Friday, February 22, 2008


By Pauly

During our trip to Queenstown, NZ, Change100 and I played mini golf every day at an outdoor course. It was a bit worn out but we had a lot of fun gambling on the matches. Golf is great sport to gamble on because you can assess a handicap on your opponents and be able to play on equal footing. For that mini golf course in NZ, I gave Change100 a total of eight strokes. It seemed about right after I gave her some basic putting tips, and we ended up tying a couple of matches.

Change100 bought me a cool gift for Valentine's Day.... a portable putting green and machine that fires balls back at you. It was a great gesture and both her and Showcase thought it was a lot of fun to play in the living room of their apartment.

With the new putting machines, we had the opportunity to gamble some more. Talk about pressure putting. I had missed four in a row and owed $160 to Change100. I offered up a double or nothing putt. If I sunk it, I'd be even. If I missed, I'd owe her $320.

Lucky for me, I drilled it to break even.

In the VIP lounge at the WSOP this past summer, the big dogs rushed there on their dinner breaks to bet on the putting machine. Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Mike Sexton, Dewey Tomko, Barry Greenstien, and Phil Hellmuth were betting monster dollars during breaks at the WSOP. Golf is where a lot of those guys make or lose a ton of money.

Remember that spat between Phil Ivey and Ram Vaswani? Golf prop betting. And that Lindgen prop bet from this summer when he almost died? More golf prop betting. I heard a few rumors from reliable sources that Daniel Negreanu had lost a ton of cash gambling on the golf course. He had been diligently working on his game in an attempt to get some of his money back and stop the bleeding. Same goes for Gus Hansen and Patrik Antonius.

At one point, Antonius showed up late for the Aussie Millions main event. Amanda interviewed him on one of the breaks. Antonius said that he had been in a bad head space over some personal problems and didn't show up until he felt focused. Usually two things can fuck up a guy so much that he can't play poker... women problems or gambling problems. Schecky and I suspected that Antonius had lost a big match on the links in Australia. And we're not talking about a $320 putt either.

There was an old saying that you need to learn how to play other games (aside from NL) to play in the biggest cash games in Las Vegas. But I'm starting to think that you need to have some amazing skills on the golf course to make some serious cash against Las Vegas' best poker players.

I'm thinking about learning a good golf hustle. I'm sure Johnny Hughes can help me out there.

Anyway, I've been having an up and down in sports betting run over the last few weeks. I made a decent amount during the NFL playoffs and Superbowl. That paid for my trip to New Zealand. I've had mixed results betting on basketball. I'm break even in NBA and have turned a small profit betting on college hoops.

The irony in my life continues. I have been offered freelance writing assignments (online websites and print magazines) involving sports betting and the NBA. My two newest clients are paying me to write about pro sports and I've already written about the Superbowl, NBA, and now college hoops. Both clients are based outside of the US and I'm their supposed American sports expert. Of course, I have no idea what I'm writing about, but they don't care. I'm enjoying my new clients because I'm finally writing something other than poker.

Oh, if you didn't know, Fantasy Sports Live re-launched hockey and recently launched Nascar. I'm sure that the majority of players on the site don't know much about Nascar, so if you do know anything about the sport, you have a huge edge by playing in FSL's Nascar contests. Heck, even Derek won a Nascar contest and he admitted that he only knew a couple of drivers.

Sign up for Fantasty Sports Live today and see for yourself. It's perfectly legal in the US and you can fund your account using your credit card. There are NHL, NBA, and Nascar contest running as we speak.

* * * * *

I'm in Europe for a quick trip. Change100 was hired by Poker News to cover the EPT Scandinavian Championships. Since I'm recently retired for tournament reporting... I'm not working the event. However, she has a free hotel room and since it was so cheap to fly to Holland and Denmark this week... I jumped at the chance to spend a few days in the coffeeshops in Amsterdam working on my script, and then joining Change100 for a long weekend in Copenhagen.

While I'm, there, I also figured that I can dig up some good stuff for my On the Road column in Bluff. I can't wait to sit around and have a few drinks and catch up with some friends in the media who work the EPT.

Anyway, I'm in Amsterdam. Been here since Tuesday. The other day I went to the Van Gogh museum. Before the museum, I stopped off in a coffeeshop called Rookies near the Leidseplein.

"I Used to Love Her" by Guns and Roses played on the stereo, as I sat down in the corner next to a woman and a man. The guy was a dead ringer for Charlie Ward, the former starting point guard for my hometown NY Knicks and former Heisman trophy winner from Florida State. Except that guys wasn't Charlie Ward. You see, Ward is a Jesus freak and I never expected to find him sitting in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. And besides, the guy and his girlfriend were both British. They were friendly and we started a conversation. We also played some pool. I went 1-2 and got my ass kicked. I only won one game because he scratched on the eight ball with three of my balls remaining. In the last game, I knocked in five in a row to start and he won in only two turns. I was lucky we didn't play for money.

I watched a couple of old Dutch guys play chess outdoors near the Paradiso. They had some sort of wager going, but I couldn't tell what was up. Back in my chess days in high school, I used to play against the junkies in Washington Square park for $5 a game. They were fuckin' good. I rarely won a game and had to struggle to force a draw.

The other afternoon, I left my favorite coffeeshop the Grey Area, and rounded the corner onto the Signel. There was a single black dice on the ground with faded white dots. It had landed on "five" and I wondered if I missed an illegal dice game.

Heck, there were window prostitutes down the canal and hash for sale around the corner. Why not dice? For a triad of vice?

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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