Filed under Vegas

WPBT Winter Classic Update – Last Longer

The lovely and talented VinNay has volunteered to take on coordination of the last longer. (Should that be in capitals? I feel like it I put it in capitals it makes it like a porn film. I’m going without capitals.) VinNay has changed things up a bit this year, moving to teams of 2 with a $20 buyin. You want in on this? You have to get your buddy and then you either:

  1. Post your team on the WPBT Facebook event, in the thread VinNay started.
  2. Tweet at him – @VinNay – and please use the #wpbt hashtag as it helps the rest of the gang to see what’s up and totally confuses Florida retirees.
  3. Email (OLD SCHOOL) vincent dot catanzaro at gmail dot com.
Also, pack your ice skates, because AlCantHang pointed out that there will be ice skating too!  I’m encouraging Chilly to come up with a WPBT Olympics surrounding this and other winter fun.
Finally, several of you have inquired about where we’ll meet on Thursday night given that the Geisha Bar is no longer. I will once again throw in the vote for the Sherwood Forest Bar, as we did last year – it’s still standing (as far as I know…) and has always served us well.

 

WPBT Winter Classic Weekend Approaches!

We’re a month out from the WPBT Winter Classic weekend! Looking forward to getting together with old friends. Looks to be a smaller crowd this year, unless of course you’re planning on going but you haven’t adjusted your RSVP to indicate such, in which case do get on that. And if you’re on the fence; get off it and just come. It’s Vegas. You’ll love it. There’s some cool stuff in the works; including appearances by a couple of old-school bloggers – one of which being Carter aka @cubanlinks. Some of the other things to bring to your attention:

  • Dan is planning a hike at Red Rock Canyon for those who are interested. Tentatively planned for Friday morning. Get details on the Facebook invite.
  • Dave is planning a visit to the Neon Museum; if you’re interested connect with him.
  • And Curtis is going to be flying a plane or something crazypants awesome like that, and you’re invited to tag along.

If there’s interest in running a last-longer this year; just let me know if you’d like to coordinate! And all suggestions welcome on where to meet up Thursday night, seeing as how the Geisha Bar is no more.

I’m still requesting rooms at Aria for those who are interested. Get the full details here and get a request in ASAP if you’re wanting one.

WPBT Winter Classic 2012

Oh yes, it’s that time again. If you missed the tweets earlier this month, the date is set for December 1, at Aria. We’ll have the regular tournament schedule they use (minus the rebuys) and stay tuned for details on last longer team coordination.

We’ll also have some games going for us on Friday the 30th, though this time I’m moving it to earlier in the day – say mid-afternoon; as the past couple of years it’s been near impossible to round up enough folks to start a table around 8 or 9pm. (Hitting the bar with the just off the plane folks is way more enticing). If you’re one of the ones to arrive Friday evening, never fret – it’s not hard to get a blogger game going somewhere (and besides, you want a drink anyway).

The wonderful folks at Aria are once again extending the poker room rate to us. That rate is $99 + tax + resort fee Sunday through Thursday; then $139 + tax + resort fee Friday & Saturday. If you’d like to book, send me the info but PLEASE help me out and submit it in the following format. I started a new job in San Francisco last month, which is awesome, but the commute has pretty much killed off most of my “down” time – so please, do me a favor and make it stupid simple for me.

Email the following to me at thisisnotapril at gmail dot com

Your Name
Your Address
Your Email Address
Date Checking in
Date Checking out
Room Type (King, 2 Queens)
Smoking/Non

This weekend does again coincide with the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon, which supports a great cause, and which many of your fellow bloggers are planning to run this year (or at least they said they were!). I’m sure we’ll have a cheering squad like last year – more details to come.

Please RSVP on Facebook so I have at least a rough count of how many we’ll be this year.

And more details to come in general – but now you can make your flights and book your rooms – IT’S ON.

What Not To Do At Your Wedding

When thinking about my wedding, there wasn’t a whole lot that was keeping me up at night out of fear things that were going to go terribly wrong. The main thing I worried about, aside from everyone having a terrible time and hating everything, was that I would be sick on the wedding day. I thought about how terrible that must be, and sure it has to happen to people, because it’s life and life is messy, but OH MAN how much would that suck? So could NOT get sick on the wedding day. For which I probably shouldn’t have picked a wedding in Vegas, but that’s neither here nor there, because ever since I quit smoking? Never been sick from Vegas. I get that crappy “I’ve been on a plane” dehydrated feeling, but never sick.

At least until the wedding.

We got in to Vegas on Wednesday; giving ourselves a day to do silly things like get a marriage license and have a nice dinner together before the family and friends arrived. Got in to airport, got car, got license, got checked in at Aria, got bumped up to a nicer suite but naturally I was unhappy with it because it smelled like smoke (you think I will store my wedding dress in this??) and also lacked the second bathroom that was what appealed to me about the suite type I *had* booked. Jason called down and explained it to them; that while we really loved that they tried to do something nice and bump us up a suite level; we kinda wanted what we had asked for in the first place. That, unfortunately, was not available, and so to compensate the lovely folks at Aria put us in the Executive Hospitality Suite, which OMG. Square footage-wise, it was bigger than our house; though a large bit of that was taken up by the giant boardroom in the suite. We should have video conferenced everyone in and called it day. It was awesome having that space, especially when it was wedding day morning and 10 women needed to be in one room, getting made up and hair styled. But I digress… Got ready for dinner and started to feel tired and icky. Normal for post-flight, so ignored it. Went to dinner and had a lovely time despite my grilling the waiters on where all the seafood is from and frowning when told it was from Gulf Coast. (I like my shrimp with two eyes, thank you!). Noticed on the way back to Aria that I was a bit winded. Now at this point I hadn’t been able to run for a couple of weeks (doctor’s orders) but even with that someone who has been running for 45 minutes at a time should not get winded walking from MGM to Aria. Something wasn’t right.

Decided a good night’s sleep was in order, got it and woke up Thursday still. feeling. crappy. At that point I then debated myself on if I would go to a doctor or not. I figured 90% chance I just had a cold and would be told such and sent on my way. But, my lovely Maid of Honor had herself been feeling ill earlier in the week and thought it might have been the flu, and if it was and I now had it I needed to get to the doctor ASAP! But it was probably really me just being a wuss. After debating for several minutes I decided screw it, there was really no better time in life than now to be *that girl*. Fortunately there are three (3!) urgent care clinics on the Las Vegas Strip (2 Walgreens, 1 CVS – file that away for later) so it wasn’t a tough trip at all. Short wait even! I expected to meet with the doctor, have her tell me I had a cold and to suck it up, and which point I would demand for some antibiotics anyway because sure it was a cold NOW but what if it got worse and hit right when I was on my honeymoon? It’s Las Vegas, it can’t be hard to get someone to write you an unnecessary prescription, right?

Lo and behold, when the doctor did her exam she informed me that in fact I had a sinus infection and would be leaving with all sorts of prescriptions, no begging required. Awesome! (Not really) On the plus side, I told myself I was catching it early and that since I was getting the drugs started now, I wouldn’t feel any worse than I did right then – just a low grade crappy. Crisis averted!

And it totally was, until Thursday evening when while I should have been enjoying party time with my bridesmaids and family, I was sitting in a corner feeling like absolute crap. No fun, party of one! So much for my plans to teach the girls all about the joys of yelling “Pai Gow” in a crowded casino. I went off to bed at a totally crazy hour – something like 10pm. Had I actually slept, it would have been awesome.

Friday I woke up having not really slept the night before and feeling feverish and exhausted. I told my lovely groom that perhaps it would be best if I skipped the wedding rehearsal. I know a lot of brides wouldn’t even DREAM of such a thing, but ladies, let me tell you – it sure is a great way to see how your guy does under pressure! And honestly, when you feel bad enough, you don’t even care. The bride really only has one part in the ceremony, and as long as my Dad knew what he was doing, we’d be good. I was totally confident that Jason and Dacia had it under control. [Also ladies? Make sure you have an awesome Maid of Honor. If you're not lucky like me and have a best friend who is also awesome at organizing and coordinating and getting shit done, then you have a tough choice ahead. Choose wisely!]

I felt absolutely terrible for not being there. I should have been there, it was my wedding for God’s sake. It was so upsetting. When I finally woke up and felt like moving to the couch in our RIDICULOUS suite Aria so nicely upgraded us to; it kinda hit me that I was missing out on the awesome wedding weekend I had planned. Aside from the significance of Las Vegas in mine and Jason’s relationship, aside from the fact that we both love it; a big reason for getting married there was because it would be FUN and we could hang out with our friends and enjoy time with our favorite people in our favorite place. And I was sleeping through all that.

I was able to rally for a cocktail welcoming happy hour for our friends and family, which was important to me as it really became the only chance I had to see folks aside from the big day. There’s a photo from that night, just me and Jason, and it’s my favorite from the entire weekend – because in that one shot is all the emotion and love that comes from letting yourself be vulnerable enough to want and need someone else. It’s tough to be that way, and often it’s only when we’re sick or hurting in some way that we show it (and by “we” I pretty much mean me and about 3 of you reading this) – but that’s what a marriage is about. Admitting that while you are awesome and wonderful you would in fact be better having someone awesome by your side. My hope for you, future bride or random person reading this, is that you don’t have to get sick on your wedding to figure that out.*

The wedding day itself was wonderful. It went by too quickly, and I didn’t get to see enough people or talk to everyone. But I got to marry the love of my life and be surrounded by friends while doing it; so I can’t really complain. I would have loved to have not been sick that weekend, of course, but other than that I think I wouldn’t change a thing. Well… there was one thing.

 

*But if you’re not sure, book it to the Imperial Palace with a pack of cigarettes and sit at the Geisha Bar for a few hours – smoke the whole pack, drink cheap wine, and touch everything. Breathe deeply. Rub your eyes.

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.

WPBT 2011 Recap

Man, someone is behind on a trip report.

But at least I can get it out before 2011 ends, right? That’s progress. Kinda.

Trip reports are weird. If you were there, you don’t need me to tell you what happened. If you weren’t there, you probably don’t want to hear about every little detail. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN TOO BAD YOU WEREN’T THERE. Right? Right.

So. I’ll say this: HUGE thanks for CaityCaity, Jordan, and JoeSpeaker for organizing the assorted side-events. Big thanks to the crew at Pokerist.com for their contribution. Gigantic thanks to the folks at Aria, who continue to be awesome and a delight to work with. Seriously, at this point I don’t really even do much – it’s all on autopilot really. The props are entirely to them.

I did not win the tournament. I didn’t even really play many hands. Stupid cards.

They made up for it though on Sunday. Got in a quick session before leaving for the race watching. Naturally I end up sitting next to the one guy who is also from Silicon Valley working for completely overhyped startup that will not be named. Hope that stock pays out cause the poker game won’t.
Favorite part of the game was the hand where I flopped a set and turned a boat on a board littered with straight and flush draws. Check-raised on the river which sent my opponent into the tank. I was a little worried he was going to drown in there actually. I’m sure that whole “staring and thinking and making comments” bit works sometimes, but come on. I check raised you on the river. I either have it or I am full of shit. Pick one. The “I wanted you to call” comment will get you nothing. I wanted you to bet so I could check-raise.
Couple of hands later was bummed to get a small pocket pair, flop a set and then find two all-ins in front of me. Reluctantly let it go… surely someone either had the flush already or had a bigger set. Of course no. And again, would have turned a boat and stacked them both. Excellent way to insure the entire table hated me, especially with me leaving to watch the race right after.

The race watching was fun. Hate hearing about the general clusterfuck that was the race itself though. Loved being there to cheer on our crew, and having the likes of Pauly and Grange there to come up with new cheers was highly entertaining. No doubt a lot of runners were pissed to find out that in fact there was NOT a 2-for-1 hooker special at the finish.

Was a more low-key trip this year. We’re all older (it’s TRUE) and now I know what people do in Vegas at 10am. [Gamble in pajamas, apparently] Really liked the vibe on this trip – more relaxed, more of an emphasis on hanging out and letting whatever happen.

Let’s see if we can’t continue that for next year. And you better join us.

#wpbt final details + Pokerist.com Sponsorship!

It’s time! If you’re not already on your way to the airport, perhaps you’re counting down the hours… either way, we’ll be seeing you soon. Here’s the schedule again along with some exciting news!

Thursday:

Sherwood Forest Bar at Excal – If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of organizing, it’s pointless to try and put a start time on the drinking. I suggest keeping an eye on the #wpbt hashtag, you’ll see when folks start gathering. I’d estimate anywhere from 5-8 as a start – really depends on when folks land. Please note that the Sherwood Forest Cafe, which was right around the corner from the bar, has been closed and is scheduled to reopen today as the Lynyrd Skynyrd Cafe & Bar. I’m told by the folks at Excal that this *does not* have an impact on the Sherwood Forest Bar and that it has not changes names, but you never know.

Friday:

Beer drinkers unite at The Pub in Monte Carlo, starting at 4pm.
We have two tables at Aria starting at 6pm.

Saturday:

The big day. Tourney at noon, $125 buyin, follows the Aria daily tournament structure.

If you don’t have your last longer team in place, find Caity this weekend… because your good friend Jordan from HighOnPoker got a sponsorship with Pokerist.com and they’ll be adding $1,000 to the last longer prize pool. And there’s more…

Sunday:

Football. Games start at 10am, and per Falstaff’s suggestion, let’s go with The Pub at MonteCarlo. It’s close, easily accessible from Aria, and no doubt has beers you didn’t get to try Friday.
This again is one you’ll want to keep an eye on Twitter for; but keep in mind that Pokerist.com is also sponsoring $1,000 towards the bar tab for game-watching – so you’ll want to be where Jordan is! :)

See you soon gang! Remember, Twitter is the best way to keep up with where folks are, and find someone for breakfast, lunch, dinner at 3am. Don’t be shy, just jump on in.

___________________________________________

And now, a word about our awesome sponsor!

What IS Pokerist.com?

Pokerist.com is a web project developed as a part of the information support network for the Texas Poker application by Kamagames Ltd.
Texas Poker is an application for mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android devices) and social networks. It is currently one of the most successful poker applications in the Apple App Store and Android Market. Millions of players all over the world play poker in this app daily. Yet it is not an online poker room – the game is just for fun and for the sake of sport, no real world money involved. The application is actively developed yet remaining quite simple to learn and play.
In the late spring 2011 the Pokerist.com website was launched with initial purpose to serve as online business card. But today with more than 15,000 unique online users daily it has totally overgrown the initial aim and now must focus on searching for more and more new ways to improve content to keep players happy. Just now developers are working on transforming the website into entire social platform for poker players all around the world.

Gamble for Good #wpbt

I was reading yesterday about a woman lamenting how her generous friend would pay for them to both go to dinner, spa days, etc. and how it made the friend feel bad because she couldn’t afford these things but her friend could, and as a result, was always paying. She wanted it to stop. And having been on both sides of that coin, I understood her feeling but also knew that the generous friend was paying because she could, because she wanted the company, and at no point was she ever doing it out of pity or charity. And the thing that came across in the comments was “Think if the roles were reversed. If you could help, you would, because that’s what friends do.”

And it got me thinking. This little community we have here, of assorted misfits and degenerates, we’ve come together in good time and bad. It used to be so much easier. Bored on a Friday night? Log in to Poker Stars and fire up IRC – there’s your friends. Find yourself in a tough time or just passionate about a cause? Organize a charity poker tournament and have your wildest expectations exceeded. Now? Now it’s harder. [There. Criminalizing online poker keeps us from raising needed funds to cure cancer. There's your PR angle. You're welcome.]

Many of you know that one of the “OG” Poker Bloggers, The Fat Guy, was recently diagnosed with cancer and has been blogging his treatment journey. He’s got a lot under his belt so far but still has a long road ahead of him. I mention this here because one, if you can, I know a donation would be appreciated. And I really wanted to find a way to make the WPBT WInter Classic an event for TFG, similar to the tourneys we used to run online. Unfortunately, as we know, the rules regarding brick & mortar events are far more complex than those (rules?) surrounding online play. So we have to get creative.

I for one, will be dedicating my play in the tourney to TFG. On the off chance that I win the tourney, I pledge half my winnings to him. So, you should all fold when in a hand against me. Just make a note.

Seriously though, I count myself incredibly lucky to be able to make this trip and see you all. In the spirit of the holidays, thankfulness, or whatever reason you can muster, I’d encourage us all to play a hand for our favorite cause, roll the dice for a friend, let it ride in the name of doing good. Just cause you can.

Final WPBT details coming later today… wrapping up a few last details.

WPBT Update – 3 days

We’ve reached the point where you start counting down the number of “sleeps” before touching ground in Las Vegas. Many of you I’ll be seeing this Thursday. I can’t wait.

My co-twit Chilly summed up our weekend plans thustly:

Couple of changes to that – one, Steel Panther sadly canceled their show Saturday night, so it’s off the table. For Sunday, I’m still on the hunt for a place that could accomodate a large group of people but not make us all share one tab (trouble) or having a thousands-dollars minimum (more trouble). Will update more, but for now I’m leaning towards either a) having a volunteer camp out somewhere to secure seats or b) everyone meeting at the Hilton’s new sportsbook because it’s plenty big, drinks are cheap, so is the food, and how can you not love the liberal use of adjectives here? I know Hilton is at the wrong end of the strip, but it has a monorail station. I’m leaning towards Hilton, unless someone wants to volunteer to stake out a spot at another location.

Questions? Concerns? Let me know! If you haven’t put together your last longer-team, then GET ON IT and update here.

See you soon!

WPBT Update: Last Longer

Good news folks! The lovely and talented Katie B has volunteered to coordinate a last-longer contest for us this year. Same drill that you’re familiar with – put together your team of 3, assign a cute name, then post that info in the comments of this post. When we arrive in Vegas, each team will need to give Katie $15. Winner payouts will be determined based on the number of teams entering.

Thanks Katie for taking this one on!

And now, in the remember when category…

While I’ve never taken part in it before (because it’s cold and starts early in the morning) the golf outing has become an annual event of its own. Here’s some photos from the first one, courtesy of Astin. And please do contact Mr. Joe Speaker if you’d like to take part in the fun this year.

IMG_5734