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Dust My Poker Off

Remember that time in 2011, when I moved my blog off of blogger and onto a different server. Well, that era is over, and a lot of those posts are gone. But I still have this little corner to hang my hat.

In any event, its time to dust off the old Trip Report Index. Here we go...

I found myself at the end of the work year with some extra days off and a relatively light schedule. Having two young kids is a wrecking ball to free time, so I decided to treat myself with a day trip to the Sands for some poker. It was a Friday, and I tried to rally the troops, but when no one was able to take off of work, I did what any self-respecting degenerate would do...I went solo.

The trip to sands was an easy two hours or so. It felt long, but that may've just been the anticipation building. I had left early, around 8:30 or so, hoping to join the 11:00 am tournament, and I rolled in with a good 20 minutes to spare. I walked the floor, and found myself pulled to a random pai gow poker table. I paid $39 for the pleasure of sitting in the Asian games pit for fifteen minutes, before I ditched to buy in and play the tournament.

If you are hoping for hand histories, keep looking. You'll be lucky if I can remember one. But I did have an interesting run, nonetheless. The first table started shorthanded. I started slow, getting a feel for the competition. I was in the 7 seat, and the 10 seat was a younger guy who liked himself a little too much. I got the sense that he was the type of player to overplay a hand. That's how I ended up giving him most of my stack. First, he turned a straight against my top two. Then, short stacked, I immediately got it all in, my QQ v. his AA, preflop. To be clear, I don't knock the guy for any of his play. That's just how it goes.

Busted, I walked over to the front desk and asked for a seat at the 1/2 game. There were three names ahead of me, so I paced a bit, contemplating what my future may hold. I saw three options, only two of which were likely to occur. Option 1, I buy into the tournament again, lose, and then have the long, sad drive home to contemplate why I made the bad decision to travel to the Sands alone on a day off when I have a loving family at home. Option 2, I buy in, and cash in the tournament, aiming for a deep run to offset the two buy-ins. And Option 3, the unrealistic one; leave the casino and lick my wounds. 

I looked back up to that 1/2 list and there was no change. Granted, it had been all of three minutes, but I was already getting inpatient. I decided to rebuy, making my way across the casino to pay at the cage.

By the time I returned, there were two other players waiting to be seated. The floor took their time figuring out who was going where. When it was finally my turn, I saw that there were two seats open. One was in the back of the room; the other was...the same seat where I had busted moments ago. Let me be clear: I did not want to go back. I felt my image there was shot, and if I returned after my abysmal play, the table would read me as weak and call me down more. That would be fine in a cash game, but in a tournament, I couldn't take the same risks, so I intimated my desire for the seat in the back, and the floor obliged.

For the next four hours, I played perfect poker. By that, I mean I folded for what seemed like (and may've been) four hours because my cards were terrrrrrrrrible. It's easy to play perfect poker when the only correct play is to fold every time.

As the blinds grew and my stack slowly eroded, I felt that familiar nihilistic urge to just get it in there. I pulled myself back, and remembered to change the script, thinking, "This is the part of the tournament where I end up the short stack, only to come back and win." As silly as this sounds, I've used this trick before and it helped. I committed to that line of thinking, preserving my chips, waiting for things to turn around.

I finally made my stand with 3s3c. I don't recall the preflop action, but the flop was 2s4s6s. I found myself all in against QsQd. The turn was a blank and the river was a 5s. My opponent cheered at his flush. Then someone pointed out my straight flush. He looked deflated, as he began to mutter to his neighbors about how I only had one out. "5s and 3s, too," I helpfully added. "Any 5 would have given me a straight, so technically I could've caught the straight with any 5 and a set with any 3." My opponent didn't seem to appreciate my helpfulness. 

The tournament was paying 13 players, and we found ourselves down to the final two tables. I was finally able to up my play, stealing more frequently, but still cautiously. I built up to the biggest stack at the table for a short period, but things cooled down, and I ended up somewhere in the middle.

At 14 players, on the bubble, someone suggested that we do a save. If we all tossed in $20, the 14th player would essentially get 13th place money. We all agreed. Then 14 went out, and the negotiation shifted to chopping it 13 ways. By then, I had made friends with two older gents to my immediate right. The one furthest away was the big stack and refused to chop. He was a retiree, who played regularly in these events. He was "practicing" for the big monthly tournament and explained to me, "How can I get experience shorthanded if we chop?" I didn't disagree. My policy is simple: each person has a right to do what he or she pleases with their money, including not to chop. But I did notice some players getting angry, and I sort of enjoyed how this man's principles were enough to tilt my opponents. 

13th place lost, and then 12th bowed out. That was an interesting one. The player out 12th was the most aggressive of the players when it came to seeking a deal. He was extremely pissed at the older man, arguing every angle. Collectively, we had all agreed to pay the holdout a bit more, but he refused. Yet, as soon as the 12th player was out, the holdout agreed to a chop. Blinds had increased, but he was still the big stack. My only two guesses were that he was tired of playing or he just really wanted to mess with 12th player for pressuring him to chop the pot.

Split 11 ways, the payout was more than 10x the initial buyin. It took a long time to get paid out, but I was willing to wait. When it was done, I assumed it was 5pm or so. It was 7:30. Time flies. I made my way to the car and enjoyed the drive home, an extra chunk of cash in my pocket.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:42 PM, ,

You Are in the Wrong Place

If you are reading this post at, you are in the wrong place. HoP is now located at 

Therefore, please make your future destination the new - "All the same content, but none of the Google Overlords!"

And if you act now (or whenever), you can read my new post about cashing in another tournament at Tuna!

Until next time, make mine!

posted by Jordan @ 10:12 AM, ,


About a week ago, I was in Turning Stone Casino near Syracuse, NY for a poker tournament. Turning Stone is an interesting place. It's a casino on an Indian reservation (or at least controlled by Indians), so it has some peculiar rules. For instance, players can gamble as young as 18, and drinks are not comped.
One of the things that stood out to me was the fact that they offered, among other things, a Bingo hall.
That Bingo hall had me thinking. Bingo is a perfect game to play if you are looking for straight up gambling. Just pick a card, sit back, relax, and watch the balls fly. When I got home, I decided to see what opportunities there were online to play bingo, and stumbled upon Bingoport Online Bingo. Bingoport stood out to me because of its Bingo Port Promotions and Bingo Port Bonus for new players.
If you are looking to change up the old poker routine with some easy gambling fun, check it out.

posted by Jordan @ 9:36 AM, ,


As some of you know, I'm not just a poker player; I'm also a "reformed" gambler. But when I am gambooling, I'm usually at a few particular games.

Aside from Pai Gow, my personal favorite, I tend to find myself playing roulette. Roulette is the one of those games that you can play with mindless glee. Even so, there seems to be a variety of roulette strategies that have caught my eye.

There is, of course, the guys who only play on the outside. These bets are usually of the coin toss variety, or maybe the shell game variety, where you choose either Red of Black (cointoss) or first, second or third column of numbers (shell game, since you are picking one out of three options. These people will stay with their outside bets, since you can put all of your money on one spot and still have the chance to double or triple up, without much stress or thought. My party poker buddies, like Roose, often pull the hit-and-run maneuver, stopping by a table with their profits or whats left of their chips and dropping it on Red or Black with wanton abandon. It's not much of a roulette strategie, but for a quick thrill, it gets the job done.

Other guys prefer to play the inside numbers. Of this group, there are two subsets, and maybe four, if you really want to go into detail. Guys like me like to play the bare minimum on the table and spread it out, with one or two chips per number, enough to total the table minimum. I usually play the same numbers, but others like to mix it up, changing their numbers regularly (hence the four subsets). The other players like to pile it up, stacking large stacks across the table. They are looking for the big score, and when they hit, they hit BIG! I've seen players walk away with racks of black $100 chips by overloading the board and getting paid. Quite frankly, it seems like a bit of a riskier roulette system, but I've seen it work too many times to discount it.

Whatever you choose, just remember that at its heart, roulette is like another lottery or a complicated keno game. You pick your numbers, you spin the wheel, and you wait to see what the gambling gods have decided. And when you are done, whether you win or lose, you better have had a good time, or you were playing the wrong game to begin with.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:59 AM, ,

Online Poker and Online Bingo

How Does Online Bingo And Online Poker Compare To Other Forms Of Online Gambling?

If you have looked at an online casino or an online gambling site recently, you were probably overwhelmed with the wide variety of games available for you to choose from. There is blackjack, craps, roulette, and a whole variety of other games to choose from. But, how does online bingo and online poker compare to these games?


Blackjack is a simple, fun online game to play. However, if your goal is to make as much money as possible, you should probably look elsewhere. When you play bingo online at online bingo or play poker at your favourite poker room, there is a good chance that you will leave a winner. The possible winnings for these games are quite large. But, when you play a game like blackjack, the odds are stacked in the casinos favour, and more often than not, you will break even or lose money. From an excitement standpoint, blackjack is very fun to play, but from an overall profit standpoint, blackjack is not that great.


When most people think of casinos, they think of craps. It is one of the quintessential games that everyone recognizes. But, it is difficult to learn to play successfully, and much like with blackjack, the margin for winning is very low. If you do the math for all the permutations of playing craps, you will actually realize that you are a mathematical underdog to beat the casino in the long run. This is not good if you want to make some money, and who doesn’t? It is a fun game to pass the time, but it is not the best for making profit.

Playing online bingo and online poker is one of the best ways to experience excitement online and make money at the same time. There are many alternative games you can try, but none of them come close to offering the same benefits as these two games do. Try all the games you can, but make sure that the bingo-poker games are the core games you play.

posted by Jordan @ 12:57 PM,

Who Needs Profit? (AC Trip Report Pt 2)

On Christmas morning, while the gentiles were waking up to gifts, I was waking up with a hangover. Wifey Kim and I were up fairly early, so we decided to order in room service for breakfast. For room service, the food was pretty good and fairly fast. The price, $30 total, wasn’t that bad either.

After breakfast, wifey Kim still had a lot of showering and such to do, so I decided to hit up the casino floor for some Pai Gow. I spent a while at a $25 minimum table filled with mostly Asians. Wifey Kim finally found me when I was down about $100, a common theme of the trip. We decided to leave the game and move on to another.

That’s how our day went. We roamed around, gambling here or there. At around noon or later, we met up with wifey Kim’s grandpa and his girlfriend. they had bussed in for the day, so we had lunch with them at RiRa, an Irish pub/restaurant in the Trop. I had the cheddar burger with sweet potato fries. The meal was delicious and fairly cheap, thanks to a 20% off coupon from my Mom.

After lunch, we did some more gambling. Eventually, we had enough and went upstairs to relax. I headed over to Roose’s room, where Roose, Robbie Hole and Marc were hanging out. I taught Marc Israeli Poker, a game I’ll probably explain here some time soon. We futzed around before heading downstairs and saying goodbye to wifey Kim’s grandpa.

After that, wifey Kim and I hit up the craps table, where we lost some more. We were gambling with my poker money. It’s like a little gift each year, since wifey Kim let’s me play poker a shit ton. So, even though we were losing, we were having fun. My parents stopped by, fresh from Avatar, which they saw at the Trop’s IMAX theater. My mother proclaimed it amazing, which was enough to convince me that I need to see it soon.

Tired of gambling, the crew met up at the Rumba Bar, a newer bar near Trop’s table games floor. We each had a drink or two and enjoyed a cigar. When we were done, we headed to Cuba Libre, another Trop restaurant, fro dinner. We had previously arranged for a table near a TV, since there was an NFL game on, but when we got there, we learned they didn’t have the channel. Lemon!

We still sat near the bar, and ordered a ton of food. Mostly, we just got a bunch of samplers. While we waited for the food, we played 31, another great time-killer of a game that I may describe here shortly. I won for a $4 profit. BOOM!

Dinner was great. Once done, though, the guys were off to poker. I decided to hang with Kim, but when she started to fade, we went upstairs, where I eventually left her for some more poker.

I waited for a good 20 minutes for a seat to open up at 1/2 and when it finally did, I took my seat. The table looked like it was full of rounders. I sat down in the SB and had to sit out a hand. I followed the play as I heard an announcement that a new table was opened. I only heard about 8 names read off, so I returned to the cage and asked if I could be moved, seeing as I hadn’t played a single hand. The cage okayed my move and I joined my most fun table of the trip.

The benefits of a new table versus an established one is pretty obvious. At a new table, everyone starts with at the same level. There are big stacks beyond the max buy-in. There is no history or established reads. Hell, the players are even still on the same plane as it relates to getting into the flow of a game.

The negatives are a lot less, but still worth noting. The biggest negative, in fact the only one I can think of, is the tendency for players to be tighter when their session first starts. Consider most homegames that run multiple tournaments in a night. I can almost guarantee that in the first tournament of the night, the players are tighter and it takes a longer time for the first bust-out. By the last tourney, though, the players are already loosened up from the higher blinds (in later stages of the earlier tournaments) and emboldened by either their previous wins or losses.

So, my new table was tight. I mean, $6 raise preflop and everyone folds tight. But it was fun. It was basically a bunch of Jews and a couple of Asians, including a hot Asian chick sitting to my immediate left. My side of the table also included a young Asian kid on my right and his buddy, a Caucasian kid, on his right. The four of us (including the hot Asian chick) conspiratorially chatted and conspired when some obviously clueless players on the other side of the table made some truly absurd moves. We were all licking our chops.

I actually played fairly well, but the entire session can be boiled down to two hands. The first gave up most of my $80 or so profit. Even though my table crew were licking our chops, the Asian chick busted (after buyin in short twice) and the Asian kid couldn’t get much traction and left down about $100. The nitty table had a lot of small stacks, $100 or less, but I was looking to have fun and it was a relaxed table, so I didn’t mind.

In the first of my two hands, the Asian kid was already gone, replaced by a young, fit kid in his early 20s. The Kid was friendly, and sat down while saying, “Let’s give this a whirl.” I was under the impression at first that he was just trying out poker, based on his statement and small buy-in, but he seemed to understand the game fairly well. He had pushed all-in on one occasion and showed an unlikely 2 pair (rivered his second pair) for the win, so I had some thoughts on how he played.

The hand was a doozy. I held 48s and I was either in the blinds, or more likely I made a loose $2 call, since there wasn’t much preflop raising and I could outplay most of the table post-flop. I think there may’ve been a raise from one of the particularly weaker players, so when there were several callers, I joined the fray.

The flop was 6s7sX. It checked around. There was a small bet from the original raiser and I called, along with two other players.

When I hit my flush on the turn, I bet out a decent amount. My only caller was on my right, the Kid. The river was a blank. I was mildly concerned that my 8-high flush was no good, but when the open pushed for over $100, I had to think it out. I remembered that hte last time he pushed, he had rivered two-pair. I considered that he may’ve had two pair again, but I didn’t want to rush my decision. I turned to him and asked, “Do you have the flush?” “I do. It’s a high one too.” He waited a second and said, “The Queen.”

Now, I’ve said this here before, but not in a long while: Often times, people tell the truth when you ask them their hand. This is especially so if they do not hesitate. It is the usual reaction for human beings to tell the truth, and in poker, oftentimes they think, “I’ll tell him the truth, and he won’t believe me.” It’s like reverse psychology.

So, when he admitted to a Queen-high flush, I had to seriously consider that he was telling the truth. It would explain his play 100%. Calls the flop on a draw. Calls the turn when he was slowplaying. Pushes the river because now he knows he’s good. It may’ve even been an overbet for value. I considered that he had a major hand the last time he pushed. He then offered, “I’ll show you no matter what.”

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Everything told me he had me beat. He seemed confident, we were friendly at the table before the hand, he said what hand he allegedly had, it made sense with the play, it fit his past play, and after all of that he offered to show no matter what. I figured he was being friendly. So, I folded. And he showed his bluff. Maybe he had top pair or something, but not a flush. Oh, and he did have the Queen flush card, but not two of the suit.

So, I made a mistake. I misread the situation and maybe talked myself into folding. Lemon! To make it worse, he then said, “I figured, why not, it’s my last hand.” He then packed up and left. FUCKER! I still laughed it off.

Before we get to my last hand, I figured I’d take a moment to discuss one of the more odd exchanges. I was playing a hand with a guy who looked like Pat, the androgynous character from 1980s or 90s SNL, except he was clearly a dude. He played like he thought he knew what he was doing, but it was all very ABC.

So, we are in a hand together and he is staring me down. So, I turn to him and stare him down, eye to eye. We held our pose for at least 30 seconds, which is a long time for a silent stare down. He then mucked and I laughed, “I think we just shared a moment there!” The table loved it and we went off on jokes about our “moment” for another 15 minutes. My favorite line was, “Was it just me, or was Endless Love playing in the background during our hand?”

I love those moments. All at once, all the tension is gone from the table and we are all just friends playing a game.

My final hand was in my last orbit. I held AQd and raised preflop to $12, getting a couple of callers. By now, the table had loosened up somewhat, but it still wasn’t an action table.

The flop came down A22 and it checked around. There were so many players, I didn’t want to mess around just yet. Anyone with a 2 was betting out, given the table, and I was out of position.

The turn was a King. LEMON! If anyone else had an Ace, my kicker would no longer play on the A22Kx board. But I bet out anyway and got one caller.

The river was a harmless 8 (thanks for the editing help, Woffles). My one sole competitor had about $50 in front of him. I figured we were lock for a chop, so I decided to push all-in. I figured I could pretend that I was slowplaying the deuce and maybe puck up the entire pot instead of half. It was a play with no downside in my head.

Now, if he had $300 behind, things would’ve been different. But he didn’t. He had $52, to be exact. So when he called, I was bummed to see his A8. If not for that rivered 8, it would’ve been a chop. Go fucking figure. He had no right to be in that pot with my prefop raise, but I wanted him there, so I wasn’t going to complain.

I was about even before that hand, but after it, I was down $97. It was late and I had enough. It was a fun session, but not entirely profitable. But sometimes, that’s just how poker is.

The boys all went upstairs for a late night hang out, before returning to our rooms for rest. The next morning, we all met up with the large group, as we said our farewells. Before leaving the city, though, we stopped by White House Sub Shop for some of their famous subs. Good stuff!

That’s it for this years X-mas in AC. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:15 AM, ,

Late to the Party (AC Trip Report Pt 1)

On Christmas Eve, I was toiling away in my office while Mama High was playing slots and Davey Roose was driving bro-in-law Marc to Atlantic City.

On Christmas Eve, I was meeting wifey Kim at the Port Authority bus terminal for the 3pm bus while Mama High was playing more slots and Davey Roose and Marc hit up the casino for some table games and poker.

On Christmas Eve, I had to wait for the 4pm bus, not because we had arrived late, but because even 30 minutes early, we were 54th in line on a bus that could only fit 50. Shit. It felt like it was going to be one of those trips.

For all the waiting at the Port Authority, the drive was actually pretty easy. I spent most of the ride playing around on my iTouch and reading the terribly cheesy free gambling “magazine” available at the bus station. Wifey Kim was taking her first trip by bus, so I was a bit concerned about how she’d take it, but true to form, the bus was swift and as long as you can control who you are sitting next to, it really isn’t that bad.

When we arrived at Bally’s, wifey Kim quickly got our $25 play through vouchers and met my parents, who were waiting with the car. It was already 7pm, and we had 7:30 dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant in what passes for AC’s suburbs, a good distance from both the casinos and the squalor that surrounds them. The restaurant is called Rafici’s and the food is essentially Italian. Over the last five or so years that the large group has been doing AC for X-mas, it has become our X-mas Eve tradition, and with good cause. The prices are reasonable, the food is good and the portions are plentiful.

Our dinner party was smaller than usual at just 8 people. That 8 was me, wifey Kim, Roose, Marc, my parents and Roose’s parents. As we all sat down, talks of prop bets from the younger generation got into full swing. Last year, the parents got in on some of the action, but this year, they mostly kept out of it. That is, until they started opining on certain prop bets thereby killing my action.

The four of us (me, Roose, Marc and wifey Kim) settled on three bets: total check, first person to be served their entree, and the time that the first entree reached the table. As I scanned the bets, I was not too thrilled with wifey Kim’s picks. She had the lowest bill, the quickest first plate, and had picked herself for first-served, which in and of itself was the only safe bet. She swept all three. God bless that woman. I should have never doubted her.

Dinner was great. My salad (free with entree) was blah, mostly because the dressing that I chose. The veal parmigiana made with fra diavolo sauce (by my request) was excellent, although I had a dejavu moment when I realized I ordered the same thing last year only to realize that the spiciness of the sauce covers the flavor of the suffering baby cow a bit too heavily. I like to taste the suffering.

We returned to the casino, where wifey Kim and I finally dropped off our bags and then hit the floor. We started at roulette, but wifey Kim left relatively quickly after losing $40 or so. She just wasn’t feeling the game and moved to the slots. I stuck around with Roose before walking away, down $100.

That’s pretty much how the table games went for most of the evening. I wasn’t able to win in anything, but the losing was relatively slow, so at least I got to enjoy myself.

A little later in the evening, I joined wifey Kim upstairs to unwind and take a break from the table games. The boys were heading over to poker while they waited for our final member, Robbie Hole, fresh off a long day of work. Wifey Kim know of my love for poker and gave her consent. I was off to play.

Naturally, AC during X-mas is a different crowd. The room was filled with predominantly Asians and Jews. Fortunately, both like casinos, so the room was fairly full, given the fact that it was a Thursday afternoon. The Trop’s poker room not-too-recently lost a big portion of the room to slot machines. This is such a disappointment, its hard to express. But at least there were lots of games going.

I put myself on the list for 1/2 and waited for a while before getting a seat. I played for several hours, eventually walking away down $49. It was one of those card dead sessions where the best strategy will still result in a net loss. I had fun, though, chatting with my fellow players as I folded, folded and folded.

I had one “confrontation” that was a bit odd. I had been folding forever, and finally played two back to back hands. Immediately before the first of the two hands, a player moved from one side of the table to the seat to my immediate left and won two pots right off the bat. I then raised the next hand. I don’t remember how that hand ended up. Regardless, the very next hand, I raised preflop again. This must’ve been the first two back-to-back hands I played all night, and I was well into hour 2 or 3. When I raised the second hand, though, one of the players across the table felt the need to comment. “Oh, I see what you are doing! Someone’s playing loose!” Wha?, I thought to myself. I was playing the opposite of loose. I rarely ever played this tight. Now I play two hands in succession and I’m loose. O-kay. He continued, “This is the fourth hand you played in a row!” I looked back at him with a quizocal expression. I finally piped up after folding my hand to someone’s flop bet. “Are you serious? That’s like the second hand I’ve played in the last hour.” “No, man. I’ve been watching you…oh wait. I get it. Sorry man, didn’t mean to ruin your image.”

I had never been so confused in my life. I mean, I know I didn’t play four hands in a row, so where was this all coming from. His mention of “image” let me know that he knew the game somewhat. His confusion over the amount of hands I played, then, was either straight up error on his part or perhaps a bit of a mental game. I simply replied, “You need to work on your counting.” And then I went back to folding.

In hindsight, this kinda reminds me of the near-fight I had in New Orleans. Then, it was a player insisting that I was playing too tight. Admittedly, I need to get over my own ego sometimes. I can let people think incorrect things about me or my game. I don’t need players to see that (a) they can get under my skin and (b) I feel the need to justify myself. In reality, I try hard to cultivate a donkish image, so if it pays off, I shouldn’t complain. After all, when the guy said I was playing loose even though I was playing tight, well, that’s exactly what I want. I don’t just wear the poker uniform for comfort. I wear it because I want to create the image of a degenerate. In reality, I’m a NYC lawyer with a stable family life, a decent income, and an understanding about money, people, and math. But if you were to see me in a poker room and know nothing about me, you’d see a man-child wearing a superhero t-shirt, cargo pants and an oversized hoodie. I may even be wearing sunglasses and a hat at a 1/2 table, like the Phil Douchemuth wannabes that I love to see at a table.

When I was tired of folding, I gathered the troops and we went upstairs to hang out before hitting the sack. And that was about all for my first of two poker sessions.

Part 2 will have my second poker session and little more else. Stay tuned!

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:14 AM, ,

Early Turns Late (WPBT Trip Report Pt 4)

Having lost the tournament on the near bubble (14th place with 9 spots officially paying), I took a walk around the sports book and considered my options. Poker. It had to be poker. I made some calls and found out that different people were scattered throughout the city. So, I went with what was easy: The Caesar’s 1/3 NLHE game. After all, I was right there.

I was seated at a game near the rail of the raised portion of the room. I took the only available seat, the 1 seat, and looked across the table at the 4 seat, an Asian guy, maybe in his mid-20s, with his Caucasian new bride sitting behind him. How did I know that they were newly wed? She was still wearing her veil and they both wore “Just Married” sweat suits. It was ridiculously cheesy and more than mildly trashy, but apparently it worked for them, since he was up several hundred dollars at least, based on his stack.

To his immediate left was Dan Michalski of Pokerati fame. Dan is an interesting guy. Pokerati is probably one of the premiere poker blogs out there and with good cause. But its clear that Dan is a humble guy and easy to get along with, which I suppose should not be a surprise, but is. At first, Dan and I (intentionally or not) acted like strangers, barely acknowledging each other. I don’t mind this at a poker table. If people knew that we knew each other, it would simply be more information from them. But eventually, it became clear that we knew each other, mostly because we kept getting into pots together where we would show no mercy and then joke about it immediately after.

The happy couple got up and I took his lucky seat, mostly glad to leave the shitty seat I was in. I was now immediately on Dan’s right, which probably was not an ideal position, but the 1 seat was cold-decking me, so I was happy for a change of scenery.

A new player sat to my immediate right. He was a clean-cut guy, Caucasian in his late 20s to mid 30s. He was from the North East, like me, and he had a pleasant demeanor, so we hit it off quick. I essentially made my buddy at the table. That’s a more important thing than some people realize. As you get to know your “buddy”, you can pick up more from their game; but more importantly, with familiarity breeds passivity, and that is something you can often exploit.

While chatting with my newfound friend, I overheard something in the distance. “Did you bet on the fight?” My ears perked up. I remembered hearing about a Manny Pacquiao fight that was recently announced, but I wasn’t sure what the overheard voices were discussing. I asked the table, “Does anyone know of any upcoming fights?” Someone mentioned the UFC, and I immediately knew that I had to speak with my height-challenged compadre.

I took a walk from the game. I was probably up about $50-100 by that time, just playing as solid poker as possible.

I found my midget friend, Iggy, who incidentally has a little website called “So, I heard there is a UFC fight tonight. Any picks on who you think is going to win? Just curious. I won’t hold you to anything.” He rifled through some names, Penn, Mir and Florian. They were all favorites, and Iggy thought they’d win their matches with relative ease. I thanked him and walked off, or more accurately ran to the sportsbook. “Three pick parlay on the UFC fights tongiht: Penn, Mir and Florian.” I got my ticket, $40 to win $116, and returned to the poker table.

The only major hand that I can recall was actually a misplayed but profitable one. I held 33 preflop and called the $3 blinds. Dan, immediately on my left, raised. I don’t have the exact raise amount, but it was probably $12 or $15. There were several callers and when it got back to me, I called as well.

We saw a beautiful 663 flop with two spades. I flopped a nearly unbeatable boat. An EP player bet $20, which was uncharacteristic for the player. I was happy to just call, hoping that someone would turn their nut flush and pay me off. Dan then raised to $60. A player in MP/LP called. He seemed like a fairly loose player, but definitely knowledgeable. He only had about $80+ though in front of him. It folded back to me (the original $20 bettor folded) and I re-raised all-in. I had at least $400 in front of me at the time. Dan folded his QQ (if he is to be believed; given the action, I believe him) and the player with $80+ called.

The turn was a 3; the river was a blank. I showed my Quad 3s and took down the pot. I also got a $100 bonus for my Quads.

In hindsight, I should have flat-called Dan’s raise to $60 or perhaps re-raised to $120, but not all-in. So, it was a misplayed hand overall, but a profitable one nonetheless.

I played for several more orbits before taking a walk to check on the final table of the blogger tournament. As an aside, by that time, everyone knew that Dan and I knew each other at the poker table. We were chatting about the blogger tournament and random bloggers would stop by to start a conversation.

I went back to the sportsbook and decided to check the fight times. According to the sheets I saw, the last fight was to start at 8pm, but it was already past 8 and all the book knew was that Florian had won his fight. I was officially 1 for 1 in my 3-fight parlay.

I was fairly starving at this point and I had reached my poker saturation. Excuse this, as I’ve said this before, but poker really feels like a “need.” As I had once heard, a “want” is something that cannot be satisfied, like money. You always want more money. A “need” is something that can be satisfied for a time, like hunger. You can eat, but only to a point, after which you must stop eating until you are eventually hungry again and the process repeats. Poker felt like food moreso than money. I had enough, and I think I was officially stuffed on poker.

I cashed out after playing another orbit and decided to send out some text messages. Peaker was at MGM playing poker, so I told him I’d meet him after stopping at the IP. I also texted Kat, who was supposed to be at the IP, but I don’t think we got back in touch. I may have texted Schaubs as well, but I don’t recall.

I walked back to the IP and decided to use some of my well-earned comp dollars at their burger joint. I ordered a philly cheesesteak, which I had had shortly after arriving at the IP on Friday. It was actually pretty decent for what it was. I returned to my room and sat down on the bed for a moment. I was just so exhausted. I considered my options and decided to relax before heading to the MGM. I had to be up around 8am the next morning for my flight home.

After a while, I realized that I was not getting out of bed. I was busy refreshing my ipod Touch to get updates on the UFC fight. Frank Mir had won as well. 2 for 2, with only the BJ Penn fight left. I texted Peaker, thanked him for a good trip and apologized for being such a puss. About 3 minutes later, I got a text. I thought it’d be Peaker giving me shit or, more likely, saying goodbye. It wasn’t. It was Schaubs.

I called Schaubs and he mentioned that he was coming to the IP to hang with Pauly for some late night in depth discussions of the horticulture situation in Southern California in Pauly’s hotel room. I like horticulture as much as the next guy, so I agreed to meet up. But first, I had to take care of some business. Some news had just come in. Penn had won. 3 for 3 on my parlay picks, thanks to my diminutive friend. “I’m heading to the Caesars sportsbook. Call me when you get here.”

I walked over solo, happy to collect my moneys. I also took some time to admire all of the hot chicks in the Pussy Cat Dolls section of Caesars. Each dealer was a hot chick wearing a skimpy outfit. Behind them were two chicks dancing in go go cages wearing lingerie. Amazingly, the entire group of girls (dealers and dancers) had made a costume change in the brief time between leaving Caesars and returning. That takes commitment.

I collected my money and was outside the casino when I got a text from Schaubs. He also won a sports bet at Caesars, so I decided to wait for him there, sitting outside in the brisk air. He arrived a short while later and I got another pass of the Pussy Cat Dolls gambling area. “Las Vegas is filled with hot girls whose only marketable skill is that they have nice tits. It’s a magical place.” Schaubs didn’t argue. I continued, “Just think of all those neglectful parents.”

We returned to the IP and hung at the Geisha Bar with a large crew. The One Man Party, AlCantHang, was there, just off of his 2nd place loss to Astin in the Blogger Tourney. I was shocked for three reasons: (1) AlCantHang is a partier, so I expected more party and less poker winnings. (2) Astin was a super shortstack with me when were were down to 18 or less players. God damn that man! I was just glad to hear that a friend won. (3) Even with 2nd place money, Al was pissed. I was shocked. I expected him to be celebrating, but he really seemed irked that he didn’t win. I think I bought him a shot to ease his pain. From the look in his eyes, though, he didn’t need my drink to deaden the senses.

Eventually, Pauly, Schaubs and I headed upstairs. Over our horticulture appreciation, I had the exact same conversation with Pauly as I had the night before. I mean, it was new to me, since I didn’t remember much of the last night, but I’m pretty sure Pauly thought he was watching a rerun.

I was still exhausted and I considered calling it a night, but Schaubs had yet to ever play Pai Gow. We hit the casino floor, both of us well shitfaced now, and stumbled our way to a Pai Gow table with two empty seats side by side. A third seat opened up just as CK arrived, so she joined us. It was around 12am.

Schaubs did something I had never before done: make a plan. He suggested a stop-loss and also a hard end time. Both seemed to make sense. We bought in for $200 apiece, but agreed only to play with $100 as our stoploss. (Quick casino tip: If you only plan to play for a certain sum and you have self control, always buy in for more. The casino notices how much you buy in for and considers that when they work out your comp dollars. The More You Know… du-dee du dee!). We also agreed to walk at 12:30, which was essentially 30 minutes.

An odd thing happened on the way to 12:30. CK kept chopping. Schaubs got like 5 Pai Gows to start (i.e., no pair hands, which is pretty bad). And I was on a tear. I have a simple strategy:

1. No Fortune Bonus.

2. Start with an amount, usually the table minimum.

3. If I win, add an extra $5. If I push, don’t change the bet size. If I lose, go back to the initial bet. If you keep winning, keep adding those $5.

12:30 came around and Schaubs was down maybe $50, CK was near even, and I was up $60 or so. That’s when Schaubs, the Commissioner of our Pai Gow rules, added an amendment. “Ok. At 12:30, we can both play for two losses. Not back to back. Two losses total. If I lose a hand, win 3 and then lose 1, I’m out.” Ok, I thought. It caps losses and we were having fun, drinking more heavily then ever, because in Pai Gow, a push is a win, but only if booze is involved.

It wasn’t until about 1:10 that Schaubs had finally lost two hands. He had made back most of his money, but now that he was done, as per our rules, that was it for him. I could keep playing, though, since I still had “one life”. CK had moved on when we added our extension. The dealer was changing decks, which she saw as a bad omen. She was right, too. Her replacement player was losing steadily. Good for CK.

“Hey, I have an idea,” this time it was me with the suggestion. “We can share my 1 life. If either of us lose, we both leave.” Schaubs one-upped me, “And if we win three in a row, we can get a new life!” This was the most complicated problem gambling rationale ever, but it made sorta sense. I even offered, “And I will pay your losses. I wouldn’t even be playing if not for you.” Ironically, that meant my exposure was tiny. After all, Schaubs was only down $20 or so at this point and could only lose one more hand before he had to quit. I was up over $100, so I could afford to make that offer.

Sure enough, we then both went on tears, earning two “free lifes” before we lost three hands between the two of us and decided to stop adding rules. We packed up around 2:30, after intending to stay only until 12:30. I was up over $200 and Schaubs was up a few bucks too. That made it a +$300 Pai Gow run on my trip. So, look for my new blog High On Pai Gow.

I finally decided I needed some sleep, so I made my way to the Geisha Bar to say my goodnights. That’s an impossible task in this group. Just when I thought I was in the clear, I’d get into another conversation with a random blogger. This is not a complaint. Quite the opposite. It was awesome getting to chat with everyone.

A couple of highlights of that last minute Geisha Bar stop: I met BloodyP for the first time. He pulled the old, “Do you know who I am?” Now, I’ve always pictured BloodyP as a skinny tweaker, probably in a tattered, blood and snot stained shirt, with disheveled hair. Instead, he looked like a normal guy. A bit…too normal.

I also got into a conversation with Iggy. He had no idea I was actually going to use all of his picks for a parlay bet, and was pretty happy to see I had made some loot off of his well-seasoned brain. Now, I don’t know if it was the booze or what, but it was actually kinda flattering all the nice things Iggy had to say. It was like a freakin’ mutual admiration society. Ironically, Iggy is one of those characters in the bloggoverse who can come off as a bit intimidating, if for no other reason than his appropriate nickname as the Blogfather, not to mention those tiny midget hands. Tiny hands always unnerve me. But I probably feel more comfortable around him than most. He’s just such a generous guy, and even though he hates the Jews, he doesn’t seem to mind me much, probably because I’m a self-hating Jew.

The last notable conversation (that I can remember) was with Carter. Now, Carter, I have to admit that (a) I’m not sure if we ever met before…I feel like we have, but I’ve met other Carters and other guys who look like you in this group, but I’m terrible with names, faces and memory in general, so please take no offense. And (b) I don’t read your blog regularly, so if you see this, hit me up with a comment or email with your blog site.

The memorable part about my conversation with Carter was simply the fact that he had such nice things to say about the blog. I’ve been on the other side of the coin on this one many times. There are some blogs that you read and you can really get to know the writer to the extent that you feel that on some level, you know them. And you do. People write more honestly than they’d ever talk to a stranger or even some close friends and family members. It gets to the point that sometimes, you just want to introduce yourself to a fellow blogger because meeting them is like meeting someone you already know; and its also like meeting a celebrity in a way. Ironically, on the very same trip, I had failed to work up the “courage” to speak with PokerGrump during the Blogger Tournament. I wasn’t sure if it was him, and even if it was, I wasn’t sure what to say. Well, Carter just wanted to say hi, and I was more than glad to chat. If I remember correctly, he may be in the NY area soon, so that’s another reason for you to hit me up with an email or comment.

I finally decided I had enough and returned upstairs. I packed up to make my morning easier and hit the sack.

My next morning and flight back were uneventful. I watched football on the JetBlue TVs, but my three team NFL parlay (timed intentionally with my flight) was lost in the second game, so instead, I just enjoyed football for the sake of football (and my pickem league).

This was probably the most fulfilling WPBT trip I have had. It really is one big family reunion, and whereas I used to feel like a newbie and then an outside looking in (neither of which were true, but that’s just how I felt), now I just feel like one of the family. I admit that I could’ve used more time in Vegas and maybe spent some more time with various people, but these trips have got to be played by ear.

Thanks to everyone for a great trip. That includes wifey Kim. There aren’t many women who would encourage their husbands to spend a weekend (their birthday weekend no less) in a city known for debauchery with a bunch of Invisible Internet Friends. She’s the real prize in all of this, even if you all will never ever get to meet her.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:03 AM, ,

Outsourced Trip Report (WPBT Trip Report Pt 3)

When we last left our hero, he was clutching onto his bedspread wondering when the bed would stop spinning. As we join him again, he is suddenly awake, 7:30am in the morning, Vegas time, or 10:30am in NY (i.e., reality time).

Jordan woke from his bed surprised to find that somehow in the course of the evening, he had worked his way under the covers. More accurately, he had worked his way underneath the bedspread, which as any good germaphobe knows is ground zero for uncleaned jizz stains and other sordid toxic spills. Jordan rolled out of his bed and dragged himself into the bathroom. Finding no identifiable bruises from the other night, he popped a Motrin and decided that the best cure for his queasy stomach was some food.

He had remembered a text message late at night before he fell asleep. It came from Kat and read, “Where are you? I’m so pissed right now, I’m going to punch somebody!” His feeble attempt at a response last night simply read, “Where are you?”, but he had gotten no response. Either Kat was asleep, in jail, or both. He had hoped for the former.

Jordan lay in bed hoping to get over his rocking hangover. He turned on his iTouch and began to watch a movie until it suddenly froze. SHIT! The iTouch was Jordan’s only real entertainment with him, so the flight home was going to suck without some help. He tried all of the various tricks but nothing worked, so he left the room in search of food with his iTouch and USB plug just in case.

It was too early to call anyone, so Jordan walked the casino floor stopping by the various eateries to see if anything piqued his interest. He came across an elevator in the middle of the casino floor with two signs above it. The first said “Hash House” and featured ideal food; the second said “conference rooms,” which was a little less appealing.

He entered the elevator and hit the button for 4, the number indicated on the sign above the elevator. The elevator moved before making a grinding noise, as though it would suddenly stop and then hit free fall any minute. When the doors opened, Jordan was happy to see he was still alive, but the hallway showed only conference rooms. Breakfast fail. On the way down the elevator, Jordan held tightly to the railing…just in case.

Breakfast ended up being a bagel and cream cheese from a little dinette place near Jordan’s room tower. After breakfast, Jordan walked the casino floor, hoping to find a poker game at the IP. Third try, third fail. The room was desolate. Instead, he found a Pai Gow table, where he grinded another $50 win before moving on to craps, -$97. There went all that hard Pai Gow work.

Eventually, Jordan received a text from CK and F-train, who planned to head for brunch at the apparently existent Hash House. “Do you or F-Train have a laptop?” “Yes.” “I’ll be right up.”

Jordan arrived at CK and F-Train’s room with his iTouch ready to go. One simple plug into F-Train’s laptop and it was back to normal. God bless that F-Train. Once everyone was ready, the three left the room and headed out to brunch. The destination was the elusive Hash House.

With his two shirrpas, Jordan was finally able to find the only passable restaurant in the IP. He, F-Train and CK met Alceste of IHadOuts fame there, completing the NY foursome. Food was eaten. Jordan opted for the stuffed burger, which was incredibly large. He barely finished half. The rest of the table was filled with equally huge portions.

Satiated, the crew left brunch. Jordan ran to his room to suit up for the private blogger tournament scheduled for 20 minutes at Caesars, across the street. Once dressed, he ran through the IP in the hopes that he would make the tournament on time.

Success! Jordan arrived at the Caesars poker room with time to spare. He paid the $100 and found his seat at table 33, seat 3. He already had a set.

Jordan’s table was a good one, if for nothing else than the company. He won’t try to name everyone, especially since the table dynamics kept changing, but to his immediate right was Lightning36 (probably one of the friendliest and most likable bloggers Jordan has met), along with StB, Poker Peaker, Schaubs, Carmen’s mom, and a bunch of other blogger/players/ne’er-do-wells.

Jordan had a good time at the tournament, getting KK in his first hand, good for 200 chips in profit. More importantly, he was hamming it up. It was one of the rare occasions that he knew that his antics would be met with appreciation, instead of violence. It’s not easy to call your opponent a donkey, but when the person knows that the source is a showboating self-important blogger like Jordan, the insults go down a lot easier.

Jordan tangled several times with Carmen’s mom specifically. Always the gentleman, he even showed her a courtesy when she was in the SB and called the BB even though Jordan had raised. The dealer announced that she could fold, but had to leave the full BB in the pot. Jordan sent it back. No harm no fowl, especially since he ended up felting Mrs. Carmen’s Mom a couple of orbits later.

By the 300/600 level, though, Jordan had been all over the place. He was up over 10k for a while, but eventually settled in to about 6k when the first break occurred. Meanwhile, Jordan’s Luckbox Team Challenge teammates, Waffles and Dr. Chako, were in better shape with about 7k and 15k or more, respectively. A quick double-up, though, with god-knows-what and Jordan had some breathing room.

“Massages!” Jordan’s ears perked up. This group of bloggers was a ragtag bunch, but it was also a generous bunch, and since landing in Vegas, Jordan had his share of freebies at the hands (and wallets) of his blogger compatriots. Now, it was his turn to give a little back. He approached the masseuse with a $20 ready to go. “See that guy over there?” He pointed to his teammate, Woffles. “Give him the best 10 minutes of his life.” He handed over the $20 and called out to Woffles, “Hey Woffles, I got a gift for you.” Woffles turned around and at the thought of physical contact with an actual female, winced. Jordan whispered to the masseuse, “If he doesn’t want it, you can keep the $20.” After all, Jordan wasn’t going to force the girl on Woffles or take his money back.

As Jordan returned to the table, Woffle’s massage started. Jordan turned to his tablemates and shared, “I’m just helping Woffles get used to paying for a woman to touch him.” Always the thoughtful gift-giver, Jordan went back to poker with a renewed sense of purpose.

Things went quiet for a while. Jordan was card dead, holding only KK that one time on the first hand and JJ one time as well. That was it for pocket pairs, but there may have been one AK as well. No AQ though.

Jordan’s table broke and he was moved to his final table for the day. There were still five or so tables, but Jordan tightened up due to his cards and the escalating blinds, and eventually found himself to be a shortstack at a table of shortstacks. Jordan used his Short Stack Specialist skills as best he could, but card deadedness is card deadedness, and he spent most of his time folding and acting the fool. He even took out his bandanna, tied it around his face like a ye ole bank robber, threw on the hood and went into super-tell-lockdown, more as a goof since there wasn’t much tells to be seen in a shorties all-in.

Jordan got so low at one point that he had about 2 BB. UTG+1, he pushed with T6h. After all, there were enough antes out there and at least with T6h, he hoped to have outs. It amazingly folded to the BB, a bald Asian gentleman who our humble narrator believes to have been one of Astin’s crew. The bald Asian considered what to do. Jordan was shocked. It was maybe 1 BB more, and with all the antes, the bald Asian was getting amazing odds…until he folded. Incredible! Jordan is just that good.

Jordan was able to double up once with QJ over AK all-in preflop, but eventually the blinds caught up with him. He began pushing blind, since his cards were so bad that looking would only cause him to freeze up. It worked once or twice, but eventually, F-Train called with A5d. Jordan showed 67o. The flop had a 5. The turn had another. Jordan was out of the tournament with two tables left in 14th place, 4 spots out of the money. It was technically a Lemon(!) moment, but it felt like lemonade.

Jordan left the table and wandered around for a bit. He finally decided that he should play more poker. But he was at Caesars, home of the stupid 1/3 game. Should he give it one more go?

Next time on The Neverending Trip Report: Jordan plays poker…but where? Sports bets are placed…but on whom? Jordan turns in for an early night…or does he? Find out all this and more, next time on High on Poker!

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:59 AM, ,

Altered Stakes (WPBT Trip Report Pt 2)

Down $300 and still raging solo, I returned to the IP to see if any of my contemporaries were awake. Nope. It was still dead in the casino, and I began to appreciate the seriousness of The Economy (TM) when I returned to the IP poker room and saw only a 2/4 limit game running. The IP poker room is not exactly a happening place, but it was not this desolate on my previous trips.

I decided to play some table games and settled on some Pai Gow, still my favorite table game of all time. I started out with the minimum $10 bets, but eventually worked my way up as I won a couple of hands. I finally decided to walk when I was up an even $50. By that point, I was playing two spots on the table for $20-30 apiece.

During the Pai Gow, I hit a full house. Lulu, the Asian dealer, gave me shit for not putting any money on the Bonus. Let me make this clear for my loyal readers: NEVER PLAY THE BONUS! It’s a terrible deal. The payout for the full house would’ve been 5 to 1…and I was already at least 9 hands into my play when I hit it. Lulu, unfortunately, did not understand the math, though, and insisted on giving me shit for missing the huge $5 payout.

The rest of the table were a bunch of chain smoking Asian guys in their late 20s or early 30s, and a 20-something white girl, whose boyfriend was playing blackjack one table over. It was a fun crowd, and we quickly got into Pai Gow chants. Lulu was eventually replaced by Lily and one of the Asians said, “Who is next? Lala?” Maybe it was funnier at the time.

Satiated, I decided to quickly freshen up before meeting up with Poker Peaker. Peaker was staying at the MGM, but was kind enough to take the Momorail to the IP before we were to head out to the HardRock, well in advance of the 7pm call time for the PLO/NLHE mixed game arranged by Michalski.

The cab ride over was easy. Peaker and I first did a lap around the casino. There was absolutely no signage for the poker room, but once we asked around we were directed to a corridor off of the circular main casino floor. The casino itself is actually pretty snazzy and well styled. I am not, however, inclined to go to a hotel that is part of a franchise that specializes in chicken fingers and signed rock star pants.

The poker room itself was actually quite pretty. The room has darker tones, by my recollection, a deep bluish purple feel. The tables were nicely appointed, big and clean. There were probably 40 tables or more. The room was open to the hallway, but otherwise clearly its own room/space.

We entered our names on the 1/2 list. It was still 4-something, so we had some time to kill. When we gave our names, the floor asked for our cell phone numbers. They told us they’d call when seats were available. There was at least one person on the list before us.

We walked around some more until my cell rang. They were opening a new table, so we headed over.

I had never before experienced this, but the HardRock actually started the new table with…four players. Ridiculous. I insisted on reduced rake (Today’s Tip: When there are less than 7 players, ask for reduced rake. You will usually get it.) and got what I asked for. I was still not too pleased, though, about the shorthanded table that included Peaker.

Fortunately, the other two guys were pretty predictable. One guy looked like Matusow and seemed to play a fairly straightforward game that was easy to exploit. The other guy was just plain bad, and would usually pay off value bets with lesser hands.

I wish I could say that I won tons of cash. I didn’t. But I did have a great time. Once I realized that a $7 raise preflop would win me the blinds, it became clear that I wouldn’t be making thousands at this kiddy table. So, I did the next best thing: I got drunk.

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but it was my birthday. In fact, it was a milestone birthday, and there I was in Vegas without any of my real world friends or family. That was cool, though, because I had my invisible internet friends, and I was happy to have a low key b-day. Seeing as how the game was boring, I decided to have one drink. By then, the table had filled out to about 6 or 7 players, and the guy to my immediate left and I had struck up a conversation. That’s when I learned that the HardRock gives premium shots for free in the poker room.

In total, I must’ve had 3 rum & cokes and 3 shots of Petron while playing. My play was noticeably deteriorating, but I was having fun, yucking it up with my table mates. Eventually, though, the blogger crowd arrived, and Peaker and I moved to our new table. I was down about $63.

At the new table was a slew of bloggers. This is where I can admit that I was officially drunk. I won’t even try to run through the roster of players. All I knew was that I was getting unlucky a bit. I was either missing flops or facing ugly turn cards that killed my hand. This was not helped in any way by the fact that my buzz had set in and I was really just riding co-pilot to my inebriation. I had a couple of more drinks and eventually even learned that I could get Don Julio instead of Patron, which resulted in at least one more shot.

I also grabbed a steak sandwich while the PLO/NLHE game was starting. Just after ordering, though, a casino host came by with a menu and offered all of the bloggers free food. This was all Michalski’s doing, but kudos also has to go to the HardRock for treating the bloggers like, well, low level rock stars. I explained that I just ordered and the host told me he’d have it comped. Done and done. As it turned out, it was also one of the better steak sandwiches I’ve had.

At some point, we must’ve decided to head back to the MGM. All I know is that I ended up at the MGM, probably by catching a ride with CK.

I walked through the poker room and saw a bunch of different bloggers playing mixed limit games and NLHE on various tables. I was in no condition to play, now down about $500 at poker thanks to $124 in losses at the blogger PLO/NLHE game at the HardRock. I was also how shit-faced.

I left the poker room to check otu the sports book bar around the corner, where a bunch of other bloggers were hanging out. I spent some time chatting with Schaubs, Dr. Pauly, and Woffles, to name a few. I’m sure there were more, but I was in no condition to remember specifics.

At about 1am, I headed back to the IP with Pauly, Derek and Change100 (I think…we may’ve met up with Change when we arrived back at the IP). I stopped by Pauly’s room for a bit with the crew and we chatted about the amazing group and the place poker blogging may have in the lexicon of poker writing. Er, at least that’s what I think happened. By then, I was pretty hammered and after hanging out with Pauly and the crew for a while, synergy was really kicking in and I was at a whole new level of fuckedupedness. I was flying high as I probably babbled on about how the group felt like one large dysfunctional family (in a good way) and how some poker blogs, and frankly, Pauly’s blog in particular, could be seen as the definitive writings about poker for the current era. Before us (and I use “us” very loosely), guys like Alvarez and McManus wrote about the poker scene in book form. It made sense, too, since that was probably the best venue for such info at the time. But currently, blogs are able to produce a lot more output with a lot less editorial restrictions. I wouldn’t be surprised if in 80 years, people see Pauly’s blog as the definitive work about the poker scene in the age of the online and Moneymaker poker boom.

Yeah. So, after all of that, we all decided to head back to the casino floor. I, however, wanted to drop off my jacket, so I returned to my room. By then, the spins had started to kick in and I realized I was not making it back out for the night. Instead, I curled into bed and held tight, hoping that the room would stop moving. I remember thinking, “Just fall asleep and it will all go away…just fall asleep and it will all go away…” That and, “don’t puke…don’t puke…” Those were my mantras until I drifted off to sleep.

Day 2 is coming up, including the blogger tournament, some more Pai Gow, and my last night in Vegas.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:58 AM, ,