Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Bounced, No Bellagio... Pauly's Going on a Bender

71st out of 322. First three places won seats... I was shortstacked went all in with K-10 against A-K. I thought he was on a steal. There was mayhem at my table with someone guy cheating by letting his time expire. I'll elaborate more in the future.

Thanks to everyone who came out and watched. I was doing OK for a while... I lasted 7 levels. I had A-K five times. I was surprised to see so many of my friends and fellow bloggers hop on and watch me play. It felt good to see a little banter or friendly rooting in the chat from my fans. I'm sure I had some more railbirds who didn't join in the chat, so thanks again for your silent support. I all read your words of support in the chat... from my brother, my friend Jerry in Miami... HDouble, Grubby, Al Can't Hang... hey, was BG there for a bit lurking in the shadows? That was awesome to have a cheering section. But alas... I was shortstacked and the winter of discontent was upon me... and it was a matter of time before I got bounced. I'll play in another WPT Qualifier soon, so it's not over yet...

A complete report soon I promise. For now... some demonic howling in the middle of the street ala Howard Dean. Actually, I'll probably be taking a few days off to brood over my four costly mistakes. I haven't had a good old fashioned bender in a while... the serious mind-numbing bender like Hemingway or Hunter Thompson would unleash.

The last good bender I went on... I started drinking at a bar in SoHo. I met two Icelandic Stewardesses with my buddy Senor and we started drinking shots of vodka before we took them bowling and three days later I woke up in a seedy motel in Tijuana that reeked of donkey urine and rotten eggs, with a maxed out credit card, my bowling shoes were stolen, I had an infected tatoo (of the Virgin Mary on my arm), the worst case of cotton mouth, Senor and the Icelandic chicks were missing and a half naked teenaged old girl was passed out in the shower. I still have a rash that hasn't gone away. I'm hoping to win the WSoP so I can get enough money to get the Virgin removed from my bicep.

I'll be back after I sober up a bit and/or get bailed out of jail.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Sink or Swim: Today Is the Biggest Day of My Life
"You play to win the game." - Herman Edwards
I went to bed at 10:30pm last night. I have not gone to bed that early since the 3rd grade. Why did I do that? I wanted to get a good night's rest. I woke up at 4:30am to watch a Yankees game, so I decided that six hours would be a great night's sleep for me. You see in less than 15 hours I will be playing in a WPT satellite on Party Poker. If I win, I walk away with a $27,000 package and a seat at the World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio. I have been playing poker for almost half my life, but now I find myself with a tremendous opportunity to get a shot at the big time.

I have been trying to break into the writing game in Hollwood for several years. And I had two or three chances, or meetings that would make or break my career, if you will... and none of those compare to the shot I'm getting tonight at 9pm. I'm not trying to over dramaticize or overhype the upcoming poker tournament, rather I'm honestly looking at what at's stake. Since I won the seat last Wednesday, I had the aloof approach of "it's going to be an ordinary day at the tables." However, after some recent discussions with some friends, I have come to conclusion that I had almost overlooked my chance at the big time.

Signor Ferrari recently wrote me:
I am guessing that this will be the most serious tourney that you have played in so far...
He's right. Since I started playing poker seriously over a year ago, tonight will be the biggest event I have ever played in. And you know what? I want to win it all. I'm not looking to play well or make it to the Final Table. I play to win... and I will not settle for anything less than first place. Tonight is the biggest night of my life.

Are my expectations too high? Am I setting myself up to seriously fall short of my expectations in a tournament where I have no chance of winning in a seat in an even bigger tournament where I'd be pegged as Dead Money? For some of you... the answer would be yes.

Alas, I am not you. And thank God I am not. I'm not content with playing it safe or being comfortable. I take risks. I put myself on the line. I thrive on pressure. I do not shy away from competition. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself when I write and when I play poker. I will not settle for second best. If you allow that way of thinking seep into your brains, then you become lazy and complacent. None of this passive-positive-reinforcement, "Try your best!" bull-shit. That won't suffice in the cut throat business of high stakes poker. There's no way I am going to allow the pussification of America and all this political correctness sway how I approach tonight. I am grateful for my time in the trenches on Wall Street. If there's one thing I learned during my time there...
Second place is for pussies.
I will not lie to you... I will be devestated if I do not win tonight. I cannot recall a more important event in my life that came across at such an unexpected time. It shows you that no matter what happens in life, you need to be prepared to step it up when that time arises. The time is tonight, and will I bring it and show everyone how I play poker? Or will I wilt in fear at the first glimpse of the tremendous shadows of the all-in bullies?

Life comes down to a few moments. What will you do what you get your shot? Do you raise or fold? Do you walk away and avoid these sorts of confrontations that test all your abilities? They push you to the limits and you finally see what type of person who you really are. I have led a fortunate life. I have lived an opportunistic life. I've had the greatest experiences in my life because I was willing to test myself under the most difficult of circumstances. Tonight will be on such instance. The pressure is immense. My armpits sweat profusely when I think about the ramifications of tonight's game.
"The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim." - Sun Tzu
Am I prepared? Have I played enough poker against good players? Have I been tested mentally? Did I do all my homework and read every poker book ever printed? All those questions will be answered tonight... and even if I am prepared, I'm still at the mercy of the Poker Gods. Will cards fall my way tonight? WIll I have to make too many tough decisions early? Will I be able to capitalize on my opponents mistakes? Will I be able to implement my game plan when things go horribly wrong? Time will tell.Tune in to Party Poker tonight to find out.

HDouble from the infamous poker blog The Cards Speak recently wrote:
Tuesday night P-money will attempt to parlay his $24 into a 25K seat at the WPT Bellagio championship, after winning his way into the $325 satellite with a 3rd place (of 135) finish in the super satellite last week. Picture Pauly bluff raising Gus Hansen all-in at the final table of the WPT championship. Mind-boggling, and possible. Good luck my man. TV ain't ready for you Pauly!
I wanna piece at Gus and Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth and everyone of those guys and gals I have seen on the WPT on TV. All I have to do is win tonight and I'll get my shot to play against the best poker players in the world. Somedays, I know I belong there. Will tonight prove me that I am right?

Before I go, Coach wrote me some sound words of encouragement:
My best advice would be to lay back and do nothing for as long as possible and let the field winnow itself down. That, and, resist the temptation, even with AA or KK to go all in before the flop.

You have a lot of players you'll have to get through. Just because you double up and knock someone out with AA or KK holding up early on hardly guarantees you a WPT slot. I would let the fools and their money part themselves without your involvement, and concentrate on stealing blinds and working with good flops for as long as possible.
Alas, Coach is right. I will play smart and play passive early, and when the time comes in the middle rounds, I will wake up and switch gears and start making some moves to begin my run.

Again, second place is for pussies. I'm going to go all the way tonight. I'm playing this to win it all. Bellagio... Las Vegas... here I come. Lock your doors. Hide your daughters. My name is Pauly. If I'm at your table, I'm going to kick your ass silly. I will make you cry. Get fuckin' ready. I'm going to make history tonight.
Opening Day in Japan

The NY Yankees just started the MLB season twenty minutes ago in Tokyo, Japan (14 hours ahead). I got up early to watch the first pitch, like any die hard Yankees fan would do. In the first inning, A Rod struck out, Hideki Matsui doubled, and Jason Giambi hit a 2 run homerun as the Yanks took an early 2-0 lead over Tampa Bay. Check out Welcome Back Gobi-San, which focuses on Hideki Matsui.

Monday, March 29, 2004

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein
NYC Safest City to Drive In

It's true. N.Y. tops big cities in fewest traffic deaths is a recent article in the local paper.
Phishy NYC Sighting

Mike Gordon jammed on Southbound last night at the Allman Brothers Band's show at the Beacon Theatre here in NYC. I missed it, but I heard he smoked! 16 days until Phish in Vegas...
WBT III: Mean Gene KO'd Me with the Hammer!!

Last night, I got bounced from Felicia's PJK tourney on Planet Poker and finished in 13th place out of 21... in the third event on the World Poker Bloggers Tour. I was shortstacked and limped in UTG with A-8 suited. Rick Blaine called and so did Mean Gene in the little blind. The flop: A-2-7. The 2 & 7 were spades and I had top pair with a nut flush draw. I went all-in and Rick and Mean Gene both called. Of course, Mean Gene has the Hammer! And his two pair took out Rick's AQ and my A8. D'oh! Rick posted a good write up of what happened to Ugarte's Poker Grovel.

Felicia got knocked out on the first hand with QQ. She ran into Grubby's AA. When I left TPFelt was the chip leader.

Celebrity Guest: Roy Cooke

Felicia was working hard to get at leats once celebrity per week to play in the Sunday nigth events on Planet Poker. Last night... we had poker pro Roy Cooke play with us. At one point, we were tied for last place! He placed 10th (only a few ahead of me). Who could the next round of celebs be? We tried to get Wil Wheaton to play in WBT II. Grubby tried to get Ben Affleck and Evelyn Ng to participate in WBT I.

Thanks again to Felicia for setting this up! More to come.

Late Sunday Night Party

After I got bounced from the PJK tourney on Planet Poker... I hopped on Party Poker. My brother finally made the leap to online play and he joined Signor Ferrari in downloading and signing up for a real money account (using my bonus code: TAO4). I watched him play some low limit and he got his ass handed to him by serious bad beats. I saw both his AA and KK cracked by river straights or flushes. Whenever he had top two pair, he'd lose the showdown on the river to a guy hoping to catch an inside straight or a four card flush on the board. Oh well.

Myself? I got smoked playing NL Ring games. I have been getting schooled all weekend. I played for ninety minutes last night and did not play one hand outside of my blinds. When I had KQ suited in the big blind and I flopped top two pair (all rainbows) I went all-in to be called by the biggest stack at the table. He was on a open ended straight draw but caught runner-runner to get his flush. Ouch. I lost $20 on that hand. Now, my Party Poker bankroll took a huge hit since last Wednesday.

Time to hunker down before tomorrow night's WPT super staellite.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Last 5 Movies I Saw...

1. Owning Mahowny
2. Shallow Hal
3. Seabiscuit
4. School of Rock
5. Before Sunrise
Yanks in Tokyo: Godzilla Homers in Homecoming

It was an awesome game. The NY Yankees vs. the Yomuri Giants. Live... Tokyo, Japan... and the crowd was chanting "Homerun Matsui!" for their hometown hero, Hideki Matsui, now clad in Yankee pinstripes. In his first at bat he didn't disappoint his adoring fans when he hit a huge homerun. The Yankees won 6-2 while Derek Jeter and Jorge Psoada both homered. Here's a bit:
With Matsui back in the ballpark where he became Japan's biggest baseball star, Yankees manager Joe Torre moved him into the traditional Japanese spots of honor -- cleanup in the batting order and center field.

"We allow someone to be bigger than the team today, which isn't our nature," Torre said.

With flashbulbs popping and small orange flags with his number "55" waving, Matsui stepped into the batter's box leading off the second to cheers of "Go Matsui!" Then, just after he fouled off a 2-2 pitch, the chant changed to, "Home run, home run, Matsui."

And on the very next pitch, he complied. He took a 63 mph hanging changeup from Hisanori Takahashi, leaned into it and sent it about three-quarters of the way up the bleachers in right-center field. Fans jumped and cheered. A woman in front of the press box bowed to him.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

NY Yankees Arrive in Japan

The NY Yankees arrived in Tokyo for the start of the MLB baseball season, which will include two exibition games against the Yomuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers. Games will be televised at 5am (Sunday vs. the Giants, Tuesday & Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay).

History In the Making is a great read about the Yankees visit to Japan. It's history but will it take a toll physcially on the players? Here's one part that I found interesting:
No one would've blamed the Yankees for wanting to sleep in, at least for the first day or two. The physical surcharge of flying so far deeply concerned club officials, and trainers began transitioning players a week ago. That's when Tokyo-time clocks were posted in the Legends Field clubhouse, along with reminders about the dangers of in-flight dehydration.

Players were encouraged to drink at least 16 ounces of water for every hour in the air. Alcohol was not served and players who use contact lenses were forbidden from wearing them on the plane. Furthermore, everyone was prodded to stay awake for the last eight hours of the flight, so that upon arrival -- late Friday night, local time -- the first instinct would be to sleep and align the body-clock for a Saturday morning wake-up.

It's a huge price to pay, obviously, but the Yankees are marketing their logo, their attachment to Japanese culture through (Hideki) Matsui and, perhaps, their own history in the Far East. Even though American teams have been touring Japan since 1908, the Yankees created their own legacy in 1934. That's when Babe Ruth was the player-manager of a barnstorming team that played 21 games against Japanese All-Stars...
I would love to be there. I'll be watching all the exhibition games in addition to staying up all night to watch Opening Day and game 2.

Check out another good article from the NY Times: Rediscovering Japan. Here's a bit:
Babe Ruth played his last game in a Yankee uniform in Japan. Lou Gehrig played with him. It was 1934, and the Japanese were falling in love with baseball. The visit by the storied Yankees has reverberated ever since.

The Yomiuri newspaper chain sponsored that all-star tour, and its popularity inspired the first professional baseball team in Japan, the Dai Nippon Baseball Club. That team would become the Yomiuri Giants, the Japanese equivalent of the Yankees.

"This is the Giants' 70th anniversary, and also the 70th anniversary of Japanese professional baseball," Kota Ishijima, the manager of United States and Latin operations for the team, said. "And for that 70th, who comes back? The Yankees, and our beloved son, Hideki Matsui."
Saturday NL Party with Al Can't Hang & Signor Ferrari

I hit the tables this morning on Party Poker and guess who joined my table a few minutes into my session? Al Can't Hang... he tracked me down! He was just in time too to see me get knocked around by a slew of bad beats. Big Slick was taken down by J-9. I had K-Q in the lil blind and flopped two pair only to lose to a river straight. I was really pissed when my Cowboys fell victim to a Q-5. But I held my cool like Walt Clyde Frazier, and waited for a good hand to play.

In the middle of those bad beats, one guy at our table got pocket aces 3 times in less than thirty minutes. He staretd with $25 and was well over $150 in a matter of minutes. Insane, indeed.

I discovered that Signor Ferrari was playing a NL ring game and invited him to our table. He showed up right away and I had Ferrari to my right a few seats and Al Can't Hang in the corner on my left. I was pretty pumped to play with those guys online.

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

1. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
3. The Polish Officer by Alan Furst
4. Fools Rush In by Nina Munk
5. Deception Point by Dan Brown
Another Early Morning Writing Session

Couldn't sleep much. Got up early and wrote for two plus hours. I had three stellar writing sessions this past week. I'm on a roll. Cranking out pages and pages. And the best part... no one will ever see it. Journals, baby, personal journals... where I write for myself and only for myself. That's the best shit, you know. This morning's music was fueled by Miles Davis and Kind of Blue. In addition, I listened to Jerry Garcia Band... man do I fuckin' love JGB?! And Bruce C. loaned me a kick ass Led Zeppelin DVD... with live recordings from various points in their career. I had it on in the background for a while. I was digging the footage from Royal Albert Hall (1970), in merry old England. Dazed and Confused must have been one sick song to see live in concert. John Bonham's drum solo on Moby Dick was superb.
Vermont Phish?

Rumors in Phishdom... the boys might be doing summer shows in thier home state of Vermont in Coventry.
Happy Birthday, Tater Tots!

My favorite potato dish, tater tots... turned 50 this week!!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Friday's Best Bets

I'm going with upsets tonight! All the underdogs.
Xavier +3
Illinois +7
UAB +5
Nevada-Reno +5
Trying to keep the momentum going.
A Friday Afternoon Quickie
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul,
Wisdom is better than silver or gold."
- Bob Marley
I'm frisky. It was almost 70 degrees here in the Big City. Truly the first day of Spring... and I milled around Central Park for a little bit before I went over to my brother's place and behold... Derek McGrupp... installed Party Poker onto his new laptop! I quickly hit the tables... and kept my hit and run style of playing NL ring games, ready to trap the fish. I flopped a Q high flush and had two fishies betting into me and I took down a $60 pot. I walked away with a $21/hr win rate today... and lost $11 in a $10 SNG when I busted out in 6th place. I was doomed from the start when I was playing A-Q out of my blinds and lost to a jerkoff who played 9-10 and flopped and river'd a 10 when I had top pair on the flop. Like one of my fraternity brothers once said...
"I'd like to punch three holes into that guy and take him bowling..."
Anyway... more to come for sure, now that I have weekend access to another non-Mac with Party Poker... I'm fired up at the thought of being able to play at peak fishy hours.
Happy Belated Birthday, Spider...

D'oh! I missed it by one day! Hope it was a good one. If you want to send Spider b-day wishes, you can do so: here.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thought of the Day
"What are the stars but points in the body of God where we insert the healing needles of our terror and longing?" - Thomas Pynchon
Today's Best Bets

Last year at this time, I was in Las Vegas with Derek and Senor and we were gambling heavily on the Sweet 16 games. This year, I think I know who to pick once again when I see all the Sweet 16 matchups. Here's what I picked today:
Syracuse -1 1/2
St. Joe's -2
Oklahoma St. -2 1/2
I like the 3 team parlay of UConn, St. Joe's & Ok St.

My Day Off...

I'm a little spent today after celebrating last night after winning a seat in the super satellite on Party Poker. I wasn't going to play poker today... it was supposed to be my day off. I wanted to take a day or two off before I hit the tables again this weekend against the might fish. I have a poker bloggers tourrey on Sunday night, the usual Signor Ferrari home game on Monday... and then the World Poker Tour super satellite on Tuesday night. But I ended up playing for a few hours and walked away with a 2nd place finish in a SNG and I managed a $15/hour win rate. Not too bad for my day off!!
5 Grateful Dead Cover Songs I'd Like to Hear Phish Play in Las Vegas...

1. Shakedown Street
2. Birdsong
3. Viola Lee Blues
4. Casey Jones
5. Jack Straw

Yes, in exactly 3 weeks... I'll be in Vegas gearing up for three Phish shows!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

3rd place!! Yesterday the Dog Bit Me... Today... I Bit the Pooch!
"Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains. Think about that one for a minute." - Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh, Bull Durham
I just came in 3rd place (out of 135... $3000+ in prize pool money) in an online poker tournament ($24 entry fee) and won a $325 seat in a WPT satellite tournament on Tuesday, March 30 at 9pm... live on Party Poker if you want to download the software and watch me play in the satellite tournament for the World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship at the Bellagio. Here's what's at stake:
Prizes: As many $27,000 WPT Packages as possible. Any extra money will be paid to the next 3 places (50%, 30%, 20%). One ‘WPT Package’ will be awarded for every 90 participants. (If there are less than 90 entries, the money will be paid out according to our standard Multi-table Payout Schedule.) Each WPT Package will contain a paid entry into the WPT championship tournament ($25,300 entry fee), 5 nights accommodation at Bellagio (April 18-22) and $1000 in cash, Package value = $27,000.
I just got a shot at the $27K for only... $24. What a deal! I've been jumping up and down for twenty minutes... (like Molly gleefully does when she's hyper excited). Party Poker is an amazing place to play. I'm not going to blow my chance. I played last week to try to win a seat... and I came in 106 out of 161.

So how did I play? I'll post a more thorough report to the Tao of Poker later tonight. But I won a huge pot with 5-5 (pocket 5s). I caught a lovely flop: 5-Q-3... I went all-in against pocket Kings (K-K) and knocked him out. It was early into the three plus hour tournament and I was the chip leader at my table. At the second break I was in 24th place out of 60 players. Not too bad. I caught a bluffer trying to steal a pot and took his entrie stack. That gave me a sizeable lead and I waited for solid hands.

I made the final table... 10 players left, but only 9 would win seats into the WPT satellite. Everyone played tight and the game slowed down. It took almost an hour before anyone had the courage to play a hand after someone raised. Alas, the little stack bravely went all-in 7000+ chips. I had almost 12K and called with A-A.
3:33pm EST... Pauly gets pocket aces!
I was pretty sure that someone was going to be leaving a loser. He turned over J-J and I beat the guy, knocked him out, and won a seat for the WPT satellite. It was a great moved, lucky cards, and I'll take it. I ended up 3rd... but it didn't matter since everyone at that point won a $325 seat. 135 players... $3000+ prize money at stake... 9 winners... I was one of them. Next stop... World Poker Tour and the Bellagio! I have six days to prepare!
Kentucky Grovel of the Day: Hunter and the Wildcats Disgrace

This article is for one of my new readers and diehard Kentucky fan... Lori. The Good Doctor recently wrote a sad, but great story via Check out: Woe is the world of the Wildcats, written by Kentucky's native son... Hunter S. Thompson. Here's a bit:
The painful truth about Kentucky's defeat at the hands of UAB is that the Wildcats played like drunkards trapped in a frozen hockey rink. They committed 16 turnovers, three in the last two minutes, and missed three life-or-death shots in the final 12 seconds. They couldn't even get the ball in-bounds, much less take it to the other end of the court and score like the champions they used to be. The committee tabbed Kentucky the team to beat. UAB did just that Sunday night. It was disgraceful, and Tubby Smith should be run out of Lexington.

Any No. 1 seed that blows a four-point lead in the last two minutes of any game -- and especially in the early-exit stages of the NCAA Tournament -- is a team with a second-rate coach. That is well understood in Kentucky, and Tubby Smith will be fired before Labor Day.

Where he goes after Lexington, I don't care, just as long as it's not in the state of Kentucky. Not after embarrassing the school, the state, his own players and everything Kentucky stands for, by not preparing his team for this Tournament. The team was lazy and slow and careless -- more like a family of obese morons than big-money athletes. It was sickening. I felt humiliated and betrayed by a gang of losers with no pride...
Man, Hunter is wicked pissed off! Here's some more:
"SEPPUKU" is defined in my huge leather dictionary as "ceremonial suicide, by ripping open the abdomen with a dagger or knife, formerly practiced in Japan by members of the warrior class, when disgraced or sentenced to death."

That is the word I was looking for when my boys from Kentucky went belly-up and disgraced the whole state by losing ugly in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was a terrible shock to every cell in my body. My heart went limp and the air rushed out of my lungs for 20 or 30 seconds when I saw the final score, and I fell sideways into a plate of watermelon. It was like being whacked from behind with a baseball bat.

The shot that sent Kentucky home and the Good Doctor into a state of shock.I blacked out momentarily, but the room had already emptied except for two girls who were snickering at me as they backed out the door. I was so swollen with shame that I felt like a Japanese Fugue fish in heat -- and that was when I thought about Seppuku. It was the only honorable way out, so I reached for my gold-handled Samurai sword...
And what is Hunter's pick for the rest of the tourney? He likes Vanderbilt at 15-1 to double up his money. I must disagree with my idol. I'm sticking with UCONN. Come on... Inside the Paris Hilton!
Late Night Poker... Plus the WPT Qualifiers

I just got back after playing cards with the gang at Rick's Cafe. The result: up $26.50. I played like crap too. Just think, I only lost $9 in the last 24 hours... and I played some of the worst poker since I started my nice run of cards a few weeks ago. I must get some rest (been up for almost 24 hours straight now) and I will write up a report sometime tomorrow afternoon.

I will be playing in a World Poker Tour (WPT) qualifier online at Party Poker at 12:30 pm EST. So wish me good cards around that time. In the last WPT qualifier I played in, I placed 106 out of 160th. The winner of the upcoming tourney gets a seat in the super satellite. if you win that one... you get airfare and a week's stay at the Bellagio, in addition to the $25,000 buy-in for the World Poker Tour Championship slated for next month. It's huge deal! Alright time for some needed rest before my big day and chance at the big time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Happy Birthday Dave!

Today is Dave Grisman's birthday! KFUW 90.7 in NYC has been playing a ton of his stuff today.
And Sometimes the Dog Bites You...
"Those who excel in war first cultivate their own humanity and justice and maintain their laws and institutions. By these means they make their governments invincible." - Sun Tzu
Time to get my shit together.

Ouch. The last two days I've been getting smoked on the tables at Party Poker. It's been a combination of better competition (playing weekday afternoons vs. weekends), a slew of fist-clenching bad beats, and of coure... Pauly playing looser than a drunken Russian sailor on shoreleave, hopped up on opium and playing No Limit hold'em for Thai Bahts in the sweltering backroom of a salacious whorehouse in Bangkok with the chain-smokin, cat stroking Madame and an insurance salesman from Wisconsin, a heavy-set guy chomping on a fake Cuban cigar and juggling a warm bottle of Singha and two pixie-sized giggling ladies of the night. It was like a bad acid trip, with plenty of A-8 off suits chasing after me. What was I thinking... making some questionable calls like that? Ah, such is my life. The road of Pauly is cluttered with plenty of outlandish mistakes, mangled roadkill, tragic bad beats, broken hearts, and shattered dreams... ahhh, and that's just in the thirty-six hours.

Oh well. I lost more than half the money I won last week, in the last two days, but I will bounce back like I always do and make it back tonight. Signor Ferarri is hosting his weekly game, and both Ugarte and Rick will be there. I expect to be playing a little tighter than normal and stick to the basics. Both Ferrari and Coach had recent trips to Vegas, so I hope to hear some great stories... and some bad beats. More to follow.
Writing at 6am: Another Kick Ass Session

I am on a good run this week, writing wise. I had another solid writing session this morning. My new found energy and routine has given me a little more confidence each day. Here's the deal. Do you recall those old ARMY commercials where they show you the average morning of a new recruit? Then they say, "We do more before 9am than everyone else does all day." I've been feeling like that. I adjusted my writing times from 2 or 3am to 6am. I try to crash early (Pauly going to bed early?) and get up at 5am every day. I pull a few tubes and drink a cup of green tea and then I attack the blank pages with everything I got. Two hours later... I emerge with enough writing for the day to satisfy myself... which definitely sets the tone for the remainder of my day. I feel great about myself because I accomplished something extremely important... within hours of waking. I have a little more energy, due to the nice creative high I get each morning, and am not worrying about trying find the time to write throughout the day. I can relax and focus on the now and live more in the moment. I realized that I have more time to work, play poker, socialize, and read.

I fell behind a bit on my writing schedule and caught up. I had a hectic weekend with being sick, and partying, and that little thing called March Madness, which had be glued to the TV all weekend. By the way, I fuckin' loathe CBS' coverage. They truly blow.

This morning's writing music was John Coltrane and a live show from the Village Vanguard in NYC, almost 43 friggin' years ago... 11.3.61. I really love the fuckin' guy. His orginal tune Naima is insane and I particularly enjoyed his cover of Greensleeves. Coltrane's gotten me all fired up this week! I have a few new ideas for upcoming projects. I'd rather have too many ideas and too little time, than too much time and zero ideas!

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

1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides 2. Sputnik Sweatheart by Haruki Murakami
3. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
4. Six Easy Pieces by Walter Mosley
5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Sex News: Virgin Sells Virginity on Net & Fucking Married Men

Briana, the sex news goddess, returns with two new articles! Here's the first one: 18 year-old Sells Virginity Via Net. It's a true but disturbing story. Here's the tagline:
A lesbian university student who auctioned her virginity on the internet to pay for her studies is reported to have had sex with the highest bidder.
Interesting for sure. Make sure you take a peek at what Briana does with her Monday and Tuesday nights... Maccer's Tips for Sleeping with Married Men. Here's a funny bit:
I never sleep with a married man unless I actually want something back in return, often specific items – I’m a 7 in Blahniks, you know – and I’d encourage other ladies to think about this when cursorily reviewing their bank statements as well. Have you seen something you particularly want – handbag, shoes, mini break to Bora Bora? And is there someone you can fuck to get it? Not everything will actually require you to actually sleep with them, you know and sometimes I would even highly recommend never putting out.
Next week, I'll post my tips and perks for sleeping with married women. As always, thanks B!
Courtney Love Loves Being a Retard

Check out this MTV interview with Kurt Loder & Courtney "I Killed Kurt Cobain" Love. It's a disturbing read for sure. Here's a bit:
After the show, there was a little meet-and-greet down in the bar, mostly for the fans, who were still buzzing. I asked one girl what she thought Courtney had been doing that made her almost two hours late for the gig, and the girl, not missing a beat, said, "Oxycontin." Then Courtney walked into the room. She didn't seem to be drunk or high or anything, but she was, of course, very Courtney. "This is Lisa," she said, introducing one of her guitarists, Lisa Leveridge. "We used to be teenage prostitutes together." Lisa appeared to have heard this before, possibly many times.
Loder had me laughing a few times, but in a sad way. Man, like I told my brother... going to see a Courtney Love concert is like going to see a Mike Tyson boxing match. You're not going for the purity of the medium (boxing or music)... instead you are there to see the circus, freak, side-show... awaiting for them to seriously fuck something up and someone to the hospital.
Prom on Mars = 100!

Congrats to Alex at Prom on Mars. His web based comic turned 100 yesterday! Check it out. Here's what he sent me in a recent email:
PROM ON MARS the free, weekly webcomic chronicling the adventures of Liz and the Seniors of Liberty High on their way to Mars for their Senior Prom reaches it's 100th strip today at! And for this special celebration we've got a holo-truck full of conchtastic features! Here's what's going on:

* Prom, in association with, presents "The Remix Gallery." The Gallery features other artists take on Prom characters and scenes - and features incredible art by Danielle Corsetto, Michael G. Sivak, Monica Gallagher, Tim Fish, Adam Ford, Liam Johnson and Jason Thompson!

* "Total Losers!" - a completely new webcomic starring Marc, Sid and Bick!

* The long-awaited print version of "PROM: VOLUME 1" (which is already getting rave reviews)!

* Polling functions to vote for Prom King and Queen! (Winners of the poll will win in the comic!)

* Updated FAQs!

and of course...

* Strip 100!

All features can be accessed directly from the home page at! So grab your oversized ties and corsages and climb aboard the USS Apollo Creed - for a rock-a-diggy-doggin' time on Mars!
Congrats again to Alex. Keeping up anything on the web for a long period of time is a difficult task! Good job, bro.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Pimping Wil

Yes, many thanks to Wil Wheaton my new cyber buddy. The now infamous Tao of Poker has been getting swamped with new traffic... thanks to Wil's loyal readership. He has one of the most popular blogs out there (combination of a being a solid blogger, a great writer, a former Star Trek performer, and the fact he's a former child actor) and his site gets a tremendous amount of global traffic... and after he mentioned the Tao of Poker last week... my sites have been getting more hits than ever before. I was pretty excited last week to find out that Wil reads my site! I gave him a few tips and now I'm trying to get him to play on Party Poker! We invited him to play in the various online poker bloggers tournaments on the World Blogger Tour (WBT).

Anyway, be sure to read Wil's poker stories... Lying in Odessa, Part 3 and Lying in Odessa, Part 4. Amazing reads!

Again, thanks to Wil for the link up. See you at the tables, bro!
Monday Morning Writing Session

I just had a great writing session this morning. Music definitely sets the tone for me creatively, espeically on a cold, freezing, dark Monday morning. I fired up Thelonious Monk and one of my favorite albums of all time Monk's Dream. I used to paint to Monk's Dream all the time. Alas, if you didn't know, Thelonious Monk was a part of a group of musicians who helped create Bebop. Monk's Dream was recorded in NYC in November 1962... and it still stands up to the test of time. It's one of my favorite jazz albums of all time and gets me fired up to work. I also listened to some Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (Spring 1957, NYC)... featuring Art Blakey on drums and Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax. Oh man.

So I caught up on my daily two hour writing sessions (March Madness threw me off schedule) and now I'm fixing to work on the next issue of Truckin'.
Remembering Spalding

Remembering Spalding Gray is written by Mark Russell and appears in the Village Voice. Here's a bit:
Spalding opened the door for hundreds of artists to make live events out of their own experience; he gave permission for the theater of Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, Lisa Kron, Dael Orlandersmith, and so many others. It was a theater of identity - personal politics - a way to unearth stories that had not been told.

Now we take the solo performance form as a fact, but Spalding was the original. The master. Sliding down his own slippery slope of a life, taking us with him.
40 Things Every Drunk Should Do... I've Done 31!

40 Things a Drunkard Should Do Before He Dies... is a hilarious read. I've done 31. Hello! Like the tagline reads: A man is, ultimately, the sum of his accomplishments. Alas here's a couple:
2. Go on a bender. I don’t mean a weekend binge. I’m talking a full-bore, hooch-bent, screw-work hoolihan. Dangerous, yes, but so is getting out of bed in the morning. True benders have gone the way of the snap brim fedora, which makes them all the greater currency in the world of drunks. It won’t be easy. You must start drinking the moment you wake up and carry on until you go under. Then start over again. In your grandfather’s day you had to drink two weeks straight before you could officially declare yourself on a proper jag, but that’s when a mug of beer cost a nickel. These days four straight days and nights will give you all the bragging rights you need.

36. Try absinthe. Do the full ritual with the spoon and sugar. Drink enough to feel the full effect. Stroll the path that Hemingway, Van Gogh, Degas, F. Scott, and myriad other geniuses spent their lives pounding flat. Just don’t cut your ear off.
Oh my. This makes me want to go open the Cedar Tavern this morning!
Kentucky Sucks...

Enough said. I was winning my pool and Signor Ferrari's office pool! That was... until Kentucky lost. Actually, I'm still in first place in both pools, but since I picked Kentucky in both, I'm fucked. Looks like I'll have to root for my second sheet... and UCONN.

I'm not too bummed out. I mean... I can make more money betting on one game... than I can winning both pools combined.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Thought of the Day
"Angst is really nothing but impatience." - Kierkegaard
Breakfast with Hunter Thompson

Breakfast with Hunter Thompson is a new documentary film about the good Doctor directed by Wang Ewing. Here's a bit:
Breakfast with Hunter is a feature length documentary starring the infamous outlaw journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Edited by director Wayne Ewing from cinema verite film and digital video that he shot over many years on the road with Dr. Thompson, Breakfast with Hunter follows several story lines in the trials (literally) and triumphs of this cultural icon who created his own genre of writing - Gonzo journalism.

The film chronicles Dr. Thompson's successful attempt to avoid being placed in the system - jail and/or rehabilitation - by rogue Aspen City cops that conspired to bust him for drunken driving on the eve of an important local election. This political story interweaves with his struggle to bring his book "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" to a proper life as a feature film starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. The cast of characters he meets on his odyssey, in addition to Depp and Del Toro also include songwriter Warren Zevon, actor John Cusack, artist Ralph Steadman, and fellow journalists George Plimpton and P.J. O'Rourke.
Read the reviews from the HollyWood Reporter and Hollywood Bitch Slap.
Sunday Morning Fish Fry

What is a fish? An inexperienced poker player otherwise known as dead money.

Man, I'm really enjoying playing online at Party Poker. It's the largest online poker room in the world with over 40,000 players. And on the weekends, the fish come out to play and give away their money. Man oh man. I normally play on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings... non-peak fish times. But on the weekends, the murky waters on Party Poker are filled with schools of cash heavy fish. In the last few days, I have been cleaning up playing No Limit ring games. Today in my first fifteen minutes on Party Poker, I tripled my buy-in and took down a $77 pot! Yep, I played for less than an hour and won $63. Not a bad Sunday morning, eh? For the week, I have been averaging $13 an hour playing on Party Poker. With so much dead money going around, I'm make a small profit over this past month playing online.
5411 out of 3 Million

I was shocked to see that my team in the March Madness Pool... Nietzsche's Bikini Babes was in 5411th place out of over 3 Million other teams and entries! I'm in the top 99.8%, which is ridiculous. Let's hope I can keep up my run.
5 Rarely Played Phish Songs That I Want to Hear in Las Vegas....

1. Dinner and a Movie
2. Camelwalk
3. Destiny Unbound
4. Meat
5. Buffalo Bill

Saturday, March 20, 2004

My 5 Favorite Phish Songs Post-College (1995-1998)...

1. Funky Bitch
2. Wolfman's Brother
3. Lizards
4. Runaway Jim
5. Mike's Song
I Killed Spalding Gray
"It's odd that I met you. It's too many coincidences." - Spalding Gray
The Essay: I Killed Spalding Gray is written by Davis Sweet and appears in the Village Voice. Here's a bit:
In what must have been a five-minute monologue, he spilled everything behind those incredible eyes. A car accident in Ireland fractured his hip, a rib, and his skull, and he was only in the city tonight because he had been called to a recording studio to redub one line from a movie where he was a psychiatrist and the line was about antidepressants and now, because of the accident and the house, and Oh! the house! he was on those same antidepressants, and did I know anything about antidepressants because he didn't remember if he was supposed to be drinking wine with them, and, and, and ... I was exhausted hearing it, particularly because so many of these things made him cry.

Friday, March 19, 2004

"Enhance and intensify one's vision of that synthesis of truth and beauty which is the highest and deepest reality." - Ovid

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

1. The Little Friend by Donna Tart
2. Midnight by Dean Koontz
3. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
4. The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
5. Look at Me by Jennifer Egan

Reader Mail

Actual letters from actual readers!

1. Re: Wil Wheaton and the Tao of Poker

Ryan wrote:
Hey Pauly - So, from Wil Wheaton’s blog I ended up at Tao of Poker… just wanted to say hi, and thanks for pointing out Party Poker. I've been playing on Yahoo, which just sucks Great stories too, incidentally - I didn't realize there were so many poker blogs out there! Yesterday was a bad day for me on Party Poker... the luck of the Irish was not with me. I'm not playing for money yet (not confident enough in my play, and can't afford the $50 min first deposit) but I managed to wipe out all the gains I've had on Party over the last couple days in one fell swoop.
Dear Ryan, Thanks for linking me up on your site. Soon I encourage you to make the jump to real money tables! A lot of cash out there. Take care, see ya, Pauly

2. Re: Manhattan Upsets Florida

Zobo wrote:
Was I ever wrong... I didn't realize that the UF women's team was going to play today instead of the men's team. I have never seen so many pussies on the same court.
Dear Zobo, Too funny man. I told you that your alma mater was going down to teh Jaspers! Hoooooo! Say hello to Beano for me. See ya, McG

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Quote of the Day
"We gotta go and never stop going till we get there." - Jack Kerouac

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

1. Sailor Song by Ken Kesey
2. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
3. The Holy Bible
4. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Courtney Love: A St. Patrick's Day to Remember

I just saw a hilarious entry called Live From New York: Courtney Love's St. Patrick's Day posted by Stereogum. Here's a bit:
I poke a lot of fun at Courtney Love on this blog. 'Cause she's ... a little loopy. But she totally won me over last night, despite her guitar-throwing tantrums. She's a ROCK STAR. I can't get enough...
Hunter's March Madness

The Good Doctor is back after a month long hiatus and he'll be betting like a wild man. What's Better than the Tournament? is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson. Here's a bit:
Hot damn, it is tournament time again... we will have another desperate showdown between Kentucky and Duke. With Kentucky losing again because of injuries. I hate to hear myself saying this, but I cannot tell a lie. Duke has a faster backcourt and a deeper stronger bench. The only way Duke can lose is by missing free throws, or by committing 18 more fouls than Kentucky, and that is a sucker bet. I am shocked and disgusted to hear myself saying this. I think I just broke my own heart. Am I stupid? Three minutes ago I was telling Anita that Kentucky would mangle Duke in the final...

I publicly predict a Duke-Kentucky final -- which is not so desperate at all, really. The numbers out of Vegas say it is probably that best bet on the board, at nine or 10 to one. So why not? I have studied the brackets carefully, and so should you. If you see a better shot, let me know.

I will bet heavily on every game, for many reasons and with many people. But in my heart I crave beating Duke even more than I crave the national championship.

As for who wins that game ... well, you could flip a coin, but I won't. No, I will live or die with Kentucky, as always. But I will wait for the injury reports until the very last moment before committing totally. Until then, it is all a matter of personal fouls and foul shots...
Hunter and I see things the same way! I got Kentucky to beat Duke!!
Manhattan College: NYC's Only Hope

Tiny Manhattan College takes on Florida today in the NCAA tournament. Everyone expects the former #1 ranked team to whoop the hometown Jaspers. Alas, I picked Manhattan to make the Sweet 16 and win not one, but two games this year. Some good reads include: Best Group of Guys Around and Flores demands perfection from himself and it shows. Game is at 12:20 pm today... should be a tough matchup!
Unlucky Wednesday?

I spent some time on Party Poker yesterday. I busted out early of the $22 + $2 World Poker Tour (WPT) Qualifier yesterday. I came in 106 out of 169 places. Top 11 would have gotten seats in the WPT super satellite for next Tuesday. Afterwards, I played a $10 SNG and placed fourth. D'oh! And I played a $5 SNG with Jerry and he placed 4th and I finished in the money at 3rd. I've been making the money playing $5 SNGs this week... 5 for 5. I'm getting good cards.

Today, I will download the software for the next World Blogger Poker Tour (WBT III) event set to start on this Sunday. Don't think I'll play much poker until Sunday and Monday... with work and March Madness scheduled for this wekeend... I just don't have any time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Random Poem: Yesterday Was 1964

Captured pictures of tears
is the photo I stared at in the
small crowded gallery in Williamsburg
slipping on slush puddles and
watching snow fall in between buildings and windows
shadows of late afternoon light on stairwells
and snowdrifts against cars towering over shivering poodles
on the daily squirt break dragged by
their owner, a spoiled spineless nymph smoking
imported French cigarettes and making an
appointment for an eyeball massage on her
chic cellphone
while listening to golden oldies
on her new iPod,
I overhead the song about
elegantly dressed kings and queens,
dancing in old fortresses lit by
candle light and
stolen celestial reflections while
the soft voices of
late sunshine divas gayfully sing about
former boyfriends and the
sweet smell of the air after it rains.
That was 1964.
Luck of the Irish?

Happy St. Patirck's Day to everyone from your host, McGrupp. This is the one day of the year when I am not considered an alcoholic... since every place I know that serves liquor is encouraging serious binge drinking over the entire day. No where else in the world... except America... can the powers to be hijack a religious holiday and turn it into a rowdy, drunken, puke fest... sponsored by Budweiser and Guinness of course. Alas, I'm bloody Irish (and an alcoholic... thanks Mom & Dad for passing on the gene!) so everyday is my St. Patrick's Day... but today gives my non-Irish friends an excuse to get drunk at lunch time, get angry for no apparent reason, and sing dirty drinking songs at the top of their lungs. Enjoy your special day and don't forget to tip your bartenders.

I'm hoping that Irish luck follows me today. I'm hitting the tables at Party Poker to play in the World Poker Tour (WPT) super satellite qualifier ($22 + $2 entry fee). If you win that tourney you get a seat in the WPT super satellite and can win a shot at the WPT event at the Bellagio in April.

Alas, I just found out that Party Poker is also holding 2004 World Series of Poker super satellites all month! I will definitely play in one, possibly two.
3 Days Until Spring?

That's what they say... but after yesterday's annoying snowstorm... I really sick of the harsh, brutal, winter. Molly teased me and said it was almost 80+ in West Texas. Jerry told me how warm and sunny it was in Miami. Felicia sent me the local weather report for her neck of the woods in Arizona and yeah the highs are the mid-80s. Grrrr.... with more snow expected in the next few days, I'm getting more excited for Las Vegas in 27 days!
Wednesday's Politico Roundup: Ides of March Madness & Nader Time

The NY Times suggested that Nader's presidential bid will be Kerry's downfall. Here's a bit:
The candidacy of Ralph Nader looms as a potentially lethal threat to Democratic hopes of regaining the White House: With Mr. Nader in the race, Mr. Bush leads Mr. Kerry by 46 percent to 38 percent, with Mr. Nader drawing 7 percent of the votes. In a sign of the polarized electorate Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry are facing, three-quarters of supporters of each candidate asserted they would not change their mind before the election.
For more Ralph Nader press, be sure to check out Anti-Nader Media Bias is written by by Matthew Continetti and he thinks that no one is being harder on Ralph Nader than the media.
IT'S NO EXAGGERATION to say that Ralph Nader's independent candidacy for president faces many hurdles. Nader isn't on the ballot yet--anywhere.... But chances are that Nader can clear most, if not all, of these hurdles... What's more, John Kerry's voting record, which includes "yes" votes for the invasion of Iraq, No Child Left Behind, and the Patriot Act, may drive some left-liberals to vote for Nader.

Still, there's one obstacle that Nader may find insurmountable: The media are almost uniformly critical of his campaign, and of him personally. This wasn't always the case. In 2000, when Nader announced he would seek the Green party's presidential nomination, news outlets were dismissive. Here's how the New York Times's Lizette Alvarez reported Nader's announcement four years ago: "Mr. Nader, 65, whose quest for the White House in 1996 earned him less than 1 percent of the vote . . . acknowledged he would face an uphill battle as the Green Party nominee."
But wait, there's more Nader news. The Nader Interview appeared in the Village Voice. He sounds off on immigration which I found interesting:
No incentives for brain-drain specialists that are needed in their own countries to replace our specialists at lower wages. Stop visas and incentives for scientists, engineers, medical doctors, and so forth. Second, stop supporting oligarchs and dictators who push people to our shores when they'd rather stay home—like in Mexico and Central America. Third is: Don't have an immigration policy that allows corporate employers to further exploit these workers. So if they are here and they are employed, they should get all the fair labor standards, minimum-wage protections. Then we should adopt a legal-permit system like Canada has for temporary work.

OK, let's get around to the rest of the DC hooligans. Bush challenged Kerry to name names and come out and say which European leaders are backing him. Can you say Le Frogs? In a random poll Bush scored well with young Americans aged 12-17.

And of course the latest buzz has been that Kerry wants to tap Senator John McCain as his VP nominee. Democratic Senator Joe Biden endorses a Kerry-McCain ticket. Will McCain jump parties? Or will Kerry have to settle on someone like John Edwards or Welsey Clark.

On the international front, following the 3.11 attacks, Spain's Socialist Party wins election and promises troop withdrawl from Iraq.

And one last parting shot, Marijuana Party is stoked for May 4th local elections. Make sure you visit their home page: U.S. Marijuana Party and the MRF of New York.
WBT II Reports

I read a couple of good reports from last Wednesday's WBT II: The Iggy Classic. Chris Halverson had a hilarious WPT intro to his report. Here's a bit of the intro:
Vince Van Patten: How about Pauly "I'm never on tilt" McGrupp or any of the other New Yorkers? Would their East Coast play school the West Coast? Who Knows?! Who cares as long as they have MONSTER HANDS!
And here's some of Chris Halverson's write-up:
The final table was tough, but there were a couple of short stacks. I took it upon myself that I was going to make it to the money and get them out. Luckily I didn't have to do much since Pauly appeared to be slightly on tilt and was going all in like crazy. He says he was fine, but who knows. Who cares, he took a couple people out for me...
And of course Felicia added her write-up to her site. Here's her take on my tilty behavior:
Pauly overextended himself. He started calling all-in's. It is one thing to raise and steal every hand, when it is shorthanded and no one has much of anything, but it is another thing to call an over-the-top raise or all-in, by timid players who don't have enough chips to pull any re-steals or bluffs. Pauly ran up against several superior hands, and lost every one. He went from having us all outchipped several times over, to being one of the shortstacks himself.
Alas, two great write-ups. Good job guys.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Quote of the Day
"We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people." - Arthur Schopenhauer
5 Songs I Want to Hear Phish Play in Las Vegas...

1. Waves
2. Halley's Comet
3. Jesus Left Chicago
4. Silent in the Morning
5. Tube
News Roundup: Dumbass Dope Fiends and One Stiff Fellow

A woman dialed the wrong number and set up a drug deal with her probabtion officer instead of her dealer. But that's nothing. This one guy's six day erection has turned him into a freak show and tourist attraction. "Darling, we must see the fellow with the six day chubby."
Lucky Day at the Tables

I had another solid day on Party Poker. I played 3 Sit and Go tournaments (SNGs) and I finished in the money all three times, including winning one. I got to play with Jerry for a little while, which is always fun. I had a decent day winning over $35. Tomorrow, I'm going to play in a World Poker Tour (WPT) qualifying tournament on Party Poker. I hope the nice string of lucky cards follows me one more day! By the way.... 4 weeks until Las Vegas.
Nice Wil

I just found out that Wil Wheaton linked up the Tao of Poker onto his blog today. I am guessing that he likes my site and reads my stuff. I have been getting a nice number of hits since then. Thanks Wil for the link-up. See ya at the tables. Thanks to Iggy for pointing that out.

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

1. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
2. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
3. Lonesome Traveler by Jack Kerouac
4. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
5. The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
The Girl Next Door = Risky Business

The Girl Next Door's Risky Business is an article written by Michael Goldfarb for the Weekly Standard where he muses: "The latest disposable teen movie mixes porn, romance, and a tried-and-true comedy formula." Here's a bit:
The Girl Next Door is Hollywood's latest reprise of a time-honored theme, the teen movie. During the last 30 years, the industry has churned out one enterprise after another, producing standouts such as Risky Business, Dazed and Confused, Porky's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, to name just a few of my favorites. Director Luke Greenfield makes an admirable attempt to vault The Girl Next Door into the realm of these cult classics, and although he falls well short, his film provides enough hi-jinks, romance, and cleavage to be a box office favorite this spring.

Elisha Cuthbert plays Danielle, a porn star (stage name--"Athena") who, for some unknown reason, has moved in next door to Westport High School's student council president, Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch). Despite Matthew's success in the world of student body politics, and his admission to Georgetown, he carries the heavy burden of virginity, which in the fantasy world of the teen movie is roughly equivalent to cancer. Fortunately for us, this cancer can be cured--and how.

This formula was more successfully employed in Risky Business, where Tom Cruise breaks out of his preppy conformity and retains the services of a prostitute (deftly played by Rebecca De Mornay). Having been intimate with a call girl, he is then met with the more formidable challenge of financing the restoration of his father's Porsche, lately retrieved from the bottom of Lake Michigan. By turning his house into a brothel and himself into a pimp, Cruise fixes the car, gains admission to Princeton, and becomes a legend in his own time. Substitute hookers for porn stars, pimping for producing, and De Mornay for Cuthbert, and you've got The Girl Next Door....
For more information and to see the trailer visit: The Girl Next Door.
Poker: Hobby, Sport, or Profit?

HDouble and his excellent poker site The Cards Speak has a quality post titled: Hobby, Sport, or Profit? Here's a bit:
Work and social commitments (ugh) have kept me off of the poker tables for the last couple of days, although I did manage to eek out a couple of short, barely-winning sessions on PartyPoker. I did get to engage with a thought provoking session with a reader via email, who brought me back to the question of "Why do people play poker?"

The reader astutely pointed out that although PartyPoker may be the most profitable place to play, it may not be the best. If our goal is not to win the most money, but to challenge ourselves intellectually, then most likely the site with the most fish is not the best place to play.
As always another kick ass post from HDouble! I play poker for a combination of the three reasons he mentioned. But I must admit... I love the rush... when I win and when I bluff. It's up there with some of the best feelings I ever experienced.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Swimming with Spalding Gray
"Doubt is my bottom line. The only thing I don't doubt is my own doubt." - Spalding Gray
This afternoon, I will be participating in a Spalding Gray memorial, watching his epic film based on his monolouge Swimming to Cambodia. Anyway, be sure to read this great article: Swimming written by Pitchaya Sudbanthad. Here's a bit:
But memory was a part of him that he couldn’t contain. It wound around him and choked his head with regret. This he told us many times. Onstage, where he sat with his tabletop set-up of a microphone, glass of water, a pen, and a notebook, he rehearsed his life over and over for us. He gave it shape and projected what he saw into the darkened theater. He breathed faster. He didn’t look at the notebook. In his head, he could see everything so clearly. He stitched together what he saw and threw those naked pieces of himself into the audience, who went for it, like lions. He had enormous pain that he turned into laughter. Why did he do this with his life? Maybe, if he threw enough out to the audience, there’d be nothing left to throw.
Oral Hints

Briana sent me this article: Sucking Off, Then Sucking Face which is from the Columbia Spectator. Here's a bit:
I'm not a huge fan of making out with a guy after he's gone down on me, either, but some girls find the whole situation a little, well, easier to swallow...
Post Office Woes

Today I have to go to the post office to mail out screenplays, manuscripts, and resumes. Uggh. I like how I feel after I mail out my work, but I hate the process of standing in line at the post office on a Monday morning. Alas, Al Can't Hang requested a copy of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. I also have copies of the Blind Kangaroo and the new screenplay to send out to different parties. In addition to the normal lot of Monday morning resumes & cover letters that I send out via e-mail and snail mail.
Knicks Rally for Comeback Win

Yesterday, the Knicks pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in franchsie history. The Knicks were down 26 points late in the third quarter and rallied back to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks. A few weeks ago the Knicks traded Keith Van Horn to the Bucks for Tim Thomas, who outscored Van Horne 18-2 in the second half.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Winky & Pics

Here's a great pic of Winky. Pic of the day that almost made me cry: Peace. And here's the silly photo of the day... What Haley Did This Morning... and here's the Chubby of the day.
Pieces of Pauly

What did I eat in the last 24 hours? Not too healthy! For breakfast... one English Muffin with butter, one Everything bagel with extra butter and green tea. At lunch I ate a salami and cheese sandwich on toasted Italian bread and spicy mustard with potato chips and two slices of pound cake. For dinner, I ate a spicy chicken breast sandwich on Dutch potato bread with steak fries (topped with melted American cheese). Over the last day I also ate three slices of Entenman's crumb cake and drank one Snapple iced tea.

Sigge sent me this link: Pauly Googlisms. And he wrote:
Hmmm... The top three are the best:

Pauly is basically like every other character Pauly Shore has ever played
Pauly is totally stupid
Pauly is trying to impress the girls
Mellow Sunday... the Calm Before March Madness

I recently took an unannounced hiatus from poker. I have not played since Wednesday night's poker blogger tourney and I probably won't play again until Tuesday or Wednesday. I just thought I could use a few days off. Sometimes poker gets a little too stressful, espeically tournament play. Like most of the things I am passionate about... I throw myself completely into what I do. And sometimes I need mini breaks where I take several steps back and focus my energies elsewhere. I finally caught up on my missed writing sessions and I'm pumped to work on the new issue of Truckin' this week. I got a new writer and two staff writers submitted new stories. I'll have a Miami story for you and I will be sumbitting my a story called Sad Amy.

Alas, I now have more time to watch college basketball and Spring Training baseball. It was cool to watch a few Yankees games. I think next year my brother and I are going to go down and catch a week's worth of Spring Training games all over Florida.

March Madness is almost upon us. I watched a shitload of college hoops yesterday and I am setting aside a chunk of my afternoon to watch several conference finals and scout out good teams to pick for my upcoming pool. The brackets for the tournament are announced tonight. You can get a jump start on setting up your team and sheet for this year's Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool. There are five of us in the pool ($50 total prize pool...) and I expect 20 more people to join! One of my teams is named: Inside the Paris Hilton. More to come.
Meet the Press

Even as a little Pauly (think early 1980s), one of my favorite TV programs was Meet the Press. Before the internet and cable TV, I learned most of my Beltway lingo, international politics and world affairs from watching Meet the Press and reading the NY Times. Last week Rudy Giuliani was the guest. This week's episode included Dr. Condoleeza Rice and Dr. Howard Dean. The main topic was the Iraq War... one year later. I always enjoy listening to Dr. Rice speak. She's knows her shit. Dr. Dean was certainly more subdued than his appearance this past summer. He did say something that Al-Qaeda was noting Iraq until after the war started... which conflicted with several of Schanzer's articles. Alas, he was ther eless to discuss his anti-war stance and more there to kiss John Kerry's botox-riddled ass so he can be considered a possible running mate.
My 5 Favorite Phish Songs in College (1990-1994)...

1. The Mango Song
2. Fluffhead
3. My Friend, My Friend
4. Reba
5. Sample in a Jar
Pimpin Al

Al Can't Hang recently pimped not one... but three of my sites... on his blog. Thanks Al. Be sure to visit his site: Al Cant's Hang. Where he offers up: Random thoughts about Poker and booze. But mostly booze. Al made the final table at the WBT II: Iggy Classic. He's from the Philly area and I suspect that I will be playing with him sometime soon down in Atlantic City. He went this weekend and post a great trip report to the Borgata. Check it out.

Saturday, March 13, 2004


Download Party Poker this weekend and hit the tables. If you signup through the link above (or on either of my sites)... you get a signup bonus from Party Poker... and I will give you a cash bonus of $50!! This is a one time offer, only valid through this St. Patrick's Day, so sign up to Party Poker today. Don't forget to mention bonus code: TAO4 when you signup for an account. Email me for more details on how you can get free money from me... to play! This is not a gimmick or scam. I will give you $50 just for signing up and opening a real money account. Party Poker is the largest online poker room with over 43,000 playing at any given time. So start playing Party Poker today. You won't regret it.
Morning Music

The music I listened to this morning during my two hour writing session included:
1. Welcome to the Canteen by Traffic
2. Ruckus by Galactic
3. 12.30.03 Set I, Miami, FL by Phish
4. Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
5. One Night at Birdland by Charlie Parker
I finally caught up on all the missing wirting sessions for the month of March. I can now move forward and work on the next issue of Truckin'.
The Movie of Your Life...

Had an interesting conversation with some friends the other night. So I decided to put the question up to you the readers.... If they made your life story into a movie, who would play you?
My choices:
1. John Cusak
2. Kevin F. Corrigan
3. Bencio Del Toro
4. Jack Black
5. Michael Caine

Friday, March 12, 2004

The Tao of Homer
"Bart, a woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good, and you'd step over your own mother just to get one!" - Homer Simpson
5 Songs I Want to Hear Phish Play in Las Vegas...

1. Mexican Cousin
2. Strange Design
3. Ghost
4. Sleeping Monkey
5. Theme from the Bottom

Thursday, March 11, 2004

More Ink! Some Comments About My 3rd Place Win...

I read some other blogs and got some nice quotes about how I played last night. I got some street cred after a sweet win against some great poker players from all over America, Canada, and elsewhere. Here's what some of the other players who watched the Final Table said on their blogs:

HDouble wrote:
The final table was exciting, and features a lot of bluff steals by both big-stacked Pauly and short-stacked Felicia.
Sean from Anisotropy wrote:
I hung around to watch the final table, full of very good players. Pauly, who at one time had a nice chip lead, busted out in 3rd when colder cards ran up against his hot aggressive style.
Grubby commented:
Pauly struck the fear of Jesus into me as he amassed a huge stack on the final table and (correctly) pushed around all the shortstacks. When push came to shove and he had to show his cards, a couple times he was found to have nothing. Noted for next time, bully Pauly!
Al Can't Hang wrote:
My first look around the table didn't fill me with a lot of confidence. Starting on my left... Grubby, Iggy, Pauly, Grubbette, and Felicia... I saw these guys and thought, this should be a nice short tournament.
Stick & Move mentioned:
Pauly made some good moves and went up to 21000, making him the heavyweight. Then he started some hardcore bullying that didn't fly, and he started bleeding back down.
The Poker Hermit mused that I was actually Wil Wheaton:
Plenty of table talk, including rampant speculation at the final table that Pauly=Wil Wheaton... I heard one or two players speculate, but Pauly would not confirm or deny.
And finally you read what Ugarte wrote:
Pauly had a huge chip lead. He then took his big stack and used it to push people around. He was raising from UTG, late position, the blinds - and he was building a superhuge stack.
More to come! Read my version of the tournament if you like.
WBT II: The Iggy Classic

I am still pumped about my 3rd place win last night. I haven't slept and partied all night! I just blogged a write-up to the Tao of Poker so you can read all about how I played there.

The Money Winners:

1. $196 - Otis B Dart - Up for Poker
2. $140 - ChrisHal - Chris Halverson
3. $112 - PaulyMcGrupp - Tao of Poker
4. $84 - STICKandMOVE - Stick and Move
5. $28 - FeliciaLee - Felicia
Time for some needed rest. More to come.

Before I go, here's what Ugarte wrote on his blog:
I got to watch some Pauly, though. Pauly was at Rick's table, so I didn't see him until after I busted. By the time I got there he had a decent stack, and with a couple of solid wins he moved into the chip lead. By the time the game moved to the final table, Pauly had a huge chip lead. He then took his big stack and used it to push people around. He was raising from UTG, late position, the blinds - and he was building a superhuge stack. Unfortunately you could se it coming - when somebody finally raised Pauly, you could be damn sure that they had a hand you didn't want to mess with. Just as I suspeced, Pauly was tilty enough that he didn't survive very long when StickandMove and Chris Halverson were finally dealt good cards. (On the other hand, third place is nice, so I don't think I'll give any more shit to Pauly.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I Fuckin' Rule!

"See, your mom is the steady one. That's okay in small doses. Me... I am the risk taker. That's why I have so many adventures." - Homer Simpson
OK, not really. But I just came in 3rd place in the second event in the World Poker Blogger Tour. The Iggy Poker Blog Classic was tonight and I came in 3rd place out of 32 other poker bloggers. Whew! I won $112. Nice. I blew it though. I had the chip lead late and made some bad calls. My JJ lost to Otis' QQ. I was pissed but happy that I finished in the money.

Must go out to celebrate! I'll blog the details of my 3rd place finish tomorrow!
Ferrari Home Game... Reports!

I posted a write up of the Monday night game to the Tao of Poker. Check it out. Here's a bit:
The betting was capped. Om wasn't going anywhere. The pot was well over $160. I had no business staying in and then I got lucky. Om folded. He sighed and said, "I believe you have a better low."

I let out a monster sigh of relief. I almost got an erection stacking up my chips because it was such an amazing bluff. There's nothing like the adrenaline rush that siezes your entire body after you bluffed at a huge pot in poker... and won. It felt like I snorted enough cocaine to kill three baby elephants. I felt like Kirk Gibson after he hit that walk-off homerun in the World Series, when he could barely walk. Man. That was one sweet move I put on Om.
Ugarte also posted a great write-up of Ferrari's home game. Here's my favorite part of his write-up:
Uncharacteristically, I played A2o and even called Pauly's preflop raise. In my defense, I thought that Pauly was only raising at me because I accused him of paying the homeless for sex. The flop was A-x-2 and I bet like crazy, as did Pauly. I had him pegged for AK or AQ and was thrilled to have caught him. We capped on the turn and the river and Pauly showed me a pair of bullets. A kevlar vest won't prevent the pain when someone fires bullets at you during the showdown. I was betting my ass off, but I was essentially drawing dead from the flop. Ouch. But bonus points to Pauly for pulling off the illusion that the preflop raise was "revenge." It probably doubled the size of the pot.
OK, I made a comment at the game how I always give homeless people on the subways money before I go play poker. It's a karma thing. I figured if I share the wealth with a street person, it will come back ten times at the tables. This theory does not work very well, but I feel better as a human being for helping out the homeless, even if my reasons are selfish in nature. And yes, Ugarte zinged me good! It was at the right time too when I got dealt pocket aces!!
Making My Own Film... The Baby & Winky Movie!

Haley spoke to some of her friends from her acting class last night and showed them parts of my script. They loved my work and are willing to shoot a few scenes on the weekends! I have to figure out what scene we're going to film (using digital video) alas, I have it narrowed down to three. I got a script. I have actors willing to work for free. I'm the DP, director, and coffee boy! I can finally test out my skills as a director and then editor. If this works, I'll use the initial scene to attract potential investors to fund the rest of the film (and alas, the money to shoot on location in Seattle and Alabama). More to come.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1. Phone Booth
2. Downsize This
3. The Prime Gig
4. Bonfires of the Vanities
5. Igby Goes Down
Porn of Christ

Rick Blaine blogged a review of Passion titled: The Porn of Christ. Here's a bit of his entry:
This weekend, I saw the most expensive snuff film ever made.

For starters, let me say that I didn't find it anti-semitic. Sure, the Temple Elders were a touch unsympathetic, but so were the British in Braveheart, the Romans in Gladiator, the Germans in . . . well . . . pretty much every movie. Remember, folks, this is a movie -- and a Mel Gibson picture, at that. Hollywood meets the Vatican: think Braveheart, without a storyline or epic battle scenes or even a terribly sympathetic hero, and you get to see the drawing and quartering. Actually, think Braveheart where the drawing and quartering lasts two and a half hours.
I'm eagerly awaiting Haley's review... which, to me, is the one that I want to hear the most. Haley is Catholic and Jewish. The girl is filled with a ton of guilt, but her take is the one that I want to hear from someone who grew up in a multi-religious household.

Personally, I am from the school of thought that you cannot have an opinion on something... until you have seen it. (Same goes for music, food, travel, etc..) If you haven't seen the film, then don't bother me with your assertions. If you saw it and think it sucks, then I respect your opinion.

I'll probably see it this week, maybe next. I'm in no rush. I know how the story ends. With Citizen Kane ending it's run at the Film Forum, that's the next flick on my list to see. Anyway, great review from Rick.
Sleepy Pauly

I was up... late last night. Poker held my attention until 2 am, then I hung out until 5:20 am putzing around reading instead of writing. I got up at 9:15 am to write for a little bit, but my eyes were heavy so I had to stop and get some food before I finish writing for today. I'm tired for sure.
Splading Gray's Body Found

Body Found in East River Solves Mystery of Missing Artist Spalding Gray... and some of you already know, my favorite author has been missing for almost two months. Here's a bit:
And it is his dry humor that may have the last word. In a 1997 interview he offered his own epitaph: "An American Original: Troubled, Inner-Directed and Cannot Type."
Thanks to several of you who sent me related links yesterday on finding Spalding Gray. Alas, I will be trying to organize a Spalding Gray tribute of sorts, perhaps viewing two of his films (Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in the Box) later on today or tomorrow.

When I lived in Seattle, my co-workers and housemates often drew comparisons of me to Spalding Gray. They said my matter-of-fact recanting of my daily life reminded them of Splading. In a weird moment, I had a random phone call with Senor sometime in late 1997. I was in Seattle, he was in his office in Midtown and he asked, "Dude, have you ever read Spalding Gray?" I laughed and told him what mostly everyone around me told me.... how I remind them of one of my favorite writers.
Getting Ink...

I can't stop laughing about Ugarte's blog about Coach's home game on Sunday. Here's what he specificially wrote about me:
Pauly briefly tried to front Bronx tough, but failed miserably as he had already copped to (a) growing up in Riverdale and (b) attending the top academic Catholic school in NYC. While the chances that he can kick my ass are still decent, that is not a particularly high bar.
Oh my. I'm still laughing. I can kick all your pansy asses! Anyway, for those of you who don't know, Ugarte and Coach both know people I went to school with (it's a small world... Coach is a Dalton alum, while Ugarte is a Bronx Science dude). Ironically, Ugarte knows a guy I grew up with... they went to law school together. And we both hate the little fucker! I have to show Ugarte a copy of The Blind Kangaroo... since one character was inspired by said person.

3:20 AM Poem

3:20 A.M.
The frigid valley appeared empty from
High up on the sweet hillside, while the
Drunkards urinated on a petrified tree.

I wondered where the soft
Voice spoke last and when I would hear the
Enchanting whispers, and
Heavy breathing underneath the
Northern Lights.

A small cup filled with a
Cheap merlot was knocked over by the
Prevailing winds and nothing
Spilled out.
Monday Night Poker

Played poker at Signor Ferrari's until almost 2am. I'll blog a detailed report to the Tao of Poker later. For now, all you need to know is that I won... $9. I was up almost $150 at one point very early in the night, but bluffed at two pots that didn;t work out. I was also down almost $80 at one point and rallied back after Midnight to end my session in positive territoy. I won $32 in the last two nights. More to come.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Citizen Kane

Signor Ferrari blogged a great post about Citzen Kane, one of the greatest films of all time. Here's a bit:
I also found Citizen Kane to be remarkably timely, with many modern parallels. For example, the examination of a media mogul (modeled on William Randolph Hearst) is relevant to considerations today of media titans such as Murdoch and Bloomberg. The corrupt and unscrupulous Boss Gettys' use of Kane's affair to topple his run for governor -- with Kane believing, incorrectly, that the people wouldn't care -- brought to mind the Clinton witch-hunt. And Kane's retreat to his reclusive fantasy world of Xanadu still only scratches the surface of the King of Pop. Also, Welles' examination of the degree to which money, power and the media can dictate what people think is relevant to this year's election. Welles suggests that while people can be greatly influenced by such things, there is a point where 'the people' will see through the bullshit, but that those who spout it often fail to realize this point exists (let's hope Welles is right).
Citizen Kane is playing at the Film Forum. See it before it's too late. I'm going sometime this week. Eeek gad, Haley's never seen it!

Pauly's Top 10 Movies (All time)

1. The Godfather
2. Apocalypse Now
3. Citizen Kane
4. American Beauty
5. Goodfellas
6. Wall Street
7. On the Waterfront
8. 8 1/2
9. A Clockwork Orange
10. Clerks
Monday Morning Grovel

Do I have a right to be pissed off at someone (a friend/peer) if I gave them a copy of a manuscript (a signed copy) and they have not finished reading it yet?

I normally don't hand out copies of my novels or screenplays while standing on a crowded street corners to anyone that walks by. The people whom I mailed or handed copies over to people represent a collection of folks whom I consider friends and my peers. I have to re-evaluate that definition.

OK, I know I can write faster than anyone can read. But I know there are copies of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog out there that have gone unfinished. I handed these out in late 2002! When I think about that... I get kinda pissed. OK, so you are busy? Who isn't busy? Let's not forget, I penned JTSMD when I was working 80 hours a week on Wall Street. I found the time to write that and took the time to get copies made and send them to said people. I take their actions as disrespectful. Am I right?

I get complaints all the time about content on the Tao of Pauly. There's too much Phish. There's too much poker. Well, how come you haven't read Truckin', which has 100% literary content? You can get off your ass and read my novels or excerpts.

I loathe your laziness.

I know there are a handful of people out there who have not read the first printing of JTSMD (I know who you are!) and of course I will not send them out any more writings until they are finished... why? I think it's pointless. If they ain't going to read my first novel then they sure as hell ain't going to read the rest. And yeah, I have four to date.

A good amount of my supporters and friends have read all of my manuscripts (and they make copies and pass them along to friends and co-workers... you guys are awesome!) and to them I say "thank you" and your support will be acknowledged in the future. (Think Oscar acceptance speech, lol).

Alas, it's your loss. OK, Rant over.

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

1. The Other Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey
2. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosse
3. The Holy Bible
4. Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism by Sean Hannity
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki