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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

August 20, 2008

Eddie's big break

by Otis

We've written here many times of the guy we affectionately titled Eddie the Dealer. We've mentioned he got robbed, busted, and broke. We wrote about how he went to Vegas to play and has struggled since.

I've made no secret about the fact I've been rooting for something good to happen to Eddie. At times it didn't seem like it was possible.

Well, it is. How so? Just read this.

Here's your chance, Eddie. Make it happen.

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August 13, 2008

Watching an old friend die

by Otis

My bankroll in December 2004 was not impressive. In fact, if I had the same amount now, I wouldn't call it a bankroll. I would pinch it on the cheek and say, "You are so cute. I could just eat you up!"

But it's what I carried with me across the moving walkway from the Luxor with Badblood. He'd just cashed in the tournament (an event that cost real $20 bills to enter). I hadn't made any money and felt broke.

And then we walked into the Excalibur poker room and I didn't care. There sat the rowdiest crowd of malcontents in one of the ugliest poker rooms I'd ever seen.

I was in love.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 28, 2008

In the machine

by Otis

The woman was blonde and a little overweight. She was a tourist. She screamed, "Oh my God!" and broke down in sobbing fits. Her chair shook as she swayed with the spirit of Las Vegas.

In front of her, a three-line video poker machine showed a Royal Flush in hearts on the first line. The winnings box spun, jangled, and whirled up and up and up. With each 1,000 mark it crossed, the woman shuddered, dropped more tears onto her red cheeks, and said, "Oh, God!"

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 18, 2008

Eskimo's Bitch

by Otis

It was late, but not so much so that I was ready for bed. The Palms poker room was knee deep in players, smelling of smoke and red meat, and a generally sweaty mess for a Monday night. A tourist wearing souvenir clothes and carrying a camera paced the rail like a kid waiting to see Bozo. Or a kid waiting to pee. I couldn't tell and I doubt he would know the difference. The sensations are pretty much the same.

.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 2, 2008

Remainder of the remainders

by Otis

It's a challenge to write in Las Vegas. A friend once equated the bunker mentality with a bunch of old school war reporters. The challenge of ducking bullets and telling good stories is harder than it probably appears. Of course, there is rarely real ammo here. The dangers are hedonism and fatigue. I'm doing well on this trip, though (as mentioned in the posts below this one) not entirely innocent of running rampant in the pit. I've run well, though, and for that I feel pretty fortunate.

I'm here to work, not play. Tomorrow marks the first real test of my abilities, such as they are. I'm not ready or able to tell the full story of the G-Vegas boys' visit (plus, G-Rob's account of BadBlood's $4,000 run at Texas Hold'em Bonus cannot be topped). Regardless, here's some fun remainders from G-Rob's remainders.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 1, 2008

Sin City

by Luckbox

Two years is a long time.

Two years ago, no one knew who Jamie Gold was. The Detroit Tigers were 28 games over .500 while Tampa Bay was 12 games under. Oh, and they were still the Devil Rays. Andrea Bargnani was the #1 pick in the NBA draft. Yeah, I still haven't heard of him. The nation was preparing for a Hillary vs. Rudy presidential election.

And that's the last time I was in Vegas.

The good news is that until the terrorists win, or some Socialist takes over the White House, Vegas will be exactly the same every time I go. You can change the curtains all you want, but the grime is there forever.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Vegas: Remainders

by G-Rob

When playing Pai Gow, there's an extra bet on each hand for the "bonus." Play that bonus for at least $5 and you're playing the special "envy" bonus, which means you get paid on everyone else's bonus hand too.

I didn't hit many bonuses at Pai Gow. I didn't hit much of anything at the table games. I did feel a great deal of envy.

Here's what else happened during my 3.5 days in Las Vegas, Nevada.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 30, 2008

Las Vegas

by G-Rob

Las Vegas may be the most fictional of any real place on the map. It's either a glamourous city of glitz or a romanticized mecca of depravity.

Even calling Las Vegas a black hole gives it too much credit. A black hole has, at its center, a singularity of such incredible mass and gravity that nothing can escape. At the heart of the dark Las Vegas hole, there is only another hole.

Las Vegas is not exotic. It is not mysterious. Las Vegas is a busy airport and a place our unconscious mind already knows.

I spent just 3 days there and knew it all well.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 25, 2008

Wanting to Think About Vegas...

by Luckbox

I will be wheels up for Vegas in about 24 hours, but I can't really think about it.

You see, I'm currently at the end of an 18 hour work day that started after just about 2 hours of sleep. It's all because some crazy guy decided to shoot up his workplace after getting into an argument with his boss. He even called his girlfriend two hours earlier saying, "I'm going to shoot my boss." She apparently didn't believe him. Six people are dead, including the gunman.

In our business, we don't allow tragedy to weigh on us. We can't. We see too much of it. We often cope by telling really bad jokes at the expense of victims. It's really kinda sick, but it's what we do. It keeps us sane. I was doing fine until the plant manager got up to the mic at a press conference and said, between tears, "I hope none of you ever have to go through something like this. This is the worst day of my life."

Can you see why my mind isn't yet in the desert?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 19, 2008

Vegas: Ramping up slowly

by Otis

"I equate gambling with being an asshole. If you don't have a life, go to Las Vegas, you dick."
--Henry Rollins

I should take offense to that. Instead, I laugh every time I hear it.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 3, 2008

Lady Luck Answers

by Luckbox

So I spent a good deal of time trying to decide just how I would approach my wife with the idea of a guy's only trip to Vegas. In just four months of marriage, I haven't had a lot of time to build up trade-worthy capital.

So it went a little like this...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 29, 2008

Operation: Go To Vegas

by Luckbox

Okay, I need your help. We're going to have to keep this on the down-low. As you have all likely read, the G-Vegas crew is going to Vegas at the end of next month. Despite not having lived there in more than five years, I consider myself an honorary lifetime member of the G-Vegas crew, so it stands to reason that I should go as well.

There are two problems. 1) Finding a flight at a reasonable price. It will be tough, but doable. 2) Convicing Lady Luck that me going to Vegas is a good idea.

That's where you come in. I have a few thoughts on how to accomplish this mission, but you might have some better suggestions.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 28, 2008

Nevada

by G-Rob

You know, I haven't been to Las Vegas in two years. Seriously. How'd that happen?

I went from going 2 times a year to a 2 year break. I didn't see that coming.

Now, I'm booked and going back. Wanna roll with G-Rob? Here's your glorious opportunity. I'm in Vegas from Thursday June 26th until Sunday June 29th.

Before I go, some quick thoughts about the journey:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 6, 2008

Gambling Boom Goes Bust: Let The Good Times... Crap Out

by G-Rob

Good times are called a "boom" for a reason. The sudden explosion (a similar metaphor) of a new business, a burst onto the scene, is a shot heard 'round the world. A bust, metaphor notwithstanding, is sometimes more subtle. Like a slow leak in an old tire.

Gambling... is not booming anymore. But is this a bust?

To wit:

Who here can tell me when Texas Hold-em had its big bang?

Here are the numbers to back up your almost certainly correct guess:

2003 Chris Moneymaker wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 839)
2004 Greg Raymer wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 2576)
2005 Joe Hachem wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 5619)
2006 Jamie Gold wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 8773)

That, my friends, is a boom.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 30, 2008

George Danzer's journey

by Otis

It was a mildly chilly night in Monte Carlo, but the northern Europeans and those who live on wind-slapped islands were smelling summer. We, a large and eclectic group of poker players, writers, and marketers, sat at a cafe table overlooking a croaking frog pond and man-made wetlands area.

At the table were two Germans. One, Jan Heitmann, was making the guys jealous and the girls swimmy with an impromptu magic act. Beside him sat Geoge Danzer. His is a familiar face on the European Poker Circuit. In fact, I thought that (and the fact he was sitting right beside me) was the only reason I knew who he was.

I'd forgotten about Dmitri Nobles.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 30, 2007

WPBT Holiday Gathering: The End...the end

by Otis

WPBT Holiday Gathering: The End, Pt. 1

When I found a certain make of Moleskine notebooks, I knew I would never again have a reason to ignore notetaking as part of the writing process. The notebooks have a soft cover that feels a lot like a paper shopping bag. They fit perfectly in my back pocket and mold to my ass.

Throughout the Vegas trip, I had taken a lot of notes and continued to do so up until we hit 20 players in the tournament. Then, apart from writing down who was sitting at the final table, I didn't take another note.

I guess I decided to play poker.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 28, 2007

WPBT Holiday Gathering: The End...Pt. 1

by Otis

I began my Saturday in Vegas like I begin most Saturdays in the city. I was tired, mildly hungover, and stuck. Had it not been for winning a dime playing Pai Gow and sucking out on a fellow blogger in a poker game, the roll in my pocket would've been a lot smaller. Regardless, my stomach and eyelids had met somewhere in the middle. As a result, I had a lump in my throat and had a hard time putting down the cheesesteak at the Venetian food court.

The only thing that felt right was my sense of optimism, and even that was odd. Normally, as my poker game is concerned, I'm wearing Charlie Brown's storm cloud. That particular morning, though, I was talking as I felt.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 19, 2007

WPBT Holiday Gathering: Making good on debts due

by Otis

As I left the MGM, I heard Miami Don's voice behind me.

"Otis, I think your luck just changed."

I couldn't help but believe him.

We walked across the catwalk and into New York, New York. There appeared from nowhere one Shane Nickerson. He bought me a beer for no other reason, apparently, than I was standing in front of him.

It made me believe Don even more.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 14, 2007

WPBT Holiday Gathering: Friday, Bloody Friday

by Otis

The elevator was out-performing its capacity specifications. It had reached the point at which, when we stopped on every floor, the people on the outside took one look and said, "We'll wait for the next one."

A not-too-worldly girl was pressed against the mirrored wall in the back. Tight quarters and a need for attention forced her to say something. She went with, "Gawd, it seems like half of Australia is here."

I was too tired to correct her. She'd figure it out eventually.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 12, 2007

WPBT Holiday Gathering: A 24-hour trip

by Otis

In the time it took me to leave my bed Thursday morning to the time I went to bed Friday morning, I nearly could have driven from G-Vegas to Las Vegas. Thursday night, as I sat in the one-seat at a Pai Gow table, this fact didn't occur to me. In fact, very little entered my mind except for the probability that I would own the Imperial Palace before morning and that my wife might be a little curious why a pretty Asian girl was shoving her elbow into my back.

Beyond that, it was all noise.

Very happy noise.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 11, 2007

WPBT Holiday Gathering: A prelude

by Otis

The rubdown girls at the MGM poker room wear black shirts. A tired designer in some backroom Las Vegas t-shirt shop has created an Old Vegas logo on the back of the uniform. The one word logo looks like it was based on a casino sign from Fremont Street. It's gold, blocky, and has just the right amount of of flair to give a sense of importance and drama.

I was working on a decent amount of sleep--six hours--and was not the least bit hungover. Further, I had only sipped a couple of beers over the four hours I had been sitting at the poker table. I convinced myself I was not at all on tilt. Not half an hour before, someone had suggested it might be time to take a walk and do something else.

"I'm fine," I said.

Now, I was looking at the back of the black uniform and my eyes registered the one word on the back. It read:

MASSACRE.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 5, 2007

Gone, monkey, gone

by Otis

I just got back from the drug store.

I spent $57 on various painkillers, stomach medications, travel-size toiletries, sleep aids, and awake aids.

I went to the bank and turned small bills into big bills.

Now, all that's left is waiting for the alarm to go off before I can go pick up BadBlood and head to the airport.

Here's what my "away" message looks like:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 3, 2007

Tilting the testosterone

by Otis

In December of 2004, G-Rob and I survived one long night on a Las Vegas diet of car bombs and cover stories. During one conversation that still haunts me to this day, I was a surgeon, G-Rob was a minor league pitcher, and the third member of the mind-meeting was a...buckaroo.

One of us wasn't lying.

That's the kind of thing that happens when you put a bunch of poker bloggers in the same city with a bunch of cowboys in town for the biggest rodeo of the year.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 29, 2007

A little inspiration for the Vegas-bound

by Otis

I've been doing a little pre-Vegas personal psyche-up and stumbled across some of my old pictures. Then I stumble across pictures taken by Pauly, Al, Flipchip, Linda, and others. And then I just started getting silly.

So, here's what I've been doing with my day.

Disclaimer: Please don't be offended if you are not featured here. I realized early on that there was no way I was going to find a picture of everybody because:

a) Some of you people (ahem, Change100) are unreasonably afraid of cameras
b) Some of you are wanted in several states and/or provinces.

Anyway, hereyago.

*Bloglines readers, click it on through.

*Photos courtesy

Tao of Poker
Al Can't Hang
Las Vegas Vegas
PokerWorks

And a few others I'm sure I stole from.

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November 27, 2007

A sense of place

by Otis

The outside walls are warped metal and the parking lot is pot-holed gravel. To park, one has to pull in on the right side of the building, drive around the dark backside of the bar, and then around to diagonal spaces the left side. If it wouldn't seem so perfectly trite, the dark parking area would be the ideal place for a drunken fight with a switchblade and a pool cue.

It was raining hard when I pulled into the lot last night and turned off the ignition. If I'd had a collar, I would've pulled it up against the elements. Instead, I trudged through the gray mud and to the door. Like always, every eye in the place turned toward me and held for that extra second that makes me nervous. Everyone looked away and I made my way to the end of the bar and ordered a beer.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 19, 2007

World Series of Pai Gow Poker?

by Otis

Do you remember the first time you stood up on the footrest of your Pai Gow chair and yelled across to the roulette players, "Who is winning over there? Because we are winning over here!" Do you remember the first time you took an inordinate interest in your dealer's country of origin and how to pronounce his/her name? Do you remember your first Greyhound? What about the first time you won a monster by betting the dragon bonus?

Or, let me ask you this, dear reader:

Do you remember the first time you got steak and eggs?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 5, 2007

Happier Times

by Otis

We stood on our chairs that weren't actually chairs. They were long wooden benches. We held steins of wheat beer in our hands. The mugs themselves were bigger than our heads. Across the room, Joey Two-Hands was attempting to hold an identical stein out in front of him for as long as possible. It was a contest the Hofbrau House held every night. We, a group of 14, had decided not to participate, save Joey Two-Hands who had sneaked into the competition at the last minute with his own unapproved mug and a hopeless case of optimism.

"Hey, it's George Clinton," I said, nudging Marty in the ribs and pointing to the large black man and his small entourage.

I was joking.

"That's not George Clinton," Marty said. "That's Mr. T."

He was not joking.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 26, 2007

The Otis F.A.R.C.E

by Otis

For the past two years, I have said aloud--although, to myself, while alone in a room, usually after a couple of drinks, and under the influence of 18 varieties of self loathing--that I was not going to go to Las Vegas in December. At the time, it seemed such a reasonable and responsible declaration. I've been traveling a lot this year and the end of 2007 is not any exception. I miss my family and they claim--especially when tempted with ice cream--they miss me as well.

Really, it's a whole list of things that are keeping me away from my West Coast home, beginning with my intention to be a better husband and father and ending with my belief that my future in poker is pretty much now in line with my future in porn.

No, I told myself, I was not going to Las Vegas for the ninth week this year.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 20, 2007

Oh, the places I'll go

by Otis

I know a lot of photographers. The most talented still shooter with whom I've had the pleasure of drinking a pint is a guy named Neil Stoddart. Neil is a Brit who shoots a lot of portraits, poker, amd music--a mix of creativity and skill that humbles me every time I'm in his presence. Beyond that, although I'd been to four or five different countries with the guy, I didn't know a whole lot about him until this year's World Series of Poker.

Neil and I spent a bit of time on breaks together. I got him into Lime Tossing and enjoyed his easy-going manner. One day, he looked up and asked, "Have you ever been to the Fireside Lounge?"

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 30, 2007

Seat Open

by Otis

Dear G-Vegas,

It's not you. It's me.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 13, 2006

Experimental Otis

by Otis

This year plodded by like a horrible movie you rent and then feel compelled to watch because you dropped $3 on it. Each passing month seemed more laborious than the one before. Poker had gone poorly and the other superficial parts of my life had not gone much better. Had it not been for the love of my family and friends, it would've been the kind of year that would make a guy pretty damned depressed. The fourth quarter of the year had proven to be worse than the rest of the year and I had pretty much decided to put 2006 to bed. That is, I was not going to go to Las Vegas.

And then I did.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 12, 2006

Yeah, I went

by Otis

I'm still recovering from whatever monkey illness I came down with in Vegas. I haven't eaten in more than 24 hours. Nonetheless, I wanted to say thanks to April for setting it up and all the bloggers for coming out to make it a nice time. As I'm still suffering from fever dreams, I'm not going to write anything up at the moment. Well, except this one brag.

On Sunday, I cracked aces with my first-ever live royal flush.

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August 30, 2006

Mad No-Max (Part 1)

by Otis

Wil Wheaton and I weren't holding hands, but it was appearing more and more as if we were on a date. Absinthe walked beside us, eying us as if we had morphed from his drinking buddies into a pair of lovers.

Me? Well, I was just lost. I'd spent my day off playing cheap mixed games with friends and then folding to a non-cash in Caesar's nightly 7pm tourney. When I finished, everyone else was either still playing or gone. Except for Wil and Ryan, who insisted I have gelato from the Italian joint in the Fourm Shops. Wil bought my pistachio dessert and made things better, if a little more on the "light in the loafers" side of the sidewalk.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 25, 2006

Vegas Calling

by Luckbox

Since all of you punks (except Drizz) got your chance to do Vegas earlier this month, I'm taking my revenge by spending 12 days there and getting paid to do it.

I'll wait a moment for your intense jealousy to build up.

Waiting...

Waiting...

Okay, you've had enough time. Not only am I going to be immersed in the WSOP Main Event, but I'm going to get to play in the Media event and I'll be hitting up the hottest WSOP parties I can find (thanks Jen and Jen!) And I'll be throwing down a grand of my own money to play in the August 3rd NLHE event. Finally, I'll be working side-by-side with the best poker bloggers in the business.

If you're running the "Otis at the WSOP" graphic in your sidebar, feel free to update to the new one:

Here's the code: http://www.upforanything.net/poker/OtisWSOP.jpg

Expect to see the bulk of our work over at the PokerStars blog, but I promise they'll be plenty left over for Up For Poker. See ya on the other side of Sin City!

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July 19, 2006

Poker people

by Otis

It's just after 9am in Vegas. I woke up two and half hours ago and haven't been able to go back to sleep. Four weeks into a 6.5 week stay, there are too many faces, names, and win/loss records to keep in my head. When I shudder awake from a dream of dismembering the corpse of a very nice and dedicated poker player, I know it's time to stay awake, the eventual fatigue be damned. I mentioned I have many stories to tell. Right now, though, the outline in my head is a bit blurry. Still, there are things in my head that want out.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Auctioning Off Clonie Gowen

by Luckbox

Okay, I'm lying. Full Tilt Poker is not auctioning off their hottest property. But... win this auction and you'll get to see her looking as hot as possible.

It's your chance to win an invitation for two to the Full Tilt Poker WSOP Gala. Expect to see all the pros and celebrity-hangers-on you can imagine. It's bound to be one of the hottest parties of the summer.

Of course, none of that really matters. What matters is that your bid can help change the life of a little girl who lost her mother to a rare form of cancer. It's the latest item in the ForPeyton.com auction.

So if you're going to be in Vegas, or get can to Vegas, on July 26th, get your bid in now!

Play Online Poker
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July 8, 2006

The Turn

by G-Rob

The first time I went to Vegas, I didn't play poker. In fact, I thought the friends who did were stupid for trying. We went as an enormous throng, old friends and new, and I ended up sharing a room with CJ, his brother, and a guy named "Carmine". I hadn't seen Carmine before. I haven't seen him since. He did, however, have enough of a Vegas connection to guarantee that 25 drunken morons don't pay cover at the areas "finest" adult establishemnts.

Meanwhile, I played blackjack and lost every dollar I took. I expected that, of course, you take to Vegas what you plan to lose.

Or so I thought.

Otis and CJ played poker that time. I have no idea how they did.

I assumed anyone who played poker in Vegas was an expert.

I've been back to Vegas several times since. There's another trip coming on the first week of August. This time, I'm taking a test.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 26, 2006

Vegas News!

by Luckbox

I'm booked!

No, it's not for the WPBT July girly thingy. No, I'm booked for the kick ass August 2-6 weekend. Going in July was out of the question for G-Rob and I, so we're going to win WSOP events in August instead. The plane tickets are bought.

One thing I'm sorry I'm going to miss that July weekend is the first real poker-blogging, WPBT participant in history to play on American television! Jen Leo won a seat into the Mansion Poker Speed Poker tournament that airs on Fox Sports Net. I sure hope she gets a chance to drop the HAMMER! My luckbox skills are available to borrow if you need them that day. [Editor's note: As DoubleAs correctly points out, he landed on Canadian TV. They have TV up there? I have also updated to stress the WPBT nature of the blogging.]

Finally, the WSOP really gets under way tomorrow with the first full-field event (the casino employees play today). You can anticipate coverage from the regulars: Pauly at Tao of Poker, PokerProf and Co. over at LasVegasVegas.com, and I'm assuming The Spaceman will be doing some coverage for Bluff Magazine eventually. Of course, the best live-blogger in the world (I'm biased) will be out there soon, too is there now. At least in time for the Main Event, if not earlier, From now, through the Main Event, Otis will be dropping his knowledge over at the PokerStars blog (And I'm hearing some rumors that Otis will take his coverage to multimedia levels never seen at the WSOP! Stay tuned!).

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December 7, 2005

WPBT Vegas Redux

by Luckbox

Want to get in the mood for Vegas? How about a look back at Vegas craziness as seen through the eyes of the Up For Poker crew...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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How to Play Pai Gow Poker

by Otis

With less than 24 hours to touchdown, I'm left with too much to do and too little time to do it. There's work, side work, packing, dog kenneling, errands, etc. I've done my best to cover everything I can in advance of the WPBT trip this weekend.

However, one thing remains undone.

So, I give you...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Low Rollin' in Las Vegas

by Otis

This story begins like so many stories from the city in the middle of the desert:

I remember it better now than I did the morning after.

It was the night I learned to roll low in Las Vegas.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 6, 2005

PROPS

by G-Rob

At Thanksgiving I eat too much and pretend to be interested in the Detroit Lions. On Christmas I always get a new package of socks. On the 4th of July the rest of my family flies up to Louisville while I stay here to work. Not all traditions are good, but they are traditions nonetheless.


So without further ado...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 5, 2005

How to pack for Las Vegas

by Otis

There are two dangers in packing your bags for Las Vegas. You can be too prepared. Or you can be ill-prepared.

I have been guilty of both.

So, I offer this Guide to Packing for a 3-4 day trip to Las Vegas.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 1, 2005

A Challenge from Up For Poker

by Luckbox

I haven't discussed this with Otis or G-Rob, but that's okay. They're just going to have to deal with my bravado whether they like it or not.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 30, 2005

Prelude to bacchanalia

by Otis

Fatigue creeps up on you like irrationality. Life rolls on greased steel wheels, months pass, and every cog seems to fit into its mate in the most rational way. It's enough to lure anyone into a sense of security as false as a hockey player's incisors. And then, all of a sudden, life pokes its heads under your bed covers and says, "I know you are, but what am I?"

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 21, 2005

Big WPBT News

by Otis

I've been working on this for a while and am finally able to announce it.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 10, 2005

Storming the Castle Pt. 2

by Otis

"Serendipity" didn't quite capture it. Nothing could capture it. It was a rag-tag weekend that simultaneously mercilessly wrecked my psyche and infused my spirit. It was the first-ever WPBT gathering.

I wrote a lot about that weekend after it was over. But this moment was the one that still sticks out in my mind.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 5, 2005

I'm Booked

by Luckbox

Arrive Vegas 8:14pm on Thu. Dec. 8th
Depart Vegas 12:43pm on Mon. Dec. 12th

See you there!

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November 1, 2005

Noteworthy WPBT Developments

by Otis

Where do you read Up For Poker?

It's a busy day in Otisville. I capped off my October with a disappointing 36 out of 1100-ish finish in the Super Monday tournament. Now, it's on to more important things. They're due a proper write-up, but time escapes me. PokerStars finally signed up Joe Hachem, so my day is a little too full. Nonetheless, here are some things you should be noting in the coming days.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 27, 2005

Otis Booked

by Otis

Um...yep.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 16, 2005

Booked!

by G-Rob

I'll be in Las Vegas from:

Thursday December 8th
until
Sunday December 11th

God help us all.

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July 21, 2005

Meeting Wil

by Otis

There was a day when I didn't "know" someone in Vegas. That spot in southern Nevada was a fairy tale place where no one actually lived. We tripped the light fantastic (not to mention the fandango), rode through the worm holes, and emerged in a land of lights, concentrated sin, and blissful anonymity.

These days, I know people. Not in the "I know people" sense of knowing people. (I know people in St. Louis, though, and they know people, so that has to count for something.) In Vegas, I have familiarities. I figure that is as much as one can ask in a city where relationships are as tenuous as a string of good luck on the video poker machines.

And, yet, so it happened that I came to know someone in Vegas named Wil Wheaton.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 18, 2005

Leaving Las Vegas

by Otis

"You know you look like Tiny Tim?"

We were leaning over the craps table in such a precarious position that at any moment the pointy dice could hop from the felt and stab us in our bloodshot eyes. The man that looked like Tiny Tim (and he really did look like him) was three holes down from me on the right. Grubby and Mike were in between us. Pauly stood on my left.

"Tiny Tim?" The guy seemed confused, like he'd never heard "Tiptoe through the Tulips. "People tell me I look like Jesus."

One of the craps dealers looked up and said, "Are you sure that you didn't misunderstand when people looked at you and said 'Jesus Christ!"

For the first time in a long time, I was struck by unexpected laughter. It came from somewhere deep, somewhere that moved me to not even think, but to throw the dealer a blue chip and thank him. Four other blue chips hit the felt in front of the guy. Not bad cash for insulting a guy.

It was my last night in Vegas. I had no plans to sleep before getting on a plane. And I was playing craps.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 13, 2005

The Women of the WSOP

by Luckbox

Clonie, Isabelle, Carmel... and most importantly, Mrs. Otis!

It's all in this week's editon of...

The Pauly and Otis Show

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July 11, 2005

Mad Russian

by Otis

Remember the night I wrote about the Mad Russian with the fetish porn site? Flipchip got a picture of him...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 10, 2005

Pauly's New Crush

by Luckbox

Pauly has a new crush. She doesn't blog about her own breasts. And she's not about to marry a crazy Scientologist. But this one has a little mystery to her...

And she's the subject of this week's edition of...

The Pauly and Otis Show (with guest appearance by Jay Greenspan!)

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July 5, 2005

AMILV--Card players

by Otis

"Are you a card player?"

The cabbie had just picked me up at the Mirage. The sun was up, the card room was still full, and two drunk girls were slipping into the sunlight like a gator into the Everglades.

Am I a card player? I thought.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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AMILV--Perspective

by Otis

A favor...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 3, 2005

AMILV--Proof of Life

by Otis

In case you think we're not working...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 2, 2005

Newlyweds, Rub Downs and Isabelle Mercier

by Luckbox

That's all in this week's edition of...

The Pauly and Otis Show

Enjoy!

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July 1, 2005

AMILV--Overheard

by Otis

Overheard at the WSOP...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 28, 2005

Aspartame and Splenda

by G-Rob

I tried the new Diet Coke with Splenda. It doesn't taste like the other Diet Coke and it sure as hell ain't the old syrup itself. I still liked it. It's funny how people start with a taste for a sugar sweetened caffiene, only to switch to somthing which tastes entirely different. Diet Coke is to the "real thing" as nails are to screws. So why would I try another "Diet Coke" that bears no resemblance to any Coke at all? Why would it carry the "Coke" brand?

The same reason we play poker.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 25, 2005

WSOP Exclusive!!!!!!

by Luckbox

Click here to listen to actual commentary from the two most famous blogger in Vegas, Dr. Pauly and Otis. (Courtesy the good Dr., with more to come.)

Plus, here's the picture of our hammer-dropping heroes before Event #2 (pics courtesy the other good Dr., Little Willie):

More pictures to come...

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June 24, 2005

AMILV--Week two begins

by Otis

"Is that that movie girl?"

The guy looked like he was from Ohio. Ohio guys are easy to spot. Ninety percent of the natives look alike.

I was stuck an inordinate amount and I wanted to punch the chip runner.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 21, 2005

G-Vegas vs. The LA Crew

by Luckbox

It will one day rank up there with the likes of Lakers vs. Celtics and Yankees vs. Red Sox and Jay Leno vs. David Letterman.

I don't mean to disparage the Michigan Boys or the Minnesota Trio, but Conan O'Brien and Craig Kilborn are late, late night for a reason.

G-Vegas was lead by Otis and the LA Crew lined up behind Hank. Two titans of the poker blogger community. And if by some creul twist of fate those two fell, Bad Blood and Joe Speaker were ready to step in. Even G-Rob and fhwrdh caused concern for their tablemates.

Oh, almost forgot to mention. The LA Crew also featured the last place finisher from the last live WPBT event and G-Vegas brought along the last place finisher from the last online WPBT event. Bill Rini and yours truly.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 18, 2005

AMILV--Day 2

by Otis

"First, you put the sour cream on it, and the kitty cat, it slurp, slurp, slurp."

The mad Russian who could've been Howard Stern's brother was sitting one table behind me talking about his #1 rated fetish porn site.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Quads

by Luckbox

It's the hand every poker blogger dreams about. It comes when the poker gods look down upon you and reward you for your committment to the HAMMER.

I had just moved from the deadly $2-$6 game to this fresh $4/$8 1/2 Kill game. I was joined by the rest of the G-Vegas crew (Otis, G-Rob, and Bad Blood) and ScurvyDog. The tables was filled out by a few grizzled locals, including an older woman who wouldn't be there too much longer.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 17, 2005

AMILV--Day 1

by Otis

Something wasn't right. I'd been on the plane for too long, so I obviously wanted to get off. But I didn't need to get off...now.

That's what was different.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 16, 2005

Stargazing at the Rio... and I Mean OTIS!!!

by Luckbox

I wish I could imagine just how Otis, Bobby Bracelet, Wes, Joe Speaker, Easycure and others were feeling on Friday morning. In just hours that would be slinging chips with the most itimidating pros in the world and about 2000 examples of dead money. Our hope, as a blogging community, was that our heroes would not fall into that second group.

My heart was racing. Catching my breath was hard. My eyes didn't want to focus. And I was only there to watch.

Amazingly, I looked into the eyes of our blogger heroes, and I saw no fear. I saw awe. I saw amazement. But these bloggers did not fear the cards. They were poker players. They would not be afraid.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 15, 2005

Trigger the Blastoplast

by G-Rob

I'm not sure the woman was drunk, but we weren't, and I'm a good judge of another's buzz when I'm still clean. She wore tourist trousers, khaki bermuda shorts and a "Welcome to Vegas" T. In each hand was a filthy rack of Rio chips and on her puffy face a look of confusion. As she learned over the end of our table she asked a stupid question, "Is this table 135?"

I was to BadBloods left, which is like hitting cleanup behind Barry Bonds. Holy Steroids! Dr. Bicep is a better player than me, and with him to my left I'd at least have a good indication of when to fold.

"I dunno," offered Blood, "but you have to wonder why they hung that sign." He then pointed to the numbers, a foot in diameter, hanging above our table. BadBlood is a smartass. He and I were of similar mind.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 13, 2005

Dealer, Do You Know How to Spell?

by Luckbox

I know you're wondering... I never got anything to eat. I'm sure you never saw that coming! That means my first full day in Vegas was being sustained by a tiny turkey sandwich... and a Twix... a mini-Twix.

So, on an empty stomach, I made the brilliant decision to get up from the highly profitable $4/$8 table in favor of a blogger table. I picked up my chips (up $350!!!) in search of an empty seat at the H.O.R.S.E. table. I found one, beside Maudie. Who wouldn't want to sit there???

So I sat down, ready to lose money. Because, as we all know, blogger tables are ____ (fill in the blank).

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 11, 2005

It's a transitional tale

by G-Rob

I always have the strangest dreams in Vegas. It was about 9AM on Friday morning and my wife was screaming my name while pounding the walls. That had to be a dream. It was, most likely, a mental device used to conceal the pounding in my head. I had been asleep for less than 2 hours and I was still wearing socks.

So...

At 11:30 the blushing bride burst into the room with what turned out to be a brand new room key. The old one stopped working at 9:00 and she needed another. Go figure! I was dreaming about her at exactly that same time.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 10, 2005

Day 1: The $1200 Legend

by Luckbox

I touched down in Vegas and I was hungry. The airplane meal consisted of a tiny turkey sandwich, a bag of chips and a mini Twix bar. It's certainly better than the snack mix or the peanuts, but all it did is make me even more hungry. I vowed to eat as soon as I got the chance.

On the shuttle to the Excalibur, I talked with a woman who was in Vegas for the very first time. She wasn't a gambler but I told her there were plenty of ways to occupy her time. I warned her that two things often get overlooked during vacations to Sin City: food and sleep. I vowed to eat something very soon.

I hit the door of the castle and felt right at home. I like the Excalibur. I've spent a lot of time there. I made my way to the poker room in search of my fellow bloggers, the madness that would follow and food.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 8, 2005

With a little help from my Friends

by G-Rob

I kept things in check, played it close to the vest, because I was sure the bride would be checking. I met her in 1994 when she lived across the street in a house with air conditioning and a vacuum. To my roomates and I, Hoover was just a man in a dress and he probably came to a few of our parties.

In the first few years of our romantic entanglement, she and I were like a hobo with a pet. I had longer hair than she and, at the time, I only owned one pair of shorts. They were khaki at first but had taken on a luminecent grey veneer from months of dirt and grime. No party was too wild for us and nobody partied harder.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 7, 2005

The Smell of Lose

by G-Rob

I felt like a rum and coke. I'm a beer man really, but the mood was perfect for a sweet-tart syrup. The wife had the weary look, eyes extra wide, hair frazzled, and her attempts to smile made it seem like an extended frown had snapped backward from strain. The travel is usually the worst part.

It was about 11:00 when the 757 touched down in Vegas. There's a tram ride to the main terminal and an long escalator to the baggage claim. I called Otis from there.

"Don't tell me you're already here!" he screamed.

"I'm there in an hour," I belched. But in Vegas, time has no meaning.

We took the airport shuttle to The PLAZA, which means we took it to 5 other hotels first. It was midnight when we strode through the automatic double doors. They slid open easily and revealed the long line inside. That was the last part of our stay there when anything went as planned.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 6, 2005

Wow!

by Luckbox

I'm home from one of the most enjoyable weekends I've ever had. Sure, finishing second in the Main Event was great... but it paled in comparison to the experience of meeting 70+ of the coolest people in the world. I hope you all had as good of a time as I did. And we'll have to do this again... soon!

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June 2, 2005

I'm Ready

by Luckbox

This is my final word before I see so many of you at the World Poker Blogger Tour's second live event. To say, "I can't wait!" would be an understatement. It was an amazing group of people the first time around, and I hardly got to spend much time with any of you. It happened so fast.

I fully intend on savoring it all this time around. It will be a lot of poker, a little craps, and some great times spent with good friends. Could you really ask for anything more?

Tonight I prepared myself by playing a little live poker at the weekly double-wide game (although this time, we were in a garage). It was 12 players at $10 a piece. We played two rounds and I finished 1st... twice. That's a total profit of $160. I was playing to make money tonight. I wanted it for Vegas. The cards were good, but my play was very good.

I feel like I'm in a very good place with my game right now. Why do I seem to play so much better live? Why do I have more patience in a game where I see so many fewer hands? Maybe when I figure out how to answer those questions, I'll begin succeeding online again.

I said I'd begin my tally for gambling wins and losses starting on June 1st. And I get to start with a cool profit. I imagine even bigger and better things starting tomorrow. I can't wait!!!

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May 31, 2005

WPBT Schedule Additions--UPDATED

by Otis

UPDATE:

Here's a downloadable .doc file of the schedule to print out and take with you.

Yeah, I do this kind of stuff.

Download file


Breaking news

Hey folks. We've had a few late additions to the WPBT schedule. I've added Felicia's sushi dinner and a breakfast with the bloggers.

Also, Felicia has been cool enough to put together a blogger H.O.R.S.E. game for us on Thursday night at the MGM after sushi. PLEASE come to this. It will be a ball and a great chance to talk to each other before the weekend gets too crazy. You'll find the full schedule below. Please leave a comment to let me know if you're interested in the H.O.R.S.E. game.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 30, 2005

Rowdy juice--Updated

by Otis

Update: CJ has added all of our trip reports from the last run on Vegas.

Also, I've noticed our blogger representation in WSOP Event #2 is bigger than I thought. We'll have nine representatives out of the 2000-ish entrants (likely the same number as some of the smaller online sites...hell, I bet we have more reps that Choice Poker). Our luck, we'll all get seated at the same table with Sam Grizzle. At least the conversation would be good. Regardless, I think it's going to be a ball. Like Hank, I have no illusions about taking this thing down. I'll be happy to last through the first few levels.

Be sure to check out all of these guys and wish them luck, regardless of whether you're going to be in Vegas this weekend to cheer them on.

WPBT WSOP Satellite Winners

Bob Respert
Russ F.
The Big Pirate
Joe Speaker

Other satellite(s)

Poker Nerd

Direct buy-ins

EasyCure
HDouble
Twenty-One Outs
Otis (yeah, I don't need a link cuz you're already here)

---------
If you're stuck at work on the holiday or looking for a little rowdy juice, here's an a'la Dr. Pauly recap of past trip reports to pass the time.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Bugged out on moonshine

by Otis

The only downside to my new gig is that I lose a lot of social interaction. And, if you know me, you know that a good part of my life-fuel comes from the people I call friends.

So, Friday night some old friends and I sat around on my back deck with a few beers, the guitars, and a lotta laughs.

Then G-Rob shows up with the moonshine and what I shudder to recognize as an omen.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 26, 2005

WPBT ACC Update

by Luckbox

The spreadsheet has been sent. If you don't get it, email me at RSVP -at- upforanything.net

It's possible the email was filtered to your spam box.

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WPBT ACC Itinerary Update

by Luckbox

Details are falling into place. There's a new addition to the list of events for Thursday night. Please continue to email me with questions. I will be sending out the spreadsheet with participant information tonight. If I haven't heard back from you and you're on the list, you risk losing your seat. I can't babysit anymore, we're running out of time!

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 25, 2005

WPBT Desperate Housewives Club

by Otis

I'm not sure where I was at the time, but I was gone, daddy, gone when Mrs. Otis called.

"There's someone in front of our house doing yard work."

"Don't stop him," I said. You know, it's like what you do when a pit bull takes an affection to your leg. "Let him finish."

Now, in this day and age of "Desperate Housewives," a husband might have reason to worry. I mean, if the old lady isn't popping Ritalin like Pez or poisoning her husband, she's probably getting the high hard one from the lawn boy.

Now, if a neighbor had been watching, she might've been a bit intrigued. See, Mrs. Otis eventually let this yard guy in the house, offered him a beer, and he didn't leave for more than an hour.

Scandal, I'm sure the neighbors could surmise, was brewing like hot cider on a Carolina autumn night.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 23, 2005

WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic URGENT!!!

by Luckbox

First, if you are signed up for the event, see this post after finishing the one you're reading.

I just finished sending 70 emails. That's right, 70. Our confirmation list has grown to close to 75. If you did NOT receive an email from me and you think you're on the list, that means two things. 1) You're not on the list. 2) You gave me a bad email address. Email me at RSVP -at- UpForAnything.net immediately if that is the case.

If you did receive the email, please respond immediately, or you may be removed from the RSVP list.

Once I receive as many responses as I think I'm getting, I'll send out a spreadsheet with information on every blogger attending the event. It's kinda scary, actually, but we'll get over that part.

The other question everyone is asking is, "What about the pros?" I wish I had better news on that front. Unfortunately, it sounds like the WSOP PLHE event starts at Noon Saturday, and we simply don't hold the same appeal as fish willing to plaly a game well above their head. Dammit. If anyone has any other leads, let me know, or just convince them to show. We'll have a seat for them. If you know any celebrity poker players, we'll gladly take them as well.

In the extended entry, you'll find a rough timeline of events for everyone who will be there. Any questions, leave them in the comments or email me ASAP. Thanks!

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Here's a test...

by Otis

So...I've been planning social gatherings for a long time. I put about every ounce of effort into making sure it turns out as perfect as it can. And it never fails. When I get within a week or so of the actual event, I start to panic that nobody will show up. And then, of course, more people than I ever expected show up.

When it comes to this Vegas trip, I've had little organizational influence. With the exception of suggesting we Storm the Castle at 10pm on Friday night (still something I think we should do by the way) and helping Iggy along with some of the WSOP satellites, I've left it all to the greater minds.

Still, I'm wondering who is really coming. That is..who has actually booked their flights and hotel rooms? I challenge you. Drop a comment here with the following (this might actually help CJ out as well):

Plane arrival date
Hotel
Who will be with you on the trip (extras like wives, friends, etc)

Please number your entry. I'll start.

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Poker talk and Vegas dreams

by Otis

I was in a television control room again. Producers, directors, graphics gurus and their ilk zoomed back and forth and kept muttering "bloody this and blood that."

I hate TV, I thought.

And it's not that I hate TV. I just hate the memories of it. I'm only three months removed from that sinking feeling that I'm going to be standing in the rain at 6pm talking about some poor slob who got himself shot earlier that day.

That's the kind of TV I hate.

But this was poker TV, and, my, but if that doesn't make all the difference.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 21, 2005

Can you tell I'm excited? and A QUIZ!

by G-Rob

It's 7:00 in the great G-Vegas. The Preakness was superb, the teddy grahams are delicious, and the lovely bride is at a bridal shower in Kentucky. The ponies are an NBC event so the early news is cancelled and G-Rob is living easy.

That said, I've already posted about Vegas today and now I'm fixin' to go it again. The last trip was superb but signifigantly smaller. I can't wait to meet some new bloggers and I've missed the ones I know.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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The plan..

by G-Rob

I've been to Vegas, oh YES, I have gazed upon the neon heaven. I know its foolish to forge a complex plan, but a basic outline never hurts. That said, if you should need a moment of G-Rob glory, here's my agenda.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 10, 2005

Big WPBT Aladdin Classic News!!!!!!

by Luckbox

A couple of announcements for you, but the first one probably isn't directed at you, so go ahead and ignore it.

Christine, you low-life, bottom-feeding whore... this website is copyrighted. All rights reserved. Kiss my ass.

Okay, you can start reading again. Now on to the bigger and better news!!! Just head on to the WPBT official blog for details!

AlCantHang is my hero.

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May 7, 2005

WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic UPDATE!!!

by Luckbox

We're less than a month away now, and it appears as though we will be able to accomodate every player who signs up. That's right. Edna, the lovely poker room manager at the Aladdin, says she believes we'll be able to get as many tables as we need. Of course, things are always subject to change, so I don't want to guarantee anything, but this is great news!

Plus, Edna is right now working on a list of pros for us. I should know soon what success she's had. There are a couple other outlets for signing up some familiar faces, so I'll reach out to them after I hear back from Edna.

Less than a month! Can you believe it??

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April 14, 2005

Aladdin Casino Classic Professional Invites

by Luckbox

Well, I'm not sure we've gotten very far in securing a few famous faces for our Aladdin Casino Classic in June. So, I'm going to reach out to a contact who might be able to secure some invites for us.

With that in mind, I need to know who you want to play with. Leave your top-5 list in the comments. I'll build a composite list and get it to my contact and we'll see what happens!

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April 8, 2005

WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic Update!!!

by Luckbox

First, check out yet another big score from Otis. The guy is just unstoppable...

And now, read about some exciting news from the Aladdin. It looks like we're now confirmed for at least 6 tables by the Aladdin, and there's a possibility of more. The Aladdin's poker room will be expanding to two more tables by then.

That means the confirmed list jumps to 55!! We'll still hold those other 5 seats for pros and invited guests. If things go well, we'll be able to accomodate all players. The updated RSVP list can be found over at the WPBT official web site.

Please make sure you show the Aladdin our appreciation whenever you can. If you're in Vegas, stop by and say Hi to Edna, the fabulous poker room manager. And then sit down and play a little.

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April 4, 2005

Yep, I'm an Asshole

by Luckbox

Inevitably, when you take on a task that affects others, you're bound to upset somebody. I've done it. I'll try to address the WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic RSVP issues one at a time.

1. But I RSVP'd??? Where am I???
I tracked everyone who RSVP'd either by sending me an email (the proper way, as requested) or by leaving just a comment (the slacker method, but allowed nonetheless). I compiled the complete list with each individuals time of response (either the timestamp of the email or the timestamp of the comment). That is where the player's list and waiting list came from.

2. How come I'm just on the waiting list???
The original announcement of the tournament was made on February 23rd here on this blog. That included this line, "I'm still working on getting a maximum number of entrants, so get your RSVP's to me immediately." A subsequent announement was made on March 5th on the WPBT official web site. By that time, I had already received close to 60 RSVP's, meaning many of the responses were bound for the waiting list already. If you waited, I'm sorry.

But they're not even a blogger!!!!!
Okay, I probably don't have a good answer for this. Little Willie is a member of Up For Poker by proxy. He's Otis' little brother. He was the third person to respond and I told him he'd have a spot. The other non-blogger is Matt. He's been a regular in comments and at the WPBT events. He's the only reader who's regularly pestered me, and I've decided to let him in. Okay? So sue me...

But I've never heard of these blogs!?!?!?
Well, at this point, no matter who I let in, there will be some blogs that many of us don't read regularly. Does that make them any less valuable to the community? And no, there's not a blog about Islam... I punched in the wrong blog address. As far as I can tell, all the bloggers included have an active blog (some more than others) and they write about poker (some more than others). Am I supposed to use a stricter criteria?

Okay, fine, you suck...
Bottom line, if someone can't bear to be in Vegas for 4 days without playing in this one tournament then you're coming for the wrong reason. I've already had some pretty stand up bloggers tell me if it comes to that, they'd give up their seat. I would to. It shouldn't be about this one event.

And bottom line, I told people there would be a waiting list on February 23rd and some people waited weeks to respond!!!!! What was I supposed to do??

Okay, just blowing off some steam. Back to regular programming...

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April 3, 2005

WPBT Aladdin Classic UPDATE!!!!

by Luckbox

Important news on the RSVP's and the waiting list. Head on over to the WPBT official website to check it out.

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March 27, 2005

WPBT Aladdin Classic UPDATE

by Luckbox

I've just about finished compiling the RSVP's for the June 4th event at the Aladdin Casino. We have at least 59 and as many as 66 depending on a few loose ends. That doesn't include any invited guests or pros that we hope to include. That means there will almost certainly be a waiting list. At best, we'll be able to push the Aladdin to 6 tables of 10 players, but nothing more.

I will get the list posted soon so those of you on the waiting list will know in case that means your plans will change. I've heard from a few players that if they aren't in the tourney, they'd rather not come. I think that's the wrong way to look at this. It's going to be an amazing weekend, with or without the tourney! It's a chance to meet some great people and have fun slinging cards. I hope you all decide to come, tournament or not!

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March 5, 2005

WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic NEWS!!!!

by Luckbox

URGENT NEWS!!! URGENT NEWS!!!

Please click here for the latest on the WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic.

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March 4, 2005

The Best Poker Rooms in Vegas

by Luckbox

In July of last year, I was working on my first (um... and only) article for All In Magazine and I asked you for advice on the Best Poker Rooms in Vegas. Thanks to that entry, I rank third in Google for searches for Vegas' Best Poker Rooms.

Unfortunately, I don't provide any valuable information there, and I'd like to correct that by really giving my readers what they want. That's where you come in. Now's your chance for a guest column on Up For Poker. Write a poker room review and email it to me. I'll post the best reviews. And if you have a blog of your own, I'll link back to your blog with your review.

So get writing (no too long) and send an email to pagemaster --@-- upforanything -DOT- net.

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January 31, 2005

Craziest. Sportsbook. Ever.

by Luckbox

That's when I thought security would arrive. She was on her knees, pretending to lick William Peterson's butt. If she left any DNA behind, I would imagine the star of CSI would track her down later. Instead, he walked away without noticing. And Erica just turned to us and smiled.

As much as I would like to start in the middle, I can't (or maybe I just did). You're just going to have to wait. Pretend your playing poker in a casino and have to patiently fold 50 hands before you're dealt rockets.

It started early in the morning. About 8am, Lefty and I got up, intent on finding a chair at the Mandalay Bay to enjoy the two championship games. I put on my midnight green McNabb jersey and my brother put on his black TO jersey. We were ready for some football.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 30, 2005

My Brother Is -EV

by Luckbox

As many of you know, I was back in the fine city of Las Vegas for 5 days over the past weekend. There was some early thought that this might be a bachelor party, but it really turned into a chance for my brother and I to hang out for the last time before he gets married. That's a gamble of a whole other kind...

But I digress.

I arrived in Vegas Saturday evening with designs on finding a poker room as soon as possible. Except for one problem. My brother was still snowbound in Chicago. So instead of heading straight to the tables, I checked into my room at the Boardwalk to wait for him. I assumed it wouldn't be long.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 22, 2005

You don't have to go home...

by Otis

When we last left Otis in Las Vegas, he had just left The Sherwood Forest and retired to bed, leaving behind several days of primal insanity that is only fit for youthful people and those of stronger constitution. The weekend was about to catch up with him...

I had this friend in college who invariably was the last person to leave a party. No matter the hour, no matter the size of the event, he was always the last one to say goodnight.

While some folks might see this as a sign of fortitude, I always thought it was a little sad, for no other reason than the last person to leave a party is the one who has already watched all his friends leave before him.

As I woke up Monday morning in Vegas, with thoughts of suicidal jumpers and unsellable prostitutes still swimming through my head, I had the sinking feelinig I was on a sinking ship. Something in my hull had cracked and I needed the harbor master.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Going Back to Vegas

by Luckbox

Here I go again... my brother and I are gonna raise hell in Sin City for the next 5 days. To prepare, I finished 40th in the $10,000 guarantee on Empire tonight for a nice little profit. I'll have plenty of reports when I get back!

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January 3, 2005

Day 3: The Aladdin... Bring Your Rod and Reel

by Luckbox

When we last left off in Vegas, I had just taken some huge pots off of Black Bart and some other unlucky card players at the $2-$6 spread table at the Excalibur. Unfortunately, it was bed time, so card playing would have to wait. I needed some sleep.

I know that sounds weird in Vegas. Sleep isn't necessarily a priority when there's gambling to be done. But I had a mission. And the future of the World Poker Bloggers Tour rested in my hands!! Okay... it wasn't so dramatic, but the morning of day 3 in Vegas could mean big things for the poker blogging community.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 30, 2004

From Rock Gardens to Sherwood Forests

by Otis

Thanks to everyone who has sent along public and private congratulations on my recent good fortune. While it's always tempting to rest on one's laurels, it's time to get back to dancing with who brung me. When we last left Otis in Vegas, he'd finally recovered from the first two days of insanity, settled down for a night and morning full of fun low-limit poker, and was on his way to bed to rest up for a couple hours before the NFL kickoff

The sun had again started sliding through the doors, again signalling that it was time to sleep. I knew that a full day of football with the blogging crew stood to be another experience that might lead me to ruin and I don't like to head toward ruin without a couple hours sleep.

Alas, it was not to be. I laid in bed for a couple of hours before giving up, logging on to the high-speed Internet service, and taking care of some personal business.

By the time I'd showered, I'd missed kickoff and the ability to join everyone in betting the Bengals. I thought that was probably a good thing, but headed over to Mandalay Bay nonetheless.

I discovered something that had come to be expected: I wasn't feeling too well.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 28, 2004

Another Damn trip report....I'm almost done...really!

by G-Rob

So it's 10AM and the sportsbook is packed. In any other part of the world screaming gamblers high on booze and glory would be a shameful sight. In Vegas, hell, we started at 5.

Good news! The Bengals are on the big screen. Bad News! I can see just enough of the Ravens game to see that Eli Manning won't dent the under but Kyle Boller (Kyle F-IN' Boller!) was gonna cost me some dough.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 24, 2004

Going down the road...Feelin' bad

by G-Rob

Finally we're back home, sweet home. Well, not back exactly. After arriving in Vegas midnight Fri/Sat (Otis got there a half day earlier) we were now ACTUALLY CHECKING IN to the hotel at...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 23, 2004

Bordering on the Adriatic

by Otis

When we last left Otis, he'd busted out in 12th at the Holiday Classic and rode in a dissociative fugue back to the Excalibur. After spending 30 hours in Vegas without a hotel room in his name, he was finally ready to find a bed. It was 4:00pm

I suspected that I might be on the verge of some sort of physical catastrophe that would eventually be the stuff of Vegas lore and launch some promising medical researcher to fame after he studied what was left of my addled corpse and wrote about it in JAMA or Boy's Life. I wanted to tongue kiss the plump little girl who finally gave me my 8th floor room key and bid me a good weekend.

You don't know the half of it, I wanted to say. Instead I grunted something in the way of a thank you and--with G-Rob in tow--floated toward Tower 1.

Sleep, precious slumber, my own little slice of death was within reach.

Finally, I would rest.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 22, 2004

The Holiday Classic, through Otisian eyes

by Otis

When we last left Otis, he had just survived a meeting of Robin Iggy and his Merry Men at the Sherwood Forest. Otis awoke after a 45 minute power nap to repeated kicking in his ribs and stomach. Weary, but invigorated by the possibility of playing against some of the top poker bloggers and professionals, he rode the elevator ten floors and returned to the scene of the morning's crimes

The bar didn't look much different than when I left it less than an hour before. A few more people had shown up and the pre-tourney buzz was tip-tapping through the assembled bloggers and their friends.

This is not how I'd planned it. My plan was originally to sleep a little late, roll into the meet and greet around 11am, then play with a fresh head in the tournament.

Instead, I was going to be on time, bouyed only by a power nap and the excitement of the day's events.

I wore an Otis elevator work jacket and a custom O...tis hat. Later, I'd run into Felicia and she'd remark, "I liked you better without the hat."

I couldn't disagree with her. I was a mess and the hat wasn't doing anything to obscure my increasingly green face.

But that comes later. There's the matter of getting to the tournament, courtesy of Big Mike's Chariot Service.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Playin' in the Band

by G-Rob

So, beaten and bewildered, Otis and I emerged from the bar... ready for the big tournament of STARS. Or, at the very least, tournament of players who are verifiably better than G-Rob. I knew I wouldn't win, I just wanted one big score. I hit it early.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 21, 2004

Decisions, decisions

by Otis

When we last left Otis, he was going to bed after being up for a very, very long time. He had just a few hours to sleep before heading over to Sam's Town. As he walked by the bar closest to the elevators, he ran into Daddy, Iggy, and Big Mike. It is here we pick up our story

Sherwood Forest, Pt. 1

Sherwood Forest was home to Robin Hood and his Merry Men. There, beneath the shade of the tall trees, they hatched their plans to steal from the rich, give to the poor, and generally stick it to the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Near the Tower 1 exit of the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, there sits the Sherwood Forest of an alternate universe. To the casual passer-by it looks like no more than an open-air bar that might be frequented by the bored wife of a poker player or a hooker in search of one last trick. But through increasingly drunken eyes, the bar looked just like the real Sherwood Forest might on a warm robber's night.

Though I didn't realize it at the time, I was arriving late to the meeting of Robin and his Merry Men. Little John (aka Big Mike) towered over the bar, a double shot of Soco in his hand. Friar Tuck (aka Daddy) stood looking weary but happy, as if he had just endured his fabled water-logged beat-down from Robin. And there, slumped over the bar, his locks brushing the marble, holding a greyhound in his hand sat Robin Hood himself. Apparently, he was already incognito, so as to fool the bad Sheriff. He called himself Iggy.

"Otis," they said almost in unison.

I looked in the air, wondering if Daffy Duck might be flying by, his buck and a quarter quarter-staff in hand.

Though every ounce of good sense I'd consumed in the past 17 hours told me to do otherwise, I stopped, greeted the pranksters, and, much to my own peril, accepted the offer of...one last drink before I went to bed.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 20, 2004

Let's get to Saturday, shall we?

by Otis

When we last left Otis, he had survived his first half-day in Vegas, a table of O8 with Felicia and Glenn, shots with Al Can't Hang, and a bowl of buffet gumbo (Al: That's not gumbo!). All of this before he'd been in Vegas for eight hours. We resume the tale just moments after the O8 table broke.

You ever have those times in your life where you know odd things are about to happen? You can't quite pin-point where the night is going, but you know that if you keep one wheel firmly attached to the track, you'll be able to survive.

This Friday night in the Excalibur poker room--full of filtered air, rodeo musk, and cocktail waitress purfume--had that feeling hanging over it.

And I was about to break my cardinal rule for the first time since I'd arrived. I was about to play poker with nothing but a bowl of cheap gumbo (I know, Al) and a prayer to soak up the booze.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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The Bus came by...and I got on

by G-Rob

That's when it all began.

Much has been written about the tournament trip. Better writers than I have hunted and pecked their way through it. Still, it's a bizarre enough story to bear a retelling.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 17, 2004

Day 2: My Worst Beat and then Revenge

by Luckbox

For the most spectacular announcement in the history of Up For Poker, see the post below. For another installment of CJ in Vegas, keep reading.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Three tables, one playground, half-drunk

by Otis

When we last left Otis, he'd already busted out of a low-limit tourney, played four hands of $4/$8, busted out of a NL game, then doubled up in a NL game, then found the blogger table. We join the story just three hours into his arrival in Las Vegas

"I am the only one at this table who doesn't have some sort of prostate problem."

I was grumpy. BadBlood and I had just made it to the Excalibur poker room. The blogger table ($1-$3 spread limit) was in full effect. The entire room was submerged in the table's hammer screams and nearly non-stop laughter.

I wanted to sit down with them, drop the Hammer, pound my chest, and scream, "Me Otis! You hammered!" But Ari said the table was full and there was a waitlist. Of course there was. There's always a five-deep waitlist for online blogger games. Why wouldn't there be one here?

I slumped to the lobby of the hotel to make a business-oriented phonecall (more on that in the coming days), then returned to the room to find the table was still full.

And so I sat down with my rack of white (er....blue) at a $2-$6 table. I was cramped into the one-seat next to a guy with a hearing aid. The guy next to him had a hearing aid a cowboy hat. No one at the table was less than 60 years old. They were all talking about the National Finals Rodeo that looped on the big screen in the back of the room.

Grumpy.

I considered asking the dealer if he would give me a prostate exam, just so I could feel like I fit in.

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That's It for the Other One

by G-Rob

Somehow, I knew where this was headed. No good can come of it. Nothing positive would be molded from the mental mud this week. I'm the blogger-in-waiting, the guy who knows Otis. If you're luring fish, I'm the friggin' worm.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 16, 2004

I'll see your Guinness and raise you one egg salad

by Otis

From breakfast to lunch, a study in blind faith, blind stealing, and blindly stepping into an alternate universe

"What are you looking at, lady?"

That's what I wanted to say. But, of course, I didn't. Because even as snarky and tired as I was feeling, it just didn't seem right to dress down the woman right in front of her video game-obsessed kid.

It was 7am. I'd made exceptionally good time on the interstate run from South Carolina to Charlotte, NC. I'd packed just one carry-on bag to carry with my briefcase. Check-in proved to be almost too easy, which left me with time to kill.

I toyed with the idea of finding a coffee stand or a crystal meth dealer. I hadn't slept but a couple hours before I left for the airport. I felt my internal systems fighting against themselves in what I was sure was a prelude to a greater war that would be fought on the Las Vegas battlefield.

Instead, I wandered into the airport bar and found a spot near the back. The bartendress approached.

"What do you have on draft?" I asked.

"Bud, Bud Light, Miller Light, Sam Adams, Bass..."

The word "Bass" was forming on my lips when the nice bartendress finished.

"...and Guinness."

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 15, 2004

Day 2: Gawking at the Pros

by Luckbox

You'd think the all-star list of poker pros I met in the morning would be enough to satisfy me, but it was just the start.

After the tournament ended, Maudie, Bad Blood and I grabbed a bite to eat back at the Excalibur and then Maudie and I decided to take a walk of the strip. It was Maudie's first trip to Vegas and last night in town. The last thing I wanted was for her to head back to Oklahoma without absorbing the sensory overload of the Vegas experience.

And if she hadn't wanted to take that walk, we never would have seen the biggest names in poker, live and in person, at the Bellagio.

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Home

by Otis

I stepped out of a five day binge of poker. new friends, and unbridled fun into 24-degree air and a hour and half drive home. Though the temperature was almost painfully cold, home was most certainly warm. L'il Otis smiled. Mrs. Otis made me giggle. Scoop the Therapy Mutt licked my face. Holiday decorations and gifts sat nicely around my nice little place in suburbia.

Remarkably, not including tokes and taxis, I finished in the black for this Vegas trip. And if you count the profit I made in meeting some of the best people I've met in years, I finished way, way up for the week.

A suitable and nearly-comprehensive trip report is forthcoming. I just need a day or so to get my head together and determine what kind of filter I'm going run the stories through before publishing them.

Oh, and I can't feel my knees. I think that indicates something may be wrong with my body.

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December 14, 2004

Day 2: Doubling Up on the Italian Pirate

by Luckbox

Since the day I started really playing poker, I've dreamt about sitting beside the world class players at the table. And thanks to some really good people in the poker blogger community, that dream came true on Saturday. I only wish I could have played better... but that's getting ahead of myself.

For those who don't know, the Italian Pirate is Max Pescatori (that's my back in the picture and Max is on my right, picture courtesy the PokerProf). He was one of two world-class players (along with Charlie Shoten) who sat down with us for the World Poker Bloggers Tour Las Vegas Holiday Classic. And, to my dismay, they were both at my table. Lucky me...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 13, 2004

Day 1: Cowboys and Hookers

by Luckbox

Get ready for an onslaught of trip reports from the WPBT Las Vegas Holiday Classic. I'm simply the first one back, so you get me first. I didn't make it to work today because I've accumulated about 10 hours of sleep since 10am Friday morning.

There have been a few reports already from other bloggers and dozens more to come. It was a blast. It was more fun that I ever possibly could have imagined. The good news is that there will be a "next time" and you all must come.

If you didn't know, our WPBT event coincided with the National Rodeo Finals. That meant Vegas played host to the largest collection of cowboy hats and plastic breasts since the release of Western Barbie. That was my first thought as I arrived in Sin City...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 9, 2004

Baggage

by Otis

The flight attendants weren't that cute. They had that seasoned "I was a stewardess when you could still smoke on a plane" look about them. I was drinking, because that's what I did in those days. Plus, it was New Year's Eve and 1996 was about to turn into 1997.

The uniformed ladies were doing their best to make the cabin look festive for the holiday. For some reason "Rocky" was the in-flight movie.

Two of my buddies sat behind me as we crossed some imaginary line over the dark waters of the Atlantic. We were barreling toward Europe on an east-bound flight, all of us maintaining a tacit understanding that as we flew at several hundred miles per hour against the time-zones, we were eating up the rest of 1996 faster than we'd ever ended a year before.

After "Rocky" had ended, there was some general chatter about the New Year having passed. I had hoped for some rowdy celebration on the plane that involved me tongue-kissing the aged stewardesses. Instead, the flight attendants said we were going to celebrate in a different way.

"We're going to show 'Rocky' again," they said.

And so as Balboa again began his beef-punching, I settled back for a two-week trip through several counties in Europe.

And not once did it occur to me that I had only a book-bag full of clothes to last me through the next fourteen days.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 8, 2004

Saddle Up

by Otis

You know the sound, right? There's a near-defeaning roar of a jet engine, a squeal as the rubber tires hit the runway, and a long drone as the plane comes to a stop. The cabin titters. The doors open. And then there's a lot of clanging from the slot machines in the terminal.

In about 36 hours, the first blogger wheels will touch down in Vegas for a five day extravaganza of hammer-dropping and Guinness-slurping.

But, what's that? We're not the only convention in town?

That's right, folks. The National Finals Rodeo will be in its final days.

Because we all want to fit in, I'll offer up the cheat-sheet I'm taking with me.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 6, 2004

Props

by Otis

In an effort to kill some time at work, I've decided to risk a little of my own cash to make this trip to Vegas a little more interesting.

As such, I offer up the following prop bets to any takers:

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My temple's done been flooded

by Otis

"Car bomb?"

"Sure. Car bomb. It's my birthday, after all."

Car bombs arrive. New girl doesn't like her car bomb.

"You want her car bomb, too?"

"Sure. Car bomb. It's my birthday after all."

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 3, 2004

The HAMMER

by Luckbox

It's become the most fabled hand in poker blogger history. A Google search of "hammer poker" brings 197,000 results.

First on the list, of course, is the Poker Grub, the inventor of the HAMMER. Up For Poker squeaks in just under Grubby, but only because we love the hand so much. At this point, our goal has to be getting Vince Van Patten use the nickname during the WPT.

When it comes to our Vegas trip, I would imagine that 72-off will become one of the most-played hands in our tournament. And every time it gets shown, I figure the person playing it should stand and announce "the HAMMER" to everyone in the room. I imagine it shoud be followed by a round of applause.

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December 1, 2004

Notes from an addled mind

by Otis

I felt it coming on Monday night. At first I thought I was severely dehydrated from drinking too many Diet Mountain Dew's during the workday. My throat was a little scratchy. By 9pm, the flow hard started. By 1am I decided I was calling into work sick. By Tuesday morning I was a mess of sloppy-headed confusion.

And somehow, all I could think was how grateful I was this was coming on now instead of in two weeks.

With that I slipped into 24 hours of medicine-headed introspection and gambling.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 30, 2004

I'm In

by Luckbox

Fact: I may be a compulsive gambler.
Fact: I don't deal well with peer pressure.

What do fact 1 and fact 2 mean? It means I'll be landing in Las Vegas at about 7:10pm on Friday December 10th. See ya at the tables!

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November 29, 2004

Pair of kids with a wife kicker

by Otis

It was much too late for G-Rob to be calling. In the old days (read: a couple of years ago), it would've meant nothing for him to call at 11:30pm. However, these days, a call at 11:30 meant one of a couple things: Somebody was dead or it was time to put one of our buddies in a mental institution.

At the moment, I didn't feel much like dealing with either.

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November 24, 2004

Vegas or bust (actually, it's not really an either/or proposition, is it?)

by Otis

"Look at that boy, Martha. He looks like a superball, what with all his bouncing around."--Imaginary Otis-watchers in Vegas, 2003

The last time I was in Vegas, I couldn't control my anticipation. I elbowed a woman in the chest in an effort to get my bags off the luggage carousel. With no casino host to meet me (I was sure Olaf would show up one lat time), I found msyelf without a pre-arranged ride. Since I like to walk and a like to chat up cab drivers, I hadn't rented a car.

I was less than a mile from my hotel, but one doesn't walk from the airport in Vegas. I spied the cab line. It seemed to be more than a hour long. The shuttles in Vegas are terminally slow.

As I bounced from the cab side to the shuttle side, my face must have become a mask of frustration usually only seen on the faces of horny high school guys who can't convince their girlfriends that they really, really do love them.

Then, a lot like the drug pedlers in Dead show parking lots, a guy sidled up next to me and whispered something.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 18, 2004

Oh, my.

by Otis

I've made it back from the head-clearing trip to the mountains. Unfortunately, the trip also muddles my noodle for a few days, so I need some rest before I get back to regular writing. A non-poker trip report will eventually be up over at my primary blog.

Still, I would be remiss if I didn't point everyone to Guinness and Poker where the Blogfather has an announcement that will make every wannabe pro giddy. We're about to have us a hero.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who commented or sent e-mails about my last post. After a cold weekend in the mountains, the comments were more than heart-warming.

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October 13, 2004

Book it

by Otis

I started off yesterday with a trite phrase. I wish I could do better today, but only one applies:

Ask and ye shall receive.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 10, 2004

Gambling on Terrorism

by Otis

Dateline: Las Vegas, NV, September 2003

As the beer took hold, wrapping its maternal hug around the main-line adrenaline of a winning 13-hour session, I stood up. I racked my chips, nodding good wishes at the 1am drunks who were just sitting down. I hated to leave them, but I had friends waiting on me. And I'd been sitting for so long that variance was bound to come in for the graveyard shift.

Joey Two-Hands was with me and had been working up a good bender for the better part of our sit. Seven hours ago he'd flopped two monsters and raked two pots full of confidence. Since then, he'd bled away his wins, rebought a couple of times, and drank the Luxor bar dry of Jack and Coke.

I cashed out and led Joey out of the Luxor and onto the motorized walkway that led into the Excalibur. We laughed our way through the maze designed to keep us in the building, not looking anywhere but forward, anywhere but toward a Pai Gow table full of similarly drunk college buddies.

We escaped the Excalibur and didn't look around. We focused on the steps that would lead us to the walkway to New York, New York. We hit the conditioned air again, sat down, and drank with our buddies for four hours. When Joey decided to bet a miniature breath mint for the dealer, we decided it was time to head back to the rooms.

I was in little condition to be the designated walker, but somebody had to. Somebody had to lead Joey out of peril and into a room at the MGM. We crossed the catwalk over Las Vegas Boulevard, never looking anywhere but forward, embracing the freedom of tunnel vision that only Las Vegas and New Orleans can provide.

When we reached the MGM, Joey looked at me and said, "I want to hit you. Can I hit you?"

Declining the offer, I led him to the elevator to one of the towers, never looking back over my shoulder, never once looking for anything suspicious.

We'd do it all again the next day, not realizing or caring that two video tapes with footage of both the Excalibur and MGM were sitting in a prosecutor's lock box thousands of miles away.

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July 16, 2004

The Best Poker Rooms in Vegas

by Luckbox

I need your help. I've got a project to do concerning the best poker rooms in Vegas, and I value the input of my readers and fellow poker bloggers. I'm looking for your recommendations, your experience, your thoughts. You can email them to me by clicking here, or just leave your thoughts in my comments. Your guidance will be greatly appreciated!

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March 17, 2004

jk's vegas sojourn

by Staff

I just got back from yet another weekend in Vegas with the buddies. Seventy-two vodka and sodas, 43 hours of poker, 12 hours of table games, 3 comped hotel rooms, 3 buttermilk chicken wraps, and 1 tournament final table later, I'm back and survived to tell the tale.

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