Saturday, January 31, 2004

Hellmuthian Behavior? Did I just make that word up?

I just wrote a comment to Mene Gene's Poker Blog and I used the word Hellmuthian to describe a Phil Hellmuth action. Here's what I wrote in his comments:
Re: Phil Hellmuth Showing Up Late at Tourneys... well as much as I frown upon Hellmuthian behavior at the tables... it's a strategy that he employs that is sound... how many times do you get into a tourney and say "Play tight early, just don't be the first one knocked out..." In some ways, his lateness prevents him from being too eager to play something too early. As disciplined as I am (yeah right) it's so tough to muck a good starting hand early ina tourney... when all the experts suggest that I should do so... alas, he's a tool if he's doing that to be cool, but should be applauded if that keeps him from playing too many hands early. I can't believe I just defended Phil!!

Alas, Mene Gene talked about Phil showing up late at every tournament. He read a British article which Iggy posted called: Laying his cards on the table... Self confessed 'Poker Brat' Phil Hellmuth tells Stuart Foster how to Play Poker like the Pros. And of course this is my favorite part:
And of course (as if things were not hectic enough) there has even been a film optioned on the first half of his life, currently titled The Madison Kid. "Whoever plays me is probably going to be someone young. I was talking with Ben [Affleck] recently and I was joking with him about it, but he's like 35. DiCaprio might be someone who could play me." Hellmuth recognises that he has had an eventful life. "The reality of it is that I've sold my life rights until I'm 25. I don't know if anyone in history has sold their life rights twice, but I'll be in a position to do that - you see, I think my life has been much more interesting the last 15 years."

Man, is Phil fuckin' cocky or what? Leo? Ben? Is Brad Pitt available? I wonder if Phil will option my version of the story of his life?

If my life were to be made into a movie, who would I pick to play Pauly? Alas, most of my friends insist that John Cusack reminds them of me! Think of High Fidelity, one of my favorite flicks. And I also like this guy: Kevin Corrigan, who is a hilarious actor from different indie films (and who's not that musician guy). He makes me laugh.
Home Game in NYC!

Thanks to Ugarte from Ugarte's Poker Grovel, who invited me to sit in on a home game (held by a friend of his) this upcoming Monday! I was invited to the game this past Monday, but I found out too late!

I have not met any poker bloggers out there, so this will be the first time (that is... if Ugarte plays) that I would have played with a fellow blogger at the same live table. They play a lot of Texas hold'em and Omaha! Visit his site to read about his last game. More details to come for sure. thanks again to Ugarte for looking out for me!
Poker Gone WILD!

Check out this good read: Poker Gone Wild from the Sacramento Bee. Here's a bit:
Steve Lipscomb remembers the reactions of TV executives when he first pitched the idea of a globe-trotting, prime-time show devoted to poker. "They laughed me out of their offices," recalled the man who invented the World Poker Tour. Look who's laughing now.

Poker is television's hot new game, with network executives scrambling for a piece of the pot. On Sunday, NBC will put poker up against the Super Bowl's pre-game hoopla. ESPN continues to cash in on the World Series of Poker and instant celebrities such as champion Chris Moneymaker. Fox Sports plans a Saturday Night Poker League, hoping to make it the next 'Monday Night Football'..."

The last bit about a Saturday Night Poker is very interesting. Wow, the SPL would be as popular as MNF in America and Friday Night hockey night in Canada!
Party Poker Ads

Over this past week, I had been seeing several ads for during broadcasts of the NY Knicks and NY Rangers games on the MSG network. (MSG is owned by Cablevision, the entity that owns both the Rangers & the Knicks... and Cablevision is my cable provider). Iggy suggested that there will be ads this weekend for the Super Bowl.

For this past year, both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun (the Connecticut casinos) have been aggressively buying up ad space and buying TV time, both vying for the attention of gambling New Yorkers. This makes me wonder... why I have not seen any Atlantic City commercials at all. Did Trump just give up?
Phish Rumors

I've been smelling more Phish rumors in the last few days. Check out: Phantasy Tour Rumors. Man, the Vegas shows in April are making me go crazy!! Phish + Vegas + Pauly = Sheer Madness! Rest assured, I will be in Las Vegas sometime in April for poker and Phish.

Friday, January 30, 2004

More Poker Blogs...

I'm slowly reading the newer blogs out there. Some good stuff. Here's a few I recently checked out and linked up.

1. Tight Pocket... thanks for the link up! Here's what he has to say about his site: "Whether it is fantasy sports, general sports betting, casino gambling, death pools, stupid generic bets between friends, it doesn't matter. If you can put odds on it, and I bet Vegas has, I can post it."

2. Rhymes with Joker or Lord Gezniko. Here's how he explains his blog: "I intend this blog to be a sort of running tally of how I've done at various forms of poker, what I've learned, and any other thing that strikes my fancy."

3. OJ's Poker Blog... a player from Southern California.

4. Paul's Burbon... besides sharing the same first name, Paul's been around a while blogging about poker!

5. Poker Babes is diary that I stumbled upon. Here's what she wrote on her site: "I work as a prop player at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles (come say hello) and have been playing poker tournaments seriously since Spring 2002." Some interesting stuff.

6. Rants of a Young Mind is a poker blogger from Cincinnati and a Xavier graduate. His blog will include: "gambling, sports of all sorts, local politics, television shows, and some video games."

7. Lion Tales is a blog from Richard Brodie, who learned how to play poker from Bill Gates.

Looks like I got 36 poker blogs linked up. If I don't have you linked yet... please drop me a line so I visit your site.
Poker Soup

Saw that the Tao of Poker was linked up on Poker Soup. Thanks! Check out the site... that posts random poker information.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Lotto Winnings = Kick Ass Headstone (with a Royal Flush!)

File this story under... I wanna party with this guy!! Check out: Man to use some Lotto winnings to buy racy headstone.

Here's a bit: "Phil Lee... said his headstone will read, "Been there, done that" and show... a champagne glass, a royal flush, a slot machine, a nude woman facing backwards and a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse."

What I want to know is... is the naked woman sitting on on the dynamite?
Gambler's Anonymous

Gambler's Anonymous... it's only fair for me to blog this link which will be added to my links section.

If you have a gambling problem... call me first, so we can arrange a loose game or a ridiculous bet... then you can visit GA's site. Seriously folks, poker is supposed to be fun. If you are losing money that you shouldn't... then it's time to get up from the table, talk a long walk, and re-think your financial planning.
Poker Etiquette

Rules of Poker Etiquette is a good read for some of you new players and for some of us old players with bad habits (e.g. Pauly splashing the pot!)

Here is an important rule: "Don't misdeclare your hand, and don't muck your cards until you have seen you are beaten. If you have a pair of sevens, don't joke around and say something like "I have a straight." Another player hearing you might assume you are telling the truth and throw his cards away, and once the cards are in the muck, he can't retrieve them. YOU might be willing to give him the pot, if you are the only two players in the hand, but if there is a third player involved, he is unlikely to give the pot to someone whose cards he hasn't seen. For similar reasons, don't throw your hand away until you have clearly seen that you are beaten."
WPT: Hollyweird Home Game

I finally saw the episode of the World Poker Tour's version of celebrity poker. I read Chris Halverson's write up and my brother told me most of the highlights, so I had a general idea what to expect. My initial thoughts were: how soon will this be on network TV? My guess: by the fall season, one of the major networks will pick up a season of celebrity poker... either from Bravo or from the WPT. I hope it's the WPT because the have the experience and conduct themselves with more poker professionalism and I dunno if I can stomach yet another mundane season of Celebrity Poker Letdown... it's kinda like the absurdity of watching X rated porn. If you are going to watch porn, then fuckin' go all the way and shoot for the XXX... why waste you time and money on the single X?

The Players:
Aisha Tyler (The chick from Talk Soup)
Fred Savage (the kid from The Wonder Years)
Jack "Tenacious D" Black
Steve Harris (The Practice)
Drew Carey
Mimi "Mrs. Tom Cruise I" Rogers (yes, before there was a Nic, there was a Mimi)

I chatted with Seven Fingered Vinny, the local bookie who hangs out at the bar down the street. The only things stranger than his hairpiece were the jaw-dropping stories about how he lost two and a half of his fingers. He's the odds-man and lines-maker at the Pauly Sports Book and is a walking encyclopedia reagrding NYC sports. I asked him for the skinny on the WPT home game. He liked Drew Carey and Mimi Rogers. He thought Jack Black smokes too much of "the pot" (his exact words!) so he figured Jack "Bonghit" Black would get bounced first. I thanked SF Vinny for his time and put my money on Aisha Tyler... you can't go wrong when betting on Ivy Leaguers in situations like that!

I settled in an watched the first two hands... and poor "Kevin Arnold" got smoked by Aisha. I had not seen him get his ass kicked like that since season two of The Wonder Years, when the local bully, Eddie Pinetti, sought out the innocent Kevin and his gangly, four-eyed sidekick Paul Pfeiffer in the locker room, beat them both down like Russian dissidents, and then stole all of their lunch money. Alas, flash forward to the game... and he tried to bluff at the first pot and failed miserably! Only to find more pain on the very next hand, when Aisha bluffed him and induced him to lay down a better hand!

Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten were tooling on Fred "Any Two Cards Will Do" Savage. He played plenty of hands and I was surprised he lasted all the way to the end. I figured he had no chance against Mimi, who lets face it... was the ringer in the game. Poor Alisha went on tilt late in the episode and lost several hands in a row.

The idea of the "lifeline" red cards was a new twist. I wonder what Celebrity Poker Letdown would have been like if Coolio could call over his homey, Phil "Whiter Than White" Gordon, over to the table to discuss betting strategies. The combo of Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harmon was a good idea although their chats with the celebs were not as secretive as I had expected.

My brother was quick to point out that the charities which the celebs played for were real and the winnings were not going to support "some freakin' cat crap" when they were sick kids out there who needed the money for research.

Fred Savage looked a little too excited sometimes. Maybe he hasn't gotten laid in a while or he doesn't touch anything stronger than NyQuil... but he was pumped up to win some of those hands late in the tourney.

Good job to the folks over at the WPT for an exciting non-pro tournament. With all these celebrities playing poker on TV these days... my once "bad habit" (according to Haley, when we first met a little over a year ago, who quickly frowned on my gambling) has now been legitimized into a "sincere hobby"... and now all of her thespian friends want to hop on the Hollyweird bandwagon and learn the tricks of the trade of Texas hold'em. I'm thinking about charging them a small fee for lessons, just like Brad Pitt in Ocean's Eleven! Bring them on, I say... more fish to feast on. And I'll be responsible for teaching them how to swim, or at least, sputter along!
Hot Chicks Don't Buy Poker Books... Or Do They?

I was killing time at the Barnes & Noble on 23rd Street, waiting to meet a friend of mine for lunch. I already had a few noon beers and with a steady buzz and a semi-runny nose, I wandered over to the Games section. NYC is filthy today. The day after snowstorms are the worst in the big city, with slush and salt and puddles and ugliness everywhere you step. My feet were soaking wet after I stepped into a small lake of melted snow trying to cross the street. I could hear myself "squishing" as I walked through the mega-bookstore. I thumbed through a book on Omaha for a few minutes and picked up Al Alvarez's masterpiece The Biggest Game in Town to read while I waited. Out of the corner of my eye, a very tall and elegant woman appeared as she made her way down my empty aisle. Without taking my eyes completely off of Alvarez's gripping words, I sensed she stood right next to me. Her eyes darted back and forth on the shelves and she pulled a big book off of one of the middle shelves. It was the Bible. She turned over Super System and read the back cover before she put it back and took another copy, two or three deep in the vertically stacked pile of Super Systems. She was beautiful. She looked like Catherine Zeta Jones but the younger, healthier, before-she-got-knocked-up-by-Gordon-Gekko version. I was buzzed. I was shocked. I had to say something. This was every poker player's dream! If only this were Penthouse Forum, my next few words would be... "I always read about random sexual encounters in your pages, and I thought they were all made up... until one day, while reading poker books at the bookstore..."

Alas, I started sweating like someone holding pocket Aces under the gun late in a tournament with a small stack. All I could mutter was... "Ahh, the Bible." I'm retarded sometimes.

"I've been looking for this for months. Everytime I look for it... it's sold out," she calmly said.

I wanted to say... "I've been looking for you for years! But everytime I look..."

"Worth every dollar you spend," I assured her.

And with that, she nodded, smiled and glanced at what I was reading. She turned around and left. And like a million other New Yorkers, she blended into the cloudy mixture of consumers and I returned Alvarez's words.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Cloning Pauly?

My buddy Sigge from Norway is holding a weekly poll on his site: Who should be cloned?

Alas, I am one of the eight possibilites! Last time I checked, I was beating out Bush & Tupac, but slowly trailing the King himself... Elvis! Vote early and vote often!
Tao of Poker: Writeup!

Tao of Poker was recently mentioned in an article by Iggy from Guinness & Poker. Thanks to Iggy for the shout out. He's the Godfather of all poker bloggers!!

Here's a bit: "Tao of Poker: NYC blogger and resident Phish-head Pauly is a blogger extraordinaire and his poker blog is just one small extension of his impresive body of online output. Pauly enjoys traveling around the country, chasing Phish, and playing hold'em at the nearest casino, and he writes engrossing trip reports about both experiences."

Iggy had great things to say about some of my fellow poker bloggers out there. Good job!
News from Gambling Blues: Brothers in Battle!

Here's what Boy Genius wrote in a recent entry: "I appreciate the wealth of information a guppy like me can pull, and I enjoy reading the various adventures such as Pauly's excursions to Foxwoods, Grubbie's opening night of his play, Iggy's huge NL tournament, and HDub's Nevada border runs."

Glad you like the write ups! Keep up the great posts!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Hammer Time at Foxwoods!

Grubby would be proud, sort of! I forgot to mention... my only Hammer incident at Foxwoods the other night. With a 2-7 off suit, I limp at the middle position in at my $4-8 game! One of the blinds raises to $8 and I foolishly call! I splashed the pot with two more yellow $2 Foxwoods chips and blurted out, "It's Hammer Time!!"

The flop: 7-A-J. With a bet and a raise in front of me... that scared me off and I folded my only Hammer hand. Hammer Time was over. The guy who won the pot turned over A-K.
It's a Full House

It's a full house is an article written by Michael Pritchard where he talks about poker's new found popularity in Atlantic City. Here's the tagline: "Texas Hold'em finds new players, thanks to television programs and casino tournaments..."
Anisotropy's Borgata Run!

Sean from Anisotropy recently braved some bad weather and headed to Atlantic City to play at the Borgata! Check out his trip report. And thanks Sean, for the shout out when you did your "table line-up"! I noticed that HDouble did the same when he posted his trip to Primm Valley. I started a mini-trend here when setting the scenes at casinos and poker rooms!! Very cool.
Missed a NYC Game!

Yesterday Ugarte sent me an e-mail to invite to fill in a seat at one of his poker games! Alas, I didn't get the e-mail until almost Midnight! I spent most of yesterday hungover... but would have ralllied to play! Next time for sure... I gave Ugarte my cell number so he can get in touch with me right away!
Wrong Omaha Blogger!

Chris Halverson just sent me an e-mail telling me that I got the wrong Omaha blogger! And that Knowing When to Fold'em had the Omaha posts. Sorry about that guys!! Thanks Chris for setting me straight! And I'm sorry I linked the wrong blog!

By the way, check out Chris Halverson's entry on WPT Hollywood Home Game which he thought was much better that Celebrity Poker Letdown.

Here's a bit: "They also gave each player a "red card" that allowed them to call in the pros to ask advice. They had Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harmon as the pros. They were called in a couple of times and the players took their advice every time and (IIRC) they won every time. I think this was a pretty good idea for this type of game, Daniel and Jennifer got excited and were rooting for their advice to play out. It was kind of fun..."

Omaha Pauly on Party Poker

My buddy Jerry just signed up for Party Poker and I got a $50 bonus! Thanks Jerry. I am in the process of adding funds to a real money account (slight snafu... my mailing address does not match my credit card address so I have a little shuffling to do before I get the proper funds added) after testing out the site for a couple of weeks, I'm ready to play online.

The last few times I checked out the site, I found myself playing Omaha Hi/Lo for a couple of hours. I know that most of the poker bloggers out there are strictly Texas Hold'em players... but Omaha is really a different and a more challenging game. I think I saw a few Omaha posts on Chris Halverson's blog. I have been practicing a little bit on Party Poker, just to see flops and get a better understanding of what are the best starting hands. The pots are much higher than Texas hold'em since there's a chance to split the pot between the high and low hand (if a low hand qualifies).

Actually, Phil Hellmuth has a good section on Omaha in Playing Poker Like the Pros. I was first introduced to Omaha several years ago when I was driving cross country (from Seattle where I had been living - back to New York City in late 1998). I drove cross country with my friend Rachel and we stopped in St. Louis to spend the night with her family. Her uncle was a floor manager at a Harrah's casino (somewhere close to St. Louis, the exact location escapes me) and he was a serious poker player. I told him I had started playing Texas hold'em at the Indian reservations in Seattle and he suggested I learn Omaha. He gave me a small book (that I lost somewhere in the last few years) and a quick tutorial at his kitchen table. While I waited for texas hold'em games in Florida, I played a few hands of Omaha.

Anyway, I almost signed up for an Omaha game at Foxwoods since the lines for Texas hold'em were ridiculous. And I would like to add Omaha to the list of games I play. I sometimes play Seven card stud when I'm waiting for my Texas hold'em games.

Here's some Omaha tips from Annie Duke: Omaha Eight-or-Better: Starting Hand Strategy.

Here's a bit: "Because each player is dealt four cards in Omaha eight-or-better players often make the mistake of thinking this game can be played quite loose. They are fooled into playing a lot of hands that are, in fact, quite unplayable. Omaha eight-or-better is actually a game that in many ways plays tighter than hold'em. For example, it is much less correct to call weak in the blinds in Omaha than in hold'em where merely the price that the pot offers is often enough to call.

The reason for Omaha playing so tight is ironically the same reason people think they can play so many hands: because each player is dealt four hole cards. Just this fact greatly increases the likelihood that someone has a huge starting hand or flops the nuts once the board is down..."

I'm Back... After 48 Hours of Mayhem: Poker and the Golden Globes

Went up to Foxwoods Saturday night with Derek and returned slightly disappointed after one of my worst experiences there since I started playing poker regularly at that casino. I'll blog more specifics to the Tao of Poker on Tuesday. What was wrong? Foxwoods was a headache. It was the most crowded (the poker room) that I've ever seen. There were no less than 250-300 people waiting for a low limit game!!! Then at 6am, a little over 700 people showed up for a 200 person No Limit tournament on Sunday morning... and although I got a psuedo-ticket for Seat 197 (Derek got 198)... we were shut out due to a floor managers error. He had to squeeze 20 more people onto 20 tournament tables after they complained to the tribal gaming commission about the serious fuck-up. I got bumped! Ahhh, I was wicked pissed that I did not get to play in the tournament! I'll be writing a complaint letter very soon. So anyway, it took 4.5 hours for my $2-4 game to be called!!! Yes, I had to wait until 4am for an open seat to play! Techincally... But I kinda bucked the system and found a loophole. I actually pulled a slick move and hopped on a $4-8 table when someone's name was called and they did not answer (because they obviously got tired of waiting and went home). I could not wait three more hours to jump on a table. Derek made a similar move earlier and got onto a $2-4 table after he lost patience waiting around for ninety minutes to play.

Some odd & random Foxwoods notes: I'm great at $4-8 ($30 hourly win rate) and I got my ass handed to me at the $2-4 tables. I was up $160 the first hour that I got to a $4-8 table. Then I lost a lot of close hands.... I almost got into another fight when some old black guy accussed me of cheating (colluding with another player who kept raising my reraises - the guy had nothing and I had a full house 7s over 10s) after I took down a huge $140 pot (on a $2-4 table)... luckily my brother was at the same table and he took control of the situation and yelled at the old guy telling him and everyone within earshot who I was, how I was his brother and I never met the guy whom the black guy accussed me of being cheating partners with.... Derek seriously prevented me from kicking that guy's ass in the parking lot and getting black booked at Foxwoods.

Of course after hanging out with my old college room mate Skippy on Saturday im the city, and then playing poker all night, I drove back to the city Sunday afternoon and went to a party on Sunday night!

Yep, it was Haley's GOLDEN GLOBES party last night! Just when I forget Haley is from L.A., there's this yearly reminder... a night when everyone gets dressed up, drinks too much, and shouts insults at the TV! I showed up looking like a mess. I stumbled in her place only to find a guy from her acting class wearing a tuxedo, sipping champagne, and chomping on a small plate of Surinamese curry potatoes in her hallway! What a scene I wandered into... Haley had been drinking since 3pm and forty actors and actresses squeezed into her apartment, dressed up like they were attending the ceremony... with plenty of designer lables, name dropping, and lots of booze flowing. Alas, I had been awake for 36 hours when I showed up... seriously undressed and found myself in room filled with Hollyweird wannabes! No Armani or Dolce suits adroned my body. I had on ripped jeans, my green Mirage hat, and a soiled t-shirt flung over my ratty thermal underwear long-sleeve shirt. Unshaven for weeks, I smelled like an unusual mixture of the third floor of a nursing home and industrial antispetic (that all casinos use). I passed out a few times on the couch (for no more than a few minutes at a time). Although I dropped $50 at Foxwoods, I made all my money back when I took some of Haley's friends for $200 betting on various Golden Globe categories (Bill Murray's win was clutch!) I laughed when a group of girls almost got into a fight because one of Haley's Columbia friends jacked up on Dexitrim and champagne said, "Nicole Kidman looked like a hooker in her odd flapper dress." Seriously, it was silly but caused quite a stir. One woman took offense to her comment. Haley almost had to call the cops when the two started shoving each other! And I thought card rooms were dangerous? Get a group of neurotic actresses together and add plenty of alcohol, various narcotics, and diet pills, and you're ripe for a bare-knuckle, hair pulling, tit squeezing, fracas!

As you can tell, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things after being out of my skull the last two days.... more updates coming for sure!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Another Run to Foxwoods!

Derek and I are driving up to Foxwoods later tonight. Our plan is to get there around 11pm and play low limit until 7am. At that point, registration for the Sunday morning NO LIMIT tournament takes place... and we'll be ready to play! Sunday's No Limit event cost $65 ($50 to the pool, $15 entry fee) with no rebuys. On Tuesdays, the entry fee for the No Limit event is $80 with unlimited rebuys in the first two levels, plus add-ons! I don't like the Tuesday torneys, that's why I haven't been playing them. Alas, Derek is ready for his first No Limit tournament (his previous two expereinces were limit events) and I'm all pumped up for myt first No Limit event of 2004. If I want to consider the oustide chance of winning a seat at the 2004 WSoP... then I have to at least make the final table at a Foxwoods weekly tournament. I decided that 50% of the money that I win in No Limit/Limit tourneys this year will go into a separate bankroll: my WSoP bankroll. Whatever I have rolled up in my sock drawer by the time the month of May saunters around... I'll take it to Vegas to parlay that into a seat via a satellite. So far... I have: $0.

Here is the schedule for Foxwoods Sunday's 9:00 am No Limit tournament:

(all levels are 20 minutes long)

Level 1: Blinds: $25-25 (little blind-big blind)
Level 2: Blinds: $25-50
Level 3: Blinds: $50-100
Break (10 minutes) -- Color-up and race for $25 chips
Level 4: Blinds: $100-200
Level 5: Blinds: $100-300
Level 6: Blinds: $200-400
Break (10 minutes)
Level 7: Blinds: $300-600
Level 8: Blinds: $400-800, Ante: $100
Level 9: Blinds: $600-1,200, Ante: $200
Level 10: Blinds: $800-1,600, Ante: $300
Break (10 minutes) -- Color-up and race for $100 chips
Level 11: Blinds: $1,000-2,000, Ante: $500
Level 12: Blinds: $2,000-4,000, Ante: $1,000
Level 13: Blinds: $3,000-6,000, Ante: $1,500
Color-up and race for $500 chips
Level 14: Blinds: $4,000-8,000, Ante: $2,000
Level 15: Blinds: $6,000-12,000, Ante: $3,000
Level 16: Blinds: $8,000-16,000, Ante: $4,000
Level 17: Blinds: $10,000-20,000, Ante: $5,000
Level 18: Blinds: $15,000-30,000, Ante: $6,000
Level 19 +: Limits will be raised every 20 mins. until a winner is declared

If there are 200 or more entrants, here is the payout structure:
1: 34%
2: 18%
3: 9%
4: 7.25%
5: 5.25%
6: 3.75%
7: 3%
8: 2.25%
9: 1.75%
10th thru 18th: 1% each
19th thru 27th: 0.75% each

Here's the payouts for 100-199 entrants:
1: 37%
2: 19%
3: 9%
4: 7.25%
5: 5.25%
6: 3.75%
7: 3%
8: 2.5%
9: 2%
10th thru 18th: 1.25% each

Friday, January 23, 2004

Positively Fifth Street

I've been reading: Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker written by James McManus. He is the author of four novels (Going to the Sun won the Carl Sandburg Award) and two books of poetry. This is one of the most interesting fiction books that I read in a long time.

Here's a touching paragraph from Page 24: "I admit I'm juiced and flush when I win and that penis feels like an acorn when I lose, plus my bankroll is paper-cut thin for a spell, but I'm hardly addicted. And I'm not gonna stop playing poker any sooner than I stop writing poems, a habit that much more expensive. The most I have ever earned for a poem is $100, and that poem took eight months to write. Usually I earn much, much less..."

I've often wondered if I was a pure poker addict. To date, writing is my number one priority. But alas, writing is my mistress... writing is the crack that I put in my crackpipe... you get the idea. So as long as I am not putting off writing to play poker... I'm doing OK!
New Issue: Card Player Magazine

Here are a few articles that I read from the most recent issue. I'm slowly making my way through them all.

1. Two Black Nines -- Layne's Style! is written by Layne Flack who sits in on Phil Hellmuth's article this week.

Here's a bit: "This is the first Hand of the Week that Mr. Hellmuth has allowed me to write 100 percent on my own. How fitting it is that it involves pocket nines, because we all know to whom this hand really belongs -- right, Phil?"

2. Change Your Game as Your Opponents Change is written by Andrew N.S. Glazer.

Here's a bit: "Whether you choose to thank Steve Lipscomb and Chris Moneymaker, or the Travel Channel and ESPN (with shows like Bravo's new Celebrity Poker Challenge helping to keep the momentum going), you have probably never faced so many inexperienced players, no matter what limits you chose to play. These television shows are, for the moment at least, changing poker, and you'll find your results improving if you change along with it. Except for the localized phenomena that one sees when live poker moves into a town for the first time (ah, to have been living in Los Angeles when hold'em was legalized here...), poker has never experienced a time when so many new players were coming into games at the same time..."

3. Tilt, Part I: Avoiding It is written by Alan Schoonmaker.

Here's a bit: "Tilt means that someone is playing very differently and much more poorly than usual, and most people use the term only for playing too many hands too aggressively. If someone is always wildly aggressive, he's not on tilt. He's just playing in his usual, maniacal way. I'll use a broader definition: Tilt means someone is making plays for emotional reasons that he would not normally make. Wild aggression is just its most visible form. Another form is to become so upset, frightened, or convinced you can't win that you "play scared." You might fold good draws with pot odds or not raise with pocket kings. Your play deteriorates so much that the "I can't win" belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This form of tilt is less dramatic and noticeable than wild aggression, but it can be equally destructive..."
Beware! A Hammer Wielding Penguin!

Just read Poker Penguin and his latest antics. He dropped the Hammer in a .50/1 game and came out like a champ! My favorite part was when he initiated some table chat and one guy siad: "Don't brag you played 2-7". Gotta love the Penguin!

Check out: Grubby's Hammer Page
Congrats to Jay!!

Jay won a tournament on! He sent me this email: "I played a $1 buy in No Limit hold 'em tournament on Poker Stars with 1391 entrants and won it all! Thus far the most excitement poker moment of my life. Granted it wasn't against the cream of the crop, but I felt pretty good about outlasting everybody. The winner took 1/4 of the $1390 pot so it was just about $350, but I'll take it!!! It got pretty intense at the end, the blinds got up to 40,000/80,000, so even with 800,000 chips (which is what I got to the final table with, there was a little over 2,000,000 combined in the whole tournament) every hand was pretty exciting!!"

Man, congrats Jay! I hope you can parlay your winnings in World Series of Poker satellites!! Good work!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Phil Hellmuth... Hollywood Star?

I dunno what compelled me to check out: What's Up with Phil Hellmuth... (actually after seeing that hilarious video of Phil bashing Iggy's $30,000 call with K-Qo! I was slightly interested in his latest antics)... anyway here's the monster news everyone's been waiting for:

"A major studio has just optioned Phil's life story (until age 24 anyway), currently called, The Madison Kid."

Good lord. No wonder I have a difficult time getting my screenplays read in Hollyweird! How can I compete with kick ass film ideas like that? I think that a film about Hellmuth's early days in Cheeseland (when he only played TOP 10 hands) might be as interesting as Mona Lisa Smile which Haley dragged me to go see... and what my friend from Miami, Shappy, refers to as: Mona Lisa Bush. You gotta love chick flicks! Actually, I'm eagerly awaiting: Stuey... the film about Stu Ungar who is played by Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos. I loved Imperioli's performance as Spider in Goodfellas.

Here's my version of The Madison Kid:


INT: U. of Wisconsin Student Center - DAY

A young man wearing a Wisconsin sweatshirt is sitting at a table with four other people. He has warts on his hands and acne peppers his face. This is Phil Hellmuth, age 19.

CUT TO: His hole cards. Kd-Qc

Phil ponders for a second and scratches his head. We catch a glimpse at the community cards: Ks-7c-Jh-Qd-Qh.

PHIL: I'm all in!

The rest of the table mutters. The camera focuses in on Phil's trembling hands. One person calls. We see the chips splash the pot. Phil reluctantly turns over his hole cards. His K and Q are good enough to win, beating out a pair of Aces and Someone with A-K. He wins the pot and sheepishly stacks his chips. The camera pans back and we catch a glimpse at the rest of the players... all angry, young, pretty sorority girls.

Sorority Poker Player 1: What kind of bullshit is that? I can't believe I got my pocket Aces cracked with that crapola! Who calls a pre-flop raise with K-Q off suit?

Sorority Poker Player 2: I'm sick of your bullshit! A-K suited losing to a lame K-Q?!

Sorority Poker Player 3: That's the last time you catch anything on the river!

All three girls jump up from the table and lunge at Phil, who awkwardly attempts to shove all the chips into his pocket. The lanky, uncoordinated Phil trips over a chair. The girls catch up to him, and like an angry mob, they surround the helpless Phil.

CUT TO: One of the girl's fists attacking Phil's head.

Sorority Poker Player 1: This will teach you to only play premium hands!!

As the camera FADES TO BLACK, we hearing crying and whining from Phil, as the faint sound of broken bones can be heard in the background, muffled by the giggles of the sorority girls.

Schanzer and the Palm Beach Kennel Club

My old freind, Jon Schanzer, recently played at another card room (in a Greyhound track) in Florida. One afternoon I got a random call from Schanzer, who was at the airport in West Plam Beach. He asked me if I knew about the Palm Beach Kennel Club. I never played there, but I heard about that place... just another one of the many greyhound dogtracks that coverted space for a poker room (to increase revenue), when the state of Florida allowed some limited poker gambling.

Here's what Schanzer wrote me: "I arrived in West Palm Beach last week for a quick overnight business trip. Business lasted from 7 to 10, and my flight was at 5:50 am the next morning (officially, the crack of ass). I decided that I could sleep anytime, and that the Kennel Club was calling my name. After all, it was only a five-minute cab ride from the airport Hilton.

While the dog track stuff leave much to be desired, the poker room was very nice. Leather bumpers, dim lighting, lots of TVs on the wall. Hold 'em had a serious line when I got there, so I played some 7 card (stud) for a while. I did fairly well, actually. I was up about $30 after a half hour. My biggest hand was a a full house - 9s over 3s. I felt bad, though. I kept raising this deaf guy at my table who had two pair. My hand kicked his ass, and it cleaned him out.

After that hand, my name was soon called and I hit the hold 'em table. It was by far the youngest table I've seen. Four college students, and a couple of guys my age. Just one old lady who lost her friggin shirt. She kept staying in with a pair of 2s, a pair of 3's, ace high.... It was painful. The young guys kept betting heavily, so the pots were juicy.

The best part of the evening was the last half hour. Between 11:30 and Midnight, the intensity picks up. Everyone bets the max and the dealers know that they have to speed up the dealing. They were lightning hands with big money. And unfortunately, even after a fat flush and a sweet straight, I started to hemorrage cash. I probably should have picked up my chips and cashed in when I dropped down to even. But with the speed, the money and the buzz... I had to stay in. By the stroke of midnight, I had dropped some $70. But I had a blast...."

Thanks, Schanzer, for the great write up. I wish I had your job, giving lectures and then playing poker at dogtracks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Tao of Poker Added to NYC Bloggers

Finally! My site has been added to NYC Bloggers!

See for yourself! It's the only blog listed under: Poker... Tao of Poker Listed on NYC Bloggers.
Honest Answers From Grubby!

Check out the hilarious entry on The Poker Grub when he honestly answers the twenty questions that Gamblers Anonymous offers to anyone who may have a gambling problem.

Here's my favorite parts:

10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
No. I deal drugs to support my gambling.

11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
Yes. Isn't that what eBay is for?
Derek's Thoughts on Foxwoods

I asked my brother, Derek, to jot down his impression of his first visit to Foxwoods. Since I talked about the poker room at Foxwoods all the time, I thought it would be cool to share a novice's perspective of Foxwoods and the players who gamble there.

Here's what Derek sent me: "I just recently visited Foxwoods for the first time and I really liked it. I had heard so many things about this place from so many different people. It was finally time for me to experience it for myself. And I was glad I did. I was slightly intimidated when I first decided to go to Foxwoods but the nerves disappeared as soon as I walked into the poker room and sat down at the table. Foxwoods has the biggest poker room that I've ever been in but I learned early that most poker tables are usually the same. Old guys, yahoos, novices, very good players, and everyone else.

From what I saw, I really liked this place and enjoyed my time there. Mind you, this was my first time there and I spent 12 hours at Foxwoods and saw no more than the poker room. Honestly, who cares about the rest of the casino? I know Foxwoods has a lot to offer from a gambling standpoint but I had no inclination or desire to waste my money playing any of the other games. Since I starting playing poker, I have lost all interest in the other casino games. The non-poker games are money traps. The odds are always stacked in favor of the house. It's like that for every game except for poker. In poker you're competing against other gamblers, not the casino. This makes gambling more fun and worthwhile since you'll have an easier time taking money from Joe Schmo than the casino. I'm hooked on poker for sure.

While at Foxwoods, I stuck to the $2-$4 Texas Hold'em tables and I also entered a Limit Hold'em tournament with my brother and Jay (Senor's younger brother). Foxwoods is a good place to go and play poker. I've played in Vegas (at the Luxor & the Excalibur) and had a great time but the overall layout, size and atmosphere of the Foxwoods poker room is hard to compete with. The competition also seemed more consistent and challenging. This place is much more relaxing and fun than Atlantic City. AC is way too dirty and there's a ton of unfriendly jerk offs there gambling their social security and retirement checks away. This can sometimes lead to some unwanted and extra tension during games. Foxwoods has the SS check players too but they seem a little more relaxed and not as tense as the AC folks. The Foxwoods poker competition seems more well rounded and tougher than in Vegas. Of course, if I have played in the Bellagio, I might be saying something different. Vegas has too many yahoo tourists who watch too much TV and think they're pros b/c they own a pair of shades and a hat. There's still some of that behavior in Foxwoods but less of it than Vegas. Don't get me wrong, I like to take money from loose yahoo tourists who stay in on shitty hands and call everything in hopes of catching something. The odds are against them in the long run. But sometimes playing against those guys can be deadly especially if they catch winning hands on the turn or river. Nothing hurts more than that. Especially when it's a young yahoo who thinks he can bluff in low limit poker games. When you play these types of players, you can win big against them or loose big against them. That is why Foxwoods was a different experience. They have less of those types of players. Sometimes I'd rather play against the old guys.

Foxwoods poker players can be tougher to play but much more rewarding and exciting to beat. Nothing is better than robbing an old guy of his 401k money. They get so pissed when you beat them on hands. This one old guy kept slamming his cards and fists on the table every time I beat him head to head. Since the old guys play only good hands, they get really pissed and shocked when someone beats them. They think everyone young knows nothing about poker other than what they see on TV and that's is why I like sticking it to the old guys. Nothing's better than showing them your poker skills and taking their hard earned money away from them. I realize that there is less dead money at Foxwoods than Vegas, but I still won money at the Indian Reservation so who cares! Don't get me wrong, Vegas rocks and there's no place on earth like it. But Foxwoods is definitely a place every poker player should visit.

I learned a lot, had fun, and won some money. You can't ask for more than that. Though I wish I did better in the late night Limit tourney. Those daily tournaments are reason enough to visit Foxwoods. Tourney play is so different than low limit play. It's a great way to improve your game. Minus the poker tourneys, Foxwoods is cool to gamble and play poker. Add the tourneys are a great place to hone your skills and improve your game.

I really enjoyed Foxwoods and would recommend it to any poker player. The experience was so much fun and so worth it that I look forward to visiting again. There's no need to feel intimidated or nervous by this place. Just think positively and remain confident. Your hard work and knowledge of the game will always help you stay competitive. And if you learn as much as you can, study smart, and absorb it all effectively, you'll find yourself coming out on top more often than not at the end of every poker session. Hopefully this will translate into lots of cash. I hope it does for me.

One of the best things about my first trip to Foxwoods was meeting Senor's brother, Jay. We all played in a Foxwoods Hold'em tourney and had a great time. For some reason, while waiting in line for the infamous Foxwoods chicken fingers, I kept expecting Jay to drop his pants. But he never did. I guess pants dropping are a lost art. Anyway, the only thing missing from my 1st Foxwoods trip (besides some good old fashion pants dropping) was a Ben Affleck and JLo sighting. Either way, my first trip was very exciting and memorable. I hope to do it again very soon. So if you're looking for some solid poker competition, check raises, and possible pants dropping, Foxwoods is the place to play but don't forget your wampum card!!! Play lots of poker. "

Good write up, Derek. I'm looking forward to our return this weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2004

The Poker Code

Check out another new poker blog called: The Poker Code. Here's what the Poker Coder wrote about his blog: "The Poker Code is an attempt to better map my poker experience as I climb the ranks. I plan on shamelessly bearing my poker soul (I almost named my blog 'Poker Soul'). I plan on expressing my views regarding current poker events and personalities. I plan on linking valuable poker information. And last, I plan (hope) to make this a decent read."

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Check-Raise and the Penguin

Just read the Poker Penguin and his latest entry about the check raise.Take a peek.

Here's my favorite part: "Check-raising makes you feel smart, it doesn't win you any money. Betting out wins you money (this pot if they fold, next pot when you showdown a winner and bet out next time). I know I prefer winning money to feeling smart."
World Series of Iggy

Just read about Iggy's No Limit Tourney which he set up, ran, and played in this wekeend. Whew! Too bad he came in seventh out of 51 (his tourney paid out six places with $1100 going to the first place winner!) Sounds like a great time. I think we should all take up a collection and send Iggy to the 2004 WSoP as the Blogger Representatve.

Here are some highlights of his latest entry:

"51 players showed up for my first 'real' non home game no-limit tournament. I was expecting and hoping for about 30... $50 entry fee with all money redistributed in prize money. I rented the space because I thought it would be fun as hell to run a local no-limit tournament. And it was."

Talk about high end organizational skills!! Here's my favorite part:

"We also had guys named Tex, Dino and Gino. There were a couple of guys who looked a tad bit shady... I have some BIG friends. Non vegan types. So the built-in security was another bonus. The best decision I made was creating this as a no-drinking tournament... it was a sober game. Removing alcohol from the equation was a smart move. I can't believe I just typed that and meant it."

But Iggy's not done. he's mulling another huge tourney! I might have to drive out to Ohio to sit in on the next game!

"Now I'm entertaining thoughts of a 200 person NL tourney. I have 8,000 square feet of space at my disposal. 20 tables, 200 chairs, 2,000,000 in chips - how hard could it be?"
Poker Marathon...

Looks like there was a lot of poker on TV today. ESPN2 aired the entire 2003 World Series of Poker. And Bravo was not outdone. They aired the entire season of Celebrity Poker Letdown for one more glimpse of your favorite stars playing on tilt.
More New Poker Blogs

I finally had the chance to check out some new blogs out there and I added them to the roster...

1. Royal Poker is a poker player (a friend of Iggy) with a brand new daughter! Read about his tales of poker and fatherhood! This is what his site's tagline reads: "Discussions in Poker, family, and life --- working to make them all fit."

2. A Middle-Aged Man in Moderate Distress is a great blog. Here's what Chip says: "Join an American male on his odyssey through life, marriage, and new fatherhood at forty. Warning! Rough language, and some gambling content. Should be 18 or older to view."

3. Openers: A Poker Blog is run by Ed. He admits: "I'm interested in the game, both its practice and its theory, and there are some questions we could ask. One that leaps to mind is whether a political liberal, a softie as it were, can even be a good player. Poker after all is intensely capitalistic (to paraphrase Jack Lemmon [I think], "Poker is all the terrible things that made America great"); and it is a capitalism that thrives at it utmost when it's unregulated (pot-limit, and even more so no-limit). So can a liberal play with anything more than mediocre skill? "

4. Ugarte's Poker Grovel is a site run by 30-something New Yorkers. I have to contact them to see about any loose home games around town. Check out the site.

5. Poker Perspectives is run by Studs in central Florida. Thanks for the link-up!

6. Poker & Devotion... What I'm learning about life as a grinder is run by a female poker dealer. Some good posts on there.

That's it for now. Looks like I have 28 poker blogs linked up (29 if you count mine!) If I missed your blog or if you are a newbie, send me an e-mail, so I can take a peek. See ya, McG

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Poker Bloggers Fotolog... Updated!!

My latest project: Poker Bloggers Fotolog has been updated with a picture from Liquid Swords: From Guppy to Shark bringing the total to four pics posted!

If you are a new reader or a new poker blogger, I wanted to come up a forum where I could put faces to the names & websites. So far we have four of us up on my Poker Bloggers Flog... and soon we'll have a dozen more! So send me your favorite pic (poker related or not... you choose) and a brief bio and I'll post it!

By the way, Liquid Swords is taking a mini break from playing... among other things to work on his: Poker Comic. Check it out!
Hit Me Paris... Another HDouble Adventure

HDouble once again made me laugh with his latest (non-poker) paragraph: Don't you wish you lived near Beverly Hills?

Here's what he wrote: "I probably came as close to hitting the jackpot as I ever will walking to lunch at work yesterday. As we were crossing the street, a black Mercedes SUV rolled up, and I was staring at Paris Hilton, who was 2 feet in front of me. I yelled to my co-worker "Push me in front of that car!", but the driver sped up, and blew threw the stop sign before I could wedge myself under the tire. Man that girl is ugly."

Friday, January 16, 2004

Stick & Move = the Hammer!

Congrats to Stick & Move who won Poker Grub's Hammer Challenge. Check out either site for a detailed hand history!

Stick & Move has the Hammer now... he's got the "juice".

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Trip Updates

I just added quick links for the recent trips I took:
Foxwoods 1.12.04
Dog Track 12.29.03
Miccosukee 12.28.03
Miccosukee 12.27.03
Fish Fry: HDouble Style!

Just read a great blog from HDouble about his trip this wekeend to the "border" to shakedown elderly fish in Primm Valley, Nevada! Looks like he should have just stood outside and mugged the poor saps before they walked into the casino. Can you send me directions to this casino?

He wrote: "But I began to feel sorry for this clueless collection of imposter poker players. They acted like they knew the game, and must have had some experience, because they knew how to bet (they still hadn't learned how to fold yet, but that's ok). I don't think there's any way that any of them had read a poker book. And I felt my killer instinct fading away, feeling like I was playing against pop warner football players rather than people who have played the game for years and years. But as I was dealt rockets for the second time, the pity faded away...."

Hey HDouble, I found a title for your new novel... The Pity Faded Away: Confessions of a L.A. Grinder.

Alas, I have felt that not-so-good feeling once or twice (when I used to work on Wall Street and you'd get a push-over client that would just blindly hand you over his life savings and I'd shake my head thinking, "Geez, what a fool. Will this guy also let me fuck his wife and his daughters too?") but for the most part you have to pump yourself up for that killer instinct and continue sucking out old people's social security money. I have a feeling that I won't see any of my social security deposits so I might as well cash in on dead money. When I first played poker in a casino, no one had any sympathy for me!! Like Canada Bill Jones said, "It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money." Too bad those miscreants don't play at Foxwoods.

Anyway, HDouble's story reminded me about the time at the Excalibur in Vegas this past December, when my brother Derek took a drunk guy sitting next to him for all his chips (he had a rack and a half of $1 chips). I never saw Derek play better, and at the same time, I never say anyone just give away their bankroll like that. That guy fell asleep (or passed out) in the middle of a hand! Derek had to nudge him so he'd call one of his bets (the drunk guy lost of course).

But we're not done with HDouble! Here's one of my favorite parts to his last entry: "My stack was up to 750 at this point, and I was running out of energy. There were two chubby, drunk looking girls watching the game from the rail for around an hour. They were looking over my shoulder, and I leaned back, initiating what turned out to bed the funniest conversation of the night. My wife had gone to bed long ago, which may have been the reason they were sweating me (why couldn't they have been hot, drunk, and good poker players? Is that too much to ask?)"
Phish in Vegas?

I just read a rumor that Phish will be playing three shows in Las Vegas in April! Wow oh wow! Talk about a week of insanity! If they do play, I'll go out to Vegas for at least a week! Perfect timing too... just around the time satellites for the WSoP are in full swing!

By the way, I saw 4 Phish shows in Vegas (2 in 1998 & 2 in 2000) and that was some of the craziest shit I ever experienced especially the halloween show in 1998.
WPT: Championship at the Bellagio

I got to watch most of this tourney tonight. I was flipping back and forth between several other events... 1. the Knicks-Magic game, 2. UNC-Maryland game, 3. The O.C., and 4. WPT Championship!

The buy-in was $25,000 and the final table included: Doyle Brunson, Kirill Gerasimon, Phil Ivey and Alan Goehring (the eventual winner). It was great to see Texas Dolly make the final table and sit next to Phil Ivey. It would have been like watching Jack Nickalus play a round with Tiger Woods (Sorry Phil for the gajillionth Tiger comparison). Anyway, the Ruskie kid Kirill bluffed at several pots and I was wondering if he would get caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

A new found fan of the Tao of Poker... Poker Babe from NYC wrote me this tonight: "I am watching the WPT Championship game and they just showed this amazing hand between the 2 last players. Alan had KK and Kiril had A4... the flop was 77J and then the turn was a 7 and the river a 7 so Alan G. went from having cowboys to a full house and then he lost on the river to 4 of a kind with an ace kicker. It's crazy how your luck can change so quickly."
Falling in Love with pocket Aces... a Penguin's Perspective

I just read a great blog on Poker Penguin about his aces getting cracked.

Here's a bit: "My point was that having high expectations of things you can't control is a dangerous thing. For example, pocket Aces. They're beautiful right? Seeing those two rockets side by side in your sweatly little (virtual) hand is a good thing right? Well yes, as long as you don't get wedded to them. If your expectations are too high (Aces are not invincible, as approximately 50% of all bad beat stories will testify), then you are putting your stack in danger. Not even from a bad beat, just from bullet proof bullets syndrome.

Like good old Kenny Rogers says "ya got to know when to walk away, know when to run". Even with aces, because sometimes the god of poker manages to slip a couple of hungry scorpions into the box with Garfield.

So remember, even a the best starting hand is not a license to print money - it's just an admission ticket to the flop. After that, you're playing with a five card hand and if you don't have one that's likely to be better than your opponents' (and you can have a good idea if it will, because you know three of their cards), then you got to fold. I don't care how pretty they look, or how you had 41.90354343% of the EV pre-flop.

Another analogy (because I like em). Imagine that you're in a dark and smokey bar, and you go home with a near perfect looking member of the gender you're attracted to (this would be your aces). They seem wonderful, they're giving you a hardon just by looking at them (metaphorically speaking). Then the next morning, a bit of light peeks in through the window (this would be the flop), and you see that they are Coyote Ugly. I don't mean that they look like Piper Peekaboo or whatever her name was, I mean that you'd rather chew your arm off than stay near them again."
Some New Blogs

I am finally catching up on reading everyone's blog (there are so many now... that I seriously need an intern to keep up with all the heavy poker blogging out there). I had the chance to read some new poker blogs out there.

I just added three new blogs to the links section:
1. Brian's Poker
2. Knowing When to Hold'em
3. Stick & Move

All of them are great reads and you should add them to your daily diet of poker bloggers. Just what we need! More people to complain about their bad beats!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Lord of the Hammer!

London Froggy nicknamed HDouble... Lord of the Hammer after his hammer antics on partypoker the other day. Looks like he's hooked on Grubby's challenge. My money is on HDouble to win the pot and the book!
The Hammer Challenge!

Grubby has his now infamous Hammer Challenge open to all poker bloggers. The Fat Guy added a copy of Positively Fifth Street in addition to the progessive jackpot. Kudos to Grubby for making life at the table a little more interesting.

I wonder if I could pull off the Hammer at Foxwoods! I would love to jump up and shout, "I got da Ham-mah!" (Sorry for the poor Boston accent... I couldn't resist!) Of course 2-7o is regularly played at the $2-4 games at Foxwoods. I have plenty of bad beats to bitch about... I'll be happy to ask the Indian Tribal Gaming commission to forward their security tapes to Grubby for verification.

Also, Grubby is back from Vegas. Check out his trip reports... he played in the same tournament that Derek and I played in at the Luxor. Grubby made the final table there in addition to finishing in the money at the Orleans. Good job, Grubby!
I Make People Laugh in London!

Thanks to London Froggy for blogging a few nice words about me on his site, regarding: Celebrity Poker Letdown. He got a huge kick out of my "wish list" for the next version of Celebrity Poker Letdown.

Here's what he had to say: "Yesterday was the final episode of the Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo, and the best thing about this is definitely the word "final". I believe there is a resounding agreement in the poker blogging community about how bad this show is, but for some hard to comprehend reason most of my fellow bloggers seem to have watched it from start to end. Top feedback award goes to Pauly at the Tao of Poker, who has even issued a wishlist for the next instalment (May Bravo not hear him, please!)"
Celebrity Poker LETDOWN

I watched the final episode of Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo with utter bewilderment. I laughed when Phil Gordon told us (the audience) about "tilting." I wondered who would win? I had my money on Paul Rudd. We share the same first name and some of my friends suggested that he could play the title role of Charlie in my screenplay Charlie's Goldfish. I really liked their graphics on best hands, which was both neat and informative. Ben Affleck came out to the Loser's Lounge and acted like a cool guy. He wanted to get all the celebrities together for a "real live game"... the man's addicted to cards, I tell you! Sometimes that makes me wonder about that guy... I mean I fuckin' love poker, but if J. Lo was my girlfriend, I'd be spending less time at the poker room in the Bellagio with Matt Damon (thanks to Linda from Table Tango for the great Matt & Ben tales!) and rubbing elbows with shmucks like me at Foxwoods and devote a shitload more time sitting around spreading suntan lotion over J. Lo's firm, yet supple buttocks. Sorry for the tangent, back to poker! From Phil Gordon's commentary I sensed he had the hots for Nicole Blondie Whatshername? I mean his huge erection nearly toppled the commentator's desk. With the insane ratings and poker's new found popularity... I'm sure they'll be another season/special of Celebrity Poker Letdown.

Here's my "wish list" of the next installment of Celebrity Poker Letdown:

Table 1: Ozzie Osbourne, Paris Hilton, Screech from Saved by the Bell, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart
Table 2: Jenna Jameson, Kirk Cameron, Bea Arthur, Jimmy Carter, Dieon Sanders
Table 3: Gary Coleman, Hunter S. Thompson, Liza Minneli, Al Sharpton, Hugh Grant
Table 4: James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio, Penn (but not Teller), Britney Spears, Minnie Me, Dennis Rodman

Ok, I'm going to stop now. I don't want to give Bravo any wild ideas for free... and the thoughts of Michael Jackson squealing the words, "I'm all in!" kinda freaks me out.
2004 World Series Still On!!

World Series of Poker will happen but location remains undecided was written by Adam Goldman from the AP.

Here's a bit: "The popular World Series of Poker will take place this year but where the cards are dealt remains undecided, new owner Harrah's Entertainment said Tuesday.

"It is our intent to make sure the World Series of Poker continues,"Harrah's spokesman David Strow said."It's just so early in the process to speculate where the World Series of Poker will be held."

Harrah's secured the rights to the world's premier poker event when it signed an agreement Monday to buy the storied Binion's Horseshoe Hotel&Casino for about $50 million, according to a source familiar with the deal."

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Monday Night Limit Tournament at Foxwoods

On Monday nights Foxwoods has a Limit Hold'em Tournament that cost $65. The entry fee is $15 and $50 goes to the actual prize pool. Since one dealer was sick, they wanted to close the event to just 200. But they signed up 211 and had to make several of the tables 11-handed. Which made me wonder... what is the difference between 10 and 11 man tables when evaluating starting hands? Feel free to send me your opinions!!

Anyway, with 211 in the tournament that meant $10,550 in the prize pool! $3,500 would go to the winner and the tourney paid out 27 places (20-27 got 1% or roughly $100). This was Limit with no rebuys, not to be confused with the monster Tuesday night No Limit Tournament with unlimited rebuys the first two rounds and add-ons as well. I don't particularly like rebuy tournaments, which I'll discuss at a later time.

While on line I bumped into Tom from Vermont. I felt bad because during my last trip to Foxwoods on 12.23.03, I seriously trashed him on my blog even suggesting that I would shoot his dog if he already wasn't dead. When I shook his hand, I was bombarded with a wave of guilt. Tom is really a nice guy. Seriously! And I felt horrible than I wrote what I wrote. Alas, what was done was done (and of course ethically I will not take down that blog) and I hope he doesn't check out the Tao of Poker. I tried to change his name and where he's from... yes, Tom from Vermont is neither named Tom, nor from Vermont... but anyway, we made some small talk and I told him about my Miami and dog track adventures. He offered to let me and Derek cut in front of him, but I told him it was OK. Anyway, Tom from Vermont is a skilled player. He's in his late 50s or early sixties and plays in the No Limit Weekly tournaments all the time. He told me that he sometimes plays in the Limit ones when he has the chance. Anyway, that night he was killing my $2-4 table, he almost made the final table at that night's No Limit tourney and came in 12th place. He told me his best finish was 9th one night and walked away with a couple of grand! I wished him luck and got back in line with Derek. We all had different table assignments and when I sat down I learned that I was sitting at an 11 person table!

Seat 1: Old guy 1
Seat 2: Ethnic Guy (looked like Fez from That 70s Show)
Seat 3: The Geek (young kid with glasses)
Seat 4: Old Guy 2 with a New England PATS hat
Seat 5: Middle-aged Guy with a porn mustache and a beret
Seat 6: Old Woman (in her 70s)
Seat 7: Middle-aged Guy (looked like Bill Cowher)
Seat 8: Pauly!
Seat 9: French Guy (looked like Leon from The Professional)
Seat 10: Young kid with sideburns and a wicked Boston accent
Seat 11: ???? Random Guy ???

Level 1: Blinds $25-25, Betting: $25-50... First hand I am the little blind with Q-Jo. I limp in and raised a bet in front of me when Qs-Js-3d flops. Pauly just flopped top two pair!! I raised and two callers. Nothing of interest falls on the turn. Old Guy #2 with the PATS hat bet $50 and I raised him to $100. He calls. On the river a spade hits and I don't like that at all. I was hoping he held A-Q or something like that. He checked and I bet $50. He just calls and turns over 8-4 spades! I was so pissed getting river'd like that. The very next hand, I'm on the button with A-Qo. I come in for a raise and five callers. I caught an ace on the flop (with two small hearts) and after the turn (Kd) its me and the old guy in the Pats hat. I caught another ace on the river, but that ace also was the third heart. Did I just get fucked again? He turned over 3-4 suited and my semi-monster A-Q did not hold up. The French guy next to met started a barrage of insults to the far end of the table.

"What kind of crap is that? Winning with shit on two flushes like that?"

He shook his head and said what I was thinking. Two hands into the tourney I was down $500. You start with $2000 in chips and I was down to $1500 and it was not even 7:10pm!!

The French guy was the table bully. On the next hand his A-K lost to a K-4 when the old lady in Seat 6 caught a 4 on the river. He raised pre-flop and she called him. The French guy turned to me and said, "We're playing monster hands and we're losing to shit! I thought this was a tournament? Not some low limit game!"

He made sure he tried to get into the heads of the old guy with the PATS hat and the old lady. He would mutter very loudly at times, "Who plays K-4?" When other players won pots with shady starting hands, you knew he would have a comment ready! He nicknamed the kid at the far end "The Geek" after he raised up the pot one time pre-flop. "I don't like the Geek. He takes his time before he bets. I'm sure he's read every book." Well, the Geek was doing pretty well and held a fair amount of chips.

By the time the third level ended, there was a race for $25 chips and a ten minute break. I mucked every hand I got after those two bad beats. I threw away some decent hands (Aces-medium kicker, and a couple of connected facecards like Q-J or K-J). Yeah, I was rattled and decided not to risk anymore of my chips and play tight as hell. I was down to $1200. The French guy was moved to another and our table had just eight people left when the guy next to me got knocked out by the Geek. I found Derek and he wasn't doing so well. He won a few pots and lost a few more.

Level 4: Blinds $100-200, Betting: $200-400... I'm in late position and I get A-Q suited spades. I call and find myself in a four way pot with Fez, the Geek, and my nemesis... the old guy with the Pats hat. I flopped a straight when Ks-10h-Jd hit, but lost when Fez caught runner-runner of hearts to catch a nut flush (he had an A-2)/ Disgusted I did not play any more hands at that table and saw my stack down to $200 by the end of the fourth level.

Level 5: Blinds $100-$300, Betting: $300-600... I got switched to another table and found myself behind the button. I saw six hands and only saw one decent hand A-7o, but decided not to play it and go "all-in" when a guy in front of me raised. Just before the blinds got to me I was moved to another table up front. I had two grey chips and the floor manager makes you carry the two chips in a tray... house rules. Anyway, I got moved all the way up to the front (in the middle of the casino near the roulette table) and took my time walking up there. I walked by my brother's table to see how he was doing. I sat down just behind the button again at Table 1, Seat 1. I saw a couple of hands and had to muck them all.

Level 6: Blinds $200-400, Betting: $400-800... I had to make a move. There were guys at my table with huge stacks of chips. I still had a meager $200. Not even enough to cover a little blind. I see A-5o. and want to go all-in. The guy in front of me raised and I got scared off. The next hand: Q-J suited! I was ready to go all-in but two guys in front of me raised!!! I got scared off again and waited it out. A Queen fell on the flop and a Jack hit on the river and I would have won with two pairs and got 3 players to call my $200. I would have had $800 if I had balls!! Alas, the next hand... pocket 10s. I go all-in and a guy behind me raised which was a bad sign. I lost in a three way pot to a guy with pocket Kings. Just before the river was dealt I looked up and saw Derek standing just outside my table. He just got knocked out and I was next.

We figured out that there were seven tables left when we got knocked out so I estimated my placing somewhere in the high 60s... perhaps I was 68 and Derek was 69th? Anyway, I lost $65 and only played four frggin hands all night! Q-J, A-Q twice and 10-10... none of them held up.

Jay played for almost another hour (I got some food... a slice of Chocolate Cream Pie while I waited for Jay to finish) and was knocked out when there were five table left. I estimated he was in the mid 40s... perhaps 45th out of 211. He played well. Alas, none of us made it into the money. There was a long wait for $2-4 and $4-8 tables and it was 10:30pm so we decided to head back to the city and call it a night after an eleven hour stint at Foxwoods.
Harrah's to Buy Binion's!

Thanks to London Froggy who blogged the article! At least there will definitely be a 2004 WSoP!!
Monday Trip to Foxwoods

Derek and I rented a car and drove up to Foxwoods. The plan was to meet up with Jay (he's an MBA student still on Christmas break) and play all afternoon until the Monday Night Limit Hold'em Tournament ($65 buy-in). Senor had class (he's also working on his MBA in Providence) so he could not make this run. I asked Haley if she wanted to tag along, but she had an acting class, so she declined.

We got there quickly and we had to wait for an open table. I signed up for both a $2-4 and a $4-8 game. Part of my new approach to playing poker in 2004 was to "select the correct game" and I wanted to bump up to $4-8. I had a nice sized bankroll (still in tact after trips to Las Vegas and Miami... the only hit was a $200 ugly loss on Dec. 23rd during an impromptu run to Foxwoods to meet Senor & Jay) and was ready to kick some ass. Some days I walked into card rooms with a positive, yet cocky attitude... and yesterday was no different. Derek had never played at Foxwoods before so I made sure he got a Wampum Card (a comp card) which was needed if you want to play in ANY of the Foxwoods daily tournaments. And it was just his second stint playing at a casino (although he played at Excalibur & the Luxor a few weeks earlier). He resisted the temptation to go to Atlantic City while I was away in Miami.

After waiting around for fifteen minutes and showing Derek the layout of the enormous poker room (the snackbar, the bathroom, spots where you can smoke, the Race Book nearby, the Stud sign up board, the regular sign-up board, and the poker tournament registration desk, etc.) they decided to start a brand new $2-4 table. I was 11th on the list (Derek was 10th) and I was 8th on the $4-8 list. I snuck in at the table after I asked the floor manager Jim (a nice guy who I recalled seeing several times before, but I'm sure he has no idea who I am) and he said that I should wait until she called the names once again before I take Seat 1. Anyway, I sat down armed with a huge stack of $200... I bought a rack of Yellows (Foxwoods uses $2 Yellow chips in addition to $1) thinking I'd be sitting at a $4-8 table. But I was itching to play and I could not resist the chance to sit at the same table as my brother, so I sat down in Seat 1. Derek had 7 and there were 3 old guys at his end. Next to me were two old guys. In Seat 4 a bartender, with a Boston Redsox hat and a goatee. In Seat 6 a young chubby kid with shades and a baseball hat sat next to Derek. The first dealer joked, "You know you look like Chris Moneymaker?" And actually the chubby kid looked like a dead ringer for Moneymaker, except his Tennessee drawl was replaced by a hard-core Boston accent. The entire time at the table, we called him Moneymaker. And everytime the dealers changed they all had to comment on the resemblance. He said he was a much better player, but he was getting shitty cards all afternoon and played looser than my stool sample the morning after $2.99 All You Can Eat Chili night at a bad Mexican hole in the wall. Anyway, he lost at least $300 (maybe more) in the five or so hours he played.

OK, the guy in Seat 8 next to Derek we referred to as "Archie Bunker." He was an old guy from the local area and he made several questionable comments... similar to the nonpolitically correct musings of Archie Bunker from the infamous 1970s sitcom All in the Family. Anyway, I made him for the best player at the table (especially after the third or fourth hand when he smoothly check-raised the bartender and took a big pot) and tried to avoid heads-up play with him and carefully watched to see what hands he raised pre-flop with. The guy next to me was a stereotypical player that you'll find everywhere in card rooms and casinos all over America and the world. He reminded me of Jack Lemon's character in the film Glengary Glenross, when he plays Gil, the loser real-estate salesman, who can't seem to close any deal. This guy bitched and moaned... he cried and complained... he whined and brooded over every hand that he had to muck or when he lost. Actually I saw that he got several great starting hands... he caught a nice flurry of high pocket pairs... Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks... and A-K on more than one occasion (and this was in the short two hour period he sat next to me... I don't think I got as many good starting hands in a week in Miami than he did in that two hour span). When he had to fold he would violently shake his head and maliciously throw his cards down at the table. He bitched at the cocktail waitress for taking too long to get him his freakin Zinfandel wine. He was an asshole to the dealer when she didn't deal his cards exactly in front of him. One time Derek beat the guy on a good hand and in disgust he slammed his cards down at the table and his hands followed his cards, making a loud smacking sound as they slapped the felt, which startled me. I just grinned, knowing that Derek took his money. When he left after losing his bankroll, one of the dealers turned to me and said, "He comes here everyday and does the same thing." I was glad he left.

I was doing well early (up $50 after 90 minutes) and I decided to stay at my table even after my name was called for $4-8. I figure I'd wait until Jay arrived and try to get on the same $4-8 table with him. Time to concentrate on the bartender and "Moneymaker's" money. Aside from Derek and myself, everyone at the table was in their fifties or older, with the exception of the Moneymaker Clone and the bartender. I like playing against younger players (meaning younger than me). They are loose and watch too much poker on TV. They have no concept of pot odds and probably thumbed through one of the various poker books (mostly like;y Phil Hellmuth's inconsistent book) while taking a shit one Sunday morning, but aside from that, they haven't picked up one serious book on poker. I want to play against that kind of dead money. Bartenders almost always have extra cash lying around (tips and more tips) and love to drink, so they are fun to play against and have no problem blowing some of their tip money. This nice guy had no chance against the rest of the table. He kept digging in to his pockets to rebuy $40 at a time. He would stay in with medium two pairs against obvious flush and straight draws. He was over matched and I kept encouraging him to stay... "Ypu'll get 'em next time!" Oh yeah, I beat him a couple of times on some decent hands.

When 4-7o is better than A-A...? When I play low limit...

Three hours into the session, Jay was nowhere to be found, and I caught A-A in late position. just an hour before Derek's pocket aces did not hold up! There was a raise in front of me and I re-raised to $6 pre-flop. On the flop: J-K-9. Derek was first to act and he checked. Archie Bunker bet, I raised to $4, Moneymaker, Derek and Archie all called. Rags fell on the turn. Everyone checked and I bet. Archie Bunker folded. 10 fell on the river. Derek checked, I bet, Money and Derek called. Derek turned over J-J. He flopped a set of Jacks and just checked, then called every bet! After I threw my cards down and watched him stack up my chips I asked him, "Why didn't you raise me... any of those times?" He got scared of me since I didn't play too many pots up until then. He thought that maybe I had a straight or pocket Kings. I hate getting those pocket Aces cracked like that.

Ten minutes later, I'm on the button with 4-7o. My brother teased me once saying that 4-7o was a hand I'd play without any hesitation. It wasn't until I nailed four of a kind at the Luxor with a 4-7o that I even considered the various options of a stellar starting hand. Now I'll play it when I can... especially in late position, when I only have to call one bet. Anyway, I'm on the button, my favorite spot. I see a shitty 4-7o and call (although I considered a button raise!). The big blind choose his option for a raise. I sighed (slightly aloud so he could hear it) and tossed in my extra $2 chip to call. On the flop: 8-5-6. I just flopped a straight!!! Now I'm shaking my head. Aces won't hold up, but I know I'll get a huge pot that will pay me off for losing on those Aces to Derek. I raised after the flop and kept it up all the way to the river especially after a King and an Ace fell on the turn and river. Everyone was shocked when I showed my anemic 4-7o... good enough to win and while I was stacking my chips the big blind who raised, was shaking his head, "You called a pre-flop raise with 4-7o?"

"I know. It was a cheap win. Didn't you see me tip the dealer $2? (Something I do when I get a pot I had no business winning) But I was irked you raised! I wanted to defend my $2!"

Later on I took the same old guy for a huge pot when I held A-J suited. I seem to win a lot of huge pots on A-J suited... I tend to catch straights and flushes and that hand might pay me off as much as any other hand in low limit hold'em. Anyway, good old Pauly flops a nut flush after three medium clubs hit the board. I raised and re-raised the old guy after he tried to bully me. Moneymaker Clone called too. I was hoping he had the King of clubs. When the betting was capped, I turned over my nut flush. Moneymaker had the Kc-10c and the old guy had three of a kind. He thought I was bluffing a nut flush!! I guess my 4-7o threw him off a bit and he figured I played shit all the time. It was a nice win and showed me that shifting gears once in a while is good... as long as someone is paying attention.

Five hours into our session, I was up $120. I was up nearly $160 at one point, but I hovered around the $100-120 sector most of the afternoon. I had over $300 in chips at the table... I had the big stack and everyone new that sat down assumed I won all of that there. Eventually, I got "river'd" a few times and lost a huge pot on a full house to an old guy who showed up with his wife. They never played in a casino before. They openly admitted that they watched poker "on the TV." I'm always suspect of anyone who refers to television as "the TV." Anyway, the wife sat down next to me and her husband sat across from me. They had no clue what was going on. They had to be told when to act and to bet and what they could bet or not... you get the picture... it slowed down the game and I would have left if I wasn't waiting until the sign-up started for the Limit Tourney. The wife won several pots early on straights and flushes. They were tough to play against because they could have any cards in their hands! A few times they stayed into the river with nothing and other times they turned over monster hands.

Here's what went down. I had Q-Q on the button. Pauly raised it up. The flop (no joke): K-K-K. Everyone checked and I bet. Five callers including the old guy. A low card comes out and everyone checked. I bet and just two called. On the river an Ace falls. I was doomed. I figured one of the two had the ace. Old guy who doesn't know how to play bets, and I raised anyway and both called. One caller had Kings over pocket 9s! I had Kings over pocket Queens and the old guy had an Ace in his hand. Mother fucker! I lost a big pot and slowly I lost all the money I won in the previous five plus hours. I should have gotten up and walked away when that couple sat down. By the time I went to cash out, I was up $5 for the session. Derek was up $20. Jay finally arrived late (around 5pm) and decided to just play in the tournament.
Iggy's Thoughts... Reading Poker Books = Success?

Iggy from Guinness & Poker recently wrote this on his blog: "I'm not saying you can't be a successful poker player without reading poker books, but I can't help but wonder how much he would improve if he immersed himself in conceptual/strategic thinking ala Sklansky, Carson or Caro.

David Sklansky estimates that of those players who try without studying to become solid winners (making good money in middle limit games, for example), no more than one percent succeed. Of those who do study diligently, he believes about ten percent succeed. If we accept Sklansky's numbers, which seem reasonable, books make a big relative difference. Still, they clearly don't guarantee success, by any stretch."

In the end, you can't go wrong with reading everything out there... the real talent lies within absorbing all the information out there and morphing together your own personal style, discipline, and outlook on the game of poker. Sort of like how religion works for some people...

Monday, January 12, 2004

Pay to Live Like... Me!!! My Life as a Fantasy Camp...

Iggy from Guinness & Poker recenlty blogged the following to his site on 1.3.03:

"Tao of Poker is in Miami, beating the hell out of the recently legalized Florida low-limit hold em games. Phish fans should read his Phish reports and poker players should read his poker reports. Pauly's life is a fantasy camp. People should PAY to live as Pauly!!"

Thanks Iggy!!! I realized somewhere on the beach in South Florida watching the sun rise one early morning that I am one of the luckiest people in the world and I get to do things that everyone wishes they could! Alas, that pushes me to continue this amazing ride. Thanks again, Iggy!
Lights, Cameras, Poker!!

Iggy blogged this great article: Lights, Cameras... Poker! written by Dick White.

Here's a bit: "With more than 50 million regular players across the country, poker is more popular than golf or billiards. More than 1.6 million viewers tuned in for the first episode of "Celebrity Poker Showdown," according to television ratings reports. It was the second-highest debut for a show on Bravo. And when cable television strikes a new and hidden chord in America's viewing habits, you can bet that network TV is sure to follow. "

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Still on Holiday!

I'm still techincally on vacation... so I have not had the chance to catch up on everyone else's poker blogs. I'm missing some good stuff out there, but as soon as I get the chance, I'll settle in and read up on eveyone's bad beats stories and other random poker speak.
Jay Ditches the $2-4 Game at Foxwoods

Jay (Senor's younger brother) sent me this e-mail in late December: "Spent all night playing poker at Foxwoods last night. Dude, I don't know why I waste my time at $2-4, its a joke man. Everyone stays in every pot till the river, if I wanted a crapshoot I'd go to the craps table! Anyways, after about an hour or so I moved to 4/8 and played for about 10 hours, so much more fun. I would have made a lot of $, except towards the end I lost w/ a full house to a 4 of a kind, then my last hand I lost with (pocket) Aces to AK when he made the straight. Was still up a decent amount for my time though...."

Well Jay, I agree that the low limit games are ripe for trouble for skilled and disciplined players like yourself. There are too many bad beat stories out there... so now, I almost expect anything to happen when I sit down at a low limit table. I seriously had to adjust my starting hands and play my best hands more aggressively and jam the pot with as many raises as possible when I have the best hand.

Alas, I too have grown tired with the same antics at these low limit tables. I figured with poker's new found popularity, that I could clean up on the new dead money coming into the game... but a quick glance at my bankroll says otherwise. I needed to adjust how I play in those games... and re-adjust and re-adapt. If I don't... I'm doomed to be a poor poker player. However, I too am sharing your sentiments on moving up to $4-8... although there are plenty of yahoos playing that who have no clue what they are doing and staying in until the river when they have only two outs in a multi-way pot. But part of my new game plan for 2004 involves playing tighter at higher limits. My biggest win in 2003 was when I stepped up and sat down at $5-10 at the Mirage and walked away with $800 in less than six hours (can you say four 7s?). That was hours after I got crushed at the $4-8 table at the Bellagio.

Best of luck Jay... in your new limits!! Deal me in at that $4-8 game at Foxwoods! After I build my bankroll, I hope to graduate to $5-10 by the end of 2004.
Jerry's Thoughts on Celebrity Poker

Jerry sent me these observations in an e-mail: "I did see Celebrity Poker Showdown last night and both Paul Rudd and Ron Livingstone knew how to play the game - but Paul just kept getting the best cards - I have never seen such a strong string of cards - his bad hands were K-10o. But it was fun to watch - I think they all knew how to play and Coolio just wanted to BE THE MAN - which you can't just do in poker. I think Shannon Elizabeth is a dud - besides the hottest body... she is a lame-O. I like the other girl Sara Silverman - she was funny - although she dumped the top hand that one time that would have really brought her back into the game - whatever."

Thanks Jerry for sharing. That might have been one of the only episodes of Celebrity Poker Showdown that I could watch and not go crazy without hurling outrageous insults and/or small objects at the TV. I caught the last episode, the one with Princess Leia, Mimi Rogers (Ahem... the former Mrs. Tom Cruise #1), and everyone's favorite whacked out Canadian... Tom Green. That was awful to watch. I would have gone insane if I had to play at that table.

Friday, January 09, 2004

The Taos on Hiatus?!?

Jerry suggested: "You should put up on your Taos that you are on hiatus becasue I'm sure it would make them feel better than you were just too lazy to blog. I would have been pissed these days if I did not know your intentions of a break (well deserved mind you) and kept seeing no new posts - but hey, thats just me - a person who loves to read about others lives and live through that - I have been living through Leticia - the 17 year old masterbating fiend who is stil iin high school but thinks she may want to be a stripper - I got the link from Belle!"

Despite the rumors you heard...

1. I did not fly to Vegas to wed Britney Spears, although she's been hanging out in Miami! And the reason I have not been blogging has nothing to do with all those nasty rumors... getting Britney drunk on Mai Tais and dragging her down the aisle of the Little White Chapel on the Strip is not quite my style.

2. I did not lose my entire poker bankroll at the Dog Track and I do not owe a guy named Slow Jimmy $4K! My poker loses are somehwere near $35 for the entire Florida trip.

3. That odd rumor of a "secret wedding" in Jamaica with Haley is definitely not true.

As most of you already knew, I took an unscheduled hiatus... almost a week long break from the blogging world. All of my sites... the Tao of Pauly included, have not been worked on in over a week.

So... why Pauly? There are several factors, but the main reason for the hiatus is that I had been blogging heavily for the last two years or so... without any major breaks. Even when I was on vacation, I was blogging. I needed a short hiatus to recharge, rest up, and spend a "technology free" week. Alas, part of my 2004 Resolutions were to become less dependent upon technology... and I embraced ceratin aspects of my new mantra while on holiday in Florida. But I'm back... sort of... I'll be blogging on and off this weekend. But rest assured, I'll be back in full swing by Tuesday!! Until then, feel free to check out my archives and several of my short stories in Truckin'. I know you have not read all of them!! See ya, McG