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22-10-2007, 21:29   #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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have you ever considered yourself to have a "gambling problem"?

Have u ever tried to wrire a novel?

When u were younger what did u want to be?

If u could change one thing about your life what would it be?

Do u put money aside every week akin to a pension plan?
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23-10-2007, 00:10   #17
ArmaniJeanss
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1. Any thoughts on the future of UIGEA?
2. Any thoughts on why Atlantic City never seemed to take off?
3. Would you encourage your kids to play poker?
4. Any extra titbits of info you can give us on the various Brandi Hawbecker incidents, other than whats already in the public domain?
5. What did you think of JerryYangs "I will glorify your name Lord. With the money I make, I will glorify your name” praying?

Cheers,
Apols if you've already covered this sort of stuff in your blog !
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23-10-2007, 06:04   #18
 
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Second Batch of Answers....

1. Why is there such a dearth of good writing about poker? I can think of only a handful of decent books about poker (Alvarez, the first Holden, McManus) but a ****load of dross - why is this the case?

I don't have a good answer. There are some writers in the industry who are top notch like Brad "Otis" Willis, Jay Greenspan, and the folks at Blonde Poker (Snoopy, Jen, Homer) but they often get overlooked because lots of poker publications would rather have a average piece written by a named pro than an exceptional piece written by a real writer. And the funny thing is, most of the pro's articles, books, and blogs are ghost written by real writers. I also think that the fault lies within the group of writers itself. A lot of people who cover poker are more interested in the "hipster lifestyle" and stay out all night partying or/and spending their time playing poker after hours instead of focusing on honing their craft.


2. On a related topic, when are you going to write the ultimate poker novel? Get cracking!!

I don't think I'll ever write a poker novel. As soon as I get some time off, I'll attempt to write a non-fiction book about my experiences in Las Vegas and on the international poker trail. I have written two screenplays and five unpublished novels including my first one titled "Jack Tripper Stole My Dog." I might self-publish that book sometime in the future under Wil Wheaton's publishing company. We've discussed it a couple of times, but that's as far as it has gotten.


3. Your blog makes frequent references to the joys of strippers, boozing, gambling and recreational drug use - please provide a link to the most debauched tale of yours involving one or some (but preferably all!) of the above.

Check out anything I have written involving the series called Existentialist Conversations with Strippers. Actually, that could be a great book someday, right?


4. You're lucky enough to travel lots on the poker circuit - outside of America, what would be your preferred country to live in and why?

Yeah I've been luck to get to travel to cool places instead of getting stuck in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Spain is an amazing country. I'm a big fan of Barcelona. I could live in Australia (where I'm currently covering the Poker News Cup) since it's such a beautiful country with laid back people who like to party, plus they speak English down under! I've always had a great time in Holland, so that's probably the place for me, particularly Amsterdam. Parts of it remind me of my hometown of New York City, and then there's all the hashbars and coffeeshops....


5. Who is the biggest degenerate on the professional poker scene and why?

Mike Matusow is a notorious sports bettor and routinely loses tons of money betting on American sports. One day he's sitting on a few million and the next day he's busto. TJ CLoutier might be one of the best tournament players of all time... but he's constantly broke because his biggest weakness is craps. It's sort of cliche, but you will actually find Cloutier at the craps table moments after he cashes in a tournament. Erick Lindgren is also known to be a heavy sports bettor.


6. Is High Stakes Poker a set-up for the cameras? Sssssh, we won't tell anyone....

I don't think it is. With most televised events, the crew shoots for several hours and the editors use a small percentage of the hands that were actually played. So it appears that there's lots of action, when they probably pick twenty or so hands out of hundreds. In reality, you miss all the folding and folding and folding.


7. What's your opinion of the current president of the US of A? Who (of the major contenders, no fantasy Liz Lieu presidencies please) would you like to succeed him and why?

I'm not a fan of George W. Bush, but I also realize that he's just a figurehead and there are plenty of people behind the scenes who are really calling the shots, such as Dick Cheney. Remember the TV show the X-Files? And the cigarette smoking man? Well, that's Dick Cheney. Bush is a muppet and takes all the shots from the press and the haters allowing those really in power to operate in the shadows. I voted for Ralph Nader in the last two presidential elections. I would have voted for Howard Dean in 2004, but he got knocked out of the race in favor of John Kerry. TIn 2008? Barack Obama seems like a logical chocie for me, after all he plays poker. How anyone could vote for Hillary Clinton is beyond me. Anyone who had no idea that her husband was banging Monica Lewinsky should not be the leader of any country (OK, maybe France). But I honestly think that US elections are rigged... so it doesn't matter who I really vote for. We have the illusion of democracy in America.


8. Are you sick of the 'corporatisation' (if that is a word ) of poker, even though this provides you with your livelihood?

The 'corporatisation' of poker is something that is reflective of a lot of aspects of society. If I were to work in Hollywood as a writer, I'd be working a corporate gig so there's no escaping it. Corporations is where the money and power is these days. The power used to be with the church centuries ago, then nation states took control. Now it's corporations who are raping and pillaging everything in the world. I dunno if it can be stopped.


9. If there is a 'soul' of poker, has it been sold out to the highest bidder and Disneyified beyond belief a la the current WSOP circus?

That's a funny statement, because Disney owns ESPN which has a lot to do with shaping how poker is presented to the public in America. Yeah, poker has been whored out to folks like Corum watches and Milwaukee's Beast Lite. But that's happening all over the place. You can't watch a TV show or a film without seeing some sort of product placement. Once someone reaches any level of fame, they start shilling. Can you blame them? If a company throws tons of money at you to plug their product, why wouldn't you? Buy the way, play on PokerStars!


10. listmania!
blondes or brunettes? BLONDES
East Coast or West Coast? EAST COAST
lemons or limes? LEMONS
natural or silicon? NATURAL
Amsterdam or New Amsterdam? AMSTERDAM
Hemmingway or Mailer? HEMINGWAY
Tournaments or Cash? CASH
Showing a monster bluff with The Hammer at the final table of the WSOP ME or writing a Booker Prize winning novel? NOVEL


11. Is there something ironic about this from someone who makes his money from building up the pros? For example during the WSOP you had a section on "last 5 pros I pissed next to".

If you took the time over the last few years reading my work, you would know that the last thing I do is celebritize the pros. As far as the Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To... it's just a big joke, which quickly became a fan favorite.


12. I haven't read very much of your blog. I was linked to it a few times and I thought you were a good writer. But I was turned off by the fact that every second sentence was "then I went to play at PokerStars, which is one of my favourite sites along with Full Tilt Poker , etc". It looks like you don't have as many affiliate links now. Is this partly due to the UIGEA or is it just coincidence?

First off, thanks for thinking I'm a good writer. Now onto the answers...

At one point, I had dozens of online poker accounts at various sites. It's the truth when I say things like... Stars is one of my favorite sites. I can't seem to win there, which is why I play a lot of FT. I used to love Party Poker and the games were so fishy, but I can't play on Party anymore due to the UIGEA.

I write for free on the Tao and being an affiliate is a way to make a few extra bucks. Poker writers don't earn much. Ask Dev and he'll tell you. Believe me... I'm one of the top paid writers in the industry and it's peanuts. Also, my RSS feeds gets nicked a lot by douchebags who try to make money off of stealing my original content and passing it off as their own. Embedding the affiliate links into my posts is a way for me to get a few bucks back from those scumbags who steal my stuff. Maybe I'll get a click through or two. Maybe not. But I have to do something to protect myself. The majority of my readers already have accounts on those sites you mentioned, so they simply pass over it. Also, no one is forcing you to click through the links, so it's never been an issue.


13. Do you feel it is difficult to comment objectively on internet poker sites when you work as an affiliate for so many of them?

I have never had a problem. If something sucks about a site, I'll write about it. The best part about my affiliate deals is that the online sites have no say over what I write on the Tao. However, when I wrote for PokerStars Blog at the 2006 WSOP, I felt that I had to toe the company line because after all I was getting paid to promote PokerStars and their players.


14. Where would you place the top female pros in terms of top 100 players in the world. (take a stab)

That's a tough question because how do you quantify "the best"? Is it by overall poker skill? Cash games? Tournaments? I think that players like Jen Harman, Cyndy Violette, and Liz Lieu are solid cash game players. Kathy Liebert, JJ Lui, and Annette_15 are among the best NL tournament players. Kristy Gazes and Annie Duke are excellent all around players (in games like Omaha 8 and Stud).


15. Daniel Negreanu appears to be a very affable chap . Tell us of his dark side.

He can get preachy when he talks about religion on his blog. I'm not against religious people. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school. But I'm turned off when people try to push their religious beliefs on you.


16. Do you think a rule should be placed into Poker to penalise blantant slowrollers. (Eg If a player slowrolls should he be warned by the dealer and if reoffending penalised in some way. Or is this something we just have to put up with.)

I loathe slowrollers. I don't think it should be a rule, but it's definitely one of those instances where slow rollers should get the crap beat out of them in the parking lot.


17. Vegas -> Have any of the famous poker players been robbed/mugged with large poker winnings to your knowledge.

Like someone mentioned, Doyle Brunson was robbed at his house and faked a heart attack. Two thugs tried to rob Greg Raymer at gunpoint at the Bellagio a couple of years ago. The Grinder's brother and his wife were robbed in the parking lot at the Rio at the 2006 WSOP. And don't forget about all those stories about pros getting rolled by hookers. It happens a lot. A friend of mine was robbed at gunpoint... Las Vegas is a dangerous city with lots of crime.


18. Do the 'mob' have a big say in what happens in Vegas or is it the year 2007?

Nah, the mob hasn't been in Vegas in decades. Some of them run the illegal card rooms in NYC, but they're long gone from Vegas. Sadly, a bunch of suits run Vegas now.


19. What the most you've ever won in a hand and describe the action.

I won a big hand in one of the $1,500 NL donkaments at the 2007 WSOP which helped get me in a position to cash in my first WSOP tournament for like $4,700. Here's how I described the hand on my blog...

I found 7c-7h and raised 2,100 from the cutoff. LA pro CK Hua was to my left and he jammed for 7,100. Everyone folded to me. And I sat looking at CK Hua's hands. He wore a bracelet. I dunno from what event, but he was showing his bling. I tried to put him on a range of hands. CK Hua could have any two cards. Then I started thinking about what was in his bag. CK Hua always has a man purse with him and wears while playing. What was in there? Cash for Chinese Poker. Cell phone. Vinnie Vinh's stash? Nah. But what the **** does CK Hua have in his man purse? I had to shake off those thoughts and focus on the hand. If he had big cards, I was risking my tournament life on a coin flip. If he had a small pair, I was way ahead. If CK Hua woke up to a monster I was ****ed.

Big time pro vs. me. Time to make a stand. That's why people play in these events? The chance to take down a professional. Sticking it to someone who lists professional poker player on their tax returns. I told myself that I wouldn't let CK Hua push me around. That's when I noticed a swarm of media surrounding the table. If I busted, the world would know about in within ninety seconds. No fear. Sometimes you have to be willing to lose everything to get ahead in life.

"I'm all in," I said.

"I call," CK Hua quickly said.

"Do you have a pair?" I asked.

He shook his head as I showed him my Sevens. He showed Ad-Jc.

"Fifty percent," I said.

"Fifty percent," he said.

We both stood up as the dealer put out the flop. Usually I have perfect clarity over big hands. It's my job and what I get paid to do. That instance, I could not recall a card. All I know was that I still lead. On the turn CK Hua picked up a gutshot. The river was a blank and I doubled up. I was stunned. I couldn't move. I doubled through CK Hua and all I could think about was what the **** was in his bag. CK counted out my chips since I couldn't speak and he shoved chips my way.

I sensed that I tilted CK Hua. It took me twice as long to stack my chips because my hands were shaking. I did exactly what I said I was going to do. CK Hua hooked me up and I was above average up to 23K.


20. Have you ever played strip poker ? Describe the cheating action.

Unfortunately... no. I know, that's pretty lame.


21. Do you practice any BR management for your sports betting?

I should... but I don't. I have a roll that I use during the NFL season. I start out betting small and later in the season I'm betting a lot on just one or two games. Whatever I have left I use for the March Madness college basketball tournament. What I win... I use for travel. If I lose, then I start from scratch.


22. Was there ever a prop bet you regretted taking part in?

Perhaps the one when I offered Otis $400 to eat two Keno crayons at the Gold Coast. It was like 4am and a few friends of mine got hammered at a Pai Gow table and Otis was quickly stuck $1K. He got comped a couple of free meals at the cafe since he was betting like $800 a hand at one point on a $5 table. We went to eat steak and eggs. I was joking around and didn't think he'd actually eat the crayons. But he was wasted and stuck a lot and the next thing I knew... he was shoving them in his mouth. There's a You Tube video of it. Here's the link. If it doesn't work, just search for... Otis Keno Crayons. And yes, that's Wil Wheaton making a cameo in the video.


23. On average how many people visit your site weekly?

50,000 per week. It's much higher during the WSOP... sometimes as much as 100,000 a day.


24. What's your favorite poker book & non-poker book?

My favroite poker book is "The Biggest Game in Town" by Al Alvarez. My favorite non-poker book is tough. I dig almost anything written by Henry Miller, Hunter Thompson, Charles Bukowski, and Spalding Grey.


25.Family Guy or the Simpsons?

The Simpsons.


26. Have you ever tried to write a novel?

I wrote five unpublished novels...
1. Jack Tripper Stole My Dog
2. Sweet Nothing: The Baby and Winky Story
3. The Blind Kangaroo
4. Barhopping with Buddha
5. Gumbo


27. When u were younger what did u want to be?

When I was a kid, I wanted to play third base for the NY Yankees. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, because my grandfather was a doctor, but that never happened. In high school, I got an internship on the floor of the NY Commodities Exchange in the World Trade Center and I was hooked on the financial sector. In college I wanted to play in a band... but that never materialized. I wasn't a good enough guitar player and I was too lazy to practice. After college I took a job on Wall Street as a bond trader, but I dreamed about being a novelist. I quit my job to write, and the rest is history. Sort of...


28. If u could change one thing about your life what would it be?

I probably would have worried less about things that I had no control over. It's weird how you get obsessed with some things which drive you crazy ike what people think about you. If I could learn to let go of those things when I was younger, I might have been a lot happier and less bummed about.

Also, I probably would have spent more time with my friends and family appreciated what we had... because you always think that you might be tight with some folks forever, but in reality, that rarely happens. People change and relationships evolve. Had I known that there's a shelf life on friendships, I would have appreciated it more at the time.


29. Do u put money aside every week akin to a pension plan?

I invest regularly on my own. I recently paid off my college loan and all my credit cards, so I'll have some more opportunities to invest on a monthly basis. Or maybe I'll just waste it all on strippers and blow...


30. Any thoughts on the future of UIGEA?

I think it's going to stick around for a while, but not be enforced. I doubt that it will get overturned in the near future... because it's difficult to change existing laws in America. It's easy to pass them, but it's a long pain in the arse process to actually overturn them.


31. Any thoughts on why Atlantic City never seemed to take off?

The corruption of their local politicians and the influence of the mob really made the city unattractive. The tax money that they got from the casinos was embezzled instead of being invested into the infrastructure of Atlantic City. It's really a bad area with a lot of crime. The cheap package deals to fly to Vegas seemed more appealing that a trip to AC. When Connecticut allowed Indian casinos like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, gamblers who lived near there stopped coming down to AC. It's sad. It used to be a great place to vacation when my parents were kids. Now it's a dump with the exception of a few casinos like the Borgata.


32. Would you encourage your kids to play poker?

I don't intend on having children. But if I did, I would focus more on the math & statistics side of poker than the gambling aspects. Poker can be a good tool to teach children about understanding risk assessment and learning negotiation and survival skills.


33. Any extra titbits of info you can give us on the various Brandi Hawbecker incidents, other than whats already in the public domain?

Not really. She always smiled at me when I walked by her at the WSOP. But I think she just wanted media attention. I was bummed out that I never got to see her strip over at the Spearmint Rhino. There were some odd things going on with her and David Sklanasky, but I think she's too old for him. He likes very young girls.


34. What did you think of JerryYangs "I will glorify your name Lord. With the money I make, I will glorify your name” praying?

I thought it was cheesy, but he honestly believed that God helped him win, so be it. How can I argue against that? At least he's going to do some good things with his money by donating to charities instead of blowing it at the craps table or buying too many bottles of Cristal.
DrPauly is offline  
23-10-2007, 23:26   #19
DeVore
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How long do you think independant bloggers will be allowed (or want to) report on the WSOP? Have we had the golden days of the solo blogger?

How sick of those turkey hoggies they put in the press room do you get?

You have to put your all your bankroll in the hands of Otis, Wil or Brad for a solid nights cash tabling at 3/6. Who?

Any comments on the perception of Irish poker in the US?

What do you see as the major differences between poker here (EU) and poker there (US)?

Do you do any other sports?

You are a keen monster trucker, no? Whats up with that??

DeV.
ps: I can't believe you regret that Keno crayon prop bet (unless it was because you lost 400 notes!). A chance to humiliate Otis doesnt come around often , you have to jump at that sh1t
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24-10-2007, 20:46   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPauly View Post

12. Rate the last 10 ME WSOP winners in order of ability 1-10(in you opinion)

Best to worst...
1. Scotty Nguyen
2. Carlos Mortensen
3. Jesus
4. Greg Raymer
5. Joe Hachem
6. Noel Furlong
7. Jamie Gold
8. Chris Moneymaker
9. Jerry Yang
10. Robert Varkonyi
1. Big lol at Robert Varkonyi coming last on that list! Is he really worse than Yang or Gold?

2. A regular question in the well: what's your opinion on 'survival' play in tournaments i.e. do you think a player should take every edge going, or should he play with survival in mind?

3. Another regular question: Do you think cash-only players have a better understanding of the game than tournament-only players?

3. Are you a regular contributer on 2+2, or any other forums? What's your opinion on the posters who inhabit the Televised/Tournament Circuit forums on 2+2?

4. I've a feeling you're deliberately avoiding bad-mouthing any players, but what's your opinion on Humberto Brenes? Tony G?

5. What do you think of the 'enthusiastic' celebrations (fist-pumping, cheering, etc) that take place in big events like the WSOP when a player knocks an opponent out? Is it fair to say that American players tend to be more disrespectful to opponents when they knock them out?

6. You seem to like your alcohol. Would you (or did you) match Tom or Mike or any random Irish WSOP'er in drinking ability?

7. What was your most extreme session (beer, not poker)?

8. You've talked a bit about the card rooms in NY; how safe are they? Can any random punter get a seat at a table? Why hasn't there been a crack-down on the card rooms?

9. Have you been to Ireland, or do you have any plans to come over?

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Pauly. Your blog is excellent, but I must admit to only really following it religiously during WSOP time.
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24-10-2007, 23:08   #21
 
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1. What is the poker scene in the USA? Is if just Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, or is there an active bricks and mortar scene throughout the fifty states? Or is it home games and internet?

2. Describe the average US poker player (age / gender / education / occupation / hobbies). How does this differ from the professional player? Do most professional players gamble on sports?

3. Is this the first poker boom since the 19th century riverboat days? Is this boom over, or has it still got legs?

4. Which affect results most – drink, fatigue, tilt, skill, luck?

5. If you are playing in an important event how do you ensure you arrive at the table in peak shape e.g. play minor events; have a good meal; dress comfortably / snappily; arrive in plenty of time; read Sklansky / Brunson; play satellites or avoid them. I'm guessing most Irish players just turn up.

Thanks for answering our questions.
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27-10-2007, 01:28   #22
 
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Posts: 3
Answers Batch #3

1. How long do you think independant bloggers will be allowed (or want to) report on the WSOP? Have we had the golden days of the solo blogger?

That's a good question. I think they will continue to be allowed at the WSOP and given press badges, but they might not get great access and not be as close up as we were in 2005. These exclusive deals end up hurting the little guy - even though the deals were not designed to push them out of the party. The exclusive deals are in place to cock-block the other main media outlets who are in competition with each other. The result is that smaller sites and individual bloggers get left out of the mix. So I think they might make the decision to not spend all that time, money, and effort to go to Las Vegas when they get the same access as someone on the rail. You're better off covering the event from your couch at home. In some instances, it's better to be a railbird that an accredited media person. I agree with your statement... the days of the solo blogger are long gone. Sadly.


2. How sick of those turkey hoggies they put in the press room do you get?

I ate them once, almost puked, and then avoided it completely. The food that the Rio serves sucks cow testicles. And when you have to eat it everyday for seven weeks, it makes you want to puke at the site of those awful cheeseburgers and I wouldn't even touch the free stuff in the media room. The exception is the free water and soft drinks. That was clutch. But they need to spend a few bucks and provide better food.


3. You have to put your all your bankroll in the hands of Otis, Wil or Brad for a solid nights cash tabling at 3/6. Who?

Otis and Brad are the same guy. I'd have to go with Otis. Nothing against Wil, but Otis has been playing poker longer and can handle himself in a cash game. Wil's a great tournament player but I don't think he has much experience at the cash game tables.


4. Any comments on the perception of Irish poker in the US?

The Irish? Americans think you're a bunch of drunken hooligans that will play any two cards! Nah, just kidding. There's not much to go on besides Andy Black. Even though Noel Furlong won the WSOP and there are a handful of great Irish players like Don O'Dea and Dave Callaghan, none of them get the media exposure like Andy Black gets. Most Americans are educated by television so when they watch poker on TV, they think that all Irish poker players are tilty Buhhdists like Black. Fortunate for me, I had the advantage of knowing you and Mike Lacey, and you'd tip me off about what the Irish poker scene is all about. But that's rare. No matter what event I covered, I made the effort to ask about what Irish guys I should be following. I know that at the 2006 WSOP that Card Player barely covered any European players. When Poker News got tapped to cover the 2007 WSOP, we made a conscious effort to cover more Europeans and relied upon the help of other European media reps like Blonde Poker, who knew the majority of Irish pros on the circuit.


5. What do you see as the major differences between poker here (EU) and poker there (US)?

Europeans are not as loud, obnoxious, and rowdy at the tables. A lot of American behavior at the tables is conditioned to what we see on television. Poker programs tend to hype up the douchebags (after all it's good for ratings). So young players at home think that's how the game is played... so they go out and act like the pros on TV. Europeans tend to be more laid back when it comes to displaying their feelings and emotions, which makes it harder to read them at the tables.

Europeans tend to play more pot-limit games like PLO and PLH where as there are more Limit Hold'em and in parts of the States more Stud. Europeans see poker more as a game of skill involving a lot of thinking such as chess and backgammon. Americans view poker as entertainment or a way to make money.

And Europeans have a different set of tells due to the diversity of the various cultures. Touching your mouth at a table in Las Vegas is a tell...but it might mean something different in Sweden, Ireland, and Russia.


6. Do you do any other sports?

I played a lot of team sports when I was younger... basketball, hockey, football, and baseball. I got into golf when I was in college and play lots of pool/billiards. I like to get sh1tfaced and go beer bowling from time to time. These days... I bet on a lot of sports.


7. You are a keen monster trucker, no? Whats up with that??

Monster trucks? In America that's a sport for inbred rednecks with four teeth. Not for me.


8. Big lol at Robert Varkonyi coming last on that list! Is he really worse than Yang or Gold?

Varkonyi hasn't done anything since his WSOP victory. Granted he didn't win enough money and didn't get the major endorsements that the champions after him got... so he kept his day job. He doesn't play too many events. Jamie Gold has been playing NL cash games for a couple of years and has some skill, although he got schooled at High Stakes poker. Then again, they were all after him.


9. A regular question in the well: what's your opinion on 'survival' play in tournaments i.e. do you think a player should take every edge going, or should he play with survival in mind?

It depends on the structure. If you have a lot of chips to play with and long levels, you can sit back and peddle the nuts. If you don't get lots of chips or the structure is fast... you have to take any edge. I tend to play in survival mode... my initial goal is to make the first break... then make the money... then make the final table. Along the way, I look for spots.

For a while I would just make it to the money and barely get my buy-in back. I decided that was a waste of time and started playing faster earlier on. My philosophy shifted and I either busted out early or I accumulated a ton of chips and went deep. I cashed a lot less, but when I did cash, it was for a higher amount and I usually made the final table.


10. Another regular question: Do you think cash-only players have a better understanding of the game than tournament-only players?

Not necessarily. Short-term luck is taken out of the equation in cash games. If a luckbox hits a two-outer on you, you dig into your pockets and rebuy ready to get it back. And more often then not, you get your money back against inferior players. In tournaments, if a luckbox sucks out on you... that's it. You're done, since you're eliminated. Generally speaking, the player that wins a tournament is often the luckiest player that day. What is luck? Coming from behind to win? Or having your good hands hold up against dominated hands and drawing hands?

I also think that most people in tournaments are playing with a small percentage of their bankroll versus someone who sits down in a cash game. You can't win a satellite into a cash game, like you can in a higher buy in tournament.


11. Are you a regular contributer on 2+2, or any other forums? What's your opinion on the posters who inhabit the Televised/Tournament Circuit forums on 2+2?

No. I don't post on forums. Anything I have to say, I say on my blog. Forums can have some great insight but most of the time it's tough to find the gems because you are sifting through the bull**** and all the trolls flaming each other. I usually wait for friends of mine to point out a good thread and then I'll take a look. I also don't have as much free time to read all the forums. I'm sure if I had a crappy desk job and as bored to death, I would read them - just to cure the boredom. Alas, I'm extremely busy these days and any free time I get, I try to spend away from the poker scene. That balance keeps me sane and healthy.


12. I've a feeling you're deliberately avoiding bad-mouthing any players, but what's your opinion on Humberto Brenes? Tony G?

You have a point but I'm not quite ducking the mud slinging. I know some people who get famous for criticizing and trashing others, mainly because they have nothing intelligent or original to say... so it's easier for them to pick on the weak and make fun of the obvious. That's just not my style. There are some issues I have with people in this industry and I'd rather keep those matters private off the blogs and away from the internet. What's the point of me blogging that XYZ is a total douchebag? What does anyone have to gain with that? I'm fortunate that I have a lot of traffic and I'd rather use my time writing about the things that I'm interested in, rather than giving those people any extra attention which they don't deserve. I might spill the beans on some of those incidents with said douchebags in any future book that I write. But for the most part, they don't deserve any of my time and attention and I don't give them any.

Tony G acts like a d1ck at the tables. It's true and he admits it. That's part of his strategy to tilt his opponents (it works) and at the same time, he's playing up to the cameras. His playing the role of the bad guy and that's a part of the entertainment business. Poker tournaments are a competition but televised poker tournaments are entertainment. People often forget that. Away from the tables, Tony G is a class act. I owe a lot to Tony G because he basically gave me a job at a time (when the UIGEA hit) when most of my clients let me go or asked me to take a pay cut. The G paid me my full rate and has sent me all over the world to cover tournaments. That might be perceived that he's buying me off... but he's not. I'm loyal because I respect him as a person, family man, and businessman. I don't necessarily agree with his table tactics but that's up to the players themselves how they want to play poker.

I know that Dev has had issues with Humberto Brenes. He once described him as "the a$$hat of sombreros." I've dealt with Humberto a lot through Poker Stars and he's a nice guy. He goes overboard for the cameras and that's calculated. His English is not very good and that hurts him in the TV business because he's a tough interviewer... but since he hams it up with the Shark stuff, he gets the attention that he wouldn't otherwise get.


13. What do you think of the 'enthusiastic' celebrations (fist-pumping, cheering, etc) that take place in big events like the WSOP when a player knocks an opponent out? Is it fair to say that American players tend to be more disrespectful to opponents when they knock them out?

I'm not a fan of that. Again that's part of the sporting culture in America which has been shaped by the media and ESPN hyping up the douchebags. I was taught (thankfully by my father and sports coaches) to act like a gracious loser and act like a humble winner. That's my philosophy not just in poker, or team sports, but also in life. When I see these idiots... I just shrug my shoulders. Maybe they don't know any better. Maybe they are trying desperately to get attention since they're not that good and are taking advantage of their 15 minutes of fame. But I generally think that these folks have low-self esteem and had a bad case of acne when they were kids, or picked on a lot by bullies, never hugged enough as a child, and rarely got laid. I almost feel sorry for them. I would not encourage that type of screaming and fist pumping behavior... although there are moments when it's funny like when RainKhan ran around with a chair on his head. Sure it's totally retarded, but at 2am after a 14 hour day it was something different, you know?


14. You seem to like your alcohol. Would you (or did you) match Tom or Mike or any random Irish WSOP'er in drinking ability?

That's a sucker bet. I would NEVER try to match those guys beer to beer. They would destroy me. If we had a bong contest, I might win that.


15. What was your most extreme session (beer, not poker)?

I once drank a case of beer (24 beers) inside of three hours... twice. In my fraternity, we had something called a Schaefer Warrior contest. Once a year, we'd get a cases of Schaefer (24 cans) and everyone in the fraternity would try to drink as many as they could. Everyone was ****faced. We'd have name tags and another member had to verify your amount and write down the number on your tag. Anyone who polished off 24, was deemed a Schaefer Warrior and wore the empty case on their head as a crown! Usually 3 or 4 members did it every year. I became a Schaefer Warrior in consecutive years. (We only held the contest twice). I polished odd 25 one year and 27 the next. I had the worst beer sh1ts afterwards and was hungover for a few days. I did that when I was 19 and 20 years old. I could never do that again today.


16. You've talked a bit about the card rooms in NY; how safe are they? Can any random punter get a seat at a table? Why hasn't there been a crack-down on the card rooms?

They used to be safe before it got really big in 2005. You never know if they are going to get robbed, but that's a risk you take. For a while the NYPD were raiding a bunch, but that died down. Just before I moved to Vegas for the 2005 WSOP, the two biggest underground rooms got shut down. I haven't played in any in a while, mainly because I've been on the road so much that I don't have time. When I'm usually not on an assignment and I head back to NYC, I'm looking to take some time off away from poker... so I don't play.


17. Have you been to Ireland, or do you have any plans to come over?

I have never been. It's on my list of places to visit before I die. My father's family is Irish... my father's parents were born in America but three of his grandparents were born in Ireland. County Clare, I believe. I'd like to visit someday. Never had the chance. Some of my friends who work for Full Tilt had to relocate to Dublin and they tell me how beautiful the country is. Dev and Lacey always said I could crash on their couch if I ever decided to visit. I might take them up on that offer some day.


18. What is the poker scene in the USA? Is if just Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, or is there an active bricks and mortar scene throughout the fifty states? Or is it home games and internet?

There's a lot of poker all over these days where gambling is legalized like on riverboat casinos or Native American reservations. Minneapolis has Canterbury Casino and that's popular in Minnesota. Northern California (San Francisco) and Southern Cali (San Diego/LA) has lots of card rooms, as does Seattle. There are riverboats outside Chicago, St. Louis, and in Biloxi, MS (an hour outside of New Orleans), Tunica, MA (outside of Memphis). There's popular Indian Casinos such as Foxwoods in Connecticut which has one of the largest poker rooms in the world. A lot of folks in Texas travel to Oklahoma to play in Indian casinos there.

Any major city has underground rooms. You just have to know where to look. Folks who live in the middle of nowhere have to rely on homegames or the internet. Also... Las Vegas has great travel deals and packages. So if you don't live near a casino, you have to book a flight and head to Vegas! Lucky for me, NYC had card rooms so I could always get a game. But Atlantic City and Foxwoods were a two hour drive away.


19. Describe the average US poker player (age / gender / education / occupation / hobbies). How does this differ from the professional player? Do most professional players gamble on sports?

The average is probably a male someone in their late 20s with some college education. But since poker has become so popular, it has criss-crossed through all different parts of society. Men and women are playing. Old and young. Rich and poor. I think a lot of pros are action junkies and degenerate gamblers and some of them have another vice... whether it's sex, drugs, booze, craps, blackjack, or sports betting. Some have all of those vices!


20. Is this the first poker boom since the 19th century riverboat days? Is this boom over, or has it still got legs?

No. There was a boom post WWII because a lot of soldiers played during down times. They took the games back home with them. I think the boom in the US is slowly coming to a halt. Poker is over saturated with too many TV shows, magazines, etc. But poker has not reached it's peak overseas. It's getting there...


21. Which affect results most – drink, fatigue, tilt, skill, luck?

Fatigue can hurt players the most on the tournament circuit. Tired players make a lot of mistakes. That's why you need to be in good shape to play poker... in order to stay up for 24-36 hours is a necessary trait for a successful poker player. you can have all the skill in the world, but if you're tired, you won't play optionally. Tilt is sort of mind fatigue and affects a lot of great players. Doesn't matter how good you are... if you are on tilt, that implies you are making bad decisions. I rarely drink when I play cards... some players play better while others play worse.


22. If you are playing in an important event how do you ensure you arrive at the table in peak shape e.g. play minor events; have a good meal; dress comfortably / snappily; arrive in plenty of time; read Sklansky / Brunson; play satellites or avoid them. I'm guessing most Irish players just turn up.

I try to get a good night of sleep the day before and eat a good meal early on since you might not know when you'll eat next. You have to dress comfortably and definitely bring a jacket if you play in Las Vegas since they pump up the air conditioning. I try to re-read a bit before as a refresher. I try not to play too much before because if you have a bad session or are on tilt, that might affect how you play. if I'm supposed to play a PLO event and haven't played in a while, I might play a few sats just to shake off the rust.
DrPauly is offline  
27-10-2007, 03:28   #23
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,346
You should come over, dude! Respect for the Schaefer beer. But you should still come over and have a few beers! You would be very welcome!
Hitman Actual is offline  
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