Monday, January 31, 2005

Chapter 10: Closing Thoughts on Vegas
"Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." - Jerry Garcia
Some of you don't know the story of why I am here posting about poker, mainly because I never really spoke about a certain in event in my life that really fucked me up for a while. I know what you are thinking, "Pauly, man, you were always fucked up." There's a modicum of truth to that. But something happened to me that sent me spiraling out of control. Everyone knows that story about how my friends started a mutiny on my main blog and demanded that I pull all my poker content off... and that's how I started this blog. It's in my "Who am I?" section.

The real question is... why did I begin posting a lot of poker on my main blog? Therein lies the tragedy only reserved for the third act of a Shakespeare play or for a depressing Raymond Carver short story.

The summer of 2003 was one of the hardest periods of my life. What happened is a story that I rather not share in my blog. Suffice to say, the event set me on tilt. I was directionless. I was doomed. I did what I could to numb the pain and avoided and alienated my friends who were trying their best to be a supportive group. I distanced myself from everyone in my life because I was withering in deep pain and didn't think I was going to make it. I did what I could just to make it through each long day. I found myself sleeping only a few hours a night. I couldn't write. I numbed myself with drugs, sex, and rock and roll. I traveled. I spent all the money I earned at JP Morgan and ran up my credit cards. And I drank alot. Too much. I started drinking at weird hours and found a bar that opened up at 8:30am. That's how I first met Briana. She was the only other person I knew in NYC that wouldn't frown upon me knocking back cold ones at 10am. In fact, she was the only person I knew who had the time to drink in the mornings with me.

At the time, my friend Haley told me that drinking in bars at 10am for the rest of my life wasn't the answer and I dunno why I hopped on a bus to Foxwoods, but I did. And I kept doing that. And yeah, poker pulled me out of the abyss that I had started to slide down. The poker world was a place where no one knew my name and I could escape and live in the moment... pain free. The other cool thing about Foxwoods was that one of my best friends lived less than a hour away in Rhode Island. I never got to see him anymore, and Foxwoods was the place for us to meet. Seeing my friend Senor every once in a while meant a lot to me. And the poker room at Foxwoods was our place to hang out. Eventually, I found myself writing again, especially about poker. I found myself reading poker books. I found a way out.

I posted a few blog entries that August to the Tao of Poker and figured only two or three of my friends read it. Little did I know Iggy and a few others were lurking in the shadows reading my Foxwoods stories. By the time October rolled around I was feeling a little bit better. I was far from normal but no longer living each moment on the razor's edge. I decided to postpone blogging until I wrote another novel. In November of 2003, I completed The Blind Kangaroo and it might be one of my best pieces of work.

I never looked back after that.

When I returned to playing poker and blogging, I discovered a bunch of new poker blogs. I had no clue other people wrote about poker. All I read was RGP from time to time and that group sucked. Ironically, the five or six blogs I found... all of them had me linked up!! Iggy sent me an email and I started reading his blog along with Decker, Felicia, HDouble, and Liquid Swords. That's how it all began. Soon I discovered five or six more and it kept on growing.

As I became friends with some of my fellow bloggers I always felt I should have told them why I really started playing poker again and why I was writing about poker. I will someday, but that's saved for a private conversation.

It was a freak accident that all this happened.... from me still being alive and not drinking myself to the gutter, to starting this blog, to discovering other bloggers, to developing friendships, becoming a part of a cool community, and then celebrating it all in Las Vegas... it's absurd to think that my life as I know it today... might never had come to fruition if certain tragic events had not happened.

I lost touch with me for a while. And when I least expected it, I rediscovered myself and found a dozen new friends along the way.

So, forward to December 2004. I was sitting at a poker table with Derek, Iggy, and HDouble. I told myself that there was not a place I'd rather be than sitting in Vegas with three of my favorite people. I was content. I was happy. I had not felt like that in a very long time.

When I looked around the poker room at Sam's Town a few minutes before the WPBT Holiday Classic and saw a gaggle of bloggers from all over the country and blogosphere, I had a very profound and humbling moment. That's when I realized the tremendous ripple effect of events in my life. Do I believe in ghosts or angels? Sometimes. Maybe there is something to be said about divine intervention, but for some reason the tragic events in my life did happen. I reacted the way I did. And the path I took to heal myself eventually led me to the poker room at Sam's Town.

Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter said it best.... what a long, strange trip it's been.

I needed to take a few days off to mentally prepare myself to write this post. I guess that's the real reason that it took me until January 31st to complete my Vegas trip reports. I was afraid of writing this post because I knew that the emotions involved would take me back to a very dark place. I had to address my past and how it related to the significance of the Vegas trip with my brother and all the bloggers. I postponed this post as long as I could. I didn't share this horrible part of my life with you to illicit sympathy. I felt strongly that I had to voice my true feelings on Vegas and I couldn't leave out how far I really have come from the Summer of 2003 to today.

Maybe you'll now understand why it was tough for me to cut back on reading every poker blog. I feel that I owe this community so much... but I also feel conflicted. I've gotten my life back on track and need to focus on rebuilding alot of old friendships that I destroyed during my down cycle and I have a thirst to write about topics outside of poker, which I have to do.

Poker saved my life, brought me closer to my brother, and poker bloggers (and readers) helped save my sanity and inspired me to keep writing. For that I never know how to thank you other than to keep on writing for you.

Let's move on now.

Here's the best of the best, some of my favorite passages and quotes from the trip...

HDouble on hanging out in Vegas with the bloggers:
The thing that impressed me the most about the bloggers was their level of intelligence and friendliness.
Iggy wrote something nice about me:
I shower and head straight for the bar. Only one thing is gonna cure what ails me: booze and lots of it. After praying with Saint Hair of the Dog for a bit, I snack on some olives for breakfast before finally hitting the card room and sitting with Pauly and Derek. Had a damn good time hanging with these two, not only here, but all weekend. Pauly's blog doesn't do him justice, believe me, you've got to hang with The Good Doctor to get a full sense of his huge, gregarious personality. You can't make a guy like Pauly up.

Holding court at the Sherwood Forrest bar

Derek's take on the food at Sam's Town:
The big question of the day is . . . what kind of food did I eat at the breakfast? Since I was a little drunk, I definitely needed some food in my belly before the tourney started. I ate 7 bagels (yes, 7). I drank 10 glasses of water and ate the world's greatest muffin. That muffin must've had some crack in it because it tasted so good that I ate two. And to think, earlier in the morning, I turned down an opportunity to share one of these muffins with EvaCanHang. What was I thinking?
The Poker Prof on us being late to the Meet & Greet at Sam's Town:
Then, about five minutes later while pacing in the hall like a patient waiting for the results of a tumor biopsy, I hear a commotion from around the corner… either a pack of bloodthirsty Huns from a Credit Card commercial were decending upon the Casino or the bloggers had arrived. Leading the pack was none other than Pauly with about two dozen Internet scribes in tow.
Asphnxma from Riding the F Train enjoyed the Meet & Greet:
What a stellar line-up! In no particular order: Charlie Shoten, Ron Rose (who provided free copies of his coffee table book Poker Aces to all bloggers), Marcel Luske, Kiril whatshisname, Tom McEvoy, and Eveyln Ng. Wow. I was privileged to have some one-on-one time with both Charlie and Ron, and I can confirm that they are very nice guys indeed!
BG wrote about meeting Iggy for the first time:
That Don Swayze staring dude came rolling over. "Hi, you must be BG. I'm Casey, from the 'Can't Hang Crew.'" Now, far be it from me to know who was in and who was out from the Can't Hang Crew. I didn’t meet a "Casey" in Philly, but whatever. I didn't remember meeting Phil out there either. I gave him a quick hello and turned back to Hank. "Casey" tapped me on the shoulder, and let me in on the joke. "Naw BG, I'm Iggy."

No shit! "Aw yeah, I’m seeing it now… The 'skinny Travis Tritt!'" Iggy had described himself as such previously, but he should give himself a little more credit than that. Tritt's losing the hairline rapidly, while Iggy's got a little more going on up top.

"Did you see me staring at you?" I lied. I told him no. I mean, I guess I really didn't technically staring at me, but trust me, I knew from where my earlier discomfort had arisen. Whatever though, I think I would have been disappointed had I met Iggy and he had not tried to dick with me somehow. Regardless, now that Iggy and Hank were in the fold, and knowing that I was going to meet Grubs on Saturday, my blogger meet-up wishlist was nearly complete.
Bad Blood wrote about a few vicious bad beats he took at the Mandalay Bay:
I had to let it go, and I eventually did. I told myself I'd somehow turn these bad beats into something positive. It took a while but I think I did.

Initially, I lamented the fact that every time I played above my normal limits and "took a chance," I seemed to fail. This was no exception. There are those players who take the chance, hit it big, and never look back. For whatever reason, not me. Upon further thought, I realized I played those hands about as good as anyone could. I had all my money in the pot when I was a 93% and a 95% favorite. What more could you ask for really? Losing the hands was just a formality, an occurance out of my control.

As absurd as it may sound, I took home from Vegas a greater confidence in my play. I was making good reads and good bets, and that's all you can really do at the tables.
Bill spoke about crushing the $2-6 tables at Excalibur.
Once he left I started accumulating chips fairly rapidly and went from a one rack buy-in to 3 full racks fairly quickly. But that was it. At some point I decided it was almost unfair that the games were this soft so I decided to handicap myself by getting good and drunk. I couldn’t win any more after that but I wasn’t loosing either so I ended up sticking around until 7:30am and was at the same three racks I had been at, at around 2am.
Glenn had a funny paragraph about playing Omaha 8 with Al Cant Hang and the gang:
At the start of the game, one lady had sat down, I think realized she was in the wrong game, and left. Another lady filled this empty seat, but this one got us going. During this point in time, we were expecting Maudie at any moment. Felicia remarked that the new arrival could fit the description we had for her and wouldn't it be funny if that was Maudie pulling a fast one on us; just sitting down at our game without introducing herself. Well, she neither said, "yes, I'm Maudie", nor, "no, I'm not, now shut up about it"--grin--but we did have a good laugh with her... While at the table, Al was downing SoCo shots. Once, upon getting a refill, set it down on the table that was sitting between him and the lady. All of a sudden the lady starts turning purple, exclaiming that she was sorry but she just drank Al's drink accidentally; all the while fanning herself after the unexpected hot liquor was coarsing down her throat! She laughed along with us and Al gave her the rest of his water, "don't worry about it, here, drink this."
Felicia wrote about the infamous hand between me and Max Pescatori in the tournament:
Pauly agonized and looked like he was giving birth. Finally, though, he folded, face up. Pocket tens. Everyone gasped. He was HU against Max, with a premium hand. No, no, no. He had only about 1200 left after limping in. The blinds were 100/200. No, no, no. I told him why he couldn't fold that hand, in that position, under those circumstances. At first, Max kidded him by saying it was a good fold, but later told him the truth of the situation. Don't make big laydowns in little tournaments, and if you ever make a big lay down, period, never show it, or the table will run you over. Max showed AK.

Okay, so the funny story was that after this hand, Pauly went on his premium run. During this run, Max looked at me like he was really suffering and said, "Couldn't you have waited to tell him he was supposed to call with those tens? Waited until after the tournament?" Naturally we both saw the hands Pauly was getting, because he always got action, due to the structure of the tourney. At the time, it was a really funny comment, though, and I wish it translated better to paper.

Felicia and Al before he lost to my AA.

And I loved it when CJ cracked Otis' Hammer! He wrote:
I'm dealt two black 6's and Otis raises in front of me. I call, hoping to catch a 6 on the flop. It didn't come, but it wasn't the worst flop ever: 2-3-5, all clubs. Otis checks, I bet out $6 and I believe Otis raised me. I was worried about a flush, but had to call. The turn was the 4 of clubs. Jackpot. I've never had a straight flush at a B&M table before, but I think I hid it well. I was really hoping Otis didn't have the ace of clubs. That would be a hellish beat. He checked and I bet out.

"I can't call you," Otis told me. I said he could and that I wouldn't bet anymore. He paused, and then sheepishly turned over the Poker Bloggers favorite hand, the HAMMER. That's right, I cracked his HAMMER with a straight flush.

When I turned over my 6, the table erupted. It also meant I got to spin the Excalibur's money wheel that brought me an extra 20 dollars (and a really awful baseball cap).

Napping at the table, again?

Otis describes the early Saturday morning fesitives:
Mrs. Can't Hang downed a shot of 7:30am tequila and played video poker. I counted the hours of sleep I would get if I went to bed at that very moment. At some point, someone there (I know who it is, but I won't say. He/She can cop to it if they want) said the funniest thing I'd heard in hours.

"This is surreal. I'm sitting at a bar at 7:30 in the morning with Patrick Swayze and Tony Siragusa."

I digested that and expressed my thanks for the summation of the morning.

At 8am, just two hours before the meet and greet at Sam's Town was supposed to begin, I quietly slipped away from the growing group and rode the elvators to the tenth floor of the hotel. I found a smelly room, full of people, and no bed space available. I collapsed on the floor and wondered if I would wake up in time for the tournament.
And this has to be the funniest blogger-calling-his-wife conversation of the trip from G-Rob:
Wife of G-Rob : So, how much did you lose?

G-Rob : Some

Wife of G-Rob : Did you play badly?

G-Rob : Not at all. I dropped the hammer in a tournament.

Wife of G-Rob : Is that good?

G-Rob : No. Its the worst hand in poker. But let's see if we can buy our groceries with pride.
And then there's Al Cant Hang living the celebrity life:
As we pull up to Sam's Town in this monstrosity (which had to do something like a 7 point turn just to get IN the driveway), the speakers ramming, there are a bunch of younger kids standing in or near the cab stand. Everyone exits the limo via the right door and I'm waiting for everyone to unload. Just as the last of the passengers are disembarking, the kids run over and open the left hand door.

"Is there anyone famous in here!"

There I am. On my knees, trying to slide over to get out of this beast. I turned to them, surely looking rather disheveled. I DO have a lot of hair and I WAS hanging out of a limo.

"Yeah, how you doin' kids. My name's Al. I'm the lead singer of the Al Can't Hang Experiment. You wanna autograph?"

At that point I pull out my trusty notepad and pen (which have barely been used for NOTES) and started signing AlCan'tHang. I wrote out four of the them and then apologized.

"Sorry kids, but I've really gotta go. There are some important people upstairs waiting for me."

The Al Cant Hang Experience

Maudie summed up her trip with a few afterthougts:
My 40 hours in Vegas exceeded all expectations and all fears were quashed immediately upon that first 'Hello...' Someone wrote - and forgive me for not remembering which one of my brethren bloggers wrote it - "It was like meeting your best friends for the first time."

Figuratively - and not so figuratively - speaking, I had roughly 30 pairs of arms reach out to me a gather me into this unique community of people, who hail from such diverse backgrounds and super-glued together by a shared passion for a little card game. A little card game.

I was overwhelmed at the unbridled acceptance of one who dwells outside their generational sphere. As a theatre person, generational differences go unnoticed so it's something I take for granted within that social sphere, but not something I expect outside of it. I felt at home.

My only regret was that I didn't have more time. There were so many conversations I wanted to have - and maybe even a shot of Tequila or two with the CANHang posse.

Pauly was gracious and let me virtually stick to him like glue. Iggy - we have several 'til dawn conversations ahead of us - and Confederacy of the Dunces will be on my bookshelf soon. CJ - what a treat our 2 mile stroll down the strip was, poker celebrities and all...oh, dear godfrey, I could go on and on...

This was the first. There will never be another first. We we always remember our first...

Maudie grabs a handful.

-EV had me chuckle with his take on Sam's Town:
We meander down to the poker room, which consisted of about 12 tables and was mostly populated by locals, cowboys, and really, really old people when we walked in as a group. I heard more than one of the players seated in the cash games grumble about "internet journal posters or some kind of bastards" as we entered. If only they knew that we had hijacked "their" game and taken it to new, amazing heights, across borders, and so on. But they were clueless, and probably pissing away their Social Security checks on a Saturday afternoon.
Bob wrote up a bit on the blogger craps table:
Hank wanders over and we get to talking about craps. I figure this trip should be the trip I learn how to play. Hell, it was probably my subconcious remembering the stories of the last time Hank and Iggy played craps in Vegas that made me want to so bad.

Hank was cool, he explained how to bet, when to bet, and more importantly, when to press!

Before long I was doing pretty good. I had a few good rolls of the dice, and all of a sudden we have visitors. BG, Al, Big Mike, and Tony all roll up to the table. I think Hank and Tony are the only ones who know what they are doing, although I'm learning quick. Well on my way towards hammered, I begin to get a little slap happy. Instead of just asking Kenneth to press my bet, I start semi-yelling "Press it KennNETH!"

You can't just ask him to press it, you see. You need to sort of yell it, and the inflection has to be correct. You need to start Kenneth out low and soft, and then roll the volume up as you get to the end. Otherwise the press wouldn't work, or so I was thinking.

Chatting, yelling for points, screaming Press it KennNETH, and boozing was too much fun to put into words. I can't do it justice. Even though I lost money doing it, I couldn't stop thinking about craps with the bloggers the rest of the weekend.
Grubby and HDouble were even gambling on kids playing video games! Grubby wrote:
I looked past HD and threw envy at two young'uns playing Dance Dance Revolution because ol' grubby has neither the coordination nor the trendy shoes to try jumping around on a platform set to music and lighted footprints.

But that didn't stop me from wagering.

We each picked a guy (my guy's name was Jess) and bought them into the next game. Our bet was $20.

It was quickly clear that this was not my guy's night. He had sat out the earlier round, and I thought perhaps he would have more energy. But as hdouble pointed out, his guy was warmed up. I was hoping to get the girl who was really good and on par with hdouble's guy, but she opted out probably because she didn't believe in gambling. She'll never make it in Vegas.

I sweated Jess and yelled encouragements at him. When that didn't work, I played dirty and tried to distract the other guy by yelling, "Hey there's Britney Spears" and "Your shoelace is untied." I even offered a $10 bribe to the other guy if he'd accidentally "fall."

Despite the winner having the most accumulated points, hdouble gave me a break when his guy won the first round and Jess squeaked a win on the second: whoever won the third round would win the prop bet.

It was neck-and-neck for maybe the first 10 seconds, then hdouble's guy catapulted into the lead by at least triple, and Jess choked.

I doubt he'll return to the Dance Dance Revolution courts anytime soon, as Jess hung his head in shame on the inside and appeared sportsmanlike on the outside. I know a bit about the pain in facing your friends after a failed DDR round.

I gave $20 to hdouble, who then tipped his guy and ran off with the rest of my money before I could ask for double or nothing.
Mas had some thoughts on the Meet & Greet with some professionals:
And I have to admit - I was a bit star-struck. I mean - poker pros are normal people - but to an avid player like myself (and other bloggers) who religiously watches any and all poker on TV they can find - these guys are my heroes.

I don't think I can express how tongue-tied and awed I was with being able to shake hands and have conversations with them about poker.

In a word: awesome.
Martin had a funny bit about playing Pai Gow with Otis:
Otis, after bestowing the mocking monkier on me, decided that what I needed was to play a little Pai Gow poker. This is a game for idiots. Seven cards are delt to you and you basically make two hands out of them. If you are too drunk, or just too stupid to do this, the dealer will play the hand for you. Like I said: a game for idiots. I settled in with about $80 in chips and promptly ordered a jack and coke. The drink service at the Luxor (Otis had decided that a change of scenery would do us some good) was fast, and before I knew it, I'd lost about $30 in chips but consumed about four rounds of sweet booze filled cola. There was a really weird guy at the table with rancid breath and Otis and I decided it was time to bolt.
Brian seemed a little overwhelmed at the tournament:
I shall say this, however - I was sitting at a table with two poker professionals and people who made my six months' experience look like about six hours. My only goal was not to go out first, which I made. And it was a piss poor way to play a tournament.

If you're going to play in a poker tournament, it's easy to play not to lose. And I can safely guarantee you will not win. You need to be willing to take chances and go balls out to take down pots. I know I didn't do this, and I bounced early. To be fair, I hadn't eaten in about 18 hours and was still nicely hung over.

I'll also say this: everyone at the tournament was very friendly and made me feel very welcome, which I greatly appreciate.
Linda wrote up a funny moment during the Meet & Greet:
A few people came to say hello to us "bloggers" and then were off to the tournament at Bellagio. Marcel Luske, Kirill Gerasimov, Evelyn Ng, and Ron Rose.

Ron Rose arrived about the same time I did. He brought each of us bloggers one of his books. I still find myself laughing over the following incident. Felicia Lee made a comment that went something like this, with the queries by Ron. She didn't like his book - why? - because of some of the players that were in it - like who? - John Bonetti.

Ron opened the book to a certain page, ripped the page out, went to another page and ripped it out. He then folded the pages in half and then ripped them in half and pushed her the book with something like, "I aim to please."

I'm still laughing over it. It was funny as hell then and maybe more so now. He did it so smoothly and with a straight face. It looked like he'd rehearsed it but I think it was all spur of the moment.
And of course even Daddy had a few things to say about the trip:
Every time I go to Vegas I get shitfaced, act like an idiot, and then come home and tell everyone who wasn't there all about it. I don't see why this time should be any different. I went to play poker with some like-minded individuals, place a few bets, drink a few coldies, and destroy a few buffets.

Those were my expectations. Needless to say they were blown completely out of the fucking water. Although I can't recollect precisely what happened at certain times with certain individuals, I do know that I'll never forget last weekend...

Daddy and Derek

Lastly, I'll leave you with my favorite bit from my Vegas trip reports:
At some point, just when I thought I had seen it all... the monkey on the dog was shown on the big screen. Yeah, ESPN2 had full rodeo coverage all weekend long and that was the main attraction on the big screen in the poker room. When they unleashed the monkey, the entire crowd began hootin' and hollerin'. It reminded me of the insanity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It was one of those bizarre scenes that you completely miss the context of while reading my report in your cubicle at work. But trust me, if you were shitfaced at 4am, floating around in a sea of loose cowboys at a poker room in Las Vegas and you saw two hundred and fifty people cheering for a monkey dressed up like a cowboy on a Collie... then maybe you too would start to think that time travel is probable, peace in the Middle East is possible and that I'm 100% pretty sure I'll catch my next gutshot draw, even if it is a one outer.

Certain moments in your life define your existence. That was one of them... a monkey in a cowboy outfit riding a dog.

That was also the only other sentence I had scribbled in my notes. So the next time someone corners me at one of those dreadful New York cocktail parties and asks me if I believe in God, I can honestly say, "I do believe that monkeys can ride dogs. I've seen it in Vegas."
Final Thanks

Again, thanks to Dick, Sam's Town, Jeff and Check n Raise, All N Poker, and of course the Poker Prof and his dad for all their help with the first event. And thanks to all the cowboys who dumped their money to the bloggers over the weekend. That was pretty cool. And lastly, thanks to all the bloggers who took a leap of faith with me and did what they could to make the trip.

Thanks to EvaCanHang for taking and sharing the pics that appear in this post.

There are certain points in your life when you look back and say, "That moment changed everything."

Vegas was one of those high water marks.

The reason I've written over 21,000 words on this trip is simple. Vegas with the bloggers was one of my five favorite trips all time and I've been overflowing with inspiration since then. And I'm someone who's lived life and cricled the globe. I've traveled to a lot of places, seen a lot of different faces, and certainly done my share of wallowing in the hedonistic rock star lifestyle.

You have to believe me when I tell you the trip was extraordinary...

not because of the poker...
not because of the partying...
not because of the poker pros...
not because of Vegas...

the trip was amazing but because of the people involved.

I'm forged some new friendships, strengthened old ones, and bonded with a group of people whom I am proud to call my friends. I'm not exaggerarting when I say that the poker blogging community (not just those who were in Las Vegas)... saved my life in more ways than you'll ever know. Thanks again.

And here are the ones I have already posted:

Chapter 1: Day 1, Part I
Chapter 2: Day 1, Part II
Chapter 3: Day 2, Part I
Chapter 4: Day 2, Part II... WPBT Holiday Classic
Chapter 5: Day 2, Part III
Chapter 6: Day 3, Part I
Chapter 7: Day 3, Part II
Chapter 8: Day 4, Part I
Chapter 9: Day 4, Part II

Derek posted some of his trip reports. Check those out.
And the seriatim of Vegas reports have come to a close. Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 28, 2005

3 Day Hiatus

I will be taking the next 72 hours off from blogging. I've spent most of January sick as a dog and the last ten days stuck in front of the computer writing my ass off or playing poker online at Party Poker. I need a break from all things electronic and jump back into the real world for a few days. I'm planning to spend some quality time with Briana this weekend and catching up on reading a few books. Expect me back on Monday morning.

By the way, I'm looking for a literary agent. I have two novels that are worthy of being published. The other two are questionable and the last one... I'm still working on. If you know of any leads, or happen to work for a publishing company... feel free to shoot me an email. Thanks.

And lastly... I wanted to clarify something about my previous post. Someone assumed that I was "swearing off new blogs"... when it's not the truth. If a new blog is well written, I'll read it. If any blog is well written, I'll read it. I decided to cut back on my blog reading time and devote that time to other aspects of my life. I did my best to support everyone in this community by reading their blogs at least once a week (even those who don't have me linked up) and now I simply don't have the time to do that anymore. If that makes me a smug asshole... then so be it.

BG had some interesting things to say about my post. He actually expressed himself much better than I could have. Here's what he said that hit home the most:
Pauly's post the other day about not wanting to read a blog unless it was reasonably well-written was a sledgehammer driven version of the message I had been trying to convey on paper here for a couple of weeks. I think he probably came off a little more abrasively than he could have in what he said, but his point wasn't lost on me...

I understand Pauly's frustration. Blogs are such an immediate and personal art form that to see mediocrity continue to pop up is disheartening. And it's got to be doubly frustrating for people like Pauly, Iggy, and Hank (among others) who have dedicated their time, energy, and thoughts to creating unique and engaging content, only to see uninspiring poker blogs continue to pop up at every turn, looking for a piece of these guys somewhere along the way.
My blogs are my version of the Sistine Chapel. It's an extension of me. This is my art. I simply wish others took blogging and writing as seriously as I do. That's all I have to say about that.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Return of Lord Geznikor, Quality Scribes, and Reader Mail
"Until writing was invented, man lived in acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion..." - Marshall McLuhan
Thursday is the dump day for the Tao of Poker, where I just ramble on about a bunch of different topics. Somethings are actually about poker.

Congrats to Lord Geznikor. He's back to blogging regularly. He's departed the dreaded Blog Purgatory and is on my blogroll again. Make sure you read all about how he was fired for playing poker at his job. Welcome back, dude.

Also, congrats to Otis for his new gig blogging for the European Poker Tour. I've said it before and I'll say it again. He is, always was, and always will be... the man. Need an assistant, man?

Quality Scribes

If there was one post that I think you should read right now, it's about downsings and titled Morning in -EV's Poker World. It's a well written post by -EV and he touches on three interesting topics such as bonus whoring, Poker Tracker, and self restraint. Don't miss it. Good job, -EV.

HDouble gets a mentioning for his running series on HDouble at the Movies. This time it's Rocky, which is one of my favorite movies.

Ah, despite all the problems with a major fire in the subway over the weekend, Riding the F Train has a noteworthy post called Betting the River. Unfortunately, there are no theories posted on who or what caused the big subway fire. Hmmmm.....

Now, take a deep break and get ready for a rant.

With all the new poker blogs out there, I was concerned about the quality of poker writing dropping off since only a handful of the newbies struck me as people who had a knack for writing well. And if you just started a blog and think I am talking about you specifically... don't take it personally. Don't let me discourage you. It took me almost six months before I figured out what my poker blog was all about... and I had been blogging regularly for almost three years on two different blogs. It takes a while for your blog to mature. Let it. I'm trying to encourage you to write better and become a better blogger. I'll save all my tips and suggestions for a future post.

However, I also had to step back and question myself... Why do I read so many poker blogs? When in all honesty, a majority of them are poorly written or nothing more than vanity projects and shill sites. I was thinking about this subject weeks before the "poker blogs are gay" post on 2+2. I am spending too much time on the internet as is and I must curtail my blog reading to preserve my sanity. Sorry folks. I have to cut back and I will not be reading every single blog on my blogroll like I used to do once a week. I'm wasting my efforts and spreading myself thin. I want to devote what little time I have to some of better writers (not just poker) out there. And because you play high limits or because you are a winning player.... does not cut the mustard for me anymore. If you are crushing the tables on Party Poker or in Vegas and are unable to write about it on the most basic level... I have to skip over your blog. Besides, some of the best written and most intelligent blogs are from low limit or beginning players.

I'm sure I'm going to get flamed as a poker blog snob and trashing blogs written by non-writers. So be it. If you do think that, you are totally missing the point. I am a writer first. If anything, I'm being a literary snob.

I have abandoned the standards that I set forth as a reader. I am attempting to regain that back and at the same time, solve a serious problem I've been having with my hectic schedule. In the future, I will be reading poker blogs based on the quality of writing and not based on the overall content regardless if you have been blogging for six years or six days. If I didn't fork over $10 to see Legally Blonde 2, why should I waste five hours a week taking the time visiting every blog on my blogroll?

Bottom line... if you start writing better and say something intelligent or funny, then I'll find the time to read your blog.

I am not asking you to be Dostoevsky... but please attempt to be original and prove to me you can write... at the least, on a sixth grade level. Writing is a craft and you have to work on it. I understand that people have work, family, health problems, and other forms of emotional baggage out there which prevents them form devoting time to their blogs. That's the way life works. But if you don't have the time to work on improving yourself as a writer, then I simply don't have the time for your blog.

I've done my best to support all of my fellow poker bloggers by reading their thoughts on poker. With ten new blogs popping up everyday, I don't have the time to do it anymore. Again, I apologize. I will say this... thanks for your effort, I'll still link you up, and good luck at the tables.

Upcoming Blogger Events

I wish I could make it LA this weekend! Sounds like it's going to be fun. It was nine degrees this morning so the Southern California sun would feel awesome right now. I'll have to settle for watching The OC instead.

Don't forget about the next stop on the WPBT... next Wednesday at 9pm EST on PokerStars. It's a $20 buy-in and is open to bloggers and readers. Stay tuned for information on the upcoming Hilton Sisters Challenge.

A quick update on the NYC WPBT event... we have 10 confirmed players and are ready for the Blue Parrot Invitational which will take place on Saturday Feb. 5th. Derek, Signor Ferrari, Coach, Ugarte, Mas, F Train, Toby, Monte Christo, Joaquin, and myself... will all be in attendance. More details to follow.

Tao Reader Mail

Since this bit from last week was such a big hit, here's another installment. I dipped into my mail bag and picked out a few.
Dear Dr. Pauly,

I enjoy reading your blog along with all the other poker bloggers out there. My company recently firewalled gambling sites and blogs. I am unable to read your blogs at work. By the time I get home from work either my wife or kids have hijacked the computer. What little time I have I am playing online and am unable to read all my favorite blogs. What should I do?

Jack F.
Stockton, CA

Yo Jack,

It sucks to be you. Looks like your work productivity might actually increase instead of scouring the internet for pictures of Scarlet Johansen naked or leaving not-so-funny comments on my friends' poker blogs. Just kidding, Jack. I'm flattered that you would hit up my sites for mid-afternoon work entertainment. I hate to pimp, but I have to in your case since so many of my friends have been mentioning that their companies have been blocking blogspot addresses and anything with gambling content. I personally prefer to use bloglines to monitor all the news feeds and articles but some folks use it exclusively for blogs. You will have no problem reading my blog via bloglines... however, I'd prefer you to visit my site when you can. You can't comment via bloglines and my site looks cooler than in your bloglines folder.

Thanks for reading,

Hey Pauly,

I was wondering if you could take me to those illegal card rooms in the city, just like the one in Rounders?

Edgewater, NJ

Hey Keith,

I get that same question emailed to me twenty times a week. My answer is always the same, "I do not play, nor do I endorse playing in an illegal card rooms in New York City." Hypothetically speaking, if I did play in one of those rooms, I would never just take someone there that I met off the internet. You could be a cop, or a robber, or worse... an undercover reporter for Action 9 News in Secaucus looking to get the big scoop on big city poker rooms. I don't wanna be dumped into the East River with cement blocks tied to my ankles after having my testicles gnawed at by a starving ferret because I vouched for someone I didn't know. Plus, if I hypothetically played in any of those rooms, I would never, ever want anyone else there know that I have a poker blog and play as much as I do. And lastly, if I hypothetically played in any of said rooms, I would never write about it on my blog. In fact I never should have brought up the subject.

Thanks for reading,

Hello Dr. Pauly,

The guys in my home game are big fans of your blog up here in Toronto. We also like Elisha Cuthbert as well. She's hot. I'm sorry she lost. I have a question for you. Which would be a better place to visit? Atlantic City or Foxwoods?

Toronto, Canada

Hey Steven,

Foxwoods is the largest casino in America. It's pretty cool but you are isolated, stuck indoors in the middle of nowhere. Atlantic City offers you the chance to visit other casinos (although the selection isn't too vast) and it's in a seaside setting. The players are pretty good a Foxwoods and there are some seedy characters down at Atlantic City. I felt that there were more tourists coming through Atlantic City more so than at Foxwoods. Vegas is still the tops of the list. But if you just had one or two days, I say go to Foxwoods. If you had more than a few days, then go to Atlantic City. The Borgata's poker room is much smaller than Foxwoods but it's the closest thing to a Las Vegas style casino you'll see on the east coast. Hope that helps.

Thanks for reading,

Hey Doc,

It's Timmy again. Thanks for your advice. I stopped trying to play like the guys on TV and now I stopped my losing streak. I paid Farty Henderson off and he still told everyone that I was a Clay Aiken fan. I'm not! That still did not stop some of those fifth graders from beating me up. None of the girls will talk to me now. What should I do?

Pensacola, FL

Dear Timmy,

There's only one way to get someone from stop bullying you... you are going to have to kick their ass or get used to getting your ass kicked the rest of your life. Stand up now before things get worse. I suggest going after the biggest one in the group. After you take him down, the others will fold. You'll see. There's no shame in biting or kicking him in the nuts. Bullies thrive on terror, so have no mercy. Nothing gives you more satisfaction than kicking one of those idiots square in the junk and watching their eyes water after you make them walk around with their gonads wedged up into their body cavity. And if you are not strong enough to take on a bully, I suggest you spend some of your poker bankroll and hire a sixth grader to do you dirty work. There's no shame in outsourcing your private security detail. You'll see that soon after the chicks will flock to you once you establish that you're a guy that no one should fuck with. Being a kid sucks, doesn't it? Being an adult isn't that much better. You can stay up as late as you want and eat ice cream for breakfast but aside from that there's really not too many cool perks with adult responsibility.

Best of luck,


Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Pieces of Al

AlCantHang is selling peces of himself for a poker tournament in LA. To better understand this joke... Dutch Boyd recently put himself up on ebay.

I am willing to wear a hat with your logo on it and a t-shirt as well during the WPBT event on PokerStars next Wednesday at 9PM EST. If you haven't signed up yet. Do it now!
Chapter 9... Day 4, Part II: Late Night Hijinks... Hammers, Hookers, and Brawls
"To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect." - Lao Tzu
I was exhausted by the time my last night in Vegas rolled around, after a wild couple of days and turbulent nights of hanging out with some of my favorite poker bloggers amidst the coruscate lights of Vegas. How did I cap off an amazing weekend? I hit the poker room with Grubby and Derek. Gambling wise, I was up for the trip. With a nice Sunday at the sports book in Mandalay Bay, I won enough money to cover all my expenses. Airfare, hotel, taxis, drinks and food were all paid for by the Bengals covering and from loose calls from fishy Cowboys at the Excalibur. At that point, thanks to the AlCantHangVegasExperience, my liver resembled the last urinal in the men's room at McSorely's on St. Patrick's Day... it was a repugnant scene. Drained from the lack of sleep, beat up from the binge drinking, jacked up on pure casino oxygen and high as a kite on my new-found celebrity status... I was overloaded with emotions and stumbled around with an impending feeling of forlorn depression that always sank in heavy during the last day of a trip when I adventure to somewhere special. I wanted to enjoy every last second in Vegas with whoever was leftover and still standing.

We were all seated at different $2-6 tables. A few guys from Otis' Missouri crew were lingering around the Excalibur poker room which was still crowded after their Monday Night Football promotion. I found a spot in seat one, right next to the dealer. There was an extremely drunk, chubby girl sitting next to me. She looked like Drew Barrymore's homely trailer park cousin. She was slurping a pink drink with a straw and giggling uncontrollably as I stacked up my chips. Her breasts would tremble like the ground near Kilauea volcano everytime she laughed. She was spilling out of her white juicy couture halter top and in my notes I actually wrote down, "She had tits the size of a microwave." Why I chose the word "microwave" to describe her superabundant breasts, I'll never know. Weeks later I'm still baffled. Where they big? At least the size of one of the Olsen Twins. Was everyone at the table staring at them? How could you not?

She was drunk, very chatty, and playing any two cards to the river. She was roaring through a rack of chips on questionable calls, pounding drinks like Judy Garland, and asking me a dozen questions at once.

"Where are you from?"

I lied. "Rhode Island."

"What do you do?"

I lied again. "Aquarium salesman at Fish R' Us. Do you want my card?"

"Why are you here?"

"The rodeo. My probation ended and I was finally free to leave the state."

When I asked her what she did for a living she giggled and threw me a seductive glance. "I make men happy," she said as she lowered her voice.

I waited for the punchline or at least an explanation. Nothing. She let my mind wander. How could she make men happy? She's a kick ass mechanic? An amazing cook? Or she's a stripper? Maybe even a call girl?

She ordered another drink and I asked our waitress for a ginger ale to soothe my aching stomach. I guess I had been messing around with my chips and I inadvertently let rip a chip shuffle which I will do when I'm bored.

"That's cool! Can you teach me how to do that?"

The drunk girl tried her best and the chips flew all over the place. In between giggles she said, "I can't do that. But I can do this trick!"

She touched her nose with her tongue. Twice, just in case I was looking the first time. At that point I ruled her out as a mechanic and cook.

"My," as I paused for dramatic effect, "that's impressive."

"I can do it again!" she squealed.

Just when I thought I saw it all in Vegas, a call girl was doing tongue tricks for me at a poker table in between hands. She was the perfect Vegas fish... soused, without a clue, playing with someone else's money, and calling anything to the river. I won a pot with bottom pair against her. It was very ugly. But hey, ugliness builds bankrolls. Her "friend" was seated at Grubby's table. When she was busted, she would get up and go over to get more chips from him. I'm sure you can't do that, but I wasn't going to point it out. She would bring over $20 or $25 in chips and lose it all on a hand, get up and ask for more money. She did that five or six times. I won at least three of those pots. I nearly doubled up in the first half hour. I was on a rush. That was until a new guy, draped in moral turpitudes, sat down in seat 5. Three hands later he ended up in the now infamous brawl. I could have rewritten it... but that would be revisionist bloggery and I'm not one of those bloggers. So I'll just cut and past what I wrote... just a few hours after it happened. Here's the original post from 12.14.04:
I was in the middle of the hand... and I had the absolute nuts too in a pot well over $100.

Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 5: Guy #1
Seat 7: Drunk wife
Seat 8: Her husband

I just sat down at the table. A young, chubby girl with breasts the size of a microwave sitting in seat 2 was wasted as she sipped on vodka cranberries. Later on Grubby and I had an interesting conversation trying to decide if she was a hooker or not. Anyway, I must say for the first few minutes at my table, she was talking non stop to me. I never had a chance to glance down at the other side of the table to see who was who. I never knew that the people sitting in seats 7 and 8 were a married couple. A new dealer sat down. Since I'm in Seat 1, right next to the dealer, I always make small talk. I asked her how her night had been going, "I just started. Ask me in a little bit," she said.

I'm on the button, I have Q-9s and I limped in a seven way pot on a $2-6 spread table. The flop has an ace but with two flush cards. Everyone limped and I called. No flush for me on the turn and ended up raising and got a few callers. The river was a King of spades. I hit the flush... the nut flush. I had the best hand at that point. Apparently, I spaced out for a few seconds. Everyone had checked to me. I was thinking the proper amount to bet to get the most callers. At that point the drunk woman in seat 7 flipped over her cards. She wasn't paying attention and thought I checked the betting. I told the dealer I needed "time" and was deciding. Dealer told her to turn her cards back over.

"What the fuck," she said pointing to me, "he checked."

"No, it's still his turn to act," replied the dealer. She was angry. I bet $6. The guy in seat 4, check raised me! Great opportunity to win a bigger pot. I love when people bet into me when I had the nuts. Everyone in the hand folded. I was ready to raise and picked up a few chips.

"Way to go you dumb shit," said the man in seat 4 to the married woman.

"Hey, watch you language!" shouted the dealer.

"Go fuck yourself!" she yelled in his direction.

"It won't be as good as fucking you," he quickly shot back. I was about to utter, "Raise," when the husband in seat 8 jumped up and ran towards the guy on seat 4 who stood up ready to confront the angry husband. He tackled him and threw him to the table one row over (in front of the Bad Beat Wheel). Chips went flying everywhere when they landed on the table. It was surreal, just like out of a movie. No one saw them coming.

"Security!" I heard someone yell as they were rolling on the table and an old lady got caught in the fracas.

Right away, I said, "Everyone, protect your chips," as I slammed my hand down on my hole cards to protect my hand and put my left arm and hand over my stack of chips.

It took security a few minutes to arrive and when they finally showed up, they were in full force. The wife tried to run away and was caught a few steps outside the poker room. It took nearly twenty minutes to sort everything out. It seemed like there were three people sitting at that other table who were hurt and shaken up. $1 chips cluttered the floor. The entire poker room was buzzing and everyone stood up to see what happened. My brother had jumped up and thought I was in a fight. Otis' brother called Otis and said, "Get back to the poker room, there's a fight at Pauly's table!"

It took twenty minutes for everything to be sorted out. The floor person came over to the table to discuss the situation with the dealer. The hand was still alive and I was not going to leave without taking down my pot. A police man escorted the guy in seat 4 to the table. His face was all puffy. The husband was giving him the business when they were rolling around the table. We completed the hand. I should have raised him! But I simply called. He had a baby flush and I had the nuts and took down the monster pot. I tipped the dealer $10 from the pot. She was psyched since she didn't get any tips during the down time. Grubby was sitting at the table right in front of mine. They were brawling just behind him. Derek and Otis ran over to get the story. Unreal, eh? The entire remainder of the night, everyone was talking about it. I must have told the blogger and Otis' crew the story at all their different tables. It was weird to have an entire table and dealer stop their game to hear my side of the story. I guess I became a part of the story. I was the guy who had the nuts when the fight started!

I wish I could get the video tape to post on my blog. Ah, just another night in Vegas!
Yeah, so there you have it. The brawl revisited. I know that I got a lot of shit from everyone because I did not raise that guy. I should have. I just wanted to get the hand over, you know? Next time that happens, you know what I'll do. Things got a little wacky. The giggly, liquored up call girl left to my dismay, as did the dude who got his ass kicked. The husband and wife were in police custody. Alas, I lost four players from my table and my mini rush was over. Eventually Grubby sat to my left. Derek joined a few orbits later.

At one point I saw the Swedish Hammer (27s) and limped in. Grubby raised and I folded. Here's the rest of the story, from Grubby's view:
I'll leave you this morning with my Hammer story. Monday night I'm sitting at the Excalibur 2/6 impending lawsuit fight table (and Pauly, she wasn't a hooker or am I just refusing to believe a hooker would reject me?) with Pauly and his brother. Pauly was to my right, and we were chatting often enough that I felt other people were suspicious of collusion. I made sure not to talk if we were both in the hand.

I get 72o in the BB, which excites me as much as pocket Aces. Everyone in the world limps for $2 including Pauly, and I raise to $8. All fold except the person in the cutoff. Sigh. This is my first hand raising at the table, and here I have a caller.

The flop is A3x (rainbow). My Hammer is looking good. CO bets out.

Little did he know the monster I held.

I raise.

I bring up the cards to Pauly and ask, "Wanna see?"

He shakes his head, "No."

CO calls. The turn is 5.

CO bets.

I ask Pauly, "Wanna see?"

He says, "I know what you have."

I now have a gutshot straight and no odds to call. Such is the glory of The Hammer and will make my eventual win all the sweeter.

I consider raising but decide to slowplay this one and pop him on the river.

River is nothing and he bets. I let him off easy this time and fold, though I did consider raising so I could show the hand.

Pauly said he also had The Hammer. Had he raised, I would've reraised, and we would've driven everyone out and then split the pot with The Hammer.

But he said his was suited, so not technically a real Hammer.

I forgave him.
Yeah, that would have been a huge moment in poker blogging history... the time Grubby and I chopped a pot with the hammer at a table in Vegas! It was not meant to be. By the way, Grubby is the man. He single handily put his little stamp on poker culture and introduced a word that will eventually become a part of poker vernacular. I suggest that February 7... will be from here on out called... St. Grubby's Day. I am petitioning the Pope to set aside an official church holiday for Grubby and the Hammer. I encourage all bloggers to drop as many hammers as they can on St. Grubby's Day... Feb. 7!

Eventually the ubiquitous Otis joined us at the table and we had a couple of locals at the tables with four bloggers. One heavyset guy wearing a Santa's hat was a taxi driver and he joked around with our dealer. They were tooling on the cowboys and the rodeo crowds. Supposedly they don't tip... very well... er, at all. I'm from New York City and people are hustling for everything. Tipping is how you get things done a little bit faster. I'm tipping everyone here. Delivery guys, doormen, taxi drivers, dog walkers, shampoo girls, cops, bartenders, drug dealers, coatcheck girls, bookies, the cute Cambodian girl with the nosering who butters my bagels... you name it. But in Vegas, there's a lot of random tourists who don't have the money for superfluous tips or don't comprehend the tipping culture and how many people who work in the service industry rely upon tips as income. At any rate, based on the cowboy standards, I'm a big tipper in Vegas.

Anyway, I was pumped to spend my last hours at the poker table in Vegas with Derek, Grubby, and Otis. There was a moment when Otis told Grubby he needed to update his blog more often. "You're one to talk, man," I blurted out. Otis shrugged. He got my point.

It was a wild last day and night. The plowed call girl would have made my night, but the brawl was something that I will never forget about that Vegas trip. As if I did not have enough material to write about or enough random memories to keep me entertained for many years to come... the Vegas Gods threw me a bone. A big one too. That poor shmuck who got his ass kicked limped back to the poker room to play after he filed a police report and saw the paramedics. I glanced at his face. He resembled Rocky at the end of the first flick. (Sorry, HDouble... I couldn't resist. "Cut me, Mickey!")

Before I left I sat at a $1-3 table with some of Otis' crew... Martin and Brian in particular for one orbit. There was a very cute college girl there who kept talking about seeing Texas Dolly at the Bellagio. She was drunk and dropped a few F-bombs. Of course the dealer at the table was the same dealer from the Brawl. I thought it was funny how people in the poker room were talking about the fight all night and how in a few hours the majority of the facts in those versions were so far off. I looked at the dealer and shrugged my shoulders when a few of the kids at my table were talking up a incident that thinly resembled the brawl at my table. There was a gun in their version and I had a royal straight flush that time! The dealer and I knew what really happened. I was too tired to correct them.

I said my good-byes to everyone and to Otis and Grubby. Derek and I grabbed a few donuts from Krispy Kreme before I went up to the room to write and pack before I crashed.

... To be continued.

Here's the timetable of the rest of my trip reports:

1.31 - Day 5: Afterthoughts plus my fav. pictures & quotes

And here are the ones I have already posted:

Chapter 1: Day 1, Part I
Chapter 2: Day 1, Part II
Chapter 3: Day 2, Part I
Chapter 4: Day 2, Part II... WPBT Holiday Classic
Chapter 5: Day 2, Part III
Chapter 6: Day 3, Part I
Chapter 7: Day 3, Part II
Chapter 8: Day 4, Part I

Derek posted some of his trip reports. Check those out.
As you can tell the timetable for my trip reports have been constantly changing. Sorry for the delay. Stay tuned for the final installment of my Vegas stories which will be posted on Monday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

TowneHouse Friday
"Pauly, how many cheese blintzes do you want?" - Coach
So what was I doing hanging out with a roomful of lawyers on a Friday night and not discussing that lingering paternity suit that never seems to go away? Playing poker of course. Toni hosted two $40 multi table tournaments at the TowneHouse with rebuys in the first orbit (only) and if you don't know by now, Toni uses purple and pink chips for her games. There were two tables going and Signor Ferrari and Coach from the Blue Parrot were also in attendance. I played with a lot of the same people a few weeks ago and I found out that some of them had read my blog since my first appearance at the TowneHouse. I've been outed. Anyway, I ended up winning the first one and coming in 8th in the second one.

I arrived with a strong buzz and freezing my ass off. I had dinner and drinks in Chelsea with Jenna and Briana and some of her old friends from high school to celebrate her birthday. It was freezing outside and I walked almost twenty blocks because I was a little too sloshed to know the difference between numb and stupid.
Players at my table (Tourney #1):
Seat 1: Andy
Seat 2: Pauly
Seat 3: Toni
Seat 4: Cliff
Seat 5: Ferrari
Seat 6: Kyle
I was sitting at the main table. The blinds are fifteen minutes long and start at $10/20 and you get T1000 in chips.

Level 2: Cliff's AQs knocked out Kyle's 86o. There were all low cards on the flop with two clubs. Cliff pushed with the nut flush draw and overcards. All Kyle had was a gutshot and a backdoor flush draw (which would have been beat if he hit). Cliff took an early chip lead.

Level 3: I was on the button with J8 and limped in when everyone folded to me. Toni called in the LB. The flop: 7-8-2. She bet, Cliff folded and I raised $500. Toni thought about it and moved all in. I had to call and started to wonder if I was outkicked or was beat by two pair. She turned over A7s. I knocked her out with top pair and crappy kicker. J8o rules. That's one example how position means everything in NL. I would never play J8o from any other position out of the blinds, but on the button against the blinds I have to see a cheap flop.

As soon as I stacked up my chips, there was commotion on the other table. With a Jack and two rags on the board (but two spades), Sung moved all in. Coach was contemplating calling. He ended up pushing all in with the Hilton Sisters. I thought he had an easy win when Sung showed his J-10. The turn was another spade. Sung had one in his hand and Coach had none. And Sung caught running spades for a flush on the river to double up against Coach. He was crippled and one of the short stacks.

Level 4: This might be the hand of the tournament for me. In the LB, I have QJs. Ferrari limped in and Andy raised the minimum on the button. I called as did Ferrari. The flop: Q-2-6 rainbow. I checked, Ferrari checked, and Andy bet the minimum. I raised the bet to the size of the pot and Ferrari sat for a few minutes thinking over the call. I put him on a middle-Q. With AQ or KQ or a set, he would have called right away or pushed... but he kept thinking about it, which kinda told me he had Q9 or QT. He ended up moving all in! Before I could think about it, Andy moved all in! Well, I had to suspect one of them had me outkicked if they had a Q. But maybe they hit a set? I showed my QJs and folded. Ferrari showed QJs!! We had almost the same hand. I'm glad I folded because Andy showed his pocket aces. Nice betting on his part, with min. bets preflop and on the flop. Perfectly played. Ferrari was knocked out and he pushed because he assumed he was going to be heads up with me (he put me on a Q too... but a weak Q since I was in the blinds). He forgot about Andy. Heck, I figured I was going to be heads up with Ferrari. I forgot about Andy too!

Level 5: The Final Table was seated and I had T1500 and sitting next to Coach. He ended up moving all in with K9s. Andy was the big stack and he called with 77. Coach flopped a 9. And just as the river card, a 7, fell to the felt, he uttered in a sullen tone, "Of course." Andy hit one of his two outs and knocked out Coach. Rivered twice at the TowneHouse. Ouch. Alma knocked out Sung when her 10-10 held up in a race against KJ. She had gone from a short stack to one of the medium stacks in a few hands. Remaining were Damon, Cliff, Kathy, Alma, Andy and myself.

Level 6: Everyone folded to me in the little blind. I had 87s and moved all in for a steal. Alma quickly called with AJ. I knew I was done and said, "You got me beat." The flop didn't help me but I caught an 8 on the turn and doubled up. I got lucky and it wouldn't be the last time at the final table where I came from behind preflop to win hands. Cliff went out when his Hilton Sisters couldn't hold up against Andy's A6s. Damon bubbled out when he lost to Kathy.

Level 7: I didn't get too many good hands but picked up enough blinds to survive. Kathy was on a roll. I think she knocked out Alma and Andy was chipped down. He had me dominated in one hand and I paired my lower kicker to beat him. I had a decent lead in chips. I was heads up with Kathy! She beat me heads up the last time we played. Her play was consistent throughout and one of the toughest things to master in NL is proper bet size. She seems to have a good grasp on that concept. I ended up winning when we both pushed with aces... my A8 beat her A6 when I flopped an 8. I took first place and $240. Also "In the Money" were Kathy ($120), Andy ($80), and Alma ($40).

The second tournament started and we had 13 players for that one when Ken arrived. I was seated at the second table. Like last time everyone got sloshed in between the first and second tournaments. Since it was Friday and the end of a long work week, a few folks got a little more wasted than usual. My hat goes off to Cliff who helped run the tournament. He did his best trying to keep drunk people in line.
The Players at my table (Tourney #2):
Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 2: Kyle
Seat 3: Kathy
Seat 4: Sung
Seat 5: Alma
Seat 6: Ferrari
Level 2: Kyle's KK knocked out Sung. We had five players at our table. And I wasn't getting any hands.

Level 4: There was a misdeal one time when Kyle exposed the flop before he should have when Ferrari was contemplating calling a raise. I need to get a specific ruling on that so we know what to do the next time it happens. I had T750 and getting cold cards.

Level 5: I had 33 and flopped a set with 6-7-3. I bet, Ferrari raised and I moved all in. He thought about it for a while and decided to call when he found out the blinds were going up in a few minutes. He had a good amount of his money in the pot and called with 35o. He had outs and didn't catch any. I doubled up and had over T1650. A few hands later, facing two all in bets preflop by Alma and Kathy, Ferrari folded AQs. At the time it seemed like the good thing to do. Both girls flipped over AK! Ferrari would have flopped two pair when the case ace and a queen hit.

I made the Final Table. Also there were: Kathy, Damon, Coach, Ken, Alma, Kyle, Cliff, Steve. I got to sit next to Steve and he was wicked wasted. I like to party and I hang out with rockstars (based on party ability not musical talent) from time to time. But sometimes people get too out of control. I was not happy about my seat next to the drunk guy but I knew I had to focus on my cards. I had one of the shorter stacks and was looking to double up.

Damon moved all in with AQs. Ken and Alma both called with AK! Didn't that just happen? Amazing. Damon was knocked out and I followed him a few hands later. UTG with 10-10 I moved all in. Ken called with AQs and I was beat when he flopped two pair. Oh well. 8th out of 13 isn't great. But at least I didn't have to sit next to the annoying drunk guy for the next hour. And would you know, two of the drunkest people finished in the top 3. Oh well. I know Alma finished in 4th again and I think Steve came in third, Kyle second, and Ken won it all. I'm not too sure at that point. Things were sloppy at the final table. Props to Cliff who tried his best to maintain order at the table.

I played two tournaments, won the first one and ended up up $160. We played a cash game afterwards when everyone left. There were six of us and we played $4/8 rounds of Hold'em and Omaha 8. I ended up $6 when the game was called early. There was a sketchy incident that happened late night involving a misread Omaha hand and the drunk guy. I'm short on time so I'll have to save that story for another time.

All in all, another fun night at TowneHouse. Thanks agin to Toni who once again was a cool host. I was too lazy to walk to the subway so I took a cab. If I saw any homeless people, I would have given away a few bucks. Instead I tipped my cabbie an extra buck. He was from India so he knew all about karma.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Truckin' January 2005 (Vol. 4, Issue 1)

The first issue of 2005 features two new writers. Bob Respert talks about his recent high school reunion. Novice shares a touching short story called Comfort Food. We have some regulars returing with stories. Sigge and BG are gracing us with their writing ability by contributing a couple of gems. And lastly, I start us off with a Las Vegas story inspired from my December trip. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Sunday Morning in December by Tenzin McGrupp
I sheepishly answered another wake up call minutes after I had finally fallen asleep. I could have sworn that the maids were popping into the room for a "bed check" and were stealing $100 bills out of my pants pocket while I was passed out....More

2. Reunion by Bob Respert
So when you were at a random party a year or two down the road, you had to determine if they looked familiar because you walked by them 600 times, or because you actually knew them, had a study group with them, or had sex with their sister....More

3. 6-3-8 by BG
My old man used to say that running the race on the reel to reel in his head to divine the winning combination was as "complex as calculus computations with a Cracker-Jack code key" and I know he wasn't kidding when he tried in all his efforts to partner our long afternoons in my youth at the track... More

4. Comfort Food by Novice
It is 2 AM, and I am awake. My stomach becomes cranky in the wee hours, and for some God-Only-Knows-Why reason it craves peanut butter... More

5. Shooting the Moon by Sigge S. Amdal
I have reasons to believe that the sperm that eventually impregnated my mother and caused me upon the world, the little pre-me, did not win "the competition" by regular means....More

Sunday, January 23, 2005

New Site:

Ryan from Pokerrata recently purchased a domain for and designed a site to be the official unofficial site of the WPBT. If you ask me it looks awesome. So when you get a chance check out: and let us know what you think. Ryan invited me to post on the site, which will be a forum for all things related to the WPBT, including tournament results, announcements, player standings, and picture galleries. In the near future I will announce a points system so we can determine the WPBT Player of the Year. That's it for now.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Saturday Blizzard and Adventures with AlCanCrushOmaha

Am I the only one who wanted to order the Party Poker Hawaiian shirt with their Party Poker bonus points?

Well, I was snowed in and managed to do some writing that I needed to catch up on. I had to put poker blogging aside for a bit and concentrate on a few freelance articles that I need to get out by the end of the month. I'm still way behind. I'll post the last two chapters of my Vegas trip reports and TowneHouse write ups by midweek.

I took a break and jumped on Party Poker. I was working off my bonus and played a little NL. I randomly let Party pick my table... and I happened to get an empty seat at Chris Halverson's table. Pretty cool. My first three hands were solid... KK, AKs, and AJs. Somedays you know you are gonna catch shit. I badbeated a guy early with K-10o. The board was K-J-10... with two hearts and I knew the other guy did not have AQ (he would have raised preflop... and instead limped in). He bet and I pushed him all in. He called with KJ! I caught a 10 on the river and hit my two outer to double up.

Another hand was a classic fishy play and is the reason I still slum at the $25 ring tables on Party Poker. In middle position I limped in with AJo. I have been starting to dread that hand in NL. AJo is like your shopoholic ex-girlfriend... at some point you know she's going to bleed you dry. I got a few callers including the guy to my right who chased a gutshot with 42o the hand before. The flop: J-8-2 rainbow. I checked, he bet, one of the blinds called and I raised to $10. He called. I bet out $15 on the turn when a second club fell and he called. On the river the third club fell and I checked. He moved all in for the rest of his chips. I had him covered. I typed "What did you catch?" knowing that he caught runner-runner flush and getting that crappy feeling in my stomach just like I get after eating too much chicken vindaloo from one of those Indian dives on 6th Street in the East Village. I called and the pot was pushed to me. He had J6o. I should have gone broke with TPTK... the odds were against me.

Sometimes my biggest winning hands are not the heavy pocket pairs or group one hands... but rather those marginal hands like AJo and 77. I more than tripled up and decided to play a little Omaha 8 with AlCantHang. He was up 50BB on the micro limit tables! I won a few hands but was down a few bucks until I I flopped a set with pocket tens. On the river I hit my quads and scooped it all. That's the third time I got qauds this week and throw in a straight flush as well.

Click on picture to enlarge.

It felt good to actually post a winning day on Party Poker! 10 out of my last 13 sessions have been losing ones... I hope to post another positive day tomorrow to end my slide amd start rebuilding my damaged online bankroll.

I did get a chance to stop by every blog on my blogroll at some point during the day. That takes me all day now. I have to skim a lot of them too... which is a shame that I cannot read a weeks worth of posts inside a few minutes that I set aside for each blog. G-Rob's addiction post stands out as the best post this week. And without a doubt, this paragraph has got to be the most entertaining line I read this week (from Daddy):
I've got a running bet with a friend that Bea Arthur at one time did infact have a penis. I'm not sure how I can possibly collect on this bet short of slipping the coroner a few bones when she buys the farm, but I'm still investigating. I won't go down without a fight, you can count on that.
What is in the drinking water in Indiana?
Post Pending...

There's a blizzard hitting NYC, so I took advantage of the reload bonus on Party Poker and promptly got knocked out first in a $30 SNG.

Last night, Toni hosted a series of $40 tournaments at The TowneHouse. I won the first one ($240 win, 12 players) and came in 8th out of 13 in the second one. Ferrari and Coach also played. I'll be writing that up shortly.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Thursday Thoughts and Reader Mail

Editor's Note: Warning... do not expect any real poker content, theory, or hand histories in the next 3000 or so words.

"Dude, we're going to Vegas for March Madness."

My buddy Senor (not to be confused with Signor Ferrari from the Blue Parrot, they are two different people. Senor is one of my best friends from college and he lives in Rhode Island) called last night. He was excited. His wife is taking his son to visit her relatives in Thailand for the entire month of March. He's going for two weeks and then coming back to the States. Before he starts a new job, he's taking off a weekend to gamble on the college basketball tournament. I was specifically picked for that special mission.

"OK, I'm in." I said without hesitation.

I'm the "jump first, ask questions later" kind of guy when it comes to cliff diving and quick decision making. Senor and I have embarked upon some of the most epic adventures in my life that set the tone for some of the wildest moments in my 20s. Amsterdam in 1996. Iceland in 2001. Japan in 2000. New Orleans in 1997. Those are just a few trips that come to mind as I am flooded by flashbacks and goosebumps. We have plenty of deviant Vegas stories that could fill two books maybe more.

Halloween 1998 under the bright lights of Las Vegas is a highlight, or lowlight depending on how you look at things. It's funny how I can look back at an exact date and say for certain that I had never been more wasted, shithoused, and tiptoeing on the edge of the abyss of insanity as I was on October 31, 1998. I was living in Seattle at the time, had hair down to my ass, and I was enamored with a hippie girl from Bellingham named Frog. She looked like Rachel Leigh Cook and her mother ingested too many hits of LSD when she was pregnant because Frog would often interrupt herself in mid-sentence and start speaking in a language that resembled some form of Klingon and mixed with a Haitian dialect. She swore that she could talk to cats and vice versa, but not dogs, which baffled me. She made the freaky girl at school seem somewhat normal. Anyway, Senor flew into Vegas so we could see Phish on Halloween and I flew down from Seattle. I was a lit monkey for sure, struggling to define my own existence while sputtering along on four hits of acid. I got into a fight with our cab driver after the concert and I remember freaking out in the middle of a casino. On a head full of double-dipped acid, with all the lights and flashes and sounds of chips and slot machines and the free drinks and people from Canada having fun and all the visual stimuli... the entire dark side of Las Vegas laughed and tossed me aside, like a parking ticket on the windshield of Paris Hilton's Mercedes SUV. I could feel all the dark energy and desperation of Las Vegas choking me and I nearly slipped off the edge. I almost drowned in my own profuse insanity.

So we're a little older now. I have a lot less hair. Senor has a wife, a kid, and an MBA, and I still have a weakness for 18 year-old hippie girls. And we're heading back to Vegas. The last time I was in Vegas with Senor, it was during March Madness in 2003 and Derek came along. I wrote a few stories about that trip for my blogzine. Vegas, Two Canadian Hockey Players, and a Kansas Blonde is one of my favorite short stories of all time. Here's a bit:
No other vice lured me into violence as much as gambling. I If don't pay my bookie, I get my ass kicked. The rules are simple. Same goes for the casinos. Behave like a gentleman, or else. Sometimes, when my bets are not going the way I'd like, my patience evaporates and my Buddhist mannerisms towards people disappear, and I'm usually within seconds of dropping my fists on the first asshole that sets me off. And if I'm drinking and gambling, I'll definitely get myself into trouble.

I bet heavily on Syracuse (the only time in the tournament) and was slurping down vodka tonics. The guy in front of me had $50 on Auburn. Syracuse blew a 17 point lead, and every time Auburn did something right, he would celebrate like he just won the lottery and got a blow job from Britney Spears in the same afternoon, which would inch me closer and closer to pummeling his ass. At one point I raised my leg, ready to kick him in the head with my boot if he jumped up one more time. Luckily for him, he remained seated. Or luckily for me, I should say. Behavior like that... random acts of violence towards jubilant tourists are not taken lightly in Las Vegas. Similar incidents get you blacklisted and banned from all gaming areas in the state of Nevada. I would have immediately been dragged off by the casino lumberjacks, the visible security force with pressed shirts, shiny shoes and black walkie talkies. They drag you downstairs to a room with no windows, and hand you over to thugs named "Nine Fingered" Vito and "Fat" Jimmy, who may or may not remove your eyeballs with rusty ice picks.

A group of unruly, rowdy, drunken frat boys from Michigan State nearly caused a small riot as they sat in the front row of the sports book. Michigan State was the underdog for most of the tournament, and a lot of people lost large sums of cash when they played. One frat boy in particular was bumping chests and taunting the bettors who wagered on Maryland. I held myself back from running up there and crashing an empty Corona bottle across his sun burned face. I wanted to fight, but I reminded myself about the cameras all over the casino that watched my every move. Instead, after a Maryland player missed a wide open dunk, I got up and walked away. Derek and Senor thought I was just kidding. But I was serious. I wanted to leave immediately. With more than half the game not over, I walked out of the Mandalay Bay Casino in a solemn retreat, with my head down, and chiding myself for losing all the money I won earlier in the day.

Derek had a similar situation. This one involved a beautiful blonde from Kansas. She showed up just before the game started to watch her team play and could not find a seat for her sorority girlfriends. We had been sitting in the last row of the sports book for almost four or five hours when she arrived and we ended up stuck with her standing right behind us. To say that she was annoying would be polite. Within a half hour, Derek wanted to get up and punch her.

"I don't care if she's hot," he muttered.

Kansas was beating up on Arizona in the first half. It was ugly. When Kansas did well, you heard the blonde squeal and let everyone in the state of Nevada know that "her boys" were kicking ass. Sometimes overhearing the conversations with her friends killed me, which was slightly more pleasurable than having my testicles scraped by a cheese grater.

"Who's cuter? Nicky or Kirk?" she asked one of her sisters.

My brother rolled his eyes. "Collison and Hienrich are two of the ugliest white dudes I ever seen. What the fuck is she talking about?"

"Come on Nicky! Thatta boy, Kirk!"

She kept rambling on, drawing the ire of the ninety percent of the guys who bet against Kansas. They sat and stewed in anger, like drunken pigeons ready to shit on the next thing that moved, as Kansas whooped on Arizona.

I wanted to get up and say something to our Kansas Blonde like, "Listen up Princess Dorothy, you're pissing us off. Here's $100. Why don't you take the Barbies and head on over to the bar over there, get really drunk, and watch the game as far away from me as you can? In the meanwhile y'all can debate which one of you lovely girls will eat each other out on video tonight for this next year's DVD mega hit, Sorority Girls Gone Wild in Vegas."

This is not the Phi Delt house and we ain't nowhere near fucking Kansas. She should realize where she is, cheering mindlessly and incessantly like Cheri O'Teri's Saturday Night Live cheerleader jacked up on Sea Breezes and cocaine. It's like a narc walking into a Hell's Angels bar and making fun of their motorcycles by pissing all over them. You're either dumb as shit, or you're looking to get empty whiskey bottles shoved up your orifices. Either way, Arizona's appalling play wasn't helping the situation. There's over a million dollars lost that I can see in the miserable faces as I scan the room... gloomy frat boys from San Diego, pathetic compulsive gamblers from Reno, disconsolate dentists from Minnesota, cheating husbands from South Florida whose wives have no clue they lost $500 on lowly Arizona... they all stared in despair and endured the ball squeezing, triumphant echoes of the Kansas Blonde every few seconds.... More.
Damn, Vegas is one of my favorite topics to write about. You have to read the rest of that story. I had a blast playing blackjack with a bunch of minor league hockey players downtown.

Yeah, Vegas is on my mind and I still haven't finished up my December trip reports. I'm so far behind I'll need to stay up for the rest of the month just to catch up on all the writing I have to do.

Random Thoughts

I have two female friends that have become a little more popular because of their affiliation with me. My friend Jenna works for a company here in NYC. And she is now in with her boss's boss because of our friendship. He is a devout reader of my blog. She was having a meeting a few weeks ago in his office and noticed that her boss's boss had the Tao of Poker up on his computer in the background. When the meeting was over she asked him what he was reading.

"It's one of those blogs."

"About?" she inquired.

"This one is about poker."

"The Tao of Poker?"

"Yeah, how did you know?" he said almost stunned.

"I know Pauly. My best friend used to go out with him. We're good friends. We're having lunch later."

"Dr. Pauly?" he yelled, "Do you think I could meet him?"

Now Jenna has been getting attention from a lot of the guys in her office for knowing me. She's relieved that they've finally stopped hitting on her and now exclusively talk to her about poker, something she knows very little about, but she commented on how obsessed people in her office about poker. They've all caught the poker bug, even a few female co-workers. I've been invited to a few home games from her co-workers and politely declined due to my busy schedule. If anything I told Jenna to get them to sign up for Party Poker using my bonus code: TAO4 and maybe I'll come to one of their home games.

Another friend of mine, who lives in Chicago, recently found out that she has a couple of friends from Wisconsin who religiously read this blog. Thanks for reading guys! Anyway her friends were shocked that she knew me, "How do you know Dr. Pauly?" She never reads this blog and knows very little about poker aside from what I post on my main blog. "My friends think I'm cool now because they think I'm friends with someone famous," she said in a conversation the other day.

I shrugged my shoulders and patted my ego when she told me. My only response was, "Are any of these friends, er... female?"


I read that 2+2 post about some guy calling blogs "gay". If blogs are gay, then I'm Harvey Firestein of the blogging world. However, for the most part, the average blog is nothing to brag about. Have you ever hit the Next Blog button on the upper right hand corner and surf ten or so random blogs? 1/3 are not even in English and the rest are pretty... well... boring. I hate to judge people who put themselves out there... but a lot of folks are wasting their time... reading blogs and creating new ones.

Blogs are the new tattoos. I coined that phrase. And I'm shivering at the thought of having to add two hundred more links in the next six months.

Reader Mail

This will be a regular feature on the Tao of Poker. I'll select a few random emails and post my answers here.
Dear Dr. Pauly,

My name is Timmy and I'm in the third grade. We have been playing Texas Hold'em at recess. These games are loose and I know I can crack them. It's just that I keep getting bad river beats. I have been on a bad run and have not been able to eat lunch for two weeks because I keep losing my lunch money. I owe Farty Henderson forty dollars and he charges three points a week interest. He said he was going to tell this girl I like that I have posters of Clay Aiken up on my wall if I don't pay him by next week. What should I do?

Pensacola, Florida

Dear Timmy,

Welcome to the world of bad beats. Suck it up, kid. It will build character. OK, now my question for you is... what kind of parents do you have? Because let's be honest, you can't tell them you are gambling at school. You are going to have to get an afterschool job or you are going to have to steal from your parents until you ride out those bad beats. If they are alcoholics or pill poppers, you're in good shape. Wait until it gets very late and they pass out. That's the perfect time to steal from your drunk dad's wallet or your valiumed up mom's purse. If they are heavy drinkers, you should have no problems with making a few extra bucks here or there, mainly because they'll just assumed that got too wasted the night before and bought more drinks than they remembered. My next bit of advice is to find another kid who's juice is only 1 point and borrow money from him. Pay off Farty Henderson right away and then you'll cut your juice payments by 67%. Steal from your parents to pay off the second loan shark. And stop chasing flushes when you don't have drawing odds!

Thanks for reading,

Dear Dr. Pauly,

Hey Doc. My name is Ed and I'm a long time reader. I recently quit my job as a programmer here in Portland and I have been playing online at Party Poker. I'm doing very well and I'm making almost as much as I was working at my old job. Here's my problem. My wife does not know I quit my job. Since I work at home, it's not unusual for me to be in front of a computer for ten or twelve hours straight. She does not suspect a thing. I feel guilty. I should tell her right?

Ed, Portland, OR

Dear Ed,

Dude, you're so fucked. But let's not focus on that right now. My advice to you is to not tell your wife. What she doesn't know won't hurt her, right? If she finds out... then deny everything. That's the best piece of advice that was given to me from one of the head honchos at my old firm on Wall Street. Shit, if you can't successfully lie and bluff your wife... then there is no way you'll be able to make a final table at the WSoP and therefore you should not be playing poker for a living. And if you do tell her, never tell her the exact amount you have been earning. Lowball her. It's a fucked up thing to do. But trust me. It's much better to let people know you made a lot less than you actually do. It's reduces financial expectations, especially around gift giving special events like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, and Christmas. If she knows you make a lot of money, she'll expect expensive presents from this point on. Also you'll have a little more cushion to absorb any bad streaks that your bankroll might undertake, especially if you are playing on Party Poker.

Thanks for reading,

Dear Dr. Pauly,

Greetings from the Delta Delta Delta sorority. As events coordinator for the Gamma Phi chapter at Washington University in St. Louis, I was wondering if you would be able to give me any tips on organizing a charity poker tournament? How much should the buy in be? What will the blinds and levels be? We want to donate proceeds to Tsunami victims. Any help that you can give us would be great! A few of us here at Tri Delt love your blogs and if possible we would like you to attend as our celebrity guest? Maybe you can get some of your blogger buddies to come along like Al Cant Hang or Wil Wheaton?

Kayla, St. Louis, MO

Dear Kayla,

Hey, how you doing? I'm flattered to know that my humble blog is read in exotic places like the Tri Delt sorority house. If you call me personally, I will give you specific information on how to run a tournament. I have to check my schedule, but when are you having this event? I'm sure I can squeeze in an evening of chip flinging with lubricious co-eds. Will there be a wet t-shirt contest to follow? As you know the bibulous Al Cant Hang has a few open dates on his globe trotting schedule but I'm sure he can accommodate your wishes if you provide the necessary allotment of Southern Comfort and Krispy Kreme.

Thanks for reading,


And that concludes this installment of reader mail. Best of luck at the tables tonight. Vegas trip reports will be posted this weekend. Maybe?