Tao of Poker: Five Years, Five Questions
Kim Kardashian and her big fat booty did this little performance to honor Dr. Pauly's 5 year Tao of Poker anniversary. Fortunately for all, the Tao is way more entertaining than Kim's dancing abilities.
Earlier this month Dr. Pauly celebrated the fifth birthday of the Tao of Poker. We've often referred to Pauly as the "Hardest Working Man in the So-Called Poker MediaTM," and for good reason. It's because he's the hardest working man in the so-called poker "media."
Pauly's WSOP tourney reporting often runs circles around full teams from other coverage providers. Particular the foreign teams. Particularly the Euros. They're all too busy being promiscuous and running through 100,000 condoms in two weeks while we're all eating KFC. Love those Euros.
Along with Iggy's Guinness and Poker, Dr. Pauly's Tao was the entry point for many-a-bloggers in the poker space. To commemorate five years of great poker coverage (and pissing next to pros), here's our "Five Questions (+ One to Grow On) for Dr. Pauly's First Five Years of Poker BloggingTM."
WCP: Does it feel like five years?
Pauly: Today it feels like 2.7 [years]. But some days it feels like I've been doing this for a decade. "Time fliesTM"...as the saying goes. The grind of everyday blogging...it's both an addiction and a job. Countless nights I'm screaming into the void. The real test will be if I'm still around in 2013. Will the world end in December of 2012? Some freaks thought that year will mark the beginning of a new spiritual era, while other fanatics are afraid that year will signify the beginning of the apocalypse. Either way, will blogs be relevant then? Or will the Tao of Poker just be collecting dust on some server in the farthest corner of the intertubes.
WCP: What's the biggest change you've seen in the general poker landscape from when you started until now?
Pauly: Ah, the rise and fall of poker in the early days of the 21st century. Started out as a game ensconced by degenerates, embraced by hipsters who got bored with it, and now it's back in the hands of the degens.
I got in just as the boom took off and in the last five years I saw complete idiots, both players and entrepreneurs, make a ton of money as it literally fell out of the sky. Myself included. I'm proof that a pothead with little or no journalistic experience can rise to the top. In 2005-2006 there was so much money being thrown around. Then the orgy ended when I saw the morally dubious politicians in DC help burst the online poker bubble. It seemed to me that during the 2008 WSOP, more pros were broke or just scraping by. Since then, the industry has contracted domestically while the poker industry expanded in many areas overseas (APPT, LAPT, EPT, etc).
WCP: Couple of your favorite memories?
Pauly: The Poker Prof and Flipchip [founders of LasVegasVegas.com] were responsible for hiring me and bringing me out to the 2005 WSOP. Flipchip put me up at the Redneck Riviera, which was an adventure in itself. They gave me my first start as a tournament reporter and helped get me a gig with Fox Sports during the 2005 WSOP. That entire experience stands out. Since then, I've been all over the world.
I also went to the Playboy Mansion (courtesy of Spaceman) with a bunch of my close friends. That was a once in a lifetime experience. I got shitfaced in front of the monkey cages and AlCantHang almost passed out on the front lawn.
WCP: What has surprised you most about poker blogging?
Pauly: That people actually still read me after five years. I write better shit on my other blogs, yet those are not as widely read as Tao of Poker. I dunno if I will ever figure that out. When I visited Australia and covered the Aussie Millions in 2007, several Aussies and Kiwis stopped by to tell me they loved the blog. There I was on the other side of the world and meeting readers in Melbourne. It was intoxicating and frightening at the same time. Similar thing happened to me in Monte Carlo during the EPT Championships when I met German, Swedish, and French readers for the first time.
WCP: The biggest douchebag I've met in poker the past five years is...
Pauly: I have never met Bill Frist, but he's on my list. Seriously, you're asking a loaded question. If I answer it then, I'll be giving publicity and attention to a bunch of people who I think don't deserve an iota of anyone's time. You've been around the block a few times, you know that there's a handful of people in the poker industry (including players and media and everyone in between) who are inbred fucktards that would whore out their mother if given a chance. Some of them are gone, but a few are still around.
WCP: Totally a loaded question. Anyway, what did you think you'd have seen happen in poker by now that hasn't?
Pauly: Somebody dying at the WSOP. People have gotten robbed. Players have been rolled by hookers. One bracelet winner even got his bracelet stolen from him by a working girl. But nobody has died yet. You figure with all that pressure on the line and all those out of shape poker players, that someone would have had a heart attack. Flipchip once told me that he saw someone die in a cash game at Binion's during the WSOP in the 1970s. The guy had a heart attack, but he wasn't playing in a sanctioned event so technically he didn't die at the WSOP.