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Pictures from the Tao Pokerdome Party

The Birthday Begins

I turn 35 tomorrow. That sounds hefty, but so many positive things have happened this past year, there's really no way of being upset by it. Two books, many magazine bylines, Vegas poker goodness, and of course, John and the move to a cute house in Pasadena. It really is all good.

We started the celebrations early. Susan came down with 11 presents, a whole bunch of clothes and necklaces. It was a real treat to have her here. And especially to put her up for a night and take her out to lunch and dinner, something I've rarely been able to do. But I practically had to get the chloroform out to do it. Still, it was short, but I had a nice time with her and I hope she did, too. Even if the cupcakes at Sprinkles weren't all that.

We took it easy this weekend and even went to a minor league baseball game yesterday. The Quakes, out in Rancho Cucamunga -- about 30 minutes from us. Too much fun.

Now, it's big catch up time on all the work. Still the Vegas book, a story for a women's poker anthology edited by Maryann Morrison of Woman Poker Player, PR for an author client (JoeQuirk), and getting my website and PR stuff going for the new book, What Color is Your Jockstrap -- just coming back from the printer. I'm busy, just the way I like it!

I think the few people getting me gifts already know what they're doing. But for those of you who still want to pick something up - I want any and all books on word-of-mouth marketing. I want to build a library:

Creating Customer Evangelists 0793155614
The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing 0814470726
Naked Conversations 047174719X
Blog Marketing 0072262516
Any book by Guy Kawasaki
Any book by Seth Goodin

Email to get our mailing address.

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: ??


Pokerdome party at Tao and FSN sponsored a kick ass party last night. They pulled out all the stops to launch their new pokerdome at Sin City's hottest nightclub — Tao. The main club floor was decked out in Sex-Asian, with go-go dancers, and a thong-clad beauty in a bathtub dripping with rose petals. There was a table with guys making hand-rolled cigars, cocktail waitresses that never let you go thirsty, and plenty of appetizers and food. Shrimp tempura, peking duck, sushi, tuna tartare, etc. We had already had dinner at Canaletto with Amy Calistri (check out her new blog) and her brother, so didn't double dinner it.

David Kinsman, the CEO of Mansion was there to thank the group that's working hard to get the dome going. (The first shows will be taped from the Tropicana, and the official pokerdome will be ready at Neonopolis next month). He also mentioned a 64 million sponsorship of the Tottenham Hotspurs.

In the next room over was a charity poker tourney. The party was a tad bit light on celebs, but still such a good time. Cheryl Hines from Curb Your Enthusiasm was the big name, with Chris Rose from the Best Damn Sports Show as the emcee. George Greenberg from FSN was also there. From the poker crowd, Jen Harmon, Chip and Karina Jett, Robert Williamson, Kristy Gazes, Michael Gracz, Joe Sebok, Connie Kim, and Erica Shoenberg were some of the faces I recognized. Gavin Smith and Chris Bell made their cameo a bit later on their way to the airport (headed for New Orleans).

I got to play and was at a table with Kristy Gazes and Jen Harmon. Jen and the Luckbox were the two people pushing people around, and Erica's dad gave me and Kristy some chips after we were out. Uncle Jon and John played at the same table together with Michael Gracz. In the end it was Joe Sebok who won the tourney after going heads up against Chip Jett. Before he won he even mentioned that he'd marry some girl that night if he won. Who knows if they headed to the Little White Chapel after the party.

Steve Hall, who always has the best gossip, was there covering the tourney for High Roller magazine. Jill Ann from Top Pair was also shooting pics.

I head back to Pasadena around lunch time and look forward to downloading pics for you. Man did I have fun. Nothing like that with a morning jacuzzi bath in a killer room to cap things off. big thanks to Justin Simon, FSN publicist, for taking such good care of us. Oh, and I forgot to mention -- our parting gift -- an iPod shuffle!

Current: Las Vegas
Next: Pasadena


Vegas, Baby!!

We're here at Caesars and it's awesome. I haven't stayed here in a few years, but it's what I was brought up on back in the day. And, we got a free upgrade! We bought the middle level room rate online and when we checked in, without asking, the desk clerk upugraded us to the Augusts Tower. This is the Caesars Palace answer to Mandalay Bay's THEhotel. The rooms are large with a generous sitting area, plasma TVs in the main and bathroom, as well as a big tub, additional shower, and closed toilet area. We've got a hybrid view of both the strip, and the pool from an angle. The room normally goes for $240. We tipped him a $20.

We're here for the & FSN's pokerdome launch party. It's at Tao, I can't wait.

My poker playing Uncle Jon just arrived and I'm headling down to Viale to meet him. Not sure where we'll go next. I think he wants to play at the Bellagio poker room. I've got some work to do, but I'm dying to get in some pool time. Not sure if I can sit still though I'm so excited to be here.

We've got less than 24 hours from now until we leave, but it's going to be great night! If the party ends at a decent hour we might even make it over to TI for their Tangerine Mixer game.

Current: VEGAS, BABY!
Next: Pasadena, CA (tomorrow)


Weekend Update

All is very middle America over here at the homestead. Between writing, and playing poker, we babysat our friends' toddler last night. Four hours of bubbles, petting the neighbors dog Zoe, peas and carrots, and the Muppets. Reilly was a darling, and a real treat compared to most 1.5 year olds. Even though there was one poopy diaper, I still think John doesn't know how good we had it. She only fussed when I woke her to change the diaper, something that John and I briefly debated.

He smelled the poop.
I didn't.
He insisted.
I put my nose in her butt, but still couldn't tell.
He bet me.
I felt that her diaper was full, even though I'd already changed her once.
Thinking that her mom might not want her to sleep in poop, I moved her out of her sleeping position to change her.
John said I shouldn't wake her.
We debated.
Since it wasn't our kid, I changed her just in case.
Sure enough, poop.
She was not happy to be woken.

There you have it. The exciting moment of our weekend.

For those concerned, I bought an organizer to alleviate the personal assistant desire I can't afford. We're down to 9 more shopping days before my birthday. No plans so far. I'll see if I can put up a wish list tomorrow.

Current: Pasadena, Ca
Next: Las Vegas, NV (Wed 5.24.06 - pokerdome launch party at Tao)


Poker Thursday

I woke up so happy today. Maybe because I had time to linger. I love waking up before 7am. So, today, I woke up at 6:30 and just stayed in bed looking out our window at the trees until almost 7am. But, I also woke up pretty dern, yes, dern, happy that it's poker home game night tonight. The best night of the week.

My first thoughts about poker night are, I wonder what we're having for dinner. Our host Mark does a great job of ordering and it's always something different--which leaves me hanging every week! I get all excited thinking about our possibilities from past great meals, and then he surprises us with a new one. So much fun. And, fingers crossed, tonight we might have my friend Colin from Wicked Chops Poker make a cameo. He's terribly busy, so I just begged him to come by for Blackjack if he couldn't stay long. We've been wanting to meet eachother for months but the Vegas schedules have not alligned.

While poker is on the brain, I need to write a story about how I met John for an anthology of women poker players. Daunting task. Went totally blank yesterday. Maybe got one sentence in.

Also, I'm reading an advanced copy of Hunting Fish: A Cross-Country Search for America's Worst Poker Players, and it's so good. Jay is a great writer, and a friend I met last year at the Howard Lederer All In Camp, and then hung out with during the WSOP. I love the way he weaves in his personal issues and emotional involvement with his surroundings. It's a talent I don't think I've mastered yet, but he sets a good example for me to learn from. Plus, I'm hearing about all these casinos I've yet to try. Good stuff, and it comes out in August. In fact, I just might ask Oscar if I can review it for the SF Chronicle. I've never asked him if I could be a part of all that, but I will for this book.

Things I'm not eating (with occassional exceptions on poker night): ice cream, candy, full strength beer, and newly added: chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, cookies. In the past year I've gained 30lbs. I don't even recognize myself anymore. It's shocking. I'd like to lose half of that by the WSOP.

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: Las Vegas, (5.23-5.24)


Dreaming of a Personal Assistant

So, I just searched Craigslist for a personal assistant but didn't really see any I was dying to call. Thought about putting up a "gig" listing for some kind of barter intern for travel writing advice, but I know that would just be more time from my end. I'd rather pay someone a small fee for a few hours and whip everything into shape.

I want my projects organized on Jotspot (and to come on the minute my computer starts)
I want my Bloglines streamlined " "
And I want a schedule and a budget made for all my projects.
And if I could have anything I wanted, I'd have someone call me first thing in the morning and tell me what I had going on everyday. But I think Jotspot could take care of that.

Man, if someone wanted to give this to me for my bday. wow. Best gift ever.
Meanwhile, I'm just thrilled beyond belief that I have an available kick butt editor.

I have to write a chapter for a women's poker anthology today. and I'm supposed to write it about meeting John and how I got into the whole thing, and what it's like being a g'friend to a poker player. He's going to love that!

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: Las Vegas, NV (tues 5/23-5/24)


So, You're Planning a Trip to Vegas are you?

Seems like everytime we get on the horn, someone is telling us that they want to meet us in Vegas this summer. And that's awesome. But it also means that I have to start organizing dates because overlap will stress me out. As of right now, I don't have any commitments during the WSOP. This is good. It will allow me to do my own work thing and keep building my viral marketing agenda, and it also leaves me open to wait for the choicest deal should it come up.

Ok, here's our schedule so far for Vegas. I'll fill in as people sign up and keep bringing this back to the front, or put it in a sidebar:

5/24 going to the pokerdome opening at Tao. Might only stay one night.

6/24 I'm going to the LV Academy with Phil Gordon and Andy Bloch
6/25 Satellite/Live action begins at the WSOP
6/26 WSOP begins....(employee night).
Check the full WSOP schedule here

We will be returning to Pasadena the beginning of July for a few days, but we're not sure of the dates. John says we'll have to play it by ear.
7/1-7/4 Harold Check- but he's coming less for social, more for the tourney
4th of July - who knows.
7/6 - 7/10 World Poker Blogger Tour(I'll be very busy with this)
7/9 Ladies event for the WSOP
7/9-7/16 The Brady's are coming to town. (Consider this time frame booked unless you know them)
7/27 Media Event for WSOP
7/28 The Main Event for the WSOP begins

AUGUST (If it's anything like last year, we'll probably be pretty grouchy from the long summer and focused on the event at this time. Not a good time to come party, unless all you want to do is watch the WSOP. If this is your only window, come as early in the month as possible. The closer to the final table, the crazier it gets.

8/10 Final table of the WSOP.
8/11 go home.

Please book your hotel in Vegas on my budding Vegas website,

Thanks and see you soon!


Post Thursday Pre Saturday

  • going out second in poker homegame
  • failing to get into strip club with poker pro
  • finishing Vegas guide
  • mistaking tourney for yesterday, when it's today. wish me luck at 6pm
  • $150 Trader Joes shop
  • fondue dinner party with friends in new house
  • happy to have fresh flowers in Great Room
  • Ray Charles on the Bose
  • Lunch at Mi Piace with Northern Territory tourist folk. Brainstorming marketing leads for them. Discussing trip to Oz in Sept/Oct (with them only to happy to give me an add on in Brissy to see my friends)
  • pitch to Cosmo and Redbook, Redbook rejected 2nd pitch in a row
  • Australian immigration sending me offer to try for a Skilled Work Visa after years of telling me I didn't have enough money, skill, or foreign language to live there long term
  • fresh mint, new Bacardi, and limes for mojitos tonight
  • Favorite wine on Trader Joe shelves for much cheaper than expected Barbera de Alba

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: San Diego, (Mother's Day)


Trying to Win a Seat in the Ladies WSOP

PokerHost is having a tourney tonight with the prize being a seat into the Ladies WSOP, plus $1000 cash for transport and hotel. I'm all registered. Logistics was a bit tight, but it turns out I'll be able to start the game from our home game location, getting to do both things tonight!

When I registered, there were only 28 registered and there was a note saying they needed a 50 minimum, so here's hoping the count doubles, or PokerHost runs it anyways.

Wish me luck with those mean catty witches at 6pm PST.

And for those of you more interseted in my travel front, the folks from the Australian Tourist Board are coming to Pasadena tomorrow to chat me up. Next week I have a press lunch with the tourist folks from the Baltic States.

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: San Diego, CA (Mother's Day)


Should I have my own travel show?

Just when my thirst for having my own gambling travel show has quelled, I get a little nudge to get back into it. My friend Dan at Denuo told me about Turn Here, and I'm all over it. Well, I blogged about it at least. Check out the post on Written Road, then watch some videos. I loved the one on Toronto's Chinatown. David Himel should totally be at a dinner party with me and Rolf, and Jim Benning. Might even throw in Doug Fine.

I think the real question is, will John leave me? Betting girl that I am, I say no. But would I fault him if he did, no. Because I can't stop. I can't stop thinking and doing, and promoting and helping others think, and do, and promote. Never in my life have I wanted to be so involved. Does it hurt? Yes, it hurts the brain. I can power crunch for a few days in a row, and then ------. Flat out living coma for a day. Nothing is wrong, it's like I'm rebooting. Part of the process. Like some baby trying to learn how to sleep through the night, regularity is helping me like it never has. Structure, schedules, me? No, those three have never belonged in the same sentence until now. But check out how lost I am if I don't start cleaning something right when I wake up. And then check and see how productive I am if I do. It's wild.

I'm inches away from having my own morning show. Miscellaneous Mondays. Travel Tuesdays. Word of Mouth Wednesdays. That'll probably be enough to start off. I just need a friggin tutor to walk me through this whole podcasting process. I was one of those kids who couldn't read an instruction manual, but let me watch someone standing up in front of class, and I'd cruise through an exam.

See my train of thoughts here? Come on, keep up. A friend of mine who is a psychologist thought it'd be interesting to use me for a study on happiness, because I'm always pretty happy. Good track record. But I think if there was someone out there that wanted to do a study on "train of thought" I'd be a much better guinea pig.

Now, what did you learn? I think it's fairly obvious that I didn't clean this morning. I did a load of laundry as soon as I got up. Look what happened? Not enough. Dishes and glass tables—the only cure. Until I get my morning show.

POKER UPDATE: We're still going to Vegas for the FSN/Mansion Pokerdome party at Tao on 5/24. I'm looking forward to our home game this week. Oh crap, PokerHost is having a freeroll to get into the Ladies WSOP event on Thurs- I'll have to check the schedule for that and work it into poker night. Argh. To top that off, I need to play more live. John tried TI last night for some of the funky games like Crazy Pineapple, but there was nothing going on so he went to Binion's.

I watched Bird Flu in America while working on press kits.

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: San Diego, CA (Mother's Day with the family)


I Passed up a Trip to Vegas?!

Shocking, but true.

John left for Vegas this morning for biz. I could've gone and sampled the rooms at the Rio, but decided to stay home. I had a tough day yesterday and didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. There was no way I could give up 8 prime hours of driving time today and tomorrow. Two books are about to come out, and it's been quite busy these past few weeks. Things should settle down by this weekend. I'll cross my fingers.

So, today is a quiet power crunch day. The one I didn't have yesterday.

Meanwhile, I'm encountering more and more authors who are not satisfied with their publishers/publicists. I started doing some book PR consulting via Creative Storefront, and work has been coming in. Without any advertising! Once I get through my own books, then I can actively try and get some work going, but for now, the one or two clients is fine.

On Sunday I went to a baby shower for pretty much my first friend (as far back as I can remember). We were best friends from 1st-9th grade. It was interesting. For a second I was warmed to the idea of having kids (John claims it was because of all the presents she got), but a visit to another good friend afterwards, where I played a tiny bit with her two toddlers, again had me! How will I ever? I must, but how on earth will it happen? In all Leo fashion, I want to do things big. I don't want one, I want three. Still. Even if I'm getting old, more set in my ways, continuously more self involved, and like never before, so in love with my ever-evolving career.

It'll be interesting to see when all that lines up for me. Timing. Life path stuff.

Oatmeal calls....

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: San Diego, CA (for mother's day)


It Won't End

Every week I think it's the last week for the Vegas guidebook, but it never ends. I've been in a big crunch period this week. Wrote 40 reviews the other day and then was wiped yesterday and only got to 12.

In January I said that I wasn't going to follow up on calls and emails to friends until I finished. Now people are getting married and having babies and I still haven't finished the book. Lets think positively, I only have 20 posts to write before 530pm tonight so I can go to poker/blackjack.

Ok, that's my vent for the day. I still love the house. Love Pasadena even though I haven't even started to explore it.

I hope all of you are well. Thanks for not beating me for not being in touch.

Current: Pasadena, CA
Next: San Diego (Sunday May 7)
Next: Las Vegas (May 24)

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