Category Archives: Pokerish

What’s lion for “Goodbye”?

Last Saturday Jason and I took a day trip to Las Vegas (something that is probably too easy to do) for wedding planning – cake tastings and flower picking. Before that though, we made a stop to say goodbye to these guys:

MGM Lion

If you’ve not heard, the MGM Grand is closing down the lion exhibit. I always loved sitting in the poker room and being able to look up and catch a glimpse of a lion. I’ll miss that. Of course, now the poker room is dismantled too and instead shoved in a corner of the casino floor diagonally across from the old room. It reminds me of the poker “room” in a Reno Harrah’s. Depressing.

That being said, I look forward to what the MGM Grand Renovation results in. The new rooms look nice (very Aria-like) and I’m sure everything will be back in order soon.

Sure will miss these guys though.

Big paw

More photos at Facebook or Flickr.

Seven Year Itch

Dude, I have been blogging for nearly 7 years. SEVEN. How crazy is that?

These are the kind of things you realize when you’re updating your blog and getting WordPress back to a happy place. Spruced the place up a bit, with much love to David Stagg who is a master with a .psd. I’m particularly fond of the “Random Posts” feature down in the bottom right there. So far I’ve been treated to reminders of Chris actually winning a Stud H/L game and me experiencing road rage. Indeed one of those happens far more than the other.

I’ve been remiss in recapping the WBPT Winter Classic, largely because I gave up on trip reports years ago and secondly because I suck at blogging. I do want to again thank CK, Al, CJ, Otis & F-Train for their assorted assistance. Thank you all for coming. Thanks to the good people at Aria for hosting us. And thanks for welcoming the boyfriend and my friend Mandy. You guys are really swell.

Highlights for me include a now-traditional Friday morning brunch with Dawn, and OhCaptain taking the initiative to get a group photo of us. I was never in the first one, as it was snapped post-tourney and Chris and I had ventured off in search of food. We remain a good looking bunch.

WPBT Winter Classic 2005

WPBT Winter Classic 2010

I hope you had a great New Year and are planning big things for 2011. I personally had a pretty darn good 2010, due in no small part to meeting the love of my life. And we’re only five days in to it and 2011 is shaping up to be an adventure.

Maybe it’ll give me something to blog about again. :)

Dear Waffles

Darlin’ – it’s sweet how you are always so concerned about my poker play, really. But I guess you think I’m kidding when I say that I really don’t care about the money and sit in blogger games just to donate. A $25 NL game at 12:30 at night when I’ve already taken my dose of Tylenol Cold Nighttime (yum) is not a game I’m bringing my best to. When did we start taking each other’s play in those games seriously, anyway? Surely I’m not the only one who remembers the infamous late night Party Poker sessions where every hand was raised pre-flop and God help you if Iggy was on your left because he was pushing all-in 90% of the time? Those rocked. Isn’t that how we’re supposed to play with each other? And as for me cracking your Jacks with KQ… do we need to revisit the topic of implied Waffles tilt odds? [And helloooo, I had overs.] I know your remarks come from genuine concern – and really, it’s adorably sweet – but rest assured I got my money out of Full Tilt and what I play off now is all free. In fact, since you signed up with my affiliate code (Texas72), it’s actually to my benefit to sit in a game with you and donk around. So don’t worry about me baby. :)


Not that I’m counting or anything, but I have a mere FIVE days remaining in my college career. I’m going to try and make every class next week, but I don’t think I’d wager any money on it, as the apathy level has been near record-highs the past few weeks. Next Friday I will be in a fantastic mood, and will cap it off with baseball and drinking. And then, perhaps a $2 rebuy tourney if Drizz is up for it.

After that I’ve got two weeks till graduation, in which I will take one final and complete a Congressional research class that I technically have till the end of the year to finish, but I don’t want anything hanging over my head come the morning of May 18th.

I’ve very much looking forward to graduation weekend. Not only are April, Heather, and Jen coming in for the party, but it’ll be the first time ever that my “nephew” has been to his mother’s home state of Texas. If there’s anything cuter than a two-year-old covered in Iron Works BBQ sauce I don’t know what it is. And with the crew that’s crashing here, you can count on crazy dial-a-shot poker being played.

And after that… well, as I told my best friend Jana, the period after May 20th exists in my mind as a big white space. I really need to work on filling that… cross your fingers for me. :)

Just Because

I’ll give a buyin to next week’s Mookie to the first person who can correctly answer the following two musical questions.

Why is this song on my iPod? – “Who Killed Tangerine” by Tears For Fears
Why does this hearing these two songs always make me want to play poker? – “Let’s Get It Started” by The Black Eyed Peas & “Toxic” by Britney Spears

I’ll take submissions until noon CT tomorrow, if there is no winner then, I’ll give hints and we’ll try again.

Well that was quick. I expected Ryan would easily get the first question thanks to his music geekness and knowledge of my movie tastes:

I know why the Tears For Fears song is on your iPod.
Because you’re a dork with the Fever Pitch soundtrack.

To save myself some dork points, I don’t actually own the entire soundtrack, just that one song. But yes, I do own it because it’s played at the end of the movie. And I absolutely love that movie. During our visit to NYC, Kat asked if I had seen it, which caused Heather and I to enter into a laughing fit. Yes, I’ve seen it. Thanks to a growing love of baseball and an unimaginative HBO programming director, I’ve seen it a lot.

The second question, I thought would take a little bit longer, seeing as how it’s not something you can pull up with a Google search. But I suppose if anyone was going to get it, it’d be someone “who has spent a hundred hours there.”

The MGM Grand poker room is surrounded by bars (probably why we love it so much) – one in the Sportsbook and the other a dark, trendy, loud-music blaring, bartender dancing on the bar, bar called Centerfuge. And oh how they love Brit and the Black Eyed Peas there. Those two songs are part of the endless loop of dance music that comes spilling out of the bar and into the poker room. Spend enough time there and you can’t help but associate the two. I always love the point at about 4 in the morning when you realize the poker room has gotten quiet, since the bar closed down hours ago and the music shut off.

So congratulations to Ryan, whom I suppose you can expect to see in an upcoming Mookie. Future contests are possible if I feel the need to slap something vaguely poker related up here.

Where The Heart Is

The more I travel, the more I come to realize that right here is where I really belong. The sight of the first bluebonnets of the season is that much sweeter when you woke up in cold snowy Newark. I had a great time visiting Heather, seeing NYC [where I rode the subway several times, but thankfully never the F train, as it likely would have died on the middle of the track due to a loss of power], and spending two days in Atlantic City. I’ll maybe kinda sorta consider a more extensive write-up later, but right now I have an adorable dog who has missed me and a body rejoicing at getting out of that damn sweatshirt and bra and into a tank top. But in the interest of providing a Monday morning chuckle, I point you to my Flickr stream, and recount the following –

At the B bar in the Borgata, with Al and BG:
Me: “I like Atlantic City. It’s just like Vegas; only ruder.”
BG: “Well, you are in New Jersey.”

And my favorite exchange of the weekend, the one that is likely to make me randomly giggle for at least the next week… needs a little bit of background first.
Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, found me in the Borgata poker room playing a few hands before the impending arrival of Al and BG. Once I got word that the boys had arrived, I left the poker room and immediately headed for the B bar fully intending to consume a steady flow of alcohol for the remainder of the day. Thus, at 4pm Eastern time I texted JoeSpeaker to see if it was too early in California for a dial-a-shot. I was told indeed it was, as there was a t-ball game going on and apparently the league frowns on a parent bringing his own flask to knock back shots every time his phone rings. Those of us on the East Coast moved on; specifically to Red Square at the Tropicana. As it was now 8pm Eastern, I thought a second try was in order, so after finally securing a cell signal, fired off another text message to Mr. Speaker asking if it was okay now. The reply came:

Haha. Not yet. At moms bday party. DRY bday party. 3 hours from beer.

I read the message. Being a native English speaker, I took it all in, made sense of the words, how they fit in the sentence, etc. I got the general gist – no – but I was hung up on one part. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what the fuck a D-R-Y birthday party was. I mean, I’d heard of BYOB, and DUI, and since we had been talking about dial-a-shots, and I (along with everyone within a 20 yard radius of me) had been drinking like a champ that evening, I figured this DRY had something to do with it, but I couldn’t make it out… Drink Really… or something something Your? I was stumped. I handed the phone to Heather, showed her the message, and told her of my problem. “What the hell does D-R-Y mean?” She too was not immediately familiar with this acronym. For about twenty seconds, our brains both went to work at it, faces showing we were completely stumped. Finally, a few of my brain cells floated up through the Malibu and cranberry, reached the surface and triggered the lightbulb. “Oooooooooooooooooooohhhhh!!” Cue hysterical laughter.

BG returned to us and we decided to try him and see if he too found Speaker’s message mysteriously cryptic. “He means ‘dry’. As in, no liquor. And it’s in all caps for emphasis.” Cue BG’s eye-rolling, head-shaking “girls” look.

Upon relaying the story to Mr. Speaker later that evening, he laughed and then asked “And did you continue drinking?” to which I replied “Of course!”

Maybe not our proudest moment, but definitely one of the most memorable.

And You Thought It Was Just Me…

Last week was Scott’s wedding anniversary, and to celebrate, he coaxed his shy but kick-ass-tourney player wife out to Mookie’s with us. We made sure to leave plenty early, and thanks to the dry roads we were there with time to spare. Still, an hour in to the drive, Brooke looked around outside and said “Where the fuck are we? Jesus Christ…” to which Scott replied “Well honey, I told you I’d take you out of town for the weekend.”

As Scott predicted, Brooke went on to win the tourney after she slaughtered half of the final table. Not bad for her second time playing live. I was the final table bubble girl [donkeys calling my all-in with overpairs...] and Scott was right behind me. Waiting around for Brooke gave me plenty of time to exercise my Sidekick thumbs as well as play with the dog. Here’s a crappy Sidekick picture of it telling me how much it wants to come home with me.

From Michael Craig comes my laugh of the day:
The only way our government is going to catch Osama bin Laden is if he plays online poker.
Along those lines, someone want to convince me that I shouldn’t request a check from Stars, FTP, and UB and use it to buy myself a PlayStation 3? It’s not like I play poker much these days anyway…
Just because I can, a moment of weather tilt for my frozen friends:
Weather Tilt
Should I not mention that I am blogging from the comfort of a sunny patch of grass? *snicker* Rumor has it it’ll be this way through the week, which is awesome. It can rain all it wants to Saturday; I won’t be here.
Iggy beat me to it today, but I’ve been wanting to mention Haley’s awesome report on the mess. I’m sure at some point y’all have wondered why that URL didn’t point you where you thought it would. Haley has the whole sordid story for you – a must read.

It’s Too Bad Poker Is A Terrible Kisser

williamscottmcmillan: FROM AN UNNAMED SOURCE “the next time you talk/chat with april, do ask her about her prospective boyfriend from denver.
the IT nerd who is about as funny as steve urkel.
she’ll thank you for it.”
thisisnotapril: LOL
thisisnotapril: Dude, he doesn’t drink or gamble
thisisnotapril: It ain’t happening
williamscottmcmillan: sad sad sad.
thisisnotapril: I have my standards
williamscottmcmillan: sounds like a damn mormon
thisisnotapril: You’d never let me date someone like that
williamscottmcmillan: fucking loser
williamscottmcmillan: he will die alone with cats
thisisnotapril: He has a dog actually :)
williamscottmcmillan: yeah the dog will leave him for someone that has
more fun… he is dying alone with cats
thisisnotapril: And when I said I was cold, he did not offer me his coat
williamscottmcmillan: dick
thisisnotapril: Major faux paus when dealing with a southern woman
thisisnotapril: Rest assured, all applicants who pass the initial
screening will go through a secondary screening from you :)
williamscottmcmillan: POKER WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOU A COAT

And later, we’ll go to the fake Pure on 6th Street

You know how you can eat at the same place literally every day for weeks, and be so sick of it at the end; yet months later you find yourself inexplicably craving it?


Maybe it’s just me.

P.S. While you’re here, tell Chris Happy Birthday.

Happy Degenerate Birthday

It’s 11 am on a Saturday morning and I’m exhausted. I haven’t been to class in days, and skipped out of work early on Thursday to feed the poker jones. Last night I went to bed around 3am, having hit that point where I was tired, but had just enough of a second wind to keep me up for a bit. Yesterday was my 30th birthday and while I wouldn’t exactly qualify my birthday celebrations as partying like a rock star, while cleaning up the kitchen this morning it dawned on me that turning 30 really isn’t that much different from turning 21. But maybe that’s just how bloggers roll.

Thursday afternoon was a beautiful day in Austin, with bright blue skies and crisp clean air. I squelched my desire to hit a local poker room and play some cards and headed off to work instead. Of course, Scott was having a similar idea, so about an hour after I had arrived I heard him whisper “Psst… wanna go play some cards?” Yes. Yes I do.

Scott doesn’t blog often, but when he does, he gives Iggy a serious run for his money in the uber-post department. I keep telling him he needs to break these dissertations into multiple parts, but he refuses, giving me a guilt trip about how “I can’t be bothered to read his blog even though he only posts once a month”, blah, blah, blah. I did read his most recent post – well, most of it – enough to get the gist of his interesting night the last time he was out playing cards. I knew all about The Penguin.

When we arrived at the game, the main table was full, so Scott and I waited for a few minutes to get another game going. While waiting, he turned to me and said “Do you see it?” “What?” “The Penguin.” “Oh… oh my God. You’re exactly right.” There, in the middle of the table, surrounded by high schoolers, twenty-something douchebags, and old Stud players, was a Batman character come to life. Hunched over the table in an unzipped hoodie and greasy hair in his eyes, The Penguin was not having a good afternoon. But he was happy to see Scott there, and dying to get some of his money back.

We start a second, short-handed table after a few more players arrive. Our table is calm, quiet, and while it is playing like a 1/2/12 game, we’re having a good time – just a friendly game of cards. We hear laughter come from the other table, and soon get word that the Penguin has busted. It’s not long before he rebuys, but this time he moves to our table, taking the seat two to my left. His beautiful girlfriend is always sitting behind him, just quietly watching and taking it all in. She’s very sweet, offering the table gum and getting coffee for a player. It’s hard, but I resist the urge to ask her what the fuck she is doing with him? Does she think because he plays poker he’s cool?? Does she know he kinda really sucks at it? Does she really find him attractive?? Really???? Call me shallow, but there is no amount of money that could overpower that boy’s looks. He doesn’t even have charm or wit in his corner. Instead, he acts like a smart-ass 10 year old who has never been out of the house; a social retard with no disconnect between what the brain thinks and the mouth then says. He asks everyone what they bought in for, a classless move that the club owner tells him to knock off. He asks why, and is then told “Cause it’s like asking how big a guy’s thing is. You want someone to ask you that??” Oo! Someone ask! I wanna know if that’s the secret! He thinks, because of my association with Scott, that I’m an easy target. I raise pre-flop with AQo, he calls, and the flop is paired, all low cards. I bet out, and he announces “You don’t got it. You got nothing” while grabbing a handful of chips. Thirty seconds later, the chips are back on the felt and he’s staring at the flop, while another guy at the table laughs at him for the sudden lack of confidence. He folds, then whines when I muck – “You’re not going to show me?? Aww, come on.” Um, no. My favorite moment was when I was checking the text messages I was getting from a now-departed Scott, and The Penguin looked at my phone and snidly asked “Why didn’t you get the new one?” “This is the new one”, girlfriend and I said at the same time; her with obvious lust in her eye. Honey, if you can identify the cool gadgets, then by all means get your pretty face in the other room and hook up with Vanilla Ice’s younger brother or the hot Italian high schooler who are both sporting new Treos!! Plus Vanilla’s got about $500 in front of him, whereas Penguin keeps stealing money from your wallet.

My run in with the Penguin has lead me to conclude that the UIGEA is going to lead to a dramatic decrease in the number of anti-social losers that have been having regular sex with beautiful women. No longer will they be able to tell stories of depositing $20 on Stars and running it into the thousands (find the obvious tell there, kids); causing beautiful but maybe not quite so bright women to fall into their beds. You know, after they clean off the comic books, dirty laundry, and potato chip bags. So there’s the silver lining out of the bill – more pretty girls for you respectable young men, and social Darwinism can begin to take its course.

Thursday was capped off with much drinking and good friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen in years. The Kid was put Under Suspicion, because at a place known for its Everclear margaritas, he orders a frozen one, bananna flavored. To give you an idea of the evening, I believe the last thing I said before passing out in bed was “What’s that crinkling sound?? Oh, it’s the $20 in my bra.”

Friday was another beautiful day, and after sleeping deliciously late, I headed out in search of a birthday cake (bought with that $20) and cleaned the house in preparation for the evening’s poker game. Thanks for all of the birthday e-mails, text messages, and phone calls – I choose to not answer my father’s question of “Does it feel any different to be 30?” as my answer thus far was that yes, I’m getting hit on about 10 times more, and by men I would actually consider dating; and apparently I no longer get hangovers. So far, thirty totally rocks.

As usual, our poker game got off to a late start, but this time we had celebrity guests. In addition to Amy coming out, Dan was in town along with his roommate Sang (known as The Blogfodder), and Kat had also returned this week and dropped by too. As it is the Offical Drink of Pokerblog, Amy and Dan both brought gifts of Tuaca; a bottle of which we polished off between the first SNG bust out and the start of the cash game. As happens with bloggers in attendence, pictures were taken, and things were recorded :

A smoke break podcast was by no means professional, but topics include Dan’s sunglasses, flashing butts, and Paul Darden’s “flashlight”.

Random snipets from our cash game after -
[That male voice you mainly hear is Scott's]

More Penguin

Pacifist Poker

I’m Rick James, bitch
[Note - there was an Ace on the turn]

Fun with Mr. PotatoHead

The DeadMoneyInc. School of Tells

Amy Calistri’s sexual past [lets see how many Google hits I get for that one!]

All in all, a fantastic time. Tonight, it’s off to the races, where the BoyGenius gifted me with a race card full of picks. I just had two sugar cookies for breakfast, and I’d lay solid odds that around 1 am tomorrow I’ll be in my favorite booth at Katz’s, under the picture of Shea Stadium, eating fried pickles and knocking back a cocktail or two. Sunday is therefore devoted to football and detoxing.


Can we start a program whereby one of you comes over to my house, sits near me while I’m blogging (but not looking over my shoulder, cause I totally hate that) and physically keeps me from hitting the delete button, especially after I’ve spent hours on a post?

Cause that would really be helpful.