Saturday, May 10, 2008

Last Days of NYC

By Pauly
New York City

I realized that today will be my last day in New York until after Labor Day. I thought about returning to NYC after the World Series of Poker ended in July. I checked the flights and they were pricey ... even from Vegas. I'm supposed to get travel expenses paid for a flight to the East Coast for an assignment in Atlantic City in September. I decided to wait until then and fly to NYC one week before my assignment.

Here's the thing... I have no idea what I'm doing from October onward. I don't have any work assignments but I will return to cover tournaments again in the fall so I have a feeling that I could be and will be going anywhere. As far as holidays... I'd like to go to Amsterdam in October with Nicky for a week or so but aside from that I could be in Hollyweird the rest of the year or jumping around covering tournaments. North America. Europe. Asia. Australia. WPT? EPT? APPT? Who knows?

I made the decision to jump back in for another year and make as much money as possible to fund my side projects. And who's to say that I don't switch paths and start focusing on music? I really have no idea where I'll end up. But I have a feeling it won't be in NYC for a while.

I spent the last week saying goodbye to different people in New York. I know deep down that I'm going to be on the road a lot over the next year or so. It seems that I spend less and less time in NYC and yet my attachment grows deeper and deeper. I keep telling myself that I just need one more big score which will enable me to set up shop permanently in NYC since something of that daunting task takes a lot of financial stability.

I wanted to really hunker down and write and run and workout in NYC, like I wanted last year. I did none of those things (just like last year when I had a slew of out-of-town friends visit in a short period and I spent more time fucking around then working out and writing). Drinking with Iggy and the gang really kicked my ass. It took me a couple of days to recover from that epic four day bender.

I kept pushing off two poker-related writing assignments. One of them was a pending post on Tao of Poker. I rarely pre-write stuff for my blogs. My philosophy on blogging is that it's like an open mike on a stage. I get up and say my piece and then exit stage right. No rehearsals. Just writing from the gut. In the past I've written stuff (sort of recorded live to tape) that I saved and then posted at a later date usually because I had to get on an airplane or some travel thing like that. But this particular topic for the Tao of Poker requires hefty research. I didn't really have the time or energy to set aside a couple of hours. I slowly did the research and sometime this weekend, I'll re-read everything in one sitting and then write my reaction in one blathering post it instead of forcing the action. Then again, I had to be honest with myself... do I really care about what I'm writing about. The short answer is no and that's the real reason why I didn't write about it yet.

The other piece I blew off this week was for a column. Luckily, it was due a week later than I anticipated which means it will be a much better piece. Instead of working on it over the last few days... I blew it off. It was always #1 on my To Do List, yet I couldn't get fired up to work on it. I received several compliments on my last column from a few people in the industry that I respect and admire. When I hear something like that all I want to do is push myself to write a better piece. And I almost always don't because I write better when the words flow out freely than the instances that I force it out... which I often do when I write for others versus when I write for myself. That's why some of the better columns had originated from pieces on my blogs or taken from my personal journals.

I watched a lot of baseball with my brother and a little playoff hoops since we won't be able to so that for a very long time. The Yanks are very streaky this year. They'll lose three, win three, then lose two. They are struggling but I hope they get their shit together. I haven't made the decision to buy the package this year. I did it in the past but do I really want to watch crappy Yankees games this year? Besides, I'll have more time this summer so I can watch a couple more games in the different sports books around Las Vegas.

I put a lot of time into Coventry this week. It's a creative project which I have been having tons of fun with. We had another record setting day on Coventry on Friday. We smashed our previous record by 3pm on Friday afternoon. At that rate, I predicted that Coventry would get more traffic than Tao of Poker. It ended up being close. However... Tao of Poker has thousands of RSS subscribers compared to under a hundred for Coventry. More eyes might have see Tao of Poker, but I got more new eyeballs on Coventry... something I didn't think could be possible. I'm wondering how long this spike can last before it plateau's and then spills off or levels out. I get fired up when I think about Coventry or talk about it. That enthusiasm is spilling over into my other creative projects like the other blogs or the photo galleries and even Truckin'.

I'm looking great for the next two issues of Truckin'. I have never had this many stories in the can before. In the past it's been a struggle to find contributors and the summer's are always tough because I don't have too much time to work on the issues. They are always late and the quality suffers. My goal is to get the June and July issue done before I move to Las Vegas at the end of the month. And if I get off my ass, I can get 50% of the August issue done as well. Thanks to everyone who has been helping out the last few months with Truckin'.

I spent the last few days running errands and getting mys hit together before I leave for Hollyweird. I did a load of laundry. I paid bills especially an late estimated tax payment. I ate a lot of NYC-centric food that I know I'm gonna miss like bagels, knishes, pizza, and stuff from the diner. I also went out to lunch with my mother as an early Mother's Day treat since I won't be in NYC on Sunday. In a somewhat related incident, I went out to the bodega this morning to pick up my mom a pack of cigarettes. The middle eastern guy behind the counter carded me. I showed him my bald spot. Is that proof of age, or what? The funny thing... the cigs were for my mother.

I leave for the airport in a bit. Saturday flights are either very quiet or totally crazy. I'm hoping my flight to Burbank is not full and no screaming babies!

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