PLAYERS:

Luckbox | Otis | G-Rob

About the Up For Poker Blog

Up For Poker Blog Categories:

2006 WSOP
2007 World Series of Poker
2008 Belmont Stakes
2008 Kentucky Derby
2008 World Series of Poker
2009 WPBT Winter Classic
2010 WPBT Winter Classic
American Idol 2009
B&M Poker
Bad Beats
Betting the Ponies
Bradoween
Craps
Disc Golf
Fantasy Sports
Frolf
G-Rob's Thoughts
Game Review
Home Games
Horse Racing
Internet Gambling Bill
Las Vegas
Lefty's Thoughts
Luckbox Last Longer Challenge
Luckbox's Thoughts
March Madness
Movie Previews
Movie review
NCAA Basketball
NETeller News
NFL Football
Online Poker
Online Sports Betting
Other Gambling
Otis' Thoughts
Pick 6
Playing For Fun
Playing For Money
PLO
Poker Blogger Tournaments
Poker Blogs
Poker in the News
Poker Law and Legal News
Poker Movies
Poker on TV
Poker Players
Poker Psychology
Poker Theory
Poker Web Sites
Pot Limit Omaha Strategy
Reading Material
Sports Betting
The Nuts
The Playboy Mansion
Tournament Action
Tuff Fish Appreciation Society
Tunica Tales
UIGEA
Underground Games
Up for Poker News
WPBT Holiday Classic Trip

Previous Hands:

December 2010
November 2010
September 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003

Powered by:
Movable Type 6.3.7
Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

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.

HDouble sat with CJ and I for a couple of hours, slinging chips and laughing with us. As I sat there, I knew that he knew the answer to a question I'd been laboring over for months. He knew if Iggy was a little person or some rabid practical joker. It seemed so crude to bring it up, though.

As we sat, the Missouri crew and G-Rob finally found their way into the poker room. They all bought in for some chips, and I found myself inordinately interested with how they were faring. CJ and I had a bit of a view of G-Rob's stack and monitored it closely.

I knew that HDouble was supposed to have a pretty, Nordic wife.

"You come by yourself, Hank, or did you bring someone along?" I asked. Maybe I was just making small talk. I dunno. A part of me thinks I was setting myself up for a joke I didn't even know was coming.

HDouble indicated he'd come alone this time.

I had been pointing out various bloggers to CJ as they walked by. Eventually, CJ pointed over to Pauly's table, where a long-haired guy was squatting next to the one-seat.

"Who is that?" he asked.

I'd seen the guy walk in a little earlier in the night. Maybe it was Grubby, I thought. However, I figured since Grubby had been MIA all night long that there would've been some grand celebration when he arrived. So, I made the next logical choice.

"Pauly said his buddy Ferrari was coming. Maybe that's who it is." I said. I didn't look at Hank when I said this.

I consider myself a pretty good multitasker. My wife gets vaguely annoyed when I try to play poker, watch TV, keep an eye on the dog and kid, read a newspaper, and carry on a conversation with her. But I can do it.

Part of my professional training has included being able to listen passively for a spot in a conversation where active listening is required. At any given time, I can write, listen to a police scanner, carry on a conversation with someone in the office, and listen to Yahoo! Launchcast. If somebody gets killed within a 20-mile radius, I'll hear it on the police scanner. If somebody at work needs me for something, I'll hear it. If Steve Earle slips into a cover of "Willin'," I'll hear it.

Keep that in mind for a couple of paragraphs.

I was in the middle of a hand, which drew my concentration ever so slightly away from talking with Hank and CJ, from watching G-Rob and Marty's stack, from ordering another in a long series of beers, from trying to figure out why my cell phone had started shooting every call to voicemail, and, yes, from the guy who was now kneeling beside me. It was the same guy CJ had asked about earlier.

"Otis," he said. It wasn't a question. It was a definitive statement. He knew who I was.

"Hey, man." I was being friendly, despite the fact that my brain was trying to work its way around how to play the hand sitting in front of me.

The guy said his name was something or other, then went on to mumble something about really liking my blog.

"I'm a friend of Hank's," he said. "We drove in together, and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing."

Now, something should've clicked right there. Just thirty minutes earlier Hank had said he'd made the drive alone. I'd actively listened to that conversation.

And, so, the long-haired guy kneeling on my left kept talking. G-Rob's stack kept flucuating, the cocktail waitress kept bringing beer, and, for the love of all that's holy, I was still involved in a hand.

Do I raise? Do I cold call?

Passively, through increasingly drunk ears, I listened to the guy who was still talking. And just like when I hear 10-89 (local police ten-code for death) pop out of the police scanner, I heard something from my left that made me slip back into active listening.

The word was "dwarf."

Fold.

I turned to my left and saw the smile creeping in the corners of the guy's mouth. Indeed, he had said "dwarf."

Somehow, I just knew.

I bounded from my chair and wrapped the guy in a hug like I would a brother I hadn't seen in years.

"You son of a bitch," I said.

Iggy had arrived.

Damn, I loved that moment.

After the first WPBT event, everyone said it could never be re-created. When last June rolled around, I was determined to do it. I planned everything down to the minute. In doing so, I worked against my goal.

The beauty of the first WPBT event was that, with the exception of tournament day, nothing was planned. Like the WPBT itself, everything happened organically. Planning for events like these is like like planning how to play Ace-King to the river before you've ever seen a flop. The beauty of it all is the mid-game, mid-hand, mid-party gear shifts we're forced to confront.

While this past June was a great time, I felt like I'd over-scheduled my time. Every moment of every day was planned down to the minute. I found myself sticking to a schedule and organic happenings didn't happen. Don't get me wrong. I had a great time. How could I not? Still, what I did was more fertilized than organically grown.

And so it happens that there have been calls for me to organize another Storming of the Castle.

When I made the decision to attend this December's WPBT Winter Classic, I made one rule for myself. No schedule. The only thing on my schedule is the WPBT event on Saturday. Other than that, I'm going to go where the games, friends, and drinks take me. If I end up downtown playing craps alone at 5am, well, so be it.

And, yet, I love the Castle. I love to storm it. So, what do I do?

Well, this is what I've come up with. I'm making no plans. I'm not blocking off any time for it. That said, I wanna do it.

So, here's the deal, if you're at all interested: If it should happen that a group of bloggers in my presence decides Storming the Castle is a good idea, I'm going to text message five people. If they see it as a good idea, they can text message five people. And so on. Yeah, I know, flash mobs are so 2002 (note: any cultural phenomenon that appears on a TV crime drama is now passe).

So, here's my five. Pick yours and program your phone accordingly. And those of you without a cell phone (ahem, Iggy), go buy one, you Luddite.

CJ
BadBlood
Al
Pauly
Wil Wheaton

And if it doesn't happen...well that means I'm spending more time in the organic garden.

...and because I was bored...

| Las Vegas