Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tao of Poker 2007 Year in Review - Part 1

By Pauly
New York City

It's been a tough, yet amazing 2007. I battled through a lot of personal illness and despite the UIGEA, I managed to have one of my most successful years as a poker player, a writer, and a blogger. Although I barely had any free time to myself, I was in constant motion. I got flown all over the world to cover different poker tournaments, I met tons of cool and interesting people, and got to embark on several original experiences.

Unfortunately a two-part post cannot do 2007 justice. My best advice is to go back and re-read Tao of Poker via the archives since I'm always tired, burnt out, and unmotivated when I eventually sit down to write the Year in Review.

* * * * * *


I started the new year in San Francisco. In fact just three hours into 2007, I ran into a fan of the Tao of Poker while at a My Morning Jacket concert at the infamous Fillmore Theatre.

A couple of days later, I arrived in Australia to cover the Aussie Millions for Poker News. It was my first trip down under and I was quickly blown away by. I got to hang out with Jules (and meet her boy toy Graham) who cooked me a fatty Aussie BBQ. I ran into plenty of readers and got to hang out with HDouble, who flew in with Full Tilt for the Aussie Millions.

Originally I was hired to do a radio show with John "Schecky" Caldwell. There were some technical difficulties so that project got killed on the spot, even though we taped a couple of segments that never made it to air. Instead, I stepped into the tournament coverage team and continued to write end of day articles for Poker News.

I did a studio recap of one of the first days of the Aussie Millions main event with Schecky. Check out the video...

Click here to view the video via RSS or Bloglines...

I played a private SNG with a bunch of Poker News people and Matt Savage's wife. I got heads up with the Poker Shrink and although we chopped it, I took him down heads up to win.

I got Shronk to eat vegemite for a prop bet. Here's the video...

Click here to view the Vegemite video via RSS or Bloglines...

The worst thing that happened to me in Melbourne was the entire Neteller debacle. I got 34K stuck "in transit" and caught in limbo as my last few transfers from Neteller to my checking account were frozen by the DOJ. Not one cent was from playing online poker and everything was writer's income since the majority of my clients paid me via Neteller transfers including Poker News. It would be almost nine months before I'd see that money... and at the time, I thought I'd lose it forever.

Once the Aussie Millions ended, I hit the road with Brandon Schaefer and Schecky. We headed up to the Gold Coast and spent a few nights in Surfer's Paradise. A wealthy Aussie hooked us up with a fat room at the Palazzo Versace. Schecky knew Tool's tour manager and got us backstage passes to Tool and the Big Day Out music festival in the Gold Coast. We had a crazy, yet surreal moment backstage when we ran into Kate Hudson. It was almost a scene out of Almost Famous.

Here's a video of Big Day Out hijinks featuring The Killers, John Butler Trio, Muse, and Jet...

Click here to view the BDO video via RSS or Blogliness...

After Big Day Out, we migrated down the coast to Byron Bay for a few days where we continued our roving Chinese Poker game. Then Schecky headed home while Schafer and I took a train down to Sydney. We stayed in a hostel with hot French and German chicks. We celebrated Australia Day with Sarne and Ali (from PokerStars the APPT) at a BBQ they hosted in Glebe. The next night we met up with a fan of my blogs named Nigel and crashed his BBQ in another Almost Famous moment.

Here's my Australia photo gallery.

* * * * *


I left Australia in style. I was under budget for the trip and decided to splurge so I upgraded to Business Class on my flight from Sydney to LAX. Upon my return to the States, I was inspired to write Tao of Oz: Travels.

February is also fun because of St. Grubby's Day.

Legalize It was one of my favorite pieces from February. Here's a bit:
Our current politicians would not cure our social maladies if they got their hands on an abundant pool of revenue generated from taxing online poker, prostitution, and marijuana. Think about the possibility of Uncle Sam getting $1 for every bong hit, blow job, and dealt hand on Poker Stars... then they'd have no problems funding the next war in Iran. With a war chest thanks to taxes on marijuana, prostitution, and online poker, the U.S. military could offer twice as much in bonuses to sign up for the armed forces which would alleviate their current enlistment problems. Americans will do anything for money, if the price is right... More
Then there were the Doyle Brunson died rumors. Which turned out to be false.

I started the month in OZ and spent some time in Hollyweird then NYC for a bit before I returned to Hollyweird to cover the LA Poker Classic for Poker News.

I also got strep throat again and was sick for a week or so. On the night I got sick, I won Miami Don's Big Game, which also happened on Chinese New Year. You can read a recap of my first place win called Lucky Pig and the Blogger Big Game.

* * * * *


I started out the month covering the LAPC for Poker News. The final table of the LAPC included Paul Wasicka, Chau Giang, and JC Tran. Eric Hersler went on to win $2.4 million. In a small world twist, I would find myself at the same table with Eric Hershler four months later during the WSOP.

I played in a Beverly Hills home game, just down the street from Change100's apartment, that was hosted by friends of Schecky and Jen Leo. The night also featured a birthday party for the hostess' dog, which included special doggie cupcakes. I had a blast at the tournament. I played against a former NBA player and several people in the entertainment industry including a comedienne. I made the final table and busted a 91 year-old woman. I cashed and finished in third when a 16 year old high school girl slow played pocket aces to knock me out.

Dysthymia is one of my favorites posts from March. It made my Top 10 posts of the year which discussed depression and losing streaks.

March was an interesting month. I started off in Hollyweird, flew to NYC, then down to Florida for a week for the Langerado music festival (with Sweet Sweet Pablo, Change100, and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot), back to NYC, then out to Las Vegas for a week of March Madness. I had to fly from Las Vegas to NYC before my flight to Monte Carlo which went through Madrid and Nice before I finally arrived to cover the EPT Championship.

Balance was inspired after my trip to Florida and I spent quality time with old friends from college.

I also did an Interview with Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. Funny shit. My boy PKPNF is hysterical.

I heard another rumor... that the Tilted Kilt was going to be shut down. My reaction? R.I.P. Tilted Kilt.

I flew out to Las Vegas for March Madness with my brother, Senor, and Change100. We stayed at Red Rock and hung out with Miami Don, JW, and Friedman. I had such a rollercoaster week and at one point I was betting 2K on each Elite 8 game.

After two redeyes (Vegas to NYC and NYC to Madrid), I finally arrived in Monte Carlo, a day early because at the last minute the EPT added another Day 1 to accommodate all of their players. Poker News was short staffed and Monte Carlo was one bitch of an assignment. The highlights of the trip was getting to hang out with Otis and Mad from PokerStars and Stephen Bartley from Gutshot. I also met Benjo for the first time and took some money from Snoopy. I pissed next to lots of Scandi pros and I was nearly blinded by tons of hot Swedish ass on the rail sweating random Scandis. Just click here to read about the first three days of the EPT Championship.

Check out the Monte Carlo photo gallery.

Also, check out the Langerado music festival photo gallery.

* * * * *


I started the month in Monte Carlo covering the EPT Championship.

Otis, Three Brits, and a Swede Walk into a Bar... is about a random game of poker that a bunch of us played in the lobby of my hotel in Monte Carlo.

I also discovered that several of my articles for Poker News had been translated into at least twelve different languages.

I agreed to write for during the WSOP.

Then I walked away from the ESPN gig due to creative differences.

I wrote Tranquilize Your Mind in response to the numerous home game poker raids.

After the EPT Championship, I spent a couple of days in Amsterdam before I headed back to NYC for a bit. Then I flew out to Las Vegas to cover the WPT Championships at the Bellagio. Check out my 2007 WPT Championships Preview.

Although I was hired by Poker News to cover the WPT Championships, I managed to stay up late every night writing up recaps for Tao of Poker. Those were some of the best non-WSOP tournament coverage that I did for the entire year. Check out...
Day 1A: The Golden Bluff and Anna Who?
Day 1B: Gary Greenburg and the $100 Belly Poke
Day 2: Phil Hellmuth Poker
Day 3: Tilt-a-Phil
Day 4: The Carrot Top and Hellmuth Blows Load
Day 5: Making the Final Table and Tommy Vu Bitch Slaps Hellmuth
Carlos Mortensen Wins the 2007 WPT Championship
Check out my Amsterdam photos gallery.

* * * * *


Started the month off in Las Vegas covering the WPT Championships and the WSOP Circuit at Caesar's Palace for Poker News. The Circuit event was a preview of our WSOP coverage team as I took a position with the official WSOP coverage team.

I stayed at the IP while covering the WPT Championships and that stint there inspired Labyrinth of Avarice, which included one of my favorite lines... When she refused to give her a drink the redneck got right in her face and said, "Fuck you bitch. Where's my fuckin' Bud Light!"

Once my assignments were over, I stayed behind to find an apartment and played a lot of poker at Red Rock. I penned... Cowboy Clippers and The Ninth Raise.

I wrote a bit on TV Poker.

I went back to NYC for a bit and I played in the I Had Outs homegame. Welcome to the Crackhouse sums up my adventure out to Brooklyn with Spaceman and Mrs. Spaceman.

Imagine is about some hijinks in NYC with Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot.

The Birth of Cool was a popular post among readers. I had sent an email to a friend of mine who was struggling at poker and posted excerpts.

I played in a Darfur Charity event with Humberto Brenes and went heads up against him a couple of times.

I flew to Hollyweird, then drove to Las Vegas at the end of May to move there for two months to cover the WSOP. On my first day in Vegas, I broke a mirror in my new apartment. I guess you can say that No Exit and Broken Mirrors kicked off my WSOP writing.

* * * * *

That's it for Part 1 of the Year on Review. I'll be back in a couple of days with Part 2. Like I said at the beginning, the best bet is to just sift through my archives.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

No comments:

Post a Comment