Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WPBT 2010: A question

Shock and awe.

Two things that kick start a day better than any RockStar/Red Bull/NoS/Triple Cap-Low Fat-Double McTwist.

Yes the Vikings won last night, yes I am happy as a fan and it is with hope that Winfield got the game ball for shutting down Vick in the first half.

But, the fandom of rabidly rooting for the Purple was put away like Favre's noodle several games ago before some supreme being decided that this once proud team in August needed a second helping of humility by popping the bubble and sending a Minnesota style blizzard to Philly with in three weeks. 

The football game wasn't the shock and awe and nor did that happen after the lights went out with a couple in their mid-30s going to sleep.   That was two nights ago.  No, the shocker (also not used) was my wife's annual planning of our Spring Break trip.  Since she has worked for a school district ever since I got attached to the short softball player with great legs coming thru her grey St. Cloud State mesh shorts, Spring Break has been the time to take a vacation.  Whether its a couple of nights up in Duluth, across the border for an indoor water park at Wisconsin Dells, or the most popular stop:  Las Vegas.

While the wife thru out Atlantis in the Bahamas a few times and looking at the price tags that would burn the remainder of my depleted bankroll that "BET MORE" during the WPBT got (yes more WPBT stories to come, sorry but there has been Captain to drink, sledding to do, and kids to unwrap presents with stories about getting 86'd at Sherwood Forest and chopping up the WPBT tourney will need to wait).  Aside from winning a PCA ticket like some Hollyweird blondes did (congrats again Change!!) that would be out and set aside for a bucket list or save for a year type thing. 

The thought of going did appeal to me especially with the frozen wasteland I'll be gazing into for the next four months, its easy to picture oneself sipping on a Mai Tai while watching bronzed asses bounce by and a symphony of waves crashing live instead on an iTunes playlist.  Wife turned her full attention towards going to Vegas of which got an reaction out of me that was nothing short of shock and awe.

I didn't immediately want to go.  In fact I actually argued against the idea.


This last WPBT trip ruined the Vegas experience for me.  It was like the best sex with the hottest partner you could ever imagine and then turning to your fleshlight stroker with Anal Queens 15 in the background and just turning over to go to bed.  The things I got to do on that trip three weeks ago will never happen again for mostly monetary reasons, but certainly the luck of each scene playing out to its perfection.  The dinner, The Crowes (which I have a bottle of Captain waiting this weekend to write it up properly minus embarrassing stories which will remain in the minds of those who attended), The wink of the leftover Asian hooker at 5am (not found at a Steel Panther concert), Betting without concern of losses, The Sunday football games, The flight of a golf ball heading towards Red Rock national park, The WPBT tournament run, The birthday Pai Gow binge, The first class seat, and the perfect mix of degenerates and professionals one could possibly gather.

How do I top that?

Or perhaps how do I not try to top that and enjoy the moment with the love of my life while laying out at the MGM Grand pool with an overpriced mixed drink in hand?

Work (recaps not spreadsheets) and online poker funds acquired via recent strong lucky play will cover the trip's cost but it won't be the same.  Maybe I just answered my question, different but same, after all there are other ways to reach euphoria than ordering your sixth round of drinks off the 61 year old former Miss Golden Gate Imperial Palace waitress who you genuinely questioned the sustainability of her out of place looking fake tits and if they would make it back for round seven after five hours of getting cold decked playing Pai Gow dealt by a former North Korean water torture specialist named Kim. 

I don't doubt I'll have a great time with the wife, but my hesitation about going back to Vegas was nothing short of eye-opening. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WPBT 2010 Day Two: The Bankroll Sleeps with the Fishes

The morning after a bender can be awesome, or be spend on a floor curled up naked trying to soak up the coolness of the surface wishing to die.  Since I was not plied to drink whiskey/scotch on my birthday, the awesomeness of being still buzzed while going to Starbucks in the morning started the day just right.

After picking up an overpriced hot chocolate it was time to truck down to the IP where various WPBT'ers that were sane enough NOT try to survive five days of this drink-a-thon were filtering into thru the perma-busted front doors of the Imperial Palace (seriously guys, five years is enough time to make the brass door to your dump swing open).  After a leisurely stroll from MGM to IP I happen to see a Badger fan grabbing his bags from the front door and kindly told him that his kind is not welcome here. 

I think I woke him up, had I know I'd had a Miller Lite tallboy in hand for him.

Walked into the cloud of despair and menthol smoke that is the IP with StB and found my lunch date Kat, who was checking in near the blogfather himself.  After a quick check of plans I was going to get my first blooming onion.  No, dear reader not this kind of blooming onion (writer's note : OWWWW!) but this kind over at the Outback Steakhouse.  Ok, whomever came up with the ass thing needs I guess lots of lube.  Anyway, the four us checked down to Casino Royale walking past the Ben and Jerry ice cream stand that my hungover nose sniffed some Chunky Monkey that would have sated the Greyhounds and Cap'nCokes swirling in my stomach, but alas there was slabs of meat and fried onions to eat! 

And the lunch was a perfect example on how to enjoy this weekend.  See people who know, or don't know, grab them for a bite to eat, some Pai Gow, a two-minute quickie in the back bathroom stall and get to know them behind their writing voice.  Most of the time you'll see the same person describing their lives on the internet except with facial expressions which completes the picture.

After a non-anal intruding lunch in which I did not drink as a lemonade with a big burger and fries built the greasy base for my second long Pai Gow session of the trip.  Up and down with Kat and CK as bloggers filtered in, I believe I met Numbono for the first time who was immediately chastised for not placing a redbird on the bonus circle (OhCaptain would also receive such a warning but getting him to play a -EV game was hard enough). Several hours passed and with slight win (near even with several drinks is known as a Win-Gow so coined by Aussie Garth).  If I played to win free drinks, then call me a hundredaire, otherwise I won back lunch money despite betting a quarter or more a hand.

Soon it was time to go back to the room and get overdressed for the fancy dinner at Picasso.  Yes, I overdressed with a blazer, button-down shirt, slacks, and loafers but that was my choice as I don't spend $200 on a dinner.  Ever.  That and I'm a dork, will always be a dork, I embrace my dorkism.

Aussie Garth brought his wickedly smart and beautiful G with him, as Kat, Gracie, SWEET SWEET PABLO, the walking party AlCantHang, and my fellow Minnesotan who also avoided the 5th largest snow fall ever in our state, OhCaptain made up the dining party.  For the next two hours we were pampered by the staff, as well, we were the only ones basically in the room!  But, the dinner, the conversation, the wine guy's two minute speeches on the clear liquids in front of us, the Bellagio fountains behind, all painted a masterpiece that even the Cubism master with baseball team's list of surnames would have had a tough time creating.  Right before the chocolate lava cake I excused myself to the restroom and upon coming back a familar face walked past to the same destination.  After sitting down and enjoying this sweet ending to wonderful meal it was none other than Antonio Esfandiari who was celebrating his WPT win at the same casino and the only other table still there after we posed for pictures outside the restaurant.

Our band of eight would return to the IP where bankroll-geddon happened that evening while managing to blow through a little too much at craps, Pai Gow, and my dirty secret of playing slots left me fat from dinner, and remorseful that I did not just jump into the poker fray (where someone got 86'd) or the Geisha Bar for less costly things like $4 pitchers of Coors Light.  But this was the weekend of "Bet More" and if I lost most of my bankroll I going to do it without whining about it (so pretend I didn't write this paragraph). 

Back to the MGM at around 5am where tomorrow would be about fairways, greens, and mixed games with the blogg...  oh wait I didn't play and instead was blessed with music and hurried limo rides, more on that later.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 WPBT Day One: Bet More, Win More Drinks

Here we go!

Most of my birthday on Wednesday was spent in a non-blog worthy way.  Staring out at the snow in the backyard while wrapped in a Snuggie (Yes, I'll own up to wearing one, as flaccid as it may seem they work) and plowing ahead with school work thus leaving little to none for the extended weekend of blogger debauchery.  After finishing up a statement of Cost of Goods Sold with a side of cheesy hash browns it was time. 

The theme of this trip was "Bet More", not just placing a different colored chip in the Pai Gow betting circle or hitting max bet on a slot machine, but to do the things I would normally skip due to cost.  After saving up my funds from working at the PokerStarsBlog and catching a few cards at Full Tilt I had the bankroll to say "yes, I think I'll have that or do that".  While my last few trips to Vegas haven't been bargain bin adventures, this one for the WPBT Winter Classic would have zero boundaries (well, at least ones that wouldn't have me signing divorce papers in three months). 

I showed up at Humphrey International Airport (otherwise known as Terminal 2) about four hours early and was greeted by a very pregnant desk worker for Sun Country.  "You know he's supposed to have the same birthday as you but didn't want to come out today".  Despite the nine pound bowling ball dropping within 48 hours she managed to to give great service and inspired by the theme I asked "do you have 1st class available?".  For just $109.00, I got bumped up to 1st class, granted this is not Delta or United but 1st Class is 1st Class meaning no cramped seats with senor dickhead ramming their seats into my lanky legs.  Plush seats, COCKTAILS!, a hot meal that didn't suck, and the ease of being able to stretch out my frame all well worth the cost.  While I did want to take full advantage of the free drinks, there would be a crew assembled on the ground ready for alcoholic libation offerings to the Pai Gow gods and I didn't want to sprint out of the gate, literally.

So to pace myself I just ordered a drink whenever the well-to-do mid 50s lady next to me did.  Eight drinks later (paced myself with a lush, well played Drizz) we're feeling pretty good and hopping in a cab for the strip.  After a nod to the driver for telling me that he would forego the highway without being told it was time to hit up the MGM Grand and the West Wing room that awaited.  Frosted windows for the toilet and shower, huge king sized bed, TV on the mirror?, and enough pillows for a six year old to make a fort, the bags were quickly dropped off as Badblood was down in the poker and The Mark were already tilting cowboys in the poker room.  Once the slot machines gave me a hint that playing them would not eat up time before Pai Gow was to be played late night ($100 gone in five minutes), I decided to try my luck in the poker room.  Normally I'd sit down with $1,000 at 2-4 limit and have more fun making chip castles instead of actually making reads and check-raises, but instead I sat down and play a little 1/2 NLHE (which is foreign to someone that plays strictly PLO and PL/NLO8 cash games). 

Enter Otis, Dr. Jeff, and 1/2 of G-Rob who's transformation was phenomenal, losing 100 pounds from the last time I'd seen him at Mastodon Weekend. They had a poker jones to sedate, so I grinded at my table picking my slot losses and diving into Cap'n Cokes with nothing to stop it.  The water backs allowed for more consumption as proud poppa Ryan from Absinthetics dropped in to join our merry band on the road to drunken Pai Gow as I left over 1/2 buy-in up and was ready to get my Pai Gow on!

Cock blocked by the Asian pit brush who wouldn't lower an empty game to $15 (on a slow Wednesday night) we were quickly tag teamed by two well-dressed gentlemen who represented a den of ill-repute.  Right in the middle of the gaming floor, not off to a corner or behind the Starbucks but five feet away from the stick handler shouting "SEVEN OUT!".  Promises of limos and boobs caught the attention of BB and The Mark as the remainder of us took to the strip in search of Dragons and Bonus Hands. 

New York New York lacked any love, but the Monte Carlo had the perfect nearly empty $10 table with we would set up shop for the next 5-6 hours.  Multiple drinks, multiple attempts to crack the hard-lined brush that refused to join in on the jokes, as we sat for a bit when F-Train hopped into degeneracy and betting amounts increased while the action surrounding us decreased.  As in none, save for a couple of guys in the adjacent blackjack table we were the only ones still playing Dragon hands while listing to a live band that didn't suck.  Think the pit boss could take her heart out of the freeze slide us a comp for such play?  No.  While denied Steak and Eggs, we would not be denied multiple bouts of white-boy dancing after the dealer turned up Pai Gows.  As the crew dispersed it would be me and Otis enjoy a non-freezing walk back to the MGM with my birthday dance done, and day one of the WPBT in the books.

Call it a filling appetizer for more to come.  I thank those who my birthday an enjoyable one, but the fun was just beginning...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Five days away from home

This is what I'm currently looking at...

This is what I'll be looking at seven hours (photo cred)...

And this is what you get if you bust me from the WPBT tourney, hope you're thirsty!

Russian Imperial Stout that kicks yo ass!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Wilson Phillips is here with a public service announcement

It is here.

Much like those days of yesteryear if you celebrated Christmas, sitting in your bed Christmas Eve with eyes wide with anticipation and it didn't matter what was or wasn't underneath that Douglas Fir, just the thoughts of ripping thru that Target-bought wrapping paper to get at something new, something exciting, something that hasn't been broken in yet.

WPBT-eve is upon us degenerates, you read the stories, you've seen the heartbreaks and triumphs, and now you get to see those friends once again or perhaps revel in the absurdness of the Geisha Bar at 2am for the first time.  It's the ex you never had sex with, the one with the Playboy model body, brain of a astrophysicist, and knows the the Kama Sutra in 15 different languages. She still pops in your dreams despite laying next to the love of your life, call it a guilty pleasure that you will never act on, but gets you through the night.

Go in this weekend with zero expectations, go out with new friends, and a story to tell your grandkids. There's no need to try to keep up with AlCantHang (as a "seasoned" drinker myself, I suggest finding other mountains to climb), but definitely shake the man's hand for getting Full Tilt Poker to not only add $1,000 to the WPBT poker tournament at Aria on Saturday, but got well-known pro Alex Outhred from Deepstack U to hand out a tutorial before hand for just a fraction of the usual $150 price tag.  And if that wasn't enough, as most people know we gather on Sunday to watch football (someone will be forced to wear Packer gear and not like it, we won't mention such things).  Lagasse Stadium served us awesome last year and we'll be doing again this year on Full Tilt's tab.  Drinks are your responsibility so I suggest finding Al under a SoCo bottle and slipping him the money up front.

PokerStars as mentioned several times is putting up the hammer challenge, the last longer, and the OG-blogger knockout bounties.  Which puts me in an odd spot of needing to start drinking much earlier since my best poker is played under the influence, not to mention I should be able to go a little further than second out this year.  Perhaps Mr. Outhred could spare me from a repeat (although I did win $700 playing craps shortly after...).

Tomorrow is reserved for birthday silliness, so if you can find me (not an easy task) I'll be the tall, chalk-white guy mostly likely double fisting Cap'n Cokes and $2 Win-Place-Show bets while playing Pai Gow but not making airplane noises.  No, we won't be doing that. 

But if I can get GRob to go on Color Wheel Tilt at Excal again, it would be the best birthday present evar.  That and taking home the golden hammer on Saturday.

Just one more day folks...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Story behind the story

Yeah, I need a haircut thanks for noticing.

Wow, was so busy this weekend hardly noticed that we're TWO DAYS AWAY from the 2010 WPBT Winter Classic kicking off.  Yes, I may have mentioned it here sixteen sextillion times but it bears repeating because such awesome people not named me will be there and I hope you, the reader, are one of those people.

But, first life threw me a nasty curveball, or rather Comcast did.  It looked like a waist-high batting practice pitch after leaving the lanky pitcher's hand.  The day was cold even by Nordic standards but the kids still went out to pave a decent run on the sledding hill in the backyard while mother and father enjoy Vikings football after it looked grim for the home team early on.  Favre threw one pass for an INT while taking a shot that I heard from the Metrodome Mall of America Field 15 miles away.  Then T-Jack predictably jump passed his way into a pick six.  But, the defense got its angry on and treated the Bills Quarterback Fitzpatrick like toddler toy and Sidney Rice ascended many time while coming down with the ball to play like the team they were supposed to be winning 38-14.

While the game was on, I managed to finish a project for school, and turned on the poker machine.  Full Tilt was unkind to me, or specifically PLO Rush poker was lancing my bankroll $25 a time while I dinked around in a couple of MTTs, busting early in 4 of 5 of them.  Finally, sane me stopped playing PLO while I still had chips in a $5 Rebuy PLO8 MTT before taking my handle of Captain Morgan 100 proof acquired as an early birthday present down from the cabinet.  While I didn't crack the bottle, I did crack enough aces on the way to chopping up the tourney for plane ticket type money (sorry no tourney recap, you'll have to read on for one of those...).

An hour later I tried to log into the PokerStarsBlog site and get an error message as I started my preamble and wanted to set up for the night's Sunday Warm-up that I was covering.

No bueno.

Power surge?  Na.

Complete shutdown and reboot?  Three times.

TO THE CLOUD!! *cue wavy dream music*

Instead of polishing up the final table write up while wrapped in my Captain Morgan blanket and a rough Steelers/Ravens game on, I had to throw on 15 layers because Minnesota is cold in the winter (errr, autumn, yeah right) and head over to my parent's house as they are my back-up and are used to their son stumbling in at weird hours.  However, I was stone sober and rushed to my old room to set up shop and....   NO CONNECTION!  Except for PokerStars which ran just fine, however anything thru a browser was met with an error message.

But I had an out, my dad fires up his hard-lined work computer and says to just work off of there since his browser worked just fine.  Yes!!  Victory is mine internet goblins, gimme the +4 Staff of Awesomeness!

But wait, what's this?  A firewall that doesn't like poker words?  No publishing site access, No PokerStars, back to square one. 

So I text a probably sleepy Otis about the issues (I found out this morning, all of the Twin Cities metro area was down, lucky for that hard-wired account or I'd been really FUBAR'd), and get on the phone with the one person I know would be up.  Enter Bluff Magazine nominated Short Stack Shamus into the fold.  Since I couldn't publish it, and I knew he would be up doing the Sunday Million I had a plan.  Finish the wrap on my laptop since I could watch the tourney and write it out, transfer the document and screen shots to a disc, put disc in dad's computer, then email it to Short Stack to publish. 


Except Yahoo mail was also behind the firewall, no likey connection.  *insert John McEnroe you can't NOT be serious*

Ok, dove around in dad's computer for an email account, hack the password (shhhhhh), and mailed off the Sunday Warm-up wrap in time for consumption for the masses!

Oh, my fuel light came on, on the way home so I had to stop and catch a handful of frostbite before returning to my snoring wife who has a bit of a sore throat and slept sparingly.  Fun night?  Youbetcha!

Please enjoy the wrap, and thanks again to Short Stack!

Two days folks.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Nothing to read on the way to WPBT? I have your back

For those looking for something to read on their plane ride NEXT WEEK SEVEN DAYS 168 HOURS FROM NOW  WHOOOOOOO WHOOOOOOOO.



After your TSA-mandated prostate check or shocker for those who lack such plumbing but still need to be check for C-4 filled vaginas, I suggest settling down with one of these books for your terrorist-free airborne travel.

Dr. Pauly has a great deal going on at Lulu and for his book "Lost Vegas", I'll let him tell you about it:

Sorry for the intrusion, but I have good news -- after months of waiting, Lost Vegas is now available on! If that's where you do the bulk of your Christmas shopping, then stop by my page and pick up a copy or two. Through Amazon, you can also purchase an e-book copy for your Kindle for only $9.99.

If you would like to save $3, you can buy copies of Lost Vegas for 15% off via At checkout, you use coupon code STOCKING305.

The 15% off coupon is valid through December 15th. Don't worry... the discount comes out of the publisher's pocket and I get my full cut.

Just a reminder... Lost Vegas is cooked to order, which means it's Print-On-Demand (POD). Due to high volume of orders with my publisher at Lulu, I encourage you to buy the book before December 5th to ensure a Christmas deliver. Please note that this only covers orders directly through Lulu.

Click here to buy a copy on Amazon.

Click here to buy a copy on Lulu. Don't forget to use code STOCKING305 for 15% off.


Photo Cred:

Yes, Kick Ass and Hit Girl took time from their busy schedule of algebra and extracting Columbian drug lord's tongues from the their bodies to pimp "The Chosen" and "Hard Day's Knight" by John "Falstaff Hartness.  I'm currently thru 1/3rd of "The Chosen" and Hard Day's Knight is my next book to tackle (planning on purchasing one from the author in exchange for a plastic pitcher of Coors Light), will finally be able to set down my accounting textbook long enough to enjoy the book on my ride to Vegas ONLY SEVEN. DAYS. AWAY!!!! WHOOOOOOO WHOOOOOOO! 

Again, apologies.  I'm not known for restraint and give apologies in advance if my excitement annoys you (I am reasonable, just tell me I'm being an idiot) but given that I'm locked away in a cube half the year and being a parent/school boy the other half, being able to let loose in Vegas for a closet degenerate is well relieving not in an asian massage happy ending way, but more of a first cold drink on the back porch in autumn sort of way.  That's autumn in places like South Carolina, not Minnesota where such as drink turns into a slushy within .5 seconds of sitting down on top of 6" of snow. 

Anyway, go now if you haven't purchased these fine books as time is running short and I've already started to get up every night at 3:30am wanting to post a Pai Gow Fortune Bonus bet.

7 days.