Sunday, October 31, 2004

Tight Race!

Lamont Jordan Fantasy Football Update

My fantasy footbal team team with Senor is looking good... we started the morning in fourth place (top six teams make the playoffs) and Uncle Jodd's Band is second in the league in total points! We've been hot the last two weeks, thanks to Priest Holmes. Today we took on Gitty's team Long Island Express and thumped them behind Priest Holmes's 3 TDs and our backup QB Drew Brees 5 TDs. We have a shot at Team of the Week... the top point getter for the week nets a $100 bonus. If all goes well, it looks like we'll jump up to second place.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
3. All Through the Night by Mary Higgins Clark
4. The Holy Bible
5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Al Cant Hang Lives

Al Cant Hang called me from St. Martin to get the Eagles score. They polished off four bottles of So-Co in record time. He's alive and well. This concludes today's Al Cant Hang update... approved of course by Al Cant Hang.

In case Al Cant Hang doesn't come back, he blogged his Will...
In the event of a terrible accident...

To Scott, I leave all my bottles of Southern. I think a Texan should be able to make proper us of my stash.

To Pauly, I leave my actual blog. He already has 10,689 blogs. What's one more?

To BoyGenius, I leave our semi-weekly game with Lewey. That should build the bankroll nicely or drive you crazy. Not sure which would come first.

To Iggy, I leave my bankroll. Apparently he'll need it according to some low life anonymous commenter on his site. Idiots. Oh, don't get me going about anonymous commenters. Iggy > everyone.

To Halverson, I leave you Minnesota. It's not mine to give, but you can have it. Hey, at least the Gourds played there. I don't even think they know that Philly exists.

To HDub, I leave my incredible poker skills. Actually, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I take it back.

To the Amish kid down the road, I leave my liver.

To Landow, I leave a clue.
I feel sorry for the Amish kid.
Las Vegas Poker Bloggers Tourney: Dec. 11

Vegas anyone?

Thanks to the Poker Prof and Dick from Buy It in Vegas for their help in helping me organize another leg on the WPBT and the first live poker bloggers tournament to be held in a Las Vegas casino! The buy in is $50 (with $5 per player going to the dealer toke).
What: WPBT Holiday Classic
When: Saturday, Dec. 11th at 1pm PCT
Where: Sam's Town Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Buy in: $45 + $5 dealer toke
The Game: No Limit Texas Hold'em
In less than six weeks, I'm making my seasonal December trip to Vegas with Derek to play poker and gamble on the NFL. We came up with an idea of trying to find a casino to let us have a private table or even a private tournament. The Poker Prof suggested I contact Dick since he's the poker room manager at Sam's Town and a fellow blogger from Buy It in Vegas. Dick wrote me back and said we're good to go for a Saturday afternoon tournament on December 11th at 1pm. However, we have to limit the tourney to three tables... or 30 person max. That's why with a few exceptions, this is only open to bloggers. Please contact me as soon as possible if you'd like to play. Registration is on a first come, first served basis... and there aren't too many spaces left.

Dick said he could throw in some "door prizes" to the pool. The Poker Prof informed me that Charlie Shoten was interested in playing with us as one of the celebrity guests and hanging out before or afterwards to offer up a Q & A session. Felicia recently had a great write up about Charlie Shoten.

Anyway... if you're a blogger and wanna play, shoot me an email. I have about 15 spots available. I'm sure we'll be having some other prizes (bottles of SoCo) and bounties (Hilton Sisters).

40 Days until Vegas. Can't wait. Visit the Poker Grub for more info on the next online poker bloggers tournament The Grublog Poker Classic II.
Best Show Ever?

10.31.98 Halloween, Las Vegas, NV... Six years ago I saw one of the Top 5 Phish shows of all time and one of the best concerts I ever had the chance to attend. Senor scored tickets through Phish's accountant... and three sets of total sickness ensued in Vegas! I flew down from Seattle (where I was living at the time) with my buddies Ty and Wood. Senor flew in from NYC and his brother hopped a flight from New Orleans. We gathered in vegas and partied it up hard for a full weekend of gambling, Phish, and other tales of insobriety. Yep, six years ago I was completely out of my tits wasted. Senor too. We were messy puddles. After the show I almost got into a fist fight with our cab driver, a foul mouthed idiot who looked like Gopher from The Love Boat.

Axilla opener! They busted out Sneaking Sally. Second set the boys covered the entire Velvet Underground album Loaded... including the first performance of Rock and Roll, which stayed in the rotation until the hiatus and post-hiatus. Rumors were floating all around that Phish was going to cover Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon... which they ended up doing two nights later in Utah. Senor has mentioned to me on several instances how that second set in Vegas was the best set of Phish he got to see... and he's been to many shows spanning the early 90s through Japan. I would say the entire show is the best show I caught in Vegas out of six (98,00, and 04).

The third set was one of the trippiest I ever saw. Three songs... over one hour... Wolfman's Brother > Piper > Ghost. Man oh man.

At the end of the show (after the Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise encore), before they walked off stage, Trey got nailed in the head with a glowstick.

Vegas. Gotta love that place. Man, just 40 days until I arrive in Las Vegas with my brother and the gang from Philly, Mich-igan, Hollywierd, and South Carolina. I'm getting pumped. December couldn't come fast enough.

Party Time

Last night, Briana had a party and I never saw so many rip roaring drunk people in a very long time. Tonight... Medski, Martin & Wood. It seems like an NYC Halloween tradition for me, going to see MMW. I'm in for a spooky night.
Mentor Material

I got an email recently. A fan of my poker blog wrote me for some advice ad more specifically asked me to be his mentor. I was flattered of course, but how to let the college kid down easy. I've seen him play online at Party Poker and he used to follow me around from table to table watching me play. Here's his email:
Hi Doc,

This might sound weird what I'm about to ask but hear me out. Over the past year and a half, I have supported myself mostly from poker. I had a weekly game that created an income of roughly $150 a week for me, which paid more than the job I was working. My runs online have been hit and miss, but I've only had successful cash-outs in live play. I have dominated the 3/6 game in live play over my 20 or so sessions. Online...well, basically I'm a joke. I just cannot seem to win. I'll get up a grand or so, then slowly bleed it all away. I've been playing no-limit since I first started playing due to the Moneymaker boom, but lately I've been trying to get more into limit because so many people say that it's where the money is at, plus I've been very happy with my live cashouts.

I own nearly every major poker book out there except HPFAP, but I've read that one several times. I own Super System, Theory of Poker, Winning Low Limit Hold 'Em, No Limit with Cloutier, and Caro's Book of Tells among many other lesser books. I've studied and put in the time an effort to tweak my game to the best of my ability. I still have many issues that I need to take care of, one of the main ones is my lack of self discipline. I'm not positive of the percentages, I play more on my knowledge of the game/opponents and my reads, including just playing solid poker. My problem happens when I tend to get up alot I start playing worse hands in positions that don't grant them.

I'm e-mailing you for two reasons: one of which is that I've been a faithful reader of yours for the better part of 6 months. The other is that XXXXX suggested I shoot you an e-mail so you could help me at this crossroads.

All I really think about is poker, and I'm willing to put in the time and effort to make poker my living. I'm seriously considering moving to NYC , possibly get a job as a dealer. I can't move to Vegas or AC yet because I've still got 2 years and 2 months until I turn 21.

Bottom line is I love poker. And I know you do too. I think that there is a lot that I can learn from you and I'm looking for a mentor, someone who I can learn from, who can kind of show me the ropes around New York and I'm asking if you can do that. Take your time I know it's a weird proposition. Diane tells me that you're a writer. Maybe there's some work I can do in exchange for following you around and playing? I know that I'm young, but I'm really eager to learn.

Thanks again,
Thinking about going pro
I actually took the time to write out a thoughtful and honest response. Here you go.

Hey Thinking About Going Pro,

Sorry for the delay. I wasn't blowing you off, I just wanted to have time to give you a proper response.

Unfortunately, I have to decline your offer. I am flattered... but I'm nowhere near the level of poker mastery where I could be giving someone sound advice on their game. It's one thing to teach my girlfriend's friends how to play poker... it's an entirely different thing altogether to be a mentor and coach.

I would also like to add that I'm not a very positive role model... even my closest friends will tell you that I can be a psychotic selfish asshole from time to time. I would be a bad influence on you.

Now, don't get upset... but I am going to be honest with you... stay in school.

Poker will always be around but you are missing out on one of the most valuable experiences in your life... your late teens and early twenties. I just turned 32 and although my life is kick ass, those memories of ages 18-22 burn holes in my mind.

I am thinking about a young hoops player that has the potential to go pro. He is tempted by fame, power, money... all those things that make the American dream sweet. However what they don't mention to him is that the world is a tough place... life gets harder the older you get. I always thought it would be easier but here I am in my 30s and it's harder than ever. Add that to the fact that poker is a tough business, tough culture, and an insane aspect of our society. You can go broke in one hand. All the best pros have gone broke. Hellmuth, Scotty Nguyen. Even TJ Clouiter has the reputation of being the best broke poker player in the world. It takes hard ass work and plenty of luck to kick out a humble living like the Erik Siedels of the world.

Some poker bloggers I know should go pro. They don't because they have the foresight to understand that you cannot possible support yourself and a family on gambling money alone.

Sure you and I are in the same boat... I'm not married, no kids, no responsibilities. But if I want to gamble I can because I have money coming in that I know I can rely on if I lose at poker. I've been playing seriously for a year... keeping notes on how I'd do as a full time player. And I'm not doing well. I cannot live off of poker alone. Instead I shifted my mentality.... writing and part time work pays the bills. Poker gets me the extra things in life... like nice dinners with the ladies, or Yankees playofff tickets for my brother's B-day, or a trip to New Mexico. I've been spending my bankroll to get the other things in life that my humble existence as a writer has never paid me off.

Sure I'd like to ascend to the next step. But that's pure insanity. Poker will become like any full time job... if you ever had one you'd realize that at some point all jobs are the same... they all suck.

You are better off getting a job on Wall Street than going to Vegas to play poker. You'd make more money right away and have a health plan and a great resume builder. It might not be as glamorous, but your parents would be proud of that career choice of yours. When you make a ton of money (like I did) you can walk away knowing that you'll have food and a roof over your head for a few years.

My advice to you again, is to get a college degree. Stay in school. Have fun. Do stupid shit. Make friends. This is the part of your life when you need to make mistakes. Have poker be a major part of your life, but I think your academic and personal life should be your main priority right now. Once you are out of school... then you can do whatever you want. Because if you go broke as a pro... then you have a college degree to fall back on... and you won't be slugging beers at a bar, or making latte as Starbucks, or worse dealing low limit poker 40 hours a week to dipshit tourists. All of a sudden you'll get that bad taste in your mouth and it might sour your outlook on poker.

I also draw from personal experience. What I wanted to do when I was 19... was far off from what I wanted to do at age 25 and age 30. You see what I'm getting at? People change. Life throws curveballs at you everyday. I can tell you this... all my friends at age 19 never envisioned what their lives would be when they are 30. And we all agree that the most influential times of our lives were those college days. Don't walk away from that. Most people would love to be in school.

What's the rush especially since you are not 21 yet? Take this time to get better. Reread the books. I do that all the time. When I first quit my job on Wall Street to be a writer I knew deep down that I wouldn't be a great writer until I was 40. I am still 8 years away from that point but today I know I'm on that path. Why? My discipline to write everyday and have that as my main focus. But with the oversight to understand that life experience will make me a stronger person and artist.

When I started playing poker I made a similar assertion. I won't be a good player until I'm 40. Sure I crush home games and win a little when I go to Vegas. So what. Any idiot can get laid in a bar if they have enough drunk girls. But I know that if I play a little everyday and hone my skills... that in 8 years I'll be the best writer and poker player I know.

Your game needs to mature like a fine wine. Let it. The biggest mistake you can do is chase down a silly dream... today. Wait a few years. Get a degree. Have a kick ass college experience. Be a big fish in a small pond first. Crack your college games. Then, get a job even out of college and work hard to build up your bankroll by storing away your paychecks. That's how Fossil Man did that. Even Moneymaker to an extent. They had 9-5 jobs... a place where they could support their family and use a little of their income to build their bankroll, etc.

Don't feel the urge to be like those idiots like Dutch Boyd and Fishman. Don't forget as much a Dutch Boyd is an idiot... he got a college degree at a young age and law degree and worked in the real world before his foray into poker. He had some personal wealth to fall back on. Same with Barry Greenstein and Paul Philips. There's no pressure on them because they are super rich. Poker is a game for them. And that's why they play great. Poker is as mental as much as skill. I don't think you have the head to play just yet.

I could have blown you off or simply said words of encouragement. I'm sure you probably wanted to hear that. But I'm not one to bullshit. I shoot from the hip. I call things like I see them. You have raw talent... but that is simply not enough. I also know that life is precious and there is more to this world that gambling and poker. Hey, I'm lucky. Writing comes first. Poker is second or third. But that's what makes the bad days at the tables a lot easier to gut out. Because I know I have other aspects of my life to thrive in. When you lose, and lose big... that tends to seep into your everyday life. And then you and the people in your lives get affected. Losing is a disease. Once you are infected it's a bitch to snap out of that funk.

Carve out a life for yourself and add poker to that mix... but don't make poker your primary objective at such an early age. You need a backup career if all else fails. Set a realistic goal such as: I want to move to Vegas when I'm 25. Until then you have several years to get better and build up that bankroll. In the meantime, go outside, read a poker (other than poker), make new friends. Travel the world. Fall in love. But don't waste your precious twenties at the poker table with the score of losers and degenerate gamblers. You can waste your 30s and 40s doing that!

At the same time, I'm not one to tell you to gove up on your dreams. If poker is what you really want to do and if it's really in your heart... then follow your dreams... but don't rush them. If you wait a few years, you'll be better prepared to be in a position where your dreams have a better chance to come true.

Hope this email helps.

Thanks for reading,

I have not heard back from him since then.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Poll Results: Kerry's a Winner; Bush's a Poker Buddy
"It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." - Joseph Stalin

Thanks to everyone who participated in the polls. In a closer race than I expected, Kerry edges out Bush. Here's the raw data.
Total Votes (182)
Kerry 86
Bush 66
Nader 13
Badarnik 3
With voting held on three of my blogs, there were over 182 American voters. I had to throw out the responses from folks who insisted they were not going to vote. On the Tao of Pauly, Kerry beat Bush 23 to 11, or by a 2 to 1 margin. However on the Tao of Poker, Bush only lost to Kerry by a smaller margin; 86 to 66. Those numbers sounded more accurate. With a bigger sample to poll from, the Tao of Poker appeals to a larger demographic... with more voters scattered throughout the country, but with a significant number of more readers from the South and Midwest. Whereas the Tao of Pauly's readers are an eclectic bunch of open minded people from all walks of life centralized in the East Coast, California, and college towns (excluding Canada and Europe). The gender breakdown is more even on the Tao of Pauly with slightly more females readers than guys. I don't have the exact numbers but due to the heavy content of gambling and poker on the Tao of Poker, I'm sure that only small percentage of readership are women. The numbers from my polls pretty much matched up with national averages. Men are more likely to vote for Bush along with people in a higher income bracket. Married voters with kids tend to vote more conservative than single voters in their 20s.

Scary Trends

I was disturbed by the number of people who admitted they were not voting or voting for third party candidates... almost 18% of the total votes cast. An alarming number of these people live on the West Coast and in New York. And then throw in all those folks who read the sites and the poll... but chose not even to participate. Are those the same folks who fall into the 50% of Americans who do not vote?

In the extremely important swing states, Kerry took Pennsylvania and won Florida by one vote. They tied Ohio and Wisconsin. Bush took Michigan and Missouri, while he posted big numbers in the South. Florida and Ohio are the two biggest states in my eyes. Whoever wins those electoral votes will be President. And I'm not the only one who think so. More money is being spent on television ads in those two states than all the other states combined.

Although California and New York were won by Kerry easily, it was also the two states where Nader got his most support. In addition, that was where the highest number of people suggested they were not going to vote at all. Do New Yorkers have a higher bullshit detector than most folks and don't trust either guy?


My blogs are read all over the world and I got some valuable feedback. A friend from England was the sole Bush supporter... which falls in line with Great Britain as one of our few solid allies behind the Bush Junta. My Canadian and Northern European readers expressed a sincere interest in Kerry. A response from a friend in Japan really made me think. Here's what a 20-something Japanese woman had to say:
If I am an American, I will vote for Kerry because I hate Bush. But I also don't believe Kerry. I like America and I like American people but they (politicians) make your country bad. I think it is very important decision. I cannot decide it because I'm Japanese. The future is in your hands. So I just hope the world will be good.
A simple message from the other side of the world told me that there are a lot of people paying attention to next Tuesday and understand the significance of everyone's vote or non-vote. And it's sad that more non-Americans have a better grasp on American politics than the guy sitting next to you on the subway or the dude behind the bar of your favorite drinking establishment.

I don't care who you vote for... just go out and do it.

Poll II

The second poll (Who would you rather invite to your home poker game? Bush or Kerry?) was my favorite. I only held voting on the Tao of Poker. Make sure you read the comments thread. There are some hilarious answers from my fellow poker bloggers.

The results are a shocker. Bush won by a landslide. Everyone would rather have Dubya sitting in your kitchen drinking beers, playing cards, and telling knock knock jokes. I guess that's part of the reason why some many undecided voters end up voting for Bush. he has a likeable quality, that despite his politics, you can sit down and have a conversatin with the guy. He's flawed and that makes him more real... more like one of the guys... than Kerry, who often appears stiff and overtalks like a two-bit preacher with that cheesy used car salesman's smile.

My readers have spoke. Send Kerry to the White House and let Bush play in your home games.

Who do I think is going to win? I'm calling for another overtime! Just like 2000 and Bush will lose the popular vote, but still win narrow victories in big states like Florida and Ohio to put him over the top. I put my money on Bush the second I woke up on 9.12.01 and I'm still waiting to cash that ticket.

Who am I voting for? Not Kerry. If you asked him to flip a coin and pick heads or tails, you know he'd say both, then take your quarter. There's no way I'd vote for Bush. I'm going with Nader, a safe vote in pro-Kerry NY, unless that Marijuana Reform Party candidate sways my vote with a last minute session.

Thanks again for your participation.
Week 8 Best Bets

Picks of the Week
Zobo (6-2): Detroit +3 over the Cowgirls
Rib Boy (6-1): San Francisco +2 1/2 over da Bears
Chicago Bob (4-2): KC +1 1/2 over Indy
Snail Trax (4-2): KC +1 1/2 over Indy
Jodd (3-3): The Jets -7 over the Fish
Dr. Pauly (3-4): Detroit +3 over the Cowgirls

Parlay of the Week (2-4): Pats -3, Jags +1, Detorit +3
Upset of the Week (1-5): Balt over the Eagles
Rib Boy's Beating of the Week (4-2): Seachickens over the Panthers

Week 7: Jodd loves the Jets and he's sticking with them the entire season especially against the Fish. This week, I'm sticking with the Big D, the Pats, and the Jags as a homedog. Rib Boy likes the Seachickens to whoop this week after faltering last week. And he's picking the better team in an ugly game... the Niners. Daddy from Snail Trax and Chicago Bob love KC and the home dog. Zobo hopes to end his skid and picking the Big D over the Cowgirls.

Week 6 Update: Zobo and Rib Boy are at the top of the pack... while I'm slipping fast. Last week featured some killer matchups. But this week's games aren't ase exciting. I expect the KC-Indy game to be a shootout. Philly and the Pats are the only undefeated teams left.
Happy Birthday Rick's Cafe

One of my favorite blogs... Rick's Cafe... turned 1 yesterday! Good job guys. If you don't know, one of the contributor's Ugarte found my poker blog and invited me to play in Signor Ferrari's home game at the Blue Parrot. Well the rest was history and I met the likes of Rick, Sam, and Coach... and I found myself a regular at the Blue Parrot. And in another bizarre insatnce of Six Degrees of Pauly.... Ugarte went to law school with one of my classmates from high school.

Keep on blogging guys.
Breeders Cup Saturday and Other Tales of Bacon Consumption

I love bacon. Who doesn't? I've had bacon with several of my meals in the last ten days. One of my favorite diner breakfast plates is French toast with a side of bacon. I love bacon garnishing my cheese burgers. I'm a big fan of grilled chicken breast sandwiches with bacon. And I also dig bacon sandwiches... usually on a Kaiser roll with a slice of melted cheese. For breakfast today, I ate a scrumcious bacon sandwich with a slice of American cheese and green tea to drink.

The Ponies!

OK, now let's talk about one of the most exciting days of the year in horse racing. Today is the 21st annual Breeders Cup which for the first time ever is being held in Texas, at Lone Star racetrack in Grand Prairie, Texas (the midway point between Dallas and Fort Worth). The last few months I started tracking some of my favorite horses and I ready for a huge payday especially after I took the advice of Boy Genius and his write ups on The Final Strides.

So here are my picks for this afternoon's races at the Breeders Cup:
Mile: Artie Schiller, Nothing to Lose, and Special Ring
Sprint: Champali, Midas Eyes, Speightstown
F&M Turf: Aubonne, Ouija Board
Juvenile: Proud Accolade, Sun King
Turf: Kitten's Joy, Magistretti
Classic: Ghostzapper, Funny Cide, Pleasantly Perfect

And for two other races...
Distaff: Ashado, Society Selection, Storm Flag Flying
Juvenile Fillies: Sense of Style, Mona Lisa, Sweet Catomine

Of course everyone's attention is on the Classic. The $4 Million purse is the richest Breeders Cup final race in history... with Horse of the Year honors still up for grabs. I'm a big fan of Ghostzapper. That's where the bulk on my money is today.

Live Updates...

1:35pm EST... Ashado(2-1 favorite) won the Distaff by 2 lengths. Storm Flag ridden by Jerry Bailey was 2nd. 1/1 so far today, although that was an easy pick. I hit my fist exacta of the day 1-7 for $34.

2:04pm EST... Sweet Catomine starting from the extreme outside, won by almost four lengths... and I hit my second winner of the afternoon. Jerry Bailey couldn't win with Balleto when he got caught in a jam on the final stretch. I hit my second exacta which paid $29. Mona Lisa came in next to last!

2:41pm EST... Artie Schiller started out slow and I missed a winner. And Singletary, named after former Bears linebacker, held on to win the Mile over the long shot Antious Pius.

3:17pm EST... BG called it right! Speightstown won the Sprint by two lengths and set a new course record in 1:08. I picked another winner and moved to 3/4 for the afternoon.

3:53pm EST... F & M Turf race and Moscow Buring got off to a quick start and led from start through the last two furlongs, until Ouija Board, the favorite came on strong and won by two lengths. I picked another winner!

4:27pm EST... Wilko upset the field on his first start on dirt. Ouch. 4/6 for the day.

5:05pm EST... Damn. Kittens Joy finished second to Better Talk Now, but there was a lot of sketchy action going on in the back stretch. Alas, after the inquiry, the results were offical. Kitten Joy was upset.

5:40pm EST... Briana's great aunt MaryLou owns Birdstone. Small world, eh? Ghostzapper won in 1:59 in the field of 12. Very nice. Call that one too. I finished 5 out of 8 for the day and nailed two exactas.
Last 5 Flicks I Watched...
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. White Chicks
3. The Cooler
4. Eight Men Out
5. IT
The Wizards!

My favorite Washington Post sportswriter, Mike Wise, penned a recent article: The Wizards Do Have Some Upside. Wise posed a few questions about the Wizards including a very young Gilbbert Arenas:
Is Arenas the next Isiah Thomas or is he going to be one of those tremendously talented players who never got it done, like Rod Strickland?

Arenas is only 22, so it may be early for the Isiah comparisons. But he is so quick and gifted, there is no angle from which he cannot score. His main problem is the league's main problem: He wants to learn the tricks of the trade before he learns the trade. At some juncture, he may realize that nothing -- not scoring 40 or throwing down the nastiest of dunks -- equals a win on the road against a superior team. Until then, a team that was last in the NBA in assists and first in turnovers waits for its floor leader to grow and take care of the basketball.
It's another great read. Check it out.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Groovy Weekends and Well Deserved Vacations...

My brother went to Maine for four days to hang out in Portland and visit the new location of Binga's Wingas that a friend of his opened. Here's an article called Portland Fry Station which talks all about it.

Al Cant Hang and the lovely Mrs. Hang are off with his crew to party it down in St. Martin. He sent me an IM the other day... "1 spot open". And I was tempted! Have fun guys.

Of course, today is the last day of work for Iggy. If you don't know, the Godfather of all poker bloggers and is walking away from his corporate job to play poker full time. Iggy's going pro! And he's going to make it too. Good cards, brother.

Felicia and her husabnd Glenn are leaving Arizona for a week and they're off to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut to play in various World Poker Finals events. I will be watching her play in a Stud tournament on Thursday and maybe I'll get to watch Glenn play in WPT: Foxwoods satellites.

And this weekend is the Breeders Cup. Boy Genius recently suggested his best bet for tommorow's Sprint:

If you bet on any one horse at the OTB on Saturday, the best value out there is going to be on Champali in the Sprint. Morning line 12/1, will probably close around 8/1 or 9/1. Rafael Bejarano on board, only the hottest jockey in the country right now coming out of the three hole, which puts him next to likely pacesetter Speightstown. There's nothing I don't like about this horse.
The man has spoken.
The End of an Era: Prom On Mars

Alex from Prom on Mars sent me this email:
Prom On Mars the weekly webcomic chronicling the space faring adventures of Liz and the Seniors of Liberty High presents a very special final strip this week at! For this emotional and gripping finale a holo-buffet of special features are being presented, including:

* New Prom art in the "The Remix Gallery" featuring Alex Alam, Paul Horn and paper Prom dolls by Susan Vosburgh
* Links to the recent PULSE interview (with lots of behind-the-scenes dirt on Prom)
* The return of the complete "Prom On Mars" Archives
* Updated FAQs
* A sneak peek at the new ongoing strip "Total Losers"

And of course...

* The Last Prom Strip!

So grab your virtual loved one and zip over to the MarsTown Hilton for a very special finale at!
So go over there now and check out the last strip of Prom On Mars. Support a fellow screen writer and creative mind. I admire your dedication to your site! Best of luck, Alex.
Congrats Sox Fans

I woke up in a great mood yesterday... and the day got better. Jessica bought me lunch at the diner near her office. I had a bacon cheeseburger with fries and an iced tea. Afterwards, I hung out with Briana all afternoon, watching White Chicks (friggin hilarious by the way!) while chucking water ballons off her terrace (20+ stories up) and crank calling Jenna at work. But first thing in the morning, I got word from the poker room manager at Sam's Town Casino in Las Vegas that he could host a private poker tournament for my friends and my brother when we all go out there in early December. I was fortunate that Dick from Sam's Town reads my poker blog and happens to have one of his own, Buy It In Vegas. Yep, I still dunno how I got a Las Vegas casino to host a private tourney for us!

But the real reason I was in a good mood was because the Red Sox won the World Series. Everyone knows that by now. And it might freak some people out that as a die hard Yankees fan, why would I feel happy? Here's the deal... I have lots of friends, some old, some close, and others new... who are die hard Red Sox fans, who suffered a lifetime of misery. They all woke up on Thursday happier then some of them have ever been. I am not exaggerating that either. My good buddy Brad called after the last out, and in the 13 years I've known him, I never heard him happier and jubilant! If my friends are happy... then shit, that makes me feel good. So congrats to all you Red Sox fans out there, especially Senor, Brad, Jessica, Bad Blood, the Poker Geek, and SirFWalgman and anyone else I missed. Enoy your championship.

Tis no longer the winter of discontent in New England.
This Guy Worries Me More Than the Lack of Flu Vaccine

Hell with the flu. There's an American voice on new terror tape. Either it's going to be getting ugly pretty soon or this is actually good news because they got the 3rd string as Thomas Friedman would say, making tapes.
Recent Writing Music Included...
1. John Coltrane
2. Sidney Bechet
3. Charlie Hunter
4. Traffic
5. Jerry Garcia and David Grisman

Check out this list of worst cover songs ever.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Congrats to Brian (aka Spider) for entering into the world of fotoblogging. So far so good. I hope you stick with it. Visit his site: Sightunseen.
Thanks to the guys over at Rick's Cafe for the link: Election Scorecard from Slate.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. The Moons of Jupiter by Alice Munro
2. The Holy Bible
3. The Shadow of Saganami (The Saganami Island) by David Weber
4. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
5. A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart
Double Dip Galactic

I saw two Galactic performances this past weekend in NYC. I had not see the boys from the Crescent City in concert in almost a year. I was itching to see Galactic after I skipped out on three... er, two shows (Boston & New Haven to wtach the Yankees get spanked by the Sox) and after one show (Providence) was canceled. I was also bringing three newbies with me to experience a taste of New Orleans slam funk. This tour was the first time since the band started that they would be performing without their singer the Houseman. The songs would be all instrumentals and the band had to relearn and rearrange a lot of their older songs. I was wondering whether or not it was going to be better or worse. My initial thoughts... different. I miss some Houseman songs, but sometimes he killed the vibe of the shows with his slower love ballads. At any rate, I had an amazing time.
10.23.04 Irving Plaza, New York City, NY

Set I: Clockstopper, Crazyhorse Mongoose, Calypso Minor, Respect Yourself (w/ Mauves Staples), I’ll Take You There (w/ Mavis), Moil, Groovy Lady, Go Go, Garbage Truck

Set II: Funkybird >Tiger Roll, Space Headz, Hamp’s Hump (w/ Brian Mitchell & Marco Benevento), Doublewide > Burnin' It, Hangnail, Tippi Toes, Baker’s Dozen

E: Today’s Blues, Blackbird Special
As always, Jenna and Briana were running late and Bruce Cohen and I grabbed a few beers at Shades of Green before the show. Bruce is a drummer and we followed The Grateful Dead together back in 1994. In recent years I slowly got him hooked on Phish. He's a big fan of Jon Fishman and admires his style of drumming. The last few years Galactic was booked at Roseland Ballroom, one of my least favorite venues in NYC. The security is staffed by a bunch of Nazis, the sound sucks, and the place lacked the usual frantic energy that most Galactic shows undertake. Irving Plaza is much smaller and intimate. The sound quality is 1000% better. Plus, some of the best Galactic shows I ever saw were at Irving Plaza in the last 1990s.

The boys started out slow and eventually picked up steam. I told Bruce to keep an eye on Stanton Moore. Most of you know how I feel about Stanton. He's the best living drummer in this solar system. I have to say solar system because I firmly believe that Stanton's an alien. No one can play drums like he can. Smooth, yet aggressive, he kicks my ass everytime I see him. He's the cosmic glue that keeps Galactic pushing forward. Crazyhorse Mongoose is an older tune that I've been fond of over the years. They managed to weave a lot of older material in with newer songs and plenty of stuff off their last album. For the fourth song the boys invited Mavis Staples on stage. If you don't know who she is.... ouch. I feel sorry for you. She's a gospel legend. And her voice is as unique as there is. Set against the hard New Orleans groove of Galactic, she quickly took control and belted out covers of respect Yourself and a sizzling I'll Take You There. That was a special treat, and she was the first of several special guests throughout the two show run. Mavis' presence got the packed crowd going, and the remainder of the first set was high energy. The Joker told me a story how the guitar player Jeff Raines, had a tough time with playing at Irving Plaza. Supposedly, he would get freaked out by the crowd... since it was so close to the stage. He's definitely picked up the slack the last few years and rattled off a couple of nice solos over Stanton's backbeat. Go Go is a tune they don't play too often (or at least I always seem to miss it!) and Rich Vogel on keyboards was the MVP of that jam.

Mavis Staples with Galactic

At setbreak, the girls were still nowhere to be found. I grabbed a few drinks at the upstairs bar with Bruce and we moved up to as close to the stage as possible ... about the equivalent of fifth or sixth row. He wanted a better spot to watch Stanton Moore play. He was into the crowd and was digging the entire Galactic flow.

Second set was the best of the run. Ben Ellman (sax) and Robert Mercurio (bass) were bringing their best effort to keep the energy upbeat. Funkybird > Tiger Roll was tight and reminded me why I enjoyed Galactic so much ... to following them as far as San Francisco with Senor and through Colorado with Heather back in 1999-2000. The boys invited a few guests... the very tall Brian Mitchell in guitar and Marco Benevento on keys... to jam out one of my all time favorite covers: Hamp's Hump. Benevento impressed me. I heard him once before and I just found out he's playing with Mike Gordon on NYE in NYC at a late show at BB Kings. Hmmmmm. That would be interesting. Bruce bailed early and I eventually found Briana and Jenna. They had been inside for the entire second set but couldn't find us. Anyway, You could feel the floor shake during Doublewide with Stanton leading the charge on that entire tune. Tippi Toes is one of my favorite Funky meters tunes and Jeff Raines was having fun on that song. Looked like he got over his stage fright at Irving Plaza. They closed the set with Baker's dozen before encoring two decent tunes. The girls were having such a good time that they wanted the boys to keep playing! they were excited to be coming back to doa little more dancing the next night.
10.24.04 Irving Plaza, New York City, NY

Set I: Daydreaming, Forbidden Horn, Bongo Joe, Charlie Dozen, Blue Pepper (w/ Eric Krasno), Snowball (w/ Kraz), Move on (w/ Mike Doughty), People are Bad (w/ Mike Doughty), Circles (w/ Mike Doughty), Blackeyed Pea

Set II: Dump Truck, Mario Groove, Spy Hunter, Who Took The Happiness (w/ Chimi & Joe Russo & Eric Bolivar), Message (w /Krasno), Church (w/ Kraz & Scott Metzger--guitars), Dirtfloorcracker (w/ J.J. Grey), Woman to Woman (w/ J.J. & Jen Durkin, Sonny Michaels (back vox) & Chimi), Shibuya

E:Tlochloosa (w/ JJ Grey)
The second night was kinda blurry. I was definitely more wasted for night two than night one. Briana and Jenna were both looking forward to seeing a full show. Of course we were late and missed the first tune... waiting in line to check coats downstairs. We got up in the middle of Forbidden Horn... which I think is a newer tune. I didn't recognize it. Bongo Joe is off of Ruckus and Jenna recognized that song off of the CD I burned her. Then the boys brought out a few special guests for the rest of the set. Eric Krasno, guitarist from from Soulive came out and they smoked out a hot cover of Blue Pepper. Kraz came out for Snowball, and Mike Doughty played three songs... including Move On (one of his originals), People Are Bad, and Circles. I had been hearing good things about him and was pumped to see him live. Mike is the former front man from Soul Coughing. The boys closed the set with my favorite galactic tune... Blackeyed Pea. Insane. Jeff Raines and Stanton kicked ass.

I was feeling pretty good for the start of the second set with Dump Truck, Mario Groove, and Spy Hunter. Great start huh? Then they invited some more folks to play. Eric Krasno came out for Message and I love his licks. And two other dudes performed as well (I missed that bit I was at the bar). The highlight was when Jen Durkin from Deep Banana Blackout (remember them?) and brought down the house with Woman to Woman. JJ Grey had lots of stage time and he impressed me as well. I figured they'd close the set with a floor shaking Shibuya. It's my favorite part of the show, when they turn on the house lights and you can see everyone jumping up and down like maniacs!

"Yeah, that Stanton guy is an alien!" Jenna declared on our way out. Briana wanted to go see them at their next show. Yep, I got them hooked.

Here's what Bruce had to say:
Man, those guys freaking CRANK! I was gettin down with their flowism. I can't believe how many hot chicks are into that band either. Geezzzzzz! That place was like that Widespread Panic show all these young hotties running around and boogeying to the GALACTIC flowisms. It's defineately easier appreciating their stuff when you see them live. And that GEEK flo drummer man Stanton Moore....HOLY HARD HITTING! DRUM smashing! I was digging the stand up and play the back beats on the ride cymbal. True artisan flo. I guess you might be right. I mean Fishman rocks, but this guy Stanton is like a jazz monster.
In the Final Strides: Breeder's Cup Preview

America's favorite poker blogger and thoroughbred guru Boy Genius recently posted a monster report on the Breeders Cup. If you are into the ponies, make sure you visit Breeders Cup Picks and Preview.
Pimping Friends: Stand Up and Smoke Out

Ugarte has been performing various stand-up gigs in NYC under his stage name Charles Star (Ok, that's his real name... seriously). Make sure you visit his calendar of upcoming events and if you are not busy on Nov. 5 @ 9pm, then go see Charles at Stand Up NY. Sit in the front row, get wicked drunk and heckle him!

Diane is performing next Monday, November 1st at the New School. Here's what she wrote me:
I'm going to be doing a show at the New School. I'll be doing poetry/music (original/new compositions) It's my first show in a while and I'd love for you guys to come out if you can :) Also performing are Claudia Alick and Smokin D'bate which is a hip hop group based in the tradition of the Lincoln-Douglass Debates. And it's FREE! :)

Monday, November 1, 2004, 8-11pm

FEATURING: Diane Wah, Smokin' D'Bate, Hill Factor, Claudia Alick, S.T.E.P.

If you are not busy check it out. You get to see two Blue Parrot regulars performing this upcoming week!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Thanks Gil!

Gil recently sent me an amazing copy of a photo he took last June when Phish played a set on top of the Ed Sullivan Theatre marquee. It arrived in the mail last week, but I finally opened it up tonight. Thanks again! Here's what he sent me.

On top of Phish a photo by Gil.

Make sure you visit his flog... Embedded in Brooklyn. With Christmas and the holidays coming up, some of his photos would make a great gift and can be purchased at afforable rates.
Pauly's Poli Poll

Help me out folks. I am running a quick poll on all of my blogs about the upcoming election. Please leave your answers in the comments section... but just leave your pick and the state you live in. (E.G. Bush, Texas or Kerry, New Jersey or Nader, California). This is not an open forum for a political discussion. In fact, all other comments will be deleted from yours truly. If there's something you'd like to discuss, shoot me an email. Otherwise, let's keep this simple.

Who are you going to vote for on Tuesday? Bush, Kerry, or Nader?

Buttered Bagels

I like my bagels buttered and not toasted. Most NY'ers like their bagels toasted or with cream cheese. I'm a butter guy. And here's my problem with NY bagelry. Cream Cheese is obviously more expensive than butter... and that's why bagels with cream cheese are a few cents more. I can dig that. However, whenever I get a buttered bagel, I specifically have to ask for extra butter. Why? Because the bagel spreaders barely give you any butter. Some even just spread a tiny amount on one side and that's it. I've seen bagels spilling over with cream cheese yet I also have to inspect my bagels to see where the butter has gone! Since butter is cheaper than cream cheese you figured they wouldn't be so cheap with the butter. Thank God my favorite bagel stores do not charge more for extra butter. Otherwise I'd be wicked pissed.

End Bagel Rant.
Recent Google Referrals in the Last 24 Hours...

1. Birthday cards with cheetahs
2. size of John Holmes penis
3. Ashlee Simpson SNL lip sync (14 separate hits)
4. girls who cheat on their boyfriends and get pregnant
5. Trey Phish cokehead

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Today in Phistory

15 years ago today I saw my first Phish show at the Wetlands in NYC. Here's the setlist:
10-26-89 The Wetlands Preserve , New York City, NY

Set 1: Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Golgi Apparatus, You Enjoy Myself > Fee > The Divided Sky, I Didn't Know > Wilson > Lizards, Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

Set 2: Who Knows Jam > Dinner and a Movie > Who Do We Do > AC/DC Bag > Reba > Walk Away, Bathtub Gin > The Sloth > The Chase > Possum, Punch You in the Eye**, In a Hole, Fish's Sea Gull Swirl Poem, No Dogs Allowed, David Bowie

**Introduced as "Punch Me in the Eye."
My first's Mike's Song... ever!
Something Completely Different

I had not played at the Blue Parrot since my birthday. There was an event last week, but I skipped last Monday's NL tournament to watch the friggin' Yankees drop Game 5 of the ALCS in extra innings. This week was supposed to be a little different. The buy in was dropped from the usual $100 to $50. The previous games at the Blue Parrot are hyper competitive and the seats are with skilled players from all walks of life. Signor Ferrari was encouraging binge drinking and loose play with an emphasis on a fun night of poker, which included explaining some strategy and different games with some of the other newbie players. Plus, it was Ladies Night at the Blue Parrot. And drunk Pauly saw lots of flops and walked away the big loser. From my first sip of Molson, I went into Gus Hansen mode. From every position I raised with any ace, two suited cards, any paint and any pair. I always defended my blinds to a raise... even with crap. I raised on the button with nothing and jammed the pots whenever I had position. I also got sucked out a few times on and lost a couple of hands in Stud on the river. I was shocked to see that I was down so much. I guess I was having a good time... losing. That's rare.
The Players:
Seat 1: Asphnxma from Riding the F Train
Seat 2: Marie
Seat 3: Signor Ferrari
Seat 4: Julie
Seat 5: Diane
Seat 6: Jon
Seat 7: Pauly
Read all about last night's poker session on the Tao of Poker which included me dropping a shitload of money and Julie challenging me to a drinking contest.
Ashlee Gate and Other Sordid Tales on SNL

Wil Wheaton even sounded off on the latest SNL fiasco. Here's what Wil had to say:
The real story, if you ask me, is more about SNL, and how it traded Andy Kaufman for Andy Dick. The real microscope shouldn't be focused on Ashlee Vanilee Simpson, but should be focused on SNL, which used to be a reliable source of biting commentary and satire, but is now just another predictable, corporate, unimaginative stop on the flavor of the month's publicity tour.
Wow, Wil knew Ashlee's middle name. At any rate he has a huge point. Suits run SNL these days. The musical guests used to be cutting edge. Sure Phish performed back in last 2002... but they also had a new album out and were back from their hiatus. These days selecting the hosts and musical guests are as easy as this...
1. Who has a new movie out that weekend?
2. Which band has a new CD out?
And that's it. I must say that the political humor is still the driving force behind SNL and even that has gotten a little stale. At this point I just watch Weekend Update and dream about that delicious threesome between myself, Tina Fey, and the blonde chick. I hope this incident lights a fire under Lorne Michael's ass.

The Superficial had this to say:
It's bad enough that her banshee sister became hugely popular for having the IQ of a grape, but Ashlee doesn't even have that. She can't sing, she's not entertainingly dumb (she's just plain dumb), and she doesn't have enormous boobs. So basically, Ashlee Simpson is a complete failure and the way she handled her lip synching fiasco just proves that she truly is the lamest individual on the face of the planet. The sad thing is that her career is still probably going to continue and be successful even after something like this. America makes me sad.
What really makes me sad is that more people are talking about that talentless hack than discussing the upcoming election. Me included. And that makes me wonder... are the elections just as rigged as a lip synced performance?
Some Phish Content

Alea sent me a couple of Phishy things. Phish, LSD, and Mushrooms is a funny and interesting thread from PT. Check it out.

I also got a chuckle from some of the pages out of Phish's Security Manual via The Smoking Gun.

Be sure to read Tom Marshall and the Secret Life of Words is an article written by Jack Chester. an appears in Relix. Here's a bit:
I’m not great with goodbyes. When I got there, I quickly realized that this wasn’t your regular Phish festival. I felt the end of Phish weighing on everyone... and it wasn’t just the mud. There was some overall oppression that I had personally weighing on me—don’t get me wrong, I saw PLENTY of people having a wonderful time. But I had flown in with the band and I couldn’t help but be saddened as the reality dawned on them somewhere between Camden and Coventry. The music suffered as well... Trey was emotionally overwrought. I had recently had a great time with him in Hampton and again in Camden. I felt those were really my last shows... and then more and more I began wondering what I was doing at Coventry. So I left in the morning after the first night of music. I was very glad to have gone—to have seen everyone walk in over insurmountable miles of muddy roads and hills to see Phish’s last stand. That was a triumph for Phish, and for me. I have been to every Phish festival, and there was no way I was going to miss the last one, and apparently thousands felt the same way. But when I drove out on Sunday, I felt relieved in many ways. I then went on a week’s vacation where I finally, peacefully was able to put Phish to bed despite the strong emotions that Coventry had conjured.
Great read. Tom rules.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Random Rhode Island Stories
"Try to make a woman that you move, ooooooooooh
And I'm sharing inthe Weekapaug groove."
- Trey Anastasio
20 Oct 2004... It was about a little more than a year ago when I started to make frequent road trips up to Foxwoods casino in Connecticut to play poker. I became familiar with the drive from the city via the Hutchinson River Parkway, a four lane winding highway, surrounded by trees and hills with a 40 mph speed limit, no trucksand no buses allowed, and no cops anywhere. It's a road where people regularly drive 80 mph through the splendidly colored foliage of Connecticut. In recent years the seasons usually jumped from summer to winter and straight into summer with a few rainy weeks in between. I missed the brisk autumn days where I would see shades of red, orange, and yellow colored eaves were a hundred different colors and no two leaves matched. Driving through New England in late October always reminded me of Nordic looking blondes in wool sweaters discussing Sartre and sipping hot chocolate, something resembling page 34 out of the LL Bean Christmas catalogue.

Senor moved his wife and son from Providence to Naragansett, Rhode Island... famous for being the childhood home of one of our other fraternity brothers and probably more famous for being mentioned in several of Spalding Gray's novels. Spalding often fondly spoke of the Rhode Island beaches in his manuscripts and monologues. Even Phish penned Weekapaug Groove, a favorite song among many of it's adoring fans, after a weekend trip to party at a house in Weekapaug Beach when they were in college. I knew it was a good sign when I checked for directions to Senor's beach house and I realized that I was supposed to get off at the same exit as Foxwoods Casino! Instead of making a left at the light, I made a right and followed the road to the Rhode Island beaches. Forty minutes later, I arrived at the street that ran parallel to the coast where Senor's winter rental was located. As I drove up with the windows down, I inhaled the tantalizing ocean air. I could see the bluish-grey waves tumbling onto shore with the distant Judith Point lighthouse getting closer and closer. When I pulled in, I could see Ang waving at me with Little Senor in her arms.

Point Judith Lighthouse

I walked in the front door and I was greeted with "Here's Uncle Pauly!" by Senor and Ang. Little Senor was standing up in his red jumpsuit, with a Cookie Monster on the front. He reluctantly took a few steps towards me before smiling and showing me the beginning of his first two teeth. He likes to touch things and quickly put his little hands and fingers on my left check. He pressed hard before letting go and smacked me twice before he gurgled. The last time I saw Little Senor, he was crawling around everywhere, struggling to pick himself up. Now he was walking all over the living room and kitchen while Ang prepared dinner. I handed Little Senor another new Dr. Suess book for his collection. Next year I'll start him on some of the heavier Scandinavian existentialists. For now, it was just Suess.

Senor drove me around Naragansett for an hour or so showing me all his favorite views and streets. He pointed out the old casino near Naragansett Pier. We stopped by a package store to buy beer and the placed was crowded with University of Rhode Island students loading up liquor for that night's big game.

Ang was gracious enough to cook a few Thai specialties, like fried rice, spicy beef curry with sweat potatoes in peanut sauce and my favorite, garlic chicken. We quickly caught up on things and set a schedule for the next few days. I joked around with Ang and asked her who she'd vote for if she could vote. "Kerry," she assured me. Yep. We were not only behind enemy lines in Red Sox Nation, but I was also in John Kerry's stomping grounds. Rhode Island has always been one of the most liberal states as far back as it's colonial days.

After dinner I watched Senor feed Little Senor mini-sized Mandarin oranges. The little kid loves oranges. Senor would shut the lid and he'd try to get more.

It was Wednesday night and we had a difficult decision to make. I had picked this specific week to follow Galactic through several cities on it's northeast tour. When I made the plans, I overlooked the fact that the days coincided with the MLB playoffs. Earlier in the week I canceled playing in a poker tournament at the Blue Parrot to watch Game 5. I canceled a trip to Boston and the Galactic show to watch Game 6 of the ALCS. And I came up to see Senor because we intended to see Galactic at one of my favorite venues... Lupo's in Providence. Unfortunately, Game 7 was looming. Yankees vs. the Red Sox. The choice was easy. Despite the fact we had tickets, we passed on the concert and popped open a few beers and watched the game in his living room. It had been a very long time since Senor and I sat and watched a sporting event together... March of 2003 in Las Vegas, with my brother when we went to gamble on March Madness and watched the college basketball tournament in the Sports Book at the Mandalay Bay Casino.

Wednesday was a historic night for every Red Sox fan. And Little Senor was too young to understand the cosmic significance of the night. His old man did, and watching the game as a die hard Yankees fan was difficult. Oh well. At least I got to see that game with the biggest Sox fan I know. Of course, I'll always remember where I was for Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. When it was all over, there was no shit talking or gloating. We simply shook hands and succumbed to the utter mental exhaustion of the past week's marathon games. Senor went to bed and I went to drown my sorrows in a couple hours worth of writing. I'd occasionally pop outside for a smoke, even once walking down to the water to gaze up at the overcast sky. The smell was slightly intoxicating. I'd trade ocean air anyday for the stale stench of NYC subway urine.

Little did we know that Galactic canceled the Providence show and Senor was issued a full refund for the tickets. Very cool. Here's the email that they sent:
Tonight's show at Lupo's in Providence, Rhode Island has been cancelled due to tremendous interest in the ALCS baseball playoff match scheduled for tonight. Refunds will be given at the point of purchase. Tickets will also be honored at Galactic's show at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT. tomorrow night. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
21 Oct 2004... I woke up early and couldn't fall back asleep. I was bunking downstairs in the basement which was Senor's office and doubled as the guest bedroom. It was fairly large and had sliding doors that looked out into the ocean. I could hear Little Senor motoring around upstairs before he left for his play date in Providence. When Senor woke up we headed off to Foxwoods. I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for a few chocolate frosted and bought an ice tea for the drive.

We arrived at Foxwoods faster than I expected and we were seated at a $4/8 hold'em table right away. I'll write up the specifics of my poker play later on. For now, I'll tell you that I sat at a table with one guy who looked like Ernest Hemingway and of course everyone at Foxwoods was a friggin' Red Sox fan. I lost just $15 after five five hours of play. We wandered over to the food court for some chicken fingers. I got a free lunch, one of the perks of playing endless hours of poker there in the past year. Nothing is better at Foxwoods than their chicken fingers. After lunch, I decided to play in a satellite for the World Poker Finals due to start in November. I signed up for a $150 Act II Satellite with a $1050 seat in an Act III tournament going to first place. I ended up coming in 4th place and missed prize money by one place. Down $165 for the day, I was ready to drive back to Naragansett.

Ang told us about Little Senor's play date on our ride to dinner. We ate at Friendly's in a town nearby, which was crowded with plenty of other families. Little Senor is one of the most friendliest kids I have met. During our wait for an empty booth, he would walk up to other small children in line and press his hand onto their torsos. Our waitress was enamored by Little Senor. She kept saying, "He's so beautiful!"

Yep. She was completely in love him, stopping everytime she passed by to ogle at him for a few minutes while she made a goofy face. Little Senor ordered chicken fingers and I decided to get a bacon and Swiss burger. My dessert was a chocolate shake. Yummy. Little Senor got a little testy after dinner and Senor let him out of his high chair to walk around. He ran off into an adjacent section. Senor gave me a look, "You wanna go get him?"

I sprinted into action and found Little Senor standing at the foot of a table with two attractive URI students. They were waving "Hi" when I finally caught up to him. They laughed when I picked him up and carried him back into our section.

"They're also in love with you too little man. Here's the deal. I want you to run back in there and go back to the same table."

I put down Little Senor and he darted for the other section. On cue he walked right up to the table of coeds. The blonde smiled, "You are sooo cute!"

"I'm sorry about that. My nephew just started walking a week or so ago. Now he won't stop."

"It's OK," they both said in unison. "He's sooo adorable."

Little Senor flashed him his patented smile and exposed his two little teeth. "Totally. He's more cuter than a basket full of puppies. By the way, I'm Pauly."

"I'm Amanda and that's Katie," the cute one said.

"And this handsome devil's named Little Senor."

He gurgled some more as they fussed over him. Some chicks have baby fever.

"Why do you call him Little Senor?"

"It's a funny story. Lemme buy you girls a few drinks and I'll tell you all about it."

***** ***** *****

Galactic was scheduled to play a concert in New Haven. I skipped another one of their shows and chose to play poker online in a poker bloggers tournament. I downloaded the software and got ready to play against 133 fellow bloggers and readers featuring a celebrity guest, Wil Wheaton and a $800 first place prize. I came in a not so impressive 63rd place but I had fun playing with my brother, friends, some of my favorite bloggers and some fans of my blog(s). Before I crashed I took a smoke break outside along the breezy sea wall. In my mind, I replayed most of the hands during my stint at Foxwoods and online. I made a few mistakes and assured myself that I made plenty of correct plays. I eventually went back inside and wrote for a few hours before I passed out shortly before sunrise.

When I got up the next morning, I quickly went back outside and inhaled as much morning air as possible before took some pictures and I jotted down my thoughts about the previous night's blogger tournament.
A Monday Rant: Esquire's Hottest Woman Alive

In case you missed it, here's the infamous, awful list compiled by nimrod suits and hipsters that actually fork over $8 for an issue of Esquire, that both Boy Genius and Al Cant Hang blogged their thoughts on.
1) Angelina Jolie
2) Halle Berry
3) Britney Spears
4) Jessica Simpson
5) Beyonce
6) Charlize Theron
7) Jennifer Aniston
What is hot? What does Pauly find hot? It's the combination of good looks, personality, intelligence, and the fun quotient. Would these chicks wanna go beer bowling at 3am? Would any of them want to fly to Vegas and gamble for three straight days with my brother and Senor? Which one would smoke bong hits with me and watch Dazed and Confused or The Simpsons? And lastly, would any of them make me lasagna?

1. Angelina Jolie... I'm still bitter than Angelina beat out Katie Holmes in Sigge's 2003 Female of the Year contest. All bad vibes aside, I cannot rightly say that the former Mrs. Billy Bob Thorton is the hottest women in the world. Is she hot? Sure... just not number 1. She's dirty hot. And all the horny fucktards out there dig Angelina because they think she'll let them play hide the salami in her caboose. Boy Genius was quoted as saying, "There's no one I would rather spend a freaky weekend with than Jolie. Yes, she scares me a bit, but that's part of the allure." OK, if this list were for a weekend of freaky, I-won't-tell-anyone-if-you-don't-tell sex where vegetables and small furry animals are involved when I might wake up with testicles shaved and my penis cut off by a mango slicer, then for fuck's sake sure she'd be in my top 5... as long as I didn't have to talk to her afterwards. Angelina might do the beer bowling if she can get a babysitter for her adopted Cambodian baby but I know she won't get off her ass to cook for me. She barely cracks my Top 25.

2. Halle Berry... I have said once before that Halle Berry is the most overrated actress of our generation. She plainly sucks. In 10 years when her looks fade even more, we'll see just how talented she really is. Of course we'll have to sit through 3 more Catwoman flicks in the meantime. I concur with BG on his opinion, "But can we all agree that at this point Gabrielle Union has lapped her as the most beautiful Black actress in Hollywood?" Halle Berry would never cook a friggin hot dog for me let alone watch the Simpsons after scarfing down a few hits of Purple Haze. Al Cant Hang wrote, "I agree with BG on this one. Off with Halle Berry, on with Gabrielle."

3. Britney Spears... Yawn. BG said it best, "If it wasn't for doing dumbass crap to keep one's name in the media constantly, we'd have forgotten about her a long time ago." I'd have her on my list three years ago. Today? She's damaged goods. Let's stop looking at her man made cleavage and let's not forget about the trailer park psycho chick who married two guys in nine months. And whipping up a serving of tube steak does not count as "excellence in the kitchen". Look, I'm 32 years old. I want quality pussy. And Britney is nothing more than yesterday's Chinese food that sits in your fridge for two weeks before you take a whiff and throw it out because it just smells awful.

4. Jessica Simpson... I cannot sit in a room with a girl who has no idea why Dostoevsky has seriously impacted my life. I need some attention. And that chick is screaming adult ADD. Sure she's a blonde, but her father is a minister. That's a big no-no. Jesus freaks need not apply. Daughters of ministers rarely engage in threesomeones unless it's with two priests. And cooking a burrito in a microwave does not allow you to put skilled culinary expert on your resume. BG is not with me on this one. He mused, " I'd pay incredible amounts of money for a private lingerie show starring Jessica..."

5. Beyonce... She was a tough choice. Sexy and talented. Supple voice. But there's something I just don't like about her. Oh I know what it is. I hate people with one names. Cher. Jackee. Madonna. Beyonce. I had to ax her from my list. I had a feeling her record producers were buying her a spot on the list. BG loves her age, "Every time I see this girl, she gets better looking. While it seems like she's been in the spotlight forever, did you know she's only 23?"

6. Charlize Theron... A little wild. Very sexy. Blonde. And she loves Krispy Kreme. She makes my list! I must say that over the years she's warmed on me probably because she reminds me of an ex-flame. Delicious often comes to mind when describing her. I prefer to wake up next to a girl after a three day long Hunter S. Thompson-esque binge in Vegas and marvel in her natural beauty. She'd have nor problems doing an early morning wake and bake and firing up Dazed and Confused in the DVD player. OK, the negatives... her mother killed her father in front of her... so you know she's a little off in the head. I like crazy. Crazy girls are awesome in the sack. And I have a gut feeling she's the best cook out of the bunch. BG said it right, "I love the fact that she hasn't gotten implants. She's notoriously small-breasted, but unbelievably beautiful." Keep it real ladies. If you build tits, I will not come.

7. Jennifer Aniston... Implants? Nose jobs? She's got the best body that Friends residual checks can buy! OK, I might have had her on my list in 1996. But it's 2004, busting out on 2005 folks. If she wasn't married to Brad Pitt, she'd just be that chick from Friends with the hair. Her father was a semi-famous soap star in NYC, so you know that haughty taughty NYC princesses do not know how to cook. They can order in Thai food and sushi like pros, but that's the extent of their cooking prowess. Has she done anything outside of Friends? Aside from a terrible Texas accent in The Good Girl and a couple of really bad flicks in the late 1990s oh, and a poorly casted role in Ed Burns' She's the One. She's not even 41 on my list. Sorry Jen. BG verbalized my thoughts, "I think if I were to make a list of the 100 celebrities I'd like to sleep with, I'm pretty sure Aniston wouldn't make that list. I'm not sure why she's top seven anything. Seriously."

So who would make my list? Feel free to submit your thoughts. And I'll post my list sometime later in the week.
Last 5 Flicks I Watched...
1. Go Tigers!
2. The Formula
3. The Human Stain
4. Rounders
5. 10 Things I Hate About You

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Esquire's Hottest Woman Alive
1) Angelina Jolie
2) Halle Berry
3) Britney Spears
4) Jessica Simpson
5) Beyonce
6) Charlize Theron
7) Jennifer Aniston
Boy Genius and Al Cant Hang both sounded off on the list. Now it's my turn.

What is hot? What does Pauly find hot? It's the combination of personality, intelligence, and the fun quotient. Would these chicks wanna go beer bowling at 3am? Would any of them want to fly to Vegas and gamble for three straight days with my brother, Senor, and Al Cant Hang? Which one would smoke bong hits with me and watch Dazed and Confused or The Simpsons? And lastly, would any of them make me lasagna?

Let's start out by saying that only one of these women would make my list. Any guesses?

Come back late tomorrow when I'll rip to shreds the awful list compiled by the nimrod suits and hipsters over at Esquire. In the meantime, read what the other guys said. Stay tuned.
Ashlee Simpson Busted for Lip Sync Misplay

I missed Saturday Night Live last night... I was at a real musical performance catching Galactic bring down the house at Irving Plaza.

The annoying younger sister of Jessica Simpson fucked up her musical performance on SNL last night. Here's a bit:
Saturday Night Live was not as "Live" as people expected last night. Musical Guest Ashlee Simpson poorly lip-synched her first song, and then a technical glitch or mistake led to the wrong vocal track being played for her second performance proving her fraud as she stood there confused while her recorded voice filled the airwaves . Simpson's band picked up the slack, attempting to save the show as Ashlee walked off the stage. Just a minute in (on a musical segment usually four or more minutes long) SNL pulled the plug, cutting quickly to a commercial.
Did anyone else catch this fuck up? I love watching talentless idiots exposed for the frauds that they really are!

Editor's Note: You can watch the video clip here.

And here's a related article called In the Key of Fake.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

NFL Week 7 Best Bets

Zobo requested that I post the Picks of the Week way earlier than Sunday at Noon in order to serve a better service to bettors... so they have time to consider the experts options and get bets in on them. I was worried that some folks in my various football pool would change their picks once they know what mine are... but I'm willinging to give them that edge since I've been doing so poorly. So here you go, Zobo... a rare Saturday night edition.

Picks of the Week
Zobo (6-1): Eagles -7 over the Browns
Rib Boy (5-1): San Diego +3 1/2 over Carolina
Snail Trax (4-1): St. Louis -6 1/2 over the lowly fish
Dr. Pauly (3-3): The Seachickens -7 over Arizona
Jodd (3-2): The Jets +6 1/2 over his daddy's Pats
Chicago Bob (3-2): Cincy +6 over Denver

Parlay of the Week (2-4): Philly -7, Rams -6 1/2, and Seachicken -7
Upset of the Week (1-4): Tennesee over Minny
Rib Boy's Beating of the Week (4-2): Seattle over Arizona

Week 7: Jodd loves the Jets and he's sticking with them the entire season. I wish I had the same faith in them against the spread. Alas, I like the Seachickens and the Eagles and the Rams. Rib Boy likes the Seachickens to whoop on Arizona and he's picking a rare road dog, San Diego at Carolina this week. Daddy from Snail Trax is digging a Rams victory. Zobo likes the Eagles and told me that I should, "Bet the house!!" And Chicago Bob loves those home dogs.

Week 6 Update: Bob loves his home dogs but picked the wrong one last week! Zobo is kicking ass. Going into Week 7 of the season, six teams already have five wins while three losing teams have five or more losses. The Patriots (5-0) and Eagles (5-0) are each leading their respective conferences as expected, but there are still some surprises among the very best and very worst teams during the first third of the season... like the Jets and the Giants and the Lions.
Rhode Island Stories

I'll be back on Monday with plenty to write about including some great stuff about my trip to Naragansett.
Wise Briana and Other Horse Picks

Yep it's true. There a horse running in the 11th race at Calder (in Florida) called Wise Briana. Logic would tell me to bet against it... but I have a feeling I'll be picking that horse due to immense pressure from everyone's favorite elevator button heiress. At any rate, she got a great workout last month running five furlongs in over 1:01. Maybe she can pull off a victory today?

Today's picks:
8th race: Groove Jet and Rocknroll
9th race: Rompburger and Captain Lindsay
10th race: Cool Conductor, Eddington, and Icy Atlantic
11th race: Aclassysassylassy, Southern Serenity, Wise Briana
12th race: BB Best, Cin Cin, and CLosing Argument
13th race: Super Frolic and Twilight Road
World Blogger Poker Tour 5: Poker Stars Fall Classic

Greetings from the smallest state in the union. I woke up early on Thursday and inhaled a couple of deep breaths of fresh early morning New England sea air as I casually took pictures. The Rhode Island coast is majestic and I quickly understood why my buddy Senor moved his family to Naragansett. After almost a year of life in the fast lane, it was soothing to get to take a break from being me for a couple of days and allow my mind to wander aimlessly to ponder the important things in life while staring out at the ocean for hours at a time. And the best part of getting away from the city... Foxwoods was just a little more than 35 minutes away... and Senor took Thursday morning off so we could go gamble! I'll post my Foxwoods trip report in the near future... which included a $15 loss at a $4/8 table and a paltry 4th place bubble finish in a $150 ACT II tournament (roughly it's a SNG with a chance at winning a seat in the World Poker Finals) and being the lone Yankees fan in a disgusting sea of Red Sox faithfuls.

I started the day off at a casino... and I ended the day in front of the computer in Senor's basement office relentlessly cursing at those damn Hilton Sisters after placing 63rd in Iggy's latest poker blogger tournament. At 8:45pm, Senor kicked his wife off the computer to let me fire up Poker Stars and install AIM. His 11 month old son wished me luck as most 11 months could do... he rubbed my face with his hand covered in baby drool. I took it as a blessing from the poker gods. I tried to wipe off my face, opened up my notebook to a fresh page and was stunned to see that 133 players signed up for a prize pool of over $2200. Wow! Almost $800 going to the winner. It was going to be a huge pay day. I was pumped to play with my brother in our first poker blogger tournament together (he played in the Pacific fiasco which I skipped to go to Santa Fe) and I knew that Coach and some others like Signor Ferrari and Asphnxma from the Blue Parrot signed up.

I also heard that Wil Wheaton was going to finally join us... which certainly excited all the degenerate gamblers in bloggerdom. I recall that last spring, Grubby contacted Ben Affleck's people to invite him to play... and they promptly blew us off. Don't expect me to go see that awful Christmas movie now... Affleck. Felicia got pro Roy Cooke to play with us a couple of times and that was fun. Alas, Wil's a good egg and he signed up looking to take down some of his favorite poker bloggers and even pimped the tourney on his popular blog.

Yeah, at 8:59pm EST, I had one of those existentialist moments like, "How the hell did I get here?" I was sitting in the basement in a coastal town in Rhode Island playing online poker with 132 other degenerate gamblers, stuck in the middle of Red Sox nation licking my wounds after a horrible Yankees collapse, with baby drool on my face, and gleefully humming the words to the theme song from Diff'rent Strokes...
"The world don't move to the beat of just one drum
What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
A man is born, he's a man of means.
Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans."
Just another random Thursday in my life. Right?
The Players:
Seat 1: Nktek
Seat 2: VIPDirect
Seat 3: Bruno 75 then SirFWalingman
Seat 4: FTNJake
Seat 5: Emrod
Seat 6: Ankonrahi
Seat 7: MonkeyFu
Seat 8: Dr. Pauly
Seat 9: MadRoxx
I apologize in advance if I spelled any of the screen names wrong or didn't link up your blog. Shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll do my best to correct it. And let me say that I'm sorry I also didn't get to talk to everyone. I wasn't trying to blow anyone off. With my AIM ringing off the hook and trying to watch my brother's table, taking notes, fielding calls from Briana who was checking up on my progress, oh and most importantly playing in the tourney... yep, I was definitely all over the place. It was cool to chat with some bloggers I never spoke to before and to be recognized by loyal readers of my blog(s). I've been saying that playing in these poker blogger tourneys are insane... kind like showing up to a cocktail party on speed... oh yeah and then there's gambling involved an dif you are lucky enough... having a bounty on your head.

To read more about the latest blogger tournament... visit the Tao of Poker

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Happy 1,000,000...

Someone shoot me!

1,000,000 words. I have infected the cyber world with one million words and 4,500+ posts worth on all my combined blogs. Don't believe me? Blogger never lies.

When I told my brother he was surprised it didn't happen sooner. On that note... I'm taking a break for a few days. A well deserved break from blogging. I'm going out of town driving up to Naragansett, Rhode Island. I'll post Yankees write ups and Galactic reviews and any poker tournament write ups this weekend.

I have to thank a special person... Skippy from The Daily Dave for encouraging me to start my first blog the Tao of Pauly. Any complaints about my million word infection? Shoot him. And thanks to Haley for encouraging me to keep on blogging when I wanted to quit. You can shoot her too. Thanks for reading.

So what were the first words I ever blogged?
Greetings and a warm hello to all! Finally, a long awaited site has arrived on the web where you can take a sincere peek into my sublime madness, a cosmic glimpse into the vile insanity, or a hesitant taste of my reluctant cyber rants and ramblings...
That was May 25, 2002. What the hell did I create?
Coventry Blog Updated

I updated Coventry and added an excerpt from Lori from Kentucky! Thanks for sharing. It's looking good and I'm hoping to add some more pictures and stories soon. If you forgot, I started a new blog dedicated to posting a bunch of Coventry stories. Take a peek.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
2. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
3. On the Road by Jack Keroauc
4. The Holy Bible
5. Jazz by Toni Morrison
Game 5: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4; 14 Innings

Pedro was on in the first inning striking out Jeter and Sheffield. Matsui smashed a lingering fly ball to deep right center field and Damon fought the wind to haul it in. Mussina looked like he was throwing batting practice. He gave up three consecutive singles and a bases loaded walk. On his 30th pitch of the inning, Moose struck out Mueller with the bases juiced. He's lucky the score was only 2-0.

Bernie Williams led off the second inning with a solo home run to right field to cut the lead in half. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1.

Moose retired the side in the second and settled down. Trot Nixon robbed A Rod of an extra basehit with a diving catch near the foul line. After a Sheffield walk, Matsui doubled once again, but Pedro ended the rally when he struck out Bernie Williams. Moose worked out of a jam to end the fourth.

Posada led off the fourth with a single. Pedro walked Sierra then struck out Tony Clark on four pitches and got Cairo to pop up. With two outs, Pedro had to face Jeter who already had two strike outs, and he grounded out to first. Jeter's series numbers stand out as way sub par as compared to the rest of his team mates. Moose retired the side in order and struck out Damon for the second time of the game. That was Damon's seventh of the series.

Pedro walked A Rod to start the fifth. But Sheffield killed the rally with a double play. Pedro threw at Matsui with a knock down pitch and later lined out. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1.

Moose gave up a lead off hit to Cabrera then got Manny to fly out, struck out Ortiz (for the second time) and got Cowboy Up to ground out to Jeter.

With one out, Posada reached first on an infield single. Sierra singled into center, but Posada failed to advance to third. Tony Clark struck out on a 3-2 pitch. Pedro hit Cairo to load the bases for Jeter. On his 100th pitch of the game, Jeter ended his slump and lifted a 3 RBI double down the right field line and moved to third on a play at the plate. Cairo's creative slide into home allowed him to avoid Varitek's tag. Yankees took back the lead, 4-2. The rowdy Boston crowd was silenced once again by a big Yankees rally. Pedro plunked A Rod on the next pitch. I thought that was another unclassy move from Pedro. Its one thing to throw a brushback pitch to Matsui, but it's not cool to intentionally try to hurt A Rod, which Pedro obviously did. In a moment of weakness he went after A Rod. He walked Sheffield to load the bases for Matsui. You know Godzilla wanted his revenge against Pedro. He crushed a ball at Nixon, who made another great play to end the rally. The damage was done. The Yankees got to Pedro. Yankees 4, Red Sox 2.

Moose took the mound for the sixth. He had been getting ahead of hitters all night long. Aside from the first inning, he pitched solid. Trot lined out to Bernie. Varitek grounded out to A Rod.

For the seventh, Moose came back out and gave up a double to Belhorn. Torre pulled Moose after that hit and brought in Sturtze to get a few of the last nine outs and pitch to the top of the order. He got Johnny Damon to pop out, but lost Cabrera and walked him. Torre went with Flash Gordon to get the Yankees out of the seventh. Another classic at bat for Manny Ramirez and Flash Gordon induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Clutch! Yankees 4, Red Sox 2.

The Yankees threatened to put up insurance runs in the eighth. Cairo doubled off the Green Monster. Jeter bunted him over to third. A Rod struck out on a high pitch out of the strike zone. Sheffield walked and Matsui came to the plate. Francona went to his closer Keith Foulke to attempt to get out Goji-san. He ended up flying out.

Six outs to go. Flash Gordon hung a fastball over the plate and Ortiz cranked a home run on top of the Green Monster. He cut the lead to one. Millar walked and Dave Roberts came in to pinch run. He irritated Flash to the point where he forgot about Trot Nixon. He eventually ripped a single to center field. With no outs and only ahead by one run, Torre went to the Hammer of God. Although he got Varitek to fly out, it was deep enough to score Roberts. The Sox came from behind again. Mo got the next two guys out to end the ugly inning marred by another atrocious performance from Flash Gordon. Yankees 4, Red Sox 4.

Top of the ninth, Boston closer Foulke had a tie game to work with. He got two quick outs before he walked Sierra. Tony Clark roped a shot down the line towards the Pesky pole and after a lucky bounce, the ball jumped into the stand for a ground rule double. An inch or two in either direction, and the ball stays in play and the run easily scores. A fortunate bounce for the Sox kept the game tied. With runners on second and third with two outs, the Yankees looked to their number nine hitter. He popped up to Mientkewicz, who replaced Cowboy Up.

Bottom of the ninth and Mo Rivera had the top of the lethal Boston order on his plate. Johnny Damon continued his cluelessness at the plate against Rivera but somehow fought off a pitch and collected a busted bat infield hit on a deep ball to second base. Damon tried to steal second. Tried. Jorge Posada unleashed a bullet to Jeter and quickly tagged Damon in a close play. Cabrera grounded out to Jeter for the second out. It was up to Manny. On a 1-0 pitch both umps blew a check swing call when it was obvious that he swung. It didn't matter. He flied out on the next pitch. Yankees 4, Red Sox 4. Free baseball.

For a second night in a row, the Sox came from behind to force extra innings. Both instances I gave the edge to the Yankees. They had all their starters still in the game, while Boston used three bench players to tie Game 5. Plus the Yankees have never lost back to back extra inning games in the postseason. Francona went to Game 3 starter Bronson Arroyo to face the top of the order. Jeter popped up to short. On a full count, A Rod struck out, the Sheffield did the same.

At least I had some good news. Monday Night Football started and Marc Bulger tossed a 52 yard TD to Torry Holt on the opening drive of the game. I needed just 15 more points to win! Alas, the inept Felix "I'm only on the team because I'm a lefty" Heredia shuffled to the mound replacing Rivera. I almost expected to see Ortiz smash a game winning home run since I knew that Heredia's control was sketchy, at best. Somehow he got Ortiz 1-2 to check swing at a pitch in the dirt and the third base umpire rung him up. Whew. One down. The game reached its fourth hour for the third consecutive night. These games were brutal for the fans! Do you know how many awful commercials I had to sit through all those extra innings and pitching changes? Heredia battled Mientkewicz to a full count who kept fouling off pitches and all I could think was how the hell did this classic rivalry boil down to a matchup between two scrubs? Mientkewicz smoked a shot to right field over Sheffield's head and the ball bounced into the stands for a one out ground rule double. Sigh. Torre gave Heredia the quick hook and called on last night's goat Paul Quantrill to get them out of the jam. Man the Yankees weren't looking too good. At least instead of another mindless commercial I got to see a 20 yard completion from Bulger. Another point closer to a victory. Back to baseball. Another bench player Gabe Kapler had his chance at Quantrill, the once steady set up guy for Gordon and Rivera. Kapler grounded out to second. It was up to Varitek with Mientkewicz on third. On a 2-1 pitch, he popped up to Jeter. Bring on the 11th inning.

I was shocked to see that Arroyo was pulled in favor of lefty Mike Meyers after a perfect 10th. Matsui rocked a home run off him late in Game 3. OK, Matsui struck out and Francona went to his bullpen again! Why? Both Bernie and Posada were switch hitters. Chef Embree to face Bernie who ripped a single to shallow right field. Posada chased a ball and struck out. Sierra had a chance to do something but swung at another pitch out of the strike zone to end the inning.

Quantrill gave up consecutive hits before he got Johnny Damon to pop up to Posada on a failed bunt play. Quantrill who had a bum knee for most of the year looked hobbled and Torre went to his bullpen and Estaban Loaiza. The ghost of Jose Contreras loomed over Fenway Park. In late July the Yankees traded their overpaid Cuban super dud to the White Sox for Loaiza who also never pitched well (60 plus hits in 43 innings as a Yankee), nor looked comfortable in pinstripes. Who would have expected Loaiza to pitch out of the jam and get the ground ball double play! If teh yankees were going to win, they needed Loaiza to pitch his best.

Wakefield came in to pitch the12th inning as it reached it's fifth hour! With one out, Cairo hit a ball to Manny Ramirez who booted the ball and let it scoot past him. Cairo ended up at second, but the Yankees couldn't get a hit off of Wakefield's knuckle ball. In the bottom of the 12th, Loaiza walked Ortiz. On a 2-1 pitch to Mientkewicz, Ortiz shocked everyone an a stolen base attempt. Posada threw a high ball to Jeter who tagged Ortiz as he barreled into second. Replays showed he was safe by a hair. Again, it was another bang-bang play, but a poor base running choice by Ortiz. He killed a possible rally and Mientkewicz struck out.

In the 13th inning, my eyes were tired. I was sick of seeing Fenway Park. I was jonesin' to go gamble because Mohegan Sun casino has an ad plastered in right field! Wakefield struck out Sheffield but the ball raced past the catcher Varitek and Sheffield took first base. Should Mirabelli been catching Wakefield? I didn't care at that point. After a fielder's choice ground ball, Matsui took first. Posada was intentionally walked and it was up to Ruben Sierra to drive home the runners at first and second and two outs. Varitek gave up his third passed ball of the inning and the runners advanced. Wakefield ending up striking out Sierra to end another Yankees rally. More runner left on base in crunch time, 18 in total. That's why the Yankees were in extra innings again. The Red Sox also left 10 runners in scoring position. They could drive home runners. Ugh. Yankees 4, Red Sox 4.

Bulger had 147 yards and a TD with a minute left in the second quarter. I was down by 11 points. If he matched his first half stats, I would win out right. Loaiza was still pitching and he got Kapler to line out right back to him. Varitek grounded out to Jeter for the second out. Loaiza was looking solid and retired the side when Bill Mueller flied out to short right field when Matsui and Jeter nearly collided and Godzilla called him off at the last second. That was a close one.

Wakefield struck on Tony Clark to lead off the 14th inning. Then he retired both Cairo and Jeter. The 7th inning was almost over in the Houston-St. Louis game. The NFL game was at half time already.

The Passion of Johnny Damon drew a one out walk on a boderline pitch. Cabrera looked like a fool when Loaiza blew a pitch by him. My brother commented that he had never seen Loaiza pitch that well, with that much velocity, movement, and zip on the ball. As Snail Trax would say, "pure sickness". He had his chance to shine after behind being designated as the last guy on the end of the bench. He only made the playoff roster because Giambi was still sick from BALCO withdrawl. With Manny at the plate he threw two identical pitches inside, one called for a ball and the other a strike. Either way his pitches were looking sharp. He walked Manny and it was up to Ortiz. He blew a fastball by Ortiz for strike one. Would Big Papi pop one out? Outside and high, ball one. Ortiz fouled off the next five out of six pitches, missing a home run by a few feet on a shot down the left field line that hooked foul. Whew. That was close. On a 2-2 count he blooped a single to center field. Ball game over after almost six hours and 14 innings. Red Sox 5, Yankees 4.

Back to the Bronx after the bullpen blew two leads in consecutive nights.