans of the Tao of Poker

Take a peek at pics of the WSOP over at the Tao of Poker.

When I'm on assignment woring a poker tournament in a casino, I'm shut out from the outside world. Most casinos don't have clocks and never have TVs on. If they do it's strictly sporting events. Usually I'm woking four or five day tournaments and I'm unplugged from the real world for less than a week.

When I move to Las Vegas to cover the WSOP, I'm gone for two months and lose all semblance of reality. International news and current events get pushed aside. I lose touch with friends. I stop answering email. I don't respond to phone calls. I neglect this blog. I space out and forget to pay bills. I forget birthdays and other imporatnt dates.

I've been in Las Vegas for well over five weeks with only a few days outside of the state of Nevada. Most of my time is sitting in the Rio Casino for anywhere from 12 to 20 hours. I'm used to not sleeping as an insomniac. When I'm staying up for work reasons, my entire body gets thrown out of whack everything up. Living in Las Vegas last summer fucked me up hardcore and I didn't realize the grueling and cumulative effects until several months afterwards. That's why I did my best to pace myself and avoid all things poker for a few weeks prior to moving back to Las Vegas for the 2006 WSOP.

Anyway, I've been writing a ton of stuff for different outlets take a peek at:
Wil Wheaton Interview (PokerStars Blog)
Late Night Team PokerStars Update (PokerStars Blog)
Zen Patience and Barry Greenstein (PokerStars Blog)
Serious Business (Fox Sports)
Top 10 Personalities (Fox Sports)
Louie Anderson Drops the F-Bomb (PokerStars Blog)
The work is tough, but I'm fortunate to be on a very cool team of bloggers that includes Otis, CC, CJ, Wil, and a few Brits like Howard and Mad, and Ali from Australia. Take a peek at our bio page at PokerStars Blog.

1:00am... My eyes hurt and action is very slow. We keep teasing Snoopy from Blonde Poker to go buy us various items like a bottle of Skyy vodka, choclate shakes from In & Out, or nachos with cheese from the Kicthen Tent.

1:20am... Lacey Jones is down to $3.5K. William Thorsson is the first player over $100K.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Wil!

Today is Wil Wheaton Day. Happy birthday Wil. I think we're gonna take him to a strip club tonight if Mrs. Wheaton lets us.
WSOP Photos

Stop by my poker blog and check out photos from Day 1A.

Here's a sample:

Norm MacDonald

Sister Mary Maggie and Gank

Friday, July 28, 2006

Media/Celebrity Tournament and Other World Series of Poker Stuff

Shannon peeks at her cards

Thursday was the media event. In 2005, I knocked out actress Shannon Elizabeth and took 6th place. This year, I didn't do so good and busted early. Otis went deep taking 9th place. Stop by the Tao of Poker to see pics of my friends in the media and other C-List celebrities.

In a few hours, the main championship event for the World Series of Poker will begin at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. It will take two weeks to see who wins $10 million.

I was hired by PokerStars to help cover their players on PokerStars Blog. One of the perks is getting a free hotel room for two weeks at Treasure Island. My first post is up called The Calm Before the Storm.

Inthe last 24 hours, I had one of my articles published at Fox Sports called Serious Business. Hey, I didn't pick that title! I also found out that the article was linked up on the front page of MSN.

I don't know how much time I'll have to post here, but I'll do my best and at least do the "10 minutes per day" rule that I invented.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

July Truckin'

I finally published the latest issue of Truckin' which features short stories from several felow bloggers.
1. Memories in a Box by Tenzin McGrupp
The emotional weight of all those photographs combined would equal forty thousand elephants. No person is strong enough to walk through life with such a cumbersome burden on their shoulders... More

2. The Returning by Mella
The room seemed larger at night. The corners receded into black, the walls pressed back by shadows, everything coated in a thin veil of blue-gray moonlight. It spilled in through the sheer curtain, flooding the wooden floor. The air was thick, and it smelled like us; sex and sleep... More

3. Grits by Falstaff
when you're drunk, fearless and hungry, you'll go places where no Yankee has ever gone before, the Birmingham Waffle House at 3AM. And trust me, in Birmingham, being from North Carolina marks me as a Yankee... More

4. JetBlue Judy Greer by Derek McGrupp
As I waited at the gate to board my return flight to New York City, I noticed this girl who looked very familiar to me. I couldn't figure out who she was. It was killing me. Then it hit me. She was an actress... More

5. Flying Shotgun by Matt Robertson
I begin screaming and this seems to agitate the bird who in turn begins flapping harder, slapping the side of my face, and screeching louder. I am swerving all over the road at this point... More

6. Rain by Sean A. Donahue
I heard the fire trucks roll as the lightning flashed and as the thunder rolled across the plains of West Texas, I found myself loving listening to the rain again... More

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ninja Midgets, BoDog, and Tao

Phil Hellmuth won his 10th bracelet and I missed it. I decided to go to the BoDog party at Tao instead.

Change100 and I showed up fashionably late to Tao for what's going to be known the best party at this year's WSOP. We walked right in past the velvet red ropes and waited for the elevator up to the night club. A chick with a tight black spandex/latex black tube dress operated the elevator. As soon as the doors opened, we were greeted by of a huge wall that resembled Buddhist shrine... except that a champagne bar sat underneath.

Found our way into the main room and started the flurry of Kettle One and Red Bulls. The DJ played a lot of late 1970s disco and 1980s pop music. Amazingly hot girls in black and red Oriental style dresses with Bodog branding flooded the dance floor and took up space at the bar. Saw the usual suspects... JW, Friedman, Tim, Amy, Jen Leo, Caldwell, Scott Huff, Jay Greenspan and Jason from Paradise Poker.

Gavin gropes Amy

More cleavage

Gavin Smith was the only person in the club wearing a hat. It was a backwards Full Tilt hat of all things. Only Gavin Smith could get around wearing a Full Tilt hat at a BoDog party. Gavin was pretty smashed. He shoved his hand down Amy Calistri's shirt. He also took on The Black Widow in a game of pool. He won, but admitted to me that he cheated.

I spotted random pros wandering around like Clonie Gowen, Josh Arieh, Kenna James, Andy Bloch, and Humberto Brenes. Found the hookah room which had an ice cream sundae station. They had better music in that room, with tons of James Brown sampled hip hop.

Midget ninjas

Hung out in front of the naked girl in a bathtub filled with warm water and rose petals. Saw weird shit that you'd only see in Las Vegas like the midget ninjas. I mistook one for Iggy for a few moments. They stood in line in front of me at the bathroom. It seems that midget ninjas urinate in groups of three. They all ran into the same stall together to rip a few lines of Peruvian snowflake.

Jacked up ninjas and women in lingerie sitting in bird cages... and you wonder why I left the Rio early?

Thanks to the dudes at Wicked Chops Poker for the invite. And congrats to Phil Hellmuth for winning #10.

I wanted to post a video of the party, but You Tube nixed the idea because of the naked chick in the bath tub. Any one brave enough to host this video for me?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pauly + 1

I got less than two hours of sleep last night. I had multiple deadlines and got them both done in time. One article called Multiple Personalities was recently published on Fox Sports. Take a peek.

On Sunday, I went to the House of Cards where Jen Leo and some of her friends share a huge mansion with a swimming pool, beach volleyball court, and a par 3 golf course.

We watched her performance on The Poker Dome. I sat in the audience when it was taped a few weeks ago. It was cool to see one of my friends on a televised poker show.

I was invited to Liz Lieu's surprise birthday party at Pure by John Phan. Pure is one of the swanky Vegas clubs where on a weekend night, the line wraps around and through the entire casino. I was listed on the guest list simply as: Pauly + 1. Change100 was my plus one.

John & Liz

The cool part about these parties is the open bar and that they are invite-only private functions and I don't have to stand in line to get in. The bad part is that I have to get dressed up. Change100 took me shopping again this past weekend. I bought a nice shirt too.

Liz's party kicked off the start of the party season at the World Series of Poker. Several online poker rooms throw big parties along with random poker players. I did two parties on Sunday, and on Tuesday night I got invited to BoDog's party at TAO. I Should be an interesting mix of people and might be the best party of the poker season.

Wednesday night is Full Tilt's party at Pure. Hmmm... Pure twice in one night? Never will happen again in my lifetime. Last year, I got hammered at La Bete in Wynn. I closed down the bar with the Poker Prof, Daniel Negreanu, and two Irish poker players.

The main event of the WSOP starts on Friday. It's gonna be two weeks long and test my writing ability, my patience, and my endurance. I'm mentally ready but this week of partying before the main event is gonna zap me. I'm already running on vapors after a month long bender that included two weekends of Widespread Panic, Bonnaroo, and the bloggers convention in Las Vegas.

My liver has a dent the size of footprint in it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

An Odd Saturday Night Part II: Otis Eats 2 Keno Crayons; I Lose $400

Here's the video of Otis Eating 2 Keno Crayons. You might have to let it load for a few moments before you start playing.

I ended the last segment hanging out with Wil. We decided to drink at every possible bar at the Rio. It was going to be one of those days.

We went to the Hooker bar. Otis hit quads and I drank Greyhounds. We wandered over to the Tilted Kilt. We all flirted with our waitress Kerry and ordered beers. As she rubbed up against Wil, she gave Otis shit about ordering a beer that had a low alcohol percentage.

We spotted Michalski's gang (April, Amy, Change100, Jen Leo, TIm Lavalli, Foiled Coup, Chris Newtown) having a staff meeting on the other side of the room. We ordered 11 SoCo shots... 8 for them and 3 for Wil, Otis, and myself. Our sexy waitress came over and said that there was no more SoCo and they finished the bottle. She was only able to squeeze 8 shots out. We told her to send those 8 shots over to the table.

Wil, Otis, and I had a bet to see how many people would refuse the shot. Otis said zero. I picked two and Wil picked three. At the time three refused. And then they sent us drinks in return. Michalski ordered us pink Zinfandels.

"Motherfuckers," I said to Otis. "We dropped $50 on shots and they send us this week ass shit? Time to chug and show up these asstards."

We pounded the Zinfandels and I wanted to throw my glass at their general direction. I slammed it down on our table and it nearly shattered. That's when a fan wandered over and said, "I love your blog, man!"

At the Hooker Bar

At some point we were back at the Hooker Bar with John Caldwell. Sarah Bilney just busted out of her event. She was having a beer with John Duthie as Otis missed a royal flush on video poker. Michalski ordered me shots of Tuaca. Change100 was stealing cigarettes from a couple of Canucks who won multiple seats in the main event. Spaceman wandered over and we headed across the street to Gold Coast to play Pai Gow.

3:30am is when things got interesting. All of us (Wil, Change100, me, Otis, April & Spaceman) were at the same Pai Gow table. Otis pulled out eight $100 bills out of his poker bankroll and tossed it onto the felt. Flora, out Pai Gow dealer from Vietnam, yelled out something to the pit poss. Otis was betting $800 on a single hand of Pai Gow. My $25 bet wilted in comparison.

Otis pushed twice as I barely paid attention to my cards. I sat right next to him and watched as he unfurled every hand. He won the third hand as the dealer paid him in eight black $100 chips. He took his cash and chips and tossed a green $25 chip into the betting circle.

"I'm still not close to being unstuck. Does that get me steak and eggs for all of my friends?" he screamed at the Pit Boss.

She nodded her head. Spaceman lost $200. April lost about the same while Wil, Change100 and I dropped about $100 each.

The bet!

Otis led the caravan to the cafe. We were quickly seated and I spotted a couple of ratty old Keno crayons. I pulled out four $100 bills out of my poker bankroll and tossed it on the table. I pulled out two Keno crayons and put them on the table as well.

"$400 to eat two Keno crayons. No water until you are done," I said.

Otis didn't even blink as he picked them up at the same time and bit into the crayons simultaneously. Within seconds everyone at our table was in hysterics. Otis had a frown on his face. Eating crayons is not fun and I prayed that he'd puke before he finished.

"I'm an ass," Otis admitted after winning the prop bet.

The humble winner

Otis was stuck $1K playing Pai Gow and needed to chase that loss. We all took pictures and videos. By now, you've seen our antics on You Tube. The people sitting next to us were pissed because we were drunk, rowdy, screaming, and Otis had dark blue Keno crayon shavings spilling out of the sides of his mouth.

I'm a horrible gambler and will bet on almost anything. But for $400, I got a great story out of Otis' lunacy plus my mission had been accomplished. I think we all successfully cheered Wil up after drinks, Pai Gow, and Otis eating Keno crayons.

Otis ready to puke

Sunday, July 23, 2006

WSOP Photos and An Odd Saturday Night Part I

Over the past few days, I took a ton of photos at the World Series of Poker. Stop by the Tao of Poker to see them.

Here's one of my favorites. Click on the photo to see an enlarged view and then look at her sunglasses.

The woman in the photo is Sarah Bilney, also known as Aussie Sarah. She took 63rd place at the WSOP main event last year. In that epic tournament, she was the second highest finishing female and was the second highest finishing Australian in the event.

I met Aussie Sarah a couple of weeks ago and found out that reads my blog. She was also excited to meet Change100. It turns out that Change100 is Sarah's favorite blogger.

I didn't get much work done on Saturday. I got invited to two WSOP parties (Sunday and Tuesday) held at swanky Las Vegas clubs. I'm trying to get an invite to another on Thursday. Change100 said I needed a new shirt so she took me shopping at the Galleria in Henderson. Suburban malls and I do not mix well. Change100 was in nirvana. She shopped for shoes and I bought the two nicest shirts that I liked.

While Change100 shopped, I wandered into Bath and Body Works. I was the only guy in there, as three young female salespeople wearing green smocks converged on me.

"Can I help you?" they said in unison.

"I play a lot of poker and handle a lot of grimy and hepatitis infested poker chips. I spend all of my waking life in Las Vegas in casinos sucking down pure oxygen and shaking hands with strangers. I need some anti-bacterial hand stuff."

"Right this way!"

The saleschick looked like Claire Danes circa 1999 and wasn't wearing a bra. She showed me all the varations of hand loation. There was an entire shelf almost ten feet high and six feet wide filled with various anti-bacterial lotions.

"These are 3 for $10. I absolutely love the Coconut Lime Verbena and Tropical Passionfruit."

I was shocked that hand lotion was so cheap. I tested a few out and they all smelled too girly. I liked the Sun-Ripened Raspberry but it had too strong of an after-smell.

"I guess this one is for potheads?" I said as I picked up Crisp Citrus Herb and showed it to Claire Danes. "Crispy potheads."

She laughed but I sensed it was fake and forced. She obviously didn't smoke pot. She handed me a bottle of Juniper Berry. I settled on that one because it had the least pungent aroma. As I applied it, I realized how smooth my hands felt. They were now germ free.

"Buy two more for $10?"

I gave her a look like, "Hell no. Ring me up before I'm spotted by someone I know."

* * * * *

I got to the Rio around 4pm which is 2 or 3 hours later than we've been getting there. As soon as I walked in, I took photos in the tournament area and then wrote a short post. I had a deadline looming for Fox Sports on Tuesday and was not feeling like writing. After a week straight of solid deadlines, I was spent mentally and creatively.

Otis was bored too. It was the slowest day of action at the WSOP and we started gambling in the media room. And this debauchery would continue over the next twelve hours. We played HORSE (basketball game not the poker version) using an empty water bottle and a trash can. We were tied at H-O to H-O and suspended the rest of the game for Sunday.

Otis said Wil wasn't feeling too good. On Friday Wil busted out of one of the WSOP events and he was disappointed with how he played. My assignment from Otis was to "cheer Wil up." Unfortunately, Wil's not a blow and strippers type of guy so my Plan A was not going to work.

We started talking. Then we walked around. His mood was cloudy until we got to the Milwaukee's Best Tent. They have scantily clad women pushing their beer and they all stood outside the tent as we walked in. The tent had a bar, a few chairs, several dart boards, a pool table and a bar bowling game. Michalski sat in the far corner working (and I use that term loosely) as I made a bee-line to the bar and bought Wil a Beast Light.

"I can't drink this shit," he said.

"Suck it up, you pussy ass bitch!" I muttered.

We gravitated to the bowling game in the corner. I played Wil heads up and I got my ass handed to me. Otis played with himself and I won the Over/Under.

Bowling for $$$

Good and Evil

I grabbed a quick cheeseburger at the Kitchen Tent. That's where Wil and I decided to drink at every possible bar at the Rio. It was going to be one of those days.

Stay tuned for Part II.

* * * * *

By the way, my friend Jen Leo will be on TV tonight. She appeared on an episode of The Poker Dome which wa staped two weeks ago. It will air Sunday at 11pm on FSN. Check your local listings. I sat in the audience and fell asleep a couple of times. I had been partying hard that weekend and didn't get too much sleep.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Friday Night in Vegas

2:00am on a Friday night in Las Vegas and I'm home in Henderson. I'm a little drained after working 13 straight days in a casino. My next and only day off in the next three weeks will be August 3 and I'll end up doing catch up work at home that day.

I've been back at the apartment for about five hours. In that time I cranked out a ton of writing and grunt work.

I finished one article for Fox Sports that will be on MSN's main page next week sometime. I edited three Truckin' stories and found the one (based on a Tao of Pauly post) that I want to publish for my story this month. I expect to publish Truckin' no later than next Thursday. I corrected the edits on two Poker Player Newspaper articles. Those assignments are complete.

I have one more article to write for Fox Sports (deadline is Tuesday) plus the new issue of Truckin' to finish. I also have several hundred emails to read, but I finally got through all of my bloglines folders. I admit that I skimmed nearly every blog post and glanced at most of the news blurbs.

Living in Vegas makes you immune to current events. Nothing exists outside of the gambler's bubble.

I also burned a few discs for my rental car while I wrote. My one month rental was up and I got rid of the Sebring convertible. The AC sucked ass and I only drove with the top down four or five times. I picked up a brand new black Honda Accord on Thursday night. It's fast too, which is bad for me since I love to speed. They wanted to stick me with a mini-van or PT Cruiser again. I declined both and held out for a much cooler rental car.

I ate a chocolate shake and chicken fingers for dinner at the Sao Paolo Cafe at the Rio. I used one of my $10 food comps that I got for playing in a WSOP tournament last Monday. I also drank at two bars today with Wil. I'm waiting to see a blurb on Gawker... Former Star Trek Actor on Booze Bender in Las Vegas. We drank beers at Tilted Kilt then had cocktails at the Hooker Bar. Heck, we do that everyday. Otis and Change100 joined us at the Hooker Bar.

Grubby left Las Vegas on Wednesday morning. I spoke to him on Thursday night when he was in a cheap motel in Fort Morgan, CO. He skipped town and left me with the power bill. And he also ate two of my Jell-o puddings!

The apartment is lonely (and very empty) without him. It feels like one of my limbs got amputated. But at least I can smoke pot in the house and rip bingers on the couch.

Stop by the Tao of Poker to see some pics that I took at the WSOP.

Recent Wiritng Music...
1. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
2. My Morning Jacket
3. Tea Leaf Green
4. Maceo Parker
5. Talking Heads

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ten Minute Fridays

The dealers

Jen Leo said she loved the above photo and wants a hard copy to hang in her house.

My buddy Micahlski assembled an amazing team to cover the World Series of Poker at which included Jen Leo, April, Amy Calistri, Change100, Foiled Coup, Chris Newton, and Tim Lavalli. Change100 has been writing some kick ass stuff in her daily fashion report. The last one she posted was so funny I nearly pissed myself. Take a peek at WSOP Fashion Report: Today's Winners and Loser.

Grubby has been on the road for two days. When I called him, he was in Fort Morgan, Colorado. He said he understood why I loved Colorado so much and contemplated staying for an extra day.

I went to bed early (before 2am which is super early for Las Vegas) because I was under the weather. I stayed in bed for eight hours yet only got about four and a half hours of sleep. That sucked. I had a weird dream that I was staying in a luxury hotel in Sydney. I had to ride a glass elevator to get to my room on the 72md floor. A fellow by the name of Conrad rode the elevator with me and he was terrified of heights. He's British and works for Poker Stars. I met him in Barcelona in September.

Change100 analyzed the dream withing thirty seconds of me telling it.


I've been giving music out at the WSOP this year. There's one guy that I met last year who is a floor manager. He's one of the suits working the floor. He saw my Steal Your Face hat and we struck up a conversation about my favorite band. He teased me when I told him I saw only 46 Dead shows. He saw over 300. But he's 10 years older and lived on the West Coast.

He lives in the Bay Area and is away from his wife and kids for two months while he worked the WSOP. I could sense that stress and loneliness. He said that he was jonesin' for some Jerry Garcia Band to lift his spirits. The next day I burned him a disc. He was super pumped.

"Anything you need, Pauly, anything... I'll do it for you!" he exclaimed.

I also gave Otis the same disc. He was very happy as he worked and listened. A couple of weeks ago, I hooked up JW, a fellow Spreadhead with the Vegoose show where Trey Anastasio came out and played two songs with Panic. Priceless.

I feel a little bit better today and I woke up starving. On Thursday, I ate a double cheeseburger at Sonic for lunch. For dinner I went with Change100 to Subway across the street from our apartment. I ordered the footlong tuna sub and contemplated getting Chipolte sauce on it.

The kid behind the counter couldn't have been more than 16. He called me "Sir." He also pointed out the daily deal and if I got it, the meal would have been cheaper by $4.

"What's your name kid?"

"Eric," he said.

"This is for you," as I slid a $5 bill into the tip jar.

His eyes lit up. I think I equalled his hourly wage (after taxes) with that tip.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Last 5 Blogs/Sites I Read:
1. Celebrity Butt Crack
2. New York Hack
3. Rapid Eye Reality
4. You Know You Wanna
5. Tony Pierce

Thanks to Amy for pointing out Celebrity Butt Crack!
Last 5 Hilarious Referrals to the Tao of Pauly....
1. Kangaroo urine
2. Icelandic women naked
3. Older women dildos
4. Details of rum cocktail called jump up and kiss me
5. Costa Rica lesbian hooker

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Busy Bee

I told Otis that when I'm at the WSOP or in Las Vegas, I seem to neglect the Tao of Pauly because the Tao of Poker takes control of the majority of my time and energy.

He agreed.

I stayed up late to write an article for Fox Sports. It's up now. Take a peek at Chip Reese Wins $50,000 HORSE.

Several of my friends are covering the WSOP for other outlets. Jen Leo and Amy is here along with April and Change100. Friedman, Spaceman, Michalski, and Otis have all been in the industry so this is a chance to see them on a daily basis. And since Wil has been writing kick ass poker content for the PokerStars Blog, I get to spend time with him too.

With several kind souls around, it's hard for me to fully freak out. Last summer I felt disconnected and lonely. Depression set in about the third week and my soul had been sucked out of me by week 4. This year I'm trying to get more sleep and I'm pacing myself. The real work begins one week from Friday when the largest poker tournament in the world kicks off.

I have one deadline due tomorrow and I'm 98% there. In a few moments, I'm going to the Hooker Bar with Otis to get sloshed.
Ten Minute Wednesdays

I got a job offer on Tuesday. I'm gonna take it because it pays a lot of money. More details to come.

On Monday night, Vegas got hit with one of the most spectacular lightening storms that I've ever seen. We were driving on the highway when bolts and shards of electric of elecricty started raining out of the sky.

I ate brekfast at the Grand Cafe this morning with Grubby and Change100. I ordered the chocolate chip pancakes and a side of bacon. Any day is a great day if you start it with bacon. They also serve the pancakes with syrup on the side and an entire bowl of melted chocolate. Grubby dipped his toast in there a few times.


I met Wil's wife at the Hooker Bar. Wait, that sounded bad. I was drinking at the hooker bar with April, Michalski, SarahBellum, Jen Leo, Otis, and Change100 when Wil walked over with his wife who's visiting from out of town. She pointed out one woman who we think was a hooker. On our way out, we saw one who was definitely a hooker.

In case you were wondering... former Star Trek actor has a hot wife.

I played Monday, and Michalski played in the WSOP on Tuesday. I wore my lucky Grateful Dead Stal Your Face hat and a Poker Stars golf shirt. Michalski sported a pink shirt and ladies sunglasses. I think he officially came out of the closet. You decide.

"Did he borrow those from Clonie Gowen?" wondered Change100.

If you don't know she was hired by to write a regular WSOP poker fashion column where she points out everyone's fashion faux pas.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Eric Dolphy
2. Black Keys
3. Ben Harper
4. Herbie Hancock
5. Widespread Panic

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Playing at the World Series of Poker and Pieces of Pauly

Photo courtesy of Amy Calistri

I sent my mother a copy of the pic of me during the tournament on Monday. She wrote me back, "How come you were wearing so much clothes? Isn't it hot there?"

Stop by the Tao of Poker to read more of my WSOP coverage.

Grubby is leaving Las Vegas today to move to Chicago for his new job. That makes me a little sad. We went out to dinner at Ellis Island for his Last Supper.

Back by popular demand...

What did I eat in the last 48 hours? Sunday breakfast with Grubby was chocolate chip pancakes and a side of bacon with iced tea at the Grand Cafe at Green Valley Ranch. Dinner was a chicken club sandwich with bacon and swiss cheese (featuring cayenne pepper ranch dressing), fries, and a couple of beers at Tilted Kilt with Wil and Change100. Breakfast was a croissant from the media room at the WSOP. Lunch on Monday was a bacon, egg, and cheese Texas Toaster with tater tots and an iced tea. Dinner was a chicken parmesan sandwich at Ellis Island.

Good thing I'm on a diet too. I could have eaten much much more. I skipped hash browns on Sunday morning and dessert on Monday night.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sleepy Vegas

"Here's Debbie Gibson naked," Grubby said as he handed me a copy of her nude photo shoot in Playboy.

"Cool," I said as I ogled her boobs. "I used to have a crush on her when I was 13."

Grubby was in the process of throwing out bags and bags of garbage. One bag in particular held copies of old poker magazines and Playboys. He's moving to Chicago on Wednesday to take a new job as Change100 moved in last night. I lost one roommate and I gained another.

Grubby and I headed over to Green Valley Ranch to eat at the Grand Cafe. They offer slices of pie for $5, which is the equivalent of two slices. But they sell pies for $20-$22, which is an amazing deal. Grubby has racked up over $250 in food comps and he picked up the breakfast tab on Sunday. I'm gonna miss eating free meals with Grubby in Las Vegas.

I also lost Grubby's car in a prop bet. If you don't know, I won his car earlier this week. We gambled on the opening weekend gross of Pirates of the Caribbean II. I said it would gross more than Spiderman and I was right. The prize... Grubby's car.

Since then I used his car in another big bet. I had a prop bet with Wil Wheaton. The final table of the $50,000 HORSE featured some of the best poker players in the world. He picked Phil Ivey to win. I took Chip Reese. Ivey finished in third, while Chip went on to win. If I lost, I would have given Wil the pink slip to Grubby's car. Since I won, I get the 2007 residual checks from Stand By Me. Just so you know, both the car and residuals are not very much.

Anyway, inside of a ten day period, I nailed bets on Italy winning the World Cup. I won a shitload of cash on the American League winning the All Star Game. Then I picked up Grubby's car and Wil's residuals. I was on a rush, then I lost Grubby's car in another bet.

Grubby and I had a second bet on the second weekend of Pirates of the Caribbean II. I lost since it grossed more than I said it would. If I won, I would have gotten Grubby's $900 couch and his TV. As is, the car is back in his possession.

On the poker front, I'm playing in my first WSOP event today at Noon. I played in two last year so I'm eager to go deep in this year's event. Pot Limit Omaha is much different from the poker you see on TV. The game is dominated by Europeans, but I like my chance in a smaller field. Wish me luck... and send out good vibes to me all afternoon. I'm gonna need it!

* * * * *

It's been 110+ degrees the past few weeks. I should have been angry especially when I was caught in hellacious traffic on 215 headed towards the Strip the other day. It was basically at a standstill but I wasn't on tilt like I normally am under awful traffic conditions. I had the Grateful Dead to keep me happy. I haven't listened to them since I left for Las Vegas. It's hard to be in a bad mood whenever I heard Jerry Gracia plays his guitar. It was a bootleg from 1977, which is my favorite era of the Dead.

Wil Wheaton played in a few WSOP events for Team Poker Stars. He's also working for Poker Stars Blog, which is also run by Otis. Wil's been posting some of his best writing (and poker writing) to date on Poker Stars Blog. Stop by and read what he's been doing. I'm impressed with how he's been able to capture the atmosphere of the WSOP.

The other cool part of Wil doing the writing over there is that means he'll be spending more time in Las Vegas. I get to see him everyday and hang out. We've developed a unique friendship over the past year or so and get to hang out on sporadic occasions, usually when I got to Hollyweird. Just being able to have a pint with him and talk about writing has helped keep me sane.

* * * * *

In the past five weeks, I've gotten the least amount of sleep than I can recall. Last year I rarely slept during the WSOP but that was because of the 16-20 hour days at the Rio. I wasn't partying much and my body adjusted. The past five weeks have also inlcuded serious binges and lots of air travel. I'm shocked that I haven't gotten sick yet. I was so exhausted that I went to bed before Midnight on Saturday. I popped a Xanax and slept until 7am. I wrote for two hours then went back to sleep for three more hours. I haven't had seven straight hours of sleep at all this year. It felt good to finally catch up. My goal is to get another 8-10 hours later this week.

BG commented that I've been in a much better headspace this year as compared to last year. Part of that is because I got paid a ridiculous amount of money up front to cover the WSOP. Well paid employees are happy employees. The work load is much lighter and I don't have deadlines looming over me everyday. Last year, I was writing for 5-6 different organziations and everyday I had to put in a long day at t he Rio, then come home and write for 3-4 hours to meet my deadlines.

Living in Henderson and away from the city of Las Vegas has been a blessing. I can still see the minous light from Luxor, but I have an amazing view of the mountians. I'm not a fan of the commute and I wished they had subways. But being away from the casinos keeps me sane. When I breathe too much casino oxygen and are around gamblers all the time, my mind tends to get warped and fried. Vegas can kill your soul and turn your brain and wallet into Swiss cheese.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Random WSOP Photos

If you read my poker blog, then you've seen most of these pics. If you don't... enjoy! I took most of these last weekend during the WSOP Ladies Event when several of my friends played. You can click on the photos to see an enlarged view.

Lacey Jones

Aunt Maudie glaring down the opposition

Mrs. Spaceman and Toby Leah Bochan

Happy facty


WPT hostess Sabina Gadecki(right)

Random hot chick

Gracie playing in the WSOP

Isabelle Mercier

DoubleAs flips me the bird

Chicago Jason

Lynette Chan

Wil and his monkey Darwin

Evil Otis

Brandon Schaefer

Gracie's card capper

The Mark

Former Star Trek actor lost in thought

2006 World Series of Poker

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fox Sports Poker

I just got another article published on Fox Sports called First Impressions: 2006 WSOP. Check it out. It's also the lead story on the Fox Sports poker homepage.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Random Las Vegas Food Pics

In the past, Derek and Daddy have both requested... "More pictures of food, please!" So here you go guys.

Penne Bolognese

In & Out Burger

Pablo's Shrimp

Chicken Rollatini

Chocolate death

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Suburban Haven

I live in Henderson which is a suburb of Las Vegas that's about 15-20 mins from the Strip without any traffic. I never thought I'd actually be happy to be living in a cookie cutter gated apartment complex smack in the heart of suburbia in between a slew of strip malls featuring fast food chains, but here I am... enjoying every second of it. The alternative was to live in the city of Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker. After last year's debacle at the Redneck Riveria, I was seeking out a quieter place that was not infested with crack whores and meth-heads.

I spent the past week living in a hotel room on the Strip. Although it was much closer to work, the internet access sucked and I missed sitting on my couch, ripping bingers, and writing. When I got home on Wednesday afternoon, I did just that. Over the past week, I did not find the time to write for 2-5 hours straight without any interruptions.

I also finally got 5-6 hours of sleep for the first time in a week. I had been pushing my body very hard over the past month partying and not sleeping. The fast-paced lifesyle finally caught up to me on Sunday night (actually early Monday morning) when I fell asleep at a Pai Gow poker table at the Excalibur. I wasn't wasted so I didn't pass out. I had not had more than 3 hours of sleep since Derek arrived in Las Vegas. My mind, body, and soul were exhausted. I'm gonna need a week or so to recoop.

Grubby leaves the apartment in one week and of course, I'm a little sad. We ate lunch with Change100 today at Balboa's in the Disctrict at Green Valley Ranch. Balboa's is a 24 hour gourment pizza joint. Grubby and I usually go there after he picks me up at the airport whenever I fly into Las Vegas. We had not done Balboa's since I got back. We drove over and I realized that I never went during the day... only at night.

I usually order the spicy sausage and mushroom pizza. They serve it in a rectangle and cut it up into eight sqaures about the size of a first generation iPod. This time I added bacon and extra cheese to my pizza. No wonder I've put on 10 pounds since I moved back to Las Vegas. The buffets have something to do with that. I told myself starting Thursday that I'm gonna eat healthier. Take for instance my trip to In & Out Burger with Change100, Spaceman, Mrs. Spaceman and Lydia on Tuesday. Not only did I get a doubles cheeseburger combo, I aslo added a single cheeseburger and a chocolate shake. Then for dinner I ate an entire big ass bowl of penne bolognese. Yes, I'm over-eating again and I need to stop since I do not anticipate any serious exercise over the next four weeks.

On Wednesday night, I ate dinner with Otis, Michalski, and Wil at the Tilted Kilt, a Scottish pub inside the Rio casino. I drank two pints of Stella and ate a chciken club sandwich with spicy cayenne pepper ranch dressing. The sauce was so hot that my bald spot was sweating.

I won a shitload of money and other stuff over the past few days. It started with Italy winning the World Cup on Sunday. Then on Tuesday night, I picked the American League in the All Star game, and my boys came from behind to win. Then on Wednesday I found out that I won Grubby's car in a prop bet. I said that Pirates of the Caribbean II would gross more than Spiderman. Grubby said that Spiderman wold retain it's record weekend gross. And guess what? Pirates 132M, Spiderman 114M. His 91 baby blue Geo Metro with 120K miles on it is mine!

And yes, I want to suck on Keira Knightley's nipples for six hours straight.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Random Las Vegas Photo Dump

Here are some random photos I took this past weekend in Las Vegas.

Krispy Kreme

Friends on the rail at the WSOP

Neil Fontenot's day job

The Rooster's rooster

Booby Prize

Amy Licks Alot

We love Bobby's penis too