Friday, 6/3/05

Posted by in Poker

I made my way to the Rio shortly after the WSOP was scheduled to begin, knowing that I could count on our boys to hang in there for at least an hour. I needed every minute of sleep I could get, you see, since I was beginning to feel a tad run-down. Right as I got to the Rio my cell phone rang – it was a friend from Austin calling. He kept me company as I wandered through the maze of slot machines and tried to find the pathway to the WSOP. I made one brief stop on my way, and shared with him my bad news:

“I think I’m getting sick. I need to pick up some drugs so I can make it through this weekend.”

“You can’t get sick! You’re in VEGAS. No one gets sick in Vegas!!”

“I know. But right now I’m paying $12 for a bottle of water and medicine, so I think I am.”

I walked the quarter of a mile to the WSOP, and then entered the room. It was amazing…the thousands of people, the constant sound of shuffling chips, James Woods right in front of me…I tried to describe it to my friend, but not being quite the addict enthusist I am, something was lost in the translation. Then of course, as I was snaking my way through the tables, Phil Gordon stood up to take a call on his cell phone, and I completely lost the ability to carry on a conversation on mine.

Sufficiently star-struck, I finally made my way over the Otis‘s table, where CJ and Jeff were railbirding. CJ told me were Kent and Bob were, so I went to check on them, and brought Kent a bit of good luck but unfortunately was not enough. I spent the break with Otis and Jeff, spying the who’s who of poker in the halls. Then it was time for a bit of fun with that “other” Phil that plays poker, trying to get a picture of Jason beside him in his Jopke hat, but without much luck, since Phil was protected from the public. (Wuss)

I was asked Monday night who was the blogger I most wanted to meet this weekend. For me that was easy – Hank. Months ago, when CJ first announced this little Vegas get-together, and Hank got his cool new job, it didn’t take me too long to figure out the potential there. Oh sure, he’s great for poker theory and strategy talks. But I wanted something much better. I would be in Vegas…Hank would be in Vegas…Phil Gordon would be in Vegas…all I asked for was a simple introduction, where I could make a stammering fool of myself. I was assured I would get to meet Phil. Was I using Hank for his connections? Of course!! The fact that he became a great advisor and friend along the way was just a bonus – it was really all about Phil. So Eva, Hank & I decide to go grab lunch at the Sao Paolo cafe in the Rio. And along the way, who should we come upon, walking back towards the WSOP area, but Mr. Phil Gordon himself. So here I am. Vegas. With Hank. And it’s Phil Gordon. Hank stops to talk to him. Eva and I stand off to the side. I’m patiently waiting. Hank and Phil chat for a couple of minutes, and then…

Hank lets him go.

The second he turned around and saw my face, he realized what he had done. And he did feel bad. Sigh. Maybe next time…

We were joined for lunch by Jason and Heather, played a little Keno (I do believe my number choice was the only one to hit; perhaps I have a natural affinity for the game?) and then headed back to the WSOP. We hit right as they were on break, and Jason took the opportunity to be my hero for the day, by yelling “Phil!” and asking him if he’d take his picture with us. He of course agreed, being such a nice guy.

Back to the WSOP we went, railbirding Bobby and Otis a bit and taking more photos of the pros. I get to meet my twin as well. Then back to the Sao Paolo to check on the others, where suddenly, exhaustion sets in. Jason and I had been talking about going to the Luxor, but the general feeling is that a nap before the night’s castle storming is a good thing. So off we go, with Jason driving myself, BG, and Kent to the Plaza. Quietest car ride ever. You’d think we all had just a few hours of sleep the night before or something. 😉

I nap, then John arrives shortly after his plane gets in at 10:15. We head over to the Excalibur and eat, then head to the poker room. Say hi to everyone, meet Shelly, make a call to Joanne, and settle in to play. The $2/$6 spread game took a little getting used to – where was it when I was first playing in a non-Colorado casino? It’s the closest thing to Colorado I’ve seen. Of course now I’m used to real casino poker, and I have to adjust to Colorado type again. We had the most boring table in the world. Full of rocks, we even had a guy fall asleep at one point. We had three guys at the end through a hissy fit when John played 7-5 and flopped a straight. They put in for a table change over to Iggy, Maudie and Marty’s table…I wanted to tell them that wasn’t going to make them any happier, but I bit my tounge. I took a loss to a boat over boat…I had a feeling I was beat, but I just couldn’t bring myself to fold…certaintly didn’t have to re-raise on the river though. Overall, I’m not a fan of the Excalibur. BadBlood said he wouldn’t play without shufflemasters – I was already in that mindset, not to mention the MGM had already stolen my heart. Not feeling well, and unhappy with the game, I cashed out and followed Jeff over to the Pai Gow tables to get a brief lesson on the game from Heather and Otis. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it looked like -EV to me. (Or for me, if nothing else).

Then it was time for a stop off at Krispy Kreme, led by the good Doctor, then back to the Plaza to rest up for the tourney.

Coming up: Fucking river!