"Until writing was invented, man lived in acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion..." - Marshall McLuhanThursday is the dump day for the Tao of Poker, where I just ramble on about a bunch of different topics. Somethings are actually about poker.
Congrats to Lord Geznikor. He's back to blogging regularly. He's departed the dreaded Blog Purgatory and is on my blogroll again. Make sure you read all about how he was fired for playing poker at his job. Welcome back, dude.
Also, congrats to Otis for his new gig blogging for the European Poker Tour. I've said it before and I'll say it again. He is, always was, and always will be... the man. Need an assistant, man?
If there was one post that I think you should read right now, it's about downsings and titled Morning in -EV's Poker World. It's a well written post by -EV and he touches on three interesting topics such as bonus whoring, Poker Tracker, and self restraint. Don't miss it. Good job, -EV.
HDouble gets a mentioning for his running series on HDouble at the Movies. This time it's Rocky, which is one of my favorite movies.
Ah, despite all the problems with a major fire in the subway over the weekend, Riding the F Train has a noteworthy post called Betting the River. Unfortunately, there are no theories posted on who or what caused the big subway fire. Hmmmm.....
Now, take a deep break and get ready for a rant.
With all the new poker blogs out there, I was concerned about the quality of poker writing dropping off since only a handful of the newbies struck me as people who had a knack for writing well. And if you just started a blog and think I am talking about you specifically... don't take it personally. Don't let me discourage you. It took me almost six months before I figured out what my poker blog was all about... and I had been blogging regularly for almost three years on two different blogs. It takes a while for your blog to mature. Let it. I'm trying to encourage you to write better and become a better blogger. I'll save all my tips and suggestions for a future post.
However, I also had to step back and question myself... Why do I read so many poker blogs? When in all honesty, a majority of them are poorly written or nothing more than vanity projects and shill sites. I was thinking about this subject weeks before the "poker blogs are gay" post on 2+2. I am spending too much time on the internet as is and I must curtail my blog reading to preserve my sanity. Sorry folks. I have to cut back and I will not be reading every single blog on my blogroll like I used to do once a week. I'm wasting my efforts and spreading myself thin. I want to devote what little time I have to some of better writers (not just poker) out there. And because you play high limits or because you are a winning player.... does not cut the mustard for me anymore. If you are crushing the tables on Party Poker or in Vegas and are unable to write about it on the most basic level... I have to skip over your blog. Besides, some of the best written and most intelligent blogs are from low limit or beginning players.
I'm sure I'm going to get flamed as a poker blog snob and trashing blogs written by non-writers. So be it. If you do think that, you are totally missing the point. I am a writer first. If anything, I'm being a literary snob.
I have abandoned the standards that I set forth as a reader. I am attempting to regain that back and at the same time, solve a serious problem I've been having with my hectic schedule. In the future, I will be reading poker blogs based on the quality of writing and not based on the overall content regardless if you have been blogging for six years or six days. If I didn't fork over $10 to see Legally Blonde 2, why should I waste five hours a week taking the time visiting every blog on my blogroll?
Bottom line... if you start writing better and say something intelligent or funny, then I'll find the time to read your blog.
I am not asking you to be Dostoevsky... but please attempt to be original and prove to me you can write... at the least, on a sixth grade level. Writing is a craft and you have to work on it. I understand that people have work, family, health problems, and other forms of emotional baggage out there which prevents them form devoting time to their blogs. That's the way life works. But if you don't have the time to work on improving yourself as a writer, then I simply don't have the time for your blog.
I've done my best to support all of my fellow poker bloggers by reading their thoughts on poker. With ten new blogs popping up everyday, I don't have the time to do it anymore. Again, I apologize. I will say this... thanks for your effort, I'll still link you up, and good luck at the tables.
Upcoming Blogger Events
I wish I could make it LA this weekend! Sounds like it's going to be fun. It was nine degrees this morning so the Southern California sun would feel awesome right now. I'll have to settle for watching The OC instead.
Don't forget about the next stop on the WPBT... next Wednesday at 9pm EST on PokerStars. It's a $20 buy-in and is open to bloggers and readers. Stay tuned for information on the upcoming Hilton Sisters Challenge.
A quick update on the NYC WPBT event... we have 10 confirmed players and are ready for the Blue Parrot Invitational which will take place on Saturday Feb. 5th. Derek, Signor Ferrari, Coach, Ugarte, Mas, F Train, Toby, Monte Christo, Joaquin, and myself... will all be in attendance. More details to follow.
Tao Reader Mail
Since this bit from last week was such a big hit, here's another installment. I dipped into my mail bag and picked out a few.
Dear Dr. Pauly,
I enjoy reading your blog along with all the other poker bloggers out there. My company recently firewalled gambling sites and blogs. I am unable to read your blogs at work. By the time I get home from work either my wife or kids have hijacked the computer. What little time I have I am playing online and am unable to read all my favorite blogs. What should I do?
It sucks to be you. Looks like your work productivity might actually increase instead of scouring the internet for pictures of Scarlet Johansen naked or leaving not-so-funny comments on my friends' poker blogs. Just kidding, Jack. I'm flattered that you would hit up my sites for mid-afternoon work entertainment. I hate to pimp bloglines.com, but I have to in your case since so many of my friends have been mentioning that their companies have been blocking blogspot addresses and anything with gambling content. I personally prefer to use bloglines to monitor all the news feeds and articles but some folks use it exclusively for blogs. You will have no problem reading my blog via bloglines... however, I'd prefer you to visit my site when you can. You can't comment via bloglines and my site looks cooler than in your bloglines folder.
Thanks for reading,
I was wondering if you could take me to those illegal card rooms in the city, just like the one in Rounders?
I get that same question emailed to me twenty times a week. My answer is always the same, "I do not play, nor do I endorse playing in an illegal card rooms in New York City." Hypothetically speaking, if I did play in one of those rooms, I would never just take someone there that I met off the internet. You could be a cop, or a robber, or worse... an undercover reporter for Action 9 News in Secaucus looking to get the big scoop on big city poker rooms. I don't wanna be dumped into the East River with cement blocks tied to my ankles after having my testicles gnawed at by a starving ferret because I vouched for someone I didn't know. Plus, if I hypothetically played in any of those rooms, I would never, ever want anyone else there know that I have a poker blog and play as much as I do. And lastly, if I hypothetically played in any of said rooms, I would never write about it on my blog. In fact I never should have brought up the subject.
Thanks for reading,
Hello Dr. Pauly,
The guys in my home game are big fans of your blog up here in Toronto. We also like Elisha Cuthbert as well. She's hot. I'm sorry she lost. I have a question for you. Which would be a better place to visit? Atlantic City or Foxwoods?
Foxwoods is the largest casino in America. It's pretty cool but you are isolated, stuck indoors in the middle of nowhere. Atlantic City offers you the chance to visit other casinos (although the selection isn't too vast) and it's in a seaside setting. The players are pretty good a Foxwoods and there are some seedy characters down at Atlantic City. I felt that there were more tourists coming through Atlantic City more so than at Foxwoods. Vegas is still the tops of the list. But if you just had one or two days, I say go to Foxwoods. If you had more than a few days, then go to Atlantic City. The Borgata's poker room is much smaller than Foxwoods but it's the closest thing to a Las Vegas style casino you'll see on the east coast. Hope that helps.
Thanks for reading,
It's Timmy again. Thanks for your advice. I stopped trying to play like the guys on TV and now I stopped my losing streak. I paid Farty Henderson off and he still told everyone that I was a Clay Aiken fan. I'm not! That still did not stop some of those fifth graders from beating me up. None of the girls will talk to me now. What should I do?
There's only one way to get someone from stop bullying you... you are going to have to kick their ass or get used to getting your ass kicked the rest of your life. Stand up now before things get worse. I suggest going after the biggest one in the group. After you take him down, the others will fold. You'll see. There's no shame in biting or kicking him in the nuts. Bullies thrive on terror, so have no mercy. Nothing gives you more satisfaction than kicking one of those idiots square in the junk and watching their eyes water after you make them walk around with their gonads wedged up into their body cavity. And if you are not strong enough to take on a bully, I suggest you spend some of your poker bankroll and hire a sixth grader to do you dirty work. There's no shame in outsourcing your private security detail. You'll see that soon after the chicks will flock to you once you establish that you're a guy that no one should fuck with. Being a kid sucks, doesn't it? Being an adult isn't that much better. You can stay up as late as you want and eat ice cream for breakfast but aside from that there's really not too many cool perks with adult responsibility.
Best of luck,
Thanks for reading.