I sat on the edge of my suburban tract, my back to the railroad ties, and my voice a cracked mess of overuse and abuse. When I tried to hit a note I could on almost any day, it came out in an ugly squeal. So, I leaned back, rested my chin on the edge of my guitar, and picked few notes as the first hints of sunlight started to rise over the horizon.
Like the poor young guns who hadn't lasted the night and passed out underneath trees or on storm drains, I was on the edge between finished and disaster. And when given a choice by Iggy and Daddy, I chose disaster. Because, I'm not finished until the party is. And if the waitress at the Waffle House doesn't notice that we're arriving by cab at the same time church services are starting, she certainly won't realize we brought our beer with us.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Starting at the end is easier than starting at the beginning. The beginning is so long ago and ethereal at best. It's five years ago when the party grew from the seed of a joke. It's five months ago when I got the first hint that this year would be different than the past. It's five minutes ago when I sat down to write this and could still smell the Southern Comfort wafting in from the garage.
My head tells me to begin this chronology and take you moment by moment through the tedium. But, my instinct tells me that even the most avid and loyal reader wouldn't make it to the end. If I were to delve as deeply as I felt it when G-Rob bounded from the car and ran into the Publix, if I were to truly express the friendship it must've taken to run across a black-tar-hot parking lot in search of orange-dusted cheez balls, well I fear you might just go running to Pink is the New Blog in search of real entertainment.
Instead, let us begin with the real fear. It's the fear any host feels on the precipice of his party. It's the fear no one will come. It's the fear the everyone will come and no one will have fun. It's the burn in your belly at lunch time when the first shots of Southern Comfort slide down your esophogus. It's getting caught hosing down coolers when the first guests start to arrive for a pre-pre-party poker game. It's finally showering and making it to BadBlood's "G-Vegas is Doomed" tournament.
Yes, that's where it begins.
Pregame at Blood's
Ever since the moment she grabbed a tiara and was hence dubbed the Pai Gow Princess, I've been a bit intimidaed by Heather. Off the table, she is as affable and cordial as you'd like. But get her around felt--any felt--and her eyes take on the icy glint of a hunter.
And so, as I sat down for my first poker of the weekend and found myself at her table, I did not feel at all comfortable. The tone her voice made me want to muck so badly that I was tempted to muck my discards after I'd already mucked them. You know, just for good measure.
As I sat in fear, players busted out around me and I had no playable hands. Somehow, I convinced myself to play with marginal hands and suddenly we were down to one table, then six-handed. When G-Rob offered his in-game interview with Gracie and said, expectedly, that he was the best player at the table, I had a brief fantasy that I'd bust him. And I did when he thought I was making a move and his thinking was basically wrong. By that point he'd been drinking for nine straight hours.
I only really thought about one hand the entire tournament. Gamecock raised pre-flop and I called in late position with K9s. The flop came nine-high and Gamecock pushed. I didn't figure him for a set (he would've let me hang myself with that one), so I had to take him off an overpair. It took longer than I would've liked to make the decision, but finally, I called. He showed JT for a gutshot draw and two overs. He didn't get there and it was only a matter of time before I cashed for the first time at Casa de Blood. The only things that made it sweeter were:
1) It was a first place finish
2) Team Scott Smith repeatedly calling out from the other room, "Why does Otis have all of G-Rob's chips?"
I wrote the above words over the course of a few days in five minute increments. Every time I stopped writing, I'd read the other Braodween posts and sit in awe. Something neat happened here this past weeked. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it has something to do with two conversations I had during the party. One was with my brother, Dr. Jeff. The other was with Al Cant Hang.
In both conversations, I'd looked up and scanned the party area.
"Not as big as past years," I mused, but not unhappily.
In both conversations, the reply was as obvious as it was true: "It's quality, not quantity."
The Bait Shack
In years past, I'd sit in the underground (literally, underground) bar and drink until I needed the raw wood booths to old me up. I've played tournament poker in the back room. I've found and lost my favorite bartender. My exploits are chronicled on the walls in black Sharpie. There was a time (a better time, I should add) when the bar was called "Wings Down Under." It was managed better back then and the entertainment was always better. Every friend who has ever come in town has been taken for at least one beer at the basement bar.
Last Friday night, after making a frantic run around town at 11pm to make sure one of my guests would be comfortable, I slipped into the bar in the ground and there sat everyonoe, already drinking. They raised their glasses, nodded their heads, and went back to drinking. Because that's what my friends do. Bless'em for that.
It was a shortlived stay at the Shack. We got there too late to tear it up and the newly passed (and somehow still antiquated) drinking laws downtown precluded a later stay. Still, the crew managed to have some fun.
As I licked one ounce of ranch dress from a plastic cup, I learned that my $5 payday could've been $100. And I couldn't have been happier. Prop bets that pay off big for something little are not nearly as sweet as prop bets that pay little for something big. The ranch dressing was no big deal. I would've let the bartendress lick it off my belly for $5.
Th Bradoween Open
Security was in place. My wife, kid, and friend Su sat on the front lawn pretending to be perfect little suburbanites. The kid splashed in his birthday turtle pool. A Merry Christmas banner hung on the front door. From the street, it would've appeared that the suburban family--even if a little confused about the holiday--was having a perfect suburban day.
What the casual observer would not have seen was the walkie talkie strapped to my wife's waist band at the small of her back. What they would not have seen behind the locked doors and drawn shades was a group of people 43 large, all sitting around four poker tables and ready to begin.
Security was a big deal this year, as the G-Vegas poker community had been set back two weeks before by a gun-happy poker raid in a neighboring suburb. Mrs. Otis was not keen on automatic weapon-wielding state agents crashing the party.
Me, I was ready to play some cards. A cursory drive around the perimeter showed no cops staging for a raid, and suddenly I was at ease. The Henry's BBQ had been consumed, Eva had started her run behind the bar, and the poker tournament (under BadBlood and eventually CJ's capable hands) was about to get underway.
There was only one problem: Across the red cloth, a "Poker Bitch"' shirt stretched across her chest, her eyes boring into me like she had seen my soul and it was perfect for dinner, she sat with a false look of innocence. I had drawn Cigar Girl's table.
It just so happened that her husband, The Mark, had drawn her table as well, and I hoped that would keep everything in line. It didn't. After tangling with her on the first hand, I backed down, then tangled with Uncle Ted who played the Hammer as masterfully as I have seen it played in ages.
As I recovered from the Hammer-Tilt, I looked down to find AKo. With the blinds still at 1/2, I made it seven to go. Cigar Girl called. The flop came down K93 rainbow. Finally, I thought, I am going to get the best of this girl. Unless she called with a pair of nines, I'm going to win this hand. I bet out 15. She called.
As the dealer prepared to lay out the turn, I decided she must have KQ or KJ and I was going to play the hand as if she did. So, when a four came on the turn, I put out a bet of 25, thinking to milk the most out of the hand (in retrospect, a bad idea). After some thought, she called.
I sat back and decided that if the river wasn't a queen or jack, I was going to push all in. And when the river fell as a ten, I didn't think twice before announcing, "I'm all in."
Cigar Girl looked up at me, looked down at her cards once, looked back up and with half a smile said, "I call." As the room started getting loud, my eyes darted to her cards. She was flipping them over. She was smiling. How could she be smiling? See, there is the queen. I knew she had KQ. Why is the room so loud? How is it that they are screaming? I won this hand. It couldn't be...that she had the stone cold nuts. In fact, she had QJ for a rivered gutshot.
I flipped my cards over and the room got louder. I looked up and Cigar Girl was looking at me. I couldn't help but think of a moment about eight years ago.
I was living in Missouri and basically living at the future Mrs. Otis' house. She had a roommate, a blonde chanteusse who looked a lot like the future 2005 American Idol winner. Her voice was angelic and dirty at the same time.
One morning, my girl had left me sleeping. When I finally dragged myself out of bed and headed for the bathroom, the roommate walked out, buck naked and wet, just out of the shower. Neither of us knew the other was in the house. The only words I could speak at the time were, "I just saw you naked."
Later, we'd see each other at a bar and she forgave me. But I know she saw the look in my eye. It was the same look Cigar Girl was giving me.
The look said: "I'm really sorry for that, but I really, really enjoyed it."
Having busted out first in my own tournament gave me time to take care of a list of other things that needed done. The bar needed more booze. The drinks needed more ice. The house needed more fans. And the Drunkalympics needed Cheez Balls. Three hours of fruitless searching left me with the realization that Cheez Balls must have gone off the market. I was left disappointed and with two bags of Cheez Poofs.
Throughout the night, I kept tabs on the tournament and smiled at every turn. From DoubleAs fixing the deck at the final table, to CJ, Heather and April taking over floor duties, to the entire Smith family making the final table, to Wes Nile Virus (The Big Pirate) and Dr. Pauly getting heads up, I couldn't have been happier with the result. When they agreed to chop so that the Drunkalympics could start on time, I knew I had some real winners in the room. Dr. Pauly was the winner on the ultimate hand, but both players deserve great thanks for their sportsmanship.
And so we were left with what I thought would be the last bit of shenanigans of the night. The history of the Drunkalympics lies partly in an immature man's need to find a reason to binge drink, but mostly in the unexplained competitiveness between me and G-Rob. Late nights in G-Vegas would often degenerate into G-Rob and I shooting hoops, throwing horseshoes, or playing Roshambo with the only stakes being shots of the most powerful stuff in the liquor cabinet.
As Bradoween has its roots in silly competition, G-Rob and I thought the Drunkalympics (previously known as the Dumb Olympics) would translate well.
If you were there, you saw what happened. If you weren't, Pauly posted the rules I wrote up for each event. As expected, G-Rob chose to be Team Good, and as expected, rather than draft with his team in mind, he chose his first draft pick soley on the basis that it would save him from possibly having to compete in the eating contest. While the battle between Good and Evil was epic, I believe it was G-Rob's selfish draft pick and the bad karma that came with it that resulted in Team Good's ultimate defeat.
In setting the lines-ups, the first thing I did was take myself out of the running for the Roshambo contest. I knew G-Rob would be expecting me in that slot and I thought seeing a fresh face would take him off his game. Marty, in fact, did suprise G-Rob, but not enough to squelch his dominance in the game.
Further, I knew Al would be in Team Good's slot for the water bottle basketball game. I didn't want Big Mike there for fear Al might be bouyed by friendly competition. I needed Al against somebody that might be confusing and intimidating. Dr. Jeff came in strong, hit his first shot and retired Al handily.
My biggest mistake of the night was not putting Big Mike in the trash ball comp. I expected to see Lefty in the cheese eating contest. My addled mind thought Big Mike would have a much better chance than me. In the end, I shoud've taken the fall for my team. I feel bad for asking Mike, who had already been on the Soco for a while, to do something so vile. I owe him a drink for that.
With my dominance at Trash Ball and Caps and G-Rob's uncanny ability to win even a Team Roshambo contest, it all came down to the final game of Flip Cup. In what was surely the most exciting event of the night, I chugged my beer fast (one of my specialties), but put my team in a hole by taking one flip more than Al to overturn my cup. The rest of my team performed marvelously. However, it was Daddy who emerged from the shadows to be the real hero, climbing out of the hole and winning the entire Drunkalympics for Team Evil.
Perhaps the oddest moment of the entire event was when I was standing at the keg, filling cups three at a time in preparation for the Flip Cup game. I heard someone say my name. I turned and there stood my newest neighbor, a young Baptist minister who lives across the street.
"I just wanted to come over and say hello and Happy Bradoween," he said.
There I stood, three cups of beer dangling from my fingers and a house and yard full of degenerate gamblers, drunks, and otherwise illicit sinners. It took everything I could not to beg off the conversation. So, instead of saying, "I'm sorry, I have to go. Team Evil is about to defeat Team Good," I said, "Well, thanks. Let us know if we get too loud."
Later, I would thank that man's God that he didn't show up thirty minutes later.
Not long after Team Evil finished its triumph, someone came up to me and said, "There's a big problem in your upstairs bathroom."
Never has a bigger understatement ever been spoken. I'm not going to go into the details, but somebody out there is one gross son of a bitch and if I ever find out who left my john that way, I'm coming to your house with G-Rob.
Twenty minutes later, I was still in the bathroom with a plunger. Mrs Otis rushed in with a look of urgency on her face.
"You've got to let this go," she said, a bit out of breath.
"I can't," I said. "If I do, people might start doing this in the yard."
"No, really" she said. "The girls need you to hold the hose for their wet t-shirt contest."
Somewhere around three seconds later, I'd hung an "Out of Order" sign on the door and was outside with a water hose in my hand. In front of me, four girls stood in ripped Hooters shirts, begging to be soaked down. A crowd had formed around them. I grabbed Dr. Jeff and asked him to run around to the side of the house and turn on the water.
He looked at me with more seriousness than I've seen in his face in years. He spoke calmly, but pointedly. "If you start this before I get back..." His threat trailed off as he darted away.
I felt the hose in my hand fill and get hard. Dr. Jeff ran back from the other side of the house with a trail of men behind him. When it was all set, I pulled the trigger and proceded to completely soak four large-breasted women. Somehow I saw more than I expected...and yet, was left wanting more.
I guess that was the point. All eight of them.
After conscripting a young girl to carry me to the store and begging the clerk to open up for one more sale, I replenished the beer supply. The keg had floated an hour before and the four cases of beer I had behind were almost gone. Along with the gallons of Soco, Vodka, Rum, Gin, Tequila, and the rest of the bar, the partiers had put a serious dent in a paycheck's worth of booze. I was so proud.
But, there comes a time, after months of planning, weeks of work, and a day full of stress that a host has to simply say, "Fuck it," and put the show on auto-pilot. So, I did.
Of course, when the party goes on auto-pilot, Otis goes to the bar. Eva, the hardest working woman in boozing, kept me happy all night. And as such, the night fell into brief, but I'm sure very meaningful, conversations.
At one point, someone came back with a report from the back yard. Team Scott Smith had climbed the the top of a Bradford Pear and was jumping back and forth between two trees like a giant Gene Wilder-esque Monkey. I asked that someone get him down, which they did. It only served free team Scott Smith to find the tallest tree in the yard, a giant Sweet Gum, which he climbed and probably should've died as a result.
Before I knew it, I was embarassing myself with a guitar, chatting up the locals, and trying to hold a conversation with Iggy and Daddy. My conversational skills, much like my musical talents, had degenerated as I entered the early morning hours. All I know is that I ended up at Waffle House with my beer still in my hand.
I took out the trash tonight. It took me half an hour. I just finished the dishes today. I surveyed the bar and couldn't believe how little was left.
I never got a good count on the number of people at the party, but, frankly, it doesn't matter. It was the best Bradoween ever and it was because of all the people who came from near and far.
Right now, I'm a lot like I was when I was four years old and the Charlie Brown special would end. I'd cry because it was so good and I knew I wouldn't see it again for a long time.
With that in mind, I think there is only one ay to handle the post party depression.
I'll see y'all at The Boathouse on September 24th.<-- Hide More
I was on the other side of the building, deep in one of those conversations that men only engage in after unhealthy libation. Most men will shun the doctor, barricade emotion, and put forth the cool facade, but somehow Southern Comfort has the same coercive chill as an hour with Dr. Phil. Yes, dear friend, I love you, too.
Only one thing could break our manly composure. Only one thing could shake us from our drunken faux-compassion. A visiting physician barreled around the corner, turned on the garden hose, and yelled, "You're late for the wet T-Shirt contest!"
Welcome to Bradoween V!More in this Poker Blog! -->
I Brought 3 Friends, A Banquet Table, and my "C" Game.
Actually we got there at noon, which was perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of the weekend. Friday night went just as scripted, except Al had me ruined before dinner and I don't remember much of the night. I've been told we made it downtown and finished all the SoCo at the bar... twice. My houseguests and I made it back to the pad by about 2AM and 80oz of water later, I was fast asleep.
I'm still not sure what the banquet table was for. I use it as a substitute for a real poker table, but Otis had those bases covered. So we strapped it, using 50 feet of rope, to the top of CJ's rented SUV and drove, slowly, to the party.
One of the most important parts of knowing Otis is the ability to anticipate stories that begin with, "Back when I lived on Juniper Circle...," and end with "...I woke up in the bathroom!"
If you've never heard one of those stories you have no context for the Mizzou Crew, and you've probably never heard Otis sing "ROCKETMAN" either, both of which count you among the blessed. Still, the crew is a blast.
Most of these guys travel cross country each year and nail every Bradoween. For most of the guys at this years event, they've now attended 5 straight. Poker blogger, JMC Automatic, is among the faithful. Normally, it's an insult to label people as "a group of degenerate drunkards," but I mean it this time with love. These people were already there when I arrived and most of them participated in the tournament. In fact, one of them knocked me out, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
CHICKEN AND PORK
Otis really spared no expense and deserves great credit. He may be a self-loathing gambler with an alcohol-poker-rocketman addiction and, yes, he's a poor judge of gravity, but the man takes care of his friends.
Early last week he called to say he'd spent a small fortune on booze, and you could float a pontoon in the gallons of spirit. He'd composed a dozen plans for the perfect poker tourney, and arranged for the best tournament director in the South to take charge. Perhaps most importanly, he provided a large catered lunch. In my business, it's common knowledge that anything catered gets good press.
Even when the food ran low, or when it was discovered we'd need another ingrediant for BG's sissy umbrella booze, or when we discovered a critical lack of DRUNK OLYMPICS CHEESEBALLS, Otis was prepared to shop for more. He was willing to leave the house in the middle of his own tournament for the comfort of his guests.
He had plenty of time. He finished 43rd out of 43. Dead Last. I went to the store with him because I'm a very good friend. I love Otis. I cashed in my tournament chips to go along for the ride.
I came in 41st.
THE TOURNAMENT...Hours 1 and 2
Otis and I hit the K-Mart on Wade Hampton. It's one of the few left around here after the bankrupcy shut down everything but the blue light itself. We came here for box fans and the aforementioned cheese balls. After a fruitless rummage for the canister of psedu-dairy air we had to ask for help in finding a fan.
We were directed to housewares.
Then sent to hardware.
Then sent to a display at the front of the store where everything was already sold out.
The woman at the customer service station says they're out of fans... in August... in South Carolina... because they're out of season. We later found them at WalMart along with what I thought was a fantastic treat. That would be one of the least comfortable puchases I ever made.
By the way, WalMart doesn't sell cheese balls either.
Neither does the Publix grocery store.
I realize this seems trivial, but this was about to spell big trouble for our friend and Otis' teammate... Big Mike.
THE TOURNAMENT Hours 3-6
Back at the big game there were other busted names, many of whom were good enough to win. By the time the superbly talented tournament director had also busted out. So had Foxy Maudie, Hotty Heather, Gorgeous Gracie, and um... the Mark. Luckily for all of us (read: suckout capable me!), they had bigger aspirations, a popsensity for booze... and an interest in ring games.
While Eva Can't Hang mixed potent LITs for every loser, we set up a table in the kitchen. $60 buy-in and blinds at a relatively affordable .25/.50.
Notable hands :
1) I'm in the SB and Maudue is BB.
I limp in and Maudie raises to $4.
I turn to Maudie and say, "I'm about to suck out on you," and then call with Q-8 of Spades.
The flop is 4-7-9 with two spades so I check and Maudie bets out.
Trouble is the chip denominations have everyone confused (I'd bet $1.25 meaning to bet $6 earlier) and she drastically underbet the pot. I called.
Turn gives me the flush and I bet small.
Maudie raises..and I push.
Maudie's set of 4s does not improve.
2) 3 players are in the pot after I raise in MP to $2 with A-10 Diamonds.
The flop is all low cards with 2 diamonds.
I check and BadBlood bets $8.
Heather raises to $16
BadBlood and I both call.
The turn is an Ace and I bet out $15.
BadBlood calls and Heather raises all in.
We both call.
River is a diamond and I push all in for a side pot which BadBlood calls.
BadBlood has K-J of diamonds for the King high flush.
Heather has a diamond flush with a str8 flush draw.
G-Rob has the nuts.
THE ACTUAL TOURNAMENT
I HAVEN'T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE PARTY YET SO JUST BEAR WITH ME
Let's just skip to the final table shall we. It's the main event, the part we all came to see. Actually very few of us came here to play poker, but this is the best of it and it certainly deserves a telling.
10 players remained and 5 were Palmetto proud (This is a South Carolina expression meaning they're homeboys). In fact, 40% of the final table was comprised of members of the Smith family. I've tried all afternoon to think of any event where a single family has shown so much dominance and the closest I can come up with is the Corleones.
The entire table looked like this :
Wes Nile Virus
Team Scott Smith
The Wolverine (also a Smith)
Daddy Uncle Brian (who knocked me out)
Honorary Feature Table bubble and 11th place finisher = Al Can't Hang
At the start DoubleAs held a massive chip advantage and Daddy was close behind. The Wolverine cut into both stacks with some very crafty plays. Then shortly after Uncle Brian (Stupid pocket Kings) busted out we had the hand of the century....******* For Much Greater Detail on this hand you must read the END of
this post a future post [ed's correction], but here's the short version:
Only two players, Daddy and The Wolverine see the flop :
The turn is a rag.
The river is a 7.
Daddy bets the river and The Wolverine pushes all in. Daddy says, "You have quads don't you?" Then he lays down, FOLDS, pocket aces.
The Wolverine shows the hammer, Quad 7s.
Meanwhile, the party was rockin' outside. Four pretty girls dressed, oddly, as Hooter's girls arrived. They brought dozens of their closest friends. My buddy Ted and his parents arrived and his mother who has very nice Hooters herself begged me to touch the muscles of her thigh. She'd been working out and, while I was uncomfortable, I hate to be rude.
Eva'd made me another LIT and a coupla carbombs too. I'd started tinkering with SoCo and had a head full of beer. After the previous night, it was easy to get the stupid flowing. Dr. Jeff calls it the "shampoo effect".
THE SHAMPOO EFFECT
You know how when you lather your hair and then rinse, you get a pretty mild lather of bubbles on the hair.
If you follow the directions and actually REPEAT the process you almost instantly get a full head of giant bubbles. The previous wash made the second one quicker.
Likewise, if you still feel last night's booze, today's is coming FAST.
Friends my buzz was moving like my Head and Shoulders and Al Can't Hang is a lousy conditioner. Therefore, I'm a bit sketchy on the EXACT tournament details but I can tell what I remember. Most of my memories begin at the DRUNK OLYMPICS...
SANS CHEESE BALLS
WHAT I REMEMBER
Pauly beat Wes (The Big Pirate). They chopped the pot and then had one had to determine a champion. It was Pauly.
Within moments the gospel spread and the great game was over. Millions of devout Pauly fans shed tears of joy, millions of pirates returned to their jobs at Capital One. Better still, the DRUNK OLYMPICS were ready to begin.
Otis, Al and I dragged a PA system with two speakers to the upper corner of the driveway, Otis plugged it in, and said, "Hello" to the crowd. They were all there by then, and even the Hooters girls perked up.
CJ and BG were the referees.
Otis and I were team captains.
As team captains Otis and I would pick two teams of degenerate drunkards. We'd compete in 5 individual events and several more team games.
The captains shotgun a beer for first pick. Winner gets first pick, loser gets to choose the name "Team Good" or "Team Evil".
Otis cheated at this event by starting the countdown before I had crushed a proper carb in the bottom of the can. Then I couldn't get the damn can open. I lost the pick and went with the silly and inappropriate monniker "Team Good."
For reasons you'll read in just a bit, Badblood the artificially lumpy was the obvious first pick. Even Otis is not immune to the obvious, sometimes, and he made that selection.
Then my pick, a head scratcher for the less insightful.
In one of the comments left here during Bradoween preparations LEFTY showed an interest in an event so disgusting and distastful I was willing to forfeit the whole damn thing. If LEFTY was willing to do it, much less win it, he was on my team guaranteed. I had no idea how strong a teammate he'd turn out to be.
Otis picks Big Mike.
Now blessed with the relative impunity of picking people that were truly good and decent, I selected ALCAN'THANG. My thinking was, even if we lose I'll assemble a team that won't puke on the yard. I guessed wrong. Again.
Otis picks his brother, Dr. Jeff.
I'm now building a team of ultimate blogger superstars with the pick of DR. PAULY. By this point the name "Team Good" is the funniest joke of the night.
Otis picks Marty Automatic
I already had Dr. Pauly and now I had his brother. This would be the most sophisticated pick of the draft. DEREK MCGRUPP is the consumate team player and his pure sacrifice in event 2 was pure class.
Otis picks his team alternate and plans to cheat again later by drafting Daddy
My team would now be complete with the drafting of our alternate... BONUS CODE IGGY. Unfortunately, we couldn't find him. He showed up just in time for the final, dagger twisting, Otis cheat.
TEAM GOOD met just near the front lawn for our first team meeting. We had a list of events and a good sense of our strength. A loss was virtually inconceivable barring something truly EVIL.
1.) THE ROSHAMBO
Me vs. Marty Automatic.
It's rock, paper, scissors and I'm a dominant force. I really like and respect Mr. Automatic but his AAA St. Louis game can't deal with a big league ROSHAMBO champ. I win the event 3-1 with a clutch display of "scissors cuts paper." It was a brilliant read. And Matry has a tell.
Marty took a penalty double shot of SoCo
2.) OVER THE TOP
Derek McGrupp vs. BadBlood
The highlight here was the entry. All grew silent as the PA boomed with the introductoin of BadBlood, backed with his own entry music... which sucked.
I think it was SLAYER.
Derek took his shot like a man.
3.) THE BAHAMAS MEMORIAL WATER BOTTLE TOSS
Al Can't Hang vs. Dr. Jeff
Al and I INVENTED this event. During our suprise visit to Nassau in January we grew bored while waiting for a seat at the NL tables. To kill time we started a prob bet: cash for a sucessful toss of a half-empty bottle into the trash.
Two bets changed hands before OTHER players around the poker room asked to buy in. Then the Bahamian GAMING COMISSION stepped in and shut the game down.
For Bradoween, Al was a prohibitive favorite. Unforunately Dr. Jeff found an unholy gust of wind shot from the depths of hell, and Al's shot blew long. Jeff sank his shot and team good is trailing.
Al doesn't consider the shot a penalty.
4.) Trash Ball
Dr. Pauly vs. Otis
Pauly takes his shot like a champ.
5.) Cheese Mania!
First Round Lefty vs. Big Mike
You may recall, 27K words ago, our fruitless search for cheeseballs. This was about to provide a Monty Python moment.
One year ago, at Bradoween 4, there was only one STUPID event. Two teams of 4 raced to devour an entire jumbo tub of Sam's Club cheese balls. It was revolting and hilarious. Still, it took so long to eat that much processed nastiness that the event cound NEVER be repeated. Or so we thought.
We'd planned to use small cannisters of cheese balls for each contestant but as we've said, they don't exist. So instead GIANT bags of CHEESE CURLS were brought in, one for each player. Remember folks, LEFTY wanted to do this and apparantly he'd done his research. He had two bottles of cool water preopened and positioned carefully next to his bag. He had a slow methodical eating method. He had guts.
Big Mike on the other hand...
The only request Al made before the event, "don't make me or big mike do the cheeseballs."
Well, if you've seen Monty Python's "Meaning of life"... we were all concerned Mike was a thin mint away from an explosive expulsion.
Lefty wins. [Ed. note: 7 1/2 minutes.]
Big Mike does not feel penalized by the shot, even as a cheese curl chaser, which is totally nasty.
6.) Team Roshambo
Team Good sweeps. We rule this event.
Team Evil fails to cheat and they all take a shot.
Al and Dr. Pauly vs. Otis and Marty
Otis cheats and Team Good Happily takes a shot
8.) Flip cup.
Otis urges Daddy to cheat and Iggy shows up. At the wrong time.
We drink more shots.
HOOTERS GIRLS, WET T-SHIRTS, AND ME
I did not witness the wet t-shirt contest. Any pictures of me at such an event are either forged, or they feature my clone. I hear there are several.
I had knee surgery this morning and the doc has me bumped up on Narcotics.
I can't focus enough to finish this tonight.
I'll do so later.
Let me just say...
People make life worth living. You people are helping me live a wonderful life.
Thanks.<-- Hide More
I didn't take many... but here they are. If you'd like yours added to this gallery, please email them to me.
Before you check out the pictures below, you could watch this little movie. It's mostly safe for work:
The Money Shot (Quicktime 6.5 required)
Or watch this movie, it involved GRob getting embarrassed, which means it's good fun for all:
Over the Top (Quicktime 6.5 required)
This is what happened after GRob dropped the HAMMER on me. My pocket T's lost to a 9-7-2 flop. For your reference, that adds up to a whopping T22.
My first Bradoween Open table featuring (clockwise from the empty stack): Uncle Brian (St. Loo Crew member), Randy (an original G-Vegas gambler), Boy Genius (he did not pass out), McCown (St. Loo Crew member), Lefty (my twin brother), EvaCanHang (official Bradoween bar mistress), Derek (he did puke 4.5 times), Guy I Don't Know (you can only see his arms), Wes the Big Pirate (you can barely see his arm), and Gracie (Bradoween official moving picture archivist).
Shep Pimpstein's fabulous Bradolantern entry. GRob's vegetable is playing the HAMMER. And those are jello shots. They didn't last long. Although NO ONE was drinking at Bradoween.
Big Mike (R) and my twin brother, Lefty (L). These were the two competitors in the cheese puff eating contest. Let's just say early money was on Big Mike. Just 7 1/2 minutes later, Lefty pulled an upset of '85 Nova proportions!<-- Hide More
There's likely a lot I will write soon about Bradoween V, but I need to thank a lot of people for making everything come off as good as it did. Bear with me.More in this Poker Blog! -->
* Mrs. Otis for putting up with this every year and always going out of her way to make sure everything comes off without a hitch.
* The Missouri Crew, Dr. Jeff, and Aaron for helping with set up in the waning hours before the event started (and apparently doing some cleaning up Sunday morning)
* The Can't Hang Crew for bringing the party, especially Eva Can Hang for making sure more booze was consumed at this event than any other in the past. She was more of a trooper than anybody.
* The entire Smith family for embracing Bradoween and making sure we got fed when the food ran out. Thanks to the good folks at Sub Station II for the emergency grub. You've got my business from now on.
* Heather and April for taking over shuffling and dealing duties at the final table
* Everyone who watched my kid throughout the day, especially Su.
* Uncle Ted for taking care of business.
* BadBlood for getting the tournament started and CJ for making sure it ended
* CJ and BG for running the Drunkalympics
* All the people who brought thoroughly unecessary but completely appreciated gifts (it's amazing how pegged you folks have me already)
* G-Rob for spending an hour and half with me driving around looking for Cheez Balls.
* All the people who used vacation time and spent the cash to travel from all across the country to make this mutated house party what it is, especially the brothers McGrupp, who could've easily spent some time with each other in NY after six months apart, but chose to come here instead.
* All the Hooters Girls for obvious reasons
* Everyone I have forgotten to thank here for understanding why I've forgotten to thank them here.
words about Bradoween V. At the moment, I'm feeling every one of my years in much the same fashion as a guy who drank until the sun came up and then went to Waffle House with Iggy and Daddy.
I owe everyone who helped out with this year's event a great deal of gratitude. The 'Ween was another fun event with poker, stupid games, and, yes, oddly enough, a wet t-shirt contest.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I'll get around to a full write-up when my body stops hurting. Until then, a quick recap of the action:
Bradoween Open Champion: Dr. Pauly.
43rd (last...) place in the Bradoween Open: Otis
Drunkalympics Champions: Team Evil
Most Suburban: The Murdocks
Most Offensive: Shep
Brad-o-lantern exhibitionists: Chuck and Nancy, Shep
Most likely to draw a crowd with the words "we're about to have a wet t-shirt contest.": The Hooters Girls
Most likely to say "She kissed my pecker.": Dr Jeff, the Ostrich Jockey.<-- Hide More
Much has been written about the great annual G-Vegas festival. Few people understand the madness. As a 5 year veteran, I have certain perspective to offer. In fact, I've planned every aspect of this INCREDIBLE EVENT down to the minute. For now, I'll just brace you for Bradoween Eve...
It goes like this :
FRIDAY AUGUST 19THMore in this Poker Blog! -->
Mr. & Mrs. Can't Hang arrive at GSP International. At this point both visitors will make their way from the gate to baggage claim. They'll be the first bloggers to discover the amazing ease of South Carolina travel.
Which carosel? That one!
Just eliminate all the empty space that does not contain a carosel, and that small area you find will have your bags front and center.
Otis, BadBlood, The Hangs, and I make our way to a favorite wing and beer joint. We used to frequent this place on "Working Women's Wednesday". Actually, I have no idea why that is. It's at this point that Al will make another important SC discovery.
All liquor served in bars or restaurants here comes in a mini-bottle. It's the stuff you find in hotel minibars or on the airplane service cart. Shots here are 1.75oz, which means those "double shots" of Southern Comfort will pack quite a punch.
Pauly and Derek join the party.
Pauly says to BadBlood, "My God, you've started already!"
BadBlood is forced to sit down to conteract the swirling floor.
Otis looks for a chair, and misses.
Eva Can't Hang is relieved by the arrival of another female blogger...midget housewife "Iggy" and his great uncle "Daddy". Iggy and Daddy are DRIVING to G-Vegas so you'd assume they'd be quite tired already. You'd be wrong. Both bloggers are SO excited to see the old blogger crew, they unveil the secret donkey they've smuggled in the trunk.
Daddy, as always, holds a clinic.
Over a string of Guiness/Car Bombs/Southern Comfort/Fruity Umbrella Crap(BadBlood) the group debates the value of a quick pre-tournament poker game. The discussion lasts over 3 hours.
The "G-Vegas is Doomed BadBlood Tournament for PLAY MONEY ONLY(all poker ever referenced on this site is ALWAYS play money unless in a state approved setting)" Begins
Players are :
4. Austin April
6. Dr. Jeff
14. The Mark
With several alternates including:
G-Rob is out after trying a stone cold bluff on DoubleAs who later comments, "Felicia was right. You suck at poker."
This counts as another of DoubleAs great reads. I do, in fact, suck at poker.
The Mark busts out an shows everyone his souvenir citation. No other description of this will be provided here. You'll have to ask him.
Otis busts out, stands up, and falls.
The Axeman finishes second in the tournament after Pauly picks up an important tell. If the Axeman is IN the hand, he has the nuts. Pauly counters this by decribing the time he busted a hot movie star in a celbrity WSOP tourney. Axeman loses focus at the word "bust".
(AN ASIDE : Ever wonder why its the WS"O"P? Why does "OF" get a letter? Shouldn't it be TWSOP? That way the word "THE" doesn't get ripped off.)
BG arrives at GSP. He mocks the airport. This later privides enough content for an enitre BG pseudo-journalistic saga entitled "How I bought a Magazine at a Small Airport : The Woman Who Cut Line".
Entire contingent arrives in fabulous downtown G-Vegas. We begin the night at our favorite hole in the wall, THE BAIT SHACK. We love that bar because the beer is very cheap, and very few people there are likely to recognize us(me) during the drinking time when I still care about being recognized. Later, when I'm so intoxicated that I might actually do something embarrasing, I won't care who sees it.
Al decides to stage a daring rally after his inagural G-Vegas barf.
BG notes, "There was no Comfort in that SOCO"
This passes for humor because everyone there is drunk.
Otis, in fact, finds it so funny...he falls.
Time to get rollin'. Otis and I are quite proud of our tiny town and we're not letting anyone out with just one bar. Next up? Probably Tassey's, the G-Spot, or Connely's. We'll playit by ear. Probably Connely's just for that down home car bomb appeal. That bar is a few blocks away however, so it quite likely that about this time...
Our first serious confrontation when BigPirate confuses Iggy for an unusually convenient bar stool. April observes, "You should get your head out of your ass and pay attention WES!"
The joke is on April, however, Wes has IGGY'S head in his ass.
Daddy wishes Maudie were here. Everyone agrees because Maudie is HOT!
Otis offers to buy the next round. 22 car bombs and 22 Guiness later...Otis owes over $300. Otis has a heart attack....and falls.
Things are silly now. Few, if any, of our blogger friends are able to form complete sentences. We've broken into dozens of small conversations in which no participant uses more than 3 words at a time.
Pauly apologizes in writing to all of Las Vegas for using the phrase "Redneck Riviera". Forty angy South Carolinians wearing rebel flag T-Shirts give him one last swirly for good measure.
Derek points out to the same group of thugs, "Before the South can rise again, you'll need to get that car off your lawn."
All of us howl in laughter at this incredibly witty remark which, I believe, is stolen from "The Onion".
Last call downtown and the party begins to fracture. There are those, of course, with plans to tour the upstates finest in "adult" entertainment. I'm going to bed. I have a tournament tomorrow.
SATURDAY AUGUST 20TH - BRADOWEEN DAY
That's another post folks...<-- Hide More