New York City
I'm one to look to the now before I can gaze off into the future. I usually cannot get excited about something that doesn't exist. I've been traveling with an insane frequency that I often wake up in the middle of the night and have no idea where I am. Alas, I can only focus on the present and at the most, the next intended destination.
However, if there was one trip I had been anxiously awaiting... it's the one I'm about to embark upon. Shit, I had been waiting for this particular week for almost a full year. I'm flying to Florida to catch up with old friends. I'm also attending the Langerado music festival featuring some of my favorite bands (including Les Claypool, Dark Star Orchestra, Sam Bush, Beastie Boys, STS9, The Wood Brothers, The New Mastersounds, Thievery Coproration, MMW with John Scofield, REM, Disco Biscuits, The Funky Meters, G'ovt Mule, and Phil Lesh & Friends.)
We're gonna camp out for four long nights at a Native American reservation in the middle of nowhere. I have a great crew for this year's festival including my buddy the Joker and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. There will also be a few other special guests on this journey (hints: hair products + navel gazing), which I will reveal at a later time.
Content on Tao of Poker might be sparse over the next seven days. If you are a music fan, head over to my music blog or check out Tao of Pauly for daily updates. If you are a poker fan, feel free to sift through the Tao of Poker archives. There are a few rough gems amidst all the fodder that I have regurgitated on the web over the last four years.
I dunno if I will be unable to play in Saturdays with Dr. Pauly. I have no clue what our RV set up will be like and if I can get a consistent power/net access from the middle of nowhere. Regardless, I will sign up for the event. If I cannot play, I will be donating my $10 to the prize pool. Luckily, Change100 will be the special guest host in my absence. I really hope that you will still be able to play. When I set up these weekly events, I knew it would be impossible to play every week. And this is one of those instances.
I have a special announcement...
I will be returning to the Borgata in Atlantic City in September of 2008 to cover the Borgata's September poker series. I should be there for two plus weeks and will be working for the Borgata's coverage team. I have not been able to work there recently due to previous commitments. But they made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.
I covered the Borgata Winter Open in 2006 and that stands out as one of my favorite assignments of all time. I couldn't wait for the opportunity to return, and lucky for me, I had those two weeks available. Stay tuned for more details. Thanks again to the Borgata (and Friedman) for inviting me back.
It's funny that I booked the Borgata gig before I made a decision about the 2008 WSOP. You see that decision has been hounding me for the last couple of weeks. I have so many job offers that I do not know who to work for.
In the end, it comes down to a big decision.
Shortly before I left the Aussie Millions, Tony G pulled me aside and we had a long talk about the 2008 WSOP. He said that I was an integral part of Poker News' success last year and wanted me on board for 2008. He said that he'd do whatever it took to make that happen. I told him the same thing I told John Caldwell... it's not about the money. It's about things that they cannot promise or offer me... such as creative freedom and time for me to write my own stuff.
The biggest problem with 2007 WSOP was the tremendous workload that I undertook. I had 100-120 hour work weeks and only had a couple of days off during the entire WSOP. Some days I had less than an hour to write for other clients including on Tao of Poker. I really hoped that I would have more time to write, but that never happened. I sacrificed sleep and the opportunity to play cards/party/hang out with friends in order to find time for Tao of Poker. That is something I don't want to have to sacrifice this year.
But obviously, I can't just half-ass any assignment that I take. If I commit to something, I'm committed. 110%. Balls to the wall.
I made a ton of money last year, but earned every penny. I was the Day 2 specialist. I took on the role that Mariano Rivera had for the 1996 Yankees. Rivera was the set up man for their closer John Wetteland. Rivera would pitch the 7th and 8th and Wetteland would come in and close the game in the 9th. Well that's what the 2007 WSOP was like for Poker News. BJ Nementh covered the majority of the final tables. He was our closer. I took the ball on Day 2 and covered events from the money bubble to the final table.
I got to cover a few final tables (mainly PLO) and I did color commentary at the final table for the 50K Horse and Main Event, but the majority of my assignments were Day 2s. The pressure was immense and the events always ran late.
I've been agonizing over the decision since the end of the 2007 WSOP. I have a deep respect for Poker News. I've been extremely loyal to them because of how amazing they've treated me in the past. When I got dropped by clients or forced to take pay cuts in the wake of the UIGEA, John Caldwell and Poker News hired me and paid me above and beyond what I'm worth. They sent me all over the world and I have the opportunity to work with many amazing people. Everyone has been great and I would love to work with them in the future.
The decision is up to me. Caldwell and The G are totally cool with me writing for myself. They know that I'd be a valuable asset to their organization but they also have enough respect for me as a writer and person.
If I work for myself, I make a lot less money, but more free time. Time is priceless. The upside is that I'll have more free time to get more behind the scenes content. I'll have more time to spend with friends and a lot more time to actually play poker. I don't think I'll play in more than one WSOP event, but I'm eager to play oodles of cash games.
So I've been in limbo the last few weeks as I struggle with a major decision. Do I remain loyal and work for the official coverage team like last year? Or do I go out on my own and write exclusively for Tao of Poker?
Hopefully, by the end of the month, I can come to a decision. For now, I'm ambivalent. Where should I work this summer... Poker News or Tao of Poker?
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