Saturday, December 31, 2005
We’re currently traveling on I-90 just West of the
We get up early, grab a bite at one of the cafes and head upstairs to the Royal Hall. It’s obviously destiny that the blogger tournament is held in a hall named after me, right? I played in the June blogger tournament at the Aladdin so the whole event thing isn’t new, but man the IP setup looks special. It’s a nice large room with tables spread out generously. Oh yeah, and a free open bar! The PokerStars and Full Tilt guys have their swag spread out and I score a nice FT hand and shirt.
First Bill gives a little intro spiel and then Barry Greenstein speaks. Barry has many kind words for the bloggers and his comments about Charlie Tuttle are especially touching. Next is Charlie Shoten who speaks about how living your life healthy will have a positive impact on your poker game. Finally Michael Craig, author of The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King, spoke about the book. It’s unfortunate that Michael spoke last because his content was incredible. However, we were already behind schedule and the room was filled with tournament excitement and not ready for another speaker.
Once the tournament begins I’m seated with Mean Gene, Wil, Obie, Biggestron and others. First hand I pickup JJ in early position and raise it up. A player (Blue’s
Our table is slightly reserved with most everyone in good spirits. We do have one non-blogger that fills the loud asshole role rather nicely. Maybe asshole is slightly harsh, but his bragging out only playing high dollar NL cash games in AC gets old fast. Of course his play accurately reflects a solid successful high dollar cash player… At one point someone at another table drops the hammer and there are cheers all around. Prick boy sneers and makes some disparaging remarks about bloggers and the hammer. Glad you’re here to have fun buddy…
I really like the slower blind structure unfortunately my starting hands do not cooperate. I am able to stay in decent shape with a key re-raise, but the blinds eventually catch up. Finally I find AK and get re-raised all-in for the other half of my stack by Obie. It’s an easy call and I do not improve against his JJ.
The good thing is I can now hit the bar with force. While waiting for –EV to bust I play a little $2/$4 limit HE with Michael Craig and Spaceman. It’s a fun donkey game and we all have a blast.
Eventually –EV busts out and we arrange for the Six Gun Shootout in the Desert to start. Unfortunately the shootout is late in the day and everyone is burnt out after the blogger event. I would guess the whole thing lasted 10 minutes at most. I made a poor call against CJ with KT and of course suckout on his Ax. I then bust him a few hands later when my AK takes down his pocket pair. Just like that it down to Spaceman and I with him having a 3:2 chip lead. We agree to a split on chips and that’s it. Even though the finale was a little anticlimactic I think the whole Six Gun idea was great. The online tournaments were a blast and the event generated quite a buzz on the poker blogger scene. My only recommendation for similar future events would be to host them on a different day than the main blogger event. Thanks again to Bill for organizing the shootout and everything else!
Hyper and I still have the free buffet coupons from check-in so we head over to the Emperor’s Buffet. As far as Vegas buffets go this one is average at best. Afterwards we hear that The Castle is being stormed, but I’m out of energy. We resolve to take a couple hour refresher and then join the melee. We stumble across a destroyed Iggy on the way back to our rooms and find out he has the same idea.
Of course the two hour refresher turns into six and I wake up at 3AM. I internally debate about hunting down some bloggers and quickly decide better of it. It’s back to sleep until 6 AM Sunday.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Last Sunday I played a $10 + $1 MTT on Ultimate Bet. This particular tournament was a satellite to the Tuesday $200 + $15 WSOP qualifier. I need to finish top 4 out of almost 100 and somehow I slip in. It’s at that point I realize the Super Sat. is on Tuesday night…basketball night. The tournament starts at 8:30 PM so I should be okay assuming I don’t have a 9:00 PM game, shit. There’s no way I’m back before 10:15 PM so it is time to bring in the ringer. Mrs. Royal dutifully agrees to pilot until I arrive. I attempt to give her a few reminders as I leave, but she is preoccupied with packing for the drive home.
We actually role in basketball and bump our record up to 2-2. I get back to our place right around 10:20 PM just hoping to see the UB table still open. Sure enough the Mrs. has the laptop on the couch with a poker table open. “I’m doing pretty well.” She says. “No shit!” I reply as I glance at the screen to see her stack at 7500 (starting stack was 2500). I watch her play for a little bit and she then informs me that I can play after next hand. I reply that she can play as long as she wants. I of course swipe the laptop a few hands later when we get dealt KK. They win a decent pot and a few hands later I get QQ and bust a guy with TT on a board of all babies. All of a sudden I’m at 16000 chips and in second place overall.
Top 2 get Main Event seats and 3rd – 8th get some cash. To make a long story short I bust out in 6th. The crucial hand saw me 3rd in chips and overplaying AQ into QQ…sigh
That’s how I almost qualified for the Main Event on $11.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
We take off for the airport at about 5 AM. Our flight leaves at 8 AM and we only have a 45 minute drive to
There is over an hour delay while they deice the plane and I doze to The Microphones. We land just after 10 AM Vegas time.
As instructed I immediately get on the phone to Iggy, but his number doesn’t work. Maybe the Luddite did something wrong with his new cell phone? I also consider the possibility that Iggy might be playing a cruel joke on all of his. Whose number did he really give us?
We stow our luggage and hoof it over to the Aladdin for the noon tournament arriving about 45 minutes prior to start time. There are no bloggers to be found so I once again try out Iggy’s cell. This time he answers and he is obviously blasted. We incoherently communicate for a few minutes and I eventually learn he’s been up all night and is just turning into the IP. We check the poker room one more time and decide to get lunch instead. Apparently Joe Speaker did eventually show up and play.
After a decent lunch at the Flamingo we head back to check out the poker room. Once again there are no bloggers so we play a little craps and penny slots until we’re able to get our room key. A quick nap hits the spot and then back to the IP poker room. Hyper sits the $2/$4 game and I grab a seat at the $2/$4 with ½ Kill. First hand I sit down is a $3/$6 kill and I pickup AQ in the cutoff. I raise it up with only the kill in and one blind comes along for the ride. The flop is all babies and my continuation bet scoops the pot. It’s always a good sign to win your very first hand of the trip, right?
Soon afterwards the bloggers start rolling in. Hank, Franklin, FactGirl, Derek, Paul, and others all come strolling by. I move to the $1/$2 NL table and quickly lose $75 of my $100 buy-in on a hammer bet got bad. I win a few hands and double back up by catching an outside straight. I then win a nice pot when my aces holdup. The bloggers start to leave and of course I stay in for the infamous one more round. I lose a huge pot when my AK runs into a turned gutshot and finish the session in the red.
Then we’re off to the MGM for some mixed games. There are only three mixed tables running and probably 50 bloggers trying to find seats. Eventually I get seated next to Donkey Puncher in the mixed Stud game. It turns out DP works for a company that supplies the enterprise software for my work. These aren’t exactly small companies, but it’s still a funny small world story.
The stud game starts to degenerate and a retreat to the bar with Iggy and others. Iggy outs me as an old Quake legend (very much exaggerated) and at some point I return the favor by mentioning his “close” relationship with a former Arkansas Governor.
At the 24-hr waking mark (minus pseudo-nap time) I start the trek back to the IP. Along the way I’m drawn to the wondrous smell of Fat Burger. What better way to try out your first Fat Burger than 2 AM in Vegas? I of course go for the King Burger combo and devour virtually everything before finishing the trip back to the IP.
At some point I drift to sleep to the chants of
Fat Burger up!
Fat Burger up!
Friday, December 09, 2005
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