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Free Free and More Free

Last night, I bolted from my office at 5:55, once Robbie Hole called me from the All-In Party at the ESPN Zone. According to his sources, they were starting at 6:30, and I didn't want to miss a minute of the action.

Of course, his source was a moron. In all actuality, the doors didn't open until 7pm, but I was glad to be there scouting the scene. The bottom floor of the ESPN Zone was roped off. There were probably 30 poker tables of varying shapes and sizes scattered throughout the room. At about 6:30, we returned to see a crowd forming by the velvet ropes in the entrance portion of the restaurant (it is 4 or more floors). We wanted to move into position, and I scouted a table near the end of the ropes. That, I figured, would be the registration table. We moved into position just before they started the registration set up. Thankfully, I was right. At this rate, we'd be among the first 10 people inside. But then the announcement came: "Could everyone please form a line outside of the building to the left."

Now, when something like this happens, you can do two things: (1) Bitch and moan and try to get them to let you stay in the front, or (2) book your ass to the outside line. Hole and Roose, my partners in crime, didn't move right away, but I sure as hell did. Out the doors and onto the new line, we moved into about 15th place. Roose and Hole came out a couple of minutes later, glad to see that I was in position.

We finally entered the party room at about 7pm. I was surprisingly NOT on the guest list, even though I got the invite from Bhu, All-In's owner. But I was able to finagle my way inside with Roose and Hole, and once I got ahold of some free stuff, all was forgotten.

The first stop was the bar. Free drinks! I started with a Coors Light, because of my weak-ass throat. I went to my assigned poker table, and sat down. Fortunately, it was right by the kitchen's entrance, so I had a steady stream of appetizers coming out. Sliders (mini-burgers), chicken fingers, egg rolls, wrap sandwiches, and skewered beef made up my dinner. Roose and Hole were right behind me. As you can tell, I was moving quick all the while, trying to get mine in a world of free stuff.

The tourney was slow to start, and because of delays, they started at the 2nd blind level, 50/100. Each played had 2500 in chips, so it wasn't a complete push fest. I have to admit, though, that the prize selection was poor. First place got an X-Box 360. 2nd and 3rd got i-pod Shuffles. 4th through 10th got Party Poker chips. I mean, come on. I can earn that stuff on PSO with less effort! But free is free, and for that, I could not complain.

I played a reasonable game. If I were a little looser in the first couple of hands, I would have flopped top pair twice with KT and won the hands. But I was trying to play seriously. Once I found out what the prizes were, though, I changed my mind. I convinced a waitress to get me three shots of tequila, even though shots weren't allowed. I guess tipping (I was one of the few that did) helped a bit. That and my devastating charm. Shots for Roose, Hole and I, and then more beer and a rum & coke, the official casino drink of High On Poker. I asked for Capt and Coke, but she returned with Bacardi and Coke, and asked if that was alright. I'm not picky, so I thanked her. She then mentioned that she brought another Coors if I didn't want the Bacardi. I'll take that too, thank you.

I didn't get any good hands. In the end, I was in the BB with 2100 chips, with 800 in the pot as my BB (i.e., 1300 left). One player from early position raised to 2k, and I pushed all-in. He called with 33 v. my T5. I fail to double up, and I'm out. Hole was out before me, Roose was out after. On a side note, they gave seats based on when you entered, so we were all at the same table. At first, I thought this was bad, but now I realize that it was about having fun with the people you were with, and not winning an X-Box.

With some time to kill, I went to the front registration to sign up for a free one-year subscription. More freebies! When I got there, I noticed "goody bags" being handed out to people leaving. I took mine early to ensure that it didn't run out. The booty included a Party Poker hat and collared shirt, a deck of cards, a key-chain, and an issue of All-In. Free free free.

After Roose pushed with AQ preflop and lost to TT (he admittedly was ready to go) we all headed our separate ways. There were some shortcomings to the party. The begining was poorly run, the prizes were weak, and there were no celebrity poker players. But the free stuff makes up for it all. Thanks, All-In.

On a side note, let me add that the party was open to all subscribers, so I guess the blog thing doesn't make me THAT special. But, it did help Bhu find and invite me, so I'm still chalking this up as an event I got through this lovely blog contraption. See Ma! I'm not wasting my time! And put down that bottle, it isn't even noon!

When I got home, I spent some much-needed time with wifey Kim. For the first time in a while, the GERD felt like an annoyance, rather than a crippling affliction. We watched a bit of American Idol until I couldn't take it any more. I signed online and jumped into a 18-person $10+1 SNG with Mowenumdown and Surflexus. Let me just say that I have had a great time online lately, because the bloggers have been getting together a shit load for SNG action. The 45-person SNG Challenge is partially to blame, but otherwise, I think it is simply this: poker is more fun when its with people you know and like. Thanks, fockers! As it turned out, I won the gosh darned thing, netting a little over $60 profit. Thank Jebus! Mow took 3rd. Go us!

Finally, Veneno is the acting Commissioner for the Heads Up Challenge 3. She is changing the format slightly, and making a bracket of 32 players. I believe there are 5 or less spots left, and she's amassed an awesome list of participants. So if you are interested, check out the HUC3 blog or Veneno's blog. Come play with the best!

posted by Jordan @ 9:09 AM,


At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should be ashamed slow playing that set of aces on me like that. I still have not been able to get that hook out of my mouth. j/k

Nice win my friend!


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