Thursday, March 31, 2005

Running with Game Cocks: Another WPBT Adventure

With 109 players forking over $20 + 2, the latest event on Poker Stars was another wild night. I finished an unimpressive 65th while Derek made the money in another WPBT event. If you count cashing in the HORSE tourney and finishing as the highest blogger at the Blue Parrot Invitational plus his 3rd place finish in a Speed Tourney on Party Poker... then Derek is on a hot run.

Congrats to Pathetic Poker who took first place and $651 in his first ever WPBT event. He kept the blogger streak alive. Good job.
The Starting Players:

Seat 1: Grasp a.k.a. Royal Poker... one of the many Michigan bloggers from Midland. Royal is fresh off of his WPBT H.O.R.S.E. win. He has a firm grasp on the game, as firm as Al Can't Hang's grip on his first cocktail of the evening.

Seat 2: 787Style... one of the Austin crew who was a victim of a vicious bad beat in the last blogger event when Dr. Pauly cracked his AA with The Hammer!

Seat 3: Joanne... she's "the chick with the chair" and Calgary's most famous female poker blogger. She's was 25th on the WPBT Leader Board going in.

Seat 4: Rick Blaine... the owner of Rick's Cafe and regular at the Blue Parrot left New York City last year to relocate and practice law in Northern California. It's always great to bluff at pots with Rick.

Seat 5: VaRoadster... the former chess champion from Virginia can be found lurking in the waters on Empire Poker. He's not afraid to throw down The Hammer.

Seat 6: Al Cant Hang... everyone's favorite internet celebrity got toasted at the Boathouse before the tournament. You can tune into his new reality show, starting this summer on MTV called: The Al Can't Hang Experience. It's on right after that awful Lizze Grubman vehicle Power Girls.

Seat 7: Mirven... another Austin player who's been frequenting the WPBT circuit. What's up with that shade of lipstick?

Seat 8: Pauly... our hero. The former Wall Street whiz kid turned Party Poker pitchman is looking to make the money in his first WPBT event in over a year. We don't expect him to shake off the effects of his five day bender in Vegas in time to do any significant damage.

Later on MaiGrey and Life's a Grind and JB1234 would be at my table.
9:05pm EST...I thought it was funny that Derek and Rod were at the same table since his sister Joanne sat at my table.

9:23pm EST...F Train and his Hilton Sisters got knocked out by Hunts Vegas Poker. Ouch. He's the first Blue Parrot regular to get bounced.

9:26pm EST... with 45o in the LB, I checked to Joanne when I flopped two pair. She won with 66 when running 8s ruined my chance at slowplaying.

9:28pm EST... Rick slowplayed his aces against Maigrey's KJ.

9:31pm EST... Glyph's A7 lost to AJ and was KO'd. They both flopped two pair. I was in 76th place out of 91.

9:34pm EST... Derek's KK holds up against Rod's Hilton Sisters. In October 2004, Rod won my Hilton Sisters Challenge when he beat out AA. Karmic payback? Joanne wrote in the chat, "Your bro just crippled my bro." Yeah that's when Derek moved into the chiplead.

9:37pm EST... I limped UTG with JJ and missed my flop when two overcards hit.

9:40pm EST... Al Cant Hang was knocked out with his QT losing to Maigrey's KTs.

9:45pm EST... I am 68th out of 86 with T1180. Derek is in the top 5.

10:00pm EST... Derek's Hilton Sisters knocks off Lumberjack's QJ when he pushed all in when a J flopped. Derek had T8000+ and back in first place. I was 59 out of 66. I made the first break but needed to double up soon. During the break I answered questions from fans and fellow bloggers and even discussed medicinal marijuana with Felicia who was on the rail all night, along with Joaquin.

10:08pm EST... Word hit the tables that I was knocked out. I moved all in UTG with a shortstack and a marginal hand ATo. I tried to steal the blinds but Royal called with JJ and I was out in 65th place. Coach and Chris Halverson were both knocked out around the same time.

10:12pm EST... No groveling from Ugarte when his Hellmuth's held up against Mrs. Blood's AQs. Ugarte doubled up against someone who is not Bad Blood's wife. We can confirm that. I dunno who he/she was. But I have a few ideas...

10:12pm EST... Rick Blaine was the next Blue Parrot regular gone. Derek was the chipleader with over 11k.

10:20pm EST... CJ was knocked out when he lost set over set (55s to 88s) to Gamecock. That's about around the time I found out that you could type: asscock into the chat and it would slip pass the censors. That hand seemed to get Gamecock going and he never looked back.

10:21pm EST... Derek's Hiltons were cracked by Sportstrader.

10:26pm EST... Iggy's lucky streak began when his K5 knocked out Rolee's A6.

10:28pm EST... Derek was moved to a new table with plenty of characters.
Derek's New Table:

Seat 1: Bad Blood... he admits that he's 100% Balco free although there have been rumors that a cabal of suits running the WPBT want to start drug testing for steroids and horse tranquilizers. I'm so fucked.

Seat 2: Iggy... everyone's favorite blogger had half a bag on and was bogged down in serious tube pullage throughout the night.

Seat 3: SoxLover... a Red Sox fan from Jersey City, NJ. Nobody is perfect.

Seat 4: FW190... an unknown from Washington DC. Rumors for a while suggested he was in fact Jeff Gannon dropping his own version of the Hammer to Beltway Insiders.

Seat 5: Daddy... the creator of sapid whale pussy burritos is a three-time Indiana circle-jerk champion, winning "Golden Cockrings" in Speed Wanking, Distance Shooting, and the Power Jerk.

Seat 6: Papag99... another reader from Milford, Connecticut... I presume.

Seat 7: Waxman... another familiar face on the WPBT.

Seat 8: Derek... the self professed "Don Swayze of Poker Bloggers" was one of the chip leaders. So I guess that make's me Patrick Swayze? By the way, where the fuck was BG... the "Bobby Flay" of poker bloggers? And where was Grubby... the gourmand of poker bloggers?

Seat 9: Ugarte... the former attorney turned stand up comic had plenty of luck and Michael Jackson jokes to keep his night full of laughs. He was the sole remaining regular from the Blue Parrot left in the tournament.
10:34pm EST... Human Head was KO'd after hanging onto the thinest of short stacks. His stack made Kate Bosworth look like Kirstie Alley on one of her most bloated days.

10:37pm EST... With over T8000, Derek was in 3rd but loses a pot to Ugarte who doubled up.

10:41pm EST... Joanne moved all in with 99 and a short stack. John-Paul folded his 99 to Sportstrader who pushed his big stack in with AK. Joanne won the coinflip and stuck around for a while longer.

10:48pm EST... Iggy had a crazy flop with AJ. He flopped a boat against Pappag99's pocket 99s. Ironic that he went out on 99s to the Blogfather.

10:51pm EST... Gamecock went on a roll. He cracked KK with A6s. Derek was 15th in chips and Sethypooh was in first woth over 16K in chips.

10:54pm EST... TP's AK lost to Bill's KK.

10:55pm EST... The Poker Prof's KTs doubled up against Obituraium when he caught a Broadway Straight on the turn.

10:58pm EST... Derek knocked out SoxLover when his Hilton's held up against AT0. He had T9500+ and added insult to injury when he typed "Did I mention how much I hate the Red Sox?"

11:00pm EST... Gamecock doubled up with AA against Ash97's Big Slick.

11:02pm EST... The Poker Prof was out when his AK lost to AA.

11:03pm EST... JP doubled up against the chipleader Sethypooh. At the break Derek was 9th out of 14 with T7400+.

11:11pm EST... Joanne1111 was ironically KO'd at 11:11pm EST. She came in 24th.

11:16pm EST... Bob's 88 doubled up against Bill's AQs.

11:24pm EST... Bad Blood was brutally river'd by Ash when his K9s lost to Ash's 88. Bad Blood flopped top pair and Ash caught his openended straight draw on the river. 21st place for Bad Blood.

11:29pm EST... Derek's KJ lost to Gamecock's A6s. He made the money in 16th place. Good job.

11:30pm EST... Bob's KJ beat Seth's TT when a jack hit the river. Bob typed, "SUCKOUT!" into the chat. Seth lost the chiplead to Gamecock at that point.

11:35pm EST... Pumpkin1974 was the chipleader with T31k and Iggy was in second with T21k.

11:38pm EST... Bob moved into 4th place when his Big Slick held up against Seth's Mrs. Slick.

11:41pm EST... Bill doubled up with pocket aces.

11:42pm EST... LarryVQ knocked out in 10th. The final table arrived!

11: 59pm EST... Bob was out in 9th, Maigrey in 8th, and JP in 7th. I think JP got the Maple Leaf Award for the longest lasting Canadian Blogger. He wins a 12 pack of Moosehead from Daniel Negraneau. "The Moose is Loose" and so is Daniel.

12:08am EST... Bill was knocked out by Iggy's 77. He grinded out a 6th place finish. Good work.

12:20am EST... Minus790 took 4th place. In consecutive hands, Iggy lost two big pots, one to Sethypooh and the other to Gamecock. He was out in 4th.

12:21am EST... Gamecock's Q9 dominated Seth's 10-9 when they both moved all in on a flop: A-9-3. Gamecock had 129k in chips and was the huge favorite to win. Sethypooh finished in 3rd.

12:24am EST... After three minutes of heads up action, Gamecock beat out Pumpkin1974 for the victory. J9 was the winning hand... against K8 when Gamecock flopped a Jack. Good job guys.
The Money Winners:
1. Pathetic Poker
2. Pumpkin1974
3. Sethypooh21
4. Iggy
5. Minus790
6. Bill
7. JP
8. Maigrey
9. BobRespert
10. LarryVQ
11. Mad_Scorpion
12. Heffmike
13. Ash97
14. aboutmattlaw
15. FW190
16. Derek
17. easy_wind
18. RicoM
That's it. Time for sleep. Check back later to read Sean's update of the WPBT Leaderboard. Thanks for playing everyone. Thanks to Iggy for setting it up. Thanks to everyone who was on the rail watching, especially Felicia. Get well soon, girl!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Pieces of Pauly, Heads Up with Grubby, and More Vegas Pics

So what did I eat in Las Vegas?

My "medium-well" dinner at Palm

Yummy dessert at Palm

Penne Arribgata at Ferrara's

My dessert at Ferrara's

The Poker Prof's sorbet

Lunch at Excalibur

Derek's favorite

That concludes this random photo essay of Pieces of Pauly.

Heads Up with Grubby

Make sure you read Grubby's latest post called: Poker with Pauly. He wrote about playing NL together during my last night in Vegas. Here's a bit:
Pauly and I mostly stayed out of each other's way, but I was looking for a chance to play him again since we were heads-up at The Borgata last September.

Finally, an opportunity.

All fold to him in middle position, and he raises to $15. It's folded to me in the big blind.

Now's my chance. I have 89s. A trash hand under other circumstances. But it'd be good blogging material if I called.

I say, "I'm calling because it's you," and throw out three red birds. (I thought by doing so, this might also create future action, putting a bug in other players' ears that perhaps Pauly might be someone who likes to bluff-raise.)

The flop was 10-J-x. A seemingly innocent and familiar flop. (At The Borgata, Pauly had KK vs. my JJ when a Jack flopped.)

I look at his stack, which I sometimes do to get the person thinking I'm counting him down and preparing to put him all-in. A bet at that point will sometimes scare them off.

Trouble was, I couldn't see his stack because he had his hands clasped in front of it. I remembered how much he had, though, but I wanted the display of looking around his hands so I could "see." The gambit didn't work, because he just stared at the flop.

With a $15 preflop raise, I didn't put him on a high pocket pair. A couple times previously he raised $25, and I figured that for JJ, QQ, or KK.

But at $15 and if I read him correctly, I narrowed him down to AK or AQ. (It could've also been AJ, hitting the flop quite nicely. But I had a hunch.)

I thought about check-raising, but I wanted to give him the opportunity to get out.

I semi-bluff with a bet of $25 (a fifth of his stack)... and he folds.

Ah well, we'll have plenty of opportunities to go heads-up again, I'm sure.

After the Pauly hand, I'm back to folding. Then I pick up my second AA at that table. The first, I got the blinds.

The second, I raise small at $15, am reraised to $45, and I push. The guy calls with QQ and as the cards are run I just knew a Q would come.

This being a classic Hilton Sisters hand that would win a Pauly painting, I say, "Damn you, Pauly" (players must've thought it was strange that I was cursing at someone not in the hand) and I'm halfway up to spin the wheel for getting Aces cracked.

The board kept turning face cards (two Kings and a Jack), but no Queen, and my hand is good. I guess I've been beaten down so many times with the better hand preflop, that my confidence has faltered.
For the record, I had Mrs. Slick and I think she was suited. When you lose a $500 pot and your entire stack to Grubby in Atlantic City, you get a little gunshy even on a belly full of bottom-shelf vodka and a fuzzy head thanks to the painkillers. Nice play, dude. Can't wait for your strip club post!

So, how about random Vegas pics?

Vegas Photo Dump

The Bellagio's Water Show

What Grubby sees everyday...

This is the only place in Las Vegas where I am up for my career!

In the Luxor

More Luxor

The view from our room

In Cesear's Palace

I love these signs posted all over casinos...

Just a quick reminder... see everyone on Poker Stars tonight at 9pm EST for the next event on the WPBT! I will be running another Hilton Sisters Challenge. Be on the look out for pocket Queens...
March Madness: Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Updates

Sorry folks for the delay in updates. I was in Vegas as many of you already know. was freaky all weekend long and using dial up in my hotel room was hard for me. ESPN's site was super slow to come up. Again sorry for the delays.

28 out of 41 have paid. Not too shabby, but we've haven't reached our goal. I know I'll get some more payments from some of you later. But for the rest, please make arrangements ASAP or I will send Al Cant Hang and Grubby to your house. Grubby will eat all your food and Al will drink all your liquor and sit on your couch and smoke a pack of cowboys until you fork over the cash.

Transfer via PokerStars... my screen name is: DrPauly

Email me for my mailing address if you want to send payments via snail mail.

So, how about the tournament, huh? This is one of the most exciting I've seen in years. Of course Senor and I got our asses kicked 2 out of 3 days we bet on the games. If we didn't have money on an innocuous Raptors-Hawks NBA game... we would have been in even worse shape.

3 of the 4 games that decided the Final Four went into OT. Unreal. Illinois and Louisville came from behind late in the second half to advance. That game will be wild. I'm pulling for Louisville for obvious reasons. And maybe UNC can finally knock off Michigan State.

We also have nominations for best team name. I asked a panel of non-playing folks to pick five of their favorite team names. These 7 got the most possible nominations. Please email me your vote. And no you cannot vote for yourself. The winner gets a cool prize.
1. Inside the Paris Hilton
2. AlexPKeaton Trust Fund
3. Surrealistic Celibacy
4. OrangeUGlad I SaidOrange
5. Marlboro and Lungbutter
6. Trailer Park Hoochies
7. Chico's Bail Bonds
OK, I'll put up a voting post on my poker blog this weekend. Results will be posted soon.

So how about Matt and Austin Paulbearers? He's running away with it. If Louisville knocks off Illinois, Singer and lets do it againsoxpat look like they can take it down.
The Standings:
1 Austin Paulbearers (M. Stephans) 840
2 Syracuse Phenomenon (CJ) 810
3 Spudtastic Webbalicious (The Poker Nerd) 800
4 lets do it againsoxpat (Singer) 790
5 Well T'anks For Nuttin' (Jerry) 770
6 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) 740
6 Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) 740
8 CinderANG Entry 3 (Mrs. Senor) 730
8 The Brooklyn Embeds (Gil) 730
8 Oyster Bay Orangemen (JoeMoore) 730
11 Landow Entry 2 (Landow) 720
11 Stop Your Begging (Coach) 720
13 Simian Rage (ScurvyDog) 710
14 Trailer Park Hoochies (Briana, Ms. Buttons if you're nasty...) 700
14 Inside the Paris Hilton (Pauly) 700
14 Drohan 2005 (Bad Blood) 700
17 Girtz NYC (Girtz) 680
17 Signor Ferrari (Ferrari) 680
17 Your Mascots Tickler (Spider) 680
17 The Name I want won't (Bob) 680
21 Buttamaker's Boilermakers (Derek) 670
22 HUSKY REPRISE (Senor) 660
22 Fennis's Dembo (GW Jay) 660
24 Homer's Hard Wood (Armen) 650
25 Ballersby Knights (G-Rob) 640
25 The Otis Ramblers (Otis B. Dart) 640
25 The Israeli Nightmares (Gil) 640
28 Steal This Bracket (Poker Geek) 630
29 MyGirlFriend MadeMeDoIt (Spider) 620
29 Picking at Random (Sean) 620
29 OrangeUGlad I SaidOrange (Spider) 620
32 Surrealistic Celibacy (BG) 610
33 AlexPKeaton Trust Fund (Drizz) 600
33 YouScratched MyAnchor (SeanLovelace) 600
35 Dr. Gonzo's Ether (Pauly) 570
36 Stay Free Ugarte (Charles Star, comedian and esq.) 560
36 ILikeYou Betty (SeanLovelace) 560
38 Double Belly Draw (Daddy aka Karl Hungug) 500
39 Senor Jr Entry 2 (Jodd) 470
40 Big Bold Bastards (Johnny Flopbot) 430
41 NYC HighOnPoker (Jordan) 410
42 Twinkle and Turquoise (J. Jenna & Haley) 360
According to Matt here's the possible winners:
Back of the envelope NCAA pool finishes (Likely mostly accurate, may have missed something, though):

ILL over UNC: Austin Paulbearers win
ILL over MSU: Austin Paulbearers win
MSU over ILL: Austin Paulbearers win
MSU over LOU: Let's Do It Again wins
LOU over UNC: Let's Do It Again wins
LOU over MSU: Let's Do It Again wins
UNC over ILL: Chico's Bail Bonds win
UNC over LOU: Ballersby Knights win

The best that Inside the Paris Hilton can finish is 3rd (UNC over ILL).
Thanks again Matt for your help in these calculations. Good job to Singer picking Lousiville to go this far. I'll be rooting for UNC baby! Check back soo for more updates. I'll figure out payment structure sometime this weekend.

Thanks again. Good luck.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Vegas Day 5: The Last Waltz

I woke up with a faint aroma of stripper's perfume lingering on my clothes from the previous night. I chuckled when I read a text message from Briana:
u should stay in vegas and marry a stripper so u can get free lap dances
I wrote for a bit, showered, watched Dawson's Creek (because I knew it bothers -EV), then grabbed a meatball sub at Quizno's before I hopped in a cab to the Aladdin. I should have walked but there was no wait at the taxi line. My driver was cool and had a withered right hand. A physical disability gets you at least an extra $2 tip from yours truly. We chatted about urban planning for most of the ride and Glyph got a random mentioning from me to a Vegas cabbie.

When I arrived at the Aladdin's poker room, I saw Edna. She remembered me from our brief meeting in December. I said hello and then signed up for the tournament. With about a 50 minute wait before the start time, I sat in the $1/2 NL game. I lost about $10 in blinds and limp bets. I did not win any pots and a few people at the table never played poker in a casino before. Straight out of a line from Iggy, one woman honestly said, "I only play on Yahoo, but I watch poker on the TV all the time."

You could see the words "Fresh Fish" stamped into her forehead if you looked closely enough. Plus, You know how I feel about people who refer to television as... "the TV." Anyway, 12:53pm, I left the NL game, cashed in my chips, took a leak, then found my tourney seat.... the dreaded seat 10.

The 1pm tourney at Aladdin is $60 plus an optional $40 rebuy which is good for the first hour. The levels are 20 minutes long and you get T1500 to start. The rebuy is good for T1000 more. My table only had 8 players and 74 total players signed up. Top 8 places paid and first prize would win over $1800. The last time I played in a tourney at Aladdin, Grubby made the money and won the "last longer bet" between himself, Derek, BG, Bob, and yours truly. -EV and his girlfriend also played that day back in December when I missed the final table by one seat.

Well, on Monday, I placed 17th out of 74 and missed the money by 9 spots. In the first level I limped in LP with K9s.The flop: K-8-8. I called a bet from a guy who looked like he was worried about the King. I put him on a small pair. A blank fell on the turn. He bet and I moved all in. He had only a few chips left and called. I flipped over my hand and he did not turn over his cards. He couldn't beat me and mucked his cards. I should have asked to see his cards since he never turned them over. I was dying to see what he had. He mumbled under his breath, "My two pair is no good." He quickly reached into his pocket for a rebuy. I nearly doubled up and had almost T3000 in chips.

Over the next three levels, I folded everything and lost about T1000 in blinds. One hand I limped in MP with AJo. I had the jack of Diamonds. The flop was all diamonds. The short stack moved all in UTG. The large stack called. If he folded, I would have called. The short stack flopped a baby flush. The big stack rivered a four flush and took down the pot with Q-10... and the 10 of diamonds. I blew a shot at T1000.

By the break I had T2000 left and went ahead with the rebuy. I now had T3000 and was fifth in chips at my table. I called Jerry and gave him a quick update. In Level 4 I was moved to a different table. Right away I pushed in with AQs. I doubled up against 66 from a young British guy when I pulled out an ace out of my arse on the river. I had T7300 and looked strong. In the BB, I called a short stack who moved all in with J9s. I had KJs and lost when he river'd a flush. A few hands later, I lost another bad hand when I had a small stack dominated... QTs to T9o. He flopped trips. Ouch. I had T5500 and never recovered.

By Level 7, I was chipped down. When I found AK in MP, I moved all in with T3800. The LB called with JTo and flopped trips. Yep, outflopped again. I finished 17th out of 74. I chatted with Edna for a few minutes before I left. I wandered across the street to the Mirage and decided to play $6/12.

I love the Mirage's poker room. I prefer it over the Bellagio. The last time I was there, Mel Judah sat on the table behind me playing pot limit Omaha. In the first orbit I found Big Slick suited. I flopped a flush and won a $200 pot. An hour later, after some very tight play from yours truly, I found AA UTG. I limped-raised and got two callers. I lost to JJ who caught a gutshot on the river. The next hand I found KK in the BB. This time there were four limpers and a button raise. I reraised and the betting was capped. I reraised on a ragged flop. I even check raised on the turn. And then an ace fell on the river... the one card I dreaded seeing. Of course one guy had AQ and the other two both had AT. Yeah it took the case ace to sink my ship. And yeah, I folded on the river, knowing I was beat and saved myself $48.

I decided to play out the orbit then I left... down $5. I returned to the Excalibur, called Derek to tell him about my tourney results, wrote for a few minutes, then grabbed a quick bite (two Krispy Kreme donuts). Afterwards, I headed for the poker room for 4 hours of NL. Grubby joined me by 7pm and sat down just as I did my first (and only) rebuy. My AK lost to AJo. We both flopped and ace but he caught a Jack on the turn. Ouch. The next three hours I'd fight back to break even until some chick who looked like Ani DiFranco caught a runner runner straight on me and I doubled her up. I flopped top pair and had an open ended straight draw on the turn which I also caught on the river. Man, it irks me when I catch the card that gives me my draw but that same card gives my opponent a bigger hand.

Grubby doubled up with aces against the Hilton Sisters. He also braved the buffet in the back of the poker room at the Excalibur. He ate both a hotdog and hamburger. He's a courageous man indeed. He had a good day at the Excalibur and almost tripled up. Oh, I saw the dealer who was at my table when the infamous brawl broke out. She gave me a nod and I winked.

Grubby and I considered playing some Pai Gow Poker but decided against it. He wanted me to stay a few extra days. I would have but you know whatever money I won playing poker would be pissed away at the numerous local strip clubs. Yeah, Grubby and I hit four in three days and there were a half a dozen more on our list that we never had the chance to hit up. We'll wait for June and take Bad Blood. Grubby also told me abou the curse of the $50 bill. I never heard of that before, but supposedly it's superstitious for gamblers to carry around $50 bills in your wallet.

I met up with the Poker Prof and Flip Chip. They were going to hook me up with a ride to the airport and we agreed to have a quick bite to eat before I left. We talked a little business. I'll go into more detail about the actual gist of our conversation in a few days. Suffice to say, I have a pretty cool announcement to make very soon. Stay tuned.

Closing Thoughts

Someday I'm going to write a novel about Las Vegas because it's a place that inspires me to no end. It's the perfect city for an insomniac degenerate gambler. It's also been several years since Senor and I took one of our epic misadventures together. The last huge one was Japan almost five years ago. We were in Vegas together two years ago with Derek and that was tons of fun. This time we also had a kick ass time. Senor just finished his MBA and got a new job with an asset management company. This was his time to celebrate before he had to start his new job. We'll have amazing memories of those insane games from Saturday, when both games went into over time and we won big bucks using the George Costanza Method to picking our teams.

The weirdest thing was my cell phone. Senor and I both have the same company, Verizon, and the clock on our cell phones would jump back and forth between local time (PCT) and MST. One minute it would be 4am then next 3am. It was always very confusing and after a while, I stopped looking at the time.

Now that I know people in Vegas, it's cool to hang out with locals like Grubby, Flip Chip, and the Poker Prof. I got an email from Mr. Subliminal who lives in Vegas. I have like 4 different email accounts and only checked one until Monday. Too bad I didn't get in touch with him sooner. It would have been cool to meet a fellow blogger. Next time... in June!
Final Numbers:
Mandalay Bay & Excalibur's Sports Book: -350
Ceaser's Pai Gow Poker: +100
Aladdin (Tourney and $1/2 NL): -110
Mandalay Bay Poker Room ($4/8 with a half kill): -55
Mirage ($6/12): -5
Excalibur ($2/6 spread and $1/2 NL): EVEN!
Combinded Poker Loses: -170
Overall Gambling Losses: -420
Air fare + Hotel: -500
Krispy Kreme Donuts Consumed: 8
Cocktail Waitresses I called "Sweetie": 17

Anyway, I have a ton of work to do. I have a couple of freelance articles to write so I'll check y'all later. Stay tuned for my Stripper Stories and the "big announcement." I'll see everyone at the tables on Poker Stars on Wednesday for the next leg on the WPBT. Until then, thanks for reading and checking in to read about my Vegas hijinks. Man, 64 days until I arrive back in Sin City for the blogger event!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Vegas Day 4: Easter, Pai Gow, Double OT, and Drunk Strippers

The day started off like any other Las Vegas morning. I was hungover with a slight headache with the gambling angels slowly whispering my name. I couldn't sleep and headed down to the poker room around 8am to play against drunkards at the tail end of their late night session. My pocket aces held up. Senor eventually wandered downstairs. With A6o he flopped trip aces and then spiked quads on the turn. Yes, he got to "spin the wheel." The first spin... he caught a triple. Next spin... another triple. Too bad they didn't honor that second spin!

Senor and I were ready to work the George Costanza Method to perfection with the last two games in the Regional Finals. We took the money line and Wisconsin +450. If anything it was a hedge bet. I picked UNC to win my pool, so if they got upset, at least I'd get something. We also took Kentucky... the line moved from -1 1/2 to +1! The game went into double OT in another wild game 3 of the four regional finals went into over time. Damn. The gambling rush was killing me. Ups and downs. Highs and lows.

We went back to the poker room and I got reamed. I caught a flurry of high pocket pairs. Pocket Jacks only held up 1 out of 8 times. Hilton Sisters = No Action. Pocket 10s, 9s, 8s... nothing. Man, it was ugly. At least Senor hit quads 7s and got to spin the wheel again. Grubby stopped by and he got spanked in NL.

We all met up with the Poker Prof and Flip Chip at Caesar's Palace for dinner. Luckily, we got into Palm. I had to grease the hostess a $20 to seat us... since they were "booked for Easter" and it was worth it. Great fuckin' steaks. I caught some shit for ordering a "medium-well" Filet Mingnon. Flip Chip told me a great story about Doyle Brunson giving a pizza delivery kid a $5,000 tip at Sam's Town.

Senor had a Midnight flight and we drove him to the airport. We had 10 minutes to play some tables games. We found a $50 Pai Gow poker table... and persuaded the floor dude to drop it to $25. Otis would be proud... I played $25 hands of Pai Gow. We all won. I Doubled up in 15 minutes. Senor doubled up in 10 and Grubby took the most. Man... I told Grubby that he needs to stop playing slots and online BJ and stick to focusing on being a professional Pai Gow Poker player.

Instead of going back to my empty hotel room and writing, Grubby persuaded me to hit up a few strip clubs. We went to three different ones. I'm going to save all the stories about out late night wacky hijinks for a later post... the infamous Strip Club post. Stay tuned. But I will tell you one bit. At Treasures, I had a stripper stop by who was so drunk she fell off my lap... not once... but twice during a lap dance. I guess it was a "slow night" in Vegas due to the fact it was Easter Sunday and plenty of the girls were getting loaded. Great. I got the drunkest stripper in Vegas working me. At least she didn't puke on me.

I went back to the Excalibur and played NL. I made the worst move and doubled up. I'm short on time and will save that write up for when I get back to Vegas. For now... I have to shower and watch the tail end of Dawson's Creek before I head to the Aladdin to play in a tournament.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Vegas Day 3: Costanza's Betting Method

Senor and I decided that we needed a new method in picking winners. I told him that I should be betting the opposite of what my gut tells me. We employed the George Costanza Method to betting on college hoops. There was one episode of Seinfeld where George decided that he was ruining his life with his decisions and decided to do the opposite of what he thought he should do. That's how he landed a girlfriend and scored a job with the NY Yankees.

I liked Illinois and Louisville. According to George Costanza... I should go with the other teams. Senor and I bet on Arizona +5 and West Virginia +8 1/2. And you know... we won both bets. Amazing. Our new system worked. The West Virgina-Louisville game was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. WV blew a double digit lead late and Louisville forced OT. I dunno if anyone saw that missed dunk with 6 second left... but if that goes down... we lose. Since he (Louisville player unknown) missed the easy dunk... the lead was only 8! Man... we won by a 1/2 point. The sports book exploded in jubilation. A lot of people bet on West Virginia and that missed dunk made hundreds of people thousands of dollars. What a rush. It felt like I jumped out an airplane and opened my parachute at the last possible second.

Met the Poker Prof for dinner at Ferrara's, a cool Italian place which was located at Caesar's Palace. He bought Senor and I dinner and I chose the Penne in a spicy marinara sauce. Yummy. We had a few drinks afterwards and talked shop.

The lines atthe poker rooms are ridiculously long. Time for some Pai Gow poker!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Vegas Day 2: Cracked Hiltons, Sin & Strippers, Fatburger, and Duke Sucks

On Friday I was brutalized by my inability to pick winners at the Sports Book. For my career, I am up at Mandalay Bay. So I'm kinda surprised that I actually lostFriday. Big. At some point Senor mentioned, "Today could get ugly." He was right. I went 1 and 3 again. Fugly. Which is short for Fuckin Ugly. By the way, did I mention that Duke sucks?

We ate at Fatburger for dinner. That place rocks.

I didn't try to pick up any 21 year olds today. Sorry guys. But I did go to a strip bar with Senor and our special guest Grubby. I am going to tease you with stories about our hijinks. You will have to wait until I get back from Vegas before I post the infamous visit toSin, one of the newest Gentleman's Club in Vegas. I hope that it will be one of my most anticipated posts to date. I will share this post-strip bar conversation snippet:
Senor: So what were you and that stripper talking about for an hour?

Pauly: You know, normal Pauly-Stripper conversation. We discussed Dostoevsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, and other existentialists.
Late night, I walked back into Mandalay Bay's poker room with the faint aroma of a stripper's perfume on me, I played $4/8 with a half kill and went up $90 right away. I then proceeded to lose $150 over the next two hours on a series of bad beats. The damn Hilton Sisters were cracked by 58s. Grrrr. Grubby's Hiltons were cracked as well.

I realized that the strip club was the most +EV adventure of the day. By the way, I lied to every stripper. When they asked what I did for a living, I told them I was...

1. a pediatrican (I had to live up to the Dr. Pauly reputation)
2. a guitar player in a jazz band
3. an aspiring filmaker from Hollyweird (sound familar Geek?)
4. a commodities trader on Wall Street.

Check back next week for the full write up.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Vegas Day 1: Karma Tipping

On my flight to Vegas, some guy left his jacket up front and the stewardess got on the intercom and asked who the jacket belonged to. No one answered. She began the bidding at $20. One guy from the back yelled, "I call!" Another dude chimmed in, "I'm all in!"

Yeah, you gotta love flights to Vegas filled with rowdy New Yorkers. The guy across from me was reading Mike Caro's book on poker tells. With Spring Break and March Madness and the poker boom... Vegas was overflowing with dead money and the jubilation spilled over onto my flight.

Senor made the trip after all! Which is awesome. I was perpared to go solo, but it's always great to have a wingman. We're staying at the Excalibur and Grubby met us at Midnight at the Sherwood Forest Bar. Ah, sweet memories of that place tickled me for sure. Grubby was sipping on a Corona and playing video black jack when we found him.There were two young girls sitting next to us at the bar, each double fisting a Pina Coloda and a Cosmopolitan. Grubby thought one looked like Kate Hudson. The actual term he used was "Goldie Hawn's daughter". The other looked like a cleaner version of Lindsay Lohan minus the fake boobs and coke flakes hanging off her right nostril. It was her 21st birthday and they came to Vegas to celebrate. They asked me where they should go to party. With a belly full of Absolut Citron, I answered, "My room."

We headed to the poker room after I unsuccessfully tried to get the two 21 year-old Seattle chicks to take a shower with me. Senor doubled up his buy in playing the best poker he's ever played. Grubby sat at my table and won a hand with AA. I got AA twice in 90 minutes. Both times they held up. I limped then reraised preflop. It was three way and one guy had AK. The flop: AKx. Damn. Too bad it was $2-6 spread! If it were no limit, I'd have the keys to his car by now. Anyway, after a quick hit and run session I ended up $75. Between Senor, Grubby and myself... we took a quick $300+ from the poker room. Yes, I celebrated with a Krispy Kreme donut.

I went 1-3 in the Thursday hoops games. Ouch. I like Duke today. I missed the smell of pure casino oxygen. More to come...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Day Before
"Beware the ides of March." - William Shakespeare
I'm leaving for furbelow lights of Las Vegas tomorrow. That's when I'm going to throw myself in the middle of the March Madness insanity for a few days. The sports book at the Mandalay beckons me. I'll be one of the thousands of gamblers throwing down a good chunk of change on the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. For the trip, I'm expecting to...
  • Sleep for six hours the entire time I'm there
  • Lose all of my money on a missed free throw
  • Fall in love with a stripper/aspiring actress with a purse full of pills that could knock out Courtney Love for a month
  • Have a great story about scoring horse tranquilizers from a Scottish cab driver who looks a lot like Groundskeeper Willie
I'm bringing my laptop, so expect live updates... that is if I don't have to pawn off my iBook to cover my sports book loses. I hope to meet up with Grubby and the Poker Prof at some point. I'm sure they have some great stories to tell about the last few months of their lives.

Also on my agenda:
  • 4am bowling at The Orleans
  • Dropping The Hammer on a local
  • Cashing in a MTT at the Aladdin
  • Eating six Krispy Kreme donuts at the Excalibur
  • Holding my mud in a loose $6/12 game at the Mirage
Right now Senor is a "game time decision" whether or not he can make it out of Rhode Island. It's a long story that I'll get into at a later date, but now there's a forecast for 6-12 inches of snow in RI... which complicates things even more so. Suffice to say, whether or not he can make it... I'm still going. I've been in Vegas by myself a few times. I actually enjoy traveling alone sometimes. You never have someone else holding you back. Especially in a town like Vegas, the weirdness always picks up when you least expect it.

I am getting a vision... a hoops vision. Take Kentucky giving 4.5 to Utah and bet the farm on it! Here are the latest lines from my reliable bookie:
Thursday's Games & Lines

Illinois -10.5 over Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Oklahoma State -1.5 over Arizona
Louisville -1.5 over Washington
Texas Tech -1.5 over West Virginia

Friday's Games & Lines

North Carolina State -2 over Wisconsin
North Carolina -10.5 over Villanova
Kentucky -4.5 over Utah
Duke -4.5 over Michigan State
There are two bad things about a jaunt to Vegas right now. First, I qualified in a WSOP on Full Tilt on Saturday and will not be able to play. Luckily, Derek will step in. Stop by on Saturday afternoon to root him on (he'll be playing under my screen name). He's a good pick since he's been playing well this month.

Secondly, I'm in the middle of a nice winning streak. In the last two weeks, ever since I abandoned SNGs and NL ring games, I have been padding the bankroll playing $3/6. I'm back on the hit and run wagon, playing sessions for less than an hour and taking quick profits. I'm comfortable. I'm confident. And I feel good about myself despite the many mistakes I'm making, like folding my big pocket pairs, for fuck's sake! All of my previous rushes have been halted by trips. Is my thirst for travel killing my poker game?
June 2004... I found a groove at the NL ring games on Party Poker and after playing online for four months, I finally got a used to internet poker. As soon as I got comfortable, I had to stop to go onto Phish tour and follow the boys from Vermont around the Northeast and Midwest for two weeks hanging out with neo-hippies who think that "selling hemp jewelry" looks groovy on a patchouli scented resume.

Late July to Early Aug 2004... I had been regularly cashing a couple of hundred dollars out of Party Poker every week during a run where I could not lose a $30 SNG. Of course that streak ended when I went back out on the road following Phish (for their last shows ever).

Early December 2004... The week or so after I finished my novel and before I went to Vegas for the WPBT Holiday Classic, I was on fire. When I arrived back in NYC, I was slaughtered at the tables. Briana offered to stake me in my quest to conquer the $50 SNGs. Man, that backfired. I quickly lost my stake and looked like an idiot in the process.
Every time I come back from a trip, it takes me a week or so before I get my mojo back. By then, I'm in the hole and it takes me another week just to make up my losses. It seems that I'm always digging myself out of a hole. Going into March of this year, I was down in 2005 losing about 30% of my bankroll. I miraculously wiped out those loses in the last two weeks. Alas, I hit the road knowing that when I come back, that magic won't be there. I'll have to start from scratch all over again in April.

Anyway, speaking of Las Vegas, it appears that everyone is jumping on The Plaza bandwagon for the June WPBT event. I told AlCantHang a few weeks ago that if we book a suite there, then the rest of the bloggers without rooms would try to stay there, especially since it's so damn inexpensive. Same thing kinda happened with The Excalibur in December. Derek and I always book the Excalibur. I was shocked when I found out that nearly everyone else booked rooms there. I'm looking forward to the same late night hijinks. This time... it'll be at The Plaza. And I cannot confirm the rumor that Iggy will be crashing in our bathtub. Book your rooms sooner than later.

I know this is random, but thanks to Bob for sending me the remainder of his Full Tilt bankroll... all $8.90 of it!

Just in case I'm a little behind in updating my blog over the next few days, I encourage you to read a few short stories that I wrote for Truckin'. Most of you already read one of my favorite stories about Las Vegas called: Vegas, Two Hockey Players, and a Kansas Blonde. But don't miss these stories:
Baby's Steak Knife and Winky's Salad: I consider this the short story the one that started it all. Inspired by the characters in a series of stories I wrote for Truckin', I eventually scripted an entire novel dedicated to Baby & Winky, everyone's favorite dysfunctional couple, called Sweet Nothing. Here's a bit:
There were a couple of seconds after she stabbed me and before the blood started squirting out where Baby and I calmly stared at each other. Our glances lovingly locked onto one another and we had a tranquil moment. Our symbiotic original connection only lasted for a second maybe two, but it was one of those eternal seconds that seem to last forever and you never want to end. It's those eclectic moments you come across while thinking about life's odd idiosyncrasies, while stuck in a sullen slouch at the end of a bar, drinking away the roughness of the day's grind. Or perhaps that treasured moment comes to mind while staring out the window of an airplane, your eyes bouncing back and forth between the clouds and the endless horizon and your shared memories burn a hole in your pants pocket, like a firecracker with a slow fuse that you lit years ago and simply forgot it was there until one day, POP! It goes off... More
Crispy Lineta: This is a weird story because when I wrote it, I never imagined that two years later, I'd be playing a ton of poker, have a popular poker blog, and be actually trying to win a seat at the WSoP. It's inspired by an obscure Rounders reference and the main character is loosely based on a infamous WSoP champion. It's definitely "out there" and I recall that I had a lot of fun writing it. Here's a bit:
While taking a shit, Crispy was shot four times in the head by the voluptuous strawberry blonde, Alberta Desjardins, a jealous ex-girlfriend high on Prozac, Lithium and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The six fingered, former weather girl from Sweetwater, Tennessee was the mother of his myopic twins: Acey and Deucey... More
OK, that's it for now. Next time I update... I'll be in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas pissing away all the money I made writing freelance articles. Will I allow the stygian vibes of losers get to me and pull me down into the depths of depravity? Or will I surf the madness, and ride the wave of good fortune all the way down the Strip?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pimp Day Tuesday

First of all, I'm currently 56th on the WPBT Leaderboard. See where you stand. Thanks to Sean for doing all the hardwork! Congrats to Royal who is currently in first.

Derek wrote up his Speed Tourney report where he took 3rd out of 1200+ on Saturday. Take a peek. He's turning the corner in his poker play. I couldn't be more proud. Plus, he's 23rd on the WPBT Leaderboard!

Congrats to the Poker Prof on his newest adventure with Poker Player Newspaper.

Cheers to Bad Blood who celebrated one year of blogging. I'm eagerly awaiting the first guest post from one of the mini-Bloods!

By the way, Toby from The Nut Heart Flush has written a poker book: The Bad Ass Girl's Guide to Poker. I suggest you buy it for your girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother, sister, or for your cousin Julio, the blacksheep in the family who loves Queer Eye and prefers hot dogs to hamburgers.

So, why haven't you bought Poker Tracker Guide yet? Shame on you. It's only $20.

I read every blog yesterday that I have listed. I want three hours of my life back. Some folks are having birthdays. Others are on a break. And yeah, I added 21 news blogs to my blogroll this month. Check them out:
I read poker blogs from the bottom up on my blogroll. Yes, I start with the newer blogs first and I make my way up the list.

Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool: Round 2 Update

The Sweet 16 is set. Who would have thought so many top seeds would be gone? Wake Forest lost to West Virginia in double OT in one of the best games I've seen in years. How about NC State? They are still hot. Everyone's bracket looks worse than Courtney Love after a four day bender, but there's still hope. Utah? UW-Milwaukee? Are you shitting me? At least I called Texas Tech. Be ware of Bobby Knight and the Red Raiders! If Washington knocks off a bitter Louisville... then Knight and Texas Tech have a shot of walking into the Final Four.

Well T'anks For Nuthin' is sitting pretty in first place with a three way tie for second place: Austin Pallbearers, Landow, and Signor Ferrari are all within arm's reach of first place.
Current Standings... Top10:
1 Well T'anks For Nuttin' (Jerry) 450
2 Austin Paulbearers (M. Stephans) 440
2 Landow Entry 2 ( Landow) 440
2 Signor Ferrari (Ferrari) 440
5 Senor Jr Entry 2 (Jodd) 430
6 Picking at Random (Sean Anistropy) 420
6 Trailer Park Hoochies (Briana) 420
6 Inside the Paris Hilton (Pauly) 420
6 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) 420
6 Drohan 2005 (Bad Blood) 420

For a complete list... visit Pauly's Pub.
This next category might be more important than the current standings. Most Possible Points is an indication of whether or not you still have a shot to win it, or at least place in the money. Girtz NYC, letsdoit againsoxpats, and The Poker Nerd are not in the top 10 right now, but they are looking strong going into the Sweet 16.
Top 5 Most Possible Points Remaining:
Well T'anks For Nuttin' 960
Austin Paulbearers 960
Spudtastic Webbalicious 960
Girtz NYC 960
lets do it againsoxpat 960

For a complete list... visit Pauly's Pub.
If you haven't arranged payments, please do so. Thanks again. Best of luck this upcoming weekend. I'll be in Vegas for the entire Sweet 16 games and the Elite 8 watching them at the sports book at Mandalay Bay. Let's hope that Senor can make it.

Closing Thoughts

Check out the front page to one of the NYC newspapers yesterday.

Good grief. Did I tell you I saw some dude reading a poker book on the subway the other day? He was reading Touranment Poker and the Art of War. I wonder if he reads my poker blog? New York City has poker fever.

If you don't know by now... Party Poker has a reload bonus of 20% up to $200. If you don't have an account... what the fuck are you waiting for? Stop farting around on other sites trying to win a seat in the 2005 WSoP. There are tens of thousands of hipsters who are new to the poker scene and they have never picked up a poker book in their shallow lives, yet are swimming around Party Poker looking to get picked off. Seriously, they are giving away free money every second of everyday. Get a Party Poker account today (and use my bonus code: TAO4) before it's too late and they lose their entire online bankrolls.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Reader Mail: Timmy's Principal Problems, Popularity, Vegas Poker Rooms, and Time Management

It's that time of month again, when I dip into the mail bag and pull out some of my favorite emails from you, the reader!
Dear Pauly,

It's Timmy again. I'm sorry I missed the sign up for your March Madness Pool. I took your advice and I'm running my own. Here's the bad news. My principal caught me and now he wants 50% of the action or he'll call my parents. What should I do?

Timmy (Pensacola, FL)

Dear Timmy,

Kid, you're so fucked. Man, 50% of your action would cripple you!! My advice to you is try to dig up some dirt on your principal and blackmail him into giving you your 50% back in addition to 10% of his income! Trust me, adults have plenty of skeletons in their closets. A lot of guys have weird masturbation fantasies. If you can find two or three from your principal... then you're fucking golden. I suggest you grab two kids in your class that you really trust and break into his home and personal email account. Information is your friend and the more weirdness you find, the better you will be able to get what you want from your asshole principal. What kind of adult fucks with a kid's March Madness Pool? I want to kick your principal in the junk just on principle alone. Best of luck, kid and stop cold-calling raises preflop with little aces!

Thanks for reading,

Dear Dr. Pauly,

Long time reader, first time commenter. Dude, I love your blog. I also just started reading your main blog. Funny shit man! Anyway, you seem like a good poker player, but you are a terrible college basketball bettor. I'd be willing to offer up some advice in exchange for poker tips. What do you say?

Also, what online sports book do you use? Just wondering,

Alex (Sugarland, TX)

Dear Alex,

Greetings to one of my many Texas fans. Thanks for reading all of my blogs. I encourage all of my Tao of Poker readers to add the Tao of Pauly to their daily diet. My goal is to try to increase the readership on my first and main blog. It has a small cult following of friends and poker bloggers. The random readers have slowly increased over the last year or so which is great.

I am getting killed in the games this year. But it's still early. I never bet more than my weight in the first two rounds. Most of those bets were... "feeler bets"... try to see if mid-majors can beat the spread or if TOP 10 teams can cover. When I get to Vegas on Thursday... that's is when I'll be laying some serious action on games. In the next few days, I'll analyze my data and make better picks.

I use BoDog's Sportsbook ( to place bets. They are pretty cool. If you use my referral code P1B5DB7 then I can get credit for turning you onto their site. Let me know if you do sign up and I'll send you something special.

Thanks again for reading and possibly signing up for Bodog using my referral code: P1B5DB7. See ya,

Dear Dr. Pauly,

I am a long time reader who finally signed up for Party Poker using your bonus code TAO4. Thanks a bunch for entertaining me at work and when I'm having an unpleasant evening with my wife I lock myself in my den, listen to Pink Floyd records, drink Guinness, and read poker blogs. Poker is my new hobby and I was wondering if you could give me some advice on setting up a daily schedule? I am a horrible organizer. Any tip would be helpful. Thanks.

Doug (Chicago, IL)

Dear Doug,

Thanks for using my bonus code! I'll send you a copy of my first novel: Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. If you can set aside 4 hours a day for six days a week, I think you can become a better poker player in 6 months. If this doesn't work, then let's re-evaluate your situation.
Hour 1: Read poker blogs and poker books
Hour 2 and 3: Play Party Poker
Hour 4: Fire up Poker Tracker and replay your losing hands
It's pretty simple, eh? You can fit the first hour into your work schedule. If you commute by train, you can read books there or int he morning on the shitter. You can take your lunch break to read poker blogs or kill a few minutes before dinner reading up on poker. The bottom line is this... you need to add poker reading to your daily schedule. Your brain is a mental sponge. Allow it to absorb material. If you read every poker book, then read them again. Plus you never know what pearls of wisdom you can pick up reading a random blog.

Playing poker is the fun and easy part. If you are serious about improving your play, fire up Poker Tracker (and make sure you buy Poker Tracker Guide to help you out). Derek and I have been reviewing his losing hands and we identified a leak in is game. Look at his results... 10th in the WPBT HORSE tourney and 3rd in a Speed Tourney the other night. Like Iggy & HDouble mentioned in Poker Tracker Guide... reviewing your play every night is like watching game film. The more you watch, the more you will pick up on things that you missed while "in the heat of battle." Your small investment in time and money will pay off in the long run.

Obviously as time goes on you can change this schedule. But for now, I recommend devoting 25% of your poker time to reviewing your game and 25% of your time educating yourself with books and blogs. I also highly recommend one day off a week. Use some of your bankroll and take the Mrs. out for a nice meal or out dancing. Women like to dance. And if she knows that you've been fleecing the fish on Party Poker to get a few extra bucks to take her out on the town... then that's a great way to justify the fact that you are a poker junkie like the rest of us.

Good luck and thanks for reading,

Dear Pauly,

Hoping you can help me out picking poker rooms (in Vegas) and anything else I need to know about playing casino poker. I have only played online and home games.

BTW - Your article on how to write blogs helped me turn a corner in my writing. After reading your suggestions I realized how stale my blog was. Hopefully the content continues to get better.


Andy aka Poker Sponge (Washington, DC)

Dear Andy,

Vegas is tourist friendly place. At some of the lower limit tables, the dealers are extra friendly and help you out. If possible make sure you tell them that you've never played in a casino before. I always do that (to pretend im a fish!) and make sure you order a cocktail too... fits the fishy mage.

Tipping the dealers $1 per pot is the standard (unless you win the blinds and don't see a flop). You'll see the locals tip a lot less. Also, $1 is good per drink from a waitress too.

Chip counts will be tough for no limit or pot limit if u play those games. Unlike online there so no specific count on your chips. You have to pay attention on your own. I stack my chips in columns of 20 (if u have $1 chips each column is $20 or $5 chips will be $100) that way you can glance and see four stacks of $1 chips and know you have roughly $80 on the table.

The Excalibur has spread limit games... $1-3 and $2-6. The $2-6 games are juicy. You get to spin the money wheel if you get your pocket aces cracked! The NL game there is also soft. I heard good things about the Sahara NL game from a dealer in Vegas. That's where he plays! Also, the Aladdin has plenty of fish. Check them out. If you see Edna, tell her that the poker blogger sent you! I love playing at the Mirage. That's the first place I played poker in Vegas. The $3-6 game is a nice place to start. The Bellagio is nice, but I hate having to wait 2 hours to get on a table.

Best of luck with your blog (and the new baby!)... and thanks for reading,

Dear Dr. Pauly,

What is the best thing about having a popular poker blog? What is the worst thing?


Annie (Boise, Idaho)

Hello Annie,

Wow, I'm read in Idaho. Pretty cool. The last time I was in Boise, I saw an awesome Phish concert back in 1999. To answer your question... The best thing about having a popular blog: meeting some very cool people. Let's put it this way... I've met some interesting people through my blogs. I can't talk about the weird sex stuff (although that's the shit everyone wants to hear about like one overly friendly female fan of my blog who insisted in having phone sex at three in the morning) but I've been able to meet some cool folks who share similar tastes in music (Phish and The Grateful Dead) and gambling (poker). And there are even folks who share both interests like Daddy.

I'm not embarrassed to say that some of my newest friendships have been cultivated through my blogs. That's the central meeting point of common interests. Hanging out this summer at the last few Phish shows with friends (hard core music fans) who I met through my blog was an amazing experience. Of course, I can point you to the WPBT Holiday Classic in Vegas when I got to meet my favorite bloggers, some of which have become close friends with both my brother and myself. The power of blogs is an amazing thing.

The worst part of having a popular blog: having to constantly worry about getting your content stolen. Writing about poker hands can be boring. I try to spice it up with new lingo once in a while. Some stuff I make up on the spot. Other things take me weeks to figure out. What makes me wanna punch holes in a wall is reading another blog and seeing one of my original expressions used. Sometimes, it's not intentional and I calm down. Other times, it is... and those are the days when I wish I didn't have a blog. Instantly, I lose respect for that blogger and stop reading him. I know that Iggy and CJ have had their entire content stolen... and that sucks. This is a promise... if you steal from my site and I find you... you better have health insurance. If you don't think twice about stealing from me... I won't think twice about kicking your ass. Get used to feeding yourself through a straw. I'm also 100% positive that I'm going to jail after I pummel your ass. That's a small price to pay for protecting my art. I'm friends with plenty of lawyers... so I know I'll have an "All-Ivy League" legal team defending my case.

Shit, I write for free here. I have never asked to get paid to write on my blog aside from the random plug to use my bonus code: TAO4 on Party Poker. Aside from that, I have never asked any of my readers for one cent. Of course, I've had readers and other bloggers ask me for money... and you can add that to the list of "things that suck about having a popular poker blog."

I didn't mean to bitch and moan. I am very fortuante to be read by so many people! But since you asked... I gave you an honest answer.

Thanks for reading,


That's it for now. Have a good Monday. See you at the tables tonight.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Speedy Derek

I just found out that Derek took 3rd out of 1250+ in a Speed MTT on Party Poker last night. Congrats! Expect a write up soon on how he turned $6 into almost $1300. He's hot. He took 10th last week in the HORSE event and had the chip lead in the Speed tounrey last night.
March Madness Sunday Morning Mini Update

I improved to 3-4 after yesterday's perfect day. I went 2 for 2 winning with both Texas Tech +7 and Kentucky -3.5. Today, I'm sticking with the boys from Vermont +8 and I'm going with the Huskies and UCONN -3.5.

Derek's alma mater Bucknell took down Kansas on Friday. Wow. Upset City, baby! Too bad their win was overshadowed by Vermont's win over Syracuse.

Anyone catch the Wake-West Virginia game? Best game this tourney so far... a double OT affair. Here's a funny IM excerpt from last night:
Pauly: r u watchin this game?
AlCantHang: no, what's going on
Pauly: double OT
Pauly: west virginia-wake
Pauly: INSANE game, best of the tourney
AlCantHang: i have a wife. that means no basketball
Best of luck today. March Madness updates will be posted at Pauly's Pub. I'm currently tied for first in my pool. Let's hope I can keep it up.
Truckin' - March 2005, Vol. 4, Issue 3

It's time for another issue of my literary blogzine. Once again there are two authors making their Truckin' debut. Julia Vettraino and Sean Lovelace are new to the roster and I hope they contribute more stories in the future. BG is back with an excerpt from a manuscript he's been working on. And C. Anderson Guthrie follows up his debut last moth with a thrilling story from his trip to Ireland. It's been a while since I posted a subway story and I have something left over from my last trip to Las Vegas. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site.
1. Fur Coats and Cowboy Boots by Tenzin McGrupp
I didn't get to see her face, just her light brown boots. She got lost in the shuffle as the other passengers at Times Square scurried inside.... More

2. Doc and the Dream by BG
It started as I began to recognize the significant dates. The date of my divorce. The day I left my ex-wife. The day I married her. They kept rolling past me and I just wanted time to stop, just for a minute... More

3. Bulletproof by C. Anderson Guthrie
I tried my best to not act surprised, but let's see you try to keep a straight face after being told that you're in the same room with the Irish equivalent of John Gotti... More

4. Fresh Bait. by Julia Vettraino
Tumbleweed the size of my car rolled brazenly by, mingling with the asphalt and potato farms as though they owned the land here in the middle of Nowhere, Idaho.... More

5. The Thing I Wanted to Write About by Sean Lovelace
The song was by Fleetwood Mac and did it ever sound true, so true that although I can’t remember the title now, I thought then about buying the CD when I reached Nashville.... More

6. Fishing for Microwaves by Tenzin McGrupp
She slurped a pink drink with a straw and giggled uncontrollably as I stacked up my chips. Her breasts trembled like the ground near Kilauea volcano everytime she laughed.... More
Thanks for your support!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Maudie Rules

Damn. I took 25th out of 149 in a $20 NL multi on Full Tilt. I was 4th in chips late... but I finished out of the money. The real story is Maudie, who kicked ass. Not only did she finish in the money... she made the final table... and as of this post she's the chip leader, with more chips than 2nd and 3rd place combined. I have a feeling she's gonna win this thing!
March Madness: Round 1 Update

Congrats to Homer's Hard Wood. They win the first round prize after going 27-5 in the first round.

Wow. One helluva first round. How about Vermont with the big upset? Only Senor Jr. and Dr. Gonzo's Ether picked that upset. So far, the Vermont-Syracuse game has been the best one of the tournament. No one picked Bucknell to beat Kansas. Some of you already have two Sweet 16 teams eliminated.

Mopa Njila

By the way, my new favorite player is Germain Mopa Njila (pronoucned Moe-pa Gee-la) from Vermont. By himself, he carried Vermont in regulation against 'Cuse.
The Top 8:
1 Homer's Hard Wood (Armen) 270
2 Landow Entry 2 (Landow) 260
2 Inside the Paris Hilton (Pauly) 260
2 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) 260
2 Ballersby Knights (G-Rob) 260
2 Austin Paulbearers (M. Stephans) 260
2 Stop Your Begging (Coach) 260
2 Signor Ferrari (Ferrari) 260
For complete standings, visit Pauly's Pub.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Good Vibes, Hilton Sisters, Big Bets, and the Tara Reid Monkey Joke

I've been thinking about some of my fellow bloggers recently. I've been doing my best to try to send out positive thoughts and vibes to a couple of folks who have been/are going through some tough personal problems. Felicia is having health issues. If you can, please send her your best wishes. I also have read that Sir F has been going through a lot of family drama. I feel for you, bro. Just hang in there. I've been trying to see if I can transfer my "giving bums a buck karma" to them. Best of luck. I hope things can only get better. Recently, everything I encounter in life seems so much more significant than this poker blog. That's a discussion for a future post.

Let's talk about poker. I played $3/6 on Party Poker a lot this week. I haven't been at a NL table in days. According to my PT stats, my most profitable hand in 2005 (NL and limit) has been the Hilton Sisters. All hail the pink-clad heiresses everywhere! I was especially lucky when I flopped a set and ended up cracking pocket Hellmuths with the Ladies. An orbit later I scooped another pot with the Hiltons. In the back of my mind, I had already written the blog entry... "The Aroma of Fish: More Misadventures with Pauly, Nicky, and Paris." I think that the karma police can read my thoughts and they shared that privy information with the poker gods, who quickly put a call into Party Poker and requested a swift kick in my junk. The result: my QQ cracked by 46s. Ouch. At least it was a small loss.

This week, I also hit a rush of hot hands. I picked up aces four times in one session and they all held up. I booked a quick win after an hour or so with some very good tunes keeping me comfortable: Solomon Burke, Galactic, Lou Reed, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.

Late nights I've been playing on Full Tilt working off my bonus. I saw Glyph win a two-table SNG last night. At one point, he had more chips at the final table than the other seven players combined! I've been playing well on the $3/6 tables. After I built up my bankroll playing NL the last week or so, I decided to test out the waters on $3/6. The other night, I took down a monster pot with pocket Hellmuths after I cracked... the Hiltons! Last night, the rush on the $3/6 tables continued and I booked another winning session. I seem to feel the same way after I write a kick ass hort story, post a winning session, or get a killer blow job... there's always a smile on my face and a spring in my step.Yeah, in some sort of freak accident, my Full Tilt bankroll is now almost 6x more than my initial investment.

I felt confident about my return to the $3/6 tables. However, I ran into a small slump playing Turbo SNGs on Poker Stars. I was cashing in 2 out of 3. My pathetic Party Poker SNG mojo spilled over onto the tables on Poker Stars. I made several bone head moves and was outdrawn on a few others. That's when I decided I should seriously cut back on SNGs. Why? Because SNGs are the crack cocaine of online poker.

Quick changes/observations:
  1. I eliminated Party Poker SNGs from my diet.
  2. Patience pays off more than aggressiveness.
  3. Focus is as important as a high pocket pair.
  4. I stopped reading blogs/news articles during my sessions.
Yeah, since I stopped pissing away my bankroll on SNGs, there's been a nice spike in my online bankroll. That 30% loss I lamented about a few days ago? It's almost wiped out! I'm caught up... and I'm on a rush this week, up for the month, and I almost broke even for the year. I thought I'd need a nice run in Vegas to help get me out of the hole. Switching to limit has been good for the way I think about poker. You pretty much play on auto-pilot... ABC poker... and it's a nice change of pace. I learned that patience is key to grinding out winning sessions. Anxiousness is the shortest path to tilt. You can quote me on that one.

Limit is very relaxing for me. I do not feel compelled to "force the action" like I often do in NL after a string of crappy cards. Also, I feel that I'm paying much more attention to my table. I never mulit-table but I allow other distractions that indirectly set me on tilt. I stopped reading blogs and news blurbs because I felt my mind wandered away. I'd rather give one solid hour of intense poker than 3 hours of toggling back and forth between playing poker and reading my favorite blogs. Don't worry, I still find time to read everyone. In the last week or so, I visited everyone on my blogroll.

Yesterday, I got phone calls from everyone's two favorite bloggers... Grubby and Al Cant Hang. What a treat. Al was drinking and Grubby was at the Sho-West convention. He caught a glimpse of Jessica Alba. He's one lucky dog.

March Madness: Friday's Big Bets

Vermont +9 over Syracuse
Charlotte +3 over NC State
Kansas -14 over Bucknell

Yesterday: 0-2

OK, so as far as college hoops goes... I'm getting my ass kicked. I feel like Ben Stiller in Something About Mary when he caught both "the beans and the frank" in his zipper. Oh well, it's still early. In the first round, I put out a lot of feeler bets. Yesterday the two bets that I didn't make were winners and I would have been even if I didn't hold back. I haven't looked at my sheets yet. I'll wait until tomorrow morning to see where I stand in my pool. If you are in my March Madness Pool, you can visit Pauly's Pub for updates.

A Picture Worth 1,000 Jokes

Tara Reid and a monkey walk into a bar. The bartender shouts out, "Where the fuck did you get that animal?"

The monkey answered, "Hollywood!"

On that note, I am outta here. Have a good weekend. Oh, I almost forgot... good luck Poker Geek! Make us proud.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Luck of McGrupp

Like a good McCatholic I must pay homage to my McAlkie heritage and let everyone know that today is St. Patrick's Day. That's when all of America proudly celebrates Irish heritage, binge drinking, the color green, and getting totally plowed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course that's what Irish people normally call... Thursday.

Here's the best explanation of the "Luck of the Irish"...
"The luck of the Irish" means good luck. People use it when a person of Irish descent inexplicably beats the odds. (Beating the odds isn't inexplicable, it just looks that way, but it surprises observers.) My guess about its origin: the idea that the Irish people have suffered so many misfortunes that it's a miracle whenever something comes out right for them, and it can only be explained by being blessed with an inherited form of good luck.
Well, shit. I'm definitely heading to the tables on Party Poker and see if the Irish genes pay off for something other than a disposition for liver cancer.

Luck is a very fickle subject. Much like love, luck has driven plenty of people crazy and driven others to success. On my way home the other night, there was a homeless guy walking around on the subway with just pants on at 3am. They looked like a pair of Old Navy cargo pants. He was barefoot and shirtless. He asked people for food, money, clothing, or shoes. It's still winter here in the big city and he looked like he was freezing. Snot was hanging off his nose and upper lip. He would get on his knees and beg in front of the passengers... one by one. I would have given him some cash, but all I had were big bills. I am such a pompous asshole. I couldn't break a hundred or fifty dollar bill and opted not to donate to his cause. I probably should have given him the rest of my poker bankroll. That would have improved all my karma ten fold. But I'm a greedy bastard. It's a fucked up world we live in somedays. It's good that I get those in-your-face reminders that we're all one turn of the card away from total depravity. And that deep down, I'll always be a selfish prick who only cares about himself.

Did I learn anything about that encounter? After a brief wave of self-examination, I felt guilty but that quickly subsided becuase I chalked up the homeless guy's situation to luck. He didn't have any... and I had a ton. Most days, I feel that I'm the luckiest guy in the world. That's why I will be hitting the tables on Party Poker to pad the bankroll. I will also play in a WSoP satellite on Poker Stars... to ride the lucky streak that my Irish ancestry has passed along.

Of course, today is also the start of March Madness and the college basketball tournament. Thanks to everyone who joined my pool. It is going to be an exciting tournament. My favorite team is also one of the teams that Vegas likes... North Carolina. This time of year is a total rush. One week from today, I'll be in Las Vegas, surfing the wave of luck, insobriety, and utter madness while gambling on the games at the sports book in Mandalay Bay. For now, I'll have one eye on the TV and the will be watching my hole cards.

Check and Raise's St. Patty's Day Promotion

Jeff from Check and Raise sent me an email about the special St. Patrick's Day promo they are having today. If you get 2c-7c at any time in a ring game (any limit)... then you get $25! Just email support your hand number. I'll try to win with the Irish Hammer!

March Madness Big Bets

I only like two teams today and I'm betting heavily on them... Kentucky (-15.5 over Eastern Kentucky) and Alabama (-5.5 over UW-Milwaukee). I decided to stick with favorites this year and avoid picking too many upsets. I'll wait for the second round to to evaluate the remianing 32 teams and figure out who has the best chance of making it into the Sweet 16.

Good luck at the tables today and tonight. May the road rise to meet you and I hope you spike your two outer on the river to scoop a monster pot!

March Madness: The Teams

We have 42 teams in this year's Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool with a record prize pool of $420. Top 4 places pay... Winner will get $200. 3 folks didn't do their picks. I got payment for 7 of you already. Good job, guys. If you haven't submitted your payments... do so now.

Here are the teams:
MyGirlFriend MadeMeDoIt (Spider) = Duke
Picking at Random (Anistropy Sean) = Illinois
Stay Free Ugarte (Ugarte) = Illinois
Your Mascots Tickler (Spider) = Illinois
Oyster Bay Orangemen (Joe Moore) = Wake
Big Bold Bastards (Johnny Flopbot) = UNC
LandowEntry (Landow) = Illinois
Senor Jr (Senor) = Wake
Fennis's Dembo (GW Jay) = Duke
Trailer Park Hoochies (Briana) = Illinois
Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) = UNC
AlexPKeaton Trust Fund (Drizz) = Illinois
Inside the Paris Hilton (Pauly) = UNC
The Brooklyn Embeds (Gil) = Illinois
Signor Ferrari (Ferrari) = Illinois
Steal This Bracket (Poker Geek) = Illinois
Ballersby Knights (G-Rob) = UNC
The Israeli Nightmares (Gil) = Oklahoma
Girtz NYC (Girtz) = Duke
Stop Your Begging (Coach) = UNC
Buttamaker's Boilermakers (Derek) = Illinois
Twinkle and Turquoise (Jenna & Haley) = UCONN
CinderANG (Mrs. Senor) = Illinois
Austin Paulbearers (M. Stephans) =Illinois
Well T'anks For Nuttin' (Jerry) = OK State
Surrealistic Celibacy (BG) = OK State
Syracuse Phenomenon (CJ) = Syracuse
Drohan 2005 (Bad Blood) = Illinois
OrangeUGlad I SaidOrange (Spider) = Illinois
lets do it againsoxpat (Singer) = Louisville
Simian Rage (Scurvy Dog) = Illinois
Homer's Hard Wood (Armen) = Wake
Dr. Gonzo's Malt Liquor (Pauly) = OK State
ILikeYou Betty (Sean Lovelace) = UCONN
YouScratched MyAnchor (Sean Lovelace) = Kansas
The Otis Ramblers (Otis) = Illinois
NYC HighOnPoker (Jordan) = Kentucky
The Name I want won't f (Bob) = Wake
Double Belly Draw (K. Hungus) = UNC
Spudtastic Webbalicious (Poker Nerd) = Illinois
Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) = Syracuse
Best of luck everyone!