Monday, December 26, 2011

Tao of Poker - 2011 Year in Review

By Pauly
New York City

Time flies, eh?

Hard to believe that 2012 is around the corner, but I'm kinda glad that 2011 is over. This year was one of the roughest, saddest, and most excruciating that I experienced since I ventured into the poker world. I can only be optimistic about the future, because it can't get any worse... right?

I'm burned out beyond belief. It's definitely time for me to take an extended break. I need some time to unplug and write for a while. If you need a poker fix, I encourage you to read the best of the Tao of Poker from 2011...

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January 2011

God's Cell Phone Number - Things got a little crazy while betting on the NFL playoffs and I successfully pulled off a Band of Brothers reference...
Sometimes I refer to God as Gretzky. At least, that's what I have him labeled on my cell phone. I'd hate for someone to steal my phone and than have a direct number to God. Hence, why He's coded as GRETZKY. He doesn't gives those out to anyone. It's one of the perks of attending a Jesuit high school. You learn Latin, Greek, and get God's cell phone number... MORE

Dispatches from the PCA: You Enjoy Myself - My lovely girlfriend won a satellite to the Ladies Event, so I flew down to Paradise Island in the Bahamas to attend the PCA as a civilian and professional railbird. I also drunk a shit-ton of rum and gambled at the sports book.
The cabbie pulled into Atlantis and I tipped him fairly decent, enough that he tried to sell me a bag of blow. I politely declined. Do you know the six words that aptly describes cocaine from the Caribbean? Clumps together, but only cut once... MORE
Dispatches from the PCA: Divided Sky - I spent a lot of time watching the Dead People Channel and then hung out on the rail to sweat Change100 during her victorious run in the Ladies Event.
It's no secret that I feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed at any Ladies Only events because I'm getting thousands of daggers shot at me from evil glances from the players, many of whom on principle hate men, not to mention a slew of female players who think I'm an asshole because my writing glorifies misogyny and the poor treatment of women by condoning prostitution and promoting stripping... MORE
Tao of Pokerati Podcast: Bahama Mama - Change100 Scores Ladies PCA Title - Listen to a super quick podcast that I recorded with Change100 after she beat Lauren Kling heads-up to win the PCA Ladies event.

Looming Municipal Debt Crisis the Key to Online Poker Legislation? - The majority of the states in the union were faced with severe budgetary problems at the start of 2011. I hypothesized that some states will look to legalize online poker in order to make a dent into their ginormous debt obligations.
The future is grim no matter how you look at it. That's why there's very little chatter in the media about the looming municipal debt crisis. It's sort of like an asteroid ready to crash into Earth -- it's much easier to be the ostrich with its head buried in the ground, and let everyone go about their daily lives, rather than clue them in on the reality of the situation and that the end of the world could be right around the corner...MORE

Dan Shak's Hedge Fund Nearly Blows Up the Gold Market - Speaking of finance... did you hear the one about Dan Shak nearly causing a financial tsunami?
Talk about a trader who has a set of titanium balls! That's what I love about Dan Shak -- he made a ballsy trade, it went south, he cut his losses, shrugged it off, and wants to get back in the game... MORE

Eight Voices and a Sea of Trouble - I broke down the eight different voices inside my head that often get me into gambling trouble.
Accessing the future for my own financial gain is an unattainable pipe dream. I meet people all the time in Vegas and in poker circles who claim that have foolproof systems for blackjack, roulette, the horses, stock options, etc. I've met lots of shit-talkers, but I've never crossed paths with a legitimate psychic who can accurately predict the future. Believe me, I scoured the world for a seer and found lots of charlatans, but came up empty...MORE

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February 2011

Your Hands and Feet Are Mangos, Part 1 - For one week, I conducted an experiment -- do nothing except drink rum and bet on sports.
In the last few years, what used to be a ravenous love affair with sports betting had become a coarse, listless, co-dependent relationship. Each bet used to be like riding a rollercoaster for two hours while jacked up on cocaine. But not anymore because watching each game was more like being prisoner on a cruise ship adrift in stormy seas that's inducing you to puke your nads out....MORE
Your Hands and Feet Are Mangos, Part 2 - Here's the second and final installment of my rum-inspired sports betting diaries, which started out as a social experiment but over a long weekend, I nearly lost my shirt on college hoops and had an accident that left our kitchen floor all... sticky.
"Good news and bad news," I barked and then inspected my soaked jeans. "Bad news is that the kitchen floor is pink and sticky. Good news is that thanks to the supreme technological advances in developing plastics, the shatter-proof bottle prevented the rum from exploding."...MORE

Syracuse Point-Shaving Rumors Debunked; Major College Basketball Betting Scandal Averted? - The Syracuse point-shaving rumors blew up overnight and what would have just been whispers among paranoid bettors, until it became a national scandal.
College athletes have become pawns for corporate entities. All of those annoying redundant commercials during March Madness made you nauseous, but it's a clear indication at the significant money that is thrown around by major advertisers. Someone is making a buck on college athletes, everyone except the athletes themselves....MORE

Tao of Pokerati Podcast: Exotic Betting on the Super Bowl with Change100 - I recorded a quick podcast with my girlfriend, who was excited to bet on how long it was going to take Christina Aguilera to sing the National Anthem.

Live Sumo Is Rigged - If you didn't know, the national sport of Japan has a shady past of rigging matches.
Taking a dive was a dishonor yourself, let alone a sincere dishonor to the entire Sumo community of wrestlers, trainers, promoters, fans, and even the guy who gets paid to wipe the arses of ginormous wrestlers.... MORE

The Bluff Power 20; Howard Lederer Has the Juice - Howard Lederer was named the most powerful person in poker.
Deadhead. Former bookie. Poker pro. Online poker visionary. Top dog. Top gun. King of the Hill. The Godfather... MORE
* * *

March 2011

Closing the Sahara - I took a walk down memory lane when I found out that the Sahara Casino in Las Vegas was closing its doors.
Las Vegas rose up out of the nothingness of the sand. A former Mormon missionary outpost had transformed into a gambling Mecca by gangsters, real estate developers, and bankers. Mecca is actually an inappropriate word to describe Las Vegas because there's nothing religious about a pilgrimage to modern day Sodom and Gomorrah -- the epicenter for the orgy of consumption... MORE

Orphaned Cards - I cannot explain why, but sometimes I find random cards in the middle of the street.

Rolling Out the Magic - If I was a TV exec and I could rig a final table, I'd pick nine specific personality types.
Television executives in poker are faced with two rigorous obstacles: 1) inaction at the tables, and 2) lack of stimulating dialogue. Both are detrimental to ratings. Lackadaisical ratings gave poker a blemish, which is why the suits in charge of programming banished poker to uncoveted late night slots, where stoners and insomniacs alike watched with an indifferent glaze. The few remaining programs were lost in the shuffle at the farthest ends of the satellite spectrum, embroiled in fierce competition against 1,000 other stations.... MORE

Sweating Sachin Tendulkar - New low as a degen gambler... I bet on cricket.
Despite being plagued with a short attention span, an 8-hour sporting event like cricket is a definite commitment, both physically and mentally, but due to medical breakthrough and advances in technology, 8-hour long cricket matches are conductive if you have proclivities to specific time-released pharmaceuticals.... MORE
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April 2011

Down With Diseased Monkeys - I began the month betting on baseball and went on a horrid losing streak.
Sports betting is a huge life leak, but it's also a life sweetener, or a bottle of hot sauce that spruces up mundane aspects of daily life, which is why it's inherently dangerous. Finding the perfect balance between entertainment, merriment, stroking the ego is essential to healthy lifestyle. It's when you cross over the proverbial demarcation line in the murky, cloudy grey area that you takes strides away from the light and rush toward the dark.... MORE

Black Friday, Vampire Squids, and 1,000 Masturbating Monkeys - I was in Lima, Peru when Black Friday hit and waited until after I finished climbing Machu Picchu before I wrote about my take on the worst day in the history of online poker.
What was the point of even sending the PPA to Washington? Instead, we should have sent a hundred masturbating chimpanzees to lobby for online poker -- they would have accomplished the same fucking thing as the PPA, but at least we'd have some cool YouTube videos of monkeys jerking off on the steps of the Capitol.... MORE
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May 2011

Aunt Emma - Another installment of the infamous Pai Gow Diaries.
A disheveled woman sat down next to me. She wore a green terry cloth jacket. For a second I thought she walked into the casino wearing her bath robe. But she smelled like she had slept in her car, woke up, blew a snot rocket, smoked the ends of three week-old cigarette butts, then walked over to the Pai Gow table.... MORE

PokerStars Offices Raided in Costa Rica - I just happened to know a few friends in Costa Rica who were around when the federales raided the San Jose offices of online poker rooms.

Black Friday Fallout: Offshore Sportsbooks Fleeing U.S. Soil - The sportsbetting industry also took a hit when they experienced residual fallout from Black Friday.

14 Fun Moments from the 2010 WSOP and 14 More Fun Moments at the 2010 WSOP - I was reminiscing about some fun times I had in the summer of 2010.

Fading the Rapture - I love betting against Jesus Freaks, especially those predicting specific dates for Armageddon.

Glow in the Dark Dragons
- And what's the WSOP without kicking it off by going on dealer tilt at a Pai Gow table?
The new line of Pai Gow bots will not arrive until late in 2011, which means I only have to deal with older version, which are prone to glitches and the occasional error. I guess that's the only good thing to come out of the Japan quake. Sure, Japan is drowning in radiation soup while traces of radioactive material flutter its way toward North American airspace, but at least I won't have to worry about an upgraded version of the Pai Gow bots.... MORE
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June 2011 and August 2011

Thanks to Alexander, I got to be on the cover of The Circuit. here's my interview...

I covered my 7th World Series of Poker on Tao of Poker. Here's the index of coverage...

Let's start with a couple of posts that were published before cards went in the air on Day 1. Among those were a few tidbits about the Ivey/Full Tilt lawsuit.
2011 WSOP: Before the Madness Begins - A prelude to the seven-week fiesta of poker.

WTF? Phil Ivey Suing Full Tilt Poker - In one of the most peculiar news stories since Black Friday, Phil Ivey announced he was leaving Full Tilt, suing Tiltware, and sitting out of the WSOP. All of these important announcements were made on his Facebook fan page. Whaaaaa?

Full Tilt's Angry Response to Phil Ivey's Lawsuit - The drama-filled start to the WSOP continued with an angry response from Full Tilt's HQs. That's the fastest they ever responded to anything in the wake of Black Friday.

Finding Pil Ivey and the Doctor Is In - The video crew at Bluff Magazine did an awesome job with their videos this summer, especially the bit Finding Ivey. I got tapped to tape an interview and you can see a teaser in this video.

The Circuit Cover and Interview - I was fortunate that Alexander asked me to be a part of his amazing photo project -- The Circuit. Check out what went down behind the scenes during the photo shoot, including a candid interview about what life is really like on the road following around the tournament circuit.

Okay, and now here are the daily recaps from the 2011 WSOP...
Day 1: Welcome to the Jungle and Phil Ivey's Titanium Balls - The 2011 WSOP kicked off with lots of questions swirling around about which pros would toe the company line and support Full Tilt Poker, and which red pros would ditch the patches and other FT branding. Phil Ivey fired the first shot with his lawsuit (announced via Facebook), but did he incite a mutiny with other red pros following his lead?

Day 2: Ivey's Hippodrome and Bare-Chested Scandis - Gus Hansen wandering around with his shirt undone and the ongoing saga between Phil Ivey and Full Tilt were among the more dramatic topics on the second day of action.

Day 3: Moneymaker and Johnny Fucking Chan Win Grudge Matches and Men the Master Cheating Accusations - A Made-for-TV event occupied the Mothership with Chris Moneymaker and Johnny Fucking Chan winning their Main Event "grudge matches". Meanwhile, in the real WSOP, Men the Master was the center of hurricane of shadiness when he hypocritically accused Hollywood Dave of shorting a pot. A shouting match ensued and both were on the verge of being disqualified.

Day 4: Jake Cody's Emos, Hooligans, and Hat Tricks - Jack Cody, the latest British wunderkind made history when he became only the third member of the Triple Crown club. His victory did not come without a little rail rowdiness along the way.

Day 5: Apocalypse Now (Guest Post by Change100) - Yes, I had the day off and Change100 stepped up to pen an atmospheric piece on the tension in the air at the start of the 2011 WSOP -- the first series in the wake of Black Friday and "money getting stuck on Full Tilt" fiasco.

Day 6: Ho-most for Maria Ho - The lovely Maria Ho went deep in the 5K NL event and came within one spot of winning her first bracelet.

Day 7: British Invasion, Vampire Squids, and the Devil - After the first week of nonstop poker, the first zombie begin to appear at the Rio. The zombies in turn attract the Devil along with treacherous vampire squids.

Day 8: The Marked Cards Conspiracy and the Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To - It's not the WSOP unless there's a controversy involving the cards. There's always something wrong with the decks. At the 2011 WSOP, a couple of the decks had a printing error that was only visible underneath the groovy purple grow-lights inside the Mothership.

Day 9: Cocking Blocking the Brits - The Brits launched an all-out assault on Las Vegas once again as they threatened to win another bracelet but the bloody 10-level rule was the only thing that prevented them from shipping another bracelet.

Day 10: Banning Booze, World Series of Mormons, and Sweating the Mavs - Despite the financial woes bringing America to the brink of ruin, the WSOP continued to thrive in the face of external adversity on both the political and financial fronts. The influx of players always brought with it a wave of fervor on the rail during final tables. The powers to be did not anticipate a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere inside the Mothership that is a fragile TV set and not a country-western bar. As a result, booze was officially banned at the final table.

Day 11: Social Media in Poker and Tex Dolly Blows Chunks - The poker world has changed for the better (or worst) because of the heavy influence of social media. Oh, and we found out through Twitter that Texas Dolly got ill during the middle of a tournament because of something he ate.

Day 12: Hellmuth Chokes and Prohibition Ends at the Mothership - Phil Hellmuth was on a mission to win his 12h bracelet, yet his attempt was thwarted. Meanwhile, much to the delight of the alkies in Vegas, booze was permitted to be consumed inside the Mothership. Yes, the short-lived prohibition was over.

Day 13: Tweaker City, USA - I experienced a rather sketchy encounter in the parking lot at the Gold Coast while hanging out with Benjo.

Day 14: Subterranean Homesick Alien and Brits Snag Third Bracelet - By the end of the second week of the WSOP, everyone is ridden with homesickness. Despite the malaise, another Brit won a bracelet, meanwhile, we decided to pay homage to old school Vegas with a trip downtown to where it all began -- Binion's.

Day 15: Triple ElkY and The Mark is the 22nd Best PLO Player in the World - The French surged during the beginning of the third week of the series. They won three bracelets in a short period of time and ElkY became only the fourth player to win the Triple Crown. Meanwhile, a close friend of the Tao of Poker went deep in a PLO event. Yeah, The Mark fell short of his first WSOP final table.

Day 16: Le Deux; French Snag 2 Bracelets in 24 Hours - The French surge continued with their second bracelet within a 24-hour period.

Day 17: Mike Sexton Heads-Up for Bracelet and Liquidating the Sahara - The Ambassador of Poker, Mike Sexton, went deep in the Stud 8 event, only to have it suspended due to the 10-level rule. Sexton was heads-up when his tournament was halted. Meanwhile, the big liquidation sale at the Sahara kicked off. Jerome and Camille shot a stunning video of that dreary sale day.

Day 18: No Country For Old Men; Barry Greenstein and Mike Sexton Denied Bracelets - Two poker greats came very close to winning bracelets, yet they fell short of the mark. In addition, the Senior's Event kicked off with everyone standing to attention when the Stars and Stripes were played.

Day 19: The Donkenator and Eating Death - Dominating a donkaments are never an easy task. Woever wins that bracelet damn well deserves it. I delve a bit into Milton's Paradise Lost in this recap. Enter at your own risk.

Day 20: The Egregious Case of the $9 Pizza and Stein Shines - It was a matter of time before I went off on an old-fashioned anti-food rant because of the horrendous $9 pizza that the Poker Kitchen tries to pass off as a culinary delight.

Day 21: A Day in the Life; Hellmuth Denied 12th Bracelet (Again) - This is my favorite piece of the summer, mainly because most of the hijinks happened outside the Amazon Ballroom that eventually morphed into my first Memento moment of the WSOP. Anyway, I went on a classic bender at the Gold Coast while Phil Hellmuth went deep once again and tried to win bracelet #12.

Day 22: Slowdown, Rocky Mountain High, and Chau Giang Confirmed Alien - The WSOP caught its breath at the start of the fourth week of play, while I determined that Chau Giang is really an alien.

Day 23: Timex Flashback, Jason Mercier Wins PLO Bracelet, and More Sordid Tales About Chasing the Dragon - I squeezed in a little personal Pai Gow degeneracy in between a recap about Jason Mercier's victory in the PLO event along with a flashback about the origins of Timex.

Day 24: Dwan Song, Revelry, and Hooligans - Whenever Tom "durrrr" Dwan makes a final table, the entire poker world stops to watch. With a few million in prop bets on the line, Dwan's final tables always have an added element of excitement. Alas, it was the Brits who sucked up all of the attention in the Amazon Ballroom as they railed their boy Middy and even drank Jager bombs out of their shoes.

Day 25: Rubber Soul, Electric Daisies, and Two-Tabling Pai Gow - The Electric Daisy Carnival swept through Vegas and a quarter million ravers invaded Sin City. Fabrice Soulier shipped a bracelet and became the third Frenchie to win one in 2011. Ah, and I also engaged in a live session of Pai Gow again and two-tabled it. I'm lucky I didn't get 86'd.

Day 26: The Sickness - If you've spent a significant amount of time in Las Vegas, then you've seen those afflicted with The Sickness. I spoke about some of my experiences with the dreaded disease.

Day 27: Shaking Down Ravers; November Niner Snags Bracelet - I had a situation when I should've rolled a couple of schwasted ravers in the elevator, but I couldn't cross over to the dark side and take advantage of the party people on the last day of the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Day 28: The Glass Onion; Lamb Leads POY - Donkey slayers, Brazilians, and Ben Lamb seizing the top spot in Player of the Year race.

Day 29: Carnival at the Mothership; Akkari Wins Bracelet - I went to cover a final table and a Brazilian soccer match broke out. The Mothership was transformed into a World Cup final when Brazil's native son Andre Akkari advanced to the final table and was heads-up for a bracelet.


Days 30-33: OFF

Day 34: Happy Birthday, America - On the Fourth of July, America celebrated with its annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. Only in America can we boast about binge eating to celebrate our creation and independence from British tyranny.

Day 35: Catching Up - After a brief holiday away from the Vegas grind, it was time to catch up on everything I missed.

Day 36: Don't Stop Believen' - Hellmuth and the 50K hit a hard stop. Grumbles ensued.

Day 37: Another Runner-Up Finish for Hellmuth; Whiffs on Three Flush Draws to Lose Bracelet#12 - Hellmuth had another disappointing evening after he whiffed on three big flush draws only to lose to Brian Rast, who won his second bracelet in 2011.
* * *
2011 Main Event Coverage

Prelude to the Killing Fields - The 2011 Main Event
With a Little Help From My Friends: The Michael Stevens Story by Change100
Day 38- Main Event Day 1A: Dolly's Abyss
Day 39 - Main Event Day 1B: Luck Rack of Lamb
Prope Bets with Remkos and Micros WSOP Episode
Day 40 - Main Event Day 1C: One More Saturday Nite
Day 41 - Main Event Day 1D: Spiderman Big Records, Perma-Bans, and 6,865
Day 42 - Main Event Day 2A: Torturing the One-Eyed Clown, Hellmuth Awakes, and the Euro Surge
Day 43 - Main Event Day 2B: Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Day 44 - Main Event Day Off; Annie Duke Wins Media Tournament
Day 45 - Main Event Day 3: Poirier and Jace Are Million Men and Tilt-A-Scandi
Day 46 - Main Event Day 4: Soft Bubbles, Zombie Apocalypse, and the Reincarnation of JRB
Day 47 - Main Event Day 5: There Must Be Some Way Out of Here
The Skinny: Day 6
Day 48 - Main Event Day 6: House of the Rising Sun; NOLA's Ryan Lenaghan Leads with 57 Remaining
The Skinny: Day 7
Day 49 - Main Event Day 7: Buy the Ticket, Survive the Ride
2011 November Nine Set
* * *

And here's the Best of Tao of Pokerati... which are some of my favorite episodes of the Tao of Pokerati podcast that Michalski and I recorded from the 2011 WSOP featuring special guests Benjo, Snoopy, KevMath, Remko, and AlCantHang.
Episode 6: Ivey's Lawyer (4:17) - Dan and Pauly chat about the Ivey drama that transformed the opening days of the WSOP into the "World Series of Phil Ivey." Dan also shares some inside info on Ivey's lawyer, renown criminal attorney David Chesnoff.
Episode 7: Sahara Liquidation with Remko and Benjo (6:12) - Benjo and Pauly discussed the Sahara Casino liquidation sale/auction with one of the members of the Dutch press, Remko. Both Remko and Benjo expressed a keen interest in acquiring a slot machine for super cheap, while Pauly has his eyes set on a Pai Gow table. Meanwhile, Benjo and Remko try to figure out how to ship a slot machine from Vegas to France and Holland.
Episode 12: The Tweaker Edition with Benjo (4:02) - Benjo and Pauly hang out at the Gold Coast and watched a tweaker get 86d by security. They later encounter the tweaker in the parking lot, and Benjo asks Pauly for a quick tutorial about the seedy Las Vegas meth scene.
Episode 14: Old School Cheats with Johnny Hughes (6:02) - Pauly sat down and chatted with a special guest -- the legendary Johnny Hughes -- who has been in poker circles for 50+ years. Pauly asks Johnny to share some stories about old school poker cheats and the "fear" of getting caught, which kept a lot of shady characters in line.
Episode 16: Brickless Cash Games Reprise (3:22) - Dan and Pauly recorded a quick follow-up to their previous episode while they hang out on the rail of the high-stakes cash games. They spot Eskimo Clark, "Cowboy", and other broke dicks lingering around seeking handouts from the high rollers.
Episode 17: WSOP Fashion Report with KevMath (5:10) - Pauly chats with KevMath, who is a self-described "fashion expert." The two compare and contrast the different styles of clothing worn by members of the media. KevMath also reveals why he won't wear shorts.
Episode 19: KevMath Keno System with KevMath (6:01) - Pauly and KevMath hang out at the dive bar in a bowling alley at the Gold Coast. KevMath was in the middle of crushing a video Keno game, when Pauly asked him to share a couple of his big secrets to beating the game.
Episode 20: Adieu, Benjo (8:40) with Benjo - After almost a week of speculation and rumors, Benjo confirms that he's leaving Las Vegas and heading home to France. His brief stint at the WSOP is officially over. One chapter ends, and a new one begins. Dr. Pauly, Dan and Benjo hang out in the dive bar inside the bowling alley at Gold Coast to listen to Benjo bid his farewells.

Episode 21: New Dynamic Duo with Snoopy (5:59) - Pauly holds auditions for a new sidekick with only one requirement -- a outrageous accent. Snoopy, a writer from London, nails the audition. In this episode, they discuss modeling their new dynamic duo on the Batman & Robin television series, in addition to re-locating the Bat Cave to England and installing bat poles in the press box.
Episode 23: Brazil's Mothership Invasion with AlCantHang (2:50) - Pauly and AlCantHang are on the rail inside the Mothership watching the heads-up battle between American Nachman "The Landlord" Berlin and Brazil's native son Andre Akkari. Al and Pauly record a quick episode moments after Akkari won a decisive pot to cripple Berlin, and the Brazilians went berserk.
Episode 26: Main Event Begins! (6:34) - The Main Event is upon us and before the cards went in the air, Pauly is hanging out and listening to TD Jack Effel's long-winded introduction and a quick rundown of the rules to all Main Event players. Jack then introduces Texas Dolly to utter the famous phrase, "Shuffle up and deal!"
Episode 27: Almost Famous with Snoopy (3:32) - While players return to their seats after the dinner break, Pauly and Snoopy notice Jason Alexander posing for pictures with fans. Snoopy explains why Seinfeld wasn't a big hit in England and Pauly discovers someone dressed as Snow White in the crowd. Pauly also wonders if Snoopy would ever dress up in a costume for the Main Event.

Episode 29: Media Mania and Golden Toilets with Change100 and AlCantHang (3:08) - Pauly is still in the media event, so Change100 takes the opportunity to chat with AlCantHang. They both busted rather early, especially AlCantHang, who won a dubious honor of being the first player to bust out. His reward? A Golden Toiler trophy for last place.
Episode 33: Two Brits, One Irishman with Snoopy (5:09) - Snoopy gives Pauly the latest British report with three tables remaining in the Main Event. Snoopy clues us in on the two Brits (Sam Holden and JP Kelly) still alive along with Eoghan O'Dea from Ireland. Even though O'Dea is Irish, Snoopy and Brits are still keeping an eye on their "adopted" player.
Episode 36: KevMath WSOP Exit Interview with KevMath (8:50) - Kevin "KevMath" Mathers is officially done with his WSOP assignment, but he stopped by the Rio to watch the action on Day 8. He bumped into Pauly, who sat him down to discuss his favorite moments (and least favorite) during his first ever WSOP. Pauly also quizzes him on any strange "fan" encounters along the way.
Episode 37: Pseudo-Final Table (6:02) - Dan and Pauly are on the rail of the Mothership as action resumes for the pseudo-final table of ten, otherwise known as the November Nine bubble. Plenty of tension in the air because the final table will be set with just one more elimination.
Episode 39: Bruno's New Toy (4:20) - Fun Warren brought a batch of dolls to the WSOP. The dolls, resembling famous poker pros, were custom made in London . He left a couple behind for Pauly and Dan. Pauly got Phil Hellmuth, while Dan seems a little disappointed with Daniel Negreanu. Dan suggests that he'll probably give the Negreanu's doll to his dog Bruno, so Bruno will now have a new play toy.
If you want to listen to more episodes from the 2011 WSOP, visit Tao of Pokerati podcast archives.

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August, September, and October 2011

I took three months off and moved to San Francisco. I only posted 19 times in that stretch. Less is more, eh? Here's a few gems from the hiatus months...
Hot Sauce
A Brief Letter to Full Tilt Poker: Fuck You, Pay Me
Full tilt Ponzi Poker
Rocketman and Welcome to the Ice Palace
The Degen Market
I Didn't Know I Was That Far Gone
Superstitions, Jinxes, and River Rats
* * *

November 2011

I returned to semi-regular poker writing with the November Nine on the agenda and the conclusion of the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship.

Betting guide to the 2011 November Nine
2011 November Nine - Sunday LIVE Blog
November Nine Down to Three; Germany's Pius Heinz = Chip Leader
2011 WSOP November Nine - Tuesday Live Blog
Pius Heinz Wins 2011 WSOP Main Event
Michalski and I also recorded a few special Tao of Pokerati podcasts....
Tao of Pokerati Podcast - 2011 November Nine Edition
Episode 1: Evolution
Episode 2: Naming Names
Episode 3: Betting on Belize
Episode 4: Non-Silence of the Lambs
Episode 5: Giannetti Lives
Episode 6: Quad Lambs
Episode 7: Poker Hall of Fame Ceremony
Episode 8: First Hand Fireworks
Episode 9: Heads-Up Outfits
Episode 10: The Final Hand
Episode 11: Hooker Bar Farewell

* * *

December 2011

The year ended with the annual blogger gathering to Vegas, which inspired a three-part trip report and as the year ended and I began to reflect on 2011, I sounded off on a few topics.
Four Haikus - Lost Vegas
Ocho - WPBT, Part 1
Ocho - WPBT, Part 2
Ocho - WPBT, Part 3
Zombie Poker Apocalypse

Puppeteers of America
* * *

That's it. The highlights from 2011. I hope you have a happy new year.

And if you like what you read, I encourage you to vote Tao of Poker for Best Poker Blog in Bluff's Readers Choice Awards. Thanks for your support.

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