Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cool Exposure

The WSOP Press Crew: Amy, Me, Sherry, and Dan

My article about Jen Tilly winning a WSOP bracelet called Better Than an Oscar appeared on the front page of Fox Sports for at least a day. Wow. Not too shabby, eh? BG called to tell me that it was in Google News as well. That ended up being the most read peice of work that I have written to date.

Flipchip told me that I am the most single read writer at the WSOP... if you add up my poker blog, the recaps on and on Poker Player Newspaper, along with the Fox Sports articles. If youa dd the fact that Wil Wheaton linked me up along with the folks at Odd Jack... then that adds a huge readership.

I still think Flipchip is wrong... and that Nolan Dalla is read more than me... but shit the second most read writer is still pretty cool.
More Vegas Fun

I thought someone was trying to break into my apartment. I heard screaming and loud banging up against my front door. I woke up and jumped out of bed. I grabbed the first thing I could find... my laptop... and I was ready to smash it over the head of any intruder who dared entered my sanctuary. When I ran into the living room/kitchen area I didn't see anyone. I put down the laptop and grabbed an empty bottle of beer. I found a new weapon and I was prepped for a possible home invasion.

I heard another loud "Thud!" against my front door. I reluctantly peeked through the blinds and saw a black guy lying on the ground and another guy kicking and punching him. The loud noises where the guy's head getting bashed up against my front door. The noise stopped and I heard the assiliant run away. I thought about calling the front desk to complain. It was 9:04am and I had only been to sleep for a couple of hours. I picked up the phone and told the girl who answered the phone about the fight. They said they would call the police. I tried to go back to sleep. They guy who got his ass kicked had a friend who came by a few minutes later to help him up.

"I'm gotta end this shit now. I can't have people getting a beat down at my parties," he said.

And as the cop car rolled up, they disappeared. I starred at my fake stucco ceiling trying to fall back asleep. Things had been slow at the Redneck Riviera, until last night.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Las Vegas or Vegas?

I've been here for one month. I'm ready to leave.

The locals call this town: Las Vegas. I've been calling it Vegas for decades. Since I've been living here, I'm techincally a local and I've been trying to use locals' lingo. Grubby has been living here for almost a year and Iggy lived her for a good amount of time in the 1990s. They gave me the rundown about all things local.

The food situation is still a problem. I miss good pizza. I miss great Chinese food. I miss NYC diners. I miss eating a bagel. I miss Italian food.

My last few meals have been either Wendys, In & Out Burger, McD's, Subway, the 24 hr place at the Wild Wild West Casino across the street from where I live, the buffet here at the Rio, the deli at the Sports Book here at the Rio, or the sandwich line outside the poker room here at the Rio. I'm starving for some variety. Every 4th meal is a bland chicken breast sandwhich here at the Rio and I've eaten more cheeseburgers or fries this month than in the last month than all of this year.

I discovered that the small gift shop has some food items including pound cake. That's my midnight snack.
Hump Day Pimp Day: Radio Free Pauly & Other Stuff

I taped my interview with Sean on Saturday live from the Rio 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. Over the last few months, I've become a huge cult figure in Canada. I'm happy to be a part of their amazing show.

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

You can download the MP3 of this week's show... Episode 32: Here. (Right click and Save As)
You can download the MP3 of last week's show... Episode 31: Here.

We discuss the third week of WSOP action including my first attempt at a WSOP event and the odds of certain players winning the main event.

The also posted a Golden Nugget, which includes a few mini-excerpts of recordings I did while I was playing in Event #22. You can download those nuggets... Here.

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.


Pimps Up

I've had a fun time chatting with Sherry from Let's Poker. She's a poker novice and provides a fresh account of the WSOP. Check out her stuff.

Dan from Pokerati always has unique content. He's been trying his own version of a podcast. Take a peek.

Otis appears and disappears for hours on end. I assume he's hard at work on his Poker Stars Blog. One of the best things about covering the WSOP is getting to see Otis everyday.

Don't forget to take a peek at Flipchip's 2005 World Series of Poker photo gallery. Also the Poker Prof is hard at work at the vast database of 2005 World Series of Poker tournament results. I also like his WSOP Quick Stats.


Foxy Pauly

I've also been cranking out a ton of poker articles for Fox Sports. If you haven't read any of them, check them out. Here are the last few:
1. Better Than an Oscar
2. Johnny Chan Wins 10th Bracelet
3. Son Rise
4. A Guy Named Charlie
5. First Impressions
Yeah, my press badge now reads "Fox News" and I get some interesting looks from time to time. I dunno if it's impressive or intimidating. Dan and I considered crossing out what the WSOP media department wrote on our badges and adding "Playboy" or "Rolling Stone" or even "High Times" which would be a fuckin' hoot!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Actress Jen Tilly Wins WSOP Ladies Event

You can read all about the story in my article that was published in Fox Sports called: Better Than an Oscar.

Monday, June 27, 2005

WSOP iPod: Phil Hellmuth

I bumped into Phil Hellmuth a few minutes before the John Bonetti roast here at the Rio. Phil is a tough guy to get one-on-one time with. I was going to ask a few other players before Phil, but since he was their, I siezed the moment. I got up the courage and said, "Fuck it!" and stopped Phil

I asked for an interview. He seemed uninterested. I told him it was just a single question interview, specifically, "What's on you iPod?"

He was about to walk away and stopped in his tracks and perked up.

"Sure," he said.

He told me that his 15 year-old son uploaded a lot of rap and hip hop onto his iPod. He likes 1980s music and said he enjoyed some of the rap. I thought he was fucking with me but he insisted that he dug it. He also said he purchases the "Top 100 Songs" from iTunes so he can figure out what people like these days.

What's on Phil Hellmuth's iPod?
1. Jay-Z
2. 50 Cent
3. Jay-Zee with Linkin Park
4. Nirvana
5. Styx
Last 5 Professional Poker Players I took a Piss Next to...
1. Jesus Ferguson
2. Greg "Fossilman" Raymer
3. Howard Lederer
4. Paul Darden
5. Hoyt Corkins

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Happy Birthday, Boy Genius!

Today is everyone's favorite Michigan blogger's birthday! Hope it's a good one, dude.
WSOP Soundbite

Thanks to CJ for hosting this soundbite of me and Otis at the WSOP. More to come.
Recent Published Articles

Here are some things of mine thhat have been published in the last week or so:
Son Rise (Fox Sports)
Mark Seif Wins 2nd WSOP Bracelet (Poker Player Newspaper)
A Guy Named Charlie (Fox Sports)
The Mighty Quinn Strikes Gold (
Yeah and Poker Player Newspaper finally updated my photo on my bio page. Take a peek.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Random Las Vegas Tales

My apartment complex at the Redneck Riviera is an episode of COPS waiting to happen. The other night I heard a loud "Bang" and I simply assumed it was a gunshot. I rolled over and went back to sleep until I heard a follow up sound a few minutes later. It was just a rare thunder and lightening storm.

There is someone who drives around with a booming stereo in his car that rivals the sound system of a trendy club in South Beach. The rap music echoes as soon as he turns into the complex. I expected a big black guy looking like Biggie to get out of the pimp mobile. Instead, a skinny cracker who resembled a cross between Tom Green and that inbred cross-eyed kid playing the banjo from Deliverance stepped out of the car with a gold chain around his neck the size of an anaconda.

Only in Las Vegas.

Lucky for me the room next door to me at the Redneck Riviera has not been rented out yet. They are still wiping down the walls from the last tenants. It's been a slow week at my apartment complex. In the last few days, I only saw one police cruiser and was disappointed that only two crack whores solicited their damanged goods my way. Few things in this world are more sobering that crack whores in G-strings.

At the Redneck Riviera there is a pool and a spa near by. I don't go to either. The pool is cluttered with inbred kids with pot bellies and their half-baked parents who let them dive into the shallow end with the recklessness of a Hawaiian pearl diver.

The spa is much smaller and is secluded with fake rocks and palm trees. I decided to spend some more time there. Why? Because that's where the strippers hang out. I spotted Candi, one of my upstairs neighbors, sitting in the mini pool and sipping a cocktail. I stopped by to chat for a few moments. She asked me about my work at the Rio. A lot of poker players have been coming into her club. The drool was hanging off of my chin as I starred at her bowling ball sized breasts. At that moment, two kids ran into the spa area shouting, "Mommy!" Candi said she was 19 and looked it. She also had two small children.
Katie Missing

Here was an interesting story that Jenna pointed out to me: Katie's Missing Days.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Guy Named Charlie....

By now some of you have all heard that Charlie Tuttle passed away. Spaceman has a touching tribute over on his blog. I suggest you take a peek at that.

I wrote a piece on Fox Sports about Barry Greenstein winning his WSOP bracelet for Charlie. If you had not seen it yet, stop by a take a look. Charlie Tuttle has impacted more lives than you can imagine. It is hard to describe the intense feelings that I am experiencing about someone I have never met. Bad beats and personal problems all seem to evaporate when you think about what Charlie, Spaceman, and their families have been enduring. My best wishes and thoughts go out to everyone involved.

And on a personal note to Spaceman... if there's anything you need.... simply ask. I know you lost your best friend, but you have a community of your peers and friends here to help you out over the next days, weeks, and months to come. We're all here for you.
World Series of Poker Pictures

These were taken yesterday by Flipchip. Make sure you stop by and visit his World Series of Poker Photo Gallery. You can click on the photos below to enlarge them.

I found a new "Bio" photo

Jamming to some Dead at the WSOP

Shuffling some chips

A few minutes after the tourney started

You can read about what happened to me on my poker blog. Stop by to read Flipchip's recap. If you don't know, I was knocked out in 1320th place out of 2013 players and outlasted several pros like Marcel Luske and Daniel Negreanu. The total prize pool was over $2.7 million in the 3rd largest tournament ever played in WSOP history. First place is going to get $611,000! Top 200 places paid. And if I made the final table, it would have been aired on ESPN on my birthday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My First World Series of Poker Event

I never thought I'd get to play in the World Series of Poker. And here I am, ready to go fling chips around with the big boys. I'm going to be playing in my first ever WSOP event today at Noon, local time. The buy in is $1500 and 20 of my friends including my brother all chipped in and paid my entry fee. I am now entitled to give them 50% of my profits. Pretty cool, eh?

By the way, thanks to: Maudie, Al CantHang, Tanya, Derek, Briana, Otis, Senor, Iggy, Joaquin, Human Head, Obie, Joe Speaker, Wil, Spaceman, Sean & Brent from Lord Admiral Radio, Chad, Halverson, Gracie, April H., and Poker Prof & Flipchip. They all get a cut of my winnings.

My friend Felicia, who is a professional poker player, said that I was "dead money" and that's the reason she didn't want to back me. No confidence? She's right. However, she and her husband Glenn (who is a poker dealer and a solid NL player) gave me some great advice. In fact, I asked some pros about advice. A lot of what they said contradicts each other and that's part of the charm of poker... there's no set way of how to play and people's playing styles vary.

My buddy Otis played in a similar WSOP event two weeks ago and he had some tips for me. I'm sure I'll be nervous but I'm not going to be as intimidated than most newbies. I've spent over two weeks here at the Rio and I'm used to the surroundings and seeing top notch pros all over the place. I'm no longer star struck. I hope that I'll be comfortable.

My strategy is to play smart and avoid mistakes. Easier said than done right? This will be a three day event. My goal for day 1 is to make it to day 2. The final day will consist of the final table which will be aired on ESPN in September, on my birthday of all days. How about that? There is a small chance, very small, almost impossible chance that I'll make it that far. I'll have to catch a lot of cards and I'll have to play flawless poker for 12-14 hours today if I want to advance to day 2.

They are expecting about 1500 players in today's WSOP event with a prize pool of well over $2.2 million. First place should get paid over a half a million dollars. Yes, this is the biggest tournament I ever played in.

I once won a 150 person tournament on Party Poker and took 3rd in two others. But those were smaller tournaments. The two biggest tourneys I ever played in before today were both online satellites at Party Poker. One was in April 2004 and the top three finishers won a seat in the $25K World Poker Tour Championships at the Bellagio. I took 12th out of 150. In January of this year, I was trying to win a seat in the Aussie Million a.k.a. the Australian Poker Championships and the winner won a seat in event and won a prize package which include hotel & airfare for two plus spending money. I played in two of those tournaments and got my ass kicked in both. I played tentative, like a pussy, in one and the other I just didn't see any good hands.

Twelve hours from now, I'll be taking my seat at table 44 and sliding on my headphones. I'm bringing my iPod with me and can't wait to fire up some Grateful Dead during my first WSOP event. This will also be my first day off in 16 days since I started working. I'm pumped and ready!

If you want to check on my progress, I will try to update my poker blog as much as possible. However, I suggest you follow Poker Wire. The girls who run the site, Jen and Heather, promised me that they will include my name in "notable chip counts" updates (the event is #22 $1500 No Limit Hold'em), so stop by their site anytime after 3pm ET or Noon Vegas time and take a peek.

Thanks again to everyone who helped bankroll me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Dreams

Over the last few days I had two gambling related dreams. One involved me shooting craps at one of the casinos here in Las Vegas. The other involved playing Triple Draw. I'm not a good player at that game, but I wa sgambling huge sums of money.

Anywway, it's 3am and I'm still at work. I'm waiting on one of the final tables to end.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thanks Oddjack!

Oddjack pimped both me and my brother Derek today. Thanks guys! Here's what they said about me in a post called Tao of Poker Continues His WSOP Ubiquity:
One of the most fascinating stories about the WSOP so far has got to be the fact that it seems one man is completely outreporting everybody else in terms of match-recaps, anecdotal lunacy, and his own personal impressions. (aka Pauly/Tao of Poker) takes time away from his Las Vegas and Poker Blogging, his Poker Player Newspaper reporting, his own personal blog, to write a story for Fox News about his impressions after the first two weeks of the WSOP. We're assuming that he either wrote this story in the shower or while he was sleeping because it doesn't seem humanly possible for a man to churn out as much hardline information as this. Maybe he just types with his feet? Regardless, color us completely impressed.
Thanks for the pimpage again guys. I'm impressed that I impressed the Oddjack junta.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Some Ink

I've had a few of my articles published in the last week or so. Here they are:
1. WSOP: First Impressions (Fox Sports)
2. WSOP: An Amazing Second Week (Poker Magazine)
3. Reategui Runs Over the Final Table (Poker Player Newspaper)
4. T.J. Cloutier Wins Event #13 (Poker Player Newspaper)
5. T.J. Cloutier Interview (
6. Erik Seidel Wins Event #9 (Poker Player Newspaper)
I've been doing daily WSOP recaps at and don't forget to visit my 2005 World Series of Poker Live Blog. And if you like to look at pictures, make sure you visit Flip Chip's World Series of Poker Photo Gallery.

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Really Bad Vegas Day

I didn't get to sleep until 6am. I was working on a few things. If I had two days off and worked 48 straight hours, I still wouldn't catch up on all my email and other writing assignments. I'm swamped over here. I'm in the craziest city in the world and I have been to exactly zero strip clubs and have played live poker only twice for a total of three hours since I started working.

I decided that today would be a well-deserved half a day for me. I'm hitting the wall over here. I don't have an army of people helping me cover the WSOP like other organizations. It's just me, Flip Chip, and the Poker Prof. I was not scheduled to head to work until after 4pm and closer to 5pm. The plan was to go to bed early, catch up on sleep, get up early and play in a NL tournament on the Strip somewhere to prepare for my WSOP event next week. I stayed up much later than I wanted and woke up just as tired as I had been all week. Yep, I fucked up right there. What good is a half-a-day off if I don't catch up on sleep?

I called for a cab and jumped in the shower. She said 15-20 minutes so I assumed that meant 30 minutes. In NYC all I have to do is walk outside and flag down a taxi. It's pretty simple and convenient. Snagging a Vegas cab sucks donkey balls. It's against the law to flag one down in the street. You have to be at a taxi stand at a casino or call for one. Either way, you have to wait a long ass time.

I called when my cab was late. I was supposed to play at noon and figured calling one hour before would be sufficient time for them to send one over. No such luck. By the third time I called to ask where my ride was, the dispatcher told me it was still going to be 15 minutes. At this point it was 10 minutes until noon and I was standing outside waiting for a cab that never showed up. Even when I bitched at her it was my third time calling and I was going to miss a poker tournament at noon, she said "Five minutes."

The heartless cunt was fucking lying to me. I didn't call her bluff. I simply folded. Nothing more I could do so I hung up and looked for a wall to punch my fist into. Today was the first time I had off in a very long time and how did I spend it? Not playing in a casino that's for sure.

I grabbed a quick lunch at Wendy's, then wandered back to the Redneck Riviera and logged onto Party Poker using dial up. I know it sucks after being used to Wi-Fi at the Rio. I'm such a loser. I'm playing online poker in Las Vegas. I signed up for a $100 NL tournament with 210 players. I liked my chances in that field but my stack was crippled when my pocket kings ran into AJ. I finished in 161st place. Unimpressive.

Depression of the Sylvia Plath nature began to sink in. I considered turning on the oven and sealing my windows.

Laundry quickly came to mind. I'm out of clean underwear so I loaded up all my dirty clothes and headed for the laundry room. I have no detergent and figured I'd buy some from a vending machine in the laundry room. No such luck. I went to the front desk and asked them where I can score some detergent. They told me at the gas station. With my laundry flung behind my back, I walked three blocks in the hot Nevada sun to find out that the lady behind the counter at the gas station can barely speak English and has no clue what I'm looking for. I searched the aisles franticly and found nothing. I walked back to the laundry room in hopes of borrowing some detergent from my friendly neighbors. I found one overweight woman in the laundry room folding her oversized paties and told her my sad story. She offered to sell me some of her detergent for $20!

What the fuck? $20 for a cup of liquid Tide? I can score a bag of ditch weed for $20. I can get a crappy handjob from one of the crack whores in the building next door for $20. I told her, "Piss off."

I'll be wearing dirty boxers for one more day.

No sleep. No cab. No tournament win. No detergent. No clean clothes. My half a day off is ruined. Yeah, I'm having my worst day in Las Vegas since I moved here.
More Vegas Weirdness

The left handed cop had horrible handwriting. He scribbled down in his notebook a couple of things that I told him about the early morning shouting sessions and slap fights from the trouble-makers next door. Earlier this morning I was not woken up by my screaming neighbors. Instead there was a Las Vegas Metro police officer knocking loudly on my front door. He wanted the skinny on my neighbors.

"Does this have anything to do with the shooting yesterday?" I asked.

He ignored my question. I heard rumors that someone was shot in an adjacent building unit. Supposedly it was a drug deal gone bad and a trigger-happy speed freak shot up the place. His getaway vehicle was a bicycle that he stole from one of the hundreds of mullet-clad redneck kids who populated the complex. At least that what's the old lady in the wheelchair told me. Agnes lived at the end of the hall and spit sunflower seeds out her window. She had one glass eye and was the Redneck Riviera's version of the National Inquirer. She had been pumping me for information about myself. I told her nothing. Less is more. Especially in Las Vegas.

In my walk over to grab a Gatorade and a donut at the am/pm, I spotted Agnes in her usual spot. I told her about my morning wake up call from the police. That when she spilled the beans. The guy next door to me beat the shit out of one of his girlfriend's kids. This all went down while I was covering the Pot-Limit Hold'em final table yesterday afternoon. When the girlfriend confronted him, he wigged out and broke her jaw. He quickly took off by stealing her car. He hasn't been seen since. On my way back to my room I noticed that two maids and the assistant manager were cleaning out the room. They were hauling out garbage in several huge trash bags and wiping down the walls.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

WSOP iPod: Clonie Gowen

I'll be posting a new feature on my blogs called: WSOP iPod. A lot of poker players listen to music while at the table, especially during lengthy tournaments. I decided that I was going to ask different pros what they were listening to.

First up is Clonie Gowen. When I asked her about her iPod two days ago, she said she didn't own one. The one I saw her with was borrowed her boyfriend. However, she assured me that she was going to buy one the very next day. Sure enough when I spotted her on Wednesday, she had her brand new iPod... pink of course. I tracked her down and asked her to tell me what show me what she was listening to. She likes to listen to a lot of oldies.

What's on Clonie's iPod?
1. The Drifters
2. Guns and Roses
3. Eagles
4. The Supremes
6. Aretha Franklin
7. Bob Dylan
8. Brooks & Dunn
9. Toby Keith
10. Van Morrison
11. The Rolling Stones

Check back soon for the next installment of WSOP iPod.
More Vegas Insanity

"I hope you have a weapon," he said with a grim look on his face.

I had been chatting with a poker dealer at the Rio while he was on a cigarette break in the hallway. When I told him about where I had been living, he quickly told me that he too experienced life at the Redneck Riviera. He lived there for two years while he dealt poker at a casino on the Strip.

"Don't leave anything lying around, especially cash. My roommate was robbed twice."

He suggested that most of the robberies in Las Vegas were inside jobs and that I needed to be careful especially if the poorly organized ring of thieves decided that I have something worth stealing. You see Las Vegas is made up of two distinct groups of people; tourists and locals. The locals are divided into three groups of people; professional gamblers, professional losers, and service industry workers.

It's the losers that are desperate and are willing to take any shortcut to get what they want. If they were really hard working folks, they'd wouldn't be broke all the time and could have found monetary success at other ventures in life. Since they bought into the Las Vegas dream and relied upon gambling (mostly at -EV games) as their sole source of income, 99.9% of those degenerate, life-long losers were harshly kicked to the curb by the reality of living in this town. The result was that all of their morals and ethics wilted in the sizzling Nevada sun. What you have left are hordes of empty souls that will smash a brick over the head of an old lady to steal her last $20. Most of those lost souls live in my building complex.

That's why the poker dealer suggested I pick up a weapon. He even recommend a place where I can buy a gun. Just another day at the Reneck Riviera.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ranodm Vegas Picture Dump

These were either taken by Dan or Flip Chip.

I'm in love with Isabelle. She's from Paris.

Stacking up chips in a satellite two days ago.

Cyndy Violette's lucky charms at the final table... she came in 2nd

One year ago, my poker blog was getting about 2,000 hits a week. During my coverage of the WSOP, I'm getting 2,000 per day and it's increasing everyday. It has doubled since June 1. Unreal, eh? The Tao of Pauly traffic has increased by three times since last year at this time. I've gotten some spillover traffic here but not as much as I'd like. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Pauly Poker

Dan from Pokerati has an interesting post up on his blog which includes action photos of me playing yesterday! Take a peek.
Marcel and a Guy Named Charlie

I never met Charlie. He's best friends with my friend Spaceman. My only real connection with Charlie was issuing him a wicked bad beat in a WPBT online tournament several months ago. It was the infamous hand where I cracked both AA and KK with 27o, aka The Hammer. He was a good sport about the entire thing and said he felt honored to have been on that end of a bad beat from me. Charlie's been battling cancer over the past year and over the weekend he was hospitalized. Two tumors in his lung were pressing up against his heart. I don't have to tell you how serious his condition is.

Charlie's favorite poker player is Marcel Luske. Great choice. Over the weekend, Spaceman asked me and the Poker Prof is we could get Marcel to call Charlie. He knew that a phone call from Marcel would lift his spirits. Flipchip is chummy with Marcel so he was on a mission to find him. When Marcel was finally tracked down, I ran outside in the hallway while dialing Charlie's mom's cellphone. I was in the middle of covering the final table of one of the WSOP events, but getting Charlie on the phone with Marcel seemed to be the most important thing in the world to me at that time. Charlie's Mom handed the phone to Charlie who was lying in his hospital bed. I spoke for three seconds and told him that Marcel wanted to say a few words with him. I handed Marcel my phone and he walked away down the hall. They spoke for 10 minutes while I bolted back to the final table for my live blogging duties.

Afterwards, Spaceman said that Charlie was laughing for the first time in ages. When Marcel returned my phone I was overwhelmed with emotion. I had to step away for a few minutes to collect myself. I couldn't stop from thinking how awful Charlie must have been felt and the intense pain he's been enduring. I was also blown away by how amazing a person Marcel was to take time out of his busy schedule to speak to Charlie. In that swift moment, Marcel jumped to the top of the list of my favorite professional poker players, heck Marcel jumped to the top of my list of my favorite people... all time. Yesterday, while in the middle of a tournament, Marcel even stopped to ask how Charlie's been doing.

Spaceman is trying to give me credit for making this happen. I cannot accept any of that. All I did was dial the number. Marcel and Charlie should get all the credit and respect.

You might hear a lot of bad things about gamblers and poker players. Las Vegas is a dark city where evil lurks behind every turn of the card. That's why it's refreshing to see a random act of goodness ripple through the cosmos. From the Nevada desert to a hospital room in Tennessee, karmic payback is coming Marcel's way. And the good news is that Charlie is doing a lot better and he can be transferred to a hospital closer to home.

Charlie was shortstacked and it looks like he just doubled up.
More Vegas Thoughts... The Reneck Riviera

I've been covering the WSOP for a week straight without any days off. The schedule is brutal and the work load is like getting kicked in the junk every few hours. At least I have my apartment complex to keep my mind off of poker during what little time I have away from the Rio.

I've lived in some sketchy areas in my life. My flat in Las Vegas certainly is not the worst place where I've shacked up, but I really have to be alert when I'm walking around at odd hours. I'm afraid that I might shanked by a shirtless tweaker on my way to the am/pm to buy a Gatorade.

I decided that I want to get to know the miscreants that live in my building unit. After all, they are people too. They are simply misguided souls, which directly stems from unhappy childhoods. Besides, you never know when you might have the urge to score some Oxycontin. I hear that Julio upstairs gets the best shit, at least that's what I overheard last night.

The Redneck Riviera is broken down in 12 buildings. The architects designate letters to differentiate each unit. I live in building "F" and yes, F is for freaks. The family two doors down leaves their door wide open. Usually six kids dressed only in their underwear are arguing and wrestling each over videogames, while their Mom chain smokes a pack of Reds and pisses away her alimony checks at the Monte Carlo's slot machines. I call room 1071 "Michael Jackson's wet dream."

I forgot to tell you about all the random animals that people let roam around outside... dogs, cats, and even small sun-burnt children running around without shoes. I'd like to take pictures of this insanity, but I'd make myself a target. I'm afraid I'd never wake up and the local authorities will find my throat slashed with my iPod and WSOP press badge traded for a hand job behind Wendy's by one of the many skeevy crack whores that work Tropicana Road after midnight.

Monday, June 13, 2005

WSOP Photo Gallery

Take a peek at my personal WSOP photo gallery.

I think I have been neglecting the Tao of Pauly. My poker blog's traffic doubled in the last week due to my intense World Series of Poker coverage. Some of that traffic is spilling over here, but not as much as I hoped. Anyway, I guess I should just ramble on a bit about what life is like living in Las Vegas.

I miss NYC. The food especially. I miss diners. I miss Chinese food. I miss real pizza. I have to spend $4 a slice here at the Rio casino where I work, and it sucks. I've been eating a lot of fast food. I eat Wendy's a ton. Probably because it's my favorite fast food joint and I never get to eat it in NYC. There's an In & Out burger within walking distance and I'm positive I'll grab some early int he week. I'm really jonesin' for Italian food as well. I have a kitchen in my apartment, but I'm too lazy to cook. Plus there are no pots and pans. Alas, it's fast food and whatever they serve at the Rio.

I've seen a few non-poker celebrities the last few days. Tobey Maguire has been spotted and even cashed in one event. James Woods is playing like every single tournament. I even spotted Jen Tilly. She's dating Phil "Unabomber" Laak, who's a poker player. I'm waiting for some other Hollyweird freaks to show up. That doesn't include Wil. He's not a freak, just a geek.

Thanks again to Wil who linked me up last week. I've been getting some good feedback about my coverage. It's hard ass work and I'm using my dinner break to blog on my main blog. That's how busy I've been.

I'm meeting and bonding with my fellow media types. Some of them are cool. One guy is a fellow blogger, Dan from Pokerati. He's from Texas and I don't hold that against him. He's chummy with Clonie Gowan, so I've been really nice to him so I can get an interview with Clonie. Just kidding. Dan's a cool guy and we went out to party together last night. I've been working so hard that I have zero time to party or play cards.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Spider Man at the World Series

Flipchip took a photo of Tobey Maguire playing in a WSOP event last night. He ended up in 54th place and made the money. Take a peek.
Saturday Thoughts

"Are you one of them dealers on the World Poker Tour?" one of the guys shouted at me as locked up my front door to go to work yesterday.

He lazily stood in the middle of a gaggle of disheveled rednecks and spoke with a slight drawl. He noticed that Flip Chip and I were wearing all black and had badges dangling around our necks. It was a valid question. We looked like we could have been dealers. We wear black clothing during all final table events that are taped on TV as per requests of the production crew. I was impressed with my neighbor's keen observation skills.

Note to self: Never underestimate the intelligence of people with less than nine teeth.

Ah, who the hell am I kidding? He's a shirtless inbred nitwit who drinks Mike's Hard Lemonade for breakfast. His beer gut hung over his waistband by three and a half inches and he happily sported a tattoo that read "Fuck Osamma" on his left arm. I wanted to point out the spelling error but I was in a rush. I wondered if in a dark cave somewhere in Western Pakistan, there was an Al Qaeda fighter who had a tattoo that read "Fuck Billy Boob!"

Yesterday was an insane day where I found myself covering three different tournaments and two final tables. I was up until 7am writing different recaps and articles. Flip Chip shot 1Gbs worth of photos for the 2005 WSOP Photo Gallery. I also had to get up by noon to tape an interview with Sean for the Lord Admiral Card Club poker podcast. I'm swamped with work and I seriously need an intern.

Moving on... back to the Rio.

I consider the poker room at the Rio "my office." In my life I have worked in some pretty historic places and I can add the Rio to that list. For my first job on Wall Street, I worked on the trading floor of the New York Commodities Exchange, which used to be located on the 8th floor of the World Trade Center. I also worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. talk how two famous institutions. Alas, both jobs seemed like lifetimes ago. Today, my day job is at the Rio along with hundreds and thousands of seasoned professionals who are all gunning for a shot at a WSOP bracelet.

I wish I was in their seats flinging chips around instead of being the monkey on the laptop in the corner writing about bad beats and chip counts. I can't. I'm not a strong enough player and I have to work. But hey, I can't complain. I'm getting paid the big bucks to write everyday and blog live from the floor of the Rio plus I get free accommodations at the lovely Red Neck Riviera.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Thanks Wil!

Quick thanks to Wil Wheaton who linked me up today. He's been hanging on my every word. Thanks, man! And thanks to all my fellow bloggers who have been mentioning us on their blogs, specifically my live WSOP blogging, Poker Prof's 2005 WSOP Tournament News, and Flip Chip's 2005 World Series of Poker Photo Gallery. It is much appreciated by all of us. Thanks again.

Also, the cool folks over at have been mentioning us all week long. Thanks to those guys too.
Friday in Vegas

Yesterday on my poker blog, I opened up with this comment:
It's Thursday but I really wouldn't know it. I have lost all concept of time. Living in Vegas does that to you. Did I happen to mention that I'm positive that I have a drug dealer and a hooker living a few doors down? I wonder if I can get a package deal?

I also have a white trash family of 18 living in a one bedroom apartment next door to me. Every morning at 10am is "Red Neck Family Hour" in my complex, which is complete with drunken arguments, a slap fight, and several malnourished kids running rampant in front of my window. Yeah, my apartment is in a flavorful place. I have this freaky feeling that someone's homemade meth lab in the adjacent building unit is going to blow up and all my WSOP notes will be destroyed.
I left the Rio before sun up last night. Weeeeee! I've been logging some long ass nights. I haven't played any poker since this weekend when my only highlight was when I cashed in a tournament at the Plaza. I was worried when I took this job covering the WSOP that I'd be out at all hours boozing hard and playing poker until my bankroll evaporated. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time.

Yesterday, I played some poker in a casino. It was my first session as a "local." I played NL and lost $35. I should have dropped more, but the players are so bad that I got away with a few mistakes. Tourists are the ultimate fish. Their skill level is far from the pros I get to see everyday. The short day on Thursday allowed me to get a chance to write for myself, talk to my brother, and catch up on well-needed sleep.

Whenever I arrive to work, I always recant the sordid tales from my apartment complex that went down the previous night. One of my fellow writers at the WSOP, Jay Greenspan mentioned me, "Doc, get the hell out of there!"

He's lucky and gets to stay at the Rio for free. He told me about the chicks commingling at the pool. Smoking. Hot. Damn. I have to stop by and do a little drooling. Jay's the man. Go read his kick ass reports over at Poker Wire. He has first class accommodations at the Rio while I'm staying at the Red Neck Riviera, which I'm positive I saw on a previous episode of COPS. You know the episode I'm talking about, the one where the naked guy sprints through the parking lot and a cop the size of Mean Joe Green tackles him to the pavement.

I can't leave my apartment. I dig it. Lots of material for me. Plus, I found out there are a couple of strippers who live upstairs. Last night, I was about to introduce myself before they got into a fight in front of my door.
"Why didn't you fuckin' wait for me?" one yelled.

"I didn't know you wanted me to?"

"Stupid bitch! I told you when we were in the bathroom!"

"No you didn't. You're fucked up!"

"Fuck you, bitch."

"You always get fucked up and think you said things when you didn't!"

"Shut the fuck up or I'll drag your ass down the stairs."
I would have paid big bucks to see that! Anyway, big day of work for me today. I have to cover two final tables. And yes, Derek warned me, but I'm eating a ton of fast food. I've done Wendy's twice, In & Out Burger once, and Quizno's once.

By the way... for complete WSOP coverage... you need to visit these link:

NEW! World Series of Poker News
NEW! 2005 World Series of Poker Photo Gallery
NEW! 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament Results

That's it for now. See ya!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Some Published Articles

I've had a couple of things published on Poker Player Newspaper. Here they are:
WSOP Event #6
WSOP Coverage on the Internet
WSOP Event #5
WSOp Event #4
So far the last three winners of events have been amazing stories. Efro is a 21 year-old who dropped out of college to play poker full time. Pat Poels quit his job, at the encouragement of his wife, to play poker full time. And last night's winner, Isaac G was the happiest winner I came across.

I got a little more sleep last night. I had dinner at Carnegie Deli in the Mirage Casino with Flip Chip and his wife. I'm off to go play a littlepoker before I have to work today. Yes, this is the first time I'll be able to gamble since Sunday.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vegas Vegas Vegas

Man, I logged over 26 hours of work at the Rio the last two days. I'm fuckin' beat. I live at the Budget Suites on the ground floor and there's a white trash family next door. It seems like they have 18 people living in a one bedroom suite.

I go to bed around 7am every morning. At 11am it's "Redneck Family Hour" and they are hootin' & hollerin' and kids running amuck outside my door. It's really frustrating. I might have to request a new apartment because the lack of sleep is driving me insane and it's hurting my writing skills.

I swear there's either a drug dealer or hooker living a few doors down. Every twenty-five minutes or so there's a knock on their door. This goes on at all hours. At least I get HBO and ESPNews.

Grubby was right... locals don't get any sleep in Vegas either.

When I get home, it's very cool. When I get up it's blistering hot. I've been eating a lot of fast food the last few days. Today it was Wendy's homestyle chicken strips.

At the Rio, I get free drinks in the media room. If I get them from the "cocktail staff" on the floor then I have to tip them $1. The media room does not have Red Bull, so I have to flag down one of the servers. I've prided myself on not drinking coffee or Red Bull to get by, but for fucks sake, once 2am rolls around, I'm jonesin' for a pick me up.

I'm not gonna complain. After drinking fluids steadily for 12+ hours I have to piss every 30 minutes. At least I'm only spending $1 in drinks. The food at the Rio is overpriced. $5 for a slice of pizza. $5 for cheeseburgers. $2 for big ass cookies. I guess it could have been worse.

I've been getting a lot of compliments on my write ups so far. Funny thing is that I'm writing them at the end of the work day, usually at 6am and I'm exhausted. When I get up I reread my work and I shake my head. I could do a much better job but due to time constraints and to outdo the competition, I have to get as much info out as quickly as possible.

I have not had a sip of alcohol since late Sunday night. I also haven't gambled since then as well. I thought I'd be boozin and gambling all the time. Right now, all I want to do is sleep for a week straight. How am I gonna feel in a few weeks?

I've been meeting a slew of professional poker players. Yesterday's highlight was meeting WPT announcer Mike Sexton. I also was sitting next to Andy Bloch in media row for a couple of hours. His fiancee works for Poker Wire and we're usually in the same area. They're both pretty cool.

I'm slowly getting chummy with the media folks covering the WSOP for other organizations. You seem to bond late night especially since these events are running until morning. I have an advantage right now being one of the few people covering every event. Hopefully this will pay off by the time the main event rolls around.

That's it for now. I have to shower and write some more before I head off to work at 2pm today. I'm expecting that the final table will be over by Midnight so I can sneak off and get some sleep and work on a few other articles.

So far Vegas is kicking my ass but the experience has been overwhelming.

Visit Poker Player Newspaper for my WSOP recaps. By the way, both of the above photos were taken by Flip Chip and appear in the 2005 World Series of Poker Photo Gallery.
Live Blogging from the World Series of Poker

If you don't know by now, I have been sitting a few feet from the final table of the WSOP doing real-time live blogging updates on the Tao of Poker. Take a peek at my hard work. There's also a pic of me in the World Series of Poker Photo Gallery.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Random Vegas Pic Dump

Here are some random pictures.

Behind the scenes: ESPN taping the final table, my view from press row.

This stuff always makes me laugh!

The Media Room at the WSOP. Wi-fi + free water = Happy Pauly

My Apartment

Hanging with Otis and Bill aka WPBT Vegas Champion

Pauly with Mr. and Mrs. Head

Me & Felicia

Spaceman & Al Cant Hang

Chris Halverson, Flip Chip, and Spaceman took the last four pics.
Recent Articles and Radio Free Pauly

Feel free to read my articles about last night's WSOP event on Poker Player Newspaper and

I taped my interview with Sean on Saturday aternoon during the poker bloggers event 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. I'm happy to be a part of their amazing entity.

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

You can download the MP3 of this week's show... Episode 29: Here.
You can download last week's show... Episode 28: Here.

I was very drunk on this week's episode. I had gotten knoced out of the tournament and headed for the bar with Al Cant Hang and Little Willie.

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.
Happy Birthday Molly!

Today is Molly's birthday! Stop by her blog and send her some b-day greetings!
After Midnight: First Thoughts About My New Job

I'm exhausted. A four day bender in Vegas with seasoned alcoholics was probably not the best thing for me immediately before I begin a job with no days off for the next six weeks.

I moved into my apartment this afternoon. I'm staying at the Budget Suites just a few blocks west of The Strip. I'm a few blocks away from The Orleans casino. I live walking distance from a Wendy's and an In and Out Burger. I'm pretty excited. There are no Wendy's where I used to live in NYC.

Having a media pass is pretty fuckin' cool. I have access to so many areas that the normal public does not have. I've already met a dozen pros. For you non-poker enthusiasts, imagine you being able to be able to walk up to talk to your favorite baseball player or your favorite actor while they are working.

The Rio has set up Wi-Fi internet access and I can blog and surf websites during my down time. In fact, I have my computer set up a few feet away from where ESPN is taping the "final table" of this particular tournament. There's a heavily armed security guard standing over the cash prize money a few feet away from me.

It's amazing to think how much cash is in this huge ballroom. I tried to figure out exactly the average cash stash in the pockets of all the players combined.

Derek stopped by the Rio to say good-bye before he caught his flight home. He sat in the stands for a little bit and watched the final table. During one of his breaks he mentioned that he noticed I was "working pretty hard."

I'm on a break now. There are four players left at this final table and I took some time to jot down these thoughts about my first day on the job.

Monday, June 06, 2005

First WSOP Live Update: Event #4 Limit and Event #5 Omaha Hi/Lo

Wow, I'm sitting in the media room at the Rio. I finally met Amy Calistri, who works for Poker Pages. She's a big fan of my blogs. She just introduced me to Lou Krieger. I called him "Mr. Krieger" and he said, "What's this Mr. stuff?"

If you don't know, Allen Cunnigham beat out Scott Fischman to win Event #2 late last night to win the $1500 NL event. Check out Poker Player Newspaper for more info.

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

Updates: I watched Lou Krieger get KO'd out of the Omaha event. He's a nice guy and said he'd be available for an interview later this week. This is the only event he's playing in until July.

I'm in the media room hanging out with Dan from Pokerati and we're talking shop. Glad he's here to shoot the shit with. Can't wait for Otis to arrive!

Chatted with Nolan Dalla about the Stu Ungar book. He's a great guy and a damn good writer. Bumped into Jay Greenspan and we chatted about his upcoming book. I saw Scotty Nguyen fixing his hair in the bathroom.

"What's up Scotty?" I said.

"What's up, Baby?!" he replied.
Vegas Updates: Late Night Suite SNGs and Sunday Mayhem
"I'm the only one on this room who actually works." - Derek to me, Grubby, Iggy, and the Poker Geek
I watched the sun rise for the fourth consecutive day as it slowly crept over the mountains. We played a few SNGs in our swanky suite late night Saturday/early Sunday morning. The first one was a six-handed. The second one was nine-handed and lasted 3.5 hours!
Suite SNG #1
Seat 1: Human Head
Seat 2: Chris Halverson
Seat 3: Pauly
Seat 4: Derek
Seat 5: Mrs. Head
Seat 6: Spaceman
Spaceman and Derek chopped. I was the first one KO'd, by Derek of all people. We hosted a late night SNG which took forever, Halverson was hitting the SoCo very hard and we were all pretty trashed.
Suite SNG #2
Seat 1: Iggy
Seat 2: Gracie
Seat 3: Halverson
Seat 4: Chad
Seat 5: Spaceman
Seat 6: Pablo
Seat 7: Pauly
Seat 8: Derek
Seat 9: Maudie
The best part was having Drizz hang out and play Full Tilt on my laptop! During a rare lull in the conversation during the game, I heard Drizz bark at the computer screen, "Why the fuck are you calling my raise?" Maudie came from behind to take down Iggy while the Poker Geek played a $20 SNG on my laptop.

On Sunday we played in the noon tourney. We all had pieces of the Poker Geek. Bobby Bracelet, Derek, BG, Spaceman, and myself each backed the Geek in the tourney. He took 9th place and made the final table, only to miss the money by two places.... As sucked out by A2. Read his blog later for the sordid details. He knocked me out when my 66 lost to Geek's AK when he caught an ace on the river. Drizz bought 20% of my action. Too bad I couldn't cash in my second ever Plaza tourney. Derek blew a huge chip lead early and was KOd as well. BG's friend Nate took first place in an impressive effort.

The rest of the afternoon included blackjack, craps with Joaquin, a few bets on the ponies, and more poker included dealer's choice mixed games. The Fat Guy refused to play.

Here are some random pics including the lovely Mrs.Royal who "fell asleep" on the rail watching Royal play.

Mrs. Royal "sleeping" while Royal played at the Plaza.

Metal Head Bloggers.

Derek and Maudie during the Suite SNG

Shots of SoCo

Poker Geek passed out on my couch.

Well that's it for now. Thanks to CJ for organizing the event and special thanks to everyone for showing up. It was truly one of the highlights of my blogging career to be a part of this amazing weekend. Shit, I got to meet a bunch of Canadian bloggers. Pretty cool, eh? I'm sure I'll post some more trip reports in the future.

I must say one last thing... the blogger wives were a cool bunch of folks. Shit, those chicks can sure party. Very impressed with them.

I have to crash now. I start my first day of work in a few hours. Most of the bloggers have already left and the few remaining are bailing soon. Not me. I get to stay behind. I guess I'm finally a local. Expect one of my next updates to be full of WSOP content.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

From Gigli to WPBT Champion

Congrats to Bill Rini. Just two days ago, Bill was passed out in my room and now he's the next champion on the WPBT. He beat CJ heads up to win it all. I'll have more specific tourney recaps later. I came in 45th place when my TT were cracked Chad's 99. I put a wicked bad beat on Chris Halverson when my AK beat his KK.

But for now, check out this photo gallery and pay special attention to Mrs. Otis hanging in our suite with a bottle of SoCo. I never thought I'd hear a fine southern woman utter the word super cunt twice inside of thirty seconds. She was cracking me up with her advice on women and her thougths on Otis' gambling.

"Roll them dice, Otis! It's soooo hot!"

Al and the Fat Guy playing video poker

My Bounty courtesy of Al Cant Hang

Poker Geek minus the light saber.

Miss T74's card cappers

The Poker Prof moves all in...

Joaquin flexes while Spaceman calculates pot odds

Flip Chip in action

The Final Two: G-Vegas vs. LA

The New Gigli

Al does a huge shot.

Bobby Bracelet's shirt

Al wears Heather's tiara
Stay tuned for more updates.

Update #1: Currently turning a six person SNG in our suite with Derek, Halverson, Spaceman, Human Head and Mrs. Head. Derek knocked me out when I slowplayed top pair. He slowplayed a set and I was knocked out.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Vegas Update 3: WSOP Event # 2 and Other Things Degenerates Do in Vegas at 4am

First of all, I made the money in a tourney today. I took fourth place at the noon NL tourney at the Plaza. Buy in was $110 and I made the final table with Maudie, Bad Blood, and Mrs. Blood. Wait, did you say Mrs. Blood? Yes, I did. She was running all over her table and was talking smack to me! She played great and I was very impressed with her skills. Bad Blood taught her well.

I think I knocked out Bad Blood. It's 4am, I'm shitfaced, and I'm too lazy too look at my notes. Who cares about hand histories anyway? Drizz and G Rob also played. I had Joaquin, HDouble, and AlCant Hang on the rail along with Maudie and the Bloods cheering me on to my 4th place victory.

Felicia and Glenn drove us over to the Rio. I picked up my press credentials and we sweated the bloggers who were supposed to play. HDouble and the Poker Nerd were both shut out and were not registered in time.

Everyone else was knocked out, but I don't know what happened to Russell Fox and if he made the cut. I heard that Easy Cure was knocked down to just a $25 chip on the second hand when his KK ran into AA. Joe Speaker's Hiltons could not hold up a against his favorite hand: AJ. Wes didn't last too long either. Bobby Bracelet's 88 lost. Otis lasted until past 7pm. He was KO'd with a short stack and AK when he didn't win a coin flip against pocket tens.

I found Flip Chip and he showed me the media area where I can get free wi-fi access and free drinks. Flip Chip snapped a great picture of Evelyn Ng. Speaking of which, Derek saw Evelyn Ng crack AA! She read a magazine at the table for most of the time I stalked her.

I caught glimpses of Greg Raymer and Phil Hellmuth. Derek almost knocked over Greg Raymer by accident. I also randomly bumped into my friend, NYC Poker Babe. Daniel Negreanu was knocked out before the first level.

Afterwards we all hit the Excalibur's poker room. About thirty or so bloggers were there. After today's tournament cash and a decent win at Excalibur, I'm up for the trip. I got to play with Derek, -EV, StB, Austin Drunks, Bob, Maudie, and Chad. I met the Poker Geek and JP for the first time. I finally put faces to the April sisters. Derek hit quad 4s. Oh, and the Poker Geek wore a shirt that said, "I am blogging this."

Here are some random pictures:

-EV does a Hellmuthian imitation.

I got chills when I first saw this banner.

In mid-flex, Bad blood watches Otis.

The logo is on the felt of every table.

BAO = Bad Ass Otis

This will be my office the next six weeks.

Damn, I still gonna party until sunrise and we have the tourney starting in less than five hours.