Los Angeles, CA
I have lots of blackmail material on the gang at Bluff Magazine. That's the only reason why Tao of Poker got the perennial nod from the editorial staff at Bluff Magazine when they selected the 2010 Readers' Choice awards. I always thought that my involvement in the "Best Blog" category was a conflict of interest because I'm a columnist in the print version of Bluff Magazine, but luckily no one in our industry adheres to any form of ethics whatsoever. Besides, it's two totally different mediums. Apples and oranges.
I'm pumped that I got the nod with Wicked Chops Poker, Pokerati, and Hard-Boiled Poker. It's no bullshit when I say, it's pretty cool that I got lumped in with those guys. They're all more worthy nominees. I'm fortunate that we're all friends -- which makes this honor even more special because we'd all be happy if any of us won. Our genuine comradeship is so rare that we pull for and support each other, especially in the poker scene that is littered with behind-the-scenes rivalries, dirty competition, and senseless high school drama that created a socially toxic environment for everyone in the industry.
By the way... Tao of Poker did not deserve inclusion for this year. I didn't put the amount of time into Tao in 2010 that I had done so in previous years. My priorities changed because the primary focus in 2010 was polishing off the final draft of Lost Vegas and enduring the arduous publishing process that ensued. Many of the stories in Lost Vegas originated from the Tao of Poker, and I hope that I created a piece of gambling literature that will stand the test of time.
On a positive note, taking a step back from blogging exclusively about poker every single day allowed me to re-gain a fresh perspective. Instead of the dreaded feelings of obligation to post every day, I took the more pleasurable route with a reduced blogging load. The results were tremendous -- the overall quality improved and I thoroughly enjoyed writing about poker for the first time in a very long time. The time away also allowed me to improve my editing skills while I worked with Dr. Ken and the Human Head -- both of whom deserve tons of credit in helping me improve the quality of Lost Vegas.
A number of long-form pieces that I wrote this year never would have been possible without a reduced blogging schedule. Some of my favorite Tao of Poker posts from 2010 include...
Haiku: Rush Poker PLOThe amount of time I spend on poker also diminished because my focus shifted to funneling creative energizes writing/blogging in different topics at Tao of Bacon, Coventry Music, Truckin', and Tao of Pauly... and then there's the videos I splice together in my spare time over at YouTube.
Memoirs of a Rush Addict
Through a Glass Darkly: The Search for Isildur1
WPT Celebrity Invitational: Welcome to Hollyweird
I Could Use Some Brass Knuckles
Top 10 Ways to Annoy Chat Beggars
Top 5 Lawyers Full Tilt Poker Should Hire
Pai Gow Diaries: Mr. Pai Gow
2007 WSOP Flashback: Eric Lindgen Prop Bet
Negative Ned and Negative Nancy
Top 10 Degen Gambling Flicks
WSOP: Most Likely You Go Durrrr's Way (And I'll Go Mine)
WSOP: Phil Ivey Beats Supercomputer for Bracelet Ocho
WSOP: Great Expectations
Cocaine Cowgirl: Paris Hilton Arrested in Las Vegas
Psycho Killer: Ron Fanelli the Mad Yank
The Lone Gunman
Bracelets: Nouveau Riche Bling or Traditional Badges of Honor?
Apolitical Poker Politics: Harry Reid Sucks Out on River
Pai Gow Diaries: Cult of the Dragon
Bingo Halls: Dots Across America
Pai Gow Diaries: Lucky Cards
My poker contributions have reached beyond blogging and writing. I was even lucky enough to be a guest on the live streaming show This Week in Poker. The poker podcasts with Michalski and Benjo at Tao of Pokerati represents some of the most fun that I have all summer -- and it shows in the levity and hijinks in the episodes. I'm also thrilled that my gang at Coventry Music expanded into podcasting with the Wook Patrol. Anytime you got Benjo talking about hippies --- it's fucking gold.
The blogging platform is rapidly changing and evolving. I have no idea whee it will be in five or ten years. Long-form writing has taken a back seat to more powerful tentacles of social media, which is why I'm still honored that Tao of Poker got recognition. Rest assured, Tao of Poker will never vanish. "Tao" is translated as "way" or "path" or "road", which means that my journey through life will certainly include poker, gambling, or any other form degeneracy. That will never change. The more that I cross paths with poker... the more I will write about it. The "long story" and inside dope will always eventually end up here. One of my goals in 2011 is to play more poker, so I definitely won't be short on content.
Anyway... you should vote in Bluff's Reader's Choice awards, which also has plenty of other categories like Best Female Hostess and Breakout Performance of the Year.
Many thanks to the crew at Bluff Magazine for the nod. Hopefully, I'll have a much stronger 2011 and be more deserving for inclusion next year. Many thanks to the guest contributors on the Tao All-Stars, and lastly thanks to you the reader for your continued support and patience.