Saturday, December 31, 2005

Tao of Poker: 2005 Year in Review Part 2

Here's the conclusion of my year in review post. If you haven't read 2005 Year in Review Part 1, then please do so first.

I started the second half of the year in Las Vegas a few days before the start of the main event at the WSOP. After spending the rest of the summer in Las Vegas, I would end up in Colorado, South Carolina, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Atlantic City, the Boathouse, Foxwoods, Rhode Island, Los Angeles, New York City, and back in Vegas two more times. I covered a slew of poker tournaments along the way.


July started with me having a mental breakdown a few days before the WSOP main event. The Redneck Riviera and the intense Nevada summer heat were making me crazy. The bad food. The lack of sleep. The depression. The deadlines. The bad beat stories. The misery. It was all fucking with my head and I lost my shit more than once in July.

Here are two final tables that I live blogged:
Event #32 $5K Omaha8
Event #34 Senior's NL
I saw Paul McKinney become the oldest person to ever win a WSOP bracelet.

I went to the Full Tilt party held at La Bete in the Wynn. The dress code was LA Chic. I had no idea what that meant. I went with Shirley and I hung out with a ton of media folks including a bunch of bloggers. I ended up closing out the bar drinking past last call with Daniel Negreanu, the Poker Prof, and two Irish Guys.

On the same day that AlCantHang came out to surprise me and Otis, I met Wil Wheaton for the first timeand we hung out and bullshitted for a while. He was supposed to play in the main event in less than 24 hours from the time we met. I showed him the empty table he would end up sitting at. It was the same day as the WSOP Media/Celebrity event. I cashed in my first WSOP event and made my first WSOP final table. I also cracked Shannon Elizabeth's A-A with JJ. I was Otis' table to start and I got A-A in back to back hands. I busted him and build up a huge chip lead. I was also seated next to Lou Krieger at some point.

During the main event, I met DoubleAs for the first time. He would end up cashing in his first and only WSOP event.

The WSOP $10K main event started. The last two days were held in Benny's Bullpen at the Horseshoe. Here are my live blogging updates:
Day 1A
Day 1B
Day 1C
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7 - The Final Table
Be sure to take a peek at the Poker Prof's hard work in his 2005 WSOP tournament results page. And look at Flipchip's 2005 WSOP photo gallery.

Everyone knows that Joe Hachem from Australia won the 2005 WSOP main event. He took home $7.5 million and I got to experience the 2005 WSOP from nearly the start to the finish. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I might cover WSOP events in the future, but it's never quite the same as your first one. I have the Poker Prof to thank for the entire thing. He said we were going to pull it off... and with Flipchip's help... we did.

A few weeks ago The Prof told me that I was the single most read writer at the WSOP, even more so than Nolan Dalla. He estimated that more than one million people read something of mine during the 2005 WSOP either on the Tao of Poker, Poker Player Newspaper, Fox Sports, MSN, and some of the other sites that I write for. I was blown away by that number and still refuse to believe that was possible. He broke it down by the numbers and although it adds up, it's still a disturbing number. If I knew that then... I would have freaked out and choked. As is, despite some problems and rough patches, I came out of the WSOP as a legitimate poker tournament reporter. Some of that was due to Felicia's suggestions along with Otis' help, Flipchip's Obi-wan like guidance, and Poker Prof's persistent belief in me.

Wil gave me some great advice and insisted that I take my dinner breaks for "me" time. I ended up rushing off to the Hooker Bar to drink with Otis. For a while it was our favorite time of the day. We'd drink sometimes for free and made sure we didn't talk about poker. We discussed anything except poker. That was our only rule. For an hour everyday we escaped the insanity of the WSOP. We didn't have deadlines or readers eagerly awaiting updates. We were just two dudes drinking away our troubles at a bar in Las Vegas, checking out the talent and swapping a few stories in the process. One of the highlights of the WSOP.

I appeared on a few episodes of Lord Admiral's Card Club podcast including episode 33, episode 34, and episode 35.

BG set up the Charlie Tuttle Memorial Tournament on Poker Stars which was won by SarahBellum.

I took a few days off and ended up back to work. I headed to the Bellagio and covered the Day 2 of the Challenge Cup which featured a ton of top pros. Toby Maguire made the final table. Flipchip was recognized for the first time by a fan! I never saw him so excited.

I discovered that the Tao of Poker was mentioned in an article in the Online Journalism Review called Gonzo poker bloggers bring World Series to life in real time. Here's a bit:
At the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, which wrapped up last week, the blogging star was "Dr. Pauly", a struggling screenwriter and novelist who became a poker fanatic.
I met Grubby's sister Grubbette for the first time. We played Pai Gow at the MGM and drank heavily.

I hung around Vegas and played a ton of poker. I took 3rd place in a tournament at Sam's Town. Flipchip took second!

One of my favorite non-WSOP posts from July included Kicked in the Junk by the Hiltons.

I headed over to the Plaza and watched Andy Bloch win the Ultimate Poker Challenge. I saw a bunch of pros shooting dice including Phil Ivey, Gavin Smith, The Grinder, John Juanda, and Erick Lindgren.

Senor came to Las Vegas for a weekend bender which included a ton of strip clubs, drinking, and poker.

I also wrote a review of Charlie Shoten's book No Limit Life.

I ended the month way up. I bumped up in limits and played $10/$20 at the Mirage along with $8/$16 at the Bellagio. The cash in the Sam's tourney helped pad the bankroll. I also found myself playing at Mandalay Bay in a series of hit and run sessions.



I ended July on the top of my poker game and my career. It seemed that everyone was finally going on right. I had a decent routine. I'd wake up in the late afternoon. I'd write and do a few hours of work. I'd either meet Grubby out for a cheap meal or a buffet or fend for myself at In & Out, Wild Wild West's cheap ass diner, or Wendy's. I seemed to rotate those three every few days. Night's were reserved for poker. If I was hanging out with Grubby, we'd hit up Palms or Sunset Station or Excalibur. We became infatuated with a hot chiprunner that worked at the Castle. Plus with double wheel spins, it was worth playing just for the bonuses. If I was by myself, I'd go to the Mirage, Bellagio or Mandalay Bay.

I padded my bankroll by hitting two high hand jackpots, both at $4/8 Kill tables at Palms and Mandalay Bay. I turned quad Aces and quad Jacks. I scooped huge pots too and walked away up almost a grand for both jackpots combined. When I played at the Excalibur with Grubby we used to kill the boredom with betting on wheel spins. That's where it all began. We'd end up even on most nights but like I said, it gave us some action in between folding hands. Yeah, we became Vegas rounders.

I appeared on a few episodes of Lord Admiral's Card Club podcast including episode 37, episode 38, and episode 40.

I published another installment of Existentialist Conversations with Strippers.

Wil was asked to be the keynote speaker at Barge and he invited me as his guest. Wil joked around that I had more fans there than he did. Anyway, he read experts of Lying in Odessa and he kicked ass during his speech. I got to shmooze with some of the Bargers and hung out with Jen Leo, Sarah Bellum, Russ Fox, and Lou Krieger.

I had some interesting things to say on the 10th anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death.

I finally moved out of the Redneck Riviera and moved in with Grubby for my last week in Las Vegas.

After almost three months of living in Las Vegas, I left for the first time and flew to Boulder, Colorado to hang out with my buddy the Joker. We headed to Red Rocks to see a Trey Anastasio Band concert (and STS9 opened up). We partied with hipsters in Denver, partied with hippies up in the mountains, and I even did a little climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. I posted a mini-trip report with pictures.

I finally returned back to NYC but only for a few days. I also quietly celebrated the 2 year anniversary of the start of the Tao of Poker.

I got on a plane and flew with Derek to G-Vegas for the Brad-o-Ween festivities. The Bloods were kind enough to put us up for the weekend and we crashed in the mini-Blood's rooms while they were shipped off with the grandparents. The mini-Bloods must have been pumped when they got home and noticed that Daddy, Derek, Iggy, and myself stuffed their piggy banks with $20 and $100 bills as a "tip" for letting us crash.

On the night before Brad-o-Ween, we played a tournament at Bad Blood's and I took second place. I lost to Otis heads up. Maudie got hit over the head by BadBlood with a chair. We went out to a dive bar and I got BG to drink a rusty tin of ice water for $5. I also got Otis to down a cup of ranch dressing for $5. Props bets were flowing and bloggers were doing weird shit after midnight in the deep south.

Brad-o-Ween kicked off at Noon with authentic Carolina BBQ and a poker tournament. I ended up making it all the way to the money and came from behind to tie Big Pirate. We ended up chopping first place. The Drunkolympics were next and Derek and I were on Team Good with G-Rob (Captain), Lefty, Al Cant Hang, Derek, and Iggy (alternate). We were close to winning it but lost by a slim margin. Lefty destroyed BigMike in a Cheezepuff eating contest and I choked in both of my events. Derek puked. BG passed out or "took a nap" according to his accounts of the incident. You had to experience the AlCantHang experience. There were Hooters girls showing their goodies and a wet t-shirt contest. The Smiths were climbing trees and Bad Blood had to be taken home early. All in all, it was one of my favorite trips all year. A recap of Day 2 is here.

When I got back to NYC, I played in my first home game in months at the Blue Parrot. It featured the return of two old school members of the Blue Parrot... Rick Blaine and Swish. Of course the highlight was when Om got Ferrari on mega-tilt after he cracked his aces.

After settling back into living in NYC again, I found a groove at the tables and writing wise. I penned one of my favorite posts of all time called Masturbation and Poker.

I ended the month up and way up for the year. I tripled my bankroll during my time in Las Vegas. I cashed in two big tourneys and picked up a few jackpots along the way. I was happy to be home but I knew I had only a few days to get my shit together and hit the road once again.



September was a fun month. I worked pretty hard writing a ton of freelance stuff to start but ended up going to Europe for almost two weeks while visiting Spain for the first time to cover a European Poker in Barcelona. I reunited with Briana for a few days in Amsterdam. I then had one of the toughest legs of travel in my life. Flights from Barcelona to Paris to Amsterdam to NYC. Then a rental car drive from NYC to Atlantic City to cover my first World Poker Tour Event at the Borgata. Before I went home, I stopped off at in Malvern, PA to party down at AlCantHang's annual Bash at the Boathouse. A slew of bloggers were there and I met Mrs. Spaceman for the first time.

September was also when Hurricane Katrina sunk New Orleans. I did what I could and donated a lot of my bankroll and pimped a slew of relief tournaments.

Derek played in Hurricane Katrina Relief tournament on Full Tilt and ended up winning two hands against Phil Gordon. He rivered a gutshot on one hand.

Daddy quit his blog. I wrote in response:
Daddy not blogging is like watching Seinfeld without Kramer.
Daddy not blogging is like eating fat-free ice cream.
Daddy not blogging is like drinking O'Douls.
Daddy not blogging is like having sex with a dead cat that's not really dead.
I might have to start calling Daddy the Trey of Poker Bloggers.
While meeting a friend for lunch, I bumped into Joaquin aka The Rooster in front of Grand Central Station.

Nolan Dalla was kind enough to hook me up with a freeroll into one of the WCOOP events. I got in as a member of the media. Out of 2146, I finished in 1914th place.

I had a few fun days in Amsterdam. I posted Day 1 and Day 2.

I also had a few random things to say about my first few days in Spain. I spent some time in Sitges with Otis' lovely assistant Mad, where she lives. I headed to Barcelona to cover the EPT event. I stayed in the Princess Hotel and they gave you a free mini-bar.

I did some live blogging of Day 1. I met Brandon Schaefer who won one event last year and took second at the Grand Finale in Monte Carlo. Before I had a chance to introduce myself, he walked up to me and said, "I love your blog, man."

We ended up drinking together, having a few meals with the Poker Stars crew, and hanging out. I met some cool guys from Gutshot, hung out with Howard from Poker Stars, and drank with the Irish guys Lucky Blind and Murphy. I even got to have coffee with Isabelle Mercier.

Of course the craziest thing was having John Duthie, creator of the EPT, ask me to announce the featured TV table. Sitting there were Brandon, Gus Hansen, WPT winner Christer Johansen, Daniel Larrson, and David O'Callahan. Man, was I fuckin' nervous. I messed up a few times. But it was OK.

On Day 2, I both live blogged the final table and announced it as well! I was shocked that they asked me to do it. But how could I turn that down. I messed up one hand and thought Gus Hansen won when he lost to a straight. I apologized later and he laughed it off. Jan Boubli, a former dentist from France, ended up winning his first EPT event.

I flew back to America and headed to the Borgata to cover the WPT event. I missed the first day, but I was there for Day 2. I met the new hostess Courtney Friel for the first time. I saw my old media friends and fell back into a groove. Day 3 was one of the longest I ever days of work I've ever had. I was there to almost 5am waiting for the TV table bubble to burst.

I finally blogged my first ever final table on the WPT.

Derek came down and we met up with Spaceman and his lovely wife. We also sweated Spaceman when he played in a US Poker Championships event at the Taj. Afterwards we headed over to the Boathouse for a pre-party. We got pretty snookered. The day of the Boathouse started off with StB winning the Good & Plenty Classic. We played some poker at the Boathouse then watched Bobby Bracelet make a complete fool of himself when he wasted his A-Game on a C- girl. The lowlight of the night came when someone (Derek, Joaquin, or Helixx) offered me $10 to take a piss in a corner where Bobby Bracelet and his conquest were sucking face in the corner. Anyway, Derek didn't puke and Otis was drunker than Tara Ried on St. Patrick's Day. The recap for Bash at the Boathouse 5 is here.

ESPN began airing the WSOP and I was spotted during the Johnny Chan episode. Derek asked me what I was talking to Doyle Brunson about. I recall asking Doyle, "At his peak game, who's better Johnny Chan or Stu Ungar?"

I didn't get to play as much poker as I wanted in September. Instead I sought out some new adventures and saw Briana for the first time in over four months. I finished up for the month and up for a third consecutive month. My bankroll hit five figures for the first time and I got to announce a final TV table. In the Casino de Barcelona while standing with a microphone a few feet from Gus Hansen, I had one of those moments like, "How the fuck did I get here?"



Although I was losing patience with a demanding work and travel schedule, my writing flourished in October. I worked on my Las Vegas book, wrote a couple of chapters for DoubleAs Poker Hack's book, and cranked out some of the best poker and philosophy posts to date.

My favorite had to be Empiricism, Kierkegaard, Catholic High School Girls, and Poker. I also came away from writing that post with five main objectives to my poker game:
1. Rededicate myself as a student of the game.
2. Continue to play as much as I can to develop into a good player in the long run.
3. Daily wins and losses don't mean as much as making good and quality decisions.
4. Continue to identify and isolate my weaknesses.
5. Maintain focus at the tables.
I probably dropped to a new low when I delved deep into female ejaculation and squirting.

I came back a few days later with a much more insightful and serious post with the Tao of Risk where I discussed risk management, Wall Street, and Sun Tzu. That's when I came up with this gem...
The winning poker player/investor is able to adjust their tactics and implement them without any difficulties. More importantly, a player needs the psychological capacity, mental strength, and discipline to adapt their implementation tactics and adjust to the patterns or the volatility of the other players/markets. Winning players are also able to adapt to situations beyond human control. That means minimizing tilt.
I taped a bit on Card Club's Lord Admiral podcast for episode 46 and episode 49.

I was invited to a Poker Stars VIP event in NYC that featured the last three WSOP champions in Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, and Chris Moneymaker. Otis was there as well as Nolan Dalla and the lovely Isabelle Mercier. I finally got a double kiss from her. We drank fruity rum drinks out of plastic coconuts. Afterwards, Otis and I went barhopping and I puked in the middle of the street at one point.

Wil Wheaton hosted his first private tournament on Poker Stars and Derek made the final table.

Poker Stars gave me a nice fleece pullover for being the #1 referral during their Blogger Championship thing.

I put out a Best of Tao of Poker post where I listed some of my best posts all time. For someone who writes a lot, I have very few highlights. I should have more.

I returned to Las Vegas for a work assignment and Vegoose. I moved in with Grubby for two plus weeks. On my second day back, we met up with Bobby Bracelet for drinks and Mandalay Bay near the sports book. I went to the bathroom and there was a couple in the stall next to me having sex. That's when the Bathroom Fucking incident went down.
I'm pretty sure no one came. Not even me. Although I think I popped a half-a-wood during all of this.
A week later some guy would stop me in the middle of the Bellagio and ask me which bathroom did the fucking take place in.

I returned to the Bellagio to cover the WPT Doyle Brunson North American Classic. Minh Ly beat Dan Harrington heads up to win.
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Final table
Random Photos
I also saw Daniel Negreanu playing at the Bellagio for the first time in months. He just ended his contract with Wynn and returned to the "Big Game" in Bobby's Room.

I met Jaxia for the first time and we hung out for a few hours at Mandalay Bay shooting the shit for hours.

I played in the Online Poker Bloggers Championship on Poker Stars. I took 933rd place out of 1472.

One of my other favorite posts from the month was Hammers, Hilton Sisters, Dial-a-Shots, and other Post-Modern Poker Vernacular where I spoke about the origins of the Hammer and other nicknames.

I went bowling with Grubby and the Poker Prof and I lost a big prop bet.

The big news of the month was getting on the front page of Yahoo for a couple of hours. My 15 minutes of fame were quickly over.

My buddy The Joker came to town for Vegoose and we got inebriated and checked out a ton of our favorite bands including one helluva bender on Halloween to see Widespread Panic. He dressed up like a UPS driver. I was a doctor. I posted some recaps on the Tao of Pauly which also included plenty of pictures:
Day Before Vegoose
Vegoose Day 1
Vegoose Day 2
I also announced Saturdays with Dr. Pauly... a running series of four tournaments on Poker Stars with prizes going to the person who did the best in all four events.

October ended with a break even month. I was still way up for the year and I spent a lot of time back in Las Vegas card rooms once again.



I usually took off previous Novembers to write novels. I'd have to shelf that idea due to a work assignment at Foxwoods. That was OK thought, I was too exhausted to write anyway. The few days I put into the Las Vegas book were average attempts at best. The only good thing about working at Foxwoods was living with my buddy Senor for the entire week just outside of Providence.

I made the final table at a Wil Wheaton tournament.

The Saturdays with Dr. Pauly tournaments were a huge success. Thanks to everyone who played. SirWaffle won the first one. The next week, event #2 was won by on_thg. Then the Luckbox struck... CJ won #3. And Joanne won the last tournament. Both Bobby Bracelet and on_thg tied for first place. They had to play a special heads-up tiebreaker, which was won by Bobby Bracelet. He renicknamed himself Bobby iPod for a while, but it never stuck. Yeah, Bob won the iPod and on_thg won a copy of The Big Lebowski. CJ came in third overall and won a phone call from Daddy on Christmas Day.

I dished out some strip club advice.

On the personal life front, Briana returned home from France and I went through a rough few days figuring out us and hating poker. I wrote a post called Circles and Poker about my poker burnout. I needed a quick attitude adjustment and going to Rhode Island and Foxwoods helped me get back on track.

I covered another WPT event, this time at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Here are the daily live blogging updates:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Final Table
I wrote about poker and porn funk during one of those Foxwoods events. I also met SirWaffle for the first time. We played NL together.

I appeared on one episode of Card Club's Lord Admiral radio podcast... episode #52 where I interviewed Heather from Poker Wire.

With a few weeks before the blogger get together in Vegas, I posted Potential Blogger Arrests. I also put together a short film called Bloggers in Vegas that was hosted by AlCantHang. I also refined my Surviving Las Vegas Tips post.

Spaceman was in town for a Jeopardy interview. We went drinking with the Rooster and played at The Blue Parrot. Spaceman had a rare experience and played cards in a NYC homegame. I walked away a winner, which would be one of the few times that would happen all month.

On Thanksgiving, I had a message of thanks to some special people in my life. Then over Turkey Day weekend, I blew almost $1K playing in different online tournaments. I cashed in only one and it was for a lousy $3.

On the last day of November, I left for Las Vegas. I planned on being there for a month returning on Christmas Eve. With the blogger tournament, a road trip to LA with Grubby, and a WPT Bellagio assignment, I had a busy month ahead of me. Sadly, my grandmother was hospitalized, fell into a coma, but came out of it for a while. I left NYC thinking that she was going to be OK. The last time I would see my grandmother alive was a few moments before I got on a plane at JFK bound for Sin City. If I knew it was going to be the last time I'd see her, I would have canceled my trip and stayed behind to spend two more days with her before she had a heart attack and died in her hospital bed.

By the end of November, I was hurting. My poker game was off. I hardly slept. My writing was sloppy. My passion for writing and working in the poker industry had disappeared. And I was within days of losing a family member. I began the month on a high note after one amazing Halloween bender in Las Vegas and I ended it under a very dark cloud.



December of 2005 was one of the toughest months of my life. I questioned everything and when you are in those ambivalent moods, nothing seems right. My poker game went to shit. If I was good or just lucky, I was neither in December. I lost everywhere. The carnage was spread out all over Las Vegas casinos and on different online sites. I lost prop bets, wheel spins, craps, sports betting on hockey and football, horse races, and Pai Gow. The only thing I won during December was on Mr. Cashman slots.

I started the month in Las Vegas. I was technically the first blogger to arrive. Grubby and I played in a tournament at Sahara and I didn't do so hot. Grubby and I rented a car and drove to Los Angeles. We hung out at Grubette's house in Long Beach and crashed the LA blogger's home game called Murderer's Row. I hung out with the Full Tilter's and met Change100 for the first time. She ended up chopping the tournament with Kori. I conducted two hilarious interviews that night featuring Poker Geek, Franklin, and Joe Speaker, which were included in episode 54 of Lord Admiral's podcast. I was shitfaced drunk and Franklin had us all cracking up.

I had lunch with Shirley in Long Beach on the pier. We became good friends during the WSOP and I had not see her since. The lunch was bittersweet. Halfway through, my brother called to tell me that our grandmother had passed away. I was in the worst possible place because I'd have to drive back to Vegas then fly home to NYC for the wake and funeral.

I was crushed and Grubby suggested a trip to Hawaiian Gardens to play poker. Grubbette insisted that I would have a much better time if I spent a few hours at the tables. She was right. I sat down at a $100 buy-in table and a guy had $1500 sitting there. I wasn't about to leave and although he cracked my aces, I got some of his stack. People like to gambool at the poker tables in California. Mr. Drunk Guy put $350 into a pot preflop with 9-9 after I moved all in. He caught quads on me too. I still walked away a winner and one of the few winning days I'd have all month.

I returned home to NYC for the wake and funeral. It was a somber time and we luckily was able to fly back on Thursday with Derek just when the other bloggers were arriving. I posted a bunch of trip reports featuring audio interviews, pictures, and video. Here they are:
Day 1: Half-Baked Recap
Day 2: Half-Baked Recap
Random Pic Dump
Bloggers in Wonderland Part 1: Midnight Riders
Bloggers in Wonderland Part 2: The Five Boobs and Champion Glyphic
Bloggers in Wonderland Part 3: Cocaine in a Can, Baby!
Bloggers in Wonderland Part 4: Blue Monday
Daddy's Interview
Cocaine in a can, baby!
Jaxia Hiatt Interviews
I also taped an interview for Lord Admiral's Card Club podcast with Phil Gordon after he lost $200 to Mrs. Head playing Roshambo. It appears in episode #56.

I covered a WPT event at the Bellagio. I posted some random pictures and I live blogged the final table.

Change100 came back to Vegas to party and gamble. In the same night, I was recognized by a fan and was propositioned by a hooker in the Castle.

I came in 2nd in one of Wil Wheaton's tournament, losing to Marty after blowing a huge chiplead. I returned to NYC, but not before one wild night of poker. I left Las Vegas with back-to-back winning sessions.

I blogged my Christmas Wish and on Chirstmas Eve I played 3/6 on Full Tilt with Derek, Jen Harman, and Andy Bloch. Totally random too.

I posted my Gallery of Champions, photographs that I took of various winners during 2005 tournaments.

Thanks to my Top Referrals during December.
The Sweet 16:
1. Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog
2. Iggy's Party Poker Blogs
3. G-Rob, Otis, & CJ's Up for Poker
4. Tao of Pauly
5. DoubleAs
6. Grubby's The Poker Grub
7. Shirley from Poker Babes
8. Jaxia's Steal the Blinds
9. Wil Wheaton
10. HDouble's The Cards Speak
11. Aaron Gleeman
12. Change100's Pot Committed
13. Derek's Poker in the Weeds
14. Wicked Chops Poker
15. Mean Gene
16. Joe Speaker's Obituarium
I ended December on a losing streak. I lost 30% of my bankroll in the previous eight weeks. Most of that was all of my fault, playing poorly at the tables and making bad decisions. I spent the last week of the year relaxing, avoiding business related things, and wrote for myself. I played a ton of online poker and got slaughtered. But at least I got to play with my friends again.

If there was one thing better than covering the 2005 WSOP, it was making new friendships and strengthening old ones. When I think of 2005, the people I met and consider my friends stick out the most. If you are one of those people, I'm grateful to have crossed paths with you. Our time together in 2005 was special and I'll never forget the fun times we shared orginal exeriences. I bounced all around the globe this year and I got to spend time with some of you in random places. It's not so much my experiences that make my life seem interesting... it's the people in my life who held define and inspire me. For that I will always be grateful.

It was an amazing year. Glad that you got to be a part of it. As Bob Dylan said it best, "Blame it on a simple twist of fate."

Thanks for reading.
Tao of Poker: 2005 Year in Review Part 1

I have no idea where this post is going. I know it's over 5,000 words. I'm just going to go through my archives and mention the highlights and lowlights of 2005. By far this past twelve months have been the most special and influential on my life and on my blogs. Poker took me on a lot of side trips both socially and work related. I tossed around chips in places I never thought I'd ever play cards. Those were some of my favorite moments.

Well anyway, sit back and enjoy a recap of the last twelve months. Thanks for sharing the wild ride with me. Enjoy Part 1 of my review of 2005 on my poker blog which focuses on Jan. through June of this year. I started out in NYC and did a ton of traveling. I ended up in Las Vegas with stops in Foxwoods, Rhode Island, Hilljack Indiana, Cincinnati, and Kentucky playing poker along the way.


I changed the template from the older version into what you see here. Right now, I'm contemplating another facelift, but it's never been about how my site looks. So I might put that on hold. I concentrate all my efforts into original content. That's what matters to me the most. I started 2005 knowing that my poker blog got far more traffic than any of my other blogs combined. With that understanding of having a dedicated audience, I pushed myself to writer a little bit better here than I had in the past. I just didn't want to entertain them, I also wanted to show how good of a writer I was on a daily basis.

My Pauly's Pub football pool completed in the first week of 2005 and two of my college buddies Brad & Jerry finished one and two. Blue Parrot regular Coach took third and Matt's Austin Drunks made the money in 4th. Coach even included an installment of Coach's Corner in January.

On a personal note, I had been going through a period where I was very sick and caught the flu. My immune system was down and I kept having long intense discussion with Briana about our future. She wanted me to move in since I didn't have a place to live and was technically homeless. I was reluctant and knew I had to keep the focus on my writing. I finally got offered work by a few online sites such as Poker Magazine and Professional Poker. I wrote on spec for the first few assignments and my competent work during a temporary trial basis ended up getting me steady work and a raise for the remainder of the year. I wrote weekly articles over at Poker Magazine and contributed weekly player profiles and bi-monthly columns to Professional Poker.

I played at the Blue Parrot and had my first games at the TowneHouse hosted by Lady Falcon and her pink chips. I continued to play in random clubs over the city and continued to keep all of that off of my blogs. I also headed up to Foxwoods to play in a tournament and visit my buddy Senor in Rhode Island.

I finally finished up my December 2004 Las Vegas trip reports with Chapters 7, 8, 9, & 10. The last chapter is my favorite bit of writing from those epic reports.

I continued with more Reader Mail featuring Timmy. He hasn't emailed me in months and I'm worried about him.

I was up playing poker online and live in Jan. 2005 and started the year on a winning note.



I dished out some blogging advice to new bloggers.

In a blogger's tournament on Poker Stars, I cracked both K-K and A-A with The Hammer. 787Style had A-A and Charlie Tuttle had K-K. That began a short but unique friendship that I'd have with Charlie Tuttle. He even sent me a Nashville Predator's hockey puck as a bounty for busting him. Make sure you clcik on the link and see the photo including a note from Charlie himself on Tunica stationary!! I still have both the puck and the letter today. I'm never letting those go.

I ended up finishing 62nd in that tournament which on_thg ended up winning. I posted a write up.

I played in a few NYC homegames including the Townehouse again and at the Blue Parrot, where we held the first ever NYC poker bloggers NL tournament took place. Julie and Lady Falcon chopped and Derek took third. He busted me too.

I got a priest to designate 2-7 at St. Grubby's Day. I hear he's going to be having a private tournament this year. Stay tuned to the Poker Grub for more details.

I finally finished the third draft of my fifth novel Gumbo, just in time to celebrate Valentine's Day where Briana tried to get me to move in with her once again.

Of course, more reader mail featuring Timmy.

In mid-February, I started to get burnt out on blogging and I took a hiatus. That hiatus was interrupted by the suicide of one of my favorite writers Hunter S. Thompson. I responded with a post called RIP Hunter.

The month did not end without a trip. I flew down to Miami to spend time with my buddy Jerry and his wife. I headed to Hard Rock Seminole Casino and played some poker. I posted Part I and Part II of my Miami poker trip reports.

I ended February down about $600 for the entire year. I had a bad run playing tournaments and got killed playing NL ring tables on Party Poker. After playing solid for hours straight, I was making too many bad decisions and those were costing me my entire stack. When I came back from Miami, I decided that I needed to quickly address the leaks in my game. For all of 2004, I lived off of whatever I made playing cards due to limited freelance opportunities. I padded my bankroll on the NL tables on Party Poker and lived off of whatever I took away from homegames, underground clubs, SNGs, and tournaments. The SNG gods were frequently kicking me in the junk after a horrible run at the $30 and $50 SNGs. I made the decision to stop playing SNGs and online tournaments. I made the shift to limit instead of NL to change the pace and get me back to the fundamentals of poker. It ended up being the best decision I made all year.



Iggy and HDouble launched Poker Tracker Guide. Then, CJ announced the blogger tournament in Las Vegas at the Aladdin in June.

Hank987 made a final table at one of the Foxwoods tournaments. He wrote up a guest post on his amazing run.

I had a four-day binge of blogger tables on different sites.

Of course, everyone's favorite... more reader mail including my favorite installment... Timmy's Principal Problems, Popularity, Vegas Poker Rooms, and Time Management.

My post of the month had to be February Doldrums where I analyzed my play and tried to figure out why I was playing. I mentioned three basic things that I needed to do to stop the bleeding.
1. Identify my most common mistakes and flaws.
2. Understand why they are harming my play.
3. Correct these flaws and minimize future mistakes.
I had a six day online poker binge that featured a few blogger tables.

I started a routine. I worked early in the mornings then fire up Party Poker to grind it out at $3/$6. I did work stuff in the afternoons and early evenings or spent time with Briana. Late nights I was working off a bonus on Full Tilt. That seemed to get me back on track and I discovered that the tables on FT were incredibly soft.

Iggy hosted a HORSE tournament on Full Tilt which was won by Royal. I posted a recap. Derek had a impressive showing a bubbled out of the final table.

I played in a home game in NYC at the TowneHouse.

I also had a few half-baked ideas on the Luck of the Irish.

I had an interesting post where I explained how I improved my poker game and there's a random picture of Tara Reid and a monkey.

I headed out to Las Vegas with my buddy Senor for March Madness. I broke that trip report into 5 parts; Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5. I also posted some great pics of my March Madness Las Vegas trip.

Gamecock won his first ever blogger tournament on Poker Stars. Lucky mofo! posted a recap called Running with Game Cocks: Another WPBT Adventure.

I ended March on a huge winning streak. The Vegas trip combined with the $3/6 tables on Full Tilt really got playing with more confidence. My game was getting tighter and it felt good to finally win again and book a monthly win. Plus I also had a conversation with the Poker Prof that would end up changing my life.



I started off the month with a major announcement where I was hired by the Poker Prof to write for Las Vegas and Poker Blog and for Poker Player Newspaper. I would be moving to Las Vegas to cover the WSOP. I would be the biggest break I ever had as a writer and I waited almost two weeks to blog about it. I knew it was going to be the experience of a lifetime and I was excited to spend time with Grubby, the Poker Prof, Flipchip, and Otis. That set the tone for April as I made preperations to head out to Las Vegas. That entailed picking up as many freelance assignments as possible over the next two months.

I watched Phil Ivey win a $22K pot on Full Tilt.

I posted my first installment of Existentialist Conversations with Strippers which I'm happy to say will be included in my Las Vegas book. Later in the month I posted part two.

Derek won my March Madness pool.

I played a few home games in NYC including the Blue Parrot. We also played Razz one night which drove me crazy!

There were more installments of Reader Mail called The Other Tao Guy, Summer Books, Empire's Reload, Ad Space, and Timmy's Boner and also... Full Fish with Royal, Concerned Girlfriends, Sopranos Pool, and Card Club Archives.

One of the best posts from the month of April had to be The Zoo Review where I talked about my online play.

I also posted another installment of Coach's Corner where he recaped his run to the final table in a Poker Stars MTT.

I taped my first ever episode of the Lord Admiral Card Club featuring Cinci Sean and Brent Stacks. Thus began the series of events that would make me a huge cult figure in Canada. I also taped a second episode and a third.

Harrington on Hold'em was my Book of the Month

A couple of my articles were published on various websites.

Bad Blood ran a writing contest which I entered and penned something called Bankroll Adrift.

Iggy set up the first bloggers WSOP staellite into a $1500 NL event. Before the tournament, he was just known as Bob from one2many. After his victory, Derek dubbed him his current moniker... Bobby Bracelet. Yes, Bobby Bracelet won the first ever WSOP Satellite and picked up a seat! I posted a recap.



Briana left NYC and went to Paris on holiday for a few weeks. She ended up moving to France and stayed there for over six months. The last few days she was in NYC were some of my favorite. We weren't play mind games anymore, you know those fcuked up games that couples and potential couples play at times. We took long walks around the city and carried on some stellar conversations that I wish I recorded. We lived in the moment while never once thinking about the future. It seemed that we always got along best when we didn't define our relationship. We're both independent people and that's why it worked that way for as long as it did.

Alas, we were both entering new cycles in our lives. She had to desperately figure out some sort of direction in her life, whereas I knew exactly when I wanted to do. I was given a chance of a lifetime to cover the WSOP. We both knew I had to kick ass in Vegas without any distractions. Briana made the biggest sacrifice by stepping aside and letting me focus on writing. Goodbyes are always tough and I'd be lying if I said it was easy to part ways. On those late and long and depressing nights during the upcoming months, I'd often question if I made the right decision by not asking Briana to come to Vegas with me or not accepting the WSOP assignment at all and moving to Europe with her to work on one of several novels or screenplays that I had festering inside the hallways of my mind. Folding a monster hand is never easy.

The month started off with the second blogger WSOP satellite on Poker Stars. Russ Fox ended up winning a seat. Here's a sample of some of the recap:
Seat 8: Gracie... Despite persistent rumors, the gal from Florida is not painfully dull. And most importantly, she is not a lesbian (but she does play one on the internet). She admits on her blog that she's never done crack and does not like spiders. She's held her own in the last event after a 13th place finish. She is looking to making her first final table.

Seat 9: JoeSpeaker... The best-dressed blogger on the WPBT looked dapper once again according to the latest report from the Queer Eye Guys. His odds to win this event increased dramatically after his amazing rush to the final table last week. He's a regular at several casinos in Southern California and he's not gay... not that there's anything wrong with that.
I continued my series of Existentialst Conversations with Strippers with a third installment.

I appeared on the Lord Admiral Podcast once again for Episode 24 and Episode 26 and Episode 28.

I had an article published on Fox Sports called The Next Champion. It's currently no longer on their site but it also appeared in Poker Player Newspaper which has it archived.

Thanks Iggy! Click to enlarge.

I took a trip to the Midwest for a three day three state bender with Daddy and Iggy. I flew into Indiana and hung out with Daddy in Hilljack Country. We got trashed, played golf, and I investigated the donkey fucker phenomenon. I also played some cards (with a guy with four teeth) and I also puked in Daddy's driveway. The next day, Daddy and I drove to Cincinnati and hung out with Iggy and his crew. We partied in Kentucky with my friend Lori and saw a baseball game and a Trey Anastasio Band concert in Cincinnati. I also played cornhole with Daddy for the first time, while Lori watched and drank dunkels of German beer. On the third day the partying and poker continued. Iggy rented out a penthouse suite and held his home game there. I met his entire crew and a few other bloggers like UWannaBet and Jeff stopped by. It was a complete blast and Iggy and I drank and talked until sunrise. That trip was one of my most memorable in years and I'll never forget what Daddy said after I puked in his car... "Dr. Pauly christened my sled!"

In the third bloggers WSOP satellite held on Noble Poker, Wes aka Big Pirate won his seat into the $1500 WSOP event. He held off a final table that included The Fat Guy, Spaceman, and Bad Blood. Argggggggggggggggggggggh!

Joe Speaker won the fourth blogger's WSOP satellite on Poker Stars. He beat out a final table that included Poker Prof, Spaceman, Byron, on_thg, and GMoney.

I returned with more read mail. This batch included topics such as Camp, Books, Donkey Fuckers, Time, and Elisha Cuthbert.

I also penned the first version of Top 10 Tips on Surviving Las Vegas for newbies. Here's the quick list:
Pauly's Top 10 Tips on Surviving Vegas:
1. Cut back on sleep immediately.
2. Sip, don't chug.
3. Water is your friend.
4. Bring a cell phone charger.
5. Take pictures.
6. Ask before you post pictures on the internet.
7. Speak your mind and stay in the moment.
8. Table image is a factor in real life.
9. Don't be Gigli.
10. Never underestimate the importance of a $20 tip.
I also posted a second part to this called More Vegas Tips.

Lady Falcon threw me a Bon Voyage Party the weekend before I moved to Las Vegas. This BBQ at the TowneHouse included a tournament and cash game. It featured some of your favorite NYC bloggers including my brother, F Train, Ugarte, Joaquin, and Jordan.

Ferrari and the Blue Parrot sent me off in style with a final NYC home game. It featured:
The Players:
Seat 1: Toby... she's a famous writer and the author of The Bad Ass Girl's Guide To Poker. She even wore a cool pink shirt sporting the logo of her book, which I forgot to photograph. I wanted to see her reaction when I said, "Will you let me take a picture of your chest?"

Seat 2: Derek... the Jim Belushi of poker bloggers is looking to wipe out his losses at (Lady Falcon's) Bon Voyage Bash last Saturday with a nice win at the Blue Parrot in his last live games before he heads off to Vegas. Derek had Coach convinced that he could read his hole cards with his best Karnac impression.

Seat 3: Julie... she was Coach's last minute replacement at the WPBT Holiday Classic at Sam's Town last December. She took advantage of that opportunity and not only did she make the final table but she also came in third place. She knocked Dr. Pauly out in the bubble (6th place) at Sam's Town and he's been looking to exact revenge on her ever since. And she also chopped the NYC Poker Bloggers tournament with Toni.

Seat 4: Ferrari... the proprietor of the Blue Parrot was swamped with work and still managed to pull off a Farewell game. He had a few tricks of his sleeve which he tried to pull off later in the game. And yes, he saw Star Wars only once and did not get dressed up like a Jedi according to rumors I heard over at Rick's Cafe.

Seat 5: Marie... she adds a tinge of class and grace to the table whenever she appears at Blue Parrot games. I think it's the British accent, or perhaps it's the Red Stripe she always brings me!

Seat 6: Coach... the Dan Harrington of the Blue Parrot was stumping everyone with his extensive knowledge of 1980s TV trivia. We should all pool our money and back Coach in a side trivia cash game against that Ken James dude from Jeopardy. Coach would crush him.

Seat 7: F Train... he's been on the steroids watch list by the WPBT officials since his first appearance on the tour. He will not confirm, nor deny rumors that he used both the Clear and the Cream during his short stint trying to beat the $15/$30 tables on Party Poker. Then there's the scandal that the San Francisco Examiner had leaked about the incident where F Train was caught buying kangaroo urine at a gas station in Malibu, in order to pass it off at as his own if he won the WSoP Razz satellite on Full Tilt.

Seat 8: Pauly... your hero. He's sporting a clean cut look with a haircut and a shave. He's been playing a lot of poker during his series of good-bye/bon voyage/farewell/get the fuck out of town games. It's been his second such event in three days.
I left NYC down just $100 or so before I moved to Las Vegas. I was still up for the year. I cashed out nearly all of my online bankroll (less a few hundred on Party Poker) and headed to Las Vegas with a almost $3K in cash. By the time I left Vegas almost three months later I'd almost than triple my roll. I remember the day before I left New York, I was hanging out all over the city taking random photographs. I had a feeling my upcoming trip was about to change both me and this blog. I had no idea just how crazy and how big the 2005 WSOP would be. I thought I was leaving prepared. Not one bit.



Derek and I headed to Vegas for the second ever bloggers event. We shared a suite at the Plaza with AlCantHang and his lovely wife Eva. I posted some random updates and pictures. We did a lot of drinking and a lot of partying and played a ton of random poker including late night SNGs in the suite while Drizz played Full Tilt and shouted obscenities at my laptop.

I held back just a little because I knew I had to work the WSOP for six straight weeks. I didn't stay up as late as I would have liked and missed out on a lot of hijinks. I got to meet the Fat Guy and Chris Halverson for the first time and that made the trip for me. Bill Rini won the blogger's tournament at the Aladdin. He beat CJ heads up. The Poker Geek dropped the Hammer on the first hand of the tournament at my table. I sat next to Tanya and we became friends. I also cracked Halverson's K-K with my Big Slick. Chad busted me when my 10-10 lost to his 9-9. AlCantHang hosted a party at La Salsa and we also headed to the Rio to sweat the bloggers who won seats into the WSOP $1500 NL event which included Joe Speaker, Russ Fox, Wes, and Bobby Bracelet.

Flipchip took me over to the Redneck Riviera where I was going to be living. It looked nice on the outside, but the residents would end up becoming the biggest story of my stint in Las Vegas. They became so much more popular than the WSOP that I even considered naming my book The Redneck Riviera.

I headed to the Rio for my first day of work with Flipchip and he showed me the ropes. I set up my laptop in media row and introduced myself to a small group of people who ended up becoming my friends. Otis wasn't supposed to arrive for a few weeks and I knew almost nobody. I met Amy Calistri who was a fan of my blog and she introdcued me to Lou Krieger. I was so nervous that I kept calling him "Sir." Lou would end up becoming a loyal reader of the Tao and ended up recomending me for a few freelance assignments. I also met BJ from CardPlayer and Jen & Heather from Poker Wire. We'd end up sitting in media row everyday for six weeks together while Andy Bloch stopped by a lot. I also finally met the infamous Jay Greenspan and Nolan Dalla. Not to mention Dan from Pokerati who ended becoming one of my close buddies during the WSOP. And of course Foiled Coup was around snapping photos of hot chicks like Liz Lieu and hitting on all the skanky trade show girls that worked various booths in the hallways when he wasn't eating cheese and crackers with me in the Full Tilt hospitality suite. I also met Jen Leo, John & Earl from Poker News along with Otis' crew at Poker Stars, Brits like Mad and Howard. I could never forget meeting the Irish guys Lucky Blind Lacey and Tom Murphy. Those dudes could drink.

Flipchip ended up taking the best 2005 WSOP photos around. Take a peek.

I ended up posting my first ever live blog from the WSOP. The rest ws history. I had no idea what I was going to do. I was getting paid to write daily recaps for the Poker Prof's blog at Las Vegas and Poker along with recaps for Poker Player Newspaper and Fox Sports. The live blogging started out of a way for me to take notes on the daily events as they happened. The Poker Prof encouraged me to go ahead and do it. The first post had origins of the now infamous Last 5 Pros I Took a Piss Next To when I spotted Scotty Nguyen in the bathroom fixing his hair.

I also blogged my first final table, the event that E-Fro ended up winning, becoming the younest ever bracelet winner. I also ended up getting in the background shots of ESPN's taping of the final table.

I also taped weekly spots with Sean for Card Club's Lord Admiral podcast. I did episode 29, episode 30, episode 31, and episode 32.

I witnessed bracelet wins by Erik Seidel, TJ Cloutier, Josh Arieh, Mark Seif (twice), Barry Greenstien, Todd Brunson, Johnny Fuckin' Chan, Phil Ivey, and Doyle Brunson. Here are the live blogged final tables:
Event #5 Omaha Hi/Lo
Event #6 NL Shorthanded
Event #7 $1K NL w/ Rebuys and Event #8 $1500 Seven-card Stud
Event #9 $2K NL
Event #11 PL Hold'em
Event #12 PLO w/ Rebuys
Event #13 $5K NL
Event #15 Limit Shootout
Event #16 NL Shootout
Event #17 Limit Hold'em
Event #19 PLO
Event #21 Omaha 8
Event #22 $1500 NL
Event #23 $5K Seven-card Stud
Event #25 PL Hold'em
Event #26 Ladies NL
Event #27 PLO w/ Rebuys
Event #28 $5K Limit
Event #31 $5K Short-handed
The craziest single moment at the WSOP in June was the night Johnny Fuckin Chan won his 10th bracelet. There were 2 final tables and the Ladies Event going on. Four tourneys in all and I covered every single one. That was the hardest night at the WSOP and most memorable. I sat in the front row and watched Chan take down the Unabomber heads up to win bracelet #10. That was like being in Yankee Stadium the day Roger Maris hit #61. The very next night, Jen Tilly won the ladies event. My story on Fox Sports got picked up by a ton of media outlets. A few days later Doyle Brunson won his 10th bracelet after he beat out his buddy Minh Ly.

I also played in my first ever WSOP event. I sold pieces of myself on the Tao and sold out quickly! Thanks to everyone who bought shares including: Maudie, Al CantHang, Tanya, Derek, Briana, Otis, Senor, Iggy, Joaquin, Human Head, Obie, Joe Speaker, Wil, Spaceman, Sean & Brent from Lord Admiral Radio, Chad, Halverson, Gracie, April H., and Poker Prof & Flipchip. They all would have gotten a cut of my winnings if I made the money.

Spaceman called me to tell me one night that Charlie Tuttle was very ill and in the hospital. His favorite player was Marcel Luske and he wanted to know if we could get Marcel to call Charlie or something. Marcel did so and sung to Charlie in a ten minute phonecall. What Marcel started ended up becoming the backstory to the next couple of days as different pros rallied behind Charlie. Felicia helped get plenty of pros involved and Max Pescatori sent Charlie a care package along with other pros like John Juanda and Barry Greenstien who called Charlie.

Barry Greenstien went out and won a WSOP event. He dedicated it to Charlie in a tearful brief speech after he won. I wrote it up for Poker Player. Afterwards I broke down and cried in the hallway with Otis doing his best to console me. Charlie died the day after he heard the news. That was the same day I was supposed to play in my WSOP event #22. The last thing I wanted to do was play poker. But I did anyway and I was busted on a bad beat when A-K lost to A-10.

My thougths drifted mostly to Charlie's family and to Spaceman and Mrs. Spaceman and all of their friends. Charlie Tuttle touched so many lives at the WSOP. Charlie and his death somehow became a connection and bridged a friendship between Barry Greenstien and myself. The experience was too painful to talk about and we've only discussed it once since. We both feel blessed that being a part of Charlie's last days was a sacred reminder that life is short and precious and that you really need to live each day to the fullest.

I was tired, exhausted, and drained by the end of June. But the spirit of Charlie inspired me the remainder of the WSOP. He got me through some tough days and nights.

I got to interview Clonie Gowen and ask her what she had on her iPod. I also asked Phil Hellmuth what was on his iPod as well.

I wrote about one awful day at the Redneck Riveria.

CJ was cool and hosted a few clips of Otis and me from the WSOP.

The month ended with me in the middle of the Charlie Tuttle story and getting to play in my first ever WSOP event. Within a few weeks I went from a nobody at the WSOP to a somebody. The traffic began to pick up on my blog and I was getting noticed by fans and readers for the first time. I befriended more media reps and pros and the ESPN crew. By the fourth week I knew everyone working at the Rio convention area. Flipchip and I spent 12-16 hours there a day sometimes more, while the Poker Prof was hidden away in a bunker in a secret location in the Nevada desert doing computer geek stuff. I'd get only an hour off every day and that's when Otis and I would hit the Hooker Bar and drink non-stop while playing video poker. The rest of the time I was writing or trying to sleep through all the craziness at the Redneck Riveria.

I had very little time to play poker aside from a satellite and the WSOP event. I played several $100 MTTs on Party Poker to prep for the WSOP. The only poker I played was online via dial up at the Reneck Riveria on nights that I couldn't sleep.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Year in Review.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Bullshit! Morality Police 1, Pauly 0

Check out this load of crap of an email I got. I got busted my the fuckin' morality police. Too bad Poker Stars won't tell me the name of the gutless fink of a morality freak that complained about me. It's OK though. Thanks to Poker Tracker I've sifted through the hand histories. Based on the time of the infraction, I can narrow down the suspects to a few players. Since I was also playing with bloggers last night around Midnight (Heather, Change100, Byron, and Jaxia), the field of culprits gets even smaller. I have my eye on four people in particular. It has to be one of you four, unless Stars is lying to me and no one complained.
Hello DrPauly,

We have received a complaint regarding some things you said in chat
at our tables. I have reviewed the chat log and did find some of your
comments to be inappropriate.

Our goal at PokerStars is to be a fun place to play, where everyone
can feel comfortable. Foul language and abuse of other players takes
away from everyone's enjoyment, and therefore cannot be permitted.

We must ask you to refrain from using this type of language in the
future, or we will be forced to remove your chat privileges.

Please note that you may not be the only one receiving a message such
as this. When we receive a chat complaint, we review the entire chat
of all players at the table. Any other offenders at the table were
also warned or revoked as appropriate to our policies.


PokerStars Support Team


DrPauly: fuuck 5 12/29/2005 9:52:59 PM
DrPauly: id blow him 5 12/29/2005 11:56:41 PM
DrPauly: im a whore 5 12/29/2005 11:59:33 PM
DrPauly: whoore 5 12/29/2005 11:59:36 PM
DrPauly: i can say asscock but not whore 5 12/29/2005 11:59:44 PM
It shocks me that some gutless loser would rat me out for using the word "asscock." Personally, I find that those junk-kicking river suckouts to be far more offensive than anything I can muster up in the chat.

I'm pretty pissed off about all of this. I have fans, readers, and friends coming up to me all the time when I'm at the tables (even when I'm hiding myself... they still find me) and I take the time to talk to them in the chat even if I'm multi-tabling and in the middle of a hand. Poker Stars doesn't pay me to do that, but I do take time out to chat and answer questions because it's the right thing to do. Then I made a few inside jokes with my friends and I get flagged by some assclown who has nothing else better to do than write emails to Poker Stars support. None of the comments were ever directed at anyone except myself. It was a victimless crime.
"I am writing to you to complain about one of your players. DrPauly is evil because he uses profanity in the chat. I suspect that he also sleeps with lesbians and has unprotected sex. He also uses psychotropic drugs and other illgeal narcotics while he plays. He is the devil hiding behind his internet celebritiness. We must cleanse God's kingdom of evil doers like DrPauly. By the way, I have a small penis and live in my mother's basement in a red state."
What kind of fuckin' cocksuckin' cuntass mother of a cheese eating surrender monkey goddamed world do we live in when someone's job out there is to cut and paste how many times I used the word "assscock" in a chat over five hours?? I logged into Poker Stars for well over 20 hours this past week and that's the worst that they could find. They don't bust the idiot who constantly comes to my table groveling for money but the one friggin' time that I say I want to suck Russell Crowe's dick I get in trouble.

Satire. Sarcasm. Comedy. Tao.

We live in America, don't we? When I finally discover who the fucktard was that ratted me out, I'm gonna transfer him $250 so he/she can go out and buy a fuckin' clue.

Editor's Note: For the record, I am not upset with Poker Stars, although I must say this email disappointed me. I understand that they have rules in place and must follow protocol. What I am pissed off at is some asshole out there has too much free time on their hands and attempted to get me in trouble when they simply could have asked me to stop using offensive language in the chat. That passive-aggressive behavior is what set me off into this rant.

P.S. I love the hypocrisy of all of this. I can bend the legality of online gaming laws in my state and my country and depending on who you are talking to... I'm breaking the law. I willingly know what I am doing may or may not be illegal, yet I spend my money on an offshore poker site anyway. They welcome all of us outlaws as long as you don't say asscock, cunt, shit, fuck, bitch, whore, dick, pussy, vagina, fudgepacker, shitstain, fucktard, penisbreath, cumslinger, cockchugger, or donkeyfucker.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Gallery of Champions

I was fortunate to witness plenty of amazing moments in the world of touranment poker including the 2005 WSOP, a few WPT events, two WPBT tournies, and a EPT event in Spain. The following pictures were captured by yours truly moments after these champions won their event. My favorite is Johnny Chan winner's photo. They all have the distinction of going up in my Gallery of Champions. You can click on the individual photos to get an enlarged view. Enjoy.

Bill Rini (right)
2005 WPBT June Classic Champion

Erik Seidel
2005 WSOP $2K NL Champion

Josh Arieh
2005 WSOP $2K PLO Champion

TJ Cloutier
2005 WSOP $5K NL Champion

Isaac Glazan
2005 WSOP $2,500 Shorthanded NL Champion

"The Mighty" Quinn Do
2005 WSOP $2,500 Limit champion

Bary Greenstien
2005 WSOP $1,500 PLO Champion

Mark Seif: Two time bracelet winner
2005 WSOP $1,500 Limit Shootout Champion
2005 WSOP $1,500 NL CHampion

Phil Ivey
2005 WSOP $5K PLO champion

Johnny Fuckin' Chan wins bracelet #10
2005 WSOP $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Champion

Todd Brunson
2005 WSOP $2,500 Omaha 8 Champion

Doyle Brunson wins #10
2005 WSOP $5K NL Shorthanded Champion

Jen Tilly
2005 WSOP Ladies Champion

Paul McKinney
2005 WSOP Senior's Champion

Joe Hachem
2005 WSOP $10K NL main event Champion

Andy Bloch
Ultimate Poker Challenge main event Champion

Wes aka Big Pirate & Pauly
2005 Brad-o-Ween Open Co-Champions

Jan Boubli
2005 EPT Barcelona Open Champion

Al Aldebilli
2005 WPT Borgata Open Champion

2005 Good & Plenty Open Champion

Minh Ly
2005 WPT Bellagio Festa al Lago Champion

NIck Schulman
2005 WPT Foxwoods Champion

Studio Glyphic
2005 WPBT Holiday Classic Champion

Rhene Pedersen
2005 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic Champion

Bobby Bracelet
2005 Saturdays with Dr. Pauly Champion