Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, December 29, 2006

Meet Pai Gow, the sea cow

Meet Pai Gow, the sea cow, originally uploaded by John Falstaff.

I've finally gotten off my ass and uploaded the photos from the December gathering to flickr. Click through to take a look. This is probably the goofiest one I got of Gracie, but aren't they both jsut so damned precious?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Free James Brown!

Sometimes my boss is a genius. Today he comes into my office and hands me this gem -

We need to come up with a grassroots movement to get James Brown to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda, and put Gerald Ford at the Apollo Theatre.

Pass it on. Free James Brown, one last time.



If you don't read Truckin' every month, than you're missing out on some of the finest writing on the intertubes, especially in the months where I have a story in there. Like this one! Really, there's some fantastic writing happening here, so if you haven't been there already, go check it out. If you've already been, go back. I'm always honored to be included in this fine company, and this month is no exception.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Be afraid...

Be very afraid. The wife has Christmas-gifted me with my wardrobe for this summer's Vegas gathering.

Behold - the Utilikilt. Designed by technicians and real men for real men, this puppy can carry four beers easily in the side pockets and a hip flask in the back pocket.
For more styles and colors, go to their website. Guys, I can't explain the freedom unless you've worn a kilt. Let's just say that if chicks were packing what we're packing, there's no way they'd put up with pants. Utilikilts are available in extra-long for the Bracelet.

Hope everybody else had as great a Christmas as we did.


So I've come to realize something over the past month, as I've racked up losses that almost erase my entire winnings for the year. I'm a losing online poker player, a winning live poker player, and a profitable poker writer. That's kinda funny in a way, since to people with more patience than I have internet poker is almost like an ATM, you insert time and withdraw money.

Not me. I can string together 2-3 days of winning internet poker, then piss it all away in a frenzy of redonkulous play.

Other realization - I don't really care.

I have a job, one that pays me well and is fulfilling. I enjoy the writing that I do about poker and am constantly amazed that there are people who are willing to give me money for it, and more amazed that there are people who read it. And I love playing cards with people. Real, flesh and blood people that I can look at, lie to, and get a vibe off of. Online poker to me has become a time-killer more than a really enjoyable pastime, and it's pretty heavily reflected in my results. Yes, I know most of my losses this month were live in Vegas, but were I a good internet player, it would not have taken me much time to recoup $900 online. But I'm not, and I'm okay with that.

So I've cashed out a chunk of my bankroll to rebuild my withered live roll, and left myself with about $500 online, about a third of my roll. That gives me enough on Full Tilt and Stars to get into the games I want to play with just enough risk of ruin to make it interesting, because frankly, if there's no chance of going broke, I'm not interested. I play cards for fun and profit, but not to create a real job for myself. So I'm not spending a ton of time "building a bankroll" anymore. As long as I've gota grand or so floating around that I can piss off to Vegas with, I'm good. I don't need to be sufficiently bankrolled, because I can just pick up more side work and earn a new roll in a couple of months.

There are enough people who stop by here to keep my few sponsors happy, and I do enough work for Pokerworks to keep myself in the games I want to play, and right now that's enough for me. I'm never gonna "go pro," or even semi-pro, but I'll take the occassional shot at a bigger tourney to see how it goes, and concentrate on having fun at the game, more than eking out every BB/hr I can squeeze. I still want to play well and get better, but my results focus is shifting a little, I suppose. I don't really care how much I've got in my bankroll, as long as it's enough to sit down with at the table and play.

It's time to have fun again.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I got nothing. I've been recovering from Bird Flu v2.0 aka the Waffles ever since I got back from Vegas. Who'da thought that sitting at a table with the bastard for three hands would be enough to get me sick? Anyway, I'm almost done with all that jazz, and on to other things in life, etc.

I've got a couple more articles up at Pokerworks, including one about the sale of Harrah's and what I think it means. Go over there, check it out, and feel free to tell me I'm a dumbass with no idea what I'm talking about. You'd probably be right.

I think I'm finally going to break down and sign up for the Neteller debit card. Since Pokerworks pays me through Neteller, and I'm generally terrible at planning anything in advance, I always seem to be on the verge of a trip to Vegas or somewhere else hoping against hope that my Neteller transfers into my bank accounthit quickly enough for me to get the money I need for my trip/new shoes/whatthefuckever I'm spending bankroll money on this week. The fee structure kinda blows, but I'm always paying somebody for the privilege of accessing my money, so no biggie there.

I've finalized the selections for this year's Y2J end-of-year CD, so if you want one, shoot me an email with your mailing address and I'll make sure one gets out to you. I think it's a good CD this year, with cuts from the Duhks, Sam Bush, PinMonkey, Oakenfold and Jay-Z. Not many places you can get those folks all on one CD.

Go over to gadooney and check out Scurvy's new venture. I've started a site to try and cash in a little on some of his affiliate marketing tips, but it may just end up being a place where I review CDs and concerts instead. Either way, I'm learning the WordPress interface over at, so feel free to come visit. There's not shit for content yet, but I'll populate it as time goes on.

That's about all that's going on, I actually strung together two winning nights in a row online, so I'm now guaranteed to piss away the remainder of my live roll at BadBlood's house tonight. Oh well, better to donate to friends than random internet donkeys.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

For Daddy

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Brandi, Buttlove, and I will fly someday

Damn you, Iggy. Talk about destroying workplace productivity. Really, if you haven't at least stopped by the thread of the year on 2+2, it's worth the hour or so it will take to get the highlights. Hovering somewhere around 225 pages of replies as of now, this one has all you've ever wanted in a poker story - hot young babe getting slapped in the back with Tom Franklin's penis, Dutch Boyd, Mark Newhouse getting a handjob, newhizzle getting offered anal, somewhere around $50K floating around various parts of the story, a couple of missing passports, and some videos from pokulator showing what appears to be a slut in a Santa suit.

It all goes to show, boys, if you think a chick that hot shouldn't really be hitting on you - then she probably shouldn't! And girls, if it doesn't make sense for that sweet old man to be that nice to you, he probably wants to smack his lingam on your spine! I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I kicked Dutch Boyd's Ass

In badugi. In one hand only. But it makes for a good title, right?

So I'm sitting in the remaining $1/2 NL game at the IP. It's about 2AM on a Monday morning, and I'm thinking that I either need to go on a heater and get my fat ass unstuck for the trip, or go to bed in about an orbit. Bed's looking better, since there isn't enough money on the table to get me unstuck if I took every.single.chip. Not to mention that I just shipped a stack of reds to -EV chasing my flush draw that didn't get there, so I'm pretty much even for the night (read stuck $800 for the trip).

Then I hear this chick come in the room and start talking about getting a mixed game going, and saying something to this guy about "champion" and "bracelet." So I look around, don't see Bobby, figure it can't be anything important, and go back to my game. Then she yells out "mixed game starting up!"

"What games?" I query. I am getting a little bored with this NL table. After playing the rollercoaster that was the Speaker/Spaceman/Daddy/NGLF table, anything is dull.

"Badugi, Triple Draw and Omaha."

"I don't know how to play those." And turn back to my chips.

"C'mon, you gotta learn sometime. It's 2/4 limit, it's cheap." Those are good points. WTF, I suck at triple draw and Omaha, but I do want to learn badugi.

"How many players you got?"


"Get 6 and I'm in." Thinking to myself this way I don't look like a chickenshit, cause there's no way she's finding anybody else to play this crazy shit in here of all places at this hour.

About 90 seconds later, she yells out "We got 6, get over here." So I rack up, and while I'm at the cage, the floor guy says to me "Do you know who that is?"

"Who, the redheaded chick? No clue."

"No, the guy with her." I look over, and there are three guys with her.

"Still no clue."

"Dude, that's Dutch Boyd."

"Ok, cool." So I figure I'll sit down, play a few hands with Dutch and his buddies, and go to bed with at least a decent story for the blog. So I sit down at the end of the table and Melissa (the redhead) proceeds to tell me the basics of Badugi. One guy at my end of the table hasn't got any chips yet, and the other guy (Casey) folds. I have 6432 of three different suits, which is pretty good, almost very good. I show my cards to my end of the table, looking for advice, and they tell me to stand pat, that I probably have a winner. I believe them, because I have no real clue what I'm doing.Melissa folds, the guy at the other end of the table raises, and I call. In between this action there is a very nice woman who had even less of a clue than I did about the game and no idea how to set her hand. She finally folded. I called, and stood pat.

The hand went on for a bit (there are three drawing rounds in Badugi), and when we got to showdown, the guy at the other end of the table showed A832 of three suits, for an 8-high three card Badgui. I had a 4-high three card Badugi, and scooped the pot. That's about the point at which I realized that I wasn't sitting at the end of the table with Dutch, but had just won a hand off of Dutch.

That whole never watching poker on TV kinda keeps me in the dark about who's who in the poker world, so I really didn't know which one of the three guys at my table was in fact Dutch Boyd.

So we went on in the rotation, me bleeding chips like I always do in mixed games, until at some point I accidentally outed myself as a blogger. I'm sitting there playing and Change100 walks up behind me. She tells me that Pauly is on mega-tilt playing Pai Gow, and I respond with "C'mon, only Otis goes on Pai Gow tilt."

At the mention of Otis,Casey looks at me and says "are you a poker blogger?"

I give him my best "fuck. busted" face, and say, "yeah,there's a bunch of us here this weekend. You read blogs?" fucking rock star Otis.

So a little while later, out of the blue, Dutch hits me with the quote of the weekend.

"Can I ask you a serious question?"

"Sure, dude."

"Do I owe you money?"

I search as best I can for an appropriate smartass response, but then I look at him. He's so fucking sincere, and so fucking concerned that I hate him for owing me money that I just can't fuck with him. BTW, if that puppy-dog eyes shit works on me, that guy must get more trim than a lesbian bikini wax artist.

"Nah, dude. I didn't even play online back then."

"Cause I'll pay you if I do."

"Nah dude, you don't owe me any money." I gotta say, the fucker might have made some bad decisions with his business, and I was never a fan of The Crew and their antics, but he's a fucking poker savant, and actually came off that night as a really nice guy. No ego, no attitude, just a guy out hanging with his friends having a good time. I'd play with him again in a heartbeat.

A little while later Soxlover comes down, having been roused from sleep by a phone call from F-Train saying "Falstaff's playing mixed games with Dutch Boyd and there's a seat open." So Sox comes in for a bit and gets the secondary quote of the night.

On the river in O8, Dutch catches whatever he's been after, looks at Sox and says "I really advise you to fold here."

"I don't think I should."

"Here." And he slides his cards over to Sox for him to take a look.

"No, I still think I shouldn't fold."

"Ok. Bet"


Nobody expects the Spanish Fucking Inquisition, otherwise known as flopping quads. Sox's flopped quad 5s were good for the high had, well outranking Dutch's boat. Later on a trek was made to Seamless, a strip bar somewhere else, and I decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and I should go up to the wife and sleep for a few hours before we fly home. Go over to I Had Outs to read about Karol's exploits with Dutch at the strip club.

Christmas Poker plans

For those of you planning to be in the Charlotte/random Carolinas locations this holiday season, here is a list of the pokery events I plan on hosting/participating in. Let me know what dates work for you. I am also open to scheduling other events at other times for out of town guests.

Tonight - my home game.
Next Saturday - 12/23 - my house - home game
Sunday 12/31 - Emily's house - home game/New Year's drunkenness
Monday 1/1 - Bad Blood's joint - defending my BBSOP New Year's Massacre title (likely poorly due to leaking alcohol from every pore)

Let me know if you're in town and if any of those games work for you. If you're around other weekend nights, I can probably make something happen. Or we could just go get drunk. I drink g00t.

And if you're shopping for shit on this christmas, hook a brutha up and click through my link. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but I get a 4% kickback from them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Guarantee

So I finally got my seat in the blogger $1/2 NL game, and it was a rollercoaster for me and my poor little chip stack.

Yes, I paid off my entire stack to Speaker when he caught a flush with 7c4c out of position.

Yes, I Hollywooded an old lady into calling another $50 on the turn when I held the stone cold nuts.

Yes, I gave that same lady back all $100 I took off her six hands later when I didn't see the flush hit because I was looking at the cocktail waitress' ass.

Yes, I felted Spaceman with a rivered flush when I was waaayyyyy behind his AK with my AJ.

Yes, he took it back three hands later by cracking my KK with KQ sooted. "I need two Queens." I knew it wasn't going to be pretty when I saw a Queen in the door.

Yes, I took it back AGAIN when I flopped trips with an Ace kicker and slow-played him into pushing.

But THEN things got interesting.

I knew he was an asshole when he sat down. You've seen him all over Vegas cardrooms - perfectly groomed 42-year old guys with just a little bit of bling and a whole lotta attitude. He sits down with about $100 in reds and a few green chips, which don't play at the $1/2 table at the IP, so he had to get them changed. Immediately he does something silly and the dealer reaches out for his chips and he responds with "don't touch my chips, sir, I'm a trained professional," and I know this could get entertaining.

This Josh Arieh wannabe has just sat down at a table with me, Speaker and Daddy, three of the biggest smartasses ever to sling chips together, and he's starting shit with the dealer right away. This could be fun. A few hands later he's in the SB and throws out a red on top of his $1 SB. Dealer confirms that it's just a call, and nasty guido-looking fucker (NGLF from here on out) snaps back with "I have to announce a raise, it's a call," like everybody at a $1/2 game adheres to all the protocol of the game. So I'm just waiting for the inevitable collision between bloggers and NGLF.

I don't have to wait long. Daddy raises to $15 from MP and NGLF calls out of a blind. Flop comes down 337 rainbow, and NGLF bets $30. Daddy looks down to check out the chip counts, and raises another $50 on top. NGLF decides that this is a good time to show everyone what a smart guy he is, so he turns his 7 face up and slides his cards into the muck, oh-so-proud of his big laydown. Daddy tables his KQc for no pair and rakes the pot.

NGLF goes apeshit, telling Daddy what a mistake that was, how now he has "a tell on you," and then he says it. We had him repeat it just to make sure those words had come out of his mouth, but he did indeed make The Guarantee - "I'll have all your chips in half an hour, I guarantee it."

"Excuse me?" queries the donkeyfucker.

"I'll have all your chips within 30 minutes, I guarantee it." repeats NGLF.

I've heard enough, so I reach in my pocket, slap a $20 on the table and tell NGLF that I've got $20 says he can't do it. He takes my action. Meanwhile, the Baconmeister is flummoxed.

"Dude, I just played circles around you and now you think you're gonna stack me?"

"Yeah, I'm gonna have all your chips." replies the NGLF.

Daddy tries to defuse the situation and bring an air of fun to the table by offering the guy his hand, but NGLF refuses to shake the hand of the man who invented the Hilljack Double-Gainer CrossGrip with a Half Twist, and I know it's about to be, as they say, "awn like neckbone (only works when read aloud)." NGLF looks at Civilian Phil for help, but none is forthcoming, as civilian Phil from the ATL is having a great time playing with us, and has nothing but disdain for NGLF. Then he looks to Irish Reader Tim and mutters "that guy's a prick, huh?"

Now Irish Reader Tim has only spent the last 48 hours caught up in the whirlwind of the WPBT, so even though he doesn't blog, he's an honorary drunken degenerate, so no solace for NGLF here, either, as he replies with "leave me out of it." I dodge pots with the NGLF for a couple hands, figuring that I don't wanna get involved in a pecker-measuring contest between a donkey-fucker and chihuahua molester, but then it happens.

Irish Reader Tim raises preflop. NGLF pushed all in, and throws a glare to Daddy. Daddy peeks at his cards, adjusts his nut sack, and says the words we're all waiting to hear: "I Call." IRT calls, and they all flip 'em up. IRT has TT. NGLF has QQ, and I swear I saw his hair gel melt when Daddy flipped up his Aces. Daddy didn't even look at the table, but he could hear from the sound of one Guido-gourd exploding that he had held up. As NGLF sprinted from the room in a bout of Rosen-level ubertilt, all I could think was "serves him right, the bitch." And Daddy rakes in some seriously stout stacks.

Then I remembered. And just as NGLF passed the brush I yelled out "Hey! You owe me twenty bucks!"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Vegas the Deux

So I played the tournament, and was less than thrilled with my table draw. I understand the concept of playing with superior players to improve your game and all that jazz, but with Spaceman and Blinders at the table, so I really deserve to have Absinthe sit down immediately on my left? Now really, what did I do to deserve that?

But I told myself to focus, put the ipod on, and play my A-game. It took a little while to remember what my A-game looked like, but I figured if I stayed away from the guys who were way better than me for a little while and focused on the guys who are at about the same skill level as me, I wouldn't die too quickly. I hope Easy, Head, Curtis and Slayre aren't offended that I think I'm on about the same level as they are, but if so, sorry.

Easy got Gigli, but only after he picks up a few chips early to stay alive after Ryan catches on of his 29 outs on the river to crack Easy's top two pair. After he goes down, I bust Head with AA versus his QQ, and begin my run of card rack. I had 13 separate pocket pairs during the tournament and won with 10 of them. 33 I folded to a preflop raise, but I didn't lose another hand with a pocket pair until my last two hands of the tournament. I felt like I was playing very well, and Spaceman and I got into some great hands against each other where one or the other would pick up a read and either apply pressure at the right moment or fold to moderate pressure when the other really wanted a call. Jason was on top of his game, and I felt like I was too. I stayed at the same table for quite a while, until it broke after the 2nd break. I got moved to a new table with CC, Waffles, Amy, Veneno and some folks I didn't know.

CC and I didn't play much together, since he got Waffled shortly after I sat down, then I gave Veneno a courtesy double-up when she caught a two outer on the river to give her 4s full of 3s and beat my pocket 55. Next hand I look down at pocket Kings, and make my first serious mistake of the day. At least the first one I got caught with. I didn't push. I had about 8xBB, and I raised to 4xBB, and shoulda pushed. At least with a push I had a chance to push the SB off his AT, but I blew it, and the Ace on the flop when I was pot-committed left me drawing to two outs. IGHN. Pissed.

But I played as well as I've played a tourney in months, and still feel good about all my game until the last two hands. More trip reports coming, including my night with Dutch and Daddy's guarantee.

Tags: ,

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tunica in January

I'm gonna play one of the circuit events in Tunica in January, so I'm selling pieces of myself to be able to afford it. Let me know if you're interested in buying a piece of my action, I can take shares via FTP, Stars or Paypal (or cash if I'm gonna see you in person before January 10th).

$50 gets you a 5% share of my action. I'm planning to play the $500 NLHE event on Saturday 1/13. Please let me know if you're in for a piece of the game. If for whatever reason I don't play, any backers will be refunded their money, and if for some reason I cash, we'll figure out the taxes later, but I'll probably have Harrah's take taxes out of the payout and then pay everybody their 5%. This is by no means me saying that I have a real shot, but I do feel like (results aside) I played some good poker in the tourney last Saturday and I think I've got as good a shot as 90% of the other donkeys out there.

Oh yeah, there are 9 shares available.

Vegas Winter 06 - First Flashes

I'm not going to try to do some long trip report, largely because I don't do them all that well, and there are pieces that I don't remember, so we'll start with some quick hits from the weekend.

"The Guarantee" - Joe Namath had his, Jerkoff in the 8s had his. Namath's worked out better. Film at 11.

Stacked, restacked, and de-stacked again - the up & down story of me & Spaceman moving the same $400 back and forth three times in 15 minutes.

BTOR with Dutch - when WSOP champ invades the IP at 3AM, I'm donkey enough to play $2-$4 limit Badugi, Triple Draw, O8 and Razz with him and his buddies. I've played two of the four games before live, and never played Badugi in my life. And I did NOT go to Seamless with Dutch, Karol and Soxlover.

KK no good, sir - again and again. Pocket Kings made the difference between what could have been a +$100 weekend and what was a -$900 weekend. That, my friends, is why I have a bankroll. So I don't fucking shoot myself when I lose that kind of jack.

Pai Gow the Sea Cow - Gracie's bounty, won in the tourney by Special K, was a stuffed manatee that was abducted by Mrs. Falstaff under the pretenses of "Curtis, you don't have enough room in your luggage for this so I'll take it back to Charlotte for you." Dude, you're never seeing the manatee again.

Pokertek party - I beat Veneno heads up. That is all. Also Easycure, Dr. Chako (twice) and Pauly fell to my lucksacking ways. Couldn't hang with Spaceman and Pablo, though.

Caesar's Tournament Structure - kinda like a wonderbra - there's enough underpinning to make something that's not all that great look really impressive.

I had a great time, and I've lost less money in December than Dawn, so I can't complain too much. Stories to follow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I love me some Full Tilt Poker

That is all. Sleepy now.

Huh? You Fold?!?

Full Tilt Poker Game #1366284252: $4,000 Guarantee (9314567), Table 22 - 300/600 - Limit Hold'em - 0:09:33 ET - 2006/12/07
Seat 1: deanhall (1,684)
Seat 2: Jhartness (9,080)
Seat 3: kamb1 (8,720)
Seat 4: smittyuiop (2,625)
Seat 5: THEnaturalACE (11,481)
Seat 6: Hockeystud94 (2,240)
Seat 7: FNSdirector (10,743)
Seat 8: DevilFlush (4,769)
DevilFlush posts the small blind of 150
deanhall posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Jhartness [Kh As]
Jhartness raises to 600
kamb1 calls 600
smittyuiop folds
THEnaturalACE folds
Hockeystud94 folds
FNSdirector folds
DevilFlush folds
deanhall has 15 seconds left to act
deanhall calls 300
*** FLOP *** [8d 7c Ts]
deanhall checks
Jhartness bets 300
kamb1 calls 300
deanhall calls 300
*** TURN *** [8d 7c Ts] [7d]
deanhall checks
Jhartness bets 600
kamb1 folds
deanhall calls 600
*** RIVER *** [8d 7c Ts 7d] [2c]
deanhall checks
Jhartness bets 600
deanhall folds
Uncalled bet of 600 returned to Jhartness
Jhartness mucks
Jhartness wins the pot (4,050)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4,050 | Rake 0
Board: [8d 7c Ts 7d 2c]
Seat 1: deanhall (big blind) folded on the River
Seat 2: Jhartness collected (4,050), mucked
Seat 3: kamb1 folded on the Turn
Seat 4: smittyuiop didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: THEnaturalACE didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: Hockeystud94 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: FNSdirector (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: DevilFlush (small blind) folded before the Flop

After the fold, he didn’t have enough chips left to complete his small blind next hand. The strangest river fold I think I’ve ever seen.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Not exactly snakes on a plane...

Flatulence forces plane to land

Associated Press

An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after a passenger lit a match to disguise the scent of flatulence, authorities said.

The Dallas-bound flight was diverted to Nashville after several passengers reported smelling burning sulfur from the matches, said Lynne Lowrance, spokeswoman for the Nashville International Airport Authority. All 99 passengers and five crew members were taken off and screened while the plane was searched and luggage was screened.

The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal a "body odor," Lowrance said. She had an unspecified medical condition, authorities said.

"It's humorous in a way but you feel sorry for the individual, as well," she said. "It's unusual that someone would go to those measures to cover it up."

The flight took off again, but the woman was not allowed back on the plane. The woman, who was not identified, was not charged in the incident.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


No, silly, not poker goals. I have enough of those to fail at reaching. No, these are goals for this weekend's upcoming Vegas trip. These are things that I shall endeavor to make happen for the fun and enjoyment of all, and the occassional profit.

1) Learn Pai Gow. Or at least yell "Pai GOW!" a bunch. I think I may have been taught this game at some point, but I was drunk'd. I'll be drunk'd this weekend too, so we'll give it another shot.

2) Family Portrait - with the addition of Iggy to Pokerworks, almost everyone who writes for that little corner of the interweb will be together at one time, so we should do a christmas card picture.

3) Get Maudie to say "fuck" enough times to get another verbal warning at the IP poker room.

4) Get my wife to go shot for shot with Maudie. She won't do tequila, but she'll knock back some lemon drops.

5) Get Drizz to do karaoke in the sports book bar at the IP. I think it's only fair that if there are people actually sitting in a karaoke bar in LAS FRIGGIN' VEGAS, then they need to be punished by a rum-soaked deaf guy from Minnesota belting out "My Way" in a fashion that could be considered a perfect complement to waterboarding. Bonus points if we can get Al and Pauly to do the Electric Slide. Triple word score if they do the Electric Slide WHILE Drizz sings Sinatra.

6) Get a blogger (not Change100, that's so 2005) thrown out of a casino for public intoxication. Depending on the level of challenge I'm willing to undertake, I'm either going for F-Train (easy), Kat (challenging) or Karol (that would be impressive).

7) Convince a random female blogger to give Joe Speaker a lapdance. There's no real challenge there, let's make it tougher. Hmmm...convince ALL the female bloggers in attendance to give Speaker a lapdance. At a poker table. In quick succession. Bonus points for Mrs. Drizz, Mrs. Head and my wife. Double-plus bonus points for The Rooster, Chilly, or THG.

8) Witness The Fall #2 - revenge of the TrumpJosh. Somebody at some point is gonna bust their ass in a drunken stupor this weekend. My goal here is twofold - first, to not be that somebody. Second, to witness it with camera in hand.

Those are just a few of my goals for the weekend. Others include all the sappy shit that will happen anyway, like catching up with old friends, making new ones, dial-a-shots with the poor bastards who can't be there, and general bloggery goodness.

Monday, December 04, 2006

And Full Tilt Poker Loves me right back!

So my post on the Cap NL games at Full Tilt has been picked up by their poker blog, which is neat, and will result in a small cash bonus from the folks at my favorite online poker site (Bonus code Falstaff, dammit). If you want to read it, you can scroll way, way down, or go here.

If you're joining us in Vegas for the first time, read Pauly's post about how to prepare. I've upped my nightly alcohol consumption severely to put my liver in training, but there's still no way I'm gonna try to go drink for drink with Al, Iggy or Pauly. That shit'll get a good man dead, as a hippy I know once said about this goofball.

Anyway, in just a few days I'll be drinking with my buddies, eating like the swine that I am, and maybe playing a little poker. Yeah, a little. That's right. Heh. Like probably no more than 30 hours of poker in the 5 days I'm there. That's "little."

In this week's edition of the Falstaff homegame, we cranked out a little $1/2 Limit Hold 'Em to get Suzy ready for the casino tables. Yeah, I know the lowest they spread is 2/4, but I only have so many $1 chips, so this worked better, trust me. I lived up to my plan of playing like a true Vegas 2/4 donk by rivering a straight with my 3c4c on Special K to crack his legitimate hand, then continued to do similar silliness for the next couple hours. I really did play no fold 'em hold 'em for a while, because if I was in a pot, I was certainly getting odds to call ANY draw in the world. And I hit most of them, much to the disgust of the rest of the table.

Then Nate came in and we switched to no limit. Nate is a great guy, and a real action generator. He'll lead out for $10 into a $6 pot with second pair without a second's hesitation. Again and again. It's one of those things where if he's hitting, he's killing you, and if he's not, he's a rebuy machine. He's left my house in the black by serious amounts for the past two weeks, and this week I had a plan. Don't call with less than two pair. Period.

Fortunately my string of donkalicious catching continued, so I had two pair or better enough times to take most of the money off the table. When all was said and done, we had busted about 5 players, three on the last hand, and Dan, Andrew and I had all the chips. Then Andrew slid across the table 12 reds to pay back the $60 I loaned him earlier, and Dan and I had all the chips. Andrew cashed out down a few bucks, Dan was up at least $150, and I profited $245 on the night. In a $50 max buy game. It made up for several weeks last month when I was stuck $70-80, and felt good to book a decent win in my last home game before Vegas.

In reading the plight of the G-Vegas home game, I'm thinking of changing up the structure in my home games. We've been playing strictly NL cash games, $50 max, for a while now. I think the new look is gonna go something like this - Week 1 & 3 $50 Max NL Cash Game. Week 2 - $10 Rebuy tourney with 15 minute levels, unlimited rebuys for the first 4 levels. Week 3 - $100 Max $.50/$1 NL cash game. We frequently mix in a little Omaha, Crazy Pineapple or other games. Any comments on that monthly structure?

Stop by if you're in the neighborhood, we play most Fridays.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Football Saturday night

A long, long time ago, Bobby took me to see the USC Gamecocks play the West Virginia University Mountaineers in an ESPN night game. The whole atmosphere, from the TV cameras and the bright lights to the guys outside hawking tickets for far too much money, was electric. As we walked past the scalpers, Bob looked down at me and said "Yeah, and five minutes after kickoff they'll be lucky to get five bucks for 'em."

The stadium was full and the crowd was rocking. I don't remember who won, or even how old I was. I just remember the noise and energy of the crowd, maintained even through the interminable television timeouts, and Bobby telling me "watch the stands on the sides, you can see the stadium sway when the students get excited. If it ain't swaying, we ain't playing is what they say around here."

Sure enough, Williams Brice Stadium was designed with some flex in the upper levels, and they put the students in those sections and they took full advantage of it. There's something a little scary about watching thousands of tons of concrete flex and bounce under the weight of 15,000 students. Apparently after that season the college officials decided the same thing, because they stopped letting students jump in place in those seats to make the stadium sway, and eventually reinforced the stadium to take the sway out. But that night, the joint was jumping. Literally. When USC was cooking, I swear I could see that upper deck bounce by at least a foot.

The upper decks were pretty empty yesterday, but that doesn't mean the crowds for the state high school football championships were slack. Just the opposite, the lower levels of the stadium were pretty full, and why not? If you're a fan of one team or another you had your designated home or visitor side, or if you're just a fan of high school football, you could watch the top six teams in the state play all day for just $10.

And that's a pretty damn good deal when you consider this is one of the last levels where sports remain pure. A lot of these kids are done with football now. They got their chance to play in an 80,000-seat stadium, with their names announced over the big-time PA. They stood on the field where Chris Leak, Steve Taneyhill, Dan Reeves and Sterling Sharpe played. Those coaches walked in the footsteps of Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier. Their careers ended last night on a high note or a soul-crusher. They won't ever play college ball, unless it's intramural, and they've known all along that they'll never strap on pads for the big bucks in the NFL. But they played their ever-loving hearts out. Some have next year to look forward to, but they may never get back to this stage again.

Look at number 20. Josh Moseley. My sister and I watced this skinny redheaded white kid pace the sidelines through a chunk of the first half, and didn't really notice him getting into the game much. Then he blew up defensively in the second half, coming through with a Mike Minter-style hit on a kcik return in the second half and then it seemed like there wasn't a play that went by without his name being called over the PA for making the tackle. This kid left everything he had out on the field, just like he was taught.

Then there's number 24, Samun. He's in one of my niece's classes. This poor kid's fucked every way he turns around. Parents gone, he bounces around from aunt to aunt around Newberry. He's not the biggest kid on the field and got burned for a TD near the end of the first half when he was stuck in single-coverage on a receiver that was at least half a foot taller, but he was always going. Full out. He's trying his ever-loving balls off to find some structure and meaning in his life, and this team let him do it.

Number 68 played special teams. Tatiana Swittenberg was the chick on the team, and she wasn't some lissome, ponytailed kicker like you see in Sports Illustrated human interest stories. She's a stocky chick, built like a fullback, who plays kick coverage and special teams and knocks the hell outta anybody in her way.

These kids weren't stars, and if they were seniors, their career is done today. But last night they played in the big house, under the bright lights, and they've got an Olympic-Style medallion to take home and drag out to bore their kids with someday.

Oh, the game? It was a helluva game. After running the bal up the gut and just beating the hell out of them for the whole first half, a questionable pass interference call put Cheraw in scoring position right at the end of the half. With a tough second half, Newberry leading all the way, an absolutely terrible pass interfernce call on 3rd and long gave Cheraw the ball and a whole new set of downs on the 3 yard line. I know, it's my brother's team, so I'm biased, but it's hard for the pass to be interfered with when the intended receiver has tripped over his own feet six away from the nearest defender and is lying on his face when the pass zips by 12 feet away from him. That was the deal-breaker right there. Cheraw punched it in, Newberry couldn't score another TD to retake their game, and lost by four points. Sad that two bad calls made the difference in the game, because if either one of them had not gone in that direction, they'd be the champs today instead of the runners-up.

And I'm not taking anything away from the Cheraw kids, who have played in the state championship game for three years straight now. They've got a helluva good program that has come up short in this game twice before, so their kids deserve the moment in the winner's spotlight. Unfortunately, last night they were not the best team on the field despite their athletic superiority, and the officiating decided the outcome of the game.

But for a few hours, Sam Baird walked the same sidelines as Sam Wyche, in the bright lights after nearly thirty years at Newberry High, and took his kids to the big show. And I hope when some of the pain wears off, they can all look back at those medals with pride.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Long time coming

Almost 25 years ago, my brother moved to Newberry to teach high school history. To supplement his income as a teacher he started coaching. Football, basketball, golf, whatever. Bob has always enjoyed sports and played a lot of tennis when he was younger, but blew out his knee and that was all over. Newberry has never really been what you'd consider a powerhouse in high school athletics (I should know, I went to school in York, which also has never been a powerhouse). In fact, Newberry has never played for the SC football state championship.

Until tomorrow. After coaching at Newberry on and off for more than two decades, my big brother gets to sit in the press box at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, and break down plays and help coach his team in their first state championship attempt in school history. I'm frankly so fucking proud of him I can't see straight. For him and the other coaches (I'm not even sure what his title is, but he's an assistant coach in charge of figuring out what the other guy is going to do and then fucking up their plans) who have worked for so many years, for so little results, this is as good as it gets. They've allowed a total of 14 points in their last 4 games, so if they can hold Cheraw to about 14 points tomorrow, they oughta be good.

So tomorrow afternoon my sister and I will be up in the stands at the WB in Columbia, yelling our asses off at a bunch of high school kids that we've never seen before, hoping that BrotherBob can bring it home. He doesn't know I'm going down, so it oughta be a cool surprise.