I'm sitting barefoot with the windows open and a Grateful Dead bootleg playing. It's borderline loud enough that the upstairs neighbors have a legit beef with me. I guess you can say I'm at work and I'm trying my hardest to avoid finishing up an article. I'm less then 10 hours to deadline for my column at Poker Player Newspaper. I have a list of five topics that I want to write future articles on, but I'm hoping that I can come up with an idea off the top of my head and ramble on for a couple thousand words because those are the most fun to write.
For a while, my disdain for poker grew so intense that I stopped reading poker books, poker magazines, poker blogs, and watching poker on TV. Can you say oversaturation? And with the explosion of poker, one of the unfortunate results is that we are bombarded with mediocre and subpar products. I recommend seeing the documentary film called Hype! It was about the overexposure of the Seattle music scene during the grunge days of the early 1990s. I've seen the flick a few times and lived in Seattle when the documentary was originally released. I saw Hype! recently and several things clicked with regard to how something popular can affect American culture, especially how big business comes along and tweaks it for their own financial gain.
When there as not much poker available to the mainstream audience, nobody cared about the quality of the product. Desperate souls are desperate. From a cinematical standpoint, Rounders is a seriously flawed film. But as poker junkies, we don't care. A few years ago I complained about the oral sex skills of a girl I dated. One older hippie that I knew said, "At my age, there's no such thing as a bad blow job."
There is so much poker out there that it fried my already baked mind. I was overloaded. I was even sick of looking at my blog and the quality of content suffered because I didn't put the effort into it. The entire marketplace became flooded with so many crappy products that I couldn't take watching a bad episode of a new poker show, or reading a terrible article in a magazine, or reading a poorly written poker book.
Then I saw Hype! and I realized what happened to grunge music in the 1990s was happening to poker today. The raping and pillaging of a particular scene happens in music all the time. These things have been going on for years without any attention. Then all of a sudden a spotlight is shined on one particular music scene and the entire music industry shifts their focus on a particular city like Athens or Austin or London or Seattle.
And now everyone is trying to make a buck with poker whether it's the media, Wall Street, politicians, law enforcement, casinos, Hollyweird, or the eccentric entrepreneur. But these people are foolish. There's money to be made in poker but not by exploiting it. If you wanna make money in poker... just play. Avoid tournaments, stick to cash games.
And if you want to make money with a poker site, you're insane. Sex sells much better than poker. As soon as I get some cash together, I'm starting three online porn sites. All you need is a digital camera and young women who are dumb enough to allow you to photograph them doing deviant things. And thanks to MTV, a new generation of 18-21 year old females have already been brainwashed into thinking that being an internet celebrity is more important than getting an education and life experience. Just give me some bandwidth, a camera, three drunk college girls, a bottle of tequila, a dildo, a couple of hits of ecstasy, and a pair of handcuffs and we can make $100K. David Williams can tell you that foot fetish porn videos and playing poker is a lot more fun than trying to have a popular poker blog.
Poker is not like music, where outsiders have to exploit it some way to cash in. Poker is a cash cow and if you apply yourself and stay focused, patient, and disciplined... you can make money playing poker. I see people who are unable to function in mainstream society that are pulling in ridiculous sums of cash. With so many bad players out there, playing poker is far more profitable than writing or blogging about poker. I found out the hard way. That's why I'm trying to play more poker this year and spend less time writing about poker.
Over the last two weeks, I've caught up on every episode of the WPT this season, even the ones I covered from the sidelines. When I'm live blogging the final tables at the Borgata, Foxwoods, or at the Bellagio, I don't get to see the hole cards so when someone folds or bluffs, we have no idea what they had. Even if you inquire, I discovered the most poker players lie about their hands anyway so I stopped asking.
There were a couple of hands of note, like at the Borgata from last September when Al Ardebili got called on the final hand. With 3-2, he flopped a 3, which was bottom pair. He was all in against Ricardo Festejo who took forever to call with A-3. What an amazing call! That took balls. Ardebili paired his kicker to win the championship. That was one of those instances where folding the hand that was ahead would have the better choice.
Texas Dolly also made a huge laydown with pocket jacks. JJ Liu went over the top of Brunson with A-K and moved all in. Brunson hates Q-Q, so folding J-J there was a good idea in his mind. He eventually mucked.
Freddy Deeb and Josh Schlein were in a big hand together in Aruba. The kid raised with 3-3 and Deeb moved all in with A-4. Schlein took a while before he called with 3-3. He led until the river when a 4 spiked and his dreams of winning a WPT event vanished on the next hand when my main man Freddy Deeb won.
I finally caught up on my magazine reading. I focus on the articles written by people I respect in the poker industry, so it's not too many. I spoke to the editor of Bluff and he told me that my blogs article was pushed back to the July. So wait a few more months to check that out. For now, I have an article on the Heads-Up Poker Championship in the current issue of Poker Pro Magazine. They also used some of my photos in another piece. My first regular column in Poker Player Newspaper should be in the upcoming issue. Next time you see either publication, pick it up!
By the way, Party Poker has a reload bonus through May 10th. It's 40% up to $100 if you use TopBucks40. You have ten days from your time of the reload to clear your bonus. And Party Gaming added a few new games to their casino section including Pai Gow Poker! Good Lord.
My buddy Jay Greenspan started up this site called Poker Scribes. Please take a peek at it. As he explains, "Pretty simple concept: Post a good story. Other people read it. For people who have that one great piece to share but don't have an outlet like a blog or a magazine."
The Kentucky Derby is this weekend. I'm sure BG will have some picks on his blog for this year's run for the roses. Brother Derek is the favorite. How could I not bet on a horse named Brother Derek? Derek has him at 60-1. I have him at 10-1, but it's going to be an interesting Saturday afternoon.
By the way, if you read me through Bloglines, I'd like to thank you for your support. I recently discovered that I had four different feeds. After I added them all up I was shocked to see that 476 people subscribe to this blog. Yikes! At least 475 other people have the Tao of Poker in their bloglines folder. That's a amazing number considering the Tao of Pauly has less than 100 subscribers. I wonder how many people are reading my feeds via Google and Yahoo?
I also played in the Wall Street Game earlier this week. I'll post the recap on Monday. Here's what I teased over at the Tao of Pauly:
It was hosted in a hotel suite downtown. I was invited by Briana's father, who openly admitted he's lost several thousand dollars already this year. He wanted to stake me so he can get some of his losses back... I ended up winning $600, which is a small win considering there was at least $15K on the table at one time. I had to pay an entrance fee which sucked, but the suite was swanky and they hired two hot chicks to serve drinks and food. I realized that they were high-priced escorts that also offered up relaxation therapy sessions in the bedrooms...Have a groovy weekend. I have an article to finish before I troll MySpace for 18 year girls from Glendale who wanna make $50 for letting me take photos of their feet.