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. :)

WPBT: Pre-tourney poker primers

(Say that 5 times fast)

As I mentioned in my last post, Alex PokerGuy is offering a Poker 101 session before the tournament at Aria for those interested. Beginning at 10:00am he’ll cover hand selection, bets, and strategies for beginners to battle the players. There’s no charge for this lesson and it should last about 30 minutes. It is however limited to the first 18 folks who show up, so if you want to take part you’ll want to be sure you’re on time!

Alex will also hold a Poker 102 session that will cover betsizing, odds, tells, hand selection, and strategy. It will begin right after Poker 101, at 10:30am and last until the tournament kicks off at noon. This class would normally cost about $150, but Alex is offering it for $25 per player for this session. Of that, $3 will go to dealer tip and $7 will go into a last longer for every student.

This is a great opportunity to brush up on some skills or learn a few new tricks!

WPBT Winter Classic 2010 Update

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for a trip to Vegas.

As a reminder, if you have not yet RSVP’d YES for the tourney on Facebook, please do that this week. By the same token, if you had said yes but now aren’t going to make it – well, BOO and then please do update your RSVP. If you just can’t bring yourself to use Facebook, well, maybe someone will make a profile for you. If not, just go ahead and comment here. :)

The loose schedule for this year remains the same – IP Thursday night for Geisha Bar hijinks, MGM Friday night for blogger games, tourney on Saturday, and football on Sunday. We’ve also got Alex PokerGuy who is looking to set up a pre-tourney training session for folks who may be interested. More on that when confirmed. And don’t forget about JoeSpeaker and Friday golf – if you’re wanting to hit the little while balls get with him asap. Finally, our friend John Hartness is pondering a book signing Friday afternoon, if you’re interested let him know so he can plan accordingly.

Some have asked about Sunday football; I will be departing Vegas Sunday morning so you’ll all get to miss out on my cursing the Texans, but for those who would like to get together for game-watching, I’d suggest starting the conversation on the WPBT page and see who’s interested.

Thank F-Train for once again allowing me to hand out his address as shipping destination. :)

And also please give a hearty thanks to CK who has taken a big role in this year’s event, having served as the primary contact method with our tournament hosts. She’s got everything confirmed and is the “woman-on-the-ground” – a role that has become increasingly important in years past.

I think that’s the big stuff! Let me know if you have any questions; otherwise see you soon!

Lost Vegas is Waiting

I often get weird looks from people when I mention that I’m planning my annual trip to Vegas with “100 of my closest friends” or that I’m, oh, headed there mere days after getting back from Hawaii. Little crazy? Maybe. But the allure of Las Vegas and the things it represents to me is not an easy phenomenon to explain. Likely you’ve run in to this problem yourself, trying to relay to your spouse or boss just WHY it’s so important that you be there.

I no longer am going to try to explain. Instead, I will simply refer all those curious to Pauly’s fantastic new book. It’s all there – the good, the bad, the ugly, the crayon-eating. To really “get” it; you have to live it and Pauly certainly has. Lucky for us he has retained some amazing memories and stories and possesses the skill enough to weave them together into a highly entertaining read. I can’t recommend the book enough. I devoured it in just two days.

Even those of you who’ve been reading Tao of Poker for years now will find something new in the book. Hell, I was actually there for some of the things he writes about and had completely forgotten them myself. Thankfully now instead of trying to explain why remembering something like “Clown vs. Cowboy” made me burst out laughing on the beach, I can just hand over the book and say “Read this. Start here.”

Go now and get your copy. You’ll not be disappointed.

WPBT Winter Classic 2010

It’s that time again.

Well, it will be THAT time in about 5 months. But right now it’s that other time, the time where we start planning for and looking forward to THAT time.

For those of you unaware, THAT time I’m referring to is the WPBT Winter Classic; the annual poker blogger gathering in the happiest place on earth – Las Vegas. If you’ve never been before, consider this your open invitation and welcome. If you’ve never missed a gathering before and have no intent of starting now, fantastic. If you haven’t been in years but are planning a triumphant return, even better. Here’s what you need to know.

WHEN: The tournament will be held Saturday, December 11th. Folks will start to trickle in Thursday night, December 9th. Come for as long as you can!

WHERE: Tournament will be held at Aria. If you’ve never checked the place out before, now’s your chance! Cards in the air at noon.

HOW MUCH: Buyin will be $100+$20. For simplicity sake, we’re using the Aria Nightly Tournament structure. Start with T8000 and 25/50 with levels increasing every 30 minutes. For point of reference, last year at Caesar’s we started with T7500 and 20 minute levels.

WHERE TO STAY: Many people have booked at the MGM Grand already, thanks to the awesome specials they’ve been running. (And happen to be running right now). However, if you were to choose to stay at Aria, God knows I would not argue with you. Have you SEEN those rooms? They’re amazing. I will absolutely cheat on the MGM Grand with Aria should the opportunity present. If you choose to stay at the IP (looking at you Dawn Summers) I might have you committed.

OTHER STUFF: Tradition will hold and Thursday night the 9th you’ll find us at the Geisha Bar at the IP (but don’t try to text anyone!!!) and Friday night we have the MGM set up for private cash games. Specifically, I reserved table 16. “Ace Finder!” Sunday is always spent in the sportsbook, if we want to do Legasse’s again I will leave that to someone with a bigger credit card limit than I. ;)

GET ON THE LIST: Because it worked so well last year, there will again be a Facebook invite for the tournament sign-ups. For you Luddites please go ahead and comment here or email me. Just be sure to keep track of what name you sign up with, as you’ll need to give it to the cage when you buyin for the tourney.

NEXT STEPS: Start saving your roll, find a flight, secure your party pass from your spouse, and book a room! We want to see you!!

Thanks go out to CK for making introductions at Aria, to Adam Altwies in the Aria poker room, and as always much thanks to Mike Green with the MGM poker room, who continues to take good care of us and has a secure spot on my list of favorite people.

Questions? You know where to find me.

Aria photo from FlipChip at LasVegasVegas.

Quick! Before the NyQuil kicks in!

Oh wow. If you could have seen how I spelled “kick” in that subject the first time… you’d wonder if perhaps it wasn’t too late.

Yes, I am sick. Well, getting over it at this point. Now just rocking a near-complete loss of voice as I finish up the Z-pack. As for the other member of the family who was sick, well, he’s apparently going to be just fine. Vegas (and I) thanks you for all your concern. He had a couple of rounds of IVs, a few blood tests showing things normal, and then the final all-clear. Still he was seeming a bit listless; as I told my friend Jessica at lunch one day – I’d know he was really feeling good again when he was back to that typical “teenage” punk dog disposition of “oh, are you here mom?” and not laying his head on my lap every night, etc. You know, when you could tell he wasn’t feeling bad. Two days after that as I was getting ready for work it was all Barky McBarkerson going on in the front of the house (squirrel) and as I left for the day and said goodbye to my dear sweet pooch, he lifted his head and looked at me with that “what? i’m sleeping here” look. Yep. All better.

And now, to the pokers. How about that AlCantHang, huh? I’m going to add “Mad Genius” to his list of monikers for cooking up the BBT5. He’s got the hair for it. I played in the first event Sunday, despite my weakened condition, and was your bubble girl, finishing 16th out of 79. Congrats to Maigrey and jjok for winning their TOC seats!

I’m looking forward to playing more events, though week nights can be a bit tough sometimes (whine whine work whine whine work). As my BFF Dawn Summers tweeted, it was great seeing everyone together playing again – so much fun. Thanks Al, and thanks FullTilt. And now, to steal from Dawn stealing from Astin the BBT5 prizes writeup and what not:

If you haven’t checked out Al’s post with all the details yet… you should.

$50,000 in prizes. 3 WSOP Main Event packages! A whack (that’s a lot… about $14,000 worth or so) of $2000 freerolls and bracelet race packages!

I’ll be doing my damndest to make every tournament. That would include the invitationals on Sundays @ 7, The Poker From the Rail games on Mondays at 10, and of course, the venerable Mookie on Wednesdays at 10.

I’m actually most stoked about the new Monday games. I’ve long lamented the loss of The MATH tournaments and their $26 buy-ins. The higher price brings with it a smaller field and better play than the $11 Mookie (but I still love the Wednesday staple). The Sunday games could turn out to be some of the most interesting though.

And the best part? This starts this Sunday and end in just over a month! No 3 months of slogging through fields. No points-whoring. It’s quick, and you have to win to get in to the ToC.

You really need to be playing these games with us. They’re too much fun, and these prizes are awesome. See you tomorrow?