Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Breaking Of The Fellowship

I'll stay a week or two/I'll stay the summer through/But I am telling you/I must be going
-Groucho Marx


Andy Rooney outlived poker blogs.  Sad, but true.

"Don't worry. You can still follow me at"
I frequently survive on limited sleep. It's the way I'm wired. This comes in handy when you like to write but you have many daytime responsibilities, but it also opens you up to any number of interesting anthropological environments. By way of example, let me suggest to you a sight well-known to the collegiate amnesiac; the party after the party has fallen apart. Four AM after a rage reveals a grotesquery of detritus and incriminating evidence; floors sticky from cheap beer spillage, empty cases torn open and sodden in the corner, new stains on the carpeting, a half-passed out unfortunate on the couch with clown features and obscenities Sharpied onto his face. It'll be fun for him when he wakes up and runs to his scheduled meeting with his girlfriend's parents, failing to realize that he's been festively festooned.

That's us, now, poker bloggery poking around the leavings of the party, ever since the fuzz showed up on tax day, two thousand eleven, and cut the head right off of online poker in the United States. The fun was here, but now all that's left is carnage.  It's OK. Parties have to end. But it's always a shame when they end because the cops came to break it up. It's even worse when what the cops find is worse than what you'd thought.

What's become of us, anyway?  Remember blogging? Remember when everybody was writing long-form pieces and commenting and starting blogger drama and all the whatnot with the whadyacallit? Sure, I know that we still have Pai Gow and slots and pokies at the WPBT gatherings in winter, but come on. This was always a virtual group, especially for those of us who don't get over Vegas way that much. And sure, we're still out there in the tubes, in one form or another, but our linchpin was the ability to play cards together, and that's gone, baby, gone. We're all drifting our own ways, and one by one, many of us are slipping off unnoticed. Nowadays, on the increasingly infrequent times I fire up Blogger to make it happen I feel like the guy picking through the beer cans and taking the cap off the Sharpie.

"Um, yeeeah. I'd love to read your novel. Um, I just, um...hey,
what's that behind you?"
I'm writing a lot, these days. At this pace, I'll have a novel in a year or so, and I am quite happy with the quality of what I've pulled out of me so far. This is very exciting news to me, if to nobody else. It's easy to write in these morning hours after the party has passed, but I still miss the revel that preceded it. I think of some of the things that I posted in this space as the best I've yet done, and I think of the support and encouragement that I found here as the main reason that I continued on. And so, as I look forward to what this blog will become, I find that today I come to bury and praise Caesar, to remember what was.

Remember a whole week full of blogger tournaments? MATH followed by Skillz followed by the Mookie/Dank followed by something or other followed by the Donkament?  Remember? Remember when we could play online games in a reputable online casino? A whole night's fun for a lousy ten bucks and all the chat you could type? Remember Waffles, or Maniac35784 as he liked to be known? Remember tilting him and then jawing for hours about it? Remember calling all-in with the JackAce just in hopes that Hoy would expend 10,567 words on your idiocy the next morning?

Let's remember all of the blogs that have gone dark, or at least gray. If I forget you here, don't feel bad, which you won't. You don't read blogs anymore anyway. So few outside established media writers are left and still putting out regular posts. If I am still in touch with a blogger regularly these days, it is doubtless through Twitter or perhaps Facebook. Nothing against that platform, but man. What happened to the other one? Did we have to offshore everything to the social media circus?

Remember Fuel? Iakaris? JJOK? Katitude? Jecmiid? SNGMachine? Kajagugu? Raisin' Cayne? GCox? Riggstad? Skiddoo? Miami Don? Bayne? Up For Poker? Al Can't Freaking Hang?

Hey, if you're on that list and you want me to link you, just hit me up in the chat and I'll oh yeah nobody really cares if they get linked to their blog anymore.

Hey guys, remember Uberposts? Come back to the five and dime, Blogfather, Blogfather.On second thought, don't. There's no poker to discuss, anyway.  Let's just chill on Twitter. I'll retweet your back if you'll retweet mine.

"Co-mingling player funds? That's as frightening
as one of Gimli's mutton farts."
Remember when Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst were unquestionably stand-up guys? Remember Full Tilt? I miss Full Tilt. I miss thinking it was what I thought it was. I bet I'm not alone on that. Now I don't even get to remember it the way I remembered it. Did that make sense? If not, no matter. I'm insane half the time now anyway.

So the question becomes, what happens next?  I am pretty sure I owe you months of awesome and crazy. I think it's probably time for Retroactive Oscars of the 80s. I even have some rather unusual ideas about this book I'm writing.  Look, I've been in this space for five years as of New Year's Day 2012. I've got no intention of stopping just because I've got nothing left to say about poker.

Nothing? Well, not entirely nothing. I guess I'd better start by belatedly telling you about my WSOP.  Stay tuned, and stick around.


Rakewell said...

So you're saying I'm a dinosaur to still be blogging about poker?

DrPauly said...

@Rakewell.... Yes, you're the mighty Grumpasauras.

@Goat... great work with Draper.

Julius_Goat said...

Grump - More like a vampire. Somehow you and a few others are still alive and blogging about poker But then, notice, you're in Vegas, so you still have access to the linchpin. Likewise, those in media like Pauly and Change and Drizz and Otis and Shamus, etc., etc., are still rocking it, but they are still in it. The masses of us simply no longer have access.

Pauly -- Thanks. I have help.

lightning36 said...

A sad but pretty much accurate post, Goat. I had been losing some enthusiasm for online poker (let's face it -- playing too many of those mega-tournaments screws with your work and family life) but still loved the blogger donkathons for all those other things that made playing online poker so much fun.

There is still a group that updates their blog pretty regularly, but writing about poker just doesn't seem as vital now. My own posts about poker are usually in the minority.

Unless I am mistaken, this year's WPBT will also take a big hit. From what I can see, a number of the old standbys will be there, but with online poker fading away, many others found that the NEED to be there decreased.

Last night there was kick-ass play as the November Nine whittled down to the final three. Is anyone even aware of that?

I miss Full Tilt Poker, which always seemed to do right by me until the end.

It will be interesting to see if the vibe is any different next month at the WPBT.

Shrike said...

Timely post. Been mulling over what to do with my very gray blog, and this screed resonates with me.

I do miss the virtual community we once had.


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Mike Heffner said...

But Goat, we'll always have Survivor Island....

Mondogarage said...

Well hell, the game's over, but the blogging don't need to be. I did just move mine today to, though. Got you linked, you can either link back or not...not as if sponsor dollars matter! Cheers!

TuscaloosaJohnny said...

Apt post Goat.

I do think the poker blogger community will be reborn in the coming years of legalized online poker in the U.S. It may be a different cast of characters, however.

Speaking of linking, I don't think you link to me, and I'm on a posting renaissance baby!

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