Monday, August 22, 2005

Brad-o-Ween 5: Bloggers in G-Vegas Episode 1
"The last time I encountered the Otis was around 3am local time. He opened up his freezer pointed at nothing in particular. He slammed the door and belched in my face before he stumbled away." - My notes from Brad-o-Ween 5.
In the past week I've been in Denver, Boulder, Las Vegas, New York City, and G-Vegas, South Carolina. Talk about some of the most diverse places in America, let alone the world. One moment I was fondling strippers in Las Vegas and then next thing I knew I was hanging out with hardcore hippies in Boulder. The other day I was sitting next to suits and tourists on the subway and just this weekend, I found myself caught up in a heavy discussion of different types of BBQ while standing in Otis' garage while sweating my balls off in the humid South Carolina summer air.

I've also shuffled through six different airports (LAS, DEN, JFK, LGA, IAD, GSP) in the past seven days and came to conclusion that eating airport food is like taking "insurance" in black jack. It's a sucker's bet. Anyway, not even home for less than 60 hours, I was back on the road again. This time Derek was along for the ride as we headed south of the Mason Dixon line for the annual Brad-o-Ween festivities. By the way, I lived in the South for four long years and I'll never forget what a Georgia summer feels like. Yes, I lost 1/8 of my precious life in the South, so I'm more than qualified to crack plenty of jokes.

Before we begin, I'll answer a few FAQs.
Q. Where the fuck is G-Vegas?
A. Most map makers refer to it as the Greenville/Greer area.

Q. Did you see any mullets, rednecks, gun-racks, and donkey fuckers?
A. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Q. What the heck is Brad-o-Ween?
A. Brad-o-Ween is a self-imposed holiday created by Otis in celebration of... himself. Five years ago he started the first one and since then, it's been a G-Vegas tradition. This is my first appearance and won't be my last.

Q. Did BG really pass out?
A. Definitely. I have pictures to prove it.

Q. Was there really a wet t-shirt contest?
A. Fuck yeah. I got pics and I'm charging $25 per nipple shot.

Q. Did Otis fall down?
A. Keep on reading.


Derek and I arrived in mid afternoon. I was surprised about a few things. Firstly, they actually had airports in South Carolina and I was able to fly from the North directly to a smaller Southern city without having to fly though and change planes in Atlanta. I was also impressed with the airport. I expected the runway to be a dirt patch in the middle of a peanut farm with Cletus the slack-jawed yokel guiding my puddle-jumper into the gate with a couple of swizzle sticks, while his moonshine drinkin' cousins anally rape a lost portly camper from suburbia and a crooked-eyed albino kid sits nearby on the porch and strums the banjo like some bizarre scene out of an Amateur Redneck porn video. All kidding aside, the airport was lovely and there were more plants in the terminal than people.

Bad Blood picked us up and drove us over to his place. Mrs. Blood and Bad Blood were cool enough to let Derek, Iggy, and Daddy crash at Casa de Bad Blood. Special thanks goes out to the Mini-Bloods who gave up their bedrooms for the out-of-town bloggers. We all left the Mini-Bloods "tips" in their piggy banks as a token of appreciation.

"Mommy, what is this $100 bill doing in my piggy bank with BONUS CODE IGGY written on it?"

Mrs. Blood showed us the kids' gerbils and we had to make sure to keep Daddy away from the animals. They have a trampoline in the back and a poker table in the front of the house. What kid wouldn't want to grow up there?

The first time I ever visited G-Vegas was almost fifteen years ago after ingesting a fistful of mushrooms. I just turned 18 years-old and a good friend from my freshman dorm suggested I head home with him to party it up for a long weekend during Fall Break. My subsequent visits to the G-Vegas area (all occurring during the first George Bush administration) were to attend a Debutante Ball and see a Widespread Panic concert. I think there was some sort of tent involved in both visits. My memory was foggy during my late teens when I went on a four year bender through the South from 1990 through 1994.

We drove over to Otis' pad to meet up with and the Al Cant Hang and Eva Can Hang. They started a cash game. Otis stood in his driveway hosing down a few coolers. It seems like yesterday Otis and I were sitting at the Hooker Bar at the Rio on dinner break at the WSOP marveling at the thirty-second time in two weeks he hit quads on the video poker machines.

In the cash game, I played with Al's chips and built his $25 stack up to $75 before I lost it to G-Rob on one hand with J-7o. He had pocket sevens when I put him on "The Hammer!" Oh well.

We returned to Casa de Bad Blood for pizza and the Bad Blood home tourney. Mrs. Blood got me addicted to putting butter on pizza. Yeah, she busted out the tub of margarine and lathered my slice with butter which quickly melted. It tasted awesome and I could feel my cholesterol levels rising a few points with every bite.

We awaited everyone to arrive. It was a mixture of G-Vegas locals and legends (TeamScott Smith, Shep, Axeman, and The Mark) along with some of your favorite poker bloggers. Of course, Bad Blood and Mrs. Blood played along with Otis, me, Derek, Iggy, and Daddy. Some of the St. Louis crew were playing like Marty, Brian, and Dr. Jeff. CJ and his twin Lefty showed up along with Heather, one of the Aprils, Gamecock, and special guest... Maudie. Yeah, even Maudie showed up and she managed to keep that a secret. She didn't even flinch when Bad Blood cracked over the head with a metal chair. Double As was running late so he missed the tourney but stopped by half way through.

The tourney was a $30 freezeout. 20 players were in. The top four players paid. Bad Blood has this really cool tournament software so you could see what the blinds and limits were. You started with $120 in chips and blinds began at $1/2.
My first table at Casa de Bad Blood:
Seat 1: Daddy
Seat 2: Al "No Puede Colgar" Cant Hang
Seat 3: The Mark
Seat 4: Your Hero
Seat 5: Marty
Seat 6: Otis
Seat 7: Lefty
Seat 8: Tommy the Axeman
Seat 9: Heather
Seat 10: April
7:30pm... Cards are in the air.

7:40pm... Al Cant Hang and two others limped in and I moved all in from the LB with KK.

7:56pm... Al Cant Hang was the first player eliminated when his AQ lost to Daddy's J-10s. Daddy flopped a straight when K-Q-9 fell.

8:13pm... Heather and her top pair ran into Mark's pocket aces was she was knocked out.

8:30pm... Derek was knocked out by Gamecock when his Hammer lost to Gamecock's Hiltons.
Final Table at Casa de Bad Blood:
Seat 1: Daddy (Hilljack, IN)
Seat 2: Mrs. Blood (G-Vegas, SC)
Seat 3: Otis (G-Vegas, SC)
Seat 5: Pauly (New York City)
Seat 5: April (Austin, TX)
Seat 6: Maudie (Norman, OK)
Seat 7: G-Rob (G-Vegas, SC)
Seat 8: Marty (St. Louis, MO)
Seat 9: Tommy Axeman (G-Vegas, SC)
Seat 10: Gamecock (Columbia, SC)
9:12pm... I had about the average stack at the final table and Gamecock had a lot of chips. I tired to steal the blinds with 10-7s on the button. April called from the LB. She checked the flop of: A-J-8. I overbet the pot and she called. I showed the railbirds my hand. The turn was a miracle 9 and I caught my gutshot. She checked again and I tossed out another huge overbet and moved all in. She thought about it and called with A-x. I apologized as my straight held up. As Mike Sexton would say, I "got my hand caught in the cookie jar," but somehow ended up hitting a four outer to win my first big pot of the night. I had $330 in chips at that point.

9:26pm... Mrs. Blood's AJ lost to G-Rob's AK and she was the first player eliminated from the final table.

9:31pm... April was knocked out in 9th place when her 10-9 lost to Maudie's A-10.

9:35pm... Daddy's Hiltons got spanked by Gamecock's pocket aces. He finished in 7th place.

9:49pm... G-Rob's 8-7 was busted by Otis' QJ. G-Rob finished in 6th place and attempted to tilt the cash game table. Otis was the chipleader by far.

9:53pm... I knocked out Tommy in 5th when my 2-2 won a race with Big Slick. Tommy bubbled out. And by the way, Tommy was one of the many readers who constantly clicked refresh on my blog during the WSOP... thanks for the support!

10:05pm... Gamecock made the money and took 4th place when his J-10 lost to Otis' K-9.

10:24pm... Maudie's Q6 lost to Otis' A9 and Maudie was eliminated in 3rd place.

10:25pm... Outchipped by Otis, I offer him a "chop." He laughs in my face but admits he has to pee really badly.

10:26pm... On the second hand of heads up play Otis moved all in from the small blind. I called with A-3s and his K-6 held up to beat me. Hey, second place ain't too bad. Congrats to Otis who won the Casa de Bad Blood event on the eve of Brad-o-Ween.
The Money Winners at Casa de Bad Blood:
1. Otis
2. Pauly
3. Maudie
4. Gamecock
After the tournament we headed downtown to Main Street to drink at Otis' favorite dive bar. I think the dive was called The Bait Shack. There's one in every town and city in America and I've gotten bombed in my share of these places over the last decade or so. I'm sure I've made some of the worst decisions of my life in dives like Otis' favorite saloon.

We all congregated to the back. The floor was sticky like you'd expect in most bars of the similar caliber. The walls were splattered with Sharpie graffiti. The regulars are awful spellers and were ruined the walls with uncreative tags and phrases. We spotted "Anal is kool!" written in a green marker at least a half a dozen times.

The clientele in the Bait Shack was an eclectic mix of hipsters, stoners, folks from the other side of the tracks, frat boys, and a few meth addicts who were working off their 72 hour tweak session. There were few decent looking girls knocking back cocktails in plastic cups at the bar and they were too engrossed in their conversation to realize a band played a few feet away, off to the left. Daddy described the lead singer as the "white Stevie Ray Vaughn." I occasionally called out for a few Widespread Panic tunes which was met with a cold reception from the band. The trudged through several covers and for a bar band, they were above average.

The drink special was a bucket of beers for $15. That's like the cost of 1.5 drinks in New York City, so it was a good deal for me. We ordered some chicken fingers and they came with ranch dressing. BG and Big Mike finally showed up and within an hour of their arrival, I did a shot with Al and Big Mike and persuaded BG to drink the melted ice water in one of the "buckets" that the beer special was held in. Basically, a six pack of Miller Lite was tossed into a bucket with ice. I looked down and saw a puddle of ice water a couple of inches in depth with a decent amount of ice still left in the bucket. I showed BG the bucket and blurted out, "Dude, will you drink this for $5?"

Iggy quickly added, "I'll give you $20."

BG looked at the bucket and said, "Sure. Why not for $25?"

He knocked back the bucket while several bloggers snapped photos. He drank the water and admitted it had a "tinty" flavor to it. I paid the man his money and took the bucket to the adjacent booth where Otis was sitting with Heather and April and a few other folks. I showed the bucket and told them the story. I spotted a small cup of Ranch dressing and handed it to Otis.

"$5, buddy."

Otis inspected the ranch dressing for three seconds and knocked it back. It went down smooth, like a shot of tequila. And I quickly handed him $5. I picked up the empty cup and brought it back over to the other table. I told them the Otis story. Iggy had been offering $100 to someone if they drank a similar cup of ranch dressing and couldn't find anyone to do it.

We eventually left just before closing because Al Cant Hang and Big Mike made the Bait Shack run out of SoCo twice. Looks like the local booze halls were ill-equipped for a visit from Big Mike and Al Cant Hang.

Late night at Casa de Bad Blood, we started a $2/4 HORSE game.
Late Night Horse Lineup:
Seat 1: Derek
Seat 2: Bad Blood
Seat 3: Daddy
Seat 4: Pauly
Seat 5: Iggy
Somehow I won $30. Derek dropped most of is buy in. He lost a huge Razz hand to Daddy with 675 versus 674. I was up around $160 for the day when I crashed. I almost won enough money to cover my airfare dwn to G-Vegas.

****** ******

Stay tuned for the next installment called Brad-o-Ween 5: Bloggers in G-Vegas Episode 2. It will feature more stories about:
1. My first place chop in the Brad-o-Ween Poker Open
2. Recap of Team Good's loss in the Drunk Olympics
3. Three words: wet t-shirt contest
4. Three more words: high school girls
5. Eva bartends
6. Does Otis fall down?
Yeah, I'll be back on Tuesday with pictures and more musings on the South including why I love sweet tea so godammed much.

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