Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Happy Belated Birthday, Tao of Pauly

Yes, I've been so busy that I forgot. Thanks to Jenna who reminded me that my blog turned three years old last Wednesday! Wow. How about that? Truckin' turns two next month and the Tao of Poker hits the two year mark in August.
Radio Free Pauly

I taped my interview with Sean on Saturday aternoon during the Yankees-Red Sox game for the Lord Admiral Card Club Radio Show and Podcast. If you don't know by now, it's the best podcast dedicated to poker in the universe. It seems like overnight I've become a huge cult figure in Canada. Don Cherry. Brett "The Hitman" Hart. And now... Dr. Pauly.

Sean and Brent are working hard every week to get their podcast done (fo free) so stop by and show your support.

You can download the MP3 of this week's show... Episode 28: Here.
You can download last week's show... Episode 27: Here.

Gracie taped a station ID bit which features a snippet of Phish! It starts at the 9:15 mark. My segment starts at the 17:00 mark of the show and it lasts about 12 minutes. We talked about my prep for Vegas in addition to the recent news about NYC card rooms getting raided. Check it out!

If you want to catch up and listen to previous episodes, please visit their archives over at Brainscat. Stop by their site and download the extra nuggets. Thanks again to Sean and Stacks for having me on.
The Day Before, More Vegas Tips, and Moose Cup 2005

On Monday I played Joanne heads up on Poker Stars for the North American Moose Cup. The final score: Pauly 3, Canada 1. She posted about the bad beat that I put on her in game 1. She slowplayed AA on me for her victory in game 3. For now, the Moose Cup is mine.

Derek and I leave for Vegas tomorrow. I'm ready. Later today I'm gonna get a new cell phone and tonight I'll pack. I have one more article to write before I hit the road. And once, I'm off... I'll be in "Vegas mode."

I do not want to disappoint anyone who is meeting me for the first time, but I want to warn you that I am not as wild and crazy as every thinks I am. For the record, I will not be showing up in Vegas with two nymphomaniac teenage gymnasts (from a Eastern European county that no longer exists), along with an eight-ball of Colombian Snow Flake and a brick of Moroccan hash the size of Herve Villechaize. Believe me, if I had access to those kind of drugs and were able to woo nimble nymphets like that, the last thing I'd be doing would be hanging out in Vegas with a bunch of degenerates gamblers.

OK, I got a positive response from my Tips on Surviving Las Vegas. I'd like to add a few more to the existing list:

11. Food is fuel... If you have the opportunity to eat, do it because you never know when you might never have another chance to get some grub. Last December, I never saw Iggy eat one bite during our last trip. He was on the ciggies and Guinness gambler's diet.

12. Wear comfortable shoes... As a native New Yorker, I walk everywhere and I'm used to trudging along for five or six miles in a day. If you are a lazy fuck who's a slave to their vehicle, then start walking a mile or two everyday to get yor legs in shape. The entrance from the Rio to the actual place where the WSoP is being held is a hike. Plus if you want to walk the Strip, everything appears much closer in the desert.

13. Bring a watch... There are exactly six clocks in the entire city of Las Vegas and you won't see any of them in an actual casino.

14. Keep your gambling bankroll separate from your other cash.

15. $50 bills are bad luck... Don't feel weird about asking to change in your $50 bills. That is one superstition I've been following every since Grubby clued me in.

16. Avoid the slots... Grubby will try to turn you over to the dark side of gambling and get you to hit the slots with him at 3am. Resist the temptation!

17. Don't tell people at your table that you have a poker blog... Please for the love of God, do not tell anyone you're in town for a poker bloggers convention. Keep that shit on the down low. You're in Vegas. It's a surreal place. Make shit up. Pretend you're a fish. I lie to dealers, strippers, cab drivers, and my tablemates all the time when I'm in Vegas.

During my last three trips, I've told random strangers that I was a marine biologist, an aquarium salesman, a trumpet player in a Latin jazz band, a radiologist, and my favorite... that I've just got out of prison. The ladies seem to like that one. Bottom line is this: if you can't successfully lie to the people at your table and if you are unable to convince them that you are in fact an astronaut, then you shouldn't be playing poker in Las Vegas. Go home and fire up Poker Stars instead.

During this trip I intend on telling folks that I'm either a mountain climber (please don't laugh when I start talking about Mount Everest to anyone at my table) and I'm thinking about being the malcontent heir to the "Spork" fortune. A spork is not a fork, but not quite a spoon. One of my fraternity brothers in college used that line to try to pick up girls in bars. He even convinced a few that he had a spork shaped swimming pool. And if I happen to stumble into a strip bar, my cover story will be that I'm the tour manager for a metal band called The Al Cant Hang Experience.

Anyway those are my latest additions to my Vegas tips.
Here are Pauly's Original Top 10 Tips on Surviving Vegas:
1. Cut back on sleep immediately.
2. Sip, don't chug.
3. Water is your friend.
4. Bring a cell phone charger.
5. Take pictures.
6. Ask before you post pictures on the internet.
7. Speak your mind and stay in the moment.
8. Table image is a factor in real life.
9. Don't be Gigli.
10. Never underestimate the importance of a $20 tip.
By the way, if we casted Poker Bloggers in Vegas: The Movie, who would play you? For me it's either Benicio del Toro or John Cusak.

If I had to cast for BG, I'd pick Philip Seymour Hoffman. I know he's going to be wicked pissed about that. But I think Philip Seymour Hoffman is the best actor of our generation. I'd snag Owen Wilson to play Otis and William H. Macy to be Chris Halverson. Rob Lowe would be the perfect G Rob and how could you not cast Vin Diesel to play Bad Blood? If Felicia gets her life story made, Hillary Swank should get to play her. If Tara Reid could pull off an Canadian accent, she could be just right as Joanne. Rounding out the rest of the freaks would be Ted Nugent as Al Cant Hang and The Poker Geek will be played by Wil Wheaton in a cameo. Without a doubt, Chris Rock was born to be Grubby.

For the role of a lifetime, Iggy will be played by... Bea Arthur.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Monday Brain Dump

I leave for Las Vegas on Wednesday and I haven't even begun to pack. I did a first wave of laundry, so that's a start. During my interview with the Card Club radio show on Saturday afternoon, Sean the host asked me if I started packing. I always wait to the last minute to pack before any roadtrip. I have a good system down. For a few years I literally lived out of my backpack, so I can condense my life down to what I can carry. I'm going to be living in the desert at the beginning of the summer so I won't need to much heavy clothing. At least I'll be working inside an air-conditioned casino for 12-15 hours everyday.

I wrote a few articles last week. I have to work on one today. I have two due before I leave. Damn deadlines.

My grandma had a BBQ on Sunday. I think it was my going away party. I ate three cheesebugers and one hot dog. Oh and some chicken. She gave me $500. That was my cut after she won a $10K slot machine jackpot at Mohegan Sun Casino this past week. Old ladies and slots. Go figure. I told her I was going to use the money to play poker in Las Vegas. She laughed.

I'm disappointed I haven't read as many books as I hoped to this year. I founf myself rereading poker books I've read at least twice before. I finally finished a few books from Marshall McLuhan. His work is fascinating. I've been on a McLuhan binge. I had been hoping that he could clue me in on how to understand the media, espeically since I'm officially "one of them."

One of Iggy's friends that I met in Cincy, GMoney, sent me a cool Grateful Dead botleg from Salt Lake City in 1973. Man, that was an epic year of the Dead. It might be one of my favorite years besides 1977. The Eyes of the World is delicious.

Boy Genius also hooked me up with a plethora of good music for my pod. I think he sent me a dozen or so discs filled with mp3s. Some serious and devestating Miles Davis in there and all the jazz he selected kicks my ass. Miles from Tokyo. Are you shitting me? His version of Walkin off of Live at the Plugged Nickel is one of the most inspiring pieces of music I ever heard. I fire that up at least once during my moning writing sessions. I'm a big Art Blakely fan so it was a treat to get some of his stuff. I have plenty of old jazz CDs, but I'm too lazy to rips them to mp3s. Glad that BG could hook me up just before I head off to Vegas.

That reminds me of another thing on my list of Things to Do When I Get an Intern.... rip all my old CDs and Dead bootlegs to mp3 format. I'm sure I could find a cute Phishy chick who wouldn't mind uploading my vast musical archives for a few killer Dead shows.

I've been listening to a few podcasts the last two weeks. Here are two that I highly recommend.

1. Closet Deadhead... It's run by an old school head, Sam, and he has well over 25 podcasts archived with various goodies involving the Grateful Dead.

2. Nugs.net... These guys have been hooking me up with great music for the last few years. They added podcasts. They currently have a Trey Hammerstein one up and ready to be downloaded to your ipod. The Jazzfest one is insane featuring selections from Galactic, Widespread Panic, Trey and the Super Jam.

On the sports front, after winning 14 out of 16, the Yankees got their asses handed to them this weekend. And I got my ass kicked at the poker table. Coincidence? I played in several tournaments and only made the money in one. Not impressive at all.

This news item made me laugh, Female Teen Arrested in Running Prostitution Ring, particularly this bit:
The girls charged $50 to $60 for each trick. The 16-year-old "pimp" kept most of the money for herself and would give the others some spending money for cigarettes and food...
Damn, that's some funny ass shit. Give BJs and get all the smokes and MCD's you want.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

NYC Poker Rooms Busted

If you are from NYC or read F Train's blog regularly then you know that the two biggest card rooms in New York were raided on Thursday night. It's big news and even made the NY Times. Thanks to F Train who tipped me off yesterday.

Here are the related news articles.
Cops flush poker clubs (NY Daily News)
Clubs' losing hands (NY Post)
2 Manhattan Poker Parlors Are Raided and 39 Are Arrested (NY Times)
Poker clubs busted (NY Newsday)
If you are going to play in any of the clubs this wekeend, my suggestion is stay away for a week or so and let all the heat die down. In the meantime, head over to one of the many online card rooms, which are NYPD hassle free. For now, that is. Hit up Poker Stars and try to in a seat in the WSoP. Theya re also offering up a rare reload bonus. Party Poker is always full of fish too. You can't go wrong on either site. I'm digging the late night tables on Full Tilt. And even Noble Poker is running WSoP satellites.
Pauly-AlCantHang IM Excerpt of the Week

Here's a sample of an IM chat that I had with Al Cant Hang during the other night:
AlCantHang: vegas is in for pure evil drunkeness
Pauly: lol im playin in a WSOP sat on full tilt for the $1500 event
Pauly: at the break im in 57th place w 148 players left
AlCantHang: nice. bracelet race?
AlCantHang: lol
AlCantHang: i'm having fun fucking with the retards watching razz
AlCantHang: i'm to drunk to chat. but sober enough to watch the tourney
AlCantHang: btw, 3.5 bottles consumed since 6pm
Pauly: not impressed
Pauly: u can do better
Pauly: you'll never survive in vegas
AlCantHang: lol
Pauly: u need to be putting down 5 bottles in 6 hours
Pauly: you're so fucked
AlCantHang: nice
Pauly: so soft
AlCantHang: how's gonna keep up with me?
Pauly: tag team
AlCantHang: no no no
Pauly: i have a team of four blogers
AlCantHang: that don't work
Pauly: me and chad will alternate
Pauly: shots
AlCantHang: nope
AlCantHang: one shot. one man
Pauly: many shots. many puking
AlCantHang: only one man can hang, and he's snoring on the sofa
Pauly: landow?
AlCantHang: bigmike!
AlCantHang: nobody can touch me right now
AlCantHang: i'm reggie jackson in october
Pauly: lol
AlCantHang: it's NOT GOOD
Pauly: even reggie struck out
AlCantHang: ok. here's my drunken line to you. i'm worried.....
AlCantHang signed off at 1:15 AM
Good Lord. Beware of a man caught in the deepest depths of a Southern Comfort binge. Al Came. Al Drank. Al Conquered. Then he passed out on the couch.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Last 5 Lindsay Lohan Google Referrals...
1. Pictures of skinny Lindsay Lohan
2. Lindsay Lohan fake boobs
3. Lindsay Lohan cocaine bathroom
4. Lindsay Lohan SNL Harry Potter
5. Lindsay Lohan dad DUI
Well fuck.

Zooma has been cancelled. Here's part of the email I got this afternoon:
The Zooma Tour was conceived to provide fans with an exceptional musical and entertainment experience. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it has become clear that it would not be possible to provide that experience at the level initially envisioned. Rather than go forward with a tour that falls short of what was conceived, everyone involved has mutually agreed that it is best to cancel the tour altogether.
I just bought a ticket from Las Vegas to Denver this morning because I thought I was going to see Trey, Ben Harper, and Galactic play at Red Rocks this July. The Joker and I were supposed to party it up that weekend.

The Joker sent me this tid bit... Trey will be doing a summer tour. I hope he hits Red Rocks at the same time he was supposed to. That way I don't lose out on those plane tickets.

I wonder if Vegoose is going to flounder as well?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

99 Things About Pauly

All of these were written by my friends, some of which have known me for almost 15 years and my brother who has known me longer. When I went away to Rhode Island to write last November, I asked some friends to help make up an "About Pauly List." I got over 200 responses in emails as they all listed of random things you don't know about me. I have seen it done on other blogs and felt weird about doing a list by myself. So I turned to my friends. (By the way, Boy Genius had written one of the better lists I've seen... 100 Things about Boy Genius.)

Since I'm heading off to Vegas in a week to attend a poker bloggers convention (the weekend before I'm supposed to start work), I decided to share this information with some of the bloggers I never met before. Here's their chance to get to know me better in one shot before we meet in Vegas for the first time. So here yo go. Enjoy.

99 Things...

1. Pauly probably still has several hundred dollars in Dutch bucks.... IOUs from one of his fraternity brothers that he amassed during poker games.
2. Once in late 1993, Pauly once ate more McDonald's in a month than the Supersize Me dude.
3. Pauly has no tattoos.
4. Pauly was the Ice Cream Man one summer in Atlanta.
5. Pauly does not own a watch.
6. Pauly won the dubious honor of "Schaeffer Warrior" in the early 1990s, in which he drank a full case (24 beers) of Schaeffer in one night, entitling him to wear the empty cardboard case on his head until sun-up.
7. Pauly's favorite Hollywood crush is Katie Holmes.
8. Pauly's Spades partner in college was Jon Schanzer. They were regarded as the second best duo in their fraternity and played an eight hour match once.
9. Pauly once won $2,500 in one hour at the Casino Magic in Biloxi, MS playing two hands of blackjack at once.
10. Pauly is mentioned the acknowledgements section in at least one published book.
11. Pauly saw Phish in Japan in 2000 with Beano and Senor where he met a really cool short Jewish guy in Japan and coincidentally his sister dated on of Pauly's friends in college.
12. Pauly used to teach chess to inner city kids.
13. Pauly was a scholarship student at Emory, but did not go to college on a hockey scholarship like internet rumors persisted.
14. One of Pauly's political science professors in college was former President Jimmy Carter.
15. Pauly has a nice ass.
16. Pauly has sniffed ether stolen from the chem lab in college.
17. Pauly followed the Grateful Dead and saw 46 concerts.
18. In 1999, Pauly's favorite TV show was Dawson's Creek.
19. Pauly has no piercings and does not wear any jewelry.
20. Pauly is a registered Independent, but is an active member of the Green Party.
21. Pauly voted for Ralph Nader in the 2000 and 2004 election.
22. Pauly worked on the campaign staff to re-elect Georgia congressman Ben Jones aka Cooter from The Dukes of Hazzard. Pauly also worked on the campaign staff to elect a Georgia state senator.
23. Pauly once played poker with Kato Kaelin at Foxwoods Casino.
24. Pauly's favorite writers include; Spalding Gray, Hunter S. Thompson, Milan Kundera, and Henry Miller.
25. Since he turned 18, the longest stretch Pauly's even gone without drinking or doing drugs has been 11 days.
26. Pauly loves drinking green tea.
27. Pauly loves donuts. He gave them up for over 500 days once during his infamous donut diet.
28. Pauly had extremely long black hair, and now it's all falling out.
29. Pauly fell asleep during a Midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture show.
30. Pauly's favorite film makers include; Jim Jarmucsh, Kevin Smith, and Hal Hartley.
31. Pauly drove from Philadelphia to Atlanta with a three-legged cat in the back seat.
32. Pauly has dropped acid at Graceland and Disney World.
33. Pauly thinks Stanton Moore from Galactic is the gretaest drummer in the world.
34. Pauly hates the song Squirming Coil as a encore at a Phish show.
35. Pauly worked at a Country Club in Atlanta, prepping the clay tennis courts every morning.
36. Pauly thinks that Dan Brown and David Sedaris are the most overrated writers in America today.
37. Pauly picks vegetables out of his Chinese food.
38. Pauly hates talking on the phone.
39. Pauly loves chicken.
40. Pauly loves pound cake.
41. Pauly's idea of fun is watching a marathon of Woody Allen movies and Kate Beckinsale movies.
42. Pauly lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn before all the hipsters moved in and drove up the rents.
43. Pauly met 3/4 of the members of Phish.
44. Pauly used to get stoned in Central Park during his lunchbreaks when he was a museum security guard.
45. Pauly has worked at three museums in there different cities.
46. Pauly met Willem de Kooning at a cocktail party.
47. Pauly's blogs are read all over the globe and his poker blog has developed a cult following.
48. Pauly once asked a Russian model to marry him. She committed suicide seven years later.
49. Pauly dips his cheeseburgers in ketchup.
50. Pauly is a snappy dresser.
51. Pauly loves to dance (even though he's not very good at it.)
52. Pauly wears two different colored shoes when he writes.
53. Pauly had a photographic memory.
54. Pauly met Jerry Garcia while working as a security guard at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art.
55. One of Pauly's lifetime goals is to ejaculate inside the Paris Hilton.
56. Pauly was interviewed by the CIA for a job when he graduated college.
57. Pauly studied Greek, Latin, French, and Russian in high school.
58. Pauly was the starting shooting guard of his fraternity intramural basketball team, once being named to the second team "All-Row."
59. Pauly pissed in a beer of one of his fraternity brothers that he hated.
60. Pauly and his fraternity brothers used to go to the Pink Pony strip bar for Sunday brunch.
61. Pauly loves Waffle House more than Denny's.
62. Pauly's favorite beer is Red Stripe.
63. Pauly's a good driver.
64. Pauly once had a portable clay pipe that looked like a cigarette.
65. Pauly used to live with two drag queens in Chelsea.
66. Pauly has neat handwriting.
67. Pauly refuses to call his friends by their real names, instead replacing them with nicknames.
68. Pauly gave Senor his nickname, but no one really knows why.
69. Pauly tried to win a seat in the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker but lost super satellites at Binion's.
70. Pauly penned the lyrics for several songs for the Japanese jam band called Horse.
71. Pauly would rather own a race horse than a dog or cat.
72. Pauly has more than one off shore bank account.
73. Pauly sleeps on the average of four hours a night.
74. Pauly rarely eats salad.
75. Pauly loves cheese fries.
76. Pauly does a killer Bill Clinton impersonation.
77. Pauly can make up really funny songs on the spot.
78. Pauly believes in aliens and that the mafia whacked JFK.
79. Pauly likes Canadian girls.
80. Pauly wrote the first draft to his first novel in less than 10 days.
81. There's a running theory that Pauly loves blondes.
82. Ivan the Russian cab driver appears in no less than three of Pauly's major writing projects.
83. Pauly applied to NYU Film School in 1994 and was rejected.
84. When he lived in Seattle, Pauly used to play poker in the kitchen of the house inhabited by the jazz band Kilgore Trout... otherwise called the Trout House.
85. Pauly wrote, directed, and acted in his first short film during his freshman year in highschool called Killer Rabbits... ironically for an English project.
86. Pauly only took one English class in college and it was a required class.
87. At Emory, Pauly got a C in the physical education class called: Stress Reduction and Relaxtion... but he got an A in Bowling.
88. Pauly used to work on the 8th floor of the World Trade Center on the trading floor of the NY Commodities Exchange.
89. Pauly has a bench warrant for his arrest in Mississippi because he failed to pay a $550 speeding ticket from 1998.
90. Pauly drove from NYC to Seattle with Senor in a car without a working stereo, nor a working air conditioning.
91. In 1999, Pauly drove from Vancouver, Canada to Ensenada, Mexico via I-5... seeing 8 Phish shows along the way.
92. Pauly wrote two screenplays for Project Greenlight.
93. Pauly is a self-taught painter.
94. Pauly's favorite Phish song is Slave to the Traffic Light.
95. Pauly has never read a Harry Potter book and loathes all forms of chick lit.
96. Pauly says "totally" a lot.
97. Pauly is currently addicted to Orange Gatorade.
98. Pauly prefers Summer over Marissa on The O.C.
99. Pauly can hold his breath for over two minutes.

That's it for now. Maybe in a few months I'll post... 999 Mean Things My Friends Said About Me.
Trey Anastasio Interview in Relix

Thanks to Alea who pointed out this interview with Trey from Relix magazine. He had this interesting comment:
I [had] completely lost my perspective on everything. That's the most important thing to realize-there was no perspective anymore, being in the middle of this whole thing. I started to almost resent it, because deep in my heart I had other things I wanted to do and I could not get out. It was so hard to get out at the end, based just on all of those things.

There was a thing that had built up around Phish that was safe. Safe and easy. For a lot of people it was comfortable and fun and all that, but at the same time, I was getting completely exhausted and it was almost like trying to live two lives. Which is the way I felt in my heart, and trying to continue to do this thing to maintain the status quo for everyone that wanted it to continue to exist... So I derailed it.
Some good stuff in that article. Take a peek.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. Malcom X by Alex Haley
2. Saturday by Ian McEwan
3. The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
4. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
5. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker
Speaking of Phish Blogs...

Rich over at The 101 Report mentioned my Phish blog the other day. Thanks for the shout out! Take a peek at his hard work... The 101 Report... which follows the jamband music scene.
Writing, Blogging, and Burnout

Boy Genius pointed me to Tony Pierce's 10 Signs on Blogger Burnout. Some good points there. Here's they are:
1. when your internal dialogue gets hijacked by your concerns about what your readers will think.
2. when you are afraid to write down what you are truly thinking about at that moment.
3. when you believe the lie that some people just arent capable of good writing.
4. when you believe the lie that there is a certain way that you "should" write anything.
5. when you get more involved in punctuation, spelling, or aestetics than saying what you want to say.
6. when you get caught up in traffic, hits, popularity, readers, and/or fame.
7. when you believe the lie that what you think doesnt matter.
8. when you believe the lie that what youre about to say has been said before and/or written down better.
9. when you forget that most ideas can be expressed in less than 15 minutes.
10. when you dont set aside a little bit of time each day to update your blog.
I went through burnout late October. I had a jillion blogs going on at once, and I felt that the three or four hours a day I devoted to blogging had been hijacked by me wanting to write about too many topics at once; the election, sports, poker, fiction, and music. Thank God that the election was over, so I could walk away from my poli blog. I took time off from blogging and went to write a novel.

Afterwards completing Gumbo, I made a pact with myself that I would always partake in my daily two hour free write before I blogged anything. To this day, aside when I'm traveling, I try my best to adhere to that rule I set forth. This morning for example, I woke up and wrote first before I ate, checked my email, read my bloglines folder, played poker online, and even checked my voicemail. That discipline makes me feel like a real writer, because I'm doing something that a) not every writer does on a daily basis... and b) that most normal people don't have that self-discipline and that's why they are normal.

Last year during my blog hiatus, when I was working on my fifth novel was when I realized the several fundamental differences and the few similarities between blogging and writing.

Writing and blogging are two different things. People often get confused with the two. When I often suggest to people that they should start a blog almost all of them say, "I'm not a good writer." I think that's total bullshit. Writing is different from blogging. I read blogs everyday so much so that I kick myself in the junk for wasting my time on shitty bloggers. I caught a lot of shit when I outed myself on my poker blog when I berated some of the author of blogs on my blogroll. I was being honest when I said that a bunch of them were poorly written. A good blog takes several months to cultivate. But, if you don't improve from day one... then I felt I was wasting my time reading all those stagnant blogs, which failed to evolve out of the beginning stages of having a new blog.

Man, 96% of all blogs by nature are poorly written. And the ones who have talent as a writer are usually run by boring individuals. Just like TV. The majority of TV sucks, and we all put up with such low standards in entertainment.

When I suggest to a friend of mine that they should start a blog, what I am really trying to say is that, "You are far more interesting than almost everything I have seen on the web. The stories in your lives need to be told."

You do not need to be a good writer to have a good blog. You just need to be interesting. Back to Tony Pierce's fundamental point: "There are no rules on the web other than dont be dull."

Unfortunately, the most interesting people that I know do not have a blog. And some of the most boring and loathsome individuals in bloggerdom continue to suffuse the internet with excrement. I am conscious of that, so when people/readers/friends say that I'm a great blogger, I often think, "That's not saying much."

Most of the bloggers that I link up have potential. Some of the authors are lazy. Others are simply too busy to put the right amount of time into blogging. I really wish that they found the time to improve their blogs.

"But, Pauly, I am interesting."

So you say. Just kidding. Some of you are interesting and have trouble expressing yourself. The only way to find your voice is to write until it comes out clearly. It took me several years before that happened. Keep on writing.

Just because you are a good writer doesn't mean you know how to be a good blogger. It takes a special breed of person who knows how to convey themselves in a precise manner keeping people interested enough that they want to come back again to read what else you have to say. There are career writers who are trying to turn to the web as a new medium for them, and that Wall Street Journal cookie-cutter style or NY Times Op/Ed crap doesn't stick to the wall in bloggerdom.

After my trip to Las Vegas I went through a weird transition period when I had to make a decision that would affect my writing career... that I needed to devote more time to my personal writing and less time blogging, playing poker, and chasing pussy around. The result was that I secured several freelance gigs which led me to getting the assignment to cover the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Now, I have discovered that my Phish blog is getting more traffic than the Tao of Pauly. Once again two offspring of this blog have become more popular. Am I bitter? Well, yeah a little. But I know that Trey just went on tour so that's why the sudden spike in Phishy hits. We'll see if the Phish blog can sustain their base over the next few months.

I still feel than in 5 years (2010 for you non-math people), after the poker boom is over and everyone goes broke, and after I have the opportunity to let everyone know how good of I writer I am... that this blog will be the most popular of my blogging empire.

I can dream, can't I?

For now my Phish blog is popular. My poker blog is super popular. And eventually that traffic spills over to here and Truckin'.

Normally I would spend more time on something that is working, like the Phish blog, but lucky for me, it's a group blog with my Phishy friends helping to provide the content. That's how I feel about Truckin'. It started out as a forum for my friends' travel stories and it's really become a literary magazine featuring bloggers. Almost all of them are poker bloggers who can write well. I have a vision that at somepoint, I will make Truckin' a real magazine and I'd combine both the old Truckin' with my poli blog. The result would be a literary rag with some political commentary. Maybe that can happen someday. 2010 perhaps?

To sum up, I am jumping into the world of being a "paid blogger" and whatever that entails when I move to Las Vegas one week from today. My skills are sharp enough that a major website wants me to post daily musings (and sometimes up to the minute coverage) about the largest poker tournament in the world. That's going to be an epic adventure. And maybe someone will notice my hard work and be willing to give me a shot at a book deal.

I'm worried about afterwards... will I be super burnt out after I get back from Vegas? That I won't want to write at all? Or will I just want to avoid all things blog-related? I'll find out in a few months.

I told BG the other day, "Just write."

I shall follow my own advice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tuesday Link Dump: Missing Toilets, Whitney Drama, Suing the Super Sized Guy, and Drunk Canadian Chicks

Norway Baffled by Toilet Heist is a mystery for sure. Our good friend Sigge could not be reached for comment.

Friedman Agonistes: Will the New York Times columnist read himself? is written by Timothy Noah and appears on Slate.com.

Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me is being sued for $40 Million. You want fries with that?

Whitney Wants Plan A, but Says It Has Plan B discusses the expansion of the Whitney Musuem.

Avril LaVogne got drunk. Pauly likes Canadian chicks!

Here are some weird pics of Tom Cruise on Oprah. Katie Holmes came out, er she was dragged out by Tom at the end of the show.

Back onto celebrity gossip, Nick and Jessica are getting a divorce. Good for Nick.
No Sugar Tonight

I went to bed at 4am and I got up around 8:30am. I woke up and wrote for two hours. Now, I'm fixin to head over to Party Poker to play for a few hours. Last night, Julie asked me how many hours of poker do I play every week. When I actually figured it out (around 25) she said, "That's almost a full time job."

Funny she should say that. A year ago, I was playing 50+ hours a week (online + live cash games) so I guess you can say that was a full-time job. These days, I'm not playing for my main source of income. That's what all these freelance assignments are for.

As long as I'm not losing horribly, I'm enjoying the time and effort that I putting in to improve my game. Poker is not like a video game that can be beaten and you reach a point of Mastery where after a while it's not challenging anymore. Poker is a constant struggle and battle. And I dunno if the best players in the world ever get a sense that the "game is too easy." So many factors are involved like luck that make the game unbeatable somedays.

Anyway, last night I played in what might be my final home game in New York City, at the Blue Parrot of all places. I leave for Las Vegas in eight days. Wow. Eight days. I need a new cell phone and I have to pack, in addition to writing three or four more articles. Ouch. I will have no free time in the next few days.

Someone told me that the temperature in Las Vegas was 104 yesterday. Nice. Vegas in the summer. Briana was right. I need a Vegas wardrobe. I guess I really have to go (gulp) shopping. Shudder.

This Morning's Writing Music...
1. Wayne Shorter
2. Traffic
3. Widespread Panic
4. The Beatles
5. Eric Dolphy

Monday, May 23, 2005

Monday's Random Musings

I have created well over 5,000 individual blog entires spanning several different blogs. That's too many. Most of them are piss poor.

I watched as much as the Yankees-Mets Subway series as I could. Talk about shitty fielding. Hideki Matsui is clutch. After their 11 game winning streak, the Yanks are now 2-2.

I also caught some of the NBA playoffs, specifically the West Finals. I'm a fan of Steve Nash, but the MVP can't beat San Antonio. I like the Spurs in 6. I chuckled during the post-game press conference when Steve Nash, who is Canadian, let out an obligatory, "Eh?"

Jimi Hendrix makes me laugh everytime I hear his live version of Like a Rolling Stone. He mentions something about the song was dedicated to Bob Dylan and his grandmother, who is supposedly standing behind him. I'm 100% sure Jimi was tripping on acid at the time so I don't think Grandma Zimmerman was really there. Anyway, at the end of the song he mentions how me missed a verse. Nice.

I wrote a lot last night and this morning. Somedays I feel good about the content of my work. Recently, I've been paid a ridiculous amount of money to write what I feel is rubbish. My editors really like my work, but I feel a wave of guilt that I'm not giving out my best writing. It's not that I'm not trying, I'm doing the best I can with deadlines and such. It's much harder to write an assignment than it is to write from the gut. I'm pumped for Vegas because I know everything I write will be what I see and experience. Vegas is one of the most inspiring places for me as a creative person. It's the energy and dark side of that town which gets me fired up to write.

I realized that the next nine days are hectic and crazy for me. I have almost every hour planned out over the next week. I'm not that anal, but I know that if I don't plan out the last week before I leave for Vegas, then I'm going to fuck something up and forget to do something.

I got a call from a sad friend this morning. It brought me down a little bit, but I did my best Bill Clinton impression and that always seems to brighten up everyone's day.

I have not seen Star Wars yet. I know a handful of folks who saw it twice already. Man, did you guys dress up like Storm Troopers?

I've been getting a slew of emails telling me that Katie Holmes appears on Oprah's show this afternoon. Tom Cruise is the guest, but Katie appears to help smoke screen those "gay rumors." Yeah, I haven't watched Oprah in years. Time to fire up the bong and watch that train wreck.

Jimmy Cliff kept me sane this morning while I wrote. Thanks, Jimmy.
TowneHouse Bon Voyage Saturday

Toni hosted a Saturday afternoon BBQ followed by a tournament and cash games. She dubbed it "Pauly's Bon Voyage Bash." Damn, talk about one cool lady! Toni knows how to throw a good party. Have lots of great food, good music, interesting people, and include a $50 freezeout at some point during the twelve hour blow out. Yeah, I wandered out of the TowneHouse close to 5am after arriving 12+ hours earlier.

Although Toni's midtown apartment lies in the shadows of the Chrysler Building, she manages to have a large terrace (sadly, it's bigger than my old studio) and that's the perfect place to enjoy an almost-Summer afternoon party.

The BBQ started out as a mini-NYC poker bloggers convention. I met Joaquin and Jordan from High on Poker, both for the first time. F Train and Mas stopped by and played in the tournament. Derek and Ugarte showed up later for one of the many cash games going on all night. Toni had a few friends, TowneHouse regulars, and co-workers over so it was a good mix. Poker was the center of the events during the afternoon, evening, and early morning hours.

The highlight of the party was seeing everyone at the TowneHouse for the last time before I head off to Vegas, in less than nine freakin' days. The other highlight was chopping first place with F Train in the tournament after playing a back and forth heads up match, which last over a half hour. To hell with Jesus and Phil, NBC should have been taping F Train and me battling wits at the TowneHouse! We we're much funnier and no fuckin' commercials.

Toni had some great food in addition to the usual BBQ fare. The deserts were amazing, including the cookies and brownies. Kathy made chocolate covered strawberries which kept me sane all night long.

Toni also ordered a crock of chili! Impressive. I'm a big chili guy. I swear that Joaquin ate at least four bowls. And it goes without saying that in a room full of lawyers, the alcohol was flowing pretty heavily. I'm pretty sure everyone was hammered at one point or another. I know I was steadily fucked up since the moment I walked in the door until the moment I left.

We played a two table tournament. $50 buy in. Top 4 places paid ($30, $150, $100, $50) and everyone started with T1000 in various colored chips including lavender and pink. If you don't know about the TowneHouse, Toni uses pink chips at her games.

I ended up heads up at the final table with F Train. I was behind about 3 to 1 in chips. He had a big lead. I offered him to "chop" or split the first and second place prize money ($300 for 1st and $150 for 2nd). He laughed when I made that suggestion. I did a little trash talking and told him I'd have to take all his chips!

We played heads up for about a half hour. I came from behind to tie, then I took the lead, which I blew, and then we were even again when F Train decided that it would be a good time to chop. We both walked away with $225. Not too bad.

I wish I could say more about the first cash game other than that I lost $85! My Hiltons were cracked and that cost me a few bucks. As always, I'm a bleeder in Omaha hi/lo and I was giving away my chips. I was about halfway between Tara Reid drunk and Courtney Love shitfaced at that point and at a table of six, I declared that TPTK is an awesome hand in Omaha. That's why I pissed away most of tournament winnings, with delusional notions such as my Omaha debacle.

Otis called me sometime around 8:27pm EST for a Dial-a-Shot. I think he said he was in a bar in Boston. Or maybe I'm making that up. The last few times I've spoken to Otis, I've been obliterated, including in Vegas. When I was in Kentucky with Daddy a two weekends ago investigating the case of the Drunken Donkey Fuckers, we almost called Otis. I waited until Iggy's home game to give him a shout out at a more suitable hour. Anyway, thanks for the call, dude.

At that point, I was too sloshed to be using electronic equipment and hid my cell phone and camera. I really didn't care how much I lost and from my lack of notetaking, I'm sure that I was completely in the moment and enjoying playing cards with everyone, especially Mas, who I never get to see anymore now that he's a married man! Congrats again, Mas. And I never see Ugarte anymore either. He's becoming this bigshot comedian and only hangs out with people who sip Pinot, use air quotes, and toss around hipster buzzwords like Mocha Latte and WiFi as if they were the names of their firstborn children. Mas and Ugarte left the game up a few bucks.

We ended the game just before 5am. I ended up down $64 for the second cash game and walked away up $26 overall I think. Ah, I dropped about $150 in the two cash games after the tournament. As least I was freerolling in the cash games.

Well, it was a perfect sendoff from Toni and her friends at the TowneHouse. Seriously, the chili rocked and Kathy's chocolate strawberries were awesome. We hung out for over twelve hours and drank and played poker the entire time. I got to meet a few people and two bloggers that I read (Joaquin and Jordan) but never met. Glad I got to do that before I headed off to Vegas. That was Derek's first time at the TowneHouse and I know he had a good time playing with everyone as well.

Shit, and I got to play heads up with F Train for over a half hour. I think that would have been more entertaining than some of the average coverage of the NBC Heads Up Championship. F Train acted like a real professional when I bad beated him and didn't fall out of his chair like Hellmuth did in his childish display of theatrics. Man, I should have had our heads up battle videotaped and uploaded it for everyone to see. Next time, I promise.

The only sour point was when Toni's upstairs neighbor complained at 11:06pm on a Saturday night saying that there was too much noise. I had been there on a random Thursday at 3am and we've been much louder. I dunno what was up that clown's ass, but it was comical to see a bunch of drunkards try to hush each other everytime the conversation got pretty loud.

Anyway, it was cool that Toni hosted a Bon Voyage Party. It feels good that people from back home will be checking in to see what I'm writing. Yeah I'm already looking forward to returning to the TowneHouse at the end of the summer to play with Toni and her friends again. Thanks again, Toni.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Today in Phistory

Wow, its been five years since Phish played Radio City Music Hall on 5.22.00! Man, that Split Open and Melt was pretty sick. I went to the show with Senor. We were pretty pumped because we got to see Phish in our hometown and then we were going to see the boys in Japan two weeks later.
I'm a Whore

Here's a list of a few articles that I wrote which were published recently:
Avoiding Tilt Online (Poker Magazine)
The Next Champion? (Fox Sports)
Stu Ungar player profile (Professional-poker.com)
Chip Reese player profile Professional-poker.com)
Full Tilt Poker Review (Poker Magazine)
Dan Harrington player profile Professional-poker.com)
Those Cheating Games (Poker Magazine)
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot player profile Professional-poker.com)
I wrote an article on poker movies which will be published soon. I submitted a few concert reviews of Trey's band to some music rags and I'm awaiting word!
Top 10 Tips on Surviving Las Vegas

Well we're close. I'm 10 days away from my arrival in Las Vegas. This entry is devoted to bloggers who will be heading to Vegas, especially for you Vegas virgins. So let's get to it.
Pauly's Top 10 Tips on Surviving Vegas:
1. Cut back on sleep immediately.
2. Sip, don't chug.
3. Water is your friend.
4. Bring a cell phone charger.
5. Take pictures.
6. Ask before you post pictures on the internet.
7. Speak your mind and stay in the moment.
8. Table image is a factor in real life.
9. Don't be Gigli.
10. Never underestimate the importance of a $20 tip.
And now I'll go into specific details. Feel free to print this up and hand out copies to your entourage.

1. Cut back on sleep immediately.

As of right now, cut back on your sleep by 30 minutes every other night. Inside of two weeks, you'll be down to about 3.5 hours of sleep per night. The average Las Vegas visitor gets around 3 hours of sleep and the average poker blogger gets substantially a lot less. Cutting back on sleep is an easy way to get adjusted to sleep deprivation by following my simple routine. Seriously, if you are used to getting 8 or more hours per night, you're in trouble, I'd cut back 30 minutes everyday between now and Vegas.

2. Sip, don't chug.

Pace yourself with your alcohol consumption. Al Cant Hang is a machine. His blood type is 180 Proof. He's not human. I suspect he's really an alien. There are also a few bloggers who are veteran alcoholics. Don't succumb to the frission of being in a room with all your favorite bloggers and foolishly attempt to keep up. If you do, you'll end up clutching the porcelain God at 4am wondering why the hell that cab driver punched you out after you yaked up your dinner and a half a bottle of Southern Comfort in his back seat. Surviving the Sherwood Forest bar at 9am on the morning of the blogger tournament was a moment I'll never forget. It's a badge of courage like a soldier who managed to get through D-Day without a scratch. I'm glad that we made it through an entire weekend of partying in Vegas last December without anyone getting their stomachs pumped at the hospital or landing themselves in the drunk tank at the Clark County jail. Let's keep it that way. Slow and steady wins the race.

3. Water is your friend.

Las Vegas is in the middle of the fuckin' desert. Drink water. Lots of it. I used to try to drink one glass of water per alcoholic beverage consumed. In Vegas I do my best to double that amount. Sure, I'm pissing every eight minutes, but you're head will thank you the next day when you're experiencing a hangover-free morning. I think one of my biggest expenses in Vegas is my water tab, well that and trips to strip clubs with Grubby.

4. Bring a cell phone charger.

Don't forget one. Since you will be staying up from anywhere from 20-36 hours straight, you might want to make sure your cell is charged before you begin your gambling session. With bloggers in town, having a phone will be necessary to arrange meetings or if you need someone to post bail money. Besides, you should throw your loved ones at home a bone every 12 hours and send them a drunken text message or get someone on the horn for a Dial-a-Shot. When you are sleeping, charge up your phone during the few hours that you're crashed out.

5. Take pictures.

Come on, I know you geeky bloggers can't wait to spice up your Vegas trip reports with pictures. I encourage it, especially if you have never been to Vegas before. Don't be afraid to go camera happy and take more pictures than a menagerie of Osaka businessmen. Bring a camera, even if it's one of those disposable ones for $7. You have to leave Vegas with at least one good story and at least one good picture.

6. Ask before you post pictures on the internet.

If you are a person who thinks they look awful in photos or is just camera shy or they want to keep their identity a secret, then by all means please tell everyone now. Conversely, if you are going to post pictures of bloggers, make sure you get their consent. I know this shouldn't be a problem for me. My ugly mug is all over the internet. I'm encouraging my fellow bloggers to snap more photos of me so I have a better sample to pick from. For fuck's sake, I'm going to puke up cat testicles if I have to see the same fuckin' photo of me and Max Pescatori from Sam's Town. Max is a cool guy, but I'm positive when I die, some two bit rag is going to run that stock footage of me at the first WPBT gathering. I mean how many times did I see that variations of that photo on twenty different blogs? And no, I will not be wearing that pestiferous shirt in Vegas.

7. Speak your mind and stay in the moment.

I never got to really hang out with Bill Rini last time. That was one of my regrets... not making enough time for everyone. I simply assumed that I'll have time later in the trip to shoot the shit and play cards with Bill. That never happened. Don't make that crucial mistake. If you have the chance to talk to someone, take advantage of that opportunity. If you see Iggy at the pisser, seize the moment to talk shop with him. You never know what might happen during your time in Vegas. With such a big group, you won't have time for "quality one-on-one time" so whenever you cross paths with a fellow blogger, whether it's Otis sitting by himself at the Pai Gow table at 4am or running into Bad Blood at the Bellagio at 2am... stop by and shoot the shit. You won't regret it.

And don't feel shy or intimidated about saying what you want to me or anybody else. Our time is limited, so speak up! If you want to ask me questions, feel free. If you want blogging advice, just ask. If you want to buy me a drink, let's do it. If you want to go to strip clubs, then hold on a second and let me call Grubby.

8. Table image is a factor in real life.

A lot of us play the majority of our poker online. Some of you haven't played extensively in casinos, so here's my quick tip... image is important. How do you want to be portrayed? Like a dipshit tourist from Hootersville, Kentucky who's playing poker for the first time? Or a punk-ass kid with wraparound sunglasses at a low limit table who watches too much WPT? Or do you want to blend in and become a blur to your table mates? I usually cut my vocabulary in half and talk about topics like Celebrity Poker Showdown. I make sure I drink heavily in front of them, refer to women as "broads" and play one really awful hand in the first orbit that I showdown to the river. Too bad that I'm just being myself.

9. Don't be Gigli.

Wow, Bill Rini got two shout outs in this post. Hey Bill! If you don't know Bill was the first blogger knocked out in December's tournament. He was awarded the infamous Gigli DVD for coming in last place. I bought a new copy of Gigli (how sad is it when the postage costs more than the actual DVD?) which I will be giving to the first blogger out of the Aladdin tournament. Will it be you? And rest assured I will torment you for the rest of the year with chants of "Gigli! Gigli!" in your chatbox every time you play on Party Poker.

10. Never underestimate the importance of a $20 tip.

Do you wanna get shit done in Vegas? Tip the hell out of every person you see. I'm from New York City and we tip everyone. In a town like Vegas, most of the people working in the service industry are not paid extravagantly. They rely on tips to supplement their wages. You would be surprised how much attention you can get with a simple $20 tip. Heck that's like one big bet for some of you.

Example #1: I call this move The Grubbette. When you check into a hotel and they ask for your credit card, carefully place a folded up $20 bill underneath your card. As the front desk person is picking up the cash and card, quickly ask them if they can bump you up to a better room. It never fails. But then again, Grubbette is a lot cuter than me!

Example #2: Last time I was in Vegas, when I called around to find a reservation for dinner on Easter Sunday, I found out that every place was booked. Grubby, Senor and I made plans to meet Flip Chip and Poker Prof at Ceaser's Palace. I decided to pop into Palm to see if they had any open tables. The hostess checked her reservations book and said she didn't have any open spots for us. When I spotted two open tables, I slipped her $20 and said "Did anyone every tell ya that you have beautiful eyes? By the way, can you check again? That's Dr. Pauly, for a party of five." We were seated within five minutes.

There is only one instance where I will tell you to save your tips... and that's in a strip club. Never, under any circumstances give a stripper a tip. If I find out you did, I will smack you personally.

***** *****

Ok that's it for now. Those were my half-baked ideas on how to survive Las Vegas. If you can remember half of these, then you should make it home in one piece. Have a great weekend. 10 days and counting....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saturday Nooner: Horses and Geeks

And the list of geeky friends who say the new Star Wars flick grows even more. My brother said some guy in his office already saw it twice. Heh.

Today is the Preakness which is the second leg of Horse Racing's Triple Crown. Who do I think is going to win? I'm sticking with my Derby pick Sun King. I'm also going with Wilko. But what do I know about horse racing?

Before most of you woke up toady, I already found myself with a hefty loss gambling. I'll have to write a freelance article just to dig me out of the hole. Maybe one of my ponies will make the money today.

I have a poker tournament to play in this afternoon. Can't wait. Shit, 11 days until Vegas? I have so much shit to do before I leave, including getting a new cell phone.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Thoughts

I got a haircut this morning from my barber, Vinny. I've known him for almost 25 years. I went to school with both of his sons. I'm losing my hair. That must make him feel old. All we talked about was gambling. He goes to Atlantic City all the time. He'll be in Vegas this summer staying at the Rio just after the World Series of Poker ends.

I watched the season finale of The OC last night. Marissa definitely looks a lot healthier these days. To quote Jenna, "Her clothes actually fit on her this season." I was a little shocked about the ending. I didn't know that uber-rich girls with eating disorders and severe drinking problems could fire a gun with such accuracy.

At least a dozen non-geek friends of mine have seen the new Star Wars flick. Amazing. It's just a movie folks. I'm not planning on seeing it here in NYC. I'm going to save it for Las Vegas. I figure it would be a good distraction for me if work gets too stressful. Someone asked me if I had any pictures of Natalie Portman's shaved pussy. Nope. I do have random pics of Natalie Portman's shaved head.

I've been trying to squeeze in a lot of online poker since I got back from my three day bender in the Midwest. I am having tons of huge swings which is never good. For most of 2005, I was a losing poker player. I lost the majority of my bankroll in February and made it all back in March when I won more money playing poker that month than in the three previous months combined. Alas, April was a rollercaoster. This month, I can't seem to string together consecutive winning sessions. Once I get to Vegas, I'm going to stop playing online for at least two months. I wonder what it's going to feel like when I get home from work and decided to head out to a casino for a few hours?

Due to the popularity of my poker blog, I have been getting at least one book a week from publicity hounds who are trying to get me to write a "good review" for their client and post it on my blog. I decline about half of the requests. Only two books that have come my way are halfway decent. I played online poker with the author of one book and I expect to meet the author of another while I'm in Vegas. However, the remainder of the books I got pretty much suck ass. It makes me super depressed to think that those hacks have a book deal and I don't. At least, I don't today.

There is a published author out there who gave me two compliments in the last ten days. The one that sunk in the most was when he said that I write "brilliant fucking prose." Wow. Maybe that book deal can happen a lot sooner that I think, eh?

Yankees-Mets subway series starts tonight. Let's hope the Yanks can sweep.
5 Recent Baseball Related Google References...
1. Denny Neagle hookers
2. Derek Jeter and Jordanna Brewster
3. Jeff Weaver airplane pot
4. Don Zimmer Pedro Martinez brawl
5. Tino Martinez homerun streak
Now, That's a Handful!

NOT SAFE FOR WORK! You have been warned about the fist of fury. If you get fired for this, it's not my fault that you were a dumbass and opened this up in your cubicle.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Welcome Back Joker

After a long ass hiatus, the Joker is back to blogging. He's posting on Bathtub Gin again, which is great news. The Joker and Wendy used to head up one of my favorite blogs. Anyway, he's settled into Boulder now and has a little more time to blog. He's also going to try to post regularly on our group Phish blog, which has been getting great content, thanks to posts from Lori, Bruce, and Molly. So, welcome back... we missed ya.
Thursday Link Dump: Star Wars, Drunks, Ecstasy Mules, and Rex Chapman

What is a Wookiee? is not about making fun of hippies on Phish tour. It's about making fun of Star Wars geeks. By the way, the new film opens pretty soon. I might see it in Las Vegas.

Since we're talking about Star Wars, I caught this random piece in the NY Times called Latest 'Star Wars' Movie Is Quickly Politicized. Sometimes a movie is just a movie.

Donald Trump wants to rebuild the Twin Towers and rejects the Freedom Tower idea. Wow, I actually agree on something with Trump. Let's rebuild the fuckers. Of course that will make them a target once again, but so be it. I can't think of a finer tribute to people who died there than to rebuild the old towers on the exact spot.

File this one under: Only in Minnesota. Drunk Man Steals Krispy Kreme Truck is a hilarious story. Al Cant Hang is unavailable for comment.

Snatch Smuggling Ecstasy Mule was busted at the Canadian border. No wonder my last hit of E tasted like chicken and smelled like tuna.

Speaking on drug busts, did you know that drug busts means big bucks for small town America? Word to the wise... if you are driving with several pounds of dope in your car, make sure you don't speed or have working tail lights.

Outrage and Silence is sobering read from Thomas Friedman who thinks it takes help from the Sunni Arab village to stop a wave of suicide bombings happening in Iraq.

ESPN Writer Busted for DUI is a funny tale about a drunk who try to run away from police and was tasered in the process. Damn drunk sports writers!

12 Year Old Sits on 12 Pack of Bud Light to Drive Car has got to boost Bud Light sales nationwide, especially among midgets and twelve year olds.

By the way, don't piss off grandma. Another sex prank gone wrong Down Under. Be careful who you call up for a quickie.

One of my favorite college basketball players, Rex Chapman, spills the beans on the anti-interracial dating stance by Kentucky officials. Wow. This is a shocker. There's racism in a Red State? My boy Rex Chapman and some serious ups.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Last 5 Pics I Posted to My Flog

Pauly-BG IM Conversation of the Week

I'm in NYC. Boy Genius is in Michigan. This is the conversation that took place within ten minutes of waking up.
BG: okay, need a patented pauly opinion
BG: dumb idea or not
Pauly: what is your girlfriend busy or something?
Pauly: i just woke up... shoot
BG: no, she's manning the j, k, l, and semi colon keys while i type
BG: anyway - the vegas after-party
BG: dumb idea to get a few of us
BG: to print out a favorite post
BG: and read them out loud to the group?
Pauly: man, what are we freakin beatnik poets?
Pauly: we're not sipping cappacinos in a cafe in montmarte, paris
Pauly: we're in as vegas dude
BG: well, i know i've got enough cringe-worthy stuff
Pauly: wow talk about ego boosting here
BG: ego has nothing to do with it
BG: consider it scrapped
BG: no, i thought it'd be fun
BG: and it's something i'd have no problem doing personally
Pauly: i encourage u to do it, im going to be too drunk to even pay attention
Pauly: good luck getting al cant hang's short attention span to give u 90 seconds
Pauly: while he's lining up shots for everyone
Two weeks til vegas. Wow.
Blogging Tips, Canadian Chicks, and Radio Free Pauly

Are you looking on tips to improve your blog? My internet crush posted a hilarious entry called How to have a shitty blog. Some of her tips are pricless. Here's a bit:
2. make it obvious that you are ripping off other bloggers and that you are trying to always one-up them with your witty banter and personal stories that nobody cares about and you wonder why it's not working for you, this is because you exclude writing from an objective vantage point... oh and ps you're fucking boring.


7. do not lend insight or have any depth whatsoever in what you write and always state the obvious, write about things like you are the only person in the world who knows about them and go into great detail about everything you do, every place you go and so on because your readers are stupid and have never ever been to a wal-mart before and they don't know what double-dutch is because you are a fucking genius and we are not.
Raymi rocks. She tops my next "Top 5 List."
Top 5 Canadian Chicks I'd Like to Drink Moosehead With....
1. Raymi
2. Joanne
3. Elisha Cuthbert
4. Caitlin from Degrassi Jr. High
5. Margaret Atwood
Joanne is batting second and Caitlin is hitting clean up. There's something very sexy with how Canadian girls say the word, "about." Here's a nice segue. Speaking of Canadians...

Radio Free Pauly

I taped my interview with Sean on last Saturday morning for the Lord Admiral Card Club Radio Show and Podcast. If you don't know it's the best podcast dedicated to poker in the universe and it's making me a huge cult figure in Canada. Sean and Brent are working hard every week to get this done (fo free) so stop by and show your support.

You can download the MP3 of this week's show... Episode 26: Here.
You can download last week's show... Episode 25: Here.
You can read the show's notes: Here.

My segment starts at the 28:00 mark of the show and it lasts about 8.5 minutes. We talked about my prep for Vegas. Check it out! This week's show as always, features an interview with the Poker Prof. Stop by their site and down load extra nuggets.

If you want to catch up and listen to previous episodes, please visit their archives over at Brainscat. Thanks again to Sean and Stacks for having me on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nice Boots

Man, I love these boots.
Bernie Williams = Da Mang

The Yankees won thier 9th straight which means after I blog this, I shall jinx them and they'll finally lose. Bernie Williams hit a grand slam last night for another come-from-behind win. Alas, it was against the lowly Seattle Mariners. But shit, you're supposed to sweep really bad teams. It's about time the Yankees started looking like a baseball team with a group salary of $500 Billion dollars.

I cannot say enough good things about Tino Martinez. He's one of my favorite all-time Yankees and he's tied for the lead in HRs. Tino?
Three State Bender Part III: Iggy's Home Game
"Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul." - Ignatius J. Reilly
8 May 2005
Covington, Kentucky

We were back at the Behle Street Cafe in Covington, Kentucky just across the river from Cincinnati. Dirt McGirt tried to explain to the waiter that he wanted a beer in an OJ glass to chase on the side with his Bloody Mary.

"That's how they do it in Colorado."

"For fuck's sake, we're in Kentucky," I muttered as I ordered a beer.

Only a few hours earlier I found myself in a vicious game of Cornhole with money and blogger pride on the line. The rest of the late night events were fuzzy. I recalled that Weir measured a lot of things with his tape measure and that I took a piss in some alley in downtown Cincinnati, but that was it.

Mother's Day Sunday and the cafe was buzzing with mimosa drinking mom's. I called my mother early and like a good gambler, I gave my Mom cash for mother's day out of my bankroll before I left.

Daddy and I decided to go with the Mother's Day brunch special buffet. The offered up shrimp and garlic mashed potatoes and crepes among other great and tasty things. I grabbed a fist full of bacon, french toast, fresh berries, scalloped potatoes, and avoided the shrimp. I'm an incorrigible gambler but the notion of eating shrimp in Kentucky after two days of binge drinking is a serious wager on your health. I punked out and went for the fruit cup.

Iggy and Huggy Bear rented a suite at the nearby Raddison and hosted their bi-monthly home game there. The hotel is a unique circular building and is easily recognizable from downtown Covington and from the highway. They have a revolving restaurant on the top floor also filled with mimosa drinking moms. Just one floor below the good people at the Raddison rented out one of their finest suites to a group of degenerate gamblers, known drug fiends, and unsavory alcoholic thugs. Man, I was pumped to meet some of Iggy's best friends because I knew I'd fit right in.
The Players:

Seat 1: Iggy... Our host who arranged a home game on his birthday. He made us feel like rockstars during our trip to Cincinnati. What else can you say about Iggy that already hasn't been said about everyone's favorite alcoholic cut and paster?

Seat 2: GMoney... One of Iggy's long time friends and part of the original four players in Iggy's infamous home games. GMoney knows his music and saw some amazing shows in his life. He's a Deadhead and partied down at both the Reds game and the Trey concert with Daddy and myself.

Seat 3: TDubb... In one of the funniest stories ever posted on Iggy's blog, TDubb was the hero in that particular write up when he dropped the infamous hammer. He's played in a few blogger events in the past and kept the party going whenever things got a little slow.

Seat 4: Rants of a Young Mind... a fellow poker blogger and the youngster in the group. He's a proud Xavier University alum and drinks Miller Lite because that's what his favorite Nascar driver drinks. Anyone who shows up with a huge cooler filled with beer gets up a thumbs up in my book.

Seat 5: Dr. Pauly... the infamous former gynecologist turned writer stopped off for some early Sunday afternoon hijinks while on his Midwestern Tour. He was paid an ungodly sum of money by a Canadian magazine to write 1,400 words on the Donkey Fucker phenomena but would ended up submitting a rambling dissertation on Zen Buddhism and Cornhole to which his editor responded, "What the fuck is cornhole, eh?"

Seat 6: Huggy Bear... he used to live in Vegas with Iggy so knows how to influence people with tips. He paid off the bellhops and some other folks at the hotel and they left us alone all day and night. Huggy Bear is a rock and only plays top notched hands. I saw him lay down several monsters. What discipline!

Seat 7: Mr. Fabulous... Another former Vegas resident who's one of the four original regulars in Iggy's home game since the inception. He's been a guest poster to Iggy's blog and is a film geek who excels at movie reviews. He was shrugging off a wicked bender from the night before and was hitting the Jack Daniels. We partied hard at the Trey concert together twelve hours earlier.

Seat 8: Old Man River... the old guy at the table (Sheriff's dad) who eventually sharked us all. He killed the table over the last few hours and walked away the big winner.

Seat 9 (early): Dirt McGirt... the Roy Hobbs of Cornhole is a two time Indiana state champion. He's a part of Daddy's "Hey Bub" crew from Indiana. He partied hard with us in the wee hours of the morning drinking dunkels and playing cornhole.

Seat 9 (late): The Sheriff... he's the biggest guy in the room (even bigger than Daddy) and was the table captain. He kept the game going even when everyone was too wasted and not paying attention to bets. When the Sheriff spoke, everyone listened.

Seat 10: Daddy... he's the mind behind whale pussy burritos and posted the best "how to guide" in bestiality that I've ever seen. He's a machine and can knock back shiners faster than Tara Reid at happy hour. He's about to become a millionaire with his "Scripture Quote of the Day" email service.
On the rail we had UWannaBet. He was swamped with obligations especially on Mother's Day. He didn't sit in the game, but stopped by for a few beers and a few laughs. It's always cool to meet fellow bloggers who you've played online with. On Saturday mornings, UWannaBet and I sometimes killed the $25 NL tables on Party Poker. Fun times. He also participated in several of my Pauly's Pub fantasy sports pools. Good guy. Next time I'm in town, he better play with us!

The night was special because not only was it Iggy's birthday, but it also marked the five year anniversary of Iggy's home game. I felt fortunate to be a part of the rare occasion. I really wanted this write up to be one of the best I've ever written. I realize that is impossible because I took very few notes and that I could never recapture the fun no matter how many times I tried to write it. I was on vacation and vowed to live in the moment as much as possible. As it got later, I got drunker and took less and less notes.

We played no limit $100 max buyin with 25c/50c blinds. I bought in for $60 as did mostly everyone, except Iggy who bought in for $100. That's always an awful sight at the table, finding Iggy with more chips than you before you even sit down.

Here's what I was able to recapture from the few scribblings in my pad.

3:03pm EST... Dirt McGirt and Iggy were heads up. The flop: 9h-6d-4h. At some point Iggy goaded Dirt McGirt into check raising him when another 6 fell on the turn. The 5h fell on the river and Dirt was all in. Iggy flipped over pocket sixes for quads. Dirt McGirt lost his buy in and grabbed another cold one before he hit the road.

4:20pm EST... Daddy had pocket kings and was involved in the biggest pot of the game up until that point against Old Man River. Daddy got all quiet and began to perspire when he pushed all in and made Old Man River think for a few minutes about calling. He was losing his sight and the Sheriff had to call out the cards so he knew what he had. Old Man River eventually folded and Daddy let out a big sigh and said, "I'm sweating like a fat kid in a poker game."

5:12pm ST... I built up an early chip lead (see picture above!) and doubled my buy in. I hit a straight with 34o in the big blind and took down a big pot against Old Man River. TDubb and Mr. Fabulous did dial-a-shot with Al Cant Hang.

6:31pm EST... Huggy Bear was involved in one the oddest hands of the night. He's a tight player. With KK, Huggy raised preflop and got a few callers. The flop: A-Q-J. He bet, Old man River called, and GMoney reraised. Huggy Bear turned to me and said, "I need some professional advice."

I peeked at his hole cards and responded, "You've been playing with GMoney for five years. You've known him a lot longer than that."

Huggy Bear let out a deep sigh and threw his pocket kings into the muck. Old Man River had been playing loose from the second he sat down and quickly called. The turn: A. Old Man River check-called then folded on the river when another ace fell. I put George on A-something. I expected him to show quads. Instead he flipped over pocket jacks. Huggy's kings would have been good!

7:04pm EST... After losing his buy-in and taking a short break, Jeff from Rants of a Young Mind rejoined the game and dropped the Hammer. I'm glad he decided to stick around.

7:32pm EST... At some point I had Maudie, Otis, and Derek on the phone doing various dial-a-shots with Iggy. Man, it felt cool to have other bloggers call me because I was so shitfaced that I lost track of the outside world as well as cyberland. When you unplug yourself from technology for a few days and step back from the world of blogging and being an internet celebrity, you quickly lose yourself in the real world instead of plodding along the virtual entity known as the blogosphere.

8:16pm EST... We ordered a shitload of pizzas for dinner and somehow the conversation got turned to the local strip clubs. I was warned that the strip clubs were stocked with plenty of chunky dancers with C-section scars and flat tires. Daddy suggested we go to one and try to get her to come back to the room for a private show. "Dude, we'll pay them off in bacon."

9:14pm EST... Probably this was the hand of the night. Mr. Fabulous was short stacked and moved all-in on the flop of A-K-Q and two suited cards. GMoney flopped a Broadway straight with JTo and raised all in. Old Man River called with 82s. GMoney's straight held up and Mr. Fabulous was knocked out.

9:40pm EST... Daddy dropped the hammer. At the same exact time, a donkey in Hill Jack county was touched in an inappropriate manner.

11:32pm EST... Old Man River got the best of all of us over the course of the night. He saw almost every flop and called every raise with junk hands. Daddy raised preflop with JJ. The Sheriff, Old Man River, and Huggy Bear all called. The flop: 9-9-3. Daddy bet the pot. Only Old Man River called and Huggy and Sheriff dropped out. The turn: 5. Daddy bet the pot again and Old Man River called. The river was a king and Daddy bet about 50% of the pot with JJ. Old Man River called. He showed K5s. Daddy was crushed by the river and lost is buy in. The game ended shortly after that.

The big winner was Old Man River. I think I did second best with a $60 win. The game was super fun and we played for almost nine hours. Wow. It had been a long time since I sat at a poker table like that and all notion of time evaporated. Time rushed by as we were enjoying ourselves.

Besides poker, we drank a lot of alcohol and got pretty wasted. Over the course of the game, I got to chat with everyone. I spent some quality time with Mr. Fabulous and GMoney on Saturday. Seriously, Iggy's crew is made of some amazing people. I was lucky to get to meet them and catch a small glimpse of Iggy's social group. Because I sat in between Jeff and Huggy Bear, I chatted with them the most.

In the end, I say that you can tell a lot about a man by his friends. Iggy's crew is top notch and I truly felt special to be a part of an amazing weekend. The Iggy Home Game seemed to be just one of the many highlights for me as a poker blogger. I read all about it before. I'm sure some of you feel the same way about my Blue Parrot write ups... that you have to check that out sometime. That's exactly how I felt about both Daddy's Hill Jack game and Iggy's infamous home game.

The crowd thinned out and one of Iggy's good friends stopped by while TDubb hung around and we partied some more. Joe suggested we get some coneys, which are mini-hot dogs filled with chili and cheese. How could I pass up on eating a local delicacy?

Joanne called for a dail-a-shot late night. Daddy passed out around 1am. Iggy and I spent the next four plus hours drinking and talking. We both knew that we'd have very little time for one-on-one conversations when we got to Vegas. There's going to be a massive rush of bloggers wanting to talk and be around Iggy. That's why our late night chat was special. Quality conversations.

I think it's funny that whenever Iggy and I talk, he takes notes. Seriously. In Vegas on the Sunday after the blogger tournament, we all met up at Mandalay Bay's sports book to gamble on NFL games. We all got trashed and in a drunken stupor, Iggy and I spoke about some half-baked ideas we both had. On the back of a sports betting sheet, Iggy scribbled down some thoughts. He says he still has that piece of paper!

Anyway, during out late night talk in the suite he took more notes as I sipped Miller High Life. Daddy likes to call them "Hi Dogs." I wish I can say that we spoke about three or four specific things, but we didn't. We were all over the map. Iggy is an interesting dude and we had a lot to discuss including the future of our blogs. Did we reach the apex? Or is this just the foot of the mountain? Time will tell.

Just as the first break of daylight began creeping over the Kentucky Hills, I finished up my last beer of the three day bender. It was time for sleep. Iggy let us crash there in the suite, which was cool. How many times can you just pass out a few steps away from the poker table?

A few hours later, we woke up and headed to Waffle House downstairs. There are several things I miss about living in the South. Waffle House is one of them. I almost came in my pants when our cute waitress asked me if I wanted "sweat tea." Hell yes. I wanted to get in her pants too. Her name was Tabby and she looked like Julia Stiles. She told us that her old man was a preacher. In my 32 years on Earth I realized that preacher's daughters fell into one of two categories... angels or demons. I hoped she was the rebellious type and wouldn't mind being picked up by a degenerate gambler from NYC on assignment in Middle America trying to break open the case of Donkey Fuckers. She cracked a few bad jokes of her own and gave Iggy a ton of shit for not finishing his breakfast. Daddy on the other hand went to town at Waffle House. He ordered double hash browns. I went with the bacon and cheese patty melt. That's the perfect hangover food.

Before I said my good-byes to Iggy, I picked up two cartons of cigarettes. One was for Derek and the other for my lovey assistant, Jessica. Cigarettes are over $8 a pack in the big city. In Kentucky they are $20 a carton. My money goes a long way when I travel to middle America and the South.

I told Iggy I'd see him in Vegas. Daddy and I got back into his pimp mobile, the one I puked in a few days before. We were ready to leave Kentucky and Ohio and head back to Indiana. My three day bender was over.

Thanks to both Daddy and Iggy (and my friend Lori) for their hospitality. And special thanks goes out to their friends who all welcomed me like I was one of them. Despite all the red neck references, donkey fucker jokes, inbred Kentucky comments, and me railing on people because they have six teeth... I really had an awesome experience. The poker was kick ass. The Trey concert was amazing. The drinking was epic. Some of the best trips you'll take in your life are unexpected. This was one of them.