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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Las Vegas - Day 2 Part 2

Saturday, December 11, 2004
The Afternoon - WPBT Holiday Classic

The Poker Prof and Dick gathered up the troops and took us downstairs to the poker room for the Tourney. We drew seats and sat down. I was seated at a good table. I looked over at Paul's table and part of me wished I was seated there but part of me was glad I wasn't. If I wanted to win, I knew I'd have to go through some of the heavyweights at that table at some point so why rush it. Charlie, Felicia, Max, Paul, Grubby, and SnailTrax were all at that table. Check out Paul's site for a great write up on the tourney. I was seated at Table 3.

Seat 1: The Poker Prof
Seat 2: -EV
Seat 3: Foiled Coup
Seat 4: Me (Derek)
Seat 5: Julie from the Blue Parrot
Seat 6: Ferrari
Seat 7: F Train
Seat 8: HDouble
Seat 9: EvaCanHang
Seat 10: Maudie

Pics from the WPBT Holiday Classic - Thanks to the Poker Prof and his dad for the pictures.

-EV, Foiled Coup, and Me

Our table was tight as hell and Hank took advantage of that early. He raised some early pots and alot of people folded to him. I was most worried about Hank and Eva. You can't get a read on Eva or Hank. They seem fearless too. Foiled Coup made an interesting comment soon after the tourney started. As people were getting knocked out at the other 2 tables, our table was still in tact. Everyone was just about even in money. He said that either half of us were going to the final table or all of us were going to get KO'd and chipped down once we went down to 2 tables. He was right about the final table part because most of the people who played at my table went pretty far (even Glenn who was the 1st replacement at our table). I chatted with FoilCoup for most of the tourney and he seemed like a pretty cool guy. He also played some great poker in the tourney. The other seating assignments were:

Table 1
Seat 1: Flip Chip
Seat 2: Charlie Shoten
Seat 3: SnailTrax
Seat 4: Brian
Seat 5: Mas
Seat 6: Pauly
Seat 7: Max Pescatori
Seat 8: CJ
Seat 9: Felicia Lee
Seat 10: Grubby

Table 2
Seat 1: Glenn
Seat 2: Bad Blood
Seat 3: Bill Rini
Seat 4: G-Rob
Seat 5: Boy Genius
Seat 6: Linda
Seat 7: Otis
Seat 8: AlCan'tHang
Seat 9: Martin
Seat 10: Bob

From Bad Blood's perspective

Level 1: The blinds started out at 25/50. We got T2000 in chips. The top 5 places were in the money. G-Rob dropped the hammer on the first hand of the tournament. How 'bout that! Nice G-Rob! I heard that Charlie was messing around in the first level. He was raising and re-raising everyone no matter what his hand was. He even made a move on Paul at one point and won the pot when Paul folded. Early on, it was crazy. Within seconds, two people were KO'd. Flip Chip's AA was cracked by Max's AJs. Max hit a flush. Right before that, Al Cant Hang's AQ knocked out Bill Rini's QJ. Bill was KO'd first and won Paul's last place prize . . . the movie Gigli, starring J-Lo. It was shortly after Bill got KO'd that I started to wish I didn't do any shots before I even ate any food. By the end of Level 1, I had a little more than the amount of chips I started with. I was playing tight and didn't want to get into any pots early on. I won a few small pots without trying. I decided that I was only going to play late position hands unless of course I got something huge in the other positions. Unfortunately, you can't play too tight if you want to win a tourney like this (3 tables). SnailTrax beat Charlie at his own game. Daddy made a move on Charlie when he re-raised him with nothing and Charlie folded. Nice!!! You can't beat that, right!

Charlie Shoten and Daddy

Level 2: Later on in this level, I won a big hand off of Julie and severely crippled her stack. I had KQo versus her K7o. I was sitting to her immediate right and I was on the button. Everyone folded to me and I raised it to T300. Julie called and Ferrari folded. The flop came out K-8-3. Julie checked. I bet the pot and she called. The turn was a J. Julie checked again and I bet T800 which might have been too little since there was over T1800 in the pot. Julie called again. Damn, what does she have? I thought she was on a flush draw since there were spades on the board. Maybe she was slowplaying a set? Maybe I was over thinking this. I never played with Julie before so I had no clue what type of player she was. The river came down a spade. We both checked and she turned over a pair of Kings. I outkicked her and won a decent sized pot. I probably should have gone all in on the turn. In hindsight, I believe Julie would've called and I would've KO'd her. Unfortunately, I didn't and she eventually fought her way back and made it to the final table.

Me & Julie

Level 3: This level was also a little crazy. Eva miss read her hand and lost a big pot to Maudie. F Train also lost a big hand. He flopped trips but checked on the flop. Unfortunately for him, Ferrari got to see a free card. Ferrari almost folded to FTrain's all in re-raise but he didn't and called. Ferrari had a full house and crippled FTrain's stack. On the next hand FTrain got KO'd by Eva. She won his bounty which was an F Train tshirt. Cool prize! During this level, Linda's 66 and Bad Blood's KK lost out to Al's AQ. It was in this level where Felicia started her run. She was short stacked after getting bad beated. She pushed all against Paul on the next hand with AQ and beat his Hilton Sisters. Felicia doubled up and I think it was over from there on. She weathered her storm and steamrolled her way to the final table.

Level 4: Julie's shortstack doubled up against HDouble when her AA held up. Charlie Shoten was KO'd on the same hand as the Poker Prof. They ran into Max's small pair. They had overcards and Max's hand held up. Charlie actually came over to my table and shook my hand and said goodbye and goodluck. After this level, there was only 21 players left. I think we had a break after this level.

The last hand before the break was a big one. I was dealt ATo on the button. As the action moved around the table, Hank bet. Maudie moved all in preflop. She was short stacked and had to make a stand. Everyone folded to me. I paused for what seemed like an eternity (a NY minute). I knew AT was very marginal but I knew I had overcards on Maudie. I had a feeling she had a average pocket pair. She seemed a little nervous even though her face showed no fear. So I knew she didnt have a monster. I looked over to my far left and saw Hank taking inventory of his chips with his eyes. Man, I didn't want to get KO'd right before the break with AT. Maybe AQ but not this hand so I laid it down. Everyone else folded to Hank. He thought for a few minutes and said, "We might have a coin-flip here." Then he called. He flipped over 77 and Maudie turned over 99. Wow. Was that a good lay down by me or a really bad one?? I choose to look at it as a good lay down but I was hurting after the cards hit the board. An A flopped of course and Maudie's pocket pair held up against HDouble's. That would have been an interesting 3 way race. Anyway, I missed out on getting some of Maudie and Hank's chips. Maudie doubled up right before the break!!

Level 5: I believe we were down to two tables now. Glenn and Martin moved over to my table. My original table was down to:

Seat 1: Glenn
Seat 2: -EV
Seat 3: Foiled Coup
Seat 4: Derek
Seat 5: Julie from the Blue Parrot
Seat 6: Ferrari
Seat 7: Martin
Seat 8: HDouble
Seat 9: EvaCanHang
Seat 10: Maudie

Otis, Boy Genius, Bob, and AlCantHang moved over to table 1. They were seated with Mas, Pauly, Max Pescatori, Felicia Lee and G-Rob. G-Rob got knocked out by Felicia. There were 18 players left and I have a little over T2500 in chips. I had been getting chipped down after my win against Julie. I wasn't playing too many hands. And I only played 2 hands where I was splashing alot of my chips into the pot. I was also staying out of EP pots. I know I limped a few times preflop in level 4 and 5 when I should've raised or folded. I hadn't played in a live NL Tourney in quite a few months so I was a little rusty. Obviously, it's way different than sitting around in your underwear watching TV while playing in an online tourney. I think my growing impatience and lapse in my stratgey caused my blow up in the next level. I might've had a few more chips to play with.

Level 6: The Blinds were getting high and I was down to around T1600. Any raise in a hand would have to put me all in preflop or eventually on the flop so I decided to try and make some moves in this level. I raised all in preflop few times and won the blinds. My whole table was tight so I figured it was the right move to make. Glenn worried me a little though. I knew he was tight too but I also had a feeling he was going to try and make something happen and make a run for the final table. Prior to the tourney, I thought he had a great chance to win this thing. I got the chance to see Glenn play in April. He was playing in a WPT satellite tourney at the Bellagio. He was vying for a shot at $2.7 million and a chance to play in the WPT's big season finale event. Glenn was at my table now. I knew that was bad news for someone. I was dealt pocket 10's. I was 3rd to act and I moved all in. Everyone folded. Glenn was in the BB and thought for a little but folded. On the very next hand, I was dealt A4s. I was 2nd to act. Even though I just had TT dealt to me in the prior hand, I thought for a while and wondered if this was going to be the best hand I was going to see for a while. I knew everyone was a little timid with only 2 tables left. I was just starting to get comfortable and thought I had a good chance to make a run. I wasn't even thinking about the AT hand I folded earlier before the break, but something just said to me . . . push it!

I moved all-in and everyone folded. The action went to Glenn and he looked down at his stack and back at his cards. He was in the SB. He said something to me before he acted which I thought was weird because Glenn is usually quiet at the table. He said something like . . . I'm hoping you have just an A and it's not a coin flip. Oh boy! He had a good read on me. I had him covered but I felt a sense of horror because I knew I might be in trouble. Did I go to the well once too often? Glenn called and went all-in with 77. His pocket pair held up and beat my A4s. I had a flush draw going into the river but nothing . . . blanks for me. Ouch. Glenn doubled through. Maybe it was a bad move to push all in but I needed to make a move. I was severely short stacked now and I was UTG. Damn. I was dealt Q9s. I had to go all in because I only had enough chips to cover the BB. Everyone folded to FoiledCoup who was in the BB. Foiled Coup looked over at me and said, "Good luck. I wish I could fold." He checked and turned over 27o. The hammer! I was ahead but a 7 came down on the flop and Foiled Coup won. No Q's, 9's, or diamonds for me. How damn fitting is that! KO'd from the blogger tourney by the hammer. I hate the hammer!

Me during the tournament

-EV and EvaCanHang both had less chips than me when I got KO'd. They both fell shortly afterwards. At Paul's table, Bob's AJ lost to Max's AA. The pace started to pick up. People were dropping out left and right. I took a quick break from the poker room with Daddy and we got hammered . . . . errrr wasted. When we returned to the poker room, Paul was the chip leader. He ran into some monster hands along the way to his big stack. He got AA dealt to him when Al Cant Hang bet a good portion of his stack UTG. Bad news for AlCantHang. Al made a great showing and made it to the final table a little later on. Go ACH!!!! The AlCan'tHang factor baby!!

Al had ATo and Paul doubled up against him. Paul had over T10,000 in chips. Ferrari was knocked out by 10-10 and the tourney was down to 12 people. Pauly's pocket Jacks KO'd Otis' Big Slick suited. Boy Genius knocked out Mas. It was breaktime again for the tourney. It was also Final Table time for the 1st ever Live WPBT!!!

The prize money

Level 7: The Final Table

Seat 1: Felicia
Seat 2: Max
Seat 3: Foiled Coup
Seat 4: Pauly
Seat 5: AlCantFold
Seat 6: BG
Seat 7: Glenn
Seat 8: HDouble
Seat 9: Julie
Seat 10: Martin

Those are all of Paul's chips in that rack next to Julie & AlCan'tHang.

ACH made a great run but he ran into AA again. This time it was Max. BG, Martin, and Hank fell eventually. They all played great. We were down to 6 and Paul was doing great! He ran into Julie from the Blue Parrot twice and got KO'd. Ouch. I feel slightly responsible for that. I should've beat Julie earlier in the tourney. She was down to the felt against me and I failed to put her away. She was very resilient. She stormed back and took down the chip leader. Paul moved all in with 66 on the button. Paul hadn't seen a flop in awhile. Julie thought for a long time and called with KQs. It was a coin flip. The flop looked great for Paul until the river when a Queen came out. Damn! Paul didn't look too happy. He had Julie slightly covered but he was down to very few chips. He got A3s in the next hand and moved all in. Julie called with A7. Paul lost and got KO'd. While he took off for some SoCo shots at the bar with Al Cant Hang, I took some of his play by play notes for him. He bubbled out and was super pissed. I've seen the look before. He wasn't a happy camper.

Level 8: Glenn and Foiled Coup went next and finished 5th and 4th respectively. It was now a 3 way battle. Max, Felicia, and Julie from the Blue Parrot. Julie did pretty well for someone who's never played in a NL tourney before. The back and forth battle between the 3 went on for a while. Max eventually knocked out Julie. She took third place. Julie did a great job "representing the Blue Parrot" (Daddy's quote). Felicia ended up winning the whole thing. Congrats to Felicia for winning the WPBT Holiday Classic at Sam's Town!! She KO'd pro Max Pescatori when her K7 beat his AJ. Felicia steamrolled her way to the 1st place prize and a cowboy hat (provided by fellow NYC poker blogger Joaquin). Rodeo Week baby!!

Felicia, my brother, and Max Pescatori

The Top 5 made the money. Here are the final results.

1. $600... Felicia Lee
2. $310... Max Pescatori
3. $230... Julie from the Blue Parrot
4. $130... Foiled Coup
5. $80... Glenn

6. Dr. Pauly
7. HDouble
8. Martin
9. Boy Genius
10. Al Cant Hang (A walking party)
11. Mas
12. Otis
13. Ferrari (lives at the Blue Parrot)
14. Maudie
15. Bob (KKowboy Bob)
16. -EV
17. Derek
18. EvaCanHang
19. G-Rob
20. Charlie Shoten
21. Poker Prof
22. Brian
23. CJ
24. Bad Blood
25. Grubby
26. Linda from Poker Works
27. F Train
28. SnailTrax
29. Flip Chip
30. Bill Rini

So the day was great. The breakfast was fun. I had a blast even though I didn't win. Meeting everyone for the first time and then sitting down for a 3 table tourney was unbelievable. It was such a great experience. Watching the final table was cool as shit. Paul filmed a little bit of it. Too bad we didn't get more film footage. That would have been fun to watch. Thanks to Dick and The Poker Prof for all their work. Thanks to the pros for showing up. Also, thanks to Check n Raise who helped sponsored the event. Thanks for the cool jackets. All N Poker also deserves some kudos for giving away shirts to the final 8 players. Dick Gatewood did a great job by setting this thing up at Sam's Town. Thanks again Dick!!

My next trip report will be the "The Late Night" edition.

Stayed tuned . . . .

Friday, December 24, 2004

Las Vegas - Day 2 Part 1

Saturday, December 11, 2004
The Morning

Paul and I stumbled out of bed after a long night of gambling and partying. With little sleep, we got ready for the tourney. The sleep deprivation during this trip wasn't hard for me to handle since I usually don't sleep much anyway. I normally get 4 hours of sleep a night so this was nothing out of the ordinary for me. My only worry was not getting to Sam's Town on time. I wanted to chat with everyone before the tourney started. Plus I was expecting a midget to be there. We met up with Maudie and helped her carry the WPBT t-shirts down.

As soon as we got off the elevator we saw Iggy coming out of the bathroom by the slot machines. It was right next to the bar. He, SnailTrax and Big Mike were still pounding Guinness and Car Bombs. Nothing had changed in the 3 hours since we last saw them. They were still having a good time hanging out. We all hung out at the bar waiting for the troops to gather. Everyone was excited and ready to go. Maybe a little too ready. Paul has been calling it the Al Can't Hang factor. Everyone was getting hammered by 9am. Alot of us were doing double shots and some of us were still a little wasted from last night (well, for some . . . it was only a few hours earlier and others . . . a few mintues ago). Me, Paul, Al, Eva, Iggy, Daddy, Otis, Badblood, and G-Rob downed some shots. I don't think any of us really planned for the day to start like this. It just kind of happened.

Most of us were ready to leave by 9:30am but Al informed us that Big Mike ordered a stretch limo for the ride over to Sam's Town. While we were waiting for the stretch limo to arrive, we had a few more drinks. Soon enough we boarded the big ass limo. Al and Badblood were rocking out to some metal music. Badblood had his hammer t-shirt on. Later in the night, HDouble would say that BB's t-shirt was the best and worst shirt he's ever seen. Iggy, Daddy, and Big Mike were still going strong. Otis looked pretty tired. Even G-Rob was shocked at how beat up Otis looked. I think he made some commet about there being a high probability of Otis puking. Shortly after that, Otis passed out for a few minutes (or closed his eyes as he puts it). Unfortunately for him, Paul and I have it on videotape!! No worries guys, it will be destroyed.

The limo was rocking and Badblood was offering money to anyone who could name any of the songs. No one could and BB kept his bankroll in tact. We finally arrived at the casino around 10:30am. We were a little late. As we got out of the limo, there was a bunch of kids loading up a bus. They thought AlCan'tHang was a rock star. They asked him for his autograph!! How funny is that!

We met up with the Poker Prof outside the banquet hall. He escorted us into the room. I met Dick Gatewood, FlipChip, and Foiled Coup right away. Charlie Shoten, Ron Rose, Marcel Luske, Tom McEvoy and Kirill Gerasimov were all there waiting for everyone to arrive so we could start the show. I introduced myself to Grubby, Linda, and a few other bloggers. The funny thing about this trip is that I flew all the way out to Las Vegas to meet some bloggers and poker players from New York. I'd never met Mas, FTrain, Ferrari, or Julie until this trip. How weird is that? They all live in NYC and this was the first time we met. I've never played at the Blue Parrot before so it was nice to finally meet all the people I hear Paul talk about.

Ron Rose, CJ (back), and Me & Maudie chat with Marcel Luske

I mingled with some of the pros and got into a long conversation with Maudie and Marcel. He gave Paul his business card. He talked to Maudie and me about trying to get universal poker rules. It was great to meet Marcel. I was dying to ask him if he liked his flush. But I didn't. He was very gracious and easy to talk to. I was most excited about meeting him and Tom McEvoy. Ron Rose gave away free copies of his book, Poker Aces. He even autographed Paul's copy. Charlie was a nice guy. He gave a speech and shared some of his poker and life experiences with us. His upcoming book is called No Limit Life. He talked about his Ten Commitments and how you can approach life and poker in the same way. He also handed out some excerpts of his book.

Evelyn Ng
showed up during his speech with Max Pescatori. Max stayed the whole time and even played with us in the 1pm tourney. Evelyn was there for a very short time and left to go back to the Bellagio tourney. I think CJ was the only one to say hi to her. She was drinking Red Bull and smoking cigs in the back of the banquet room during Charlie's speech. After Charlie spoke, Jeff from Check n Raise Poker introduced himself. Check n Raise is an online poker site. He flew in from Canada to help sponsor the event. Jeff also gave away some cool prizes including an awesome jacket. Then Tom McEvoy got up and took some questions. Tom even spoke a little about playing online at PokerStars and Party Poker. He joked about being ticked off that he's never won a multi table tournet online. He gave some great advice on poker and playing online. Most of the pros left after the speeches and went back to the Bellagio to play in the NL event. It was nice of them to join us and take time out of their day to meet and speak to us.

The big question of the day is . . . what kind of food did I eat at the breakfast? Since I was a little drunk, I definitely needed some food in my belly before the tourney started. I ate 7 bagels (yes, 7). I drank 10 glasses of water and ate the world's greatest muffin. That muffin must've had some crack in it because it tasted so good that I ate two. And to think, earlier in the morning, I turned down an opportunity to share one of these muffins with EvaCanHang. What was I thinking? That's why I ate the second one. I had to make up for that missed opportunity. Anyway, back to gambling and drinking. I went over to the bar area (it was very close to the banquet room) and ran into Boy Genius, Bob, Daddy, and Iggy. Iggy took off shortly after the breakfast and went back to the Excalibur to crash. He looked tired. I still can't believe that Iggy was there! This was an awesome trip and we hadn't even played in the tourney yet.

My next trip report will be the "Afternoon" edition. Stayed tuned . . . .

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Late Night Ring Games

I sat down last night to play some NL ring games while Paul was away enjoying his Foxwoods trip. I sat down kind of late for me since I had to go to work today (I'm wasting "valuable" work time to post this). I logged on around 9pm and played for awhile. Then Iggy showed up to my table. I had a blast playing with him. I don't think we ever played together online (other than tourneys). It was my 1st time. Soon enough, other bloggers sat down and joined the party. Al Can't Hang, Otis, Badblood, and a few others. I was doing well until my KK got cracked and I lost my stack. Re-Buy anyone? I bought back in and stormed back. I caught AA and KK and doubled up both times. Each time, both my opponents called my preflop raise and tried to scare me out of the pot by putting me all-in on the flop. Little did they know I had some monsters in my pocket!! Each time, both guys had top pair Q's. All this happened while Iggy was getting a refill (beer I assume). He came back and the table was in full force with several other bloggers. I was coasting along until AlCan't Hang sat down. He was "effed-up" as he put it. I love playing poker with Al when he's hammered. He was a riot (as always). He took a big hand from me which set me on tilt a little. I lost most of my profits shortly after my hand against him. I limped with A-medium and he called. The flop was A-K-Q. I bet and he went all in. I called. He mentioned something about making a donation to me. Prior to me calling, I had one of those should I or shouldn't I call a drunk Al? You never know what a drunk Al has. I thought he was bluffing. I called. What a mistake. He had two pair and beat my pair / flush draw. Ouch. I don't mind making donations to friends. It's better than losing to some clown, right? Anyway, I was in the process of telling Al to spend my money wisely and as soon as I finished typing my comments, ACH went all in on the flop. By the way, this was the very next hand after he beat me. One person called ACH. ACH had 66 vs JJ (I think) and lost his stack. Ouch my money and Al's money was gone in an instance. Ouch. Al left shortly after that. He was really hammered (so was most of us) plus it was around midnight. As soon as Al left, I kind of went on tilt. Some of my losses were bad beats but some were also sketchy calls on my part. Oh well. Live and learn.

The hammer was dropped several times by a number of bloggers including yours truly! By the way Iggy, the next time you raise $2.79, be warned . . . I will call (lol). You most likely had the "canadian" hammer in the hole! At one point in the night, Iggy caught me with my hands in the cookie jar. We both checked on the flop and I bet the pot on the turn. He re-raised me and I folded. He most likely had nothing. But since I knew I had absolutely nothing, I had to fold. Nice play Iggy.

Badblood joined after Otis and Al. BB made some funny ass comments. He sat down at the table and was real quiet for awhile. Then all of a sudden, he types in the chat . . . "I should've took a piss before I sat down!" LOL. I couldn't stop laughing because he said the same exact thing in the stretch limo in Vegas when we were heading to Sam's Town. Badblood be funny! I signed off not too much later. I played for over 3 hours and had a blast. I knew last night was not going to be a night of profits as soon as the gang showed up. I had a great time though. I haven't been able to sit down at the late night blogger tables because my brother and I can't sit down at the same ring game tables (IP address b.s.). Party Poker won't allow us. And since my brother was away last night at Foxwoods, it gave me a great opportunity to sit down and goof around with everyone for a few hours. Usually, I'm relegated to playing on other tables and being a railbird at the blogger table, so last night was fun. I look forward to the next time. By the way, I'm willing to bet money that AlCan'tHang doesn't remember last night.

On a side note, sorry to SnailTrax for bailing on him last night. I was just saying goonight to everyone when he showed up at the table. I was really tired and played longer than I wanted. Next time Daddy!!!

I need to get cracking on my trip reports.

Monday, December 20, 2004

One week ago today, I was walking around Las Vegas with a t-shirt on. Today, I'm freezing my ass off in 8 degree weather in NYC. It snowed this morning and every part of my body hurts from the cold. I think I might need to strap a space heater to my ass for the commute home tonight! Or maybe a liquid lunch will help warm me up. SoCo shots anyone??

My Day 2 trip report will follow shortly . . . . stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Las Vegas: Day 1

Friday, December 10th 2004

I got less than 3 hours of sleep the first night but I had a lot of fun along the way. Daddy from SnailTrax had me laughing the entire day. It's kind of funny how this little trip turned into a big event. Boy, am I really glad that I was part of this. Who would have thought that Al's Boathouse Bash would spawn this crazy trip? It just shows you what great ideas a few hungover poker players can come up with in the wee hours of the morning at the airport.

When Paul and I got into the cab Friday morning in NYC, we almost went to the wrong airport. Thank goodness we realized we needed to go to JFK. We forgot to print up our flight info. We always fly JetBlue to Vegas from JFK. They have direct TV for everyone which rocks! What a great way to waste 5 hours in a plane. As soon as we got off the plane, we saw Senator John McCain at the taxi cab stand which was pretty random. It was especially random because I ran into Senator Ted Kennedy the last time I was on vacation. Who's next? Bubba Clinton?? Shortly afterwards, Pauly and I ran into AlCan'tHang, EvaCanHang and the Philly crew. We pulled up to the Excalibur at the same time. I got out of the cab and there was Al to greet us. We checked in and ate soon after. I was dying to eat some Chicken fingers at the Sherwood Forest diner. Mission accomplished! It tasted great. I always eat chicken fingers at the Excalibur diner (for almost every meal . . . . weird, huh?). I can't get enough of them. Anyway, Pauly and I ran into SnailTrax, Boy Genius, and Bob at the sport book after lunch. Daddy informed us that he puked in the wee hours of the morning. Ouch. Daddy was the first blogger to arrive and the first blogger to puke. He puked shortly after he ate a late night patty melt. Too funny!

So after hooking up with these guys, we went over to the bar and met up with Al, Eva,and Big Mike. We decided to go over to the poker room and get a $1-3 spread table going. Al, Bob, and I downed a ton of double shots of SoCo. I never drink at the poker table but I figured why not this time. I couldn't let Al and Bob pound SoCo shots alone. I downed 5 double shots in no time. Of course, Al and Bob were still going strong after I quit. BG kept razzing me because I kept calling his raises and catching cards to win. People started to slowly show up as our session went on. Everyone kept asking the manager to call for Dr. Pauly on the loud speaker. It was kind of funny. Glenn and Felicia showed up and got the poker room to start a Omaha hi/lo game. The Omaha 8 game was the second blogger table going. I didn't bother to play since I'm not that good. Maybe next time! Otis and Badblood showed up. They were playing in the Luxor freezeout tourney. I've played in those before. The blinds go up really fast. Badblood made the final table. He also made the money. Nice job Badblood!! The very loose $1-3 table I was at had the following bandits and thieves:

Seat 1: Me
Seat 2: Some tourist guy
Seat 3: EvaCanHang
Seat 4: Bob
Seat 5: AlCantHang (later Maudie)
Seat 6: Dr. Pauly
Seat 7: BG
Seat 8: Daddy
Seat 9: Tourist # 2 (later Mas)
Seat 10: Tourist # 3 (later Otis)

EvaCanHang doesn't like to limp and I found that out early. She always raised preflop. She's a tough read sometimes. She's so fearless at the table. Bob and Eva were pounding beers the entire session. Bob was also downing shots with Al and me. What a champ! Maudie soon arrived and sat down to play. We all started chatting like old high school friends. It kind of felt like a night on Party Poker. There was so many familiar people in the poker room. A little later into the session, the Hangs, Felicia, Glenn and others headed out for sushi off the Strip (all you can eat . . . yum!). It was crazy to see all these bloggers and meet them. You read everyone's site and play online with them but it was a little surreal meeting everyone in person. I can now visualize and picture everyone in my head the next time we play online together. I had a feeling this was going to be an exciting trip. As soon as I saw a small monkey riding a dog on espn like it was a bull, I knew Rodeo Week was going to be a blast. Bloggers and Cowboys baby! How 'bout that! We played for a little while longer and decided to get some food for dinner. We ate at the diner again. It was right next to the poker room. I actually ate something different than chicken fingers for the first time in a really long while. Believe me, I have no problems eating Chicken fingers twice in one day. But this time around, a burger with fries was crying my name. I was starving and knew that would do the job. Paul and I had dinner with Bad Blood, Daddy, and Maudie. Great time and great conversation!! Badblood's muscles took up most of the dinner table!!

We went back to the poker room afterwards and I took some vicious bad beats from the fishy Excalibur clientele. My Hilton's were even cracked by 76o. That sucked bad but at least everyone was having fun playing low limit games. Every blogger was trying to win hands with the hammer. Badblood was taking on the NL tables and was wearing his hammer shirt. The night definitely had a Party Poker feeling. As Paul said, the only difference is that we all had our pants on!! CJ and Bill Rini showed up as the night went on. So did HDouble and Iggy. The Hammer was being dropped all night and eventually all week at the Excalibur poker room.

Iggy tried to trick everyone. He wasn't supposed to be coming. A few people knew about it. It was supposed to be a big surprise. At one point in the night, Iggy came over to Paul and Maudie and told them that he was a big fan of their blogs. I was kind of suspicious right away. I heard a description of Iggy once and this guy looked liked that. The nail was in the coffin when he mentioned me and my site. Iggy couldn't resist and blew his cover. He had a great plan involving a midget and Sam's Town but he just couldn't hold out. I'm glad he couldn't. The midget showed up to the tourney anyway! Maybe Iggy might have a career in midget pimping! Maudie and Paul were shocked to see Iggy. So was I. Iggy was in town! And he wasn't a midget. During dinner, Maudie confessed that she brought two shirts for Iggy. She brought a regular sized one and a small sized shirt just in case Iggy was a little person. How funny is that!! And later on, he ends up sitting down at our table. What foreshadowing! We played low limit together at the same table for a while. It was a blast!!

As soon as we ended the session, we decided to go wake up Daddy. He passed out in Paul's bed a few hours before. He had been up all night and day partying hard. On the way to our room, we stopped at the bar for a few more drinks with Iggy and Maudie. It was almost 4am in Las Vegas and we were getting hammered with Iggy and Maudie at the Excalibur! I would have loved to have stayed up all night but the blogger tourney breakfast was only a few hours away. Maudie went to bed so we finally ran upstairs to the room to wake up Daddy. He had no clue Iggy was coming and was surprised and excited to see him. We hung out for a while in our room before we went back downstairs. Paul and I had some late night parties in our room. We had some great late night conversations with those who attended. Friday night's party had BG, HDouble, Iggy and Daddy. Hank and BG showed up to our room shortly after we woke up Daddy. Surprisingly, there was 6 drunk gamblers in one room getting wasted and no one lost any money. Next time, I will bring some dice. We even tried to wake up Al Cant Hang but he drank well over a bottle of SoCo and was passed out cold.

We went downstairs to play some more poker. What are we crazy? It was only a few hours from departure time to Sam's Town. Clearer heads prevailed and we decided to drink more instead. BG decided to go to bed. Hank took off (probably for the craps table). Soon, Paul and I decided to crash. Big Mike came strolling up to the bar. Iggy, Daddy, and Big Mike decided to stay up the rest of the night and pound Guinness. They were really ripped come tourney time. All of us were but they were champs that day. Paul and I knew better and retired to bed so we could get some much needed 2 to 3 hours of sleep before the tourney. We finally crashed around 5:30am and got a 8:15am wakeup call.

The first day went great. I met a ton of bloggers I never met before. It felt like a reunion even though most of us had never met before. I'd only met Felicia, Glenn, AlCan'tHang, Boy Genius, and EvaCanHang before. It was an unbelievable first day. Everyone seemed to live up to what I was expecting of them. Some looked a little different visually but personality wise, everyone was cool and lived up to the hype. It was kind of weird and exciting to meet everyone in person. I'm really glad that so many people showed up. I couldn't think of better people to spend my vacation with. We gambled and got wasted together like old friends. I went from NYC to Las Vegas in a matter of hours and now I was surrounded by a band of poker misfits. And you know what that means, right? Hide your bankroll and order a double shot. There's still 4 more days left in the trip . . . Nice!

Saturday is the big day . . the Blogger tourney at Sam's Town!! Everyone is sleepless, drunk and hungover! What a great way to start the first ever Blogger's Holiday Poker Classic! My day 2 trip report will follow soon. In the meantime, please check out some of the other blogs and their great trip reports. Pauly, Iggy, HDouble, Poker Prof, Flip Chip, and Foiled Coup from Lasvegasvegas, Dick from Buy It In Vegas, Riding the F Train, Boy Genius, Bad Blood, Bill Rini, Felicia, Glenn, Otis & CJ & G-Rob, Al Cant Hang & EvaCanHang, Maudie, Signor Ferrari, - EV, Bob, Grubby, Mas from Genius of Poker, Martin from JMC Automatic, Brian, Linda from Poker Works, and Daddy from Snail Trax.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Las Vegas

I'm back from Vegas. What a trip! I had a blast. Everyone was great. I met some really cool people. I'll write up more details later. Some funny and crazy shit happened. As you know by now, there was a fight at Paul's table in the poker room. Grubby hit quads and there were 2 midget sightings. Felicia kicked butt and won the Blogger Tourney. I had some great conversations with a lot of people and can't wait until the next time we get together. Playing poker, hanging out, getting wasted, doing early morning SoCo shots with Al and Eva, not sleeping, and meeting a bunch of wonderful people was the best way to spend the 4 + days. I had some of the best conversations with Iggy and Daddy. They were really cool. So was everyone. Iggy and Glenn gave some great advice. HDouble had a great write up about everyone. I'll write more later.

Thanks to The Poker Prof, his dad, and Foiled Coup from lasvegasvegas. They helped get the pros together for the early morning breakfast. Also, thanks to Pauly and Dick Gatewood from Sam's Town. They all did a great job in setting up this event. Dick was great and worked really hard to set this tourney up for us. Everyone at Sam's Town was friendly. We were treated very well by everyone including the pros. Thanks again to everyone! The Vegas trip ruled!

Ron Rose, CJ (back), and Me & Maudie chat with Marcel Luske

More details soon . . . .

Thursday, December 09, 2004

36 Hours!

I'll be in Vegas soon with my brother! I'm so pumped. Let the blogger assault on Vegas and Sam's Town begin. The list has grown. More pros are coming. Ron Rose and Evelyn Ng will be there. Snail Trax is coming and so is someone from Casablanca. Check out my brother's site for more details including who's sitting in on the WPBT Holiday Classic . . . sponsored by Dick and Sam's Town. I wonder who will win the 3 table tourney? It's going to be fun. Too bad we couldn't tape it. And the best part . . . when you get KO'd, there'll be plenty of SoCo shots to do! In less than 36 hours, I'll be in Vegas. How sweet is that!