Thursday, June 07, 2007

Busy Slacker

Man, I've been swamped with work the past few days that I finally have a chance to write on Tao of Pauly. So much for my twenty minutes a day. I couldn't even find that time. I've been working until 4 or 6 in the morning then I crash for a few hours. I get up to write and finish up more writing assignments before I have to drive into work. Sucks not having time to do simple things like check email or return phone calls.

My buddy Bad Blood is in town and I got to have a beer with him at dinner break. That was nice. If I get Saturday off, we're going to strip clubs together.


I missed The Sopranos but Nicky downloaded it. We've been too busy to watch it. We only spend a few hours in the apartment and most of the time at the Rio casino. Several friends of mine are here covering the event and I get to spend a few minutes here and there bullshitting and having them get me off work tilt or vice versa.

Otis finally arrived and we have a food prop bet. I bet him $20 that he will eat a slice of pizza in the awful poker kitchen by the end of the WSOP in mid-July. He's trying to hold out but I don't think he can do it.

I covered one poker tournamnet that last three days. It was a smaller event that featured the world's best pros. I was lucky because you rarely see that many quality players in events these days due to the huge popularity of poker.

I kicked ass at work today with my assignment after a stressful Tuesday. I also did something for the suits at Harrah's that they were extrenelt grateful for. I happened to write a small blurb on a poker player earlier in the day and he went on to win the tournament (and $850K in cash). They had no background information on him and one suit grabbed me and practically begged for information. I told him what I knew and they ended up using that info when they taped a winner's interview for ESPN. It felt weird but cool that the biggest suits in the building turned to my poker acumen. I came through in the clutch.

I've been posting every day on Tao of Poker. On Wednesday, I wrote about my boss who flipped out over an incident at the WSOP where other media outlets were stealing our content and passing it off as their own.

Here's something that appeared on my poker blog:

"You're from Texas, do you know where I can get a gun?" I asked Michelle Lewis.

I said the same thing to Michalski. Last year, we were going to test shoot guns at a local gun store. We had a side trip planned during the WSOP that never materialized. Michalski gets plenty of half-baked ideas and I turned to the Texans to figure out how to arm myself.

For a 24-hour period, I was concerned about an all-out gang war between Tony G and The Shulman's at Cardplayer that would spill over onto the floor of the Rio. I wanted to be prepared and considered packing some heat, or strapping as the kids would call it today. Since I technically work for Tony G, I'm a target. I didn't want to get clipped in the parking lot during a drive-by shooting between the Shulman's personal security detail and Tony G's thugs or find myself getting shanked in the bathroom trying to piss next to Toto Leonidas during one of the breaks.

Poker is big business. However, there are essential elements of the billion dollar global business that have been spawned from the underground and in the dark and seedy shadows on Las Vegas. Fortunate 500 companies don't get gangbangers to take out their competition, that's what their legal teams are for... hired hitmen. However in poker, there's that old school element of "Let's meet in the parking lot and settle this like men."

Tony G wrote a post on his blog called Cardplayer Family Stealing from Me. Here's what Tony G said:
I have never tried to hide who I am. I am from the street. I have made many mistakes in my life, but I have always felt that I treated all people fairly and with respect. You may see me on TV giving someone the business, and feel it's unfair, but to me it's all part of the game. I think if you ask people if they think I am a fair person in business and in life most would say yes.

Away from poker, I have a successful business. I own a majority of the shares in PokerNews Limited. This company owns many websites, the biggest of which is We are having our best year ever and right now we should be enjoying the finest moment of our life as a company. We are at the WSOP and are supposed to have an agreement with Bluff to be the exclusive provider of updates and chip counts. But unfortunately over the last few days, we have been pirated and simply stolen from by many of our competitors - including Cardplayer. Cardplayer is hiding behind a legal fence that they were standing on top of just this time last year - kicking anyone who dared try to climb it in the teeth.

We put the chip counts up on PokerNews, and one minute later they are up on Cardplayer has no one counting chips at the WSOP, and they know that counting chips is against the rules for them since we beat them to the rights for coverage this year. But they have the counts up on their site, stolen straight from the counts we are doing live in the room at the Rio. We have paid a lot of money for these rights and a lot of money to the 40 people we have hired to cover the series.

I am from the street and when you steal from me, you are playing with fire. This is no different than taking money out of my pocket when it was all I had, which wasn't that long ago. I'll bet the Shulmans never thought they would be stealing from me two years ago when they were on top and PokerNews had three employees and was just getting by. I urge the Shulmans to think about what they are doing to me now. They should think about how people feel when they are robbed.

I urge the Shulmans & all of the CardPlayer family to stop this unethical activity, right now, and all will be forgiven. I'm sure they feel bad about how things have gone for them over the past year, but that doesn't make this ok. They have fallen from their high horse, and there must be a lot of anger for them to do something like this. They must know others will not respect them and they must just not care.

This probably will have to go to lawyers for the final outcome. No one is talking about this now, but I tell the world the truth on this blog.

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