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

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.


Despite the fact G-Rob and I live ten minutes from each other, more than half of our communication occurs via instant message. A few days ago, the little organge box appeared at the bottom of my computer screen. G-Rob was lamenting how postively gloomy Up For Poker had become. What was once a fun little place for trip reports and poker talk was now a source for all things bad happening in poker.

That, in a word, sucks.

It occurred to me this morning that I never posted much of anything about my Vegas trip in August for Marty's bachelor party. Now, after two straight months of work, it's all rather a blur. Still, there are some highlights and lowlights that I think deserve a little something. Maybe this will help us get out of this funk.

His Calling, Uncalled For

I arrived a night earlier than the rest of the party. I headed to a poker room and got on the list. While waiting, I got in a conversation with the brush. He was in a debate with another employee about who sang "Flowers on the Wall."

"It's The Statler Brothers," I said.

"Are you sure? I thought it was somebody else."

I whipped out my Blackberry and proved it to him. That began a fifteen minute conversation about music, how all the old stuff is better than the new stuff, and how there isn't much for kids to really appreciate these days. Just when I thought the coversation was over, I heard something.

The dude--a forty-something white guy--was rapping. Unprovoked.

It went on for a couple of minutes, this inspirational, how all-chicks-aren't-bitches rhyming thing. When it ended, I couldn't say anything.

"I wrote that for my daughter," the guy said.

"Good work," I said.

The Angler

Thursday brought the rest of the crew. We decided--after a breakfast at Fatburger--that we'd play at Caesars for the day. I figured I'd play in their afternoon tourney.

"The juice is just sick," I said to Chilly. "No one should play in this tournament."

"So, are you playing?" he asked.

"Well, yeah."

It took us seven hours to reach the final table. I was playing some of my better tournament poker of the year and was quite pleased with myself. Happy about a second consecutive final table appearance at Caesars, I was in a good mood when we convened. My good mood clouded my judgment when the shortstack at the table suggested we all throw a little bit of money in the middle for the bubblers (only six players were scheduled to be paid). My judgment was further clouded when this dude collected all the save money. My judgment was further clouded when the guy announced (after one player had already busted) that we were actually about $25 short.

So, when the dude busted out, I should not have bee surprised to look down at the remaining money and see the guy had taken his full share.

If I ever needed a reminder about the cardinal rule in poker, that was it: Whe you enter a poker room, leave trust at the door.

After he was gone, we cut a deal, I ran nines into jacks, and busted in seventh place. My hourly rate was not what one would've desired.

Four-wheeling it

Dr. Jeff and I were walking back to our hotel one night when we saw a commotion ahead of us. And why wouldn't there be? The girls were beautiful, both decked out in black cocktail dresses and out for a night on the town that any single guy would love to chaperone.

As we got closer, we noticed these girls had not properly timed their revelry. They were surrounded by security officials. What's more, the girls were completely unconcious. And they were both being transported in wheel chairs.

I considered trying to get their numbers for Drizz, but they didn't seem like they were going to wake up.

It really was Mr. T

At first I still wasn't convinced it was Mr. T. Then people started flocking and taking pictures with their cell phone cams. Then the German oompah band started playing "The A Team" theme song and Mr. T stood and started shadow boxing on his chair.

I'm not sure I have been more socially happy all year long.

Bacon Martini

I've actually already written about this, but most of you don't read my other blog. Here's a snippet.

"Who invited the frat party?"

I stopped short. "Frat party?" I looked back at the guys behind me. Sure, Marty, the bachelor, no longer had bright red punk hair. Sure, my hair has been cropped back from shoulder length to a manageable mess. But frat party? That was just insulting.

"We're the farthest thing from a frat party," was all I could really manage over the noise. I started pointing at my friends. "Doctor, D.A., Bar Owner..." When I realized I was making her case for her, I shut up and ordered four Bacon Martinis.

"What's in it?" I asked the bartender over the lead singer's scream.

The guy looked at me like I was his mother. "Bacon and vodka."

More...Bacon Martini.

Competition for its own sake

I'd put in my best session on poker on Friday afternoon, winning five buy-ins and having a ball in the process. I dedicated Saturday night to silliness.

After a big dinner at the Luxor Steakhouse, those players among us decided we wanted to put together a low-stakes private game. With no real hope of being able to do it on short notice, I ran to the Luxor poker room and inquired. A few minutes later it was set up (although the plan had changed to a $50 SNG instead).

With a few minutes to kill, we needed something to do. I devised a quick plan. Soon was born the Marty Memorial Penny Slots Tournament. It was a timed event in which we all put $20 into a bank of penny slot machines and went nuts. Whoever had the highest balance at the end of a set amount of time would get everyone's remaining balance. It was a flawed plan, what with the likelihood that we would all go busto. And most of us did. Joey Two-Hands, however, hit bonus after bonus. In just a couple minutes, he had turned his $20 entry into $300+, not to mention what we all had on our machines, which happened to be between one cent and 13 cents per person. Dutifully, Two-Hands collected all the tickets and went to the cage.

"I'd like to cash this please," he said and handed the woman a ticket. She slid a couple of pennies across the counter.

"Now this one," he said, and handed her another. Again, a few more pennies. After three more tickets and several more pennies, he said, "Here's the last one."

That money came across in Franklins.

The Marty Memorial SNG

We packed that table and played it like the turbo SNG it was. The cocktail waitress assigned herself to us. The floorman recognized us, but we didn't recognize him.

"I saw you yesterday at the MGM," he said.

"Oh, yeah," I said. "I stacked you."

That probably wasn't the nicest thing to say.

If memory serves, Dr. Jeff and Chilly got heads up in the event. I think Dr. Jeff won. By that time, I'd run to the bathroom and was staking out our next adventure.

Throughout the trip, Dr, Jeff and I had been accused of being twins several times. Despite the four-year age difference and the fact he has red hair and I don't, people had a hard time believing we weren't twins.

When we recovened, I was told the cranky Asian dealer had asked Dr. Jeff if we were related.

"The twins thing again?" I asked.

"She asked if you were my father."


The End

The rest of the night was rather a blur of high-stakes Pai Gow (take THAT Luxor!), late night poker, and staying up until 9am with Joey Two-Hands.

I re-booked my flight and left that night.


So, there. Maybe that will help us, as my kid says, "blow out our angries."

And if that doesn't help, check out The Vegas Year. Somehow, I've missed this blog over the past year and just found it today. Lines like, "I flopped the flush draw cause I'm popular" just make me giggle. I look forward to meeting Robert in a few weeks.

Happy November, all.

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