Saturday, October 31, 2009

Proehl Wins Week 7 of Sundays with Dr. Pauly

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Last Sunday, Proehl won Week 7 of Sundays with Dr. Pauly over at Fantasy Sports Live. After record setting numbers in Week 6, the scores in Week 7 returned to their normal averages with Proehl edging Big Pirate.

I had a rough weekend and made a couple of bad picks. That meant a bunch of people have a shot at a TOC seat for beating my score in three consecutive weeks.

Click here for Week 7 results and updated standings. Repete Offenders is still in first place.

Click here for more details, rules, and payout information.

Best of luck everyone in Week 8 and in the new series.

If you don't have a Fantasy Sports Live account, you can sign up for one here.

And don't forget to check out It has been an excellent tool for sure!

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

Flashback: Budapest Halloween & Benjo Day

By Pauly
Indio, CA

Tomorrow is not only Halloween, it's the Tao of Poker favorite Frenchman's birthday, so happy birthday to Benjo! Here's one of my favorite moments from this past summer when Otis and I played a video version of What Does Benjo Think?

* * * * *

Well, let's also go back, way back in time to 2009. I went to Budapest to cover the EPT Hungarian Open. I rented a cool apartment one block from the Danube and threw a couple of parties and celebrated Benjo's birthday. During the last party, we recorded four episodes of the Tao of Pokerati. Some great shit there especially the first and last episodes. One year later, I'm still laughing my ass off at our hijinks.

Tao of Pokerati Book 3: Budapest (w/ Benjo)

Episode 3.1: EPT Afterparty (3:39)

Description by Michalski: Pauly heads to Hungary for EPT Budapest with Benjo, and unexpectedly hosts Johnny Lodden, winner Will Fry, and other final tableists in his flat for some celebratory 420 and beer — giving insight into the much heralded EPT circuit experience, the value of Hungarian forints, and "dodgy" Euro strip clubs.

Episode 3.2: Hungarian Hooker Halloween (4:14)

Description by Michalski: The post-EPT-Budapest shenanigans continue as Benjo and Pauly discuss whorehouses and the Tarantino-esque experiences of French and Scandi bustouts with Hungarian women-for-hire. A tad of religious guilt kicks in as the poker media duo contemplates the Day of the Dead on the Danube.

Episode 3.3: Competitive Apple Eating (4:08)

Description by Michalski: Prop bets among the international press break out at the EPT afterparty, and, of course, Benjo and Pauly are there to moderate/get in on the action. The big bet comes when Matt Showell challenges his PokerListings colleague Rod Stirzaker's claim that he can eat 50 apples in 90 minutes. Legal concerns emerge (what's the rule on a prop bet that leads to death?) before it turns into a scavenger hunt to find 50 edible Granny Smiths at 3:30am in Budapest.

Episode 3.4: Euro Core-tossing (3:17)

Description by Michalski: 5 am: The prop-betting evolves... as Pauly discovers (much to Benjo's dismay) the Hungarian offshoot of lime tossing: trying to hit bums with apple cores. The ethically questionable game of skill comes up as Pauly is on prop-bet tilt after losing a scaled down apple bet. From there, the good doctor and his Euro-conscience debate what games of bum abuse may or may not be acceptable.
Since today is Benjo's birthday, it's also "be nice to Frenchies" day.

Well, I'm on vacation of sorts in Indio, CA seeing Phish during their three-day Halloween festival, so I better get to it. Head over to Coventry music blog if you're into that kind of stuff.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kafka, Eurodonks, and Repartees

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I played short-handed LHE 5/10 and 8/16 over the weekend and came across two dream opponents: a total Eurodonk and a total know-it-all. Both were to my immediate left. No matter if I opened or three-bet, those two dickwads called everything every fuckin' time. Unfortunately, I never got paid off with a huge hand. Instead, I got my proverbial nuts kicked on five different instances. Here are three examples... K-K vs. Q-3 and the Eurodonk caught running threes to make me slam my fist on the dining room table... Ad-10d vs Ah-2d and I flopped a diamond flush, yet Eurodonk rivered a four-diamond straight flush to which I used my Lord's name in vain... J-J vs Q-3 and the board runs out A-K-3-K-A.

I screamed and stood up and screamed some more about the unwelcome Kafkaesque experience. Instead of turning into a cockroach, I morphed into a frothing Phil Hellmuth clone. I took two deep breaths and even ripped a bong hit to calm down. Luckily, it took only two hands to get back to normal and shake off the tilt.

In the past, I have come across the same situation. Sometimes I dig in deep and focus and try to get my money back. Other times I'm fired up over the beat and play with a personal vendetta. "I just want to slice the testicles off that assface-fudgepacking-shitstain-cocksmoker-knob!"

The Zen warrior fights ninjas as they jump out of Bonsai trees. The tilt-o-dork foolishly runs downs the street naked shooting off his Uzi looking for a fire fight instead of taking the Buddhist approach and going with the flow.

Every pro, every coach, every poker book will tell you the same thing -- you want that bad player at your table. But going after him and forcing the action is recipe for disaster. You know they're a donkey. Simply let them walk into your trap instead of falling into theirs.

However, when I engage in donkey hunting on tilt (DHOT), I deviate from the normal course of action. According to the definition of tilt, my aberrant behavior fits accordingly. Nothing boils the blood more than a bad beat from an inferior player. The immediate response is that I want payback. Justice. Redemption. Now. I'm not going to fuckin' wait. I won't be happy until there's bloodshed. A good old-fashioned lynching. Hang 'em high. Fry their testicles with car batteries. Mercy is for the weak.

I avoided the urge to go donkey hunting on tilt. I resumed my normal play but with a semblance of vigilance. Yes, I didn't play each hand with "slaughter the donkey" in mind. Rather, if the donkey and I crossed paths, I was definitely prepared to hack it to pieces like the ox scene at the end of Apocalypse Now.

At the same time as I struggled with my own tilt-a-donkey demons, I also had to deal with a yapping know-it-all jagoff who kept complaining that I was raising his big blind. He was one of those players from the shallow end of the gene pool... the result from generations of inbreeding and the fact his mother was stoned on airplane model glue and muscle relaxers at the point of his conception.

The jagoff over-used the CAPS function when unleashing his sophomoric barbs. Calling each other homos and fags after losing a pot? What are we in the fourth grade?

The best way to tilt these morons in the chat is to ignore the jag-offs. Turn off their chat and resume your life because they want is attention and validation. If you do not even acknowledge their existence, they'll either give up or they'll grow angrier and be susceptible to tilt themselves. Staying silent has tremendous long term tilt odds.

At one point the incessant complaining and taunting stopped. The annoying player's connection had went out. I couldn't resist myself and typed, "guess the power went out in the trail park."

I found a couple of ways to be a complete pain-in-the-ass to your opponents and want to share those bits of chat insurgency...
...when a player types "ZZZZZZZZZZZ" into the chat, that's a player asking to be fucked with. When an action junkie seeks an instant fix and wants the play to speed up? That's when I do the opposite. At that point, I slow down and wait to the last possible second to make decisions. It's even more effective if you're in a hand with them.

...when a sore loser constantly berates opponents for sucking out, I'll go out of my way to congratulate the sucker-outer in an attempt to tilt the original sore loser. Nothing pisses off someone with low self-esteem issues than ignoring them and validating their nemesis.

...when someone goes basaltic on you and calls you a donkey, just quote The Big Lebowksi... "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

...when an opponent quips, "nice catch" that's my chance to break out the infamous line from BadBlood... "Thanks, I have a big glove."

...when an angry opponent says "nice hand" in the chat (when we know they don't mean it), simply shoot back, "Do you want fries with that?"

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WSOP Main Event Day 8, Part 1 on ESPN - Liquidity Crisis, Mucking Winners, and Down to 18

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The triumphant march to the illustrious November Nine began with ESPN's comprehensive coverage of the final three tables of the WSOP Main Event Championship. The first episode was built around four eliminations while the second episode covered five more as the field thinned from 27 to 18 players.

Phil Ivey was the monkey on the grinder under the bright lights at the featured TV table with a supporting cast of characters; Happy Shulman, Darvin Moon, Joe Cada, and 21-year old wunderkind LuckyChewey.

"At least you go cleaned up for this," said Ivey giving a scruffy Happy shit for looking like he just waked-n-baked before he rolled out of bed.

"I don't care about my appearance... obviously," he boasted like a self-righteous neo-hippie sporting a Phish hoodie.

"I'll take care of you," said Ivey feeling a little bad for his disheveled looking friend. Ivey had a premonition that Happy was going to make the final table and didn't want see him look like a bum. Ivey knew that the November Nine was the mongoloid offspring of the Hollywoodized Disneyfication of tournament poker, so he offered to hook Happy up with a free haircut and shave. Happy respectfully declined, but shit, how can you refuse an offer like that from Ivey?

Ivey gets fruit brought to him by his super fans. They were the original members of the Phil Ivey Fan Club back when they knew him as Jerome, the name on his fake ID. No Home Jerome is no Lew Alcindor or Cassius Clay. Ivey didn't change his name for religious reasons like Ali and Jabbar. When Ivey turned 21, he revealed his true identity. Since then, he's been on a tear. Some Tuesday nights I'm watching the Main Event unfold before me on ESPN and I can't help but think... this is Ivey's time. He's going to win it all.

The scariest moment of Day 8? Ivey leaning over the table asking you how many chips you have left. That's like having a leering neighbor with jailbait-tendencies ask you about the age of your teenage daughter.

During his couch interview, Ivey admitted that he played this year's Main Event in a "more patient" fashion. No more fucking around so he can rush over to Bobby's Room or play golf for $50K a hole with a bunch of out-of-towners who think they can hustle the almighty Ivey. Ivey is aware that he plays his best when he's focused on the task at hand without any distractions (like betting millions on the Lakers or all-night cash games). When Ivey focuses, no mortals can stop him. Only the poker gods can contain him. Well, that and himself. Ivey tossed a winning hand in the muck. Yes, Ivey held pocket eights and he forgot that he had the 8s in a hand against Jordan Smith with four spades on the board. Ivey thought that he was beat to an Ace on the river and he folded without re-checking his hand. Wow. Even the legends are prone to brain farts. I gotta assume that Ivey thought he held the 8c and not the 8s.

Liquidity Crisis: Steve Begleiter played at the secondary TV table with Billy Kopp, Antonio Esfandiari and Frenchman Ludovic Lacay. Begleiter secured a ton of face time and during his couch interview he admitted that he did a shitty job as a 24 year vet at Bear Sterns. I didn't buy his "we followed orders and thought we were doing the right thing" excuse. Either he wasn't in on the right side of the fix, or he was so far over his head that he was trying to gambling his way out of a hole. Doesn't matter now. Heck, if anything, Begleiter knows where the bodies are buried. By the way, "liquidity crisis" is the fancy Wall Street term for being a broke dick.

That's Why They Call Him LuckyChewey: Darvin Moon had his Aces ramshackled by LuckyChewey's trip nines with Jd-9d. With 2 million in the pot, Moon fired out 1 million on the river. A conservative LuckyChewey only called. Maybe he thought Moon had him out-kicked?

Adios! My Lady: Leo Margets, the last woman standing, finally hit the rail when she ran into Warren Zackey in a dark alley. The South African's Ah-10h was ahead of the Spainard's A-7. Zackey flopped a ten and that's all she wrote. Margets finished in 27th place and became the first player to bust on Day 8.

Presto No Good for the Magician: Antonio admitted that he was off the wagon. Or is it on the wagon? Who cares. He wasn't boozing during the Main Event. Clean living for the former party boy Magician. Antonio ran into a brick wall when his pocket fives were outflopped by Begleiter's K-10. Antonio fired out at a 10-high flop and Begleiter re-raised. Antonio shoved all in and Begleiter insta-called. Antonio missed on the turn and on the river. His deep run at the WSOP came to an abrupt end. The Magician finished in 24th place and won $353K.

Pride of the Carolinas: Nick Maimone caught a tidal wave of good card karma on three different instances.... he chopped a pot he should have lost to Darvin Moon... then came from behind to run over Ivey's Jacks with Q-rag.... then he ran his sevens into pocket tens when got it all in on the flop almost drawing dead but turned a set to stay alive.

Stay Classy, Kentucky: Billy Kopp also caught a lucky river card to send one of the three remaining French players, Pierre Cardin, back to France in 25th place. It's eay to call him out for a tinge of Douchebaggery because he was clad in UB gear and then fist pumped after he sucked out on the Frenchman.

Kings and Queens: British pro James Akenhead lost most of his stack when he ran his Kings into Aces, but he got some back when he called an all with Queens against Tommy Vedes A-Q. His royal ladies held up and avoided an elimination.

Hiteth Thy Flop: How do you make the November Nine? Hit your flops. Ivey opened with the Varkonyi. Happy called with Jacks. The flop was Q-10-5. Ivey won the pot.... then Steve Begleiter flopped a straight with 7d-6d on a 5-4-3 board against Ben Lamb who missed with Big Slick.

France 1, Wall Street 0: One of the two Frenchmen remaining, Antoine Saout opened with Aces and Begleiter defended his blind with K-10 off suit to which Norm made a Bear Sterns crack about wishing Bear Sterns defending the investment so their clients with the same vigilance. Saout flopped a set and opted to slow play. He turned a boat and Begleiter walked into his trap. Begleiter fired out at the turn and Saout smooth called. The river was a bland and Begleiter fired out a pot-sized bet with air. Saout raised on the river and Begleiter quickly surrendered.

Buchman Likes Kings: Eric Buchman, my non-Ivey pick to win it all, picked off Jonathan Tamayo's A-Q when his Kings held up. Tamayo busted in 21st place while Buchman surged to 15 million in chips. Best Buchman story? He funded his bankroll after winning a jackpot playing Caribbean Stud in the pits at Foxwoods Casino.

Lambs and Gekkos: Begleiter opened with nines. Ben Lamb three-bet with A-K. Begleiter four-bet to put Lamb all in and he called. A classic race for a 11 million pot. Lamb flopped an Ace and turned a King. Lamb's hand held up and he doubled up. But then the two rumbled a second time. Begleiter opened with Jd-9d. Ben Lamb three-bet with Aces. Begleiter called. The flop was J-9-5 and fireworks ensued. Begleiter checked. Lamb fired out 50% of the pot. Begleiter check-raised all in and Lamb called. The turn and river did not help Lamb and Begleiter doubled up to over 17 million after snapping off Aces. Ouch, I haven't seen a burn that ugly since Gekko and Bud Fox skull-fucked Sir Larry Wildman in the Anacott Steel deal.

Set Over Vedes: Tommy Vedes' deep run ended when he ran his pocket treys into Eric Buchman. Both players flopped sets but Buchman's bigger set held up and Vedes headed to the rail in 19th place. With 18 players to go, you have to tune in next week to find how nine unlucky players fail to advance to the November Nine.

* * * * *

Click here for Flipchip's WSOP Main Event photos. See you next week.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Link Dump: 90 Second Margaritas, A.C. Death Spiral, and the Tao of Knish

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Here's a few appetizers to munch on today...
How do you make a Margarita in 90 seconds? I shot a video on Sunday morning showing you how. (Tao of Pauly)

Can Atlantic City Raise the Stakes? uses the phrase "death spiral" to describe the lean times in A.C. (NY Times)

Want to gain an edge flipping coins? Then you should read... How to flip a coin. (Marginal Revolution)

I've been enjoying the drama unfolding between Deadspin and ESPN over the Steve Phillips horndoggery incident. Even the NY Times took time to weigh in on the spat. (Deadspin & NY Times)

Why is it bad to smoke weed and OK to sell beer? Ah, the endless debate that potheads and swill drinker have been having for decades. Life is a neverending cycle of intoxicants. Players use steroids to compete, beer companies pay for the broadcasting rights, while I sit at home and smoke weed while watching Miller Lite commercials during the Chargers game. (Salon)

Jim McManus has a new book out. I haven't read it yet, but Shamus has and he wrote a review which makes me eager to read my copy... A Good Read: McManus Tells the Story of Poker (Hard Boiled Poker)

Meet Nick Cage aka IRS deadbeat. The Leaving Las Vegas star has to sell his New Orleans house that used to belong to Anne Rice. No word if he has to give up residuals on Captain Corelli's Violin. (Deal Breaker)

I saw Rounders for the first time at a movie theatre in the U District of Seattle in the fall of 1998. I was one of three people in the theatre that afternoon but everyone in my home game saw it at least once. We added hold'em to the mix shortly after learning about Teddy KGB, Worm, and Mike McD. Anyway, Joey Knish has been a looming figure in my poker world for over a decade. I figured out some of his wisdom and wrote about it for my Sunday column. Take a peek at... Philosophy of Knish. (Poker News)
That's it for now.

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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Letters to Pauly: The Amazing Race, Vol. 5 - Rowboats, Hookahs, and Water Slides in Dubai; Tiff-Ho Move into Second Place

By Trisha Lynn
New York City

Editor's Note: Pop-culture correspondent Trisha Lynn returns as a guest scribe to Tao of Poker.

Dear Pauly,

I wasn't really expecting much from this week's episode of "The Amazing Race" because of how Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho have been blowing leads and just not running good. I also discovered that I shouldn't read too much into what the couch-surfers think about our Maria and Tiffany because while they keep saying that Maria's useless because she's not doing enough solo physical challenges, I remember Tiffany saying in the very first episode that she's the brawn, which means that both of them know each's weaknesses well enough to be a competent team. But just as one should never rest easy with pocket Aces, one should also never count out women who are determined to win; this episode is proof-positive of that very fact.

Personally, I was almost caught flat-footed when the show started on time tonight because the last two weeks were delayed by football games. The "previouslys" catch us up on the action, including a shot of Lawyer Lance's he-man vase-throwing which reminds us all of how glad we are that he and his shrill-voiced fiance are not going to win $1 million dollars.

We're still in Dubai for this episode, starting at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah which I've learned is a shopping center at a fancy-schmacy resort where rooms can cost $700 USD a night. Just like you were disappointed that they weren't roughing it in Cambodia, I'm a little disappointed that they probably got to spend the night in that fancy-schmancy resort before setting off the next morning.

Being in sixth place, the girls are definitely up a creek without a paddle when they head off for the Dubai Creek and Yacht Club. "Jesus, please let us leave Dubai," Maria moans, and Tiffany comments on the heat when they take off with a locked briefcase: "I don't think I've ever seen James Bond sweat."

Just ahead of them are the GayBros., who mention that they are still in an alliance with the girls but are confident that if they ever needed to so, they'd be able to outrun the them and everyone else--except for the Globetrotters--to the mat. Oh, boys... that statement is going to bite your hot little asses later on.

But oh, no! The Globetrotters' cab driver took them to the wrong yacht club! Big Easy is having problems rowing the tiny inflatable dinghy to a yacht in the middle of the harbor where they're supposed to receive a watch as a traditional hospitality gift!

The girls and the GayBros. find the club and I sit back in awe as Tiffany powers through the water while Maria figures out that the time on the watch contains the combination to their briefcase which contains the next clue. Then again, I shouldn't have been surprised because right before Tiffany sets off into the water, Maria says, "It might be physical; you're faster." And even Tiffany is proud of her achievement because as she says later in interview that she's so proud whenever she accomplishes a physical task that all the other guys do that the other female teammates don't. Maybe that'll shut up those nay-sayers.

When they leave the club, they've moved up into fifth place because the Globetrotters overthink the watch clue and approach it from the wrong angle. The GayBros. are just ahead of them now, and independently, both teams choose Gold as their next task. The challenge is to weigh out exactly $500,000 USD worth of gold using an electric scale; there's a monitor that shows the exchange rate that helps them out. However, since it's ever-changing, they have to weigh out exactly the right amount of gold before the rate changes. The GayBros. prove that they're more than just pretty faces when they mention that they bought a $2 calculator from Wal-Mart and brought it with them... but they can't figure out how to calculate the number of ounces needed.

When the girls arrive, there's a cute little exchange where they go, "Hi boys!" with a chirrup, and the boys respond with a tired, "Hey...." The girls are ushered into the next room, where Maria has quickly figured out the right formula. Noticing that the boys have a calculator, she asks to borrow it and they agree only if the girls will tell them what the magic weight is. The first time, the rate changes just as they've called over their judges and they have to do it again, but because they've cracked the code, both teams are off and running to the next task.

The other task was to put together 12 hookahs from parts that are packed away in a large crate and the teams had to assemble them exactly. I suspect that if you had been Racing, you would have had that done it in no time.

At this point, I was almost on the edge of my seat because the girls were in third place and they'd never gotten that close to the front before. It was so nerve-wracking that I almost didn't want to watch anyone else because I wanted them to hang on to their lead. The last part of the Race for this week is to head off to another fancy-schmancy resort, Atlantis, The Palm and this is probably the part of the show you'll see lovingly recapped by the gang at Wicked Chops. The task is to ride a near-vertical water slide underneath a shark tank to the very bottom where the next clue awaits. Tiffany goes down first (hurr, hurr) wearing a black bikini top and red bottoms; Maria is next, and she almost loses her yellow bikini top as she exits the slide.

Luckily, the traffic and transit gods must have smiled on them between the jewelry store and the resort because when they reach the mat on a beach at the resort, they look behind them to see the GayBros. racing along the beach in matching red swim trunks a la Baywatch. When host Phil announce that the girls are in second place and the boys are in third, there is a jubilant group hug in the surf. Now there's a group hug that almost anyone would want to be a part of. But let me just say it again, because I can: Maria and Tiffany are in second place this week. Suck it, haters!

NEXT WEEK: Miss America completely loses it and one of the Globetrotters dances in Dutch drag.

Trisha Lynn
Trisha Lynn is a writer from New York City. She's also a contributor to Movie

* * * * *

Dearest Trisha,

What would I do without you and your recaps from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4?

One again, the poker ladies got trumped by a sports-filled Sunday as football bled into the baseball playoffs and I obsessed over my bets on the afternoon games, reloading the stats page on multiple fantasy football teams, keeping an eye on a few football pools, not to mention Fantasy Sports Live. And then there was the Yankees/Angele Game 6 that had gotten delayed from the previous night.

I have the episode saved on TiVo and I'll take a peek only because of the hookah scene. But wow, the girls jumped into second place with six teams remaining? I'll have to start watching it especially since they head to Holland. Will they try to be window hookers? Or weigh out 500 pounds of hashish?

Thanks again for your stellar updates.


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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Best of the Best and Today in Tao of Poker History

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Some quick links to some of the higher-end vomit that I spewed over the last 50 or so days...
Cezanne = The First Tournament Reporter
Anatomy of the Rail
Happy Hires Hellmuth
The Booth
Tangerine Rockets
She Said She Wants to Be a Sociologist
And let's step into the Tao of Poker Flashback Machine...
Two years ago today: Schecky Wins Tournament in Australia
Four years ago today: Hammers, Hilton Sisters, Dial-a-Shots, and other Post-Modern Poker Vernacular
Enjoy the last remnants of the weekend!

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Last Chance for LAPT Costa Rica Satellites and Introducing EPT Prague and EPT Vilamoura (Portugal)

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Here's the upcoming schedule for PokerStars events...
Nov 11-15 - APPT Cebu (Philippines)
Nov 17-22 - EPT Vilamoura (Portugal)
Nov 19-22 - LAPT Playa Conchal (Costa Rica)
Dec 1-6 - EPT Prague (Czech Republic)
Dec 1-6 - APPT Syndey (Australia)
I have been trying to win a seat to the LAPT Playa Conchal in Costa Rica over the past week or so. PokerStars is running daily satellites that guarantee at least one prize package worth $6,000 and I have yet to come close. I've finished 20th twice (out of 200+ runners) and 30th a second time (out of 300+). The daily $7 and $8 rebuys are soft but the turbo structures takes a significant amount of skill out of the mix -- which means anyone can win those sats. I'm confident that I'll make a breakthrough in the next week. Otherwise, I'll be selling pieces of myself.

Anyway, today at 18:45 ET, PokerStars is running a $530 qualifier to the LAPT Costa Rica. There will be one more next week on Halloween at the same time. Of course, Stars is running tons of super-satellites to win a seat to the $530. I was almost Bubble Boy in one of those sats.

If you're sick of Vegas or of sitting around in your underwear playing online poker, the Latin America Poker Tour gives you a chance to visit exotic countries and live life on the edge. Plus, the fields are super soft. How soft? I'm playing in their $2,500 Main Event.

For more info...
Click here for a LAPT structure sheet.
Click here for more info about Playa Conchal, Costa Rica.
Click here to Download PokerStars.
* * * * *

The next two stops on the European Poker Tour are Portugal and the Czech Republic. The buy-ins to both events are 5,000 Euros. Satellites are currently running on PokerStars. The Czech Republic is one of the most fascinating cities in Eastern Europe and the EPT will be making their first appearance in Portugal.

If you're interested in playing in EPT satellites, simply download PokerStars today.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
"repete offenders" Wins Week 6 of Sundays with Dr. Pauly; Sets New FSL Record

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Wow. Repete offenders won of Sundays with Dr. Pauly over at Fantasy Sports Live and shattered a few records in the process. He scored 206.6 and became the first player to ever break 200 points in an FSL football contest. Congrats bro on a sensational performance!

I thought that I had a decent week with 130 points but that was fools gold. I was one of the few people who did not pick Tom Brady as my QB and my scores suffered in comparison. A total of nine players posted scores of 180 and higher. Talk about a high-powered week of fantasy football! After a hot start, I've been sputtering along the last three weeks. If you can beat my score for three weeks in a row, then you get an invite to the TOC.

Click here for Week 6 results and updated standings.

Click here for more details, rules, and payout information.

Best of luck everyone in Week 7 and in the new series.

If you don't have a Fantasy Sports Live account, you can sign up for one here.

And don't forget to check out It has been an excellent tool for me. Buffallo66 runs that service and he's one of the most successful players at FSL since its inception. Right now, he's offering up specials.... $9.99 per month and $99.99 for a yearly subscription.

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

The PMHG: Cheviot Hills

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Over the years, John "Schecky" Caldwell has been playing poker with a cast of unusual characters in and around L.A. It's a rotating home game game that I've been fortunate to play in a couple of times.

My initiation into Schecky's home game occurred in Beverly Hills in a game that doubled as a birthday party for the hostess' dog. Dozens of tiny purse dogs ran rampant and one even took a leak underneath my chair. The food spread included scrumptious cupcakes from Sprinkles, one of the hottest bakeries in town. I know, it's one of those fucked up things in life that a dog is fed better than 85% of the rest of humanity, but that's just the least bizarre thing you'll see in the City of Angels. Anyway, during that game, I forgot how much fun it was to play in a home game. I busted a 90-year old woman and I lost a hand to a 16-year old girl from Beverly Hills High when she kicked me in the junk with a Royal Flush.

I have a very good record when the games are held in a mansion in Cheviot Hills at a placed dubbed Casino Schmulkwell. The set up is swankier than our pad on the other side of the tracks in the slums of Beverly Hills.

I was a defending champ (of sorts) and won the tournament during last time that I played in Schecky's home game several months ago. I was eager to post back-to-back victories. Plus, Schecky invited a couple of friends from the poker industry in something that he was calling the "poker media home game." Bragging rights were on the line. Schecky even created his own little hashtag on Twitter which meant that the game would be covered extensively.

The night was dark and spooky as a fog hovered over the hills. I anxiously paced around the living room as the Yankees came from behind to tie the Angels at 4-4, then take a 6-4 lead, only to blow it and trail 7-6 in the top of the ninth and attempt a bases-loaded rally that fizzled out when Nick Swisher popped up like a punk to end the game and force Game 6 in the ALCS. The game was torture since I was a Yankees fan deep behind enemy lines. The only saving grace? The kick ass food from 8 oz. Burger Bar on Melrose featuring organic beef products.

The Kobe corn-dogs with signature purple mustard were a big hit, along with the wild boar slides. However, the players unanimously picked the short rib grilled cheese smothered with onion marmalade and bel paese cheese as the best item on the menu.

After we devoured the food, it was time for the tournament...
PMHG Starting Table:

Seat 1: Addict - One of the "twin" brothers that comprise two-thirds of the entity we fondly call Wicked Chops Poker. Addict and I have battled numerous times on different felts all over America. Unfortunately, he sat to my left.

Seat 2: Schmulkwell - Our gracious host is an infomercial gazillionaire who built his fortune with knock-off versions of the Snuggie and Sham-Wow. He's so rich that he uses yellow $1,000 Commerce chips as coasters. Shecky once saw him flush a $25,000 Bellagio chip down the toilet. When asked why, he repiled, "Because I could."

Seat 3: Shig - Our beloved tournament director or the Matt Savage of Cheviot Hills. Shig is a cagey mofo and you can never put him on a hand. Every forty-five seconds some would yell out, "Shig when do the blinds go up?!"

Seat 4: Don - Award winning producer of children TV shows. Don has been brainwashing your children and turning them into assassins by using catchy songs to carry out covert ops for our shadow government.

Seat 5: The Foul-Mouthed Rabbi - We love the rabbi. I never met a rabbi who drank and cussed as much as he did. The rabbi was a little off his game and did not get a chance to get underneath the skin of everyone at the tables.

Seat 6: Curt - Former pro basketball player who likes to play up the fact that he has no idea what he's doing.

Seat 7: Your Hero
I limped with Jacks in the first round and they held up. Addict nearly crippled the Rabbi when he snapped off Kings with a Big Blind Special. He flopped two pair with Q-5 and rivered a boat.

I won a small pot against Curt with 9-8 sooted. The flop was 10-9-7 and I kept firing at the pot all the way to the river, when Curt finally dribbled out of bounds.

I woke up to Aces and got paid off like a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. I raised Addict on a flop of 8-7-5 with two hearts and he called. The turn was a Queen of clubs and I shoved all in. Addict folded his 8-6 off-suit face up.

During the next level, the short-stacked Rabbi skipped off to the bathroom as a hand was being dealt. Instead of returning to the table, he took a detour to the kitchen to refill his vodka cocktail. While he was gone, he was dealt pocket Aces and missed out.

Kat was the first player out and the foul-mouthed Rabbi was next. He won a special $100 bonus -- essentially he got his name pulled out of a hat. Addict bubbled off the final table in a three-way pot that Shig won to put him into the chiplead.
The PMHG Final Table:
Seat 1: Your Hero
Seat 2: Change100
Seat 3: Chazbeaner
Seat 4: Snake
Seat 5: Curt
Seat 6: Daryl
Seat 7: Schecky
Seat 8: Don
Seat 9: Shig
I had the lovely Change100 to my left and I drew dealing duties. On the first hand, I was a little confused with the button and dealt out the wrong hands. Schecky picked up on it and declared a misdeal.

"Fuck!" screamed Change100 as she tabled Aces. Snake flipped over Jacks. Both glared at me. I was stone cold sober too at the time and had no excuse.

Then it happened. Shig opened with a raise. I put him on Ace-rag so I shoved with A-10. Action folded back to him and he insta-called.

"I hope we're racing," I said before I winced when he tabled his pocket Kings. As the dealer, I had to deal my own fate...

As you can see from Schecky's twitpic, I turned one of my three outs and to add insult to Shig's injury, I also rivered trips. I took over the chip lead which I held until action got three-handed. I played more conservative than normal and folded 9-9 face up to a Schecky raise in early position. He's super tight so I was stunned when he turned over K-J off. Ouch. Well played, sir.

Don busted 9th. Snake was next to go in 8th place when he re-raised all in with A-10 against my Kings. I flopped a set of Kings and he turned a Ace but whiffed on the river. Schecky headed to the rail in 7th, short-stack master Chazbeaner went out in 6th, and my better half (aka Change100) went out in 5th. Poor Curt was the Bubble Boy in 4th.

At that point, I couldn't get any momentum going. Everyone ran for cover when I had a hand and everyone re-raised me when I had air or missed a flop. I eventually busted trying to make a move and finished in 3rd place. When I left, Daryl had a 3-1 advantage over Shig.

I cashed and won the unofficial media last longer (the prize was an expired 2009 WSOP food comp), but I wanted to win the whole damn thing. Regardless of my failure to post back-to-back victories, I still had a wonderful time. I had been holed up and writing the last few weeks so the game was a welcomed break from the monotony of sitting in my office and pecking away at the keyboard.

I always said that poker, when played among friends, is one of the most enjoyable activities in life. Last night was no exception.

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cezanne = The First Tournament Reporter

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Paul Cezanne is regarded as one of the leaders of the post-Impressionist painting movement as his extensive body of work bridged the gap between the Impressionists (like Monet) and the Cubists (like Picasso).

Cezanne's paintings fetch millions at auctions in the 20th and 21st century (his biggest seller was listed at $60.5 million 93 years after his death) but much like the majority of his peers, Cezanne struggled to make ends meet while he meticulously worked on the paintings that would someday grace the walls of museums around the world.

Artists are habitually broke. In order to supplement his income, Cezanne took a couple of menial jobs including a stint as a tournament reporter on the short-lived Aix-en-Provence Poker Tour.


Cezanne's painting helped freeze time as we can take a glimpse into the every day life of the rounders of that day. Action was down to three players at the final table. Claude Benyamine (yes, the great-grandfather of David) held the chip lead for majority of the final table. Clad in his unusual purplish-blue overcoat, Claude aggressively built a stack.

Cezanne accurately depicted the rail in his paintings. Yes, even in the late 19th century, broke dick players were a pain in the ass just as they are today. The busto peasants frequently hovered over the final table players seeking a handout... a baguette, a bottle of wine, a buy-in to a PLO cash game.

One of the final table players was actually a pimp and the woman sitting behind him was one of the fillies in his stable of working girls -- who were acceptable forms of currency in cash games and rebuy tournaments similar to the scene in Almost Famous during the road managers poker party when Stillwater's chief lost Penny Lane and two other Band Aids to Humble Pie's manager for the total sum of $50 and a case of Heineken.

Heads Up

Some of Cezanne's best work was during the heads up championships in Provence. His choice of muted colors in the background symbolized the darkness of the poker scene at the time, yet the fuzzy brushstrokes and gradations attempt to distort the view in order to portray the thick and suffocating smoke of gambling halls that also dubbed as brothels.

Cezanne had a tremendous amount of respect for the players -- which is why they are represented in brighter colors especially their hands and fingers.

Cezanne's paintings were versions of a hole cams. Even though the actual cards were not revealed, Cezanne simply used white to depict the winning hand and grey for the losing hand.

Cezanne's short stint as a tournament reporter ended in 1890 and he moved his family to Switzerland to focus on more meaningful pursuits with his painting talents.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WSOP Main Event Day 7 on ESPN - Donkeys in the Rye

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday poker night continued on ESPN as the 2009 WSOP Main Event as the field thinned down from 64 players to the final three tables of 27. The coverage this week started out with the focus on "top names" with the cameras hovering around the likes of Phil Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari, Prahlad Friedman, Tom "DonkeyBomber" Schneider, Joe Sebok, and Dennis Phillips. You had to keep your eyes on the broadcast otherwise you might have missed some of their bustouts.

It was a short day for Prahlad. The hooded internet legend who once challenged the manhood and honor of Jeff Lisandro (and lived to tell about it) was the first player to bust out on Day 7. The whitest white boy on the west coast since Kurt Rambis hit the rail.

Joe Sebok wore a "Get Shronk" shirt. Made me smile to see that. Unfortunately, the coolest kid in school couldn't hang on anymore. Sebok busted when his A-9 lost to G-Vegas' Nick Maimone's A-Q. Barry Greenstein stood on the rail as Sebok made his final stand. He tweet'd the hand while Seebs made the walk of shame with his lady friend Amanda.

Dennis Phillips almost busted out when his Queens ran into Steve Sanders (not the douchebag from 90210) who flopped set of Aces on a board with three clubs. Sanders had to sweat the turn and river because Phillips held the Qc. Of course, Phillips dramatically rivered the Jc to avoid elimination. Phillips would not last much longer and he ran out of good juju. Last year's last standing November Niner busted out against a Frenchie (let's call him Pierre Fromage). Both players were all in preflop with A-K suited, but the Pierre Fromage flushed him out with As-Ks when he rivered a spade to seal Phillips fate. Phillips received a hearty round of applause and even got a handshake from WSOP media director Nolan Dalla.

The Magician
Photo by Flipchip

Antonio Esfandiari held court on the featured TV table with November Niner James Akenhead. On the first hand of the episode, Antonio kicked off the festivities when he raised with Ace-shit and the young Brit Akenhead politely moved all in with a shortstack and a pair of nines. Mark Ader shoved in late position with Big Slick. Antonio quickly got out of the way as the two players embarked on a classic race. Akenhead flopped a set of nines and he doubled up to over 3.2 million.

Akenhead added more chips to his stack when he flopped a set of Kings against fellow Brit Adam York's A-J. York made an ill-timed call with Ac-Jh on a Ks-Jc-4c board and all of a sudden became "all peckish."

"Peckish?" said Akenhead. "What are we in a fuckin' Monty Python skit? Are going to start that cheese bit?"

"Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?"

It was Shiny Happy Time out on the secondary TV table. Happy was rocking a Phish t-shirt with the hugable Leo Margets from Spain and online wunderkind Lucky Chewey sitting across from him. Leo, the last woman standing, continued her deep run but took a hit early on when she ran into a set of ochos and spewed a third of her stack.

Happy made a move early on with 7-3 off suit. He flopped bottom pair and turned a flush draw. He attempted a river bluff, but Jonathan Tamayo picked it off with a King high straight. Tamayo became Happy's nemesis. Holding pocket Queens, he four-bet Shulman, who tanked with Ah-Kh. Happy figured that he was up against a big hand (and at best he'd be racing) so he folded and picked another had to fight.

Photo by Flipchip

On one of the out tables, the DonkeyBomber was fighting for his life. He got it all in on the turn with two pair against a flush draw. AngryJulie erupted when he faded the flush draw.

"Is that my baby?" she squealed. "Stack 'em! Stack 'em to the top!"

Poker's anti-mime attempted to gesticulate a multi-tiered stack of chips with her flailing arms.

"Sorry guys," sheepishly apologized the DonkeyBomber. The other players nodded in sympathy. They all experienced moments when their wives and girlfriends engaged in lightly embarrassing behavior. AngryJulie's jubilant cheerleading on the rail was the target of a couple of Norm's snarky barbs.

Kentucky boy Billy Kopp continued his run and joined DonkeyBomber's table, much to the dismay of the DonkeyBomber. Kopp turned a straight against the DonkeyBomber and the former WSOP Player of the Year lost a significant amount of his stack. DonkeyBomber tread water until he had to make a stand. I was on the rail on his final hand. Here's how I called the action on the Tao of Poker on Day 7...
3:15pm... B-52... DonkeyBomber Eliminated in 52nd Place

Chip Leaders: Billy Kopp, Darvin Moon, Phil Ivey, Ludovic Lacay
Recent Eliminations: DonkeyBomber
Players Remaining: 49

DonkeyBomber lost a couple of pots before the break. AngryJulie went to fetch him a pizza so he could snack on his break. The railbirds are an integral part of the team in some cases, like a Nascar pit crew.

Bomber was short and made a stand with A-7. A French-Canuck called with 9-9. AngryJulie stood on the rail with an obstructed view and could not see the hands. "Do you have the pair or A-7?" she shouted.

"I have the Ace," mumbled DonkeyBomber.

"That's OK. I like it."

The flop missed DonkeyBomber but he turned a seven to pick up a few outs. His Main Event came to an official close when he whiffed on the river. The DonkeyBomber was nevermore. A dejected AngryJulie fought back cheers as she joined in with a shower of applause. DonkeyBomber somberly walked over to the payout desk as his named was announced over the PA system, "The 2007 Player of the Year Tom Schneider from Scottsdale, Arizona was eliminated in 52nd place."

"I'm proud of you!" shouted AngryJulie.

The two were followed by a camera crew as they walked through the vast emptiness of the Amazon Ballroom. At one point they stopped and embraced for several seconds in the dimly lit room as a delicate clattering of chips echoed in the background. He disappeared into the crowd $138,568 richer, but he'll tell you that this is the worst day of his life.
DonkeyBomber might have been sitting in a jinxed seat. Ivey took DonkeyBomber's seat and he promptly doubled up Kill Phil co-author Blair Rodman.

Darvin Moon
Photo by Flipchip

Before Ivey even took his original seat on Day 7, he inspected the leaderboard as chip leader Darvin Moon sidled up next to him.

"I respect you," said Moon in his now-familiar drawl.

Ivey returned blank expression which pretty much screamed, "Who the hell are you?"

Darvin Moon, the luddite logger from Maryland, took a seat at the featured TV table. He didn't even get done stacking his castle of chips before he found himself in a hand. MyRabbiFoo opened with A-10. Darvin Moon overbet to 5 million before he could even sit down. Antonio woke up to Jacks and couldn't believe the redunkulous over-bet. He quizzed Moon suspecting a monster hand, but just making sure he wasn't trying to bully the table on the first hand. Isn't that the advice they tell you when you go to prison for the first time? Find the first motherfucker you see and beat the piss and shit out of him until the guards pull you away and they lock you up into solitary confinement. Was Moon tossing around the weight of his big stack or did he legitimately have a hand? Antonio didn't have a choice and he let go of his Jacks. It was the proper fold because Moon woke up with Kings, which held up, and MyRabbiFoo busted out.

Moon's rush continued when he flopped a set of Aces. Ryan Fair became his next victim and Moon rivered Fair to win another hand.

You could see a waterfall of drool tumble over Antonio's lips and onto the table after Moon settled into the featured TV table. If he could chisel away a chunk of Moon's stack, he'd be on the right track to the November Nine. Antonio found an opening when Moon opened with A-Q and Antonio called with Kd-Jd. The flop was Q-3-3. Moon checked. Antonio fired at the pot and Moon check-raised over 1 million. Antonio missed yet fired back anyway with a re-raise. Moon did not hesitate and 4-bet shoved. Antonio quickly folded. Logger 1, Magician 0.

November Niner Joe Cada stumbled into the two's pissing match. Cada opened with As-6s. Moon called with Ad-Jd. Antonio jammed all in with A-J off. Cada bailed. Moon open-folded his hand. Antonio stayed alive. Logger 1, Magician 1.

Moon flopped a Broadway straight against a well-dressed Frenchie (let's call him Pierre Cardin) who flopped a set of tens. Moon dangled a 2 million river value bet in a 6.5 million pot. Pierre Cardin folded and I have no idea how that happened. French players are notorious calling station, but Pierre Cardin knew something was up. Moon had been showing most of his hands but did not on that instance, although he honestly revealed that he flopped the nuts.

During his couch interview Moon was not shy about his backwoods roots. He spoke a bit about the physically challenging logging business. He once lost a battle with a tree and scuffed up his knee. I wanted him to roll up his pants leg and reveal all of his scars and detail the exact incidents just like Captain Quint in the film Jaws. I wanted to hear the morbid tales of almost-severed limbs, being impaled by falling branches, and having to fight off a flock of trouble-making woodpeckers.

Quote of the Day: "I'm too fat to climb the trees." - Darvin Moon

* * * * *

Click here for Flipchip's WSOP Main Event photos.

You can read my end of day report... Day 48: Main Event Day 7 - Evil Lurks on the Cusp of Greatness.

And here's previous recaps...
Main Event Day 6.5 on ESPN - Four Heavy Hitters, Jaws of Ivey, and AngryJulie
Main Event Day 5.5 and Day 6 on ESPN - Introducing the DonkeyBomber
Main Event Day 5 on ESPN - ElkY and Happy
Main Event Day 4 on ESPN - Bubbles and the World Series of Ivey
Main Event Day 3 on ESPN - Aussies, Ivey, and No Shake for Hellmuth
Main Event Day 2B on ESPN - A Kinder and Quieter Hellmuth and the Always Aloof Ivey Time
Main Event Day 2A on ESPN - The Fossilman and Costanza Show
See you next week.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dikshit Cashing Out of Party Poker; Giving Proceeds to Charity

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Yes it's true according to Forbes piece... Online Gambling Billionaire Cashes In: Anurag Dikshit is giving all the proceeds from his PartyGaming sale to charity.

FYI... Charity is not the name of a stripper. At least, none that I know of.

This isn't the first time that Dikshit ha given away money to a charity. He heard that the U.S. Department of Justice was having a bake sale, so he bought $300 million worth of DOJ cookies.

The immediate result of Dikshit's move to sever all ties to Party Poker? Shares of Party Gaming plummeted on the London Stock Exchange over 15.6%. I hope you were shorting PYGMF and if you didn't short your position... well, that's one last bad beat that Dikshit issued before he left the industry.

A friend of mine (former trader in the trenches of Wall Street) thinks that Dikshit knows that the UIGEA will not be overturned anytime soon so he's cashing out his big stack worth over $350 million. Personally, I think Diksit trying to improve his karma by giving away the money he made through the murky world of online gaming. Bottom line, he's going to be helping out kids who need it. Not everyone is a greedy fuckhead. It's about time there was a feel good story in poker.

Then again, saving a lost soul on the pole would be nice too.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
Tuesday Link Dump: Boys of Autumn, Protecting Assets, the Rail, and l'Apocalypse

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Ah, here are some links of note to keep you occupied for a few minutes.

Photo credit: Library of Congress

With the World Series (of baseball) on the horizon, The Boys of Autumn is a stellar piece about the first ever contest and "heroics in the days before steroids and the long postseason." (Wall Street Journal)

There's some weird shit going down in France involving online poker. I'm a boorish American. I only speak English, Spanglish (a hybrid dialect that I picked up from growing up in NYC and living in SoCal), and jive. Mon francais est tres mal. Anyway if you can read French, check out Benjo's piece titled Les trompettes de l'Apocalypse. (Las Vegas, off the record)

Flashback time. Amy Calistri re-posted an article she originally penned in 2005 titled Protecting Your Assets. Funny shit. (Aimlessly Chasing Amy)

Ah, I love British sarcasm and their contempt for the Frnechies. I can't say anything more. Read for yourselves... French Legislate To Open Gambling Market, Allow Fold Buttons (Melted Felt)

My weekly column appeared a few days early last week. This week's topic is the rail and those wacky and wild railbirds. Take a peek at... Anatomy of the Rail.(Poker News)
That's it for now, unless you want to follow me on Twitter. Get the hell out of my office and get back to work!

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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Letters to Pauly: The Amazing Race, Vol. 4 - Digging Through Sand & Snow in Dubai

By Trisha Lynn
New York City

Editor's Note: Let's welcome back pop-culture correspondent Trisha Lynn as a guest scribe to Tao of Poker.

Dear Pauly,

When I was refreshing myself as to what happened last week and compared my thoughts to how other people see the Amazing (or not-so-Amazing) Race strategies of Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle, what makes me snicker the most is this quote (slightly edited for readability):
I'm pretty sure that "The Poker Girls" should be amended to "The Poker Girlfriends." It's so obvious that they are a couple. There was way too much "sweetie" and "baby" going around from Tiffany to Maria during the Roadblock.
Considering that this is something the guys at Wicked Chops Poker have been riffing about ever since Maria passed on the WSOP Last Woman Standing(tm) title to Tiffany last year, I'm just surprised that it took this long for everyone watching "The Amazing Race" to notice.

By the way, when it comes to nicknames, Tiffany's YouTube page thinks the two of them should be called "Ho-Chips" as seen in this "cute" non-Race-related video featuring fellow pro Layne Flack. Do I scent a reality show pitch in the works? Is that the reason they agreed to be cast?

Anyhow, thanks to the Bills/Jets game going into overtime, the show is 1 hour and 25 min. late. The pre-credits recap covers the awesomeness of Asperger Boy and his Hetero Lifemate in the last leg, followed quickly by their downfall when they lost Zev's passport -- which is the only reason why Tiffany and Maria are still racing at all. Again, talk about sucking out at the river. That scream of anguish you heard? That was all the TAR-philes screaming in anguish because they just realized that one of the few likable teams that were on the show and aren't Harlem Globetrotters is now gone.

I am inordinately pleased when after being bunched up again at airport leaving Cambodia heading to the United Arab Emirate city of Dubai, Tiffany and Maria are the second to reach their taxis which will take them to their first clue. Their traffic problems seem to have disappeared, too, because they are the first team to sign into the first group that will go to the top of the Burj Dubai, a structure which will be the world's tallest building once it's been completed. "Good call on seeing this, sweetie!" Tiffany tells Maria when she spots the clue station and sign-in board, and I am starting to see why everyone thinks there's some LesYay going on. I am so freaking happy for them for proving that they're not completely useless at the getting into and out of airports and into/out of taxis and vehicles part of this race. This is a feeling that will not last very long.

The other three teams that go up with them to the top are the GayBros, the self-named Team Zebra (the biracial married couple) and Team Malibu Ken and Barbie (as named by Ericka, the former Miss America). From the top of the uncompleted tower, they then have to find some vehicles in a mall parking garage and drive themselves out to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where the Roadblock task is to walk out into the desert and fill a waterskin with water from urns buried in the sand. Did I forget to mention that some of the urns are empty and it's over 120 degrees Fahrenheit?

Tiffany takes the Roadblock for her team, but it's the male Zebra who finds the water first and tells her and GayBro where the urn is. When his ladle breaks, she does something very smart and says that once she's finished scooping water into her own skin, he can use hers. Awww... and now you've redeemed yourself in my eyes, Tiff.

The GayBros try and return the favor after by saying that they'll wait for the girls after Maria reverses over a sharp stake in the sand, ripping out her radiator lines and rendering the car inoperable. "It gave the tummy of our car a tickle!" Tiffany interviews, and Maria deadpans, "That's an awesome way of looking at it." Once they get a replacement car, Maria remarks afterwards that it was "typical" that the only all-girl team is the one to break a car, but she quickly adds, "I have an excuse, because I'm an Asian female driver." Awww... and as a female Asian driver who is actually quite good at it, the hate I had for Tiffany has now gotten plopped onto Maria.

Now, the girls are headed back to Ski Dubai, an indoor ski park where the temperature inside is about 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with most of the other teams that show up at the same time, they attempt to find a very tiny snowman in the middle of huge-ass piles of snow, give up, and build the world's most misshapen snowmen in the heat outside instead. Maria gets some cute points back by explaining why their snowman doesn't look so great to the judge: "He ate a lot in winter." The award for the most hilariously unintentional homosexual innuendo goes to the GayBros when one of the says to the other in reference to their snowman's carrot-nose, "Just put it in!" With only a modicum of bickering in the car, the girls get to the mat and are not eliminated, giving them one more week to be on the show.

I'd like to add here that the girls could have skipped past all of the previous tasks after the tower by going to the Dubai Autodrome, an outdoor racing track (is there anything Dubai doesn't have?) and trying to do one lap in in a Formula 1 car under 45 seconds. Canaan chooses to do that instead of going to the desert, and who blames him? I totally would have done it, too, and pretended I was The Stig all the way around the track. I would totally love to hear what Maria says about choosing not to do the Fast Forward, especially since it looks like Tiffany doesn't know how to drive a car and the task would have fallen to her.

At least they're not in last place, and that is reserved to Lawyer Lance, who got them lost all over Dubai and tried to make sart remarks that fell completely flatt. The girls placed sixth, and have survived one more round.

NEXT TIME: One of the tasks consists of a trip down a near-vertical water slide. I cannot wait to see what kind of swimwear they packed for the trip.

Trisha Lynn

P.S. This episode recap has been brought to you by the letters "half a bottle of Pinot Grigiot."

Trisha Lynn is a writer from New York City. She's also a contributor to Movie

* * * * *

Dearest Trisha,

What would I do without your recaps from Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3? I wanted to watch this week's episode because I'm infatuated with Dubai, but the end of the Jets/Bills game drained me. Killed me. Despite the fact that I skipped this episode to read a Thomas Pynchon novel instead, it looks like the poker chicks have survived the elements in Dubai and are on their way to Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Thanks again for your stellar updates.


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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

LAPT Costa Rica Satellites on PokerStars

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

If you're looking for adventure then the Latin America Poker Tour is your opportunity to explore a diverse culture, visit exotic countries and live life on the edge. If all you care about is money and poker and want to dominate a soft field... then head down to Costa Rica to play in the $2,500 NL opening event of the next season of the LAPT.

I'm going to Costa Rica next month to play at the LAPT Playa Conchal on November 19-22. Shit, I'm skipping a bunch of Phish shows in order to play, if that's an indication of the importance of this event. My flights are already booked. All I have to do now is win my seat.

There's a weekly $530 qualifier every Saturday on PokerStars where they are giving away prize packages worth $6,000. And they frequently run $7.77 rebuy turbo sats for the $530 qualifier. Those rebuys are insanely crazy and I played a few the other week. The majority of the players are from Central and South America and the chat box is dominated by Spanish. My Spanish is not up to snuff these days so I couldn't understand everything that one guy was spewing in the chat. He berated me for an extended amount of time when I rivered a two outer against him. I simply typed "RioStars" into the chat to diffuse any potential international riots.

For more info...
Click here for a LAPT structure sheet.
Click here for more info about Playa Conchal, Costa Rica.
Click here to Download PokerStars.
* * * * *

And here's two South American versions of the Tao of Pokerati that I recorded last April in Argentina...
Episode 11.1: South American Models... Special guest MeanGene discuss the highlights from LAPT Grand Final in Argentina with Pauly while they drank at the LAPT wrap party hosted in a club in a sketchy part of Mar del Plata. They touch their favorite parts of Argentina especially the sleek and silky models hired by PokerStars that were all over the tournament area.

Episode 11.2: Costa Rican Hookers... Special guest includes Chip Monkey, who Michalski nicknamed 'the Costa Rican Benjo'. Pauly and Chip Monkey discuss seedy Costa Rican strip clubs, the advantages and disadvantages of street corner trannie hookers, and the local Mar Del Plata narcotics scene.
That's it for now. Hope to see you at the tables in Costa Rica. Adios.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Zeem Wins Week 5 of Sundays with Dr. Pauly; Kev Wins Series 1

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Zeem took down Week 5 of Sundays with Dr. Pauly over at Fantasy Sports Live. Congrats bro! Also Series 1 is finally over and congrats to Kev for taking it down. He won a bonus and a TOC seat. Each series if five weeks long, which means Series 2 (weeks 6-10) starts on Sunday! Get in on the action.

I finished in the middle of the pack on Week 5 and didn't have a shot to win my 25-player contest. I put up 118 which was still good enough for me to finish in second place for Series 1. I blew the lead. Gah, I choked.

Click here for Week 5 results and updated standings.

Click here for more details, rules, and payout information.

Best of luck everyone in Week 6 and in the new series.

If you don't have a Fantasy Sports Live account, you can sign up for one here.

And don't forget to check out It has been an excellent tool for me. Buffallo66 runs that service and he's one of the most successful players at FSL since its inception. Right now, he's offering up specials.... $9.99 per month and $99.99 for a yearly subscription.

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Link Dump: Russian UFOs, Sandwichgate, McManus, and the Extinction of Las Vegas Coffee Shops

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Here are a few links to get you through your Friday.
Did you see the "cloud" over Moscow? Sci-fi geeks are jizzing themselves because they believe it's proof of an UFO. You decide. The truth is out there. Trust no one. (NY Daily News)

During the EPT London at the Vic, brooding Luke "__FullFlush1__" Schwartz caused an uproar when he refused to pay for a sandwich. This wasn't the first time he's gotten into a pissing match with Grosvenor Casino properties. They decided to ban him from all properties after his sanwich stunt. The EPT repsonded and also said he was persona non grata for the rest of the season. The brash Schwartz was quoted as saying, "Who fucking cares about a £5 sandwich? It should be free." Anyway, Marty Derbyshire has the lowdown on the now infamous Sandwichgate. (Poker Listings)

And the masses react to Sandwichgate. (2+2)

Sandwichgate is so big that the gang at Melted Felt interviewed a doctor to get to the bottom of the drama across the pond. FullFlush Banned From EPT - Our Sandwich Psychologist Speaks is a must read. (Melted Felt)

I forgot to link up an educational piece from Jim McManus titled What Poker Can Teach Us. (The Chronicle)

Bye Bye Coffee Shops... Say it isn't so? Yeah, it's true. The 24-hour coffee shop/diner was a Las Vegas institution that is slowly dying out. I was angered when the Gold Coast got rid of their shithole of a coffee shop and whored the space out to TGIF. The old coffee shop was a sentimental place and the location of the Keno crayon incident. (The Die Is Cast)
That's it for now. Have a good weekend. Hope you get laid. Try not to kill too many braincells.

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

So That's How You Ended Up Here...

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I got a chuckle at some of the terms people search for on the intertubes and somehow end up here. Y'all are sick fuckin' people.
Top 5 Hilarious Referrals
1. are maria ho and tiffany michelle gay
2. who is the black guy that TJ Cloutier choked
3. las vegas squirting escort
4. why Jeff Shulman nickname is trashcan
5. Heated tranny shoving her dildo right into a watermelon
I wish I could make this stuff up. Trashcan? Much better nickname than Happy.

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Welcome to the Poker Hall of Fame... Mike Sexton

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I thought the results were supposed to be a secret? Nope, the votes were tallied up and the inductees for the 2009 Poker Hall of Fame were revealed in a blurb on the Las Vegas Review-Journal of all place. Only one player got the nod... Mike Sexton.

The nine nominees needed 75% of the 30 total votes in order to gain entry. Only Mike Sexton met those requirements. I wrote an article on Poker News were I picked Sexton as the overall favorite to make HOF this year. The results made me look like I knew what I was talking about. Then again, how can you argue against Sexton's accomplishments on and off the felt?

As I've mentioned many times before, most of the time when I'm playing poker, I heard Mike Sexton's voice inside my head commentating on my every move... if I'm making sketchy move, then Mike is raising his objections to Vince (who doesn't actually have a speaking roll -- he just sits there and nods).

2006 WPT Championship at the Bellagio
Photo by yours truly

I remember the first WPT event that I covered at the Borgata in Atlantic City in 2005. I had been up for a few days straight. I drove down from New York City after a flight from Barcelona (via Amsterdam) where I covered my the EPT Barcelona. Although I watched Mike Sexton play in the 2005 WSOP, I had never seen him as "Mike Sexton the biggest swinging dick on the WPT." There I was, sitting in the press area, when Mike Sexton walked into the packed ballroom.

The larger than life Mike Sexton was one of the most recognizable figures in poker at the apex of the boom in late 2005. Sexton took a few steps, posed for a picture, and glad-handed Tab the tournament director. Sexton strolled through the playing area. Players stopped in the middle of hands to look up as Sexton passed by. Sexton occasionally stopped at a table to talk to a player. His people. Just because he was behind the microphone calling the action didn't mean that Sexton abandoned his roots.

Sexton paid his dues in an era when poker was less sanitized and not yet corporatized. He was also friends with Stuey Ungar at a time in Stuey's life when he burned so many bridges that no one wanted anything to do with him. There's plenty of crazy Stuey stories, even a few involving Sexton, but the one that stood out the most was the Gold Coast story.

Sexton was at home fast asleep. 4:20am. The phone rang. It was Stuey who was plastered, broke, and trying to dodge drug dealers whom he owed a shitload of money. That summed up the 1990s for Stuey Ungar. Same shit. Different day. That night, Stuey was wandering the streets of Downtown with the rest of the derelicts. Sexton's girlfriend begged him not to help pull Stuey out of the gutter for the umpteenth time. Sexton did not listen to her and he drove downtown. Sexton found Stuey and mentioned that "his fingers were blackened from smoking crack."

Sexton hid Stuey in different hotels in order to stay a few steps ahead of the thugs looking to collect a hefty drug debt. At one point Sexton set up Stuey at the Gold Coast for a month while he tried to stay clean and out of sight from his dealers. Sexton assumed that the bill would only be $1,500, but Stuey went a little crazy with excessive room service charges and pay per view flicks. The bill was over $6,000. Sexton wasn't rolling in the cash those days. He didn't have the money and had to put the balance on his credit card. But he did it for Stuey.

Mike Sexton. Guardian Angel. Player. Commentator. Ambassador. Hall of Famer.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Main Event Day 6.5 on ESPN - Four Heavy Hitters, Jaws of Ivey, and AngryJulie

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday is poker night on ESPN. Extended coverage of Day 6 of the WSOP Main Event continued as action dipped under 100 players. The first hour of coverage focused on four heavy hitters... the highly underrated JC Tran, the defending champ Peter Eastgate, former champ Joe Hachem, and last year's fly-over state mahatma Dennis Phillips. I hope you got a good look at those four as they sat underneath the bright lights of the featured TV table because three of them would not advance to Day 7.

A short-stacked and anxious Joe Hachem folded A-K to a massive re-raise from Thai Tran, who had just taken his seat at the TV table and mentioned that he was a bit nervous. Many players, even pros, tense up when they have to reveal their cards to the hole cameras. Some players have minor-panic attacks when they realize that every movement and sound will be recorded and used against them in a court of law... which these days... is the 8-10pm ET slot on ESPN. Anyway, Tran tensed up a bit and he overbet his pocket Kings. Hachem knew that Tran's bet was screaming "I got a big fuckin' hand, you stupid bogan, so fold your shitty Ace-King!" Hachem wisely folded.

With about 100 or so players remaining, whispers swirled around inside the Amazon Ballroom because many reporters thought that Billy Kopp was a lock for the final table. He was running over the field on Day 6 and the deck was definitely in his favor. Kopp sat at the featured TV table and found A-A. He opened for a standard raise. Dennis Phillips called with 4-4. El Nasir re-raised with Q-Q. Kopp four-bet his Aces. Phillips folded. El Nasir five-bet shoved. Kopp insta-called. The flop was 10-4-2. Phillips jumped out of his chair because he folded the potential winning hand. Kopp's pocket Aces held up and he rocketed towards the top of the leader board.

Kopp was just getting warmed up. A card-dead and exasperated Joe Hachem shoved with Jc-9c and Billy Kopp called with pocket fours. Hachem flopped a flush draw and even winked at the dealer to try to cajole a favorable turn or river card. The wink did not help. Kopp's fours held up and he busted the former world champion.

With Hachem's departure in 103rd place, Peter Eastgate was the last Main Event champ still alive. You don't become the world champion unless you can win a coin flip. Lots of them. Peter Eastagte was all in with A-Q against a Vegas pizza shop owner's J-J. Eastgate flopped an Ace to take the lead. His hand held up.

"I always win these," Eastgate said matter-of-fact to the pizza man. "You should know better than to play pocket Jacks. I always flop the Ace. So let me ask you something about your pizza place, Sal. How come you ain't got no brothas on the wall? How come you ain't got no Scandis on the wall either? Like Thor Hansen. William Thorson. Andreas Hoivold."

Photo by Flipchip

Dennis Phillips gave JC Tran a sympathy double up. JC Tran's K-Q outflopped Dennis Phillips' pocket tens. Phillips took a shot at the pot with a weak bet and Tran shoved all in.

"Your Queens are good," said Phillips, who knew he was beat, but called anyway.

JC Tran had one of the most accurate quotes about the not-so-glamorous life as a professional poker player... "Too much travel and too much bad food." Yep, that pretty much summed up the last four years of my life. JC Tran is a straight shooter. No bullshit. Alas, a short-stacked JC Tran's run ended when Dennis Phillips took him out.

The coolest kid in school, Joe Sebok, joined the featured TV table. He was second billing to the Dennis Phillips and Peter Eastgate show. Last year's November Niners were the headliners. A super short-stacked Sebok folded his button with rags instead of stealing the blinds. Good thing that Seebs did not shove with any two cards, because Eastgate held Aces in the small blind.

Peter Eastgate's bid to make back-to-back final tables came to a close when he was all in with A-J in a three-way pot against Dennis Phillips and Billy Kopp, who won the hand with a four-flush. Eastgate bowed out gracefully in 78th place. Fellow countryman, Gus Hansen, thinks that Eastgate is the best player to win the Main Event over the last few years. Gus isn't exactly going out on a limb there because the young Dane is the real deal. If he can just stop donking off his money in cash games, he'll still be around the game in a decade and a force to be reckon'd with.

* * * * *

Ah, the life of Phil Ivey.

The famished shark tormented the rest of the aquarium gobbling up blind guppies in his destructive path. The man, the myth, and the legend himself... Phil Ivey was on display out on the secondary TV table. It was sort of like feeding albino mice to your pet snake. You're know they're going to get swallowed whole but watch in amazement anyway.

Ivey always attracts an abundance of railbirds including his super fans who bring him nutritious meals, delicious snacks, and enthusiastically chant "Ivey! Ivey! Ivey!" every time their hero wins a pot.

Steve Begleiter was one of the few courageous players who actually got a punch in against Ivey. Ivey raised pre-flop with Kc-Jd and Begleiter called from the blinds with 8d-7d. On a flop of Ah-9h-6s, Begleiter checked, Ivey fired at the pot with just King-high after he whiffed and Begleiter called with a gutshot. The turn was the 3s and both players checked. The river was the Qd. Begleiter fired out 175K into a 300K pot. Ivey folded. He might make that call in a cash game, but he folded the best hand. Bluffed by the Wall Street guy.

High stakes cash game guru Hac "trex313" Dang found himself all in with Q-Q against Phil Ivey's J-J. But you know how this story ends. Ivey runs so fuckin' good that he promptly flops a Jack and Dang sprints to the rail so he can rush back to his room and fire up Full Tilt to win his $10,000 back on one hand of $500/$1,000 NL.

Photo by Flipchip

Ivey was so hot that the brash and cocky online kids avoided him. Ivey induced Lucky Chewey to fold a better hand to a river bet. Ivey even 4-bet James Ankenhead with J-10. Ankenhead held A-10 and ran for the hills when Ivey squeezed his balls.

"You brought out the bat with that one," said Ryan Fair who was also involved in that hand but wanted nothing to do with the potential fire fight between Ivey and Ankenhead.

"I can have a hand once in a while," said Ivey, which was his way of saying, "Fuckin' crackers! If you want to piss in the tall weeds with the big dogs, you better have good aim."

* * * * *

It's really a love story. A man. A woman. Poker as their common bond. I'm talking about the dynamic duo of DonkeyBomber and AngryJulie. As DonkeyBomber embarked on a deep run in the Main Event, his wife was there on the rail rooting on his every step.

DonkeyBomber held A-A and was pitted against John Martin's A-K. They got it all in on a King-high flop. DonkeyBomber won the pot and the cameras captured the first glimpses of AngryJulie giving everyone her best Bring It On! imitation.... "Brrrr.... it's cold in here!"

Actually, ESPN was very kind to AngryJulie in the editing room. They made her look much calmer and saner than what really happened because she was going ape-shit berserk on the rail. I didn't have to sweat DonkeyBomber that day. All I had to do was listen for AngryJulie because I could gauge his progress based upon her rambunctious choruses of yelps, shrieks, and bellows. Didn't matter if I was at the featured TV table or in the press box, every time that the DonkeyBomber won a pot -- we heard about it through AngryJulie's effervescent reaction.

"Stack 'em, stack 'em!" AngryJulie screamed.

Here's one of my favorite AngryJulie stories. One random afternoon during the first week of the WSOP, Benjo rushed back into the press box. "Holy shit, there is this hot woman. I have never seen her before, but she looks familiar. Who is she? Who is this MILTF?"

Europeans generally think that most Americans are inbred Diabetes-riddled beef jerky-eating yokels. But they absolutely love Jazz music and our affinity for creating acronyms, especially the MILTF. I explained to Benjo that the MILTF in question was AngryJulie, the fiery and feisty wife on 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider.

When DonkeyBomber doubled up with Big Slick against Ramage's A-Q, an encouraging AngryJulie proclaimed, "Ace-king is your friend."

"Poor DonkeyBomber. He looks like he wants to dig himself a hole," said Change100 as she sympathized with DonkeyBomber's dilemma. On one hand, he's thrilled to have a support system so close to the action. But then again, sometimes AngryJulie goes a little overboard and she's unable to contain herself. At any given moment, she unleashes an eruption of elated emotion. Loud is an understatement when describing her celebrations. Raucous comes to mind. She's the equivalent of a dozen soused football hooligans... minus the booze and the British accents.

"Stack 'em. Stack 'em up! To the top!!"

"I'm trying to maintain calm and piece right now," explained DonkeyBomber about trying to focus on surviving in the Main Event.

* * * * *

Photo by Flipchip

The Lone Lady: Leo Margets and Nichoel Peppe were seated at the same table at one point. They were both fighting for their lives, but it was Peppe who flinched first and busted out in an odd hand -- all in with Jh-4h against pocket Aces. Not even AngryJulie sweating her on the rail could help Peppe's cause. She finished in 75th place and Spain's Leo Margets was awarded the last woman standing cup.

French Frites: ElkY's stack was slipping all day and he got into a tough spot when he was all in with A-K against pocket Kings. He could not conjure up an Ace on the river and the one-time chipelader was out.... ElkY's fellow Frenchman, Ludovic Lacay, found himself in a dire situation -- all in with Kings against pocket Aces. It was Ludovic's day because the poker gods gifted him a King on the flop to win the hand and leap frog to the front page of the leader board.

Quote of the Day: "Nice hand is code for 'you're an idiot'..." - Howard Lederer.

* * * * *

Click here for Flipchip's WSOP Main Event photos.

You can read my end of day reports for Day 6 of the Main Event... Day 47: When I'm 64.

And here are previous recaps...
Main Event Day 5.5 and Day 6 on ESPN - Introducing the DonkeyBomber
Main Event Day 5 on ESPN - ElkY and Happy
Main Event Day 4 on ESPN - Bubbles and the World Series of Ivey
Main Event Day 3 on ESPN - Aussies, Ivey, and No Shake for Hellmuth
Main Event Day 2B on ESPN - A Kinder and Quieter Hellmuth and the Always Aloof Ivey Time
Main Event Day 2A on ESPN - The Fossilman and Costanza Show
See you next week.

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