Off To The Woods
Thursday, December 27, 2007
..............I'm out tomorrow until at least Tuesday.
Have a great New Year!
Until next time, I fold, I hunt and I turn another year older.
posted by GaryC @ 5:51 PM, ,
Belated, as usual
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
First off, Mookie, tonight, be there or be L7. If you have to ask, you are obviously not 41 going on 42.
The family and I had a wonderful Christmas around these parts, despite the blustery cold weather on Saturday. We ventured across the state to my Mom's house on Sunday and drove back home late Monday night to open our gifts here and await Santa's arrival. He showed again this year with Guitar Hero II and III in tow. Needless to say, the daughters and I have been going to war and it is pretty addicting if you are at all musically inclined. I could do with some country music, but I guess there aren't many Guitar Hero's playing on country songs. We spent Christmas Day at the mother in law's house and had lots of good eats and lots of good gifts. It pays to be a good boy all year.
Just two more days to the weekend. I am looking forward to four days off down at the lake place. The wife and both Mom's decked me out in all kinds of hunting/camo gear for Christmas and I went and bought my first shotgun last week while they were on sale. The plan is to hunt all day on Saturday and Sunday and then again on Monday morning, before setting up and running karaoke at the bar on Monday night. We will ease our way home some time on Tuesday and watch a few bowl games before preparing for another three day work week.
I can't wait for Friday to get here already. Happy holidays to all my invisible internet friends and I hope your 2008 is mighty prosperous.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 4:16 PM, ,
Thursday, December 20, 2007
There was a blogger tournament last night. People sucked out. People got sucked out on. The funny thing about all of this was that I didn't hear one name called the entire time.
Stay Classy Bloggers! (Trademark-BG Enterprises)
To copy a phrase used way too often, you have to get lucky to win one of these blonkaments. I personally think you have to get a bit lucky to win a single table SNG most of the time, let alone a MTT with as many good players as our fields have. I got a little lucky last night, both good and bad. Unfortunately, the bad luck came at a bad time, but if it weren't for the good luck earlier, I would have never been in that position in the first place.
I floated the first two hours of the tournament between 2K and 4K, mostly on the lower end of that spectrum. When it got down to two or three tables, I was in my normal push or fold mode and I got lucky a couple of times.
I define my luck differently than a lot of people due to a couple of different things. My experience in these blogger events tells me that when I jam pre-flop with a shorter stack, I'm only going to get called by a better hand or a bigger stack. Depending on my M, my stack size and my opponent's stack size, my range will vary considering each of those factors.
For example, somewhere toward the end of the 2nd hour, I jammed over the top of Chad with A-4 s00ted. My stack was dwindling and Chad had chips. I also felt like his pre-flop raising range was pretty wide at that point. Regardless of his holdings, he was obliged to call and he did, with 10-9 I believe, and I was lucky to pair my 4 and dodge his 6 outs.
Thanks, as always, to Mookie for hosting and for the play by play, thus making my job here today simply cut, paste and comment.
11:15 … ricky424 wins a big pot against schlepp and is over 30K in chips now. Hoy loses a big pot with AK vs. GCox’s KK, he’s on fumes now.
Later on, somewhere in the three table range I think, I got lucky again. I was still only around 4K in chips and picked up K-K in the big blind. Hoy open-raised with a pot-sized bet in early position and again, I jammed over the top. Here's where I got lucky again. Hoy could have folded here and in fact, he thought about folding for a bit before finally making the call. It turned out that he had A-K and only 3 outs and I was able to dodge the 14 Aces in the deck and double up. I was lucky here that Hoy had as strong a hand as he did and also that I didn't have more chips in that spot. If I have him covered, I think he folds in that spot.
11:54 … DonkeyPuncher loses a race to GCox and is out on the next hand. 10 left, final table bubble.
This was a calculated gamble that turned out for the best for me. DonkeyPuncher had a big Ace and not enough chips, so I took the race with 5-5 and presto was gold. Again, lots of luck for me, but if DP has more chips in that spot, I probably don't take that race.
12:08 … AIPF, GCox has AKo as does oakman42. Twinkies.
Some of you may not consider this to be lucky, but any time I get it all in with somebody with the exact same hand (normally A-K) and I am able to dodge the 4-flush, I feel extremely lucky.
12:26 … GCox hits a set on the river and twoblackaces finishes in 6th place. Ricky jams with QQ and LJ calls with 54. She hits a straight on the turn and Ricky takes 5th.
This was a check it down situation when I had called an all-in, along with another player, from a shortstack with 9-9. We checked it down and I caught my set on the river to win the hand and take out TwoBlackAces.
12:27 … AJo for LJ and A8 for GCox…3! Eights show up for quads and Gary doubles up.
The first of the huge suckouts that kept me alive at the final table. I believe we were down to 4 at this point and I certainly wasn't comfortable with my chip stack. Of course, flopping three 8's and rivering Quads made me all warm inside. I believe this is the first spot that I should have gone to the rail.
12:30 … AKo for GCox and K6 for IB…Ace on the flop seals the deal for Gary and the final three is set. LJ 113K, GCox 57K, JSpeak 35K.
I was lucky here to catch IslandBum making a little bit of a move on LJ with his K-6. Luckily, I had A-K and after his preflop raise, he was committed to the pot and my hand held up.
12:31 … AKo for LJ and A7o for Speaker. Big Slick wins and LJ takes a 147K to 59K lead heads up against GCox.
We enter heads up play at 12:31 and me at a 3 to 1 chip disadvantage. I was very pleased with my heads up play last night. As is pretty typical for me, I felt like LJ was a bit off-balance at the start due to my fairly consistent folding of the small blind. It seems to me that alot of players are thrown off by my heads up game initially, but LJ caught on pretty quick. She was able to slow down her normal aggressive game a bit and played my game for a good long while and very well I might add, thus leading to 104 hands heads up, which is fairly typical for me.
Also, Mookie didn't have it in his recap, but I got a huge break in here somewhere when my TP-Shitty kicker somehow managed a split pot when the board paired.
In LJ's words: then gcox and i played a 104 hand hu match. i thought it was gonna be over 26 hands in when he raised on the button. i had KTo in the bb and called. flop came KQ8. i checked the flop, he bet out about half the post (20k), i re-raised all in, and he called w/ K4o. turn 2, river 8. sigh.
Obviously, this is the second spot where I should have gone to the rail.
12:42 … GC turns a straight to win a largish pot and take a slight lead with 106K to 100K.
The first bet I floated heads up paid off on the turn when I hit my gut-shot. I would have been down to fumes if I folded here anyway and it was really a smallish bet after the flop, so I went for it. Lucky, lucky, lucky again.
12:45 … Raise, re-raise and all in from GCox…after some thought LJ lays it down. GC 125K, LJ 81K.
Unlucky, unlucky, unlucky. I had A-A here and really thought I was going to get a call. I probably should have slow-played it a bit, but unfortunately, I'm not very good at that either.
12:49 … Big pot with a bunch of preflop raises and on a 765 flop LJ jams with AQo and GCox calls with AJo. AQ high wins the pot and LJ takes back a big lead.
Complete donkey call by me. I'm not sure what I was thinking on this hand, but it certainly wasn't about how this hand played out. I was lucky to still have chips after this brain fart.
12:50 … AIPF, AKo for GCox and KJ for LJ. Big Slick wins and now GCox has a slight lead.
Turned right around and got lucky again when LJ had a big enough hand to call my push and even luckier when it managed to hold up.
12:56 … GC raises on the button and LJ calls. All in on a T94 rainbow board and GCox has KT while LJ T8. KT wins and GCox has a big lead now. They are all in on the very next hand with GCox holding JJ and LJ Q9. Queen on the flop and LJ doubles back up. Damn near even in chips now ~103K.
Lucky and unlucky in the same paragraph. I got the lead back with top pair and then had a bit of a lead until the Queen hit the flop. I thought it was over right here to be honest.
1:01 … AIPF, AT for Gary and A8 for LJ….Best hand is NO good again for Gary as an 8 comes on the flop. LJ holds on to win the hand and her first Mookie title, congrats!
And yet more bad luck on the end. No regrets and no drama from me. I had my chances to win my 1st Mookie last night and, after playing in nearly every one of them for the last couple of years, I could almost taste it, but it wasn't meant to be. Perhaps one of these nights it will happen, just not last night.
I think we, as a group, too often focus on the hand that we busted out on, rather than the hands that got us to that point. If you take all of that into account, I was very lucky to have made it to heads up at all. Even if I had played perfect poker up to that point, there is still some luck, good or bad, that can decide your fate for that particular tournament.
Congratulations to LJ, who I just discovered I left off of my mega-linkage post from Vegas. We didn't get to hang out at all, but I did get a quick intro at Caesar's on Thursday, but she was busy with her tournament. My apologies for leaving you off the list LJ and congrats on a well earned victory last night.
And that, my socially challenged friends, is how you lose gracefully!
Stay classy bloggers! -(Trademark-BG Enterprises)
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:54 PM, ,
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
From THE MAN himself:
...I am hosting a "Blogger Luck Game" this Sunday night on Full Tilt. Below are details. I figure this will compliment Chad's Blogger Skill Game well. The tournament is now in the private tourney section and I'll be signing up when I get home.
I'll hopefully have a banner up for it on my blog soon...~
Blogger Luck Game~ 12/23/07 @ 10pm EST (This Sunday)~
$10 +$1 Buy-In~
100 Starting Chips~
5 minute blind levels (I tried for 3, but they gave me no love).~
Starting level 15/30~
So if you have 20 minutes to spare and you're feeling lucky, come join me. If you're not feling lucky, maybe you better read Hoys Super Turbo Strategy to get ready boys and girls...
Unfortunately, I will be absent as I am out of town, but as you all know, I'm not lucky (or skillful by the way) enough to do any damage in one of these things. Good luck to all you LUCKY bloggers though.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 6:25 PM, ,
Good Friends and Drakes
Monday, December 17, 2007
That was the question posed to me Saturday night at the bar down by my lake place. My friend Randy, also a hunter, could tell in my eyes that I had spent all day Saturday huddled up next to a pond, hunting ducks.
My good friend Bill called last week and casually mentioned that he would be hunting at the lake this weekend if I was interested. I was interested. As the week drug on at work, following a four day bender in Las Vegas, the weather turned for the worse. Our prognosticators ( I call them weather guessers ) here in Oklahoma predicted 4-8 inches of snow starting on Friday night.
Eventually, the wife and I cancelled our karaoke shows due to the forecast and I suddenly had nothing to do this weekend. Nothing, except to drive down to the lake after work and go on my first duck hunting trip. When we awoke on Saturday morning and began getting dressed, a quick peek outside revealed no whiteness. The snow that was supposed to begin around 9:00 pm on Friday night didn't show up until we started the drive around the lake at about 6:15 am.
Couple the cold temperatures with 40 mph winds and you have a recipe for misery out in the field. Luckily, Bill had chosen an ideal spot, backed up against a row of cedars, where we dug in for the day. All.freaking.day. We got there before sun up and got the decoys set and settled into our spot. The wind was from our back and we were well-sheltered from it and the snow.
Soon enough, two little teals flew in and we opened fire. Bill managed to down his duck just on the other side of the pond, while I was practicing the "scare them to death" technique. I let two shots go at that teal and he flew away quickly, flipping me the middle finger on his webbed foot as he moved out of range. This is the part where I yell Damnit! as loud as possible usually, but this being my first hunt, I was rather calm and, by the way, the "scare them to death" doesn't work, you have to put some steel into them.
Bill took his dog Storm around the pond to retrieve his duck and before he got back, I was looking squarely in the eyes of a nice Drake Mallard(see picture above) right in front of me. As Bill came around the pond, his view was blocked of the duck, but he saw me raise up and saw the fire from the barrel, just before he heard and I witnessed a large, loud splash, right into the middle of the pond. I had my first duck down and the adrenaline was flowing all through my body. I forgot about how cold my toes were and how I was shivering, because I now had hot blood coursing through every vein.
It turned out to be a bit of a dud weekend for hunting ducks, as our totals would indicate. Bill killed four ducks and I killed three, but that's just the thing about hunting. You never know what's going to happen. Like Bill says often, "that's why they call it hunting, not killing."
My wife, kids and family will tell you that I am not a very patient person. When it is time to go somewhere and I am in the car waiting, I've been known to lay on the horn, telling them to hurry the hell up, that I'm ready to go.
Conversely, my poker friends will tell you that I have the patience of Job at the poker table. I've been known to fold for entire hours of tournaments, waiting for the opportune spot to pounce on an unsuspecting victim.
Well, I think my good buddy Bill will tell you that I am learning a great deal of patience in the field while hunting also. So far, I am enjoying myself to no end and the shooting is only a small part of it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy firing that gun and trying to shoot the game, but that's not really what draws people into the woods over and over again. It's the thrill of the hunt, the relationships with the people you are hunting with and, at least for me, the solitude of being out in the woods.
I have always been a loner, that's just how us Capricorns are, and my wife is the same way. We love to be together and to spend time with each other as often as possible, but neither one of us minds being off by ourself in the least little bit. In fact, she told me this was the most enjoyable weekend she has had in a while last night. With me off hunting, she shipped the daughter off to a friends house on Saturday and spent the day working on her kitchen, drinking my beer and doing exactly what she wanted to do, all by herself.
Back to the story, heading down to the lake for a hunt, whether it be dove or deer or ducks or geese, I leave the city with that anticipation and excitement burning in my stomach to no end. It's the longest hour and fifteen minute drive I've ever made every.single.time. But, when I get down there and we get loaded up on Saturday morning to head to the field, there is the strangest sense of calm and serenity that comes over me. It lasts until Sunday night when it is time to drive home every time.
I have but one person to thank for these new feelings and this new near-obsession and that's my good friend Bill. He has taken me under his wing, guided me, taught me and provided the necessary firepower for whatever it is that we are hunting at the time. Thanks brother, I really appreciate it.
So, to answer my friend Randy's question at the start of this post:
Yes indeed Randy. When I start into something and I enjoy it, I jump in with both feet and right now, both of my feet are planted in the woods, somewhere around Fort Cobb Lake, as often as possible.
Thanks for reading and until next time, I lock and load.
posted by GaryC @ 3:03 PM, ,
The Post Where I Link EVERYBODY I Can Remember
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Disappointments and Accomplishments
**But first, a disclaimer: If, for some reason, I've left you off the list or your link doesn't work, please email me or leave me a comment. It is my intention to include everybody that I hung out with, so if I omitted somebody, it was an accident, probably due to too much Jack and Coke.
Rather than bore you with another I ate-I drank-I slept post detailing every step of the way, I'm going to try something different today. Between work and weather tilt this week, I haven't been able to sit down at my desk and do anything other than my assigned monkey-tasks. Today is shaping up to be different, cross your fingers for me.
Everybody has the same disappointments year in and year out. Although we plan to hang out with more people, meet as many people as possible and get to know them better, it never seems to work out that way. I thought this year would be different. I was getting in early on Thursday morning and I really thought I would have time to hang out with a lot of different folks, and I did, just not as many as I had originally hoped.
I wanted to sit down with Otis and Pauly and talk about writing. Other than a quick handshake and some time at the tables or with a drink in hand, I didn't get to spend much time with them. It's understandable, as they are more or less the ringleaders of this wacky bunch and their time is always limited. I wanted to hang out with On_THG again this year and knock back a few drinks. Other than a post-tourney cigarette and railing he and my wife's Pai Gow table for a bit, I missed out on talking to Mike. I wanted to hang out and get to know Kat's husband Keith on this trip as well. Kat and I know each other pretty well after now three trips and endless nights on the girly chat thing, but unfortunately, I didn't get to spend much time with her husband, other than a fairly drunken dinner at the Harrah's buffet. I also wanted to play some blackjack with Bobby Bracelet again this year. Sadly, I didn't play one hand of blackjack on the trip, but I did get to hang with Bobby for a little bit on Friday morning. No Daddy this trip :( These are most assuredly not the only regrets I had from the trip, but the ones that stand out the most for me.
After talking the gathering up for most of the last year to everybody that would listen, I felt a bit of a responsibility to introduce first-timers to the veterans, just as people like Maudie and Derek did for me last year. I really tried to be aware of who was around and who they had or had not met previously. Other than a few drunken episodes on my part, I felt like I did a pretty fair job of it, even though I introduced Iggy as Grubby over and over again. When a joke is pulled on you the previous year, it's even funnier when it is pulled on another unsuspecting newcomer the next. That joke never got old for me, in fact, I'm giggling like a school girl here in my office this morning just thinking about it.
I was proud to have brought my wife to the gathering this year. It was kind of an Anniversary gift of sorts for her, since we passed 13 years in September and our honeymoon was spent right there at the luxurious Imperial Palace. It was also more than that for me, way more, in fact. I wanted her to at least experience this group en masse and to hopefully gain some insight into what it is that we have here. Don't ever underestimate the importance or the specialness of this ever-growing group of people. There are bonds throughout the group that will be around for much longer than any of us expect right now, I firmly believe that.
If I heard it once, I heard 5 or 6 bloggers say, "G, your wife is fitting in just like a part of the group." My answer was the same every time, "If I didn't think she would fit in and get along with everybody, I wouldn't have brought her with me." My wife is a very special lady and she is so much like me it is almost funny sometimes. I want to say right here and now, Thank You baby, for making the trip with me this year. It was even more special having you there to experience it with me. I also want to say thank you to each and every blogger out there who welcomed me last year and my wife along with me this year. Those quick little introductions and nods meant more to her and I than you might ever know.
As far as poker goes, I didn't really accomplish much. I played in the tournament, going out somewhere in the 50's or 60's, I believe, after folding for the better part of two hours. I was able to convince my wife to join me at the 2/4 Limit tables finally. The 2/4 game at the IP was about as tame as any game I have ever seen. You could literally play any two cards in any pot for $2 it seemed and it was not uncommon to have 9 people go to the flop.
One of the brightest accomplishments for me on the trip was the near 14 hour bender that Al and I tied on during the day and evening on Thursday. I already knew what a great guy Al was from reading and from meeting him last year, but until you get to sit down with the man, knock back a few shots or your drink of choice, you don't get a feel for exactly how genuine a person he really is. Al is the life of the party from start to finish wherever he goes, but he always seems to make time to talk to folks like a life long friend. I will constantly be trying to "Be Like Al" in that regard at each one of these gatherings I am able to attend in the future. Cheers, my friend.
I did get to meet a TON of folks that I really wanted to meet and had never had the opportunity. This being just my second trip to Vegas, I hadn't shaken all the hands and slapped all the backs yet that I wanted to. Thursday at the Geisha Bar started me well on my way to accomplishing this little goal. In no particular order and if I forget somebody, please remind me in the comments and I will add you to the list.
Falstaff-Alot of this would not have happened without this man's planning and devotion to the cause. He also looks like he lost half a human in weight. Looking good bro and thanks again for all your hard work.
Jordan-having already hung out with Jordan in Oklahoma and countless hours on-line, I knew he would fit in this gathering like a glove. I was not wrong.
TripJax-again, having already spent a ton of time with Trip, I knew he couldn't miss the big one. He did not disappoint and also proved the old adage, "Bloggers marry up." Was also a pleasure meeting ChickJax for the first time.
AlCantHang-what more to say about Al that you all don't already know. He's a great guy to hang out with and always the life of the party. Thanks again bro.
Otis-one of the highlights of my trip was on Thursday night when I felt a tap on the shoulder and was summoned by Otis to play Pai Gow. The wife actually blurted out "you can't say no to Otis." Great fooking guy that treats everybody like he's known them for years.
Dr. Pauly-the man in demand at every one of these gatherings, he always still seems to make the time to stop and chat with everybody. I had to buy him a drink this year, because he published my very first attempt ever in Truckin'. Thanks again bro, for being so welcoming and kind, despite all that goes on around you.
Vinny-Vinnay, as he's known at Full Tilt, brought his girlfriend this year and my wife and I were glad to meet them. This instance would be known, for now, as a "blogger dating up." Vinny is a great guy that I got to spend more time with this year than last.
PokerPeaker-so glad that Dan was able to make the trip this year. I tried my best to put him at ease and I hope it helped a little. Another great guy.
TFG-Scott is a great guy and if you didn't get to hang out and talk to him, well, you missed out.
Mean Gene-my first introduction to Mean Gene after reading him for more than three years. Gene is a very nice guy and a pleasure to talk to.
WeakPlayer-I met Aaron last year immediately upon entering the IP and was looking forward to meeting him again. We were able to sit down at a very average buffet at Harrah's on Saturday night for a bit. Great company and just a great guy.
Bobby Bracelet-if you haven't ever sat down and talked to or listened to this man, that's on you. As evidenced by his writing style and the horde of people that just have to be at his side, he is one funny dude. Not to mention the thrice confirmed junk or the 860th greatest poker player on the planet. (circa 2005)
Penner-I played a couple of different sessions with Alan and he was also at my tourney table. Tough player and good guy, but you have to remember to invite me bowling next year. Do you bring your own equipment or just use a house ball?
Blinders-I met Blinders on Thursday at the Geisha bar and would have liked to get his tips at the Craps table later that night, but, as you have no doubt read on his blog, I was rolling with the AlCantHang Experience and, well, that turned out just fine, thank you very much. Blinders was also moved right beside me during the card-death tournament experience on Saturday and won a huge pot with K-K all-in against Al's A-A and another player's Q-Q. Good guy and enjoyed meeting him.
Katitude-Kat and I are good friends from WAY back and I always look forward to hanging out and slinging chips with her. She's also a helluva card player, which I witnessed first hand this summer at Okie-Vegas. Next time, we hang out more, Maam.
On_THG-Mike is as good as gold, whether it be for -EV table games, limit poker or just hanging out, shooting the shit. More time together next time for sure.
CC-I met Craig last year as well and he is always very cordial. I didn't get to hang out with him much on this trip, but he is always a nice guy and a good person to know in Vegas.
Yestbay1-This was my second time to meet Dave as he drove up to OKC this summer to play cards with us at Okie-Vegas. Sorry that we didn't have more time to hang out Dave, but great seeing you again, my friend.
The Rooster-winner of the tournament and one of the few New York A-listers that appreciates country music. Joaquin has always been nothing but welcoming to me and I appreciate that. I look forward to many more Crown Royale and Cokes in the future, brother.
BuddyDank-Buddy snuck up on me a little bit, but after one drink, it was apparent to me that we would get along great. We hung out together quite a bit and I certainly enjoyed the company.
Mr. Subliminal-Mr S and I butted heads a bit last year at the tourney, but he was a perfect gentleman and a great guy. We got to chat a bit on Saturday before the tourney and if you missed the chance to meet him, you are missing out.
Iggy-having met the little man last year and gone on an all night bender with him, it felt like shaking an old friend's hand. Great to see you again bro.
G-Money-also the second year to hang out with G-Money, Iggy's friend, and just like last year, great hanging out.
MiamiDon-fresh off the drunken tomfoolery on BuddyDankRadio wednesday night, I didn't see Don until Saturday at the Venetian. He appeared well-rested and in good spirits. Don will always be one of my favorites, because he was one of the first two bloggers I ever met in Vegas and he also makes a great host in his town.
Drizz-it goes without saying, but Drizz, even in wheelchair condition last year, makes everybody feel at home. I appreciate that and try to emulate it at every opportunity.
F-Train-145 lbs. of fury, or whatever it is this year, is always a pleasure to hang out with. We shared a couple of drinks in Okie-Vegas this summer and a few more at the Venetian after the tournament on Saturday. Time well spent, in my book.
Special K-Special K was right beside me at the start of the tournament and he told me later about a big hand he had and it appears I made a good laydown. (as did F-Train) He was a nice guy and I would have liked to get to play more poker with him.
Zeem-I met Zeem last year as well and have played against him a lot online too. He's always a nice guy and we chatted a bit on Sunday about his WU Huskies and my Sooners.
Bab-Bam-He got screwed out of 18 hours in Vegas because of a snafu at the airport and that is too bad. I predict big things for Bam in the future and my wife and I were pleased to meet he and his wife. Good times sir.
Shamanalix-I met this gentleman on Saturday night after the tourney while Buddy and I were sitting upstairs at the IP. I was trying to catch my second wind and he joined us for a few beers and some good conversation. Thanks again bro.
Columbo and the lovely Mrs. Columbo-got to chat with Columbo over a few drinks on Thursday and we discussed our inner tightness, he, probably won't change much about either of our games. Also, yet another fine example that "bloggers marry up" and a helluva nice guy. Also proved his metal at the tournament by making the final table.
CarmenSinCity-Carmen, along with Don, were the first two bloggers I met live and in person in Las Vegas almost two years ago. I will always have a special place in my heart for her, even if she always manages to post the drunkest looking pictures of me on the planet. Come to think of it, I'm always drunk as shit in Vegas, so that probably isn't her fault.
CK-BWoP-this gal is a ball of energy. I know I'm not the only person to mention this, but if I had half of her energy, I think I would fall apart. Another one of those "life of the party" types and always fun to be around. She also spent some time with my wife at the Pai Gow table and that was very much appreciated. See you at Okie-Vegas this summer with 145 lbs. of fury?
Derek-Derek took me in last year from the second I got to the IP and treated me like a member of the group from the start. I've always appreciated that and will always hang out and smoke some cigarettes with D.
Irish Jim-first time to meet Jim and I must say, if I had any Irish brothers, they would be just like Jim. Great guy and a great drinker and story teller, as well.
Change100-always a pleasure to be around and seeing Change with Pauly looks like a perfect match to me and my wife.
JoeSpeaker-another one of the writers that I never get to spend enough time with and always regret it. One of the funniest guys in the group and a great one to hang out with at the Pai Gow table.
BettyUnderground-also met this fine lady last year and it is always a pleasure to have a drink and chat with her.
InstantTragedy-having spoken with Sean through IM and met him this summer at my lake place, I had no doubt that he would be the life of the party. It was nice to see him let his hair down and have some fun.
JJoK-I was really looking forward to meeting the father of triplets and he didn't disappoint either. Almost exactly as I had him pictured in my mind from numerous online nights at the tables, he was a very nice guy and I am glad to have gotten to meet him.
The Wife-it was truly a pleasure meeting the Doc's wife this year. She was a great sport and I have to admit, one more example that Bloggers do indeed marry up. I also nearly got choked up when she explained about the flag that the Doc had sent. Very nice moment.
Schaubs-another guy that I've played against millions of times online and sadly, another that I didn't get to spend near enough time with on the trip.
Astin-other than a late night, drunken craps session and breakfast at Denny's, not enough time together the rest of the trip. We'll do better next time.
Mattazuma-I chatted with Matt for a few minutes outside the Venetian poker room after our demise and over a cigarette. Nice guy and another that I have played against alot on-line.
BadBlood-another bit of disappointment for me here, I only got to shake his hand while he was playing at Caesar's on Thursday. Would have liked to spend more time with Blood.
Bacon Bikin Mary-we had breakfast with Mary on Friday at the IP and I felt like I got to know her a little better. She could be one of my wife's best friends from Oklahoma very easily.
Maudie-I didn't get to fly out with Maudie this year, but suffice it to say, she will always be one of my very favorite people. It was her insistence last year that talked me into taking the plunge and she was also my first blogger meet-up ever. She's always treated me like a friend, as well as a part of the community, and I will always appreciate that.
ScottMc-since Scott posts so many pictures, I knew exactly what he would look like. Unfortunately, when the time came to meet him, I was near-shit-faced drunk and he had to explain it to me very slowly. Great guy and I look forward to either Austin in the spring or Oklahoma in the summer and getting to slug back a few with my Texas buddy.
Johnny Hughes-the wife and I got to talk to Johnny for a few minutes on Thursday evening, before the bulk of people arrived. Another Texas buddy and I will most definitely be buying his book, because if he writes anything like he tells stories, it will be fantastic.
Gracie-I know Gracie a bit better this year as well, since she came to Okie-Vegas and she, along with sweet, sweet Pablo, is good people. I really enjoyed seeing both of them again this year.
Maigrey, Heather, Pai-Gow Princess-my Pai Gow instructor from a year ago still managed to teach me something new this year. If you can't remember your hand (which, apparently is difficult after 43 Jack and Cokes) you "get to play twice!" Nearly as good as "a push is as good as a win" from a year ago. Heather has always been very nice to me and I appreciate it very much and she is one helluva card player, no matter the game.
Fuel55-I never get to spend as much time with Fuel as I would like, mainly due to his game of choice and my lack of bankroll for his game of choice. Regardless, any time spent with him is a good time.
Garthmeister-I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with Garth this year, but he is one of the funniest guys in the group. Was a pleasure meeting his girlfriend as well. Again, dating up!
BG-Scott(TFG) and I got to sit down and talk a little country music with BG, trying to turn him on to some groups that he might be able to stomach. I doubt if we accomplished much in that regard, but it was still great, as always, to sit down and chat with BG. Glad you made the trip this year bro.
Recess Rampage-I didn't get to play any poker with Alan, but I got to talk to him briefly a couple of times. Really nice guy and I look forward to seeing him again in the future.
CaliforniaApril-April wasn't around as much this year, it seemed, but she is always very nice to me and I always appreciate it. She really made me feel welcome last year, as well.
Stb-Steve likes to rag on my beer of choice, but he's always been very nice to me. I think we could get past the beer thing bro, I really do.
PokahDave-I recognized his screen name DDoniusiyisdadiuysodifysoduysdugam from Full Tilt, as soon as he told me. Played lots of online tourneys with Dave and he was a really nice guy.
Hacker59-This was the one guy that I think I have played with and against at more tables than any other of our group. We had a period of about 4 months or so where we were almost always at each others' tables whether it was a blogger event or not. Glad to have met him and knocked back a couple of drinks with as well.
TexasApril-after running things last year, it was good to see April get to relax and enjoy herself.
BamBam and Pebbles-very nice folks that I met before the tournament on Saturday. Yet another example of bloggers marrying up and another couple of Canadians that I consider friends.
BiggestRon-Byron is always cordial and is a very nice guy. I didn't get to chat with him as much as I would have liked, but a great guy nonetheless.
Trauma-I met Trauma in the MGM on Friday night for just a minute and he seemed like a great guy. Sorry I didn't get to hang out that night as that meat loaf sandwich was whipping my ass.
Smokkee/Love Elf- I'm going to include them together, because I met them together last year at the MGM as they were announcing their engagement, ran in to them together again this year at the Venetian and on Sunday at the IP. Great folks and congrats again on the marriage. Many, many years of happiness to you both.
Waffles-My boy Waffles is, how shall I say this, not exactly what you'd expect after talking to him on the girly chat box. My mental picture of Waffles and what actually shows up are always two entirely different things. Despite that, I would hang with him any time, any where, because he's my kind of people. Very cool guy.
Veneno-I was sad to find out Veneno had to go home on Saturday, it was a quick meeting but I always enjoy talking to the Poison.
Bayne-as he strode up to the IP poker room with his Full Tilt jacket on, I politely asked "Who you looking for?" Tragedy. "he's in there, I replied" and stuck out my hand. I must say, I wasn't expecting such a big guy, but you know how those internet figmentations can be. Turned out to be a great guy, regardless of the craps fetish.
Dawn-since our first introduction last year when I flopped Quads against her in the mixed games, Dawn has always been nothing but nice. Always great to see her again.
Karol-she is always incognito and I never seem to have the time or ability to chat with her. Another nice gal that I think my wife would get along with well.
Wow, that took forever and I am whooped.
If you'll notice in the above endless descriptors, you will see "great guy" and "great gal" alot. It's because, as has been said time and time again by people way smarter than I, there are no douchebags in the bunch. None. Oh, we might have a little internet-retardation-drama on occasion, but live and in color, every single one of the people mentioned and linked above is good people, in my humble opinion.
You will also notice that I railed on a few husbands about marrying up. Let me freely admit right here and now that I already know full well that I also married up, so no need to call me out on that.
I can't wait to do it again next year and I hope that some of you will consider joining us in Oklahoma this summer for Okie-Vegas 3. I am going to be working on the dates in the next couple of weeks and will try to have them up at least six months in advance so everybody that wants to come will know far enough in advance.
Here's one more funy story from Vegas.
Sunday afternoon, my wife and I were sitting in the sports book with everybody else, watching football and minding our own business. I had stayed up all night, playing poker and drinking with Irish Jim and the Rooster.
My wife looks down the entry hall and says, oh, here comes Iggy......G-Money..........and.........Dave. I awoke from my semi-coma and looked in that direction and said, Honey, that's F-Train. She just winked and said nope, it's Dave. Watch yourself 143 lbs.of fury!!!
Until next time, I can't type anymore.
posted by GaryC @ 3:20 PM, ,
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Good lord, I have absolutely no idea where to start. None! First off, I apologize in advance for the no links in this post. It is going to be entirely too long and I don't have it in me. They should all be over to the right anyway.
I guess I should try to start at the beginning. 5:00 am local time on Thursday morning, the wife and I arise and prepare to head to the airport. We arrive in plenty of time and at 8:05 am, we are in the air headed west.
Two and a half hours later, 8:30 Vegas time, we are on the ground at the airport. We caught a huge break here as we landed at Terminal 2 instead of the mega-terminal number 1. We were at the baggage claim and out into a shuttle bus in less than 15 minutes and I ordered my first Jack and Coke in Vegas at 9:15 am. I had several $40 Jack and Cokes this weekend and this one proved to be the 1st as I loaded up a Video Poker machine at the Geisha Bar and ran through it faster than I could drink the J & C.
I must also say right here that when the wife and I walked into the Imperial Palace that morning, some 13 years and 2 months after my first trip ever to Las Vegas, as newlyweds no less, it was quite a feeling for both of us. ****Cool-ass memory number 1***
The wife and I got our room assignment, but couldn't check in, so we went upstairs to the Burger Palace first and chowed down. That would be my last meal until somewhere early on Friday morning. Next up, we got our room key and by this time, Jordan was on the ground and headed our way.
He snuck right up on me in the lobby and we exchanged hugs. (as you already know, I AM a hugger) They were manly hugs though and I resisted the urge to blow in his ear. His room wasn't ready so we headed up to our room to drop off luggage.
On the way to the elevator, we ran smack into Maudie, Gracie, sweet, sweet Pablo and Maigrey, the Pai Gow Princess, herself. They were on their way out to eat, so we headed on upstairs. After a few minutes of wandering around, I lost my first prop bet of the trip. I just knew we had taken the wrong fooking elevator, but Jordan collected the dollar upon leading us down the correct hallway.
We headed downstairs and immediately hit the Pai Gow tables, where I would record my first winning session of the trip. Bought in for $160, cashed out $162 and drank 5 Jack and Cokes. Woot! Now that's what I call a winning session.
I know that Peaker was the next one in, because I met him as he came in the front door. He had posted enough pictures on his blog that I recognized him as soon as he came in the door and yes, now that you ask, I think I gave him a hug.
Now is where things start to get incredibly blurry. I know that Jordan, Peaker and I started across the strip to go to Caesars, because we had already run into a few bloggers and knew that Blood, Special K, Otis, RecessRampage, CK and a bunch of other folks were already there. As we cross the strip, right in the fooking middle of the strip, we run into AlCantHang, Dr. Pauly and Derek, right in the fooking middle of the road. Uh, okay, us C-listers will turn around and follow you legends back to our original side of the street.
We do, chat it up for a few minutes and they continue to the IP and we continue to Caesars. There are tournaments going on, cash games going on and the poker room at Caesars is hoppin'. We make our way around and say a quick hello to everybody and then decide to head back to the IP and await their arrival. I take my seat at the bar next to Derek and AlCantHang. I also am introduced to The Fat Guy for the first time ever. I've read his stuff for years and it was truly a pleasure meeting Scott. Great.fucking.guy.
Pretty soon, Mean Gene makes an appearance and the drinks are flowing like the ice pellets in Oklahoma right now. Pauly is deep in conversation with Johnny Hughes, who also turned out to be a great guy. Something about Oklahomans and Texans just works, trust me on that. And trust me on this, apparently the Oklahomans and Irish get along like brothers as well, as Irish Jim and I had a large time for most of the weekend.
Somewhere in the middle of 34 shots, I feel a tap on the shoulder and turn around to see a guy about my height, if not 100 pounds lighter than me and he says, GCox? Yup, BuddyDank! I believe another semi-manly hug was shared here and Buddy and I shot the shit for a good long while.
As an aside here, BuddyDank and I spent a goodly amount of time just hanging out, drinking a bit and chatting and I greatly enjoyed it. He's a very down to earth guy and was very easy to chat with and I really felt like we got along great. Another one of the very many good friendships that I have no doubt will last as long as any of my friendships with people here at home. So long as he adds that country music to the playlist at BuddyDankRadio, we won't ever have a problem.
The group continued to grow and grow and grow. The group from Caesars made their way over. Change100, Iggy, G-Money, Gracie, Pablo and Maudie re-appeared. Instant Tragedy arrived a bit early and immediately became the Emcee of the evening. Sean let loose a bit on the trip and it was damn good to see. We also had our little talk that we had planned on having and I hope my insights help in some way, brother. Kat and hubby Keith make their appearance here at some point, but are whipped from the plane ride and head upstairs. I can confirm, there is a hunny bunny.
Then, at god only knows what time, Otis comes over and taps me on the shoulder, as I am chatting up my wife. He says there is an open seat at the Pai Gow table with my name on it. Ha, I look back to my wife and she says "You can't very well say no to Otis, can you?" Well, no, as a matter of fact, I can't. So off I go.
If I were to roll out the list of players at the table, I would no doubt get it wrong, so I won't try. It was an all-star table and I remember being on a bit of a heater when I get another tap on the shoulder. The legend himself, AlCantHang, would like to play my stack. Well, you can't very well say no to Al either, so, grab that seat brother. He proceeds to run my stack up another 100 or so bucks and pretty soon, has his mind set on Craps at the Casino Royale. I'm in bro, let's roll.
I'm not gonna try to name everybody that made the trip with us to the craps tables because I had many, many Jack and Cokes and actually had to sit down for a minute at the Casino Royale to avoid passing smooth out. Al proceeded to tear up that craps table and, thanks to a well-timed 6 by none other than Instant Tragedy, he was able to book a small win for both of us.
Tragedy, Astin, Al and I ended up at Denny's in the wee hours of the morning and it might have been the only thing that saved me that night/early morning. We got back to the IP around 3:15 and found many bloggers still hard at it. I made my way upstairs and passed out around 3:30, only to awake and feel completely refreshed at 7:30 am on Friday morning.
-Breakfast at the Tea House
-My wife's first poker experience in Las Vegas
-The party pooper
Until next time, I read other folks' trip reports.
posted by GaryC @ 3:46 PM, ,
Monday, December 10, 2007
Ha ha, made you look. Absoluely no time for a post just yet. Much sleep to be had because I pulled a little re-IronMan Saturday night at the Imperial Palace.
Congrats to the Rooster for taking down the Winter Gathering Tournament. I hung with him most of Saturday night after his victory and believe me, he was in rare form. Line of the night from him over and over again:
"Dude, can I get another Crown Royale and Coke?"
Congrats again Rooster and to Otis for getting heads up. The final table was epic.
More to come but it will have to be later, much later.
Thanks to all the well-wishers yesterday, the wife and I caught a serious break when the airlines decided to go ahead and land at OKC, despite the ice storm they had been receiving for 24 hours. We were the last plane in and I got to sleep in my bed last night.
Much more later and links will be hitting these pages soon.
Until next time, I snooze.
posted by GaryC @ 10:09 AM, ,
Fade To Black
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
1-Plane tickets? Ha ha, E-tickets.
2-Clothes packed - Check.
3.Bankroll in order and loaded - Check.
4.Phone charger packed - Check.
5.Emergency credit card in proper hidden place? - Check.
6.Quick trim o the mullet? - Check.
7.Donkey Card Capper? - Check.
8.Beer for Mookie in cooler? - Check.
9.Extra smokes to keep up with Derek? - Check.
This day has been the slowest day at work in as long as I can possibly remember. I feel like I worked 72 hours today and the clock was continually moving backwards at different intervals throughout the day. I may have set a personal record for cigarettes smoked and coffee drank today. All leading up to an early plane flight tomorrow morning.
You'll notice that I have beer in the cooler and I do plan on playing the Mookie tonight. Although I have to be up and around by 5:00 am in the morning to get things taken care of and ready to roll, I will still be properly lubed up and donating my stack in tonight's Mookie. Personally, I didn't think you could fly to Vegas unless you were A) drunk already or B) hellaciously hung over form the night before. I'll take B Regis, final answer!
Be sure to tune in to BuddyDankRadio tonight, should provide some invaluable entertainment during my folding exhibition.
Fade to black...........cue music.
I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again.......
Oh, like you don't remember that song.
See you tomorrow donks!
Until next time, Zebra baby!!!
posted by GaryC @ 3:27 PM, ,
Monday, December 03, 2007
Just in case you live under a rock, the newest issue of Truckin' is out. I have a little extra inspiration to pimp it this month, though you should already be reading this every month. Check out story number 5 this month and let me know what you think.
I want to send a huge thanks out to Pauly, because were it not for him and his writing, people like me would never have the desire to try. Thanks, bro, drinks on me in a few days.
What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...From the Editor's Laptop:
Welcome to the December issue of Truckin'. This year end issue has a couple of holiday themed stories including a spicy tale from Betty After Dark. Johnny Hughes returns along with everyone's favorite Norwegian writer Sigge S. Amdal. This issue also features the debut of two new authors Gary Cox and Dwayne Williamson. And I have a little Santa story as well.
If you like this issue, then please tell your friends about your favorite stories. It takes a few seconds to pass along Truckin'. The writers certainly appreciate your support. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know anyone who is interested in being added to the mailing list.
Thanks to the writers who exposed their souls to the world, and did it for free. Thanks for inspiring me and taking that leap of faith with me.Thanks again to everyone for wasting your precious time month after month with Truckin'. See you next year.
"Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it." - James Baldwin
***The preceding shamelessly ganked from the Truckin' web-site cuz I'm lazy like that.***
T-2 days and my countdown clock is in full swing. Fooking clock is in slow motion though.
For any of you that might not immediately recognize a big redneck with a pony-tail down to the middle of his back and a fresh Jack and Coke in his hand, I will be wearing this shirt on Thursday at the Imperial Palace.Are you jealous yet, Falstaff?
MATH tonight, 6-handed regular blind structure. Be there or be wherever the hell else you are.
Tournament: Mondays at the Hoy
When: Every Monday. 10pm ET
Game: NLHE Deepstack-6 Max
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:22 PM, ,