Archive for the ‘poker lifestyle’ Category

Flashbacks, Dude

Quicky poker podcasting from @TaoPauly

by , Aug 14, 2013 | 3:25 pm

I’m not sure when they ended, but the days of old have certainly passed. People seem to be moving on in poker and in life. New jobs (or just jobs, frankly), new gigs, new wives and babies even, new adventures to be sure … only a few of them to be livestreamed prior to airing on TV.

Once upon a time poker, and poker blogging for that matter, was about escapism. People like you were captivated by a game, one you were watching on TV and playing at home, while a few of us (those without jobs, it seems) were out there sharing the adventures of those who were best at it. Stepping into that poker world from afar — if only for a few minutes at a time — was apparently alluring to enough of you that a few of us were able to turn it into our livings … but as poker turned from passion to profession … well, it was only a matter of time, for many, before problems would arise … and the game would begin to leave us if we didn’t leave it.

Remember Pauly? He got out a couple WSOP’s ago. So now he’s following Phish instead of the global poker circuit … but that doesn’t mean he’s left behind all he learned during his time with Tao of Poker, not to mention Tao of Pokerati. Have a listen to what he’s been up to below, as he and Change100 transport you back to those glorious days of old via the Phish Phamily Classic 3 from Harvey’s Lake Tahoe … a tournament where probably only two players have read Harrington, and even then you can’t calculate a player’s M without factoring in whether or not any drugs might be kicking in before the blinds go up.


Carnival Thrills Coming to the Rio

New zipline to provide gambling alternative, simulate feeling of jumping off building

by , Jun 20, 2013 | 7:50 am

Caesars Entertainment's rendering of the new Voodoo Skyline, presumably coming soon to a poker media WSOP video near you.

Caesars Entertainment’s rendering of the new Voodoo Skyline, presumably coming soon to a poker media WSOP video near you.

A zip line-like thrill ride will connect the two towers of the Rio and send guests soaring more than 400 feet above the off-Strip hotel-casino.

The attraction, dubbed the VooDoo Skyline, is expected to open this summer, officials with the project said Wednesday.

Rides will start from the VooDoo Lounge, atop the Rio’s 50-story Masquerade Tower.

Guests will travel 845 feet to the top of the 20-story Ipanema tower, reaching speeds of up to 33 mph. Riders will then make a return trip — upward through a motorized pulley system while traveling backward at 25 mph — to the starting point.

The total ride covers nearly one-third of a mile and takes 1 minute and 10 seconds from start to finish.

Riders will have 360-degree open-air views of the Strip.

More…


Battle of the Online Poker Documentaries?

New flick from minds behind The Micros debuts tonite

by , Jun 12, 2013 | 6:12 pm

I’m off to the premiere of Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker, at the Palms. Supposedly there’s gonna be a bitchin’ after-party, too. Supposedly I’m in it … but we never got around to a second interview, so who knows who makes it past the cutting room floor.

But assuming I did make the cut, maybe I’ll finally get a listing in the IMDB?

Bet Raise Fold is the second recent online poker documentary. I was in the other one, too. All In: the Poker Movie was abuzz at last year’s WSOP, and just last week made its small-screen debut, beginning a run on Showtime.

It’s not a surprise that All In made it first in the race to tell the post-Black Friday poker story, even though Bet Raise Fold was more than halfway done before Black Friday. All In was made by experienced filmmakers, after all, who simply jumped on the opportunity to put Leonardo DiCaprio Matt Damon in a YouTube freeze-frame, imho. But BRF was made by the minds behind the Micros — real poker players who know firsthand the impact of Black Friday — so I’ll be very curious to see if their deep connection to the storyline makes their movie better or worse.


Up Top!

How Ladies Poker is good for clitorises across the world

by , May 9, 2013 | 12:43 pm

Pokerati applauds Adelaide Casino for their use and placement of our spade.

Poker Gives: In a show of solidarity with clitoral activists worldwide, Pokeratizens at the table this week will be pulling down their hoodies.

Check it out … we love seeing Poker present in popular culture, and Buzzfeed dug up this kinda sexy-funny advert for Ladies Poker at the Adelaide Casino in Australia. The promotion is a few years old, but it made the BF spread honoring International Clitoris Awareness Week, a new real-holiday charity campaign. So this week only especially, do your lady a solid and pay a little extra attention to her pointer, yo.

Source:Buzzfeed: 14 Vagina Imagery Ads.
(No worries, totally SFW … though some may or may not find one strawberry strangely arousing.)


WSOP Reconnect

With a player who's won even before we get to the money

by , Jul 29, 2012 | 6:00 am

I got a message on Facebook smack in the middle of the WSOP — June 23rd — from someone I had been buddies with since grade school, but had lost touch with since moving away from Michigan almost 10 years ago. The message started off with him, Dave, saying congrats on my poker career and that he liked reading this blog, which was cool to hear because I usually have no idea who reads this thing, mom and dad excluded. (Hi Mom and Dad!) Dave went on to say sorry for emailing out of the blue but he was really hoping for a bit of advice.

His father had really taken to poker over the past decade, he explained, often playing with friends and family as well as in charity card rooms around their home in Michigan. He wrote that his dad “has long since dreamed” of making the trek cross country and playing in a WSOP event, and that with a rare vacation timed perfectly at the end of the month, he was wondering whether it would be a good idea or silly pursuit. He phrased it in a way that might make you think of a lot of fans of the game dreaming of taking their shot in Vegas, only better, because he made sure to say that win or lose, he thought it would make for a great experience for his dad, who was last in Las Vegas 40 years ago.

More…


Re: The Ultimate Who’s Who of Poker

Who'd be playing One Drop pre-Black Friday?

by , Jul 1, 2012 | 8:03 pm

We’ve gotta move on from all this talk of Black Friday, I know … it was nearly a year and a half ago, and we’ll be hearing about its cases moving forward in various capacities probably for another 2+ years.n But if the million-dollar buy-in tournament without certain people does indeed kick off a new era in poker — a hypothesis I’m currently formulating from the mothership — then consider this a farewell to economic powerhouses in the industry who suddenly aren’t, as you can tell by their absence.

The question’s in the subhed … Who would probably be playing in a million-dollar buy-in tournament (who currently is not) were this tournament being held in 2010? I’ll start off with whom I’d put on my list … we’re gonna presume the cap wouldn’t be at 48 either … 64 maybe, or 72 or even 96, but we can start there — on assumption without fact that the WSOP woulda made this thing a little bigger had they counted on the likes of:

Howard Lederer
Andy Bloch
Chris Ferguson
Full Tilt Qualifier and/or PokerStars Qualifier
Tony G
Doyle Brunson
Scott Tom (?)

More…


Vanessa Selbst on Completing Law Degree and Winning Poker

Las Vegas Review-Journal

by , Jun 8, 2012 | 5:56 am

Vanessa Selbst didn’t hide her professional poker career from professors and classmates while attending Yale Law School.

She just put the game on hold for a couple of years. Selbst closed out her online accounts and stayed away from the tables.

“When you’re in poker, you’re really into it and you want to play all the time,” Selbst said. “I tried to force poker from my mind. I pretty much had to remove myself from that while I was in New Haven (Conn.)”

More…


Wynn Plugs in, Keeps Players All Charged up

@RandomPoker around Las Vegas

by , Jun 3, 2012 | 2:25 pm

I’m posting this from my mobile device while at a 1/3 table, without worrying about my battery dying. About a week ago, the Wynn installed electrical outlets under the tables at almost every seat in the room.

wynn poker table outlet

“It’s great customer service,” said the random player to my right with his iPhone plugged in. He said he talked with a Caesars floor man about it and would tell poker room managers back East.


Three Survival Tips For the WSOP

Hoodies and drag queens (what else?) could give you the edge

by , May 25, 2012 | 1:24 pm

In 2005, veteran poker blogger and author of “Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker”  put together his “Top Ten Survival Tips on Surviving Las Vegas.” Dr. Pauly’s sage advice, which ranges from hydrating to the proper tip for a stripper, stands the test of time.

For those of you heading out to the WSOP, here are three other survival tips you might not otherwise think of. (If you have others, chime in): 

Think Layers: Thousands of body heat-generating players come together each day to test their poker skills at the WSOP. To compensate for the pending crowd, the venue is super-cooled before each day’s play. As a result, there can be large temperature swings over the course of an event. A T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt and hoodie should be part of your daily clothing repertoire.

Go Smokeless: During event breaks, smokers have to coin-flip between a bathroom visit and a nicotine fix. Instead of opting for adult diapers, consider smokeless nicotine solutions like the patch or snus. Both offer an even distribution of nicotine over time, making sure you stay focused on your hand and not your nicotine Jones. Check out Dr. Snus for everything you need to know about this smoke-free tobacco alternative.

Find Your Ten-Pin Zen: Poker is a solitary endeavor. Bowling with friends is a near perfect yin to poker’s isolating yang. In close proximity to the Rio, both The Orleans and the Gold Coast have ample and cheaply priced lanes. And if you have a hankering for something on the campier side, consider a trip downtown to the newly opened Drink and Drag. The club has 12 lanes and is staffed by “America’s best drag queens.”


Rio Rap Party

@SrslySrius gets psyched for the WSOP

by , | 12:44 pm

It’s the kind of built-in customer appreciation and multimedia word of mouth a true evil empire could only dream of … or maybe it’s just free advertising Caesars officials have grown to expect:

My how far we’ve come since the days when Jeff Madsen held the mic for the WSOP.


A Bigger, Louder WSOP for 2012?

Table talk and celebration encouraged at Series, required at feature tables

by , May 8, 2012 | 1:10 pm

Jack Effel expects a “huge and great” 2012 World Series of Poker.

It certainly won’t be a quiet one.

“The poker room is not church,” Effel, the tournament director for the past 6 years, told poker media today. “You can talk in the poker room. We just feel that we need to set the tone to put the fun back into poker.”

A trimmed down WSOP TD Jack Effel promises to go easy on players who want to chat it up at the tables this year.

Table talk and celebration are allowed once again — and even encouraged, Effel and WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said.

“We’re going to relearn what it’s like to be at a poker table, understanding the verbal strategy,” Effel said.

Just don’t expose your cards, or talk when someone else has yet to act. Essentially, you can yap all you want if you’re closing the action.

This is something of a level, as one reporter pointed out: WSOP knows the ESPN cameras are on all the players who know the cameras are on them.

“We’ve rewritten the rules to say we want you to celebrate, just don’t get crazy,” Effel added, putting the kibosh on the 4-year-old “Hevad Khan rule.”

Players at a feature table are even required to announce their action.

At any given point between May 27 and July, there will be as many as 500 poker tables at the Rio. That’s the largest ever for a single event, Effel said.

This year’s WSOP offers 61 bracelets for events including a $1,500 “ante only” event, a $2,500 4-max event, a $3,000 heads-up NL/PLO event, and a $5,000 mix-max event. They’ve also added a couple quirky non-bracelet events, such as the $560 bracelet bounty, where players receive $500 for knocking out a bracelet winner, and a $560 (per player) doubles tournament, where players share a chip stack and alternate at each level.

They also announced the return of daily deep stack tournaments.

Stewart feels good about the prospect of a “second boom for poker,” even with Full Tilt player funds in limbo a year after Black Friday.

“This game is stronger than we all even hoped,” he said. “It has become truly global, and it is here to stay. It appears poker’s darkest days are behind us.”

A few other highlights from the conference call:

  • With a series of satellite events and a $25,000 mega satellite, the directors expect to fill the 48-player $1 million One Drop charity tournament to reach capacity.
  • Instead of the standard food comp, players this year will receive Caesars Total Reward credits for bracelet events based on the size of the buy-in.
  • The main event final table has been pushed up to Oct. 28, instead of the following month, when it would have interfered with the presidential election.

Keys to Success, I Mean Failure

Curse of the keychain swag

by , Apr 20, 2012 | 5:57 am

Mark Cuban wrote that a sure sign of failure for any start-up is too much promotional gear. I’ve always kinda agreed … believing too many pokerpreneur types come with all the hype but not an actual product (let alone value proposition). But who am I to complain? Everyone knows Pokerati’s business model: to run a haphazard media empire and someday retire by collecting poker swag for future sale on eBay.

Totally coincidental, I happened upon this keyless keyring while cleaning out one of my poker closets last week and couldn’t help but lol-chuckle that none of these three operations made it to a second birthday despite significant hype and promotional spends.

epic ppt all in energy keychain

Oh yeah, and Pokerati turns 8 years old today or tomorrow. So does Full Tilt Poker.


California Losses vs. Vegas Wins

On the road to heads-up victory?

by , Apr 19, 2012 | 7:18 pm

Me in Oceanside, CA

Ahhh, California...

My brother Chris and I, hiking Runyon Canyon above LA

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably either a poker player or fan of the game in some fashion. You know that the games in Las Vegas are plentiful on any day of the week. The weekend crowd consists of tourists from all parts of the US escaping their routine lives for a few days in the desert. During the week, the player ratio skews more towards Europeans on extended holiday, mixed with the company conference crowd and conventioneers. There are always locals in the game and during the daytime, they can represent 50 percent or more of the table lineup, even at Strip properties.

At nighttime the ratio shifts more towards the out-of-towners, but where the tourists are, there will always be local regs scattered about.

It’s so fun playing a heads-up tournament. You get to play every hand… what more needs to be said?

As a poker player and/or fan, you might’ve heard that while Las Vegas is the gambling epicenter of the US, when it comes to poker, the true Mecca is actually located in Los Angeles. And after a recent return visit to my old stomping grounds, I was quickly reminded of that fact. The LA cardrooms are different in so many ways from their Vegas counterparts in everything from the atmosphere to the feel of the cards to the player makeup to what’s comped and what isn’t. At any one time in the Commerce, Bicycle, Hustler or any other casinos that occupy very non-glitzy East LA districts, you won’t find more than 1 percent of the player pool designated as “tourists”. No tourist is going to take time out of enjoying gorgeous Malibu or exploring the weirdness of Venice Beach to grind Commerce Casino. These places are packed with locals who love poker, love gambling, and very much love action. They absolutely have to… how else could you explain these folks braving horrific Los Angeles traffic to get to Bell Gardens to play $2/$3NL midweek? It’s true, you do get comped food from a rather impressive menu at the Bike, as opposed to free cocktails a la Las Vegas. But I have to assume it’s more than that. Poker has become a real part of several cultures that make up Los Angeles’ diverse demographics. It’s been that way for decades now, before the no-limit era and now well into it.

More…


Tax Court Ruling Favors Poker Pros

Feds change stance on deductible expenses

by , Apr 6, 2012 | 12:00 am

David in Dallas sends an FYI about a big ruling in Tax Court that should prove rather beneficial to poker players:

The key take-away is that poker losses are now deductible for professional gamblers beyond your profits, so you can carry them forward and backward to offset income in other years. You can file on Schedule C instead of Schedule A, which limits deductibility.

Of course, none of you probably have any losses to deduct, but it’s nice to know that you have the right anyway.

Wow. You know taxes and finance aren’t really my game, but if David’s correct, this reversal of interpretation seems nearly as big as the DOJ’s December flip on the Wire Act — microeconomic change poker players can believe in!? Even if my attachment of significance is a bit of a stretch, it probably was about time for the Feds to acknowledge that yes, they know now (after years of investigation), playing poker even semi-professionally comes with legitimate business expenses beyond your buy-in …but bummer for Dan personally, as losses suffered in the Pokerati game apparently are not deductible as marketing write-offs. (Crap, there goes my equity.)

Kinda a big step for poker players seeking a certain legitimacy for their profession. And who knew … “Tax Court,” it turns out, is a real place, not some reality show on Bravo or The Learning Channel.

A quick-and-dirty excerpt from the new issue of the (always-sexy) Journal of Accountancy that jumps right to the end for stuff that matters for poker players who at least occasionally find themselves reporting net-positive results is below:

More…


Poker to the Masses

Chris Moneymaker on tour in documentary as accidental movie star, subcultural icon

by , Mar 26, 2012 | 10:47 am

For those who weren’t up at 6am pacific last Thursday watching news, Chris Moneymaker appeared on Morning Joe (MSNBC’s start to the mainstream news day) with Doug Tirola, director of ALL IN: The Poker Movie … the documentary you’ve been hearing about for years (it won an award at the Cinevegas Film Festival three years ago!) that really has been finished thanks to Black Friday providing an ending, and is finally showing for the non-poker public:

While poker people may think this film is a fine representation of the past nine years of our lives … the virtual parade of poker personalities telling the tale (including yours truly, ahem) in the most hyped poker movie since Lucky You got panned by had the New York Times rolling its eyes, saying, “in the interest of accuracy. It ought to be ‘All In: The Poker Propaganda Movie.'”

Fair-ish point by the NYT, but really, watch the clip above and you see a filmmaker who, after 5+ years shooting this film, is not so much a political activist as he is a religious convert.