Thursday, July 31, 2003

Who am I?

Playing at the 2007 WSOP
(Photo by Flipchip courtesy of

My name is Pauly and I am a writer originally from New York City. I having been living out of my backpack the last five years traveling all over America, Europe, and Australia covering poker tournaments, while intermittently living in Las Vegas.

I am the author of Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker. The release date is Fall 2009.

Tao of Poker was created so I could combine two of my passions: Writing and Poker. You can visit my regular blog called the Tao of Pauly. I also publish a monthly literary blogzine called Truckin' and also founded Coventry music blog.

I'm a partner in which includes the Las Vegas Blog and Poker Prof's Poker Blog. I'm also a partner in Fantasy Sports Live, a website dedicated to daily fantasy sports contests.

I'm a contributing author to Pressure Poker (mostly written by Scott Gallant).

I'm currently a columnist for Bluff Magazine and Poker Player Newspaper. I have written for PokerStars Blog, Poker News, and the Borgata.

Other freelance articles and stories of mine have been published at Bluff Magazine, Fox Sports, High Roller Magazine, the OnGame Zone, Poker Pro magazine, Online Poker Pro magazine, Poker Pro Europe,,, All In Magazine, UK Racing Post,, and Sports Betting News. Several of my photographs have appeared in several of the above mentioned publications.

The Tao of Poker has been profiled in several publications including Bluff Magazine, All In, and Poker Pro. The Online Journalism Review mentioned the Tao of Poker in an article called Gonzo Bloggers Bring World Series to life in Real Time. The guys over at Wicked Chops Poker also conducted an interview with me called Blogfiles: Tao of Poker.

Tao of Poker has also been mentioned in Business Week, the London Times, ABC News, and NY Post. Tao of Poker has been linked up on,,,,,,, and

I first moved to Las Vegas in June 2005 to cover the World Series of Poker for, Poker Player Newspaper, and Fox Sports. Since then, I covered tournaments in Los Angeles, Atlantic City, Foxwoods, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, France, Monaco, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Mexico, the Bahamas, Argentina, and the UK.

Thanks to, my articles have been translated into over a dozens languages including Russian, German, Polish, Italian, Finnish, Greek, Portuguese, Japanese, Manadrin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Hungarian, and French.

Also, I was a frequent contributor to a European website called I wrote several player profiles for their archives. You can check out the index for all of my articles on

I have appeared on a weekly poker podcast called the Lord Admiral Card Club (their archives can be found here).

At the 2008 WSOP, we kicked off the Tao of Pokerati podcast, a joint venture with Dan Michalski from Pokerati.

The Unabomber and Jen Tilly at the 2005 WSOP

If you are currently looking for freelance writers, please contact me. If you are a head hunter and want me to come back to Wall Street, my answer is a polite, "No."

You can find me playing online PokerStars a few nights a week and you can read up on the rest of my everyday life in my main blog called Tao of Pauly.

Disclaimer: There is content published on this site that is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. I use too many curse words and have been known to drop the C-bomb from time to time. As often as I can, I will post some pictures that may contain nudity and/or drug use. You have been warned.

Random Photos & Sketches

Dr. Pauly with the Poker Penguin (by the Poker Hermit)

Playing at the 2005 World Series of Poker
(Photo by Flipchip from Las Vegas & Poker Blog)

Playing with Lou Krieger in the 2005 Media/Celebrity WSOP event
(Photo by Tuscaloosa Johnny)

Moments after TJ Cloutier won a bracelet at the 2005 WSOP
(Photo by Flipchip)

Hanging out with Wil and Sherry at the Rio

Pauly with pro Max Pescatori at the WPBT Holiday Classic (Las Vegas 2004)

Pauly on the WPT set at the Bellagio with BJ Nemeth
(Photo from Steve Hall)

Pauly playing at the 2006 WSOP
(Photo from Amy Calistri)

***** Last updated on 4.4.2009 *****
Some FAQ's

Q. When will Lost Vegas be released?

A. Spring 2010.

Q. Why is this site called the Tao of Poker?

A. On my main blog the Tao of Pauly I have a series where I list the Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway... mainly because I'm a writer and New Yorkers like to read. One morning, my brother was on his way to work down on Wall Street and he noticed a guy who was reading: The Tao of Poker a book written by Larry K. Philips, a book that I actually own. An ex-girlfriend picked it up for me as a gag joke. I thought it was fitting to name this site based on inspiration from an impulse buy and a tweaked understanding of Buddhism.

Q. Why do they call you Dr. Pauly?

A. I give Mr. Decker credit for that nickname. In a hilarious email exchange between himself and scam artists from Nigeria, he mentioned me as "Dr. Pauly." The nickname stuck. Mr. Decker rules.

Q. I am looking for freelance writers. Are you available?

Yes. I am open to discussing any freelance assignments that you have to offer. Feel free to contact me.

Q. I sent you an email and you never responded. What's the deal?

A. Due to the large volume of email, I am unable to answer every piece of email that I get. I do read everything in my inbox... eventually. Even though I might not respond, I read your email. I apologize in advance if you feel neglected.

Q. How can I buy ad space on the Tao of Poker?

A. Shoot me an email and include your site, contact info, and your URL. If you have a sample of what the ad looks like, please send that too. My ad & marketing rep will get back to you with a rate card.

Q. What is your online screen name or poker handle? How can we play together online?

A. Send me an email and I'll tell you what sites I play on and my screen names. I like to keep that information private, but if you're cool, I'll tell you when and where I usually play.

Q. What other poker sites do you play on?

A. I have been known to play on and Full Tilt.

Q. I have never bought a poker book. Where should I start?

A. Make sure you visit my Poker Books section where I list several books that you need to add to your poker library.

Q. Does your brother have a poker blog too?

A. Yes. Check out Derek's blog called Poker in the Weeds.

Q. Is Iggy really a sober housewife from Ohio? Is he really a dwarf?

A. Wouldn't you really like to know? God bless the internet.

Q. Did you really invent the term "Hilton Sisters" like I heard?

A. No. Vince Van Patten coned the phrase. I just beat it to a dead horse.

Pauly's Poker Books

A glimpse at my poker library

I often get asked what poker books that I've read. Here are some books that you should start with:
Theory of Poker by David Sklansky
Small Stakes Hold'em by Ed Miller
Super System by Doyle Brunson
Hold'em Excellence by Lou Krieger
These are books that you should read if you are an advanced player:
Harrington on Hold'em by Dan Harrington
Super System 2 by Doyle Brunson
Tournament Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky

Here are some other poker books I've read:
More Hold'em Excellence by Lou Krieger
Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth
Winner's Guide to Texas Hold'em by Ken Warren
The Bad Ass Girl's Guide To Poker by Toby Lee Bochan
Here are some random non-poker strategy books that you should read:
Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez
Positively Fifth Street by James McManus
An Actor Prepares by Stanislavski
The Tao of Poker by Larry W. Phillips
Zen and the Art of Poker by Larry W. Phillips

Book of the Month

April 2005: Harrington on Hold'em

Pauly's Quickie Book Reviews

Positively Fifth Street by James McManus

In 2000, Harper's Magazine hired James McManus to write an article on the rise of female participants in the World Series of Poker, in addition to covering the highly publicized murder trial of Ted Binion. He used the advance from Harper's to enter a few satellites to the main event at the World Series of Poker. He won his way into the tournament and eventually placed fifth out of 512 participants. His share of the prize money was $247,760. He chronicled his time in Vegas for Harper’s and eventually parlayed that into a book, Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker. McManus marvelously weaves the story of the Ted Binion murder trial in with his gripping account of playing in the most prestigious poker tournament against some of the best players in the world. McManus gives an accurate description of the underbelly of Las Vegas and high stakes poker. This is an interesting read for non-poker players, but they should beware that Positively Fifth Street is not a poker strategy book. At any rate, it's one of the best books ever written on poker.

Tournament Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky

David Skalansky wrote one of the best books on No Limit tournaments with Tournament Strategy for Advanced Players. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with some poker tournament experience and knows how to play no limit ring games. If you are a beginner player, you should read other books first. If you are serious about improving your tournament play, this book is for you. Skalansky explains "The Gap Concept," which is folding raiseable hands to a raise at a tight table and when to use it accordingly, especially in tournaments. He also discusses adjusting your style of play at different stages in the tournament and the differences between small stack play versus large stack play. He even has a section on making deals if you find yourself at the final table. Skalansky includes a section on hand quizzes with questions and answers by Mason Malmuth. Without a doubt, this is one of the best written books on tournament poker and will be a valuable addition to any poker library.

Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth is one of the most successful tournament players in the world, with nine World Series of Poker bracelets in his collection. It was only a matter of time before he wrote a book. He shares his vast poker knowledge in Play Poker Like the Pros. He targets an audience of inexperienced players and spends the first part of his book discussing the basics of Texas Hold'em. He recommends only playing his "Top Ten Starting Hands." He also breaks down different playing styles into Phil's Animal Types; Eagle, Mouse, Elephant, Jackal, and Lion. He has chapters on Limit and No Limit, in addition to spending time on other games like Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Low, Razz, Seven-card Stud, Seven-card Stud Hi/Low, and Pot Limit Hold'em. There are not too many books that cover Razz and it is a pleasure to see a player of Hellmuth's stature speak about one of the most stressful games in poker. His book is a good start for beginners and even intermediate players can pick up some helpful tips from one of the best players in the world.
Bonus Codes for Online Poker Sites

If you would like to play poker online, click on the links below and download the software when you get to the site you want to play on. Feel free to use the bonus codes (if I list any) so I can get credit for referring you.
Best of luck at the tables. If you want to know what my screen name is on a particular site, shoot me an email and I'll tell you.

Current Bonus Code Promotions

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Published Articles Archives

Here you go...
Online Poker Screen Names: Hidden Tells? (
How To Get Thrown Out Of A Poker Game (Poker Magazine)
SNG Strategy (
Book Review: Internet Texas Hold'em by Matthew Hilger (
Book Review: Tao of Poker by Larry K. Phillips (
Benny Binion and The Horseshoe Casino (
European Poker Tour (
Sad Amy (Poker Player Newspaper)
Poker Tournaments and TV Coverage (
Gaining the Edge in Online Poker (Poker Player Newspaper)
Poker Hall of Fame (
Party Poker Review (Poker Magazine)
Play Poker Like the Pros... and Go Broke (Poker Magazine)
Avoiding Tilt Online (Poker Magazine)
The Next Champion? (Poker Player Newspaper & Fox Sports)
Full Tilt Poker Review (Poker Magazine)
Those Cheating Games (Poker Magazine)
Poker Movies (
WSOP: First Impressions (Fox Sports)
WSOP: An Amazing Second Week (Poker Magazine)
Reategui Runs Over the Final Table (Poker Player Newspaper)
T.J. Cloutier Wins Event #13 (Poker Player Newspaper)
T.J. Cloutier Interview (
Erik Seidel Wins Event #9 (Poker Player Newspaper)
Son Rise (Fox Sports)
Mark Seif Wins 2nd WSOP Bracelet (Poker Player Newspaper)
A Guy Named Charlie (Fox Sports)
The Mighty Quinn Strikes Gold (
Phil Ivey Wakes Up to Win 5th Bracelet (Poker Player Newspaper)
Johnny Chan Makes History with 10th Bracelet (Fox Sports)
Doyle Brunson Wins 10th Bracelet (Fox Sports)
Actress Jen Tilly Wins WSOP Ladies Event (Fox Sports)
Joe Hachem: 2005 WSOP Champion (Poker Player Newspaper)
Before They Were Pros (Poker Magazine)
Jumping the Poker Shark (Poker Player Newspaper)
No Limit Life: A Book Review (Poker Player Newspaper)
The Stupidest Games I Ever Played (Poker Magazine)
Purity at the Poker Tables (Poker Magazine)
A Look at Joe Hachem (Poker Player Newspaper)
EPT: Frenchman Wins Barcelona Open (Poker Player Newspaper)
Al Ardebili Wins WPT Borgata (Poker Player Newspaper)
Minh Ly Wins Doyle Brunson North American Classic (Poker Player Newspaper)

Poker Greats: Johnny Chan (Poker Magazine)
WPT Championship: Sharks Dead, Chicks Rule (Poker Player Newspaper)
2006 WPT Championship Final Table Report (Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Poker: Avoiding Distractions (Poker Player Newspaper)
Poker Blog: The Best of the Rest (Bluff)
Longshot Wins WPT Championship (Poker Pro)
Pauly's Picks: Las Vegas Poker (
Celebrity Endorsements (Poker Player Newspaper)
2006 WSOP Odds (
2006 WSOP Preview (Fox Sports)
Internet Gaming Prohibition (Poker Player Newspaper)
Mike Sexton Wins Tournamanet of Champions (Poker Player Newspaper)
First Impressions: 2006 WSOP (Fox Sports)
Online Legends: Johnny Bax (Poker Player Newspaper)
Dark Horse: Chip Reese Wins $50K HORSE (Fox Sports)
Online Poker Tools and Programs(Poker Player Newspaper)
Hollywood agent Jamie Gold Wins 2006 WSOP(Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Legends: Eric 'Rizen' Lynch(Poker Player Newspaper)
Poker Blogs(Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Poker Tells(Poker Player Newspaper)
Bad Beated by Frist(Poker Player Newspaper)
JC Tran Wins WCOOP(Poker Player Newspaper)
Book Review: Internet Texas Hold'em(Poker Player Newspaper)
More Poker Industry Jobs Lost(Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Legends: Strassa2(Poker Player Newspaper)
Poker Blogs: The Best of the Best (Bluff Magazine)

The Post-Modern American Dream, PART 1(Poker Player Newspaper)
The Post-Modern American Dream, PART 2(Poker Player Newspaper)
Aussie Arrival (Poker News)
Erick Lindgren Wins $1 Million at Aussie Millions (Poker News)
Gus Hansen Wins Aussie Millions (Poker News)
Breaking News: Jamie Gold Lawsuit Settled(Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Hands(Poker Player Newspaper)
Tilt and Flow(Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Legends: Gobboboy(Poker Player Newspaper)
LA Poker Classic: Amateur Wins $2.4 Million (Poker News)
More Online Hands(Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Players Shine in California(Poker Player Newspaper)
EPT Championships at Monte Carlo: Day 1 Recap (Poker News)
Gavin Griffin Wins EPT Grand Finale (Poker News)
WSOP Satellites (Poker Player Newspaper)
WPT Championships Day 1a: Phil Hellmuth & Jamie Gold Show (Poker News)
Carlos Mortensen Wins WPT Championship (Poker News)
Cory Carroll Wins WSOP Circuit at Caesar's Palace (Poker News)
Guide to Online Poker Screen Names (Poker Player Newspaper)
Winning Hands (Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Legends: Annette_15 (Poker Player Newspaper)
Ghost of Stuey Ungar (Poker Player Newspaper)
WSOP Hands (Poker Player Newspaper)
Taking Shots (Poker Player Newspaper)
Stalking Pros (Poker Player Newspaper)
Labyrinth of Avarice (Poker Player Newspaper)
Annette_15 Wins WSOP Europe (Poker Player Newspaper)
Harmonious Bubbles (Poker Player Newspaper)
UIGEA Rules Proposal (Ongame Zone)
The Warrior Within (Poker Player Newspaper)
Amsterdam and Stockholm (Bluff Magazine)
Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS) (Ongame Zone)
Barcelona (Bluff Magazine)

London (Bluff Magazine)
Super Bowl Preview - Can the Giants Stop Perfection? (Sports Betting News)
Sun Tzu, Hamlet, and Bruce Lee (Poker Player Newspaper)
NBA: Big Value (Sports Betting News)
Invasion of the Tilt Monkeys (Poker Player Newspaper)
Key West (Bluff Magazine)
Folding Queens (Poker Player Newspaper)
Australia Part 1 (Bluff Magazine)
Back to NL (Poker Player Newspaper)
Australia & New Zealand (Bluff Magazine)
PLO Junkie (Poker Player Newspaper)
WSOP Flashback: June 26,2005 (Bluff Magazine)
Halfrek Wins Two FTOPS (Poker Player Newspaper)
WSOP Flashback: Charlie Tuttle (Bluff Magazine)
Don't Miss Week 1 of the WSOP (Poker News)
WSOP Changes (Poker News)
WSOP 50K HORSE Preview (Poker News)
WSOP: Battle for Europe (Poker News)
Most Underrated Player in Poker: Erik Seidel (Poker News)
Sick Final Tables (Poker News)
Scotty's Brother (Poker News)
Almost Famous (Poker News)
WSOP: Five Young Guns (Poker News)
Celebrities at the WSOP (Poker News)
Baseball and Poker (Poker Player Newspaper)
WSOP Flashback: Binion's (Bluff Magazine)
Leaks in My Game (Poker Player Newspaper)
The Return of Archie Karas (Bluff Magazine)
Tapping the Glass (Poker Player Newspaper)
Michael Martin Wins EPT London (Poker Player Newspaper)
The Brat vs. The Mouth (Bluff Magazine)
Ending the Skid (Poker Player Newspaper)
Atlantic City Upper Crust (Bluff Magazine)
Globetrotting Poker (Poker Player Newspaper)
London Tales from the WSOP-E and EPT (Bluff Magazine)

PCA: Ricky Bobby (Poker Stars Blog)
PCA: Post-Modern American Dream Re-Visited (Poker Stars Blog)
More Hands, More Action (Poker Player Newspaper)
Budapest (Bluff Magazine)
The Year of Badugi (Poker Player Newspaper)
Shining at the PCA (Poker Player Newspaper)
LAPT Mexico - Shakedown (Bluff Magazine)
The November Nine (Bluff Magazine)
Bad Beats in Life and Poker (Poker Players Newspaper)
The Bahamas (Bluff Magazine)
LAPT Mar Del Plata - Argentina (Bluff Magazine)
WSOP FLashback: Doyle Wins #10 (Poker News)
Higher and Higher (Poker Player Newspaper)
2006 WSOP Flashback (Bluff Magazine)
Beverly Hills Home Game (Bluff Magazine)
2005 WSOP Flashback: Cyndy Violette vs. Erik Seidel (Poker News)
2009 WSOP (Bluff Magazine)
Moneymaker the Modern Gatsby (Poker Player Newspaper)
Chat Clowns (Poker Player Newspaper)
WSOP - Embedded With Railbirds (Bluff)
WCOOP - Let's Make It Better (Poker News)
Worlds Collide: Poker and Twitter (Poker News)
Winning Dream Team Poker (Bluff)
You Play to Win the Game (Poker News)
Story of the Ghost: Martonas (Poker Player Newspaper)
Iron Man (Poker News)
Tilting Tourists (Bluff)
2009 Poker Hall of Fame (Poker News)
Nose Bleed Update: Martonas (Poker Player Newspaper)
The Watchers (Poker News)
Raymond Davis - the Badugi Master (Poker Player Newspaper)
Anatomy of the Rail (Poker News)
WSOP Main Event: Overlooking Second Place (Bluff)
Sports Betting Erodes Your Poker Bankroll (Poker News)
Mike Sexton and the Poker Hall of Fame Dinner (Poker News)
Timoshenko Wins $1.7 Million in the WCOOP (Poker Player Newspaper)
Save the Sharks (Poker News)
November Nine: Cada's Crew (Bluff)
Who Is Isildur1? (Poker News)
Isildur1 Wins $1.3 Million Online Pot (Poker Player Newspaper)
Review: 2009 (Poker Player Newspaper)

Dispatches from Costa Rica (Bluff)
The Slide: Isildur1’s $8 Million Downswing (Poker Player Newspaper)
Pai Gow Tales (Bluff)
Digging Out of a Hole (Poker Player Newspaper)
LAPT Punta del Este: Nacho Barbero Wins First LAPT Title (PokerStars Blog)
Slump Busting at the Mirage (Bluff)
Isildur1 Returns... and Busts (Poker Player Newspaper)

NYC Home Games

Here are the archives for all of the recaps of the various homegames I played in NYC:
Wall Street 5.3.06
Blue Parrot 3.20.06
Blue Parrot 11.20.05
Blue Parrot 8.23.05
Blue Parrot 5.24.05
TowneHouse 5.21.05
Blue Parrot 4.4.05
TowneHouse 3.16.05
Blue Parrot 2.5.05
TowneHouse 2.3.05
TowneHouse 1.21.05
TowneHouse 1.7.05
Blue Parrot 1.4.05
Blue Parrot 10.25.04
Blue Parrot 9.20.04
Blue Parrot 7.26.04
Blue Parrot 7.12.04
Blue Parrot 6.14.04
Blue Parrot 5.17.04
Blue Parrot 5.10.04
Blue Parrot 4.26.04
Blue Parrot 4.12.04
Blue Parrot 4.5.04
Blue Parrot 3.23.04
Blue Parrot 3.8.04
Coach 3.7.04
Blue Parrot 3.1.04
Blue Parrot 2.23.04
Haleywood 2.12.04
Blue Parrot 2.9.04
Blue Parrot 2.2.04
Trip Reports

Here are some trip reports that I've written up over the last few years.

Monte Carlo 4.2.07
G-Vegas 8.20.05
G-Vegas 8.19.05
Cincy 5.8.05
Indiana 5.6.05
Vegas 3.29.05
Vegas 3.28.05
Vegas 3.27.05
Vegas 3.26.05
Vegas 3.25.05
Vegas 3.24.05
Hollywood 2.19.05
Hollywood 2.18.05
Foxwoods 1.13.05
Foxwoods 12.22.04
Vegas 12.04 Ch 10
Vegas 12.04 Ch 9
Vegas 12.04 Ch 8
Vegas 12.04 Ch 7
Vegas 12.04 Ch 6
Vegas 12.04 Ch 5
Vegas 12.04 Ch 4
Vegas 12.04 Ch 3
Vegas 12.04 Ch 2
Vegas 12.04 Ch 1
Foxwoods 11.4.04
Foxwoods 10.21.04
Boathouse 9.25.04
AC 9.24.04
Santa Fe 8.24.04
Michigan 6.26.04
Philly 5.25.04
Vegas 4.19.04
Vegas 4.18.04
Vegas 4.17.04
Vegas 4.15.04
Vegas 4.14.04
Vegas 4.13.04
Foxwoods 3.2.04
Foxwoods 1.25.04
Foxwoods 1.12.04
Dog Track 12.29.03
Miccosukee 12.28.03
Miccosukee 12.27.03
Foxwoods 12.23.03
Vegas 12.16.03
Vegas 12.15.03
Vegas 12.14.03
Vegas 12.13.03
Foxwoods 12.3.03
Foxwoods 11.16.03
Foxwoods 9.16.03
Foxwoods 8.20.03
Foxwoods 6.2.03
Vegas 4.30.03
AC 4.14.03
Vegas 3.31.03