Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday Pimp Day: New WPBT WSOP Satellite and Other Extraordinary Things

First of all, Iggy set up a new WPBT WSOP Satellite for Monday night on Poker Stars. Here are the details:
What: WPBT WSOP Satellite #2
When: Monday, April 3rd @ 9PM EST
Where: Poker Stars
Tournament #: 21868191 (see private tourney tab)
Buy-in: $30 +3
Format: NL freezeout
Password: socoshot
Restrictions: Bloggers only
Attire: Pants optional
I've gotten smoked in my last two blogger events. A-A and K-K cracked viciously and I was out soon after each beat. At least I got knocked out early and instead of on/near the bubble. I'm hoping to make the final table in this event.

On the personal poker and writing front, I'm in Las Vegas and I've been doing more freelance writing than actually logging time at the tables. I penned articles about Doyle Brunson and Ted Forrest over the past two days. The Ted Forrest one is for Professional Poker, where I've helped build their entire player profiles section. It's taken me well over 15 months to write 41 bios and profiles. Talk about a long term project!

I'm working on an online poker article at Poker Player Newspaper. I may or may not become a regular columnist in their bi-monthly newspaper. It depends on the popularity of this piece. Let's hope I get it.

I do have a regular monthly column at Poker Pro Magazine, which can be found in your local card room. In the April issue of Poker Pro, I wrote an article about the WPT Borgata Winter Classic and they included several of my photos. In the May issue of Poker Pro, I have an article about the Heads-Up Championship that was won by Ted Forrest.

I have an article on poker blogs that should appear in the May issue of Bluff Magazine. I'm hoping that can give us a little more publicity.

And yes, the rumors are true. In the past week, I've been approached by Poker Pages, Party Poker, Bluff Magazine, and Card Player to join their respective teams. I need some time to think their offers through. Those organizations are seriously scared that I'll kick all their asses at the 2006 WSOP, just like I did last year. They all want to lock me up and I don't blame them. I'd prefer to work for the Tao of Poker and Las Vegas & Poker Blog just like in 2005.

Moving on...

Here's where I pimp several of other bloggers and let their hit counters go through the roof. Just kidding. However, you should make sure you stop by to see what's going on out there in bloggerdom.

Spaceman is busting his ass at the Reno Hilton covering the another WPT event. The final table starts later today and he'll be providing live blogging for Bluff Magazine. Take a peek.

Oh, happy birthday to Chops Wicked Poker!! Snake, Addict, and Chops blur the line between poker and almost-porn. Keep up the great work! I'll see you fucktards at the WSOP this summer. BTW, thanks for the pic of the Hilton Sisters' nipples!

Congrats to Double As who finished his poker book. I admire his commitment to complete the book despite getting dropped by a publisher a few months ago. I know how much it sucks to lose a book deal. I lost three last year. I'm still bitter. Anyway, I contributed a couple of chapters to Double As' book along with some of your other favorite bloggers like Iggy, Otis, HDouble and Grubby. I'll keep you posted on the details. And yeah, I can't wait to read it.

Otis had an interesting post on the "whys" of poker called Definition.

If you are in any sort of serious relationship, stop by and read an kick ass three part series on relationships and poker by CC. Check out Part I, Part II, and Part III.

BG is posting some great stuff over at Las Vegas and Poker Blog. Take a peek at his series called The Rake, particularly his latest installment.

Easycure is hosting a charity tournament on April 16th in conjunction with the WPBT-POY circuit. I'll post more details about "Hammer Out Cancer" when it gets close. But it's a worthy cause and you should play.

Change100 posted a funny scene from last Saturday and what she saw as the 8 of us stumbled out of the shuttle bus coming back from the Playboy Mansion. She also included her version of taking me shopping for new clothes called Outfitting the Doctor. By the way, I hate shopping. Here's a bit:
"Our first stop was Hugo Boss, where Pauly declared everything gay."
Joe Speaker also posted his version of our visit to a strip club last Thursday with myself, Change100, Grubby, and my buddy Senor. It's called Keeping Scores and here's my favorite part:
"The strippers were flocking to Pauly. He had the hardest-to-reach seat, the bottom of the 'u' in our semi-circle, but the man is a magnet. He turns strippers into bloodhounds. Every time I turned around, he had another female on his lap. And then every time I turned around, he had the same female on his lap: Nikki."
Lastly, make sure you stop by and read the other Playboy Mansion trip reports from... Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and AlCantHang. I posted the first two parts over at the Tao of Pauly called Part I: The Arrival and Part II: Where's AlCantHang? I'll post Part 3 on Friday and Part 4 on Monday.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bloggers and Bunnies Part II: Where's AlCantHang?

Part II of my Playboy Mansion trip report has been posted over at the Tao of Pauly.
Part II: Where's AlCantHang?
Part I: The Arrival
Enjoy! Make sure you stop by and read other Playboy Mansion trip reports from.... Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and AlCantHang.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Friday Night in Vegas, Bad Blood Flexes, and Where's BJ?

Check back on Wednesday for a new installment of my Playboy Mansion trip report.

Congrats to Bad Blood who won the WPBT deep stacks event on Full Tilt Sunday night. Great job. The Balco seems to be working on your MTT game. I busted out early after I had K-K cracked by the Hiltons. Derek took 11th.

By the way, on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas a bunch of us headed over to the Aladdin to play in a tournament. Mr. Subliminal was there playing cash games. Anyway, Senor played in the tourney. He's a stud player and rarely plays NL tournaments. He ended up 16th out of 84 and outlasted all the bloggers including Joe Speaker, CJ, Change100, and myself. Aterwards we headed to Excalibur with Spaceman and played craps with BG where we all took a bath.

On Monday night after returning to Las Vegas I dropped a buy-in. A lot of bad plays from yours truly coupled with a few suckouts and badbeats. I decided that I was running bad so I walked away.

Be sure to check out Spaceman's coverage of the WPT Reno over at Bluff Magazine.

* * * * *

By the way, if anyone knows where BJ Nemeth is... please call me! We're worried about you BJ, especially Heather from Poker Wire. I know you read my blog BJ, so I hope you are some three day bender somewhere or knocking boots with a hot French-Canadian chick and that's why you haven't answered my phone calls!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Playboy Mansion Trip Report and Poker Tournament

Don Cheadle won the celebrity poker tournament at the Playboy Mansion on Saturday night. The tournament was thrown by the Urban Health Institute. That concludes the poker portion of my Mansion trip report. To read the remainder of my trip report, visit the Tao of Pauly.
Bloggers and Bunnies Part I: The Arrival
Stay tuned for more updates, pictures, and installments.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

Here's my favorite conversation of the evening....
AlCantHang: "I used to spank it to you."
Julie McCollough: "Was that Growing Pains or Playboy?"
AlCantHang: "Both."
We survived our epic adaventure at the Playboy Mansion. No one got arrested, but Chad puked a few minutes ago. I won the prop bet with Boy Genius. I'll have some more updates soon, but nothing I can write can fully explain the experience of hitting the Mansion with some of my best friends and getting completely smashed.

Reports soon to follow from the Tao of Poker, Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and... AlCantHang. Stay tuned.

Mucho thanks to Spaceman and Joy for hooking me up with the invite.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Three Hours Away...

The lovely Mrs. Spaceman sent me an email the other day that I'd like to share with you. Enjoy!
Yo Pauly!

I hope you guys have a blast at the Playboy mansion. I have given Jason permission to do anything he wants, as long as he stays out of the grotto (I don't want him traipsing through 25 years of cum stains. Ewww gross!) And if things get really kinky, make sure he (and you!) wears a condom, for god's sake. I don't want any bunny funk, if you know what I mean. But really, are the bunnies going to want anything to do with youse guys? Hell no - they're looking for some millionaire dickin'. But I bet there will be plenty of Hollywood wannabe socialite strumpet types looking for a good time. Hence the "wear a condom" comment.

I read on your blog that Change100 picked out your clothes. We went shopping last night, and since I have no fashion sense, we enlisted my friend Lydia to be Jason's personal stylist. And guess what outfit he ended up with? A nice shirt, sports jacket, and jeans. So I have to ask - just what is so wrong about that? Is it too casual, or is it too predictable, or is it too nice? I have no idea what "LA Chic" is, and I don't want Jason to like a Tennessean. Regardless, we dropped some mad cash on this outfit, and I think he looks FINE, so fuck em if he looks out of place. What are you gonna wear?

Enjoy the fake boobies! And please make sure Jason has a good time... I know while you guys are having a once-in-a-lifetime evening, I'll be enjoying fantasizing about Jake Gyllenhaal's fine ass.

Take care!

Mrs. Spaceman

Friday, March 24, 2006

Strippers and Blow

Blonde Stripper: "Where are you from?"
Senor: "Rhode Island."
Blonde Stripper: "Awesome! I love New York."
Yes, it was one of those nights in Las Vegas, where everything you experience is blogworthy. To start, Senor flew in at 11am and Change100 and I picked him up at the airport. We checked into the Mirage and then Joe Speaker arrived soon after. We hung out at the bar near the sports book and watched the March Madness games. The place was super packed and full of gambling excitement. I had a blast with LSU. Not only did they cover, they beat Duke outright, which means that my team Strippers and Blow, has a shot at winning my pool!

Of course, I fucked up and took UCLA -4. Yeah, I don't wanna talk about it. Joe Speaker actually took them with the moneyline. The guy at the counter laughed at him when he cashed his ticket.

We ate dinner at Joe's Seafood and Steakhouse in Caesar's Palace forum shops with Flipchip, Grubby, and the Poker Prof. The filet mignon was excellent as well as the Jenny Potatoes.

After the meal, we headed to a strip club. I mean, that's what Grubby, Senor, and I do when we're in Vegas. Grubby drove and we took Change100 and Joe Speaker along. One of Grubby's friends is a dancer at Scores and we went to check it out. I've only been to the one in NYC. Strippers love Grubby and Senor loves Asian strippers.

"Holy shit, I'm going to a strip club with Dr. Pauly," Joe Speaker mentioned on our way to the Scores.

I have enough material for a new installment of Existentialist Conversations with Strippers. This one was named Nicki, and she was Vietnamese, Chinese, and Irish, What a combination! And she was from NYC. She dances at Scores there and she also flew into Vegas on Jetblue.

Nicki was smoking hot. Amazing ass. And I loved her hair.

"She has a crush on you," said Senor.

"I'm just a mark," I answered.

"Not this one. She's fallen for you."

Indeed, she did. She kept coming back. By the end of the night I must have paid for her flight from NYC to Las Vegas. The lapdances were average, but she was feisty and kept grabbing my nipples. I know that too much information to reveal, even on a blog, but I admit... I like have my nipples squeezed by hot strippers in Las Vegas at 1am. And she just didn't squeeze them, she molested them. I loved every second of it.

She gave Change 100 three lapdances. At one point, she was grabbing her breasts and pinching her nipples. They were all over each other. I admit, I got a chubby. Nothing beats girl on girl action. I love to watch.

"I can tell, you're a naughty one," Nicki said.

"Don't you know it," admitted Change100.

After it was over, I asked Change 100, "Were you making out with the stripper?"

She said no, but the look in her eyes said, "Yes."

Nicki was so good that I had to share her with the entire group, except for Grubby who was entertaining a dancer on his lap. They were talking about fashion. I paid for lap dances for Change100, Senor, and Joe Speaker. All of them had Nicki. I like to share.

She walked up to Joe Speaker and said, "I'm going to hurt you."

Joe Speaker turned to me and gave me a look like, "Holy fuck, what did you just get me into."

Afterwards, Joe Speaker jotted down some notes. I can't wait to read his post. After Nicki danced for Speaker, she headed over to Senor. She grabbed his belt and tied it around his neck, she used the end of it and was smacking him in the head.

"She was a rough one. We should invite her back to our room."

On our way out to the car, Joe Speaker said, "My God. I have not gotten a lapdance since 1986 at my first bachelor party! Twenty fuckin' years! And she had an amazing ass."

I realized that if I didn't gamble as much and didn't go to strip clubs, I would have paid off my school loan by now. Sure I'd be debt free, but I'd have nothing to write about.

Yes, there was no poker content in this post. I have yet to play a hand since I arrived in Vegas.

Editor's Note: This was crossposted to the Tao of Pauly.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Please Don't Hate Me...

"The greatest cliche ever!" my buddy the Joker screamed into the phone when I told him about my invite to the Playboy Mansion on Saturday night. "I'm really curious about the Grotto. What's that all about? I get the concept of Heff putting on these parties with tons of hot chicks walking around. But are they lame? Please give me all the details. Oh, and are you gonna get high with Snoop Dogg? I'm glad I have a reporter on the ground embedded at the Mansion. I'm so proud of you. I can finally sleep at night knowing that you will be at the Mansion raising hell."

Yes, the rumors are true. I'll be heading to LA on Saturday to the Playboy Mansion with a group I'd like to call Pauly's 8 in homage to Ocean's 11... Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and... AlCantHang. I'm still looking for an acrobatic Mandarin-speaking Chinese guy to fill the last spot on my crew. Oh and we need a wise cracking black guy for the zany one-liners. If you have any leads, shoot me an email.

A few weeks ago I turned down a free cruise to the Bahamas. The Poker Prof handed me a "gift assignment." And I declined. He was shocked and didn't know what to say. He ended up going himself and took lots of great photos. Make sure you read his trip report.

This past Sunday I found myself in another stressful situation. When Spaceman told me about the invite to the Mansion, I originally declined. I think he was shocked. It was bad timing... I'm here in Las Vegas to hang out with one of my best friends in the world... Senor. He's my Neal Cassady. He's my attorney. He's my Goose. He's my Carl. (Bonus points to you if you get all four references.)

Anyway, Senor works his ass off and hasn't had a vacation in a very long time. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and 1.5 kids. He's got a second son due in July. We were both looking forward to our yearly trip to Las Vegas for March Madness. Gambling. Golf. Strip clubs. What could be better?

So when I found myself at a fork in the road... I was perplexed. Do I take the road that leads to the Playboy Mansion? Or do I spend time with my best friend? (Make sure you read this old story called... Amanda Dick.)

I made the decision and declined the invite to Hugh Heffner's paradise. I'm a good friend. You want me in that foxhole with you. I'm the guy you wanna be stuck in an elevator with for three hours. You need me on the wall...

Slowly, my friends and my brother all took time out to tell me how stupid I was skipping out on an invite to the Mansion. My buddy Jerry called me "retarded." Derek questioned my sanity. When I got Senor on the phone he was concerned, "Dude, you skipped a cruise to the Bahamas and a now trip to the Playboy Mansion? Are you OK?"

He talked me into going. That's why he's a great friend.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Senor said. "As a writer, you have to go."

He was right. The last thing I want to do is cover another charity poker tournament. I've done that and it sucks. But this one is different. So different that I needed to buy new clothes.

"What are you going to wear?" Change100 asked.

I mumbled something and she quickly disagreed with my choice.

"You have to go out and buy a nice outfit. This is not some hipster bar in the East Village you're going to. It's the Playboy Mansion. I dig your 'I'm a writer' look with jeans and a sports coat. But that's not going to cut it at the Mansion."

When she arrived in Las Vegas, she took me shopping. Two hours later I spent $400 on an outfit. $198 for a shirt. $148 for pants. $40 for a new belt. I haven't spent $400 on clothes in the last three years. I usually let Briana buy me clothes. I hate shopping. The concept horrifies me.

I discovered that Joe Speaker and CJ also bought new outfits. The spent about $400 too. That's $1,200 on new clothes since the dress code will be strictly enforced.

That's the skinny for now. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, I have to go win an extra $500 on March Madness games (I'm driving to LA and flying back to Vegas on Monday on JetBlue) just to cover expenses. UCLA is my team in the Sweet 16. If they cover against Gonzaga, my trendoid clothes are free.

Please don't hate me...

Editor's Note: This was cross posted to the Tao of Pauly.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pimp Day Wednesday and On the Road

I'm leaving for the bright lights on Sin City later today flying out of NYC on JetBlue, the official airline of the Tao of Poker. It's the start of a six-week West Coast excursion that will take to both Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Due to an unexpected last-minute assignment, I have to be in LA on Saturday and will be driving from Vegas to the City of Angels for two days before I return to Las Vegas for other work and business meetings. I hope to elaborate more about this weekend very soon. At any rate, I'm excited to be hanging out with my buddy Senor during our annual trip to Las Vegas for March Madness. We're staying at the Mirage and I expect to make back all the money I lost last week/weekend on the NCAA hoops games. Stay tuned for random updates.

Here are my picks (for now):
Thursday Games:
LSU +6.5 over Duke
Texas -5 over West Virginia
UCLA -3.5 over Gonzaga
Bradley +6.5 over Memphis

Friday Games:
George Mason -2 over Wichita State
Connecticut -6 over Washington
Georgetown +3 over Florida -3
Villanova -2.5 over BC
Moving on... it's time to pimp a few things inlcuding the new issue of Truckin'!

Congrats again to Gracie who won the first WPBT WSOP satellite on Sunday night! She rocked. This pic is my favorite pic of me and Gracie taken in December at the blogger's get together.

Byron has set up the second event of the WPBT-POY Circuit which will take place on Sunday at 9pm EST on Full Tilt. I'll do my best to make it.
When: Sunday March 26 at 9pm EST
Where: Full Tilt Poker (check Private Tourney tab)
What: NL Fat Stacks (T3000 to start)
How Much: $20 + 2
Password: wpbt72
Felicia has a new post up. It's Part 3 of her Psychology and Poker series called Be Yourself. It's a must read.

HDouble's posts these days have the frequency of the Hale-Bopp Comet. Check out... Learning to Beat the Game. And there's no coincidence that several mass suicides have been reported in Japan days after an HDouble post. Hmm....

Tonight, the Travel Channel is going to air the WPT Borgata Open which was won by Al Ardebili. Take a peek at an interview I did with Al Ardebili.

Last year, the guys over at Wicked Chops Poker profiled me for an installment of Blogfiles. They did something with Bill Rini this past week. Worth a look.

Thanks to my Top 10 Referrals in March. Keep up the good work.
1. Las Vegas and Poker Blog
2. Guinness and Poker
3. Up for Poker
4. Tao of Pauly
5. Wicked Chops Poker
6. Pot Committed
7. Aaron Gleeman
8. Maudie's Poker Perspectives
9. Poker Nerd
10. Jackmama Poker
* * * * *

Truckin' - March 2006, Vol. 5, Issue 3

Lastly, take a peek at the LA issue of Truckin' that includes a face lift and a new look! This issue features some of the best bloggers in the greater Los Angeles area contributed stories and tales about their beloved city.
1. Let's Do Lunch by Tenzin McGrupp
We were surrounded by a gaggle of trendoids and pharmaceutically bloated ex-actress-model girlfriends of semi-famous directors who carried around eight balls in their $2,500 Marc Jacobs purses... More

2. For Sale by Joe Speaker
Two stories, four bedrooms plus the den, four baths. Too big for the three of them, but they planned to live there a long while, growing both family, possessions and equity. Of the three, they only managed the last and that was nothing but serendipity... More

3. The Pitch by factgirl
From my office I can see downtown with its chewy cloud of smog. My boss's office has the better view – the Hollywood sign. The sign is much closer than downtown, which tricks the eye into believing the air here is better. Its not... More

4. Heat by Shane Nickerson
As I glanced around the party, I couldn't help but feel a certain sense of achievement. After all, I was on the Warner Brothers backlot at one of the hottest events in town... More

5. Paging Dominic Leare by Change 100
He hadn't showered in weeks. A poster of his Oscar-winning film hung behind his desk, itself buried within a hurricane of paper while an outdated laptop sat atop the mess, displaying a page of text... More

6. If I Was Homeless I'd Live In Los Angeles by Dan Keston
There are open air farmers markets in Los Angeles, everyday, that offer free samples of top quality meat, cheese, deserts, fruit, veggies and anything else you need to balance out your diet... More
* * * * *

That's it for now. Have a good day. Next stop... Las Vegas.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Blue Parrot Farewell
"I'm about as far downtown as you can get... Beaver Street." - Coach
The Blue Parrot will always be mentioned as an integral part of New York City poker lore. For the last two years, I've been fortunate to call the Blue Parrot "my home game." It's been the location of some of the wildest games I've ever played in. The seats at the Blue Parrot featured some of the best Ivy League legal minds in the city along with a rotating cast of characters that often reminded me of a bad Saturday Night Live skit on LSD.

The players came from all walks of life. Teachers. Sports writers. Corporate litigators. Mortgate brokers. Slam poets. Fashion photographers. Scienticists. Law clerks. Even a comedian, a screenwriter, and a few Columbia students. Swish was a Blue Parrot legend who was willing to see any two cards to the river. He was a famous sportswriter at prestigious NYC newspaper and has since moved down to Washington DC. Swish and I were involved in a lot of tough hands during late night sessions at the Blue Parrot. Things also got weirder after Midnight in some of the games that went until sunrise. When Rick Blaine and his wife moved out to San Francisco, he was certainly missed. However, in the same week that Rick left the Blue Parrot, it was the same time as F Train arrived from LA.

Over the years the Blue Parrot had welcomed bloggers such as my brother, Toby, Lady Falcon, Joaquin the Rooster, Diane, Spaceman, and Dawn & Karol from I Had Outs. We even had the first ever NYC Poker Bloggers tournament last year called The Blue Parrot Invitational. Lady Falcon and Julie ended up chopping while Derek took third place. In fact Julie represented NYC and the Blue Parrot at the first ever live WPBT tournament at the Holiday Classic in 2004 at Sam's Town. She came in 3rd place and lost to Max Pescatori and Felicia Lee. She also busted me on the bubble.

And now the final chapter is about to be written about the infamous Blue Parrot. Located on the 19th floor of a Pre-World War II building, it might be the locale of the highest poker action in the city. Luckily, it was never raided by NYPD or shut down by Bloomberg's thugs. The owner and proprietor Signor Ferrari is leaving on excellent terms. He's simply selling the Blue Parrot. But don't worry because in due time, he'll be opening up the Blue Parrot II after he buys a new place.

I first played at the Blue Parrot a little more than two years ago. Back then I was broke, unemployed, and dating a neurotic actress. Ugarte stumbled upon my blog and he played in a home game with a group of lawyers. A few of them wrote about a series of issues such as politics, movies, and poker on a blog called Rick's Cafe, headed by Rick Blaine. Ugarte invited me to one of their games and the rest was history. The first few times I played at the Blue Parrot, the games were super wild with a healthy mix of loose players with deep pockets and extremely skilled players. Within a few weeks, I had everyone dropping the Hammer while I got everyone hooked on the blog.

The last game came together on a rare Thursday night. Traditionally we played home games on Mondays. I always thought that Mondays and poker were an excellent combination especially during football season. Years from now when I look back on various homegames that I've played in, I'll always conjure up halcyon feelings of the football game on in the background with someone at the table sweating out a bet or two on the game. Anyway, we usually played poker at the Blue Parrot on March Madness Championship night. But since I was going to be away for 6 weeks in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, a game would not be possible. At the last minute Ferrari rescheduled for Thursday.

Yes, last Thursday would be the last time I played at the Blue Parrot. The photo below is one of the last I'd ever take at the Bue Parrot. It's the late night view of the city from the window next to the poker table.

The Players:

Seat 1: F Train... In the past few years he's made his living as a writer, a poker player, and as an attorney. He's had the balls and courage to write about various underground card rooms on his blog. F Train is a true NYC rounder. Whether he's playing in Atlantic City or risking his life in the various clubs in the city, he's consistently one of the best players at the Blue Parrot. He also won the Lewey Award for Public Intoxication at Bash at the Boathouse in September.

Seat 2: Pauly... Your hero has a weakness for donuts and blondes. The former bond trader, bartender, and ice cream man kept one eye on his cards and the other eye on the TV because he had action on a couple of the night games. Pauly has paid his dues in various homegames scattered throughout America including logging hours with jazz musicians at the Trout House in Seattle, playing with his Jim Beam guzzling and mushroom chomping fraternity brothers in the Phi Delt house in Atlanta, crashing Iggy's homegame in a hotel suite in Cincy, cashing in a tournament at the nefarious Murderer's Row homegame in West LA, chopping the Brad-o-Ween Open in the sweltering humidity of G-Vegas, and surviving a night of cards and whiskey with shotgun wielding rednecks in Hilljack, Indiana.

Seat 3: Ferrari... The owner of the Blue Parrot has been known to let his two cats run amuck and also dazzles his guests with homemade guacamole. Due to his hectic schedule the games at the Blue Parrot were less and less frequent. Both Ferrari and the Blue Parrot need to be enshrined into the NYC Poker Hall of Fame.

Seat 4: Coach... Also known as the Dan Harrington of the Blue Parrot, whenever Coach plays a pot, he almost always holds the nuts. He's a contributor to the Tao of Poker and writes Coach's Corner. He's an attorney, author, and trivia wizard by day and at some point down the road, he might become the next Judge Smails. And yes, he really works on Beaver Street and has appeared in Law & Order.

Seat 5: Marie... Whenever Marie plays at the Blue Parrot, she adds a tinge of grace and class to the games. The entrepreneur and savvy business woman from England always surprises the table when she drops a F-bomb or even the dreaded C-bomb on occasion. Oh, and the tight sweaters she wears are always a nice way to get the rest of the guys on mega-tilt.

Seat 6: Joel... Also known as Joel the Banker, he's one of the older regulars at the Blue Parrot. In one of those weird Six Degrees of Dr. Pauly, Joel's son and Pauly attended the same southern university together. They figured that coincidence out after his fourth or fifth game after Joel's son sent Pauly an email, "Dude, you play poker every week with my Dad? Make sure he doesn't lose all of my inheritance."

Seat 7: Ugarte... The former attorney turned stand-up comic was coming off of the best show of his career at Mo Pinkton's. He's a stickler for the rules and if you splash the pot when Ugarte's in the hand, you're gonna get hell to pay. He desperately needs a haircut as his "jewfro" resembles Samuel L. Jackson's locks in Pulp Fiction.
The game started a little late as we were more focused on setting up the laptop to get the games and making sure the TV was at the proper volume for optimal March Madness viewing. Poker with friends and college basketball on in the background? Does life get any better?

7:31... The games are dealer's choice at the Blue Parrot with entire rounds of limit Hold'em, Omaha 8, or Stud called. We started out short-handed and played Hold'em, just Coach, Ferrari, F Train and myself. We played Hold'em for a few rounds. F Train made fun of my tightness as we sipped on Coronas. "You're folding your button in a 4 way game?"

7:37pm... Ferrari cracked Coach's A-A with 7-5. In Ferrari's defense, they were "sooted" and it was in the big blind.

7:43pm... Ugarte and his jewfro arrived. Joel arrived a few minutes after. F Train and I had a bet on who the next player to show up was going to be. The doorman calls up to the apartment when a guest arrives downstairs. Ferrari picked up the phone to find out who it was and F Train and I began our prop bet. He picked "Julie or Marie." I went with Ugarte or Joel. I picked correctly and won the first prop of the night.

7:47pm... -23. My A-J lost to F Train's K-K. I flopped a Jack and I walked right into his pocket Hellmuths.

7:57pm... I had to fold A-10s on a board of A-J-x. F Train and Joel got into a raising war an I was caught in the middle. I bailed after the flop.

8:00pm... -20. I was in the hole and saved face after I scooped a pot with a junk hand. I flopped an open-ended straight draw with 10-7 on a board of K-9-8. The turn was the Jack and no one saw it coming.

8:03pm... The lovely Marie arrived to make the game full.

8:10pm... -33. I lost a big pot to Marie who rivered trips on me. She's going to call me down to the river no matter what after I bluffed her out of too many pots in the past. I flopped top pair and she flopped second pair, which tripped up on the river. When she popped me for a raise on the river, I knew I was doomed.

8:25pm... -68. I lost a huge pot in Stud 8. I had two pair and missed a flush. With no low draw, I mucked because Ferrari and Coach were in the middle of a raising war on the river. I put one of them on a straight or a higher two pair. Ferrari had the low and Coach won the high with... Ace high. Ouch. They chopped the pot.

8:26pm... -89. I lost another hand in Stud 8. My two pair lost to Marie's two pair. I actually missed a flush and low draw and backdoored two pair on Seventh street. I figured I might have the best hand and was shocked to see Marie had two-pair since Fourth Street. She also had the low and scooped another monster pot. She claimed in her intelligent, yet sexy Enlish accent that she didn't know how to play Stud 8. We all fell for it.

8:40pm... -60. I won a 4 way pot with trip Queens in Stud 8. With no qualifying lows, I scooped the pot.

8:50pm... -13. Anaconda got called for the first time. I hate Anaconda because I lose so much money on it. Sure I've won my fair share, but I've also lost enough since January 2004 to feed thirteen African villages for six years. I won a big hand from Marie. My Kings full of Nines were good enough as Marie called me all the way to the end with a smaller boat. It was a $120 pot for a 50 cent ante game. Yikes.

9:15pm... -69. I won a big hand with a full house Queens over 10s, then lost a pot to Ugarte who had Quad 9s.

9:20pm... Julie stopped by to watch her alma mater Syracuse play because she doesn't have a TV. I had money on them too.

9:35pm.. -21. Ferrari had a King high straight flush. Gonzaga was down most of the game and started a massive comeback. I needed them to win by 6 to save face after an ugly day of sports betting on the first day of March Madness.

9:40pm... I lost the Gonzaga bet in a horrible way. My testicles still hurt. I needed my poker winnings to cover my sports betting loses and decided to focus more on my game.

9:55pm... -13. I chopped a pot in Omaha 8 which is notable because I hate O8 and it was the only pot I won.

10:10pm... +2. Ugarte won a big pot against F Train when his 5s full of 3s beat out F rain's 3s full of Kings.

10:50pm... Daddy called for a dial-a-shot. He was with Gracie and Pablo at Sea World but got kicked out. I heard Daddy molested Shamu and was asked by Sea World officials never to come back. They found Daddy pissed drunk with several sea lions, a barrel of mackerel, a pocket knife, a can of WD-40 and his pants around his ankles. "Sir, please do not sodomize our marine mammals!" would become the mantra for the remainder of the night. I'm awaiting the follow up to his infamous post How to Fuck a Donkey, which is supposedly titled... How to Fuck A Dolphin.

10:51pm... -3. "I hate Omaha!" I shouted as Marie left. She was down a small amount.

11:00pm... -20. My J-5 lost to Ferrari's A-Q. He flopped a Queen and I flopped a Jack.

11:07pm... +25. I won a crazy hand where I cracked Joel's A-A with Q5s. I limped in from EP. Joel raised preflop and F Train three-bet from the BB. I knew it was gonna get 4 bet and decided I needed serious help. I called and like clockwork Joel capped the pot. F Train had the Hammer of course. I flopped a flush draw and it came on the turn. With three clubs on the board, F Train chased to the river with the 7c. He thought he still had outs. Joel knew I caught my flush yet called me on the river when I bet out. He dejectedly tossed his Aces into the muck as F Train yelled, "Fuckin' Hammer!" Yeah, my Q-5s won a monster pot.

11:23pm... +24 Anaconda. I folded Quad 9s to Ugarte's Quad Kings and Coach's Quad Jacks. Coach lost his buy-in on that hand and left soon after.

11:46pm... April called from Austin for a Dial-a-shot featuring Heather and EvaCanHang.

1:50pm... Julie left after Syracuse lost. I ended the day in the hole betting on March Madness.

12:01am... -24. I poorly played a low hand in Anaconda and lost a big pot to Ugarte.

12:09am... +5. Still playing Anaconda, I won a low hand against Joel with A-3-4-5-7.

12:20am... +40. I had a flush and Ferrari had the Wheel. He was trying to win both the high and low and missed. He put me on a bluff.

12:30am... F Train called Vegas Hold'em.

12:48am... +51. I hit a big straight in Vegas Hold'em with 10-7. My new favorite hand.
The Final Tally:
Ugarte +141
F Train +57
Pauly +51
Ferrari +27
Marie -35
Joel -99
Coach -140
I wish I could say something witty or funny about the Blue Parrot, but nothing comes to mind. I will admit this... I loved those late night games. Sometimes poker is not about making money or fulfilling a competitive edge or feeding an addiction. Sometimes, poker is all about being social and it becomes an activity that's 100% pure enjoyment. If anyone experienced those late night hijinks at 2:43am with Swish slow rolling a Royal Flush or Om cracking Aces with Q-2o, or Ferrari's cats almost jumping out the window, then you know what I mean. The Blue Parrot came along at the perfect time in my life. I was in desperate search of a home game and some of the folks I met across the felt ended up becoming good friends of mine in the process. The final tally doesn't really matter. Win or lose, we're all going to miss the Blue Parrot because it was the centerpiece for a plethora of fun and golden memories. I would not be here today without the influence and camaraderie of the Blue Parrot.

Buckeye's Aces

I'll be eagerly awaiting the opening of the Blue Parrot II.

* * * * *

Make sure you check out F Train's recap called Last Call at the Blue Parrot. If you want to see some more NYC views from th Blue Parrot, I have a day time view of NYC and another day time view.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Paradise Lost and Gracie Shines: WPBT WSOP Satellite #1
"I had a great evening; it was like the Nuremberg Trials." - Woody Allen, Hannah and Her Sisters
Thanks to Iggy who set up the first WPBT WSOP event on Paradise Poker that featured 69 of your favorite bloggers. First place would win a seat to any $1500 WSOP event and places 2-4 would win some prize money. Congrats to Gracie who won it all. She's gonna be playing in the WSOP! It figures that a blogger hopped up on Nyquil and horse tranquilizers would end up winning the first WSOP satellite. I can't think of a cooler and finer representative of the bloggers than Gracie. Congrats again.

I was gunning to play in my third ever WSOP event by winning my seat via a blogger satellite. My day had started out bad and got worse on the gambling side of things. I lost a buy-in on Poker Stars and then lost two big bets on the March Madness games to slide to over $1K in losses during four-day massacre. I hoped that my luck would improve at the tournament tables. Of course, the gambling Gods were sending me a very clear message:
Stop gambling, you stupid fuck!
I had Donkey Puncher, Columbo, Joanne, Daddy, Crheada, SloeJax, TripJax, and StatikKling at my starting table. Linda from Poker Works, Vegaas, and Joe Speaker were all moved to my table before I busted out. Daddy kept everyone entertained with tables involving strawberries and licking out Jessica Alba's anal region. I played some Traffic and Widespread Panic in the background and ate a slice of crumb cake while I proudly wore my Snail Trax t-shirt.

At the first break Derek had chips and was in 16th place. Change100 went on a tear and busted Helixx KK to QQ and then busted the Rooster after she flopped a set. Derek got moved to Change100's table which included HDouble, Otis, DoubleAs, BadBlood, EasyCure, Drizz, Ephro, and ScurvyDog. Talk about a tough table! Derek would be short stacked late and he hung on to finish in 13th place.

Nothing of significance to report about my results aside from two bad beats. I hate blogging about bad beats, but here I am complaining that I never should have slowplayed pokcet aces. That was my first mistake. I found A-A UTG on the first hand back from the first break and I limped in. Everyone folded to the blinds who also limped. I ran into the dreaded big blind special and I promptly lost the majority of my stack. I also found A-A on the first hand of the tournament and another time just before I was busted. Both instances, they got no action. The one time I limped with A-A, I got fist fucked.

I hung on for 50 more minutes as the short stack until I made a move with T1500 and blinds at 150/75. I moved all in with K-Q. Sloejack called me with KQs, both diamonds. Instead of chopping the blinds, he flopped three diamonds and I was bounced in 47th place.

Geez that was fun, right?

I decided to listen to the message from the other world and ceased all gambling activities. I'll spend the remainder of the night masturbating to Swedish girls kissing and reading old Woody Allen scripts hoping to snag a few traits from his well-developed characters.

With that said, I'll leave you with one my favorite lines from Annie Hall:
"I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool Round 2 Update: Upset City

Wow plenty of upsets so far this year as plenty of top seeds fell, but AlCantHang's Marlboro and Lungbutter still lead the pack after Round 2. Spider is second with Damon's My Bitch and Hector's warren coolidge all-stars jumped up into third after picking 12/16 of the Sweet 16 teams. There's a 5 way tie for 4th place.
Top 8 Overall (thru Round 2):
1 Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) 480
2 Damon's My Bitch (Spider) 470
3 warren coolidge all-stars (Hector) 460
4 Oyster Bay Moore (JoeMoore) 440
4 Al Gore's Revenge (BoobieLover) 440
4 facty's money (facty) 440
4 Ugarte's Picks are Funny (CharlesStar) 440
4 Like DWright at 3rd (Spider2) 440

Visit the Tao of Pauly for complete standings.
If you haven't paid me, you owe me $20!

I'm getting my ass kicked betting on the games, almost down $1100 in four days. I'll have to make it back in Vegas! UNC losing hurt me big time. I picked them to win on one of my sheets and had them -7. That kick in the junk still stings.
WPBT WSOP Satellite Reminder!

Paradise Poker: Win a seat to WSOP.  Satellites running nowWe're less than 11 hours away from the start of the first WPBT WSOP satellite on Paradise Poker. Thanks to Iggy who set it up. Now, why haven't you signed up yet?

Here are the details:
What: WPBT WSOP NL Satellite
When: Sunday March 19
Time: 9pm EST
Where: Paradise Poker
How Much: $30
Password: email iggy at allimcbeal_69 -
Restrictions: Bloggers only!

First place wins a seat into the 2006 WSOP $1500 event of their choice. Because of Paradise's software, we need 55 players to pull this off. The $30 buyin fee includes the juice, so in reality its a $27 + 3 event.
* * * * *

Last night, I watched Joe Speaker make a run at a seat in the WSOP main event over at Poker Stars. It was a 4000 FPP buy-in event, and Joe Speaker was the chipleader with 3 players remaining and the top 2 paying out seats. They did a $1K save for 3rd place, but only first and second place would go to the big dance winning $10K seats. Joe Speaker had one of the most brutal suckouts I've seen in a long time. He flopped a set of aces with A-A and some assclown with 3-4 caught a gutshot Wheel on the turn. That hand crippled Joe Speaker and he was out soon after in 3rd place. Ouch. I was rooting for him harder than I rooted for anyone.

Chin up Joe! You'll have a shot of winning a seat into a smaller event tonight, and I'm convinced that you have one of the best shots out of all the bloggers to win a seat in the big one.

Also last night, I played in one of those $20 180 person SNGs on Poker Stars with Derek and Change100 where the final two tables get paid. Change100 was busted in the mid 20s, and I took 20th. I missed the money by 2 spots. Derek had less chips than me and he ended up squeaking into the money in 18th place. The deck hit Derek in the face early on and he was in the top 10-15 in chips for most of the tournament.

Mid-way through, Maudie called me for a dial-a-shot. She was in Kansas of all places and called me from the Human Head's living room! I got to chat with Maudie, Mrs. Head, and the Human Head himself.

I got hands early and I had nothing late. If I didn't decide to take a coin flip with four tables remaining, I would have been busted a lot sooner. I had AQs and raised 4x the BB from EP and some loose-hyper-ADD kid who pushed all in on every other hand, moved all in right behind me. I had been playing tight. I hoped and prayed that he had a weak/middle ace, or at best a middle pair. I took a deep breath, muttered, "Fuck it!" and I called. He flipped over 10-10 and I flopped a Queen and turned two pair when an ace fell. I went from one of the short stacks to over 11K at that point. Too bad I went card dead. With not much of a stack, I lost most of my chips when I went for a steal when it got down to 22 players. I don't play to make the money. I play to win it all. Alas, I got busted on the button when I moved all in with a short stack. Of course the big blind had A-8s and the small blind had A-10 and they both flopped an ace.

Last week was a losing week for me, capped off by a horrible session last weekend. This past week I had been on a mini-rush kicking ass at the $5/10 tables on Party Poker plus a decent night at the Blue Parrot which I'll write up on Monday or Tuesday. I can't seem to book a winning session on Poker Stars it seems.
Recent Poker Playing Music...
1. Trey Anastasio Band
2. The Wood Brothers
3. The Band with Bob Dylan
4. Soulive with John Scofield
5. Eric Dolphy
For the March Madness pool, AlCantHang is still in first place. I finished yesterday 3-3 and hit two big bets to end up +205 for the day after Gonzaga pulled out a tough victory over Indiana. I'm -345 overall, which is great since I'm 9-13 in bets. I'm gonna try to make it all up with one team today... UNC -6 over George Mason. I also like Derek's team Bucknell gettting 8.5 over Memphis. The boys from Bucknell are also +350 with the money line and I can't ignore that juicy line! I took them with the points and with the money line two nights ago and prevailed.

That's it for now... don't forget to sign up for the first WPBT WSOP satellite tonight at 9pm. If I decide to live blog it... those updates will appear below.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

March Madness - Round 1 Update: All Hail AlCantHang!

There are plenty of online celebrities playing in the 6th annual Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool along with a poker pro or two and an well known actress. And out of all the sheets, one man has emerged from the pack as the Round 1 leader. All hail, AlCantHang!

If you don't know AlCantHang had a perfect Thursday and that put him in the top 300 pools overall on ESPN out of like 2 million! Congrats to Al for his perfect sheet thru Day 1. Of course he couldn't withstand the slew of upsets on Day 2 of the first round. Kansas and Iowa both fell and Bucknell is headed for a second round upset against Memphis on Sunday. Should be a great game!

Anyway, AlCantHang and his team Marlboro and Lungbutter is sitting pretty on top of the standings. Former lawyer turned comedian Charles Star and Ugarte's Picks are Funny are tied for 2nd place with Spider's Like DWright at 3rd. Spider's second sheet Damon's My Bitch and my second sheet Strippers and Blow round out the Top 5.
Top 5 Current Standings thru Round 1:
1 Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) 280
2 Ugarte's Picks are Funny (Charles Star) 260
2 Like DWright at 3rd (Spider1) 260
4 Strippers and Blow (Pauly) 250
4 Damon's My Bitch (Spider2) 250

To see the complete standings, visit the Tao of Pauly
That's it good luck today. Don't forget to pay me! Shoot me an email for payment info.

* * * * *

I took it on the chin last night. I went 4-5 yesterday in bets and I'm 6-10 overall. I'm -550 for the first round. I got gunshy after a terrible Thursday and didn't put out bets like I wanted. I hit Bucknell and the money line, which was my only highlight yesterday.

I hope to make it all back later today.
Saturday's Picks:
Montana +10.5 ... Lost
Tenn -2.5 .... Lost
Gonzaga -4
Duke -9 ... Won
Texas A&M +5 ... Won
Illinois -2 ... Lost

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patty's Day and Day 1 of March Madness

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone out there. This post is going to be short and sweet. Last night I played in what might end up being the last ever home game at the Blue Parrot. It was a good-bye party of sorts to me since I'll be on the road for six weeks starting next week, in addition Ferrari is selling the Blue Parrot. Which means that when I return to NYC in May, we'll be playing at the Blue Parrot II. I'm excited. Anyway... check back Monday for a write up of the last night of action at the Blue Parrot. It's a gripping tale invovling your hero folding quads 9s in Anaconda to Coach's quad Jacks and Ugarte's quad Kings.

Here's a quick glance at the leaderboard in the Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool:
Top 8 Leaderboard thru Day 1:
1 Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) 160
2 Like DWright at 3rd (Spider1) 150
3 Damon's My Bitch (Spider2) 140
4 Fear and Arrogance (Landow) 130
4 Strippers and Blow (Pauly) 130
4 Good Little Monkey (Gracie) 130
4 Black Tar Heroin (S. Lovelace) 130
4 Fook Dook (ScurvyDog1) 130
All hail AlCantHang who had a perfect Day 1 with a 16-0 run! I'm hanging around the top of the pack after going 13-3, but it's still early. I got slaughtered betting on the games yesterday. I went 1-1 in my big bets. Monatana prevailed but Gonzaga only won by 4 when the spread was 7. They were up by 6 and Adam Morrison missed a crucial free throw with 4 seconds remaining. They allowed Xavier to score an uncontested layup as time expired to kill the game for me. The Zags didn't cover and I felt a stinging sensation in my testicular region. I ended up going 2-5 overall and now I'm in the hole.... $470 at the start of day 2. I need to make it up today! Let's hope Derek's alma mater can pull it out today. Buckell is my horse on St. Patty's Day.
Today's bets:
Bucknell +5 ... Won
Kentucky -3
Cal +2
Iowa -7 ... LOST
Arizona -1.5 ... Won
Kansas -7.5
Pitt -6.5
S. Illinois +5 ... LOST
That's it for now. Go out and have a great weekend. Go get drunk. Get laid. Get into a fight. Drop acid and take a walk in the park. Go read a book and try to win some money on Party Poker!

* * * * *

Don't forget to sign up for the WPBT WSOP satellite that takes place on Sunday night. Thanks to Iggy, the organizer of the first satellite of the year to be held on Paradise Poker. They are offering up a 25% bonus with your first deposit.

Here are the details:
What: WPBT WSOP NL Satellite
When: Sunday March 19
Time: 9pm EST
Where: Paradise Poker
How Much: $30
Password: email iggy at allimcbeal_69 -
Restrictions: Bloggers only!

First place wins a seat into the 2006 WSOP $1500 event of their choice. Because of Paradise's software, we need 55 players to pull this off. The $30 buyin fee includes the juice, so in reality its a $27 + 3 event.
Paradise Poker: The world's premier online poker room

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today. Any questions? Shoot either me or Iggy an email.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Madness, WSOP Satellite, and MC Hammer's Blog

I'm going to stop blogging soon. After discovering that MC Hammer has a blog, I realized I can't keep up with the legend himself.

What has our world come to?

So it's March Madness and thanks to everyone who joined my pool this year. It's going to be a wild ride over the nest few weeks. I like North Carolina and I pick them to win every year. I'm always wrong and I can't ever pick Duke. I have UCONN in one sheet and UNC in the other.

Way before I started blogging about poker and improved my poker skills, I gambled exclusively on sporting events like pro football and college basketball. I always did well dating back to my days in high school. After college, in the late 1990s every year around late March and early April I'd clean up and have enough money to cover my summer travels. One year it was a trip to Europe. A big score in 2000 covered expenses for an epic excursion to Japan with Senor. Another nice payoff in 1999 allowed me to see almost forty Phish shows that year, all funded through successfully wagering on March Madness. A few years I lost and the rest of the year was rough. Sometimes I'd be covering my losses from the NFL season. Other times I was gambling with house money. When I win in March, I know it's going to be a bonus year.
Today's Bets:
Montana +6
Gonzaga -6
Marquette -3
Tenn -7
Oklahoma -3
Syracuse -1
LSU -7.5
San Diego State +2
I definitely like the Grizzlies from Montana to upset Nevada today. I hope that Syracuse gets hot in the first round. So how about some March Madness betting strategy?

I start with small test bets in the first round. So on the first two days of the tournaments (Thurs & Fri) I'm betting no more than $100/150 on a game. I don't bet on all 32 games, Although I'd like to get 20-25 bets down with 4 or 5 bigger sized bets.

The second round or the weekend games are where I'd bump up my minimum bet. With 16 games, I'd like to get action on 12 for $200/300 a game. At least 3 or 4 will be too tough to call or trap game. You want to focus on 4 or 5 teams with solid advantages. The only stats I look for are FT% and rebounding. If there's a toss up between two tough teams, I always go with the team that shoots better free throws, especially down the stretch. Millions of dollars from bettors are won and lost during the last few seconds of a March Madness game. A missed free throw might mean a loss for one team, but it means a brick full of cash for the dude sitting at the sports book at the Mirage who dropped four dimes on the winning team.

Round 3 or the Sweet 16 usually has 5 decent games to bet on out of 8. I bump up my betting limits to about $500/600 per game and I pick the four best teams and press my winnings (if I got any). If I'm up.... I'll double my current tournament winnings. If I'm behind, I have a shot of getting unstuck. I've seen them play twice and hopefully seen their opponents twice. At that point, you have to stick with the hot teams and the hot players.

The Elite 8 games are tougher to win money on than you think. With 4 games left to bet on in that round, there's the temptation to bet on all 4. I avoid that and pick 2 teams to wager on again focusing on the teams playing the best and the one team that's been the luckiest.

The Final Four is a dangerous time for gamblers, where you can lose your entire tournament bankroll on one bad call or walk away with enough money to buy into the main event at the WSOP. If the games are good, you're lucky that you good opportunities to make money since there's technically only three final games to find action on. If there's a tough matchup in both of the Final Four games, you're screwed. I usually like to put out the biggest bet of the tournament on one of the semi-final games. I'll bet 75% of my winnings on one game and 25% on the other, letting it all ride. And for the Championship game, I always scale back my bet. Anything can happen in those and I don't want to lose too much dough on some 19 year old kid who can't hold his mud on national TV.

That's my basic betting strategy for March Madness. Round 1 and 2 are always done through the local bookie or my account at Bodog. (If you set up an account, use my referral code: P1B5DB7) I'm always in Las Vegas for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 and I'm usually placing bets at the Mandalay Bay sports book.

* * * * *

Don't forget to sign up for the WPBT WSOP satellite that takes place on Sunday night. Thanks to Iggy, the organizer of the first satellite of the year to be held on Paradise Poker. They are offering up a 25% bonus with your first deposit.

Here are the details:
What: WPBT WSOP NL Satellite
When: Sunday March 19
Time: 9pm EST
Where: Paradise Poker
How Much: $30
Password: email iggy at allimcbeal_69 -
Restrictions: Bloggers only!

First place wins a seat into the 2006 WSOP $1500 event of their choice. Because of Paradise's software, we need 55 players to pull this off. The $30 buyin fee includes the juice, so in reality its a $27 + 3 event.
Paradise Poker: The world's premier online poker room

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today. Any questions? Shoot either me or Iggy an email.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Al Ardebili Interview and the WPT Borgata Open

Editor's Note: I made a mistake, the Travel Channel is airing the Legends of Poker from the Bike tonight and not the Borgata one. That will be aired next week. I apologize for the confusion! I'll leave this post up anyway. Make sure you tune in next week to see the Borgata Open.

Next week, the Travel Channel is airing a new episode of the WPT that was taped at the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa last September. The final table of the Borgata Open features pros such as Kathy Liebert, David Singer, and John D'Agostino. It also featured three Jersey guys like Action Bob Hwang, Richard Festejo, and the champion Al Ardebilli.

I also live blogged the final table. Feel free to read along, I know I'll have it open to refresh my memory...

Here's my short Q & A interview with last September's Borgata Open Champion Al Ardebili. I met with him at the Borgata in January and he was nice enough to do an email interview with me. Here it is...

Pauly: What's your brief poker background? How long have you been playing? Are you playing full-time now?

Al: I played poker as a kid much like many players, nothing serious, just with buddies, etc. I started playing Limit Texas Holdem about five years ago and learned No Limit about three years ago. I'm not playing "full time" per se, but have played many of the circuit events going on for about a year now.

Pauly: What's the best part of Borgata poker tournaments?

Al: The Borgata is just a class establishment through and through. I felt that the first time I stepped in the building a couple of years back. It has the feel and vibe of a top-notch Las Negas property but right here in Atlantic City. So, enjoying the property is a start. As far as poker specifically, I think the dealers and staff headed by Stan and Tab do a fabulous job. And Tab's structures are very player friendly with generous starting chip counts.

Pauly: Do you play any other games besides No Limit Hold'em? What is your specialty? Cash games or tourneys? What attracted you to NL tournaments?

Al: I play Omaha H/L, Seven-card Stud, Stud H/L... all cash games, as well as tournaments. I prefer tournaments more, because of the high pressure of having it all on the line at any given point. The concentration level necessary to play at a high level and everything associated with a successful tourney run is very appealing to me. NL tournaments were particularly attractive because of its popularity recently and hence the big prize pools and payouts in return for a modest investment upfront. So I knew that if I was going to concentrate on poker I would have to get better at NL tournaments.

Pauly: You took 26th at a 2005 WSOP Shorthanded NL event. I prefer (playing and covering) short-handed events. Do you think that there should be more short-handed events?

Al: I prefer short handed at times. I think there should be and there has been a push to include more of them. That said, it doesnt really matter... what matters more is adjusting to the players at your particular table, whether the game is short or full.

Pauly: The WPT and the Travel Channel have not yet aired the Borgata event that you won. Are you enjoying your last few months of anonymity?

Al: I already get a bit more recognized, although it really doesn't matter to me. I'm the same person I've always been.

Pauly: What other major events do you plan on attending in 2006?

Al: I attended Commerce and I'll definitely be at the Bellagio in April. I'm gonna play in most of the 2006 WSOP events and see where it goes from there.

Pauly: Do you think poker has helped boost Atlantic City's popularity with 20-somethings?

Al: Not necessarily, though there are a lot of great young players that are based here and doing very well from the cash games it seems.

Pauly: Who are the players you admire? Who are you afraid of?

Al: Let's see... I admire guys like Daniel Negreanu, Carlos Mortensen, Phil Ivey, and Layne Flack. I especially like Layne Flack. He's tough.

Pauly: What was the best and worst hand you played in the 2005 Borgata Open?

Al: The best hand? Probably calling a monster bluff attempt by Steve Dannenman with about 47 players left and just 2 before money. Both of us had rather big stacks. It was all on the line there if I was wrong. Since I was right, it propelled me to the front as one of the chipleaders. I never surrendered that relative chip count from that point on. And the worst hand? There were many that I played poorly!

Pauly: What are common mistakes that you see beginner players make?

Al: New players tend to have too much aggression with mediocre hands like TT, JJ , and AK. Especially AK. They are not enough patience to take a pot post-flop. That's the first and only thing that pops into my mind.

Thanks again to Al Ardebili for taking time out for the interview. He's really one of the cooler guys I met on the poker tournament circuit. Don't forget to tune in next Wednesday to see Al's victory at the Borgata!

Oh, just a reminder that the Borgata is running the Ultimate Super Satellite Tournament this weekend where you can win a $60K prize package that includes a slew of seats into major tournaments like the WSOP main event and the WPT Championship. Stop by the Borgata's main website for more details.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Horses Don't Bet on People and Neither Do I

I sat 11th in chips with 23 players left. A vile feeling infected my testicular region. My balls started to tingle and automatically shrunk. They knew a bad beat was coming. It had been two hours without one. I was due.

It was 2:30am. Widespread Panic melodiously played on my iPod. Their Halloween show from Las Vegas (which I happily attended) was keeping me fired up. I rarely played tournaments these days. And I never play the 180 person $20 SNGs on Poker Stars.

But there I was, unable to sleep on a lonely night in the big city and not courageous enough to summon the creative juices to write. I pathetically sat in a poorly lit room and accepted my fate.

I crave the action. I need excitement.

I was just one of millions of other junkies gettting their late night fix. Some were smoking tarless cigarettes. Others were masturbating to Malaysian elephant porn. Serious addicts shot junk into their veins in some flop house on the bad side of town. And in the basement of a suburban cul-de-sac a tweaker from Ineverheardof, Kansas brazenly snorted three lines of crystal meth and fired up his 23th table on four different poker sites and somehow cleared his mind for a nanosecond to get involved in a pot with me.

I made good calls along the way and the deck hit me in the face harder than Ike Turner used to lay the smackdown on Tina. I won three big coin flips. I hit a flop with AK vs. 88. I out flopped 10-10 with A-J. And then my 9-9 held up against J-10s. My pocket aces held up twice. I caught cards, hit flops, and persuaded my opponents to fold when I semi-bluffed. The field went fast. 20 gone. Then 45. Then 69. Then all of a sudden there were three tables left.

And things got ugly.

Tweaker from Kansas chased a flush. Just 5 more places from the money, I lost a big pot from a testicle and brain numbing bad beat. I had the guy dominated preflop too. If I won that hand, I'd be second in chips and have a shot at the real money. Instead, I lost and bounced in 23rd place. Two hours and five minutes wasted.

I could have folded and pussied my way into the money in 14th place after I got chipped down and made a steal with a weak ace only to get bad beated by another nimord. But I didn't.

At least I cracked A-A with the Hilton Sisters on my $3/6 table during the SNG. I flopped a set and turned a boat. All he had was A-A on a board that had a flush and was paired. He capped it on the turn and river. Nothing is sweeter.

I've made good decisions in the few tournaments that I played. MTTs aren't a heavy staple in my poker diet, so I pay more attention and focus when I'm playing them. With one or two a week my concentration level is at it's peak. There was a time when I'd try to squeeze 10 different MTTs a day in.

I hit a big pot in a $5/10 ring game on Party Poker to break even for the day. From the little blind I limped into a 6 way pot with J-9. I hit the monster flop of 10-8-7. Biggest pot of the week for me. Capped on the river. I love that rare and exhilarating feeling that consumes you when you have the nuts and it get raised back at you. That's the ultimate high.

Too bad I won an online pot, because I would have ejaculated in my shorts in real life. If that was a casino cash game and the dealer pushed that massive pot my way, I would have slowly fondled the chips like it was the soft and supple breast of that 19 year old sorority girl that stumbled into my room at the fraternity house after she had ten too many Jello shots.

Monday, March 13, 2006

WPBT POY #1: PLO on Poker Stars

The first WPBT Player of the Year Circuit event kicked off. Byron did a great job setting it up, despite starting the tournament in the middle of the first episode of the new season of the Sopranos, which totally sucked by the way. I waited three years for a new episode and it was all rubbish. Anyway, 55 players showed up for the PLO tournament and the Top 9 would get paid prize money. Some of your favorite bloggers were playing, including yours truly. The top 28 players earned POY points.
My Starting Table:

Seat 1: Derek... The self-professed Don Swayze of poker bloggers was moved to the table mid-way through the first level. By day he's underwriting insurance for the porn industry and by night he's plotting to take over the Jets management with The Rooster.

Seat 3: Geek... He's the photoshop God among dorks and one of the many players you'd find donking off chips at the infamous Murderer's Row homegame in West LA. We think he overslept for the event, but my sources told me he was seen at a Star Wars convention in Van Nuys getting his light sabre autographed by Mark Hamill.

Seat 4: TripJax... The Greensboro, NC native used to work as for a minor leaue baseball team. Although he started out as the mascot, he eventually graduated to bullpen car driver and would take relief pitcher to the mound in a golf car that was dressed up like a badger.

Seat 5: Pauly... Your hero is actually the prototypical anti-hero. He's back from a three week stint in Hollyweird which fried his brain. His two secret addictions are PLO and writing poems about Scarlet Johansen's nipples.

Seat 6: DoubleAs... He's the best non-professional poker player around. An engineer and super-dad by day, he's a shark luring around the NL tables at night. He'll discuss all the poker strategy you want in the chat while taking your entire stack in the process.

Seat 7: Change100... The former sitcom child actor turned sleazy studio executive and everyone's favorite pot-smoking blonde from Hollyweird was here to donate some of her winnings after she cashed in the $1M Guarantee earlier in the afternoon. She giggled everytime some one bet "pot."

Seat 8: Spaceman... The man from Tennessee is deep in the heart of Dixie where the most PLO is ironically played here in America. He had Mrs. Spaceman riding shotgun in the tourney so they would be a tough duo to take down.

Seat 9: Drizz... The former silver medalist in the 1992 Olympics in men's fast-pitch softball team (it was a demonstration sport) is also an O8 guru. Can he make magic happen in PLO?
I had been working off my reload bonus by multi-tabling the $3/6 tables at Poker Stars. I randomly sat down at CC's table. I think I junxed him because he had a lot of big hands cracked. Anyway, back to PLO... I saw a lot of flops with hands I'd usually fold since everyone at my table was playing tentative. I had DoubleAs to my left which is good and bad. It's good because I can act before him. It's bad because even though it's PLO, he's still an excellent tournament player. Plus Drizz was the darkhorse. He plays a lot of Omaha 8, so he's used to playing games with four cards. Derek was moved to my table which a lot of railbirds were suggesting was a TV table. Meh.

My second table had Byron, Chops, FFLPlague, SpiderK, Iggy, Pauly, Bad Blood, and Change100. I had some good hands but didn't get any action after I hit a few flops. I had a boat against Iggy and he didn't pay me off.

I got moved to a third table that featured ResetDave, Vegaas, Wes, Jorgen, Gracie, CraigNY, Iggy, and CawtBluffin. (I apologize in advance if I can't think of your url off hand.) I wasn't there for too long. I was one of the shortstacks, sitting in 20th out of 30 when I arrived and action was so very close to the points bubble. I ran into Wes's quads and doubled him up. Two hands later I busted out by a straight flush. I raised on the button with A-A-5c-6c and got popped back by ResetDave. He had me covered and I was out.

I finished in 26th place. At least I lost all my chips to qauds and a straight flush. I made the cutoff and earned points in the event. The fuckin' pencil necked Poker Geek sat out and folded his scrawny ass "into the points." Bastard!

Congrats to StB who won the first event after he beat SpiderK heads up. If you don't know, StB took down a WWdN event last week too. The dude from the Beer City is fuckin' hot. H. O. T. Fear StB!

Thanks again to Byron again for setting this up.

* * * * *

Before I go, two quick things. TripJax and Jordan is hosting a short-handed event tonight. I can't make it. These tourneys are always schedule at a bad time for me.

Don't forget about Iggy's WSOP tournament next Sunday! Here are the details:
What: WPBT WSOP NL Satellite Tournament
When: March 19th - Sunday
Time: 9pm EST
Where: Paradise Poker
How Much: $30
Password: email iggy at allimcbeal_69 -
Restrictions: Bloggers only!

Winner wins a seat in the 2006 WSOP $1500 event of their choice. Because of Paradise's software, we now need 55 players to pull this off. The $30 buyin fee includes the juice, so in reality its a $27 + 3 event.

* * * * *

If you want to play in my annual 2006 March Madness Pool, shoot me an email and I'll tell you the password. It's $20 to enter and it's set up on ESPN. My brother and his team Chico's Bail Bonds is the defending champion.
Top 4 teams win prize money.
First place gets a phone call from Daddy.
Last place wins a Snail Trax t-shirt.

2005 Pauly's Pub March Madness Money Winners:
1 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) $200
2 Stop Your Begging (Coach) $100
3 Inside the Paris Hilton (Pauly) $60
4 Austin Paulbearers (Matt S.) $40
I'm a huge North Carolina fan, so I pick them every year on at least one sheet. I'm also going with Derek's alma mater Bucknell to go far.

Oh, and if you are looking to gamble on some of the college hoops games, you can set up a Bodog sports book account. I'm not an affiliate just a member, but if you use my referral code P1B5DB7 then I get a few bucks added to my personal account. Let me know if you sign up. I shall thank you in advance.

I posted some LA photos over at the Tao of Pauly called 21 Flavors: LA Picture Dump. Yes, there are 21 random pics. Take a peek. There's also tons of food pics that I posted there over the last few weeks.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Final Tables and Bonus Whoring

I made the final table in a 400+ person tournament yesterday. I haven't played too many NL tournaments this year, preferring cash games instead. The few I played in were charity events or WWdN ones which are both a total crapshoot. Tournaments were killing my bankroll and I cut down on buy-ins to help stop the bleeding during my three-month losing streak. Besides, I'm a much better cash game player.

If you count making the final table at the LA Poker Classic media tournament (where a seat to the WPT Invitational on the line), that was my second final table in three plus weeks. I would like to think that I'm playing better poker. I'm not. Short term success in tournaments is determined by luck, not skill. Sure, I made the correct decisions but I have to admit that I have been getting lucky. My big hands held up. I hit a few draws. I caught a few lucky rivers. I didn't go on tilt when I lost big hands via suckouts. And most importantly, everyone folded when I bluffed.

I took 7th out of 486 and aside from two big hands early on, I had to bluff and steal my way to the final table. I definitely got lucky and had to maximize marginal hands like A-9, Q-10s, or 3-3 since those were the best hands I was getting. If just one person called my semi-bluffs, I would have been busted out on the bubble. As soon as play got close to the money, I played even more aggressively. With a lot of medium stacks at my table, they played like pussies and stayed out of my way. They wanted to fold into the money which gave me the opportunity to take down pots preflop. I'm not satisfied with just making the money. The only money place I look at in a tournament is for first place. That's the only pay out amount that really matters.

I fell short of winning my first MTT of the year. Early on I had A-A and doubled up. Anyone with a half a brain can play pocket aces. I scooped a big pot with a junk hand. In late position I limped in and flopped a gutshot. Five people were in the pot with me and I turned the straight. I busted two players on that hand. They never saw it coming.

I had one very big laydown when I folded 10-10. I raised preflop in middle position and got two callers behind me. All rags fell on the flop and I bet out the size of the pot. One called and another moved all in. I suspected that one of them had a higher pair or possibly a set. I mucked. The guy with J-J won the pot.

I finished in 7th and wasn't all upset. With one of the shortstacks, I made a move with K-5s as the blinds were about to go up on the very next hand. I pushed all in preflop and ran into K-10. I flopped two pair but got sent to the rail on the turn when he paired his kicker.

* * * * *

I've been bonus whoring since my return to NYC. Party Poker has a reload bonus! Use bonus code 25TO100MARCH when you reload between now and March 16 and you're eligible for a 25% bonus up to $100. It's convenient since I've been playing most of my poker over the last few weeks I've been grinding out multiple 3/6 full ring tables and hit and running at the 5/10 6 max tables. I like playing on Party Poker because my screen name is not DrPauly like it is on other sites. The anonymity is precious these days.

I got my ass kicked on Poker Stars the past two days multi-tabling 3/6 tables trying to clear their new reload bonus. If you don't know they are offering up a 20% up to $120 reload bonus until Monday, March 13th at 11:59 PM ET. Players must earn 5 FPP's for each $1 in bonus money. As always, bonuses at Poker Stars never expire. They are running this promotion because WSOP satellites started yesterday. I'm whoring there too after I reloaded.

Yeah, another way to break out of a losing funk is to do a little bonus whoring. If you sucessfully clear a bonus without taking a hit to the bankroll, it's free money.

Recent Poker Playing Music...
1. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
2. Jeff Tweedy
3. Cream
4. Galactic
5. Traffic

* * * * *

Thanks to my Top 10 Referrals for the past week.
1. Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog
2. Iggy's Guinness and Poker
3. Tao of Pauly
4. CJ, G-Rob, and Otis at Up for Poker
5. Joe Speaker's Obituarium
6. Al's Al Cant Hang
7. Dan's Pokerati
8. Double As
9. Change100's Pot Committed
10. Chris Halverson's Chris Halverson
* * * * *

By the way, just a reminder that Biggestron set up a WPBT Player of the Year Circuit tournament tonight on Poker Stars.
First event in the WPBT-POY Race!

What: Pot Limit Omaha
Where: PokerStars (Private Tourney 20742121)
When: Sunday, March 12th at 9:30 PM EST (or 6:30 PM PST)
Cost: $20+2
Password: wpbt72
Restrictions: Bloggers only!
See you there for some PLO action.