Friday, September 29, 2006

Dear Hillary

Dear Senator Clinton,

I'm writing you because out of my two Senators (you and Chuck Schumer), you definitely wear the pants in the family. And besides, Chuck has no aspirations of anything else besides being a US Senator. We all know that you have your shifty eyes on the White House, so listen up if you want votes in November of 2008.

Let's be honest. I didn't vote for you in 2000. It's not that I'm a registered member of the Green Party. And it's not that you're a woman. It had everything to do with the fact you didn't live a day in my home state until you decided to run for office.

OK, I'm pissed just like all the families (including the NYPD and NYFD) whose loved ones died on 9.11, because you didn't show your mug at one wake or one funeral. I'm shocked you didn't go for the easy press op. Bottom line... you dropped the ball. Rudy was there and he cried with the families. Where were you?

Now, here's your chance to get your shit together and make a majority of your constituents happy. Me included. I have no intentions to vote for you. Ever. Unless you do the right thing and tell Bill Frist he can go suck a fat one.

I understand how crucial it is for our national security to pass the Port Security bill. But please do me and every poker player in the state of NY a huge favor... make sure the language gets changed to exclude the Internet gambling language that First tried to sneak through like a coward.

Hillary baby, if you veto this bill, I'll be one of many poker players who will remember how you stood up for our interests. I'll vote for you in every election you run for if you kill the bill. I'll stop making Slick Willy jokes about his penchant for donuts and chubby interns and I'll stop doing bad impressions of Willy in his rednecky-Arkansas accent saying, "Swallow the evidence, Monica!"

If you want votes from poker playing New Yorkers... then do the right thing.

Yours in politics,

* * * * *

If you live in NY, then call up Charles Schumer at (202) 224-6542 or Hillary Clinton (202) 224-4451 and tell them that you oppose attaching Internet gaming language to the Port Security bill.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

AlCantHang Day, My Videos, and Bloggers in Aruba

Happy birthday to AlCantHang!

If you don't know Mean Gene is doing a kick ass job blogging for Ultimate Bet's Aruba Poker Classic. DoubleAs is alive and has chips. Stop by the UB blog to check out the progress of DoubleAs and the rest of the tourney.

I finally spliced together a few videos from the past week including hijinks from my birthday in NYC with drunk bartenders doing body shots and from the Boathouse.
1. Top Gun & Body Shots
2. Lewey's First Round
3. 2389 & AlCantHang vs. BadBlood
You can view the complete list of my You Tube videos... here. The Bonnaroo videos are my favorite.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Moments of Clarity: Bash at the Boathouse Part II

If abused properly, over the counter non-drowsy cold medication mixed with alcohol and herbal supplements allows you to function with an opiated/speedy buzz. It's a total contradiction but the time released ephedrine in the medicine snaps your spine with an energetic jolt every twenty minutes. That described Friday.

Derek, the Rooster, and I arrived at the Boathouse on Friday afternoon. In less than four hours, my levels of intoxication reached a highwater mark where I could not even think about driving back to the hotel even it was only 1.2 miles away. BigMike and Al held court as they took over a corner of the upstairs bar. Poker Wolf and Trip Jax introduced themselves. They've both have been leaving comments on my blogs for a couple of years and we finally had the opportunity to meet each other.

I drank with Spaceman, BigMike, and StB before we moved the party to the downstairs bar of the Boathouse. The shots of SoCo kept coming and at 6:14pm Lewey arrived. In less than 90 seconds, Lewey downed a shot of tequila, an Irish Car Bomb, and a pint of Bass Ale. I'm still impressed by that remarkable drinking feat. It's up there with seeing my buddy Chicago Bob chug 1/3 of a bottle of Pepe Lopez when we were pledges in our fraternity.

Eventually the out of town bloggers began trickling in... Bad Blood, Veneno, Drizz, and Joe Speaker. Soused pontification with friends seemed to be on the agenda for the Friday afternoon Boathouse Symposium. I had a heated and drunken conversation with StB and the Rooster on the patio about 9.11. Prior to that, Joe Speaker and I delved deep into philosophy and religion, specifically the church's influence on his son and our entire youth's culture and why arguing and killing each other over our beliefs in the coolest imaginary friend (GodAllahBuddha) is futile.

I could not drive home and handed to car keys to Flagstaff who guided my rental car safely back to the hotel, where BG hosted a tournament in one of the conference rooms. We had four tables of 28 players with a $30 buy-in. BG also picked up a keg of lager. Originally the tournament was scheduled to be a freezeout, that was until Gavin Smith busted out and changed the format to rebuy. More bloggers and friends arrived like Gracie, Sweet Sweet Pablo, and Brandon Schaefer.
My starting table:
Seat 1: AlCantHang
Seat 2: Gavin Smith
Seat 3: BG
Seat 4: Steve
Seat 5: Lewey
Seat 6: Flagstaff
Seat 7: Your Hero
Lewey and Gavin were two maniacs while Steve (BigMike's cousin) has won tournaments in AC before. The always cagey the Rooster was the first player out while Derek followed soon after.

I took over the chiplead when I busted BG and Gavin in the same hand. With 7-7, I flopped a set on a board of 10-7-5 with two spades. Gavin pushed with 8-9o. BG shoved with As-10s and the nut flush draw while I had middle set and no redraws. The turn filled in Gavin's open-ended straight draw when a Jack hit. The river saved my ass when another Jack spiked to give me a boat. I tripled up as Gavin changed the tournament to a rebuy.

AlCantHang dropped the Hammer, while Gavin bluffed me out of a pot when I folded top pair. Joe Speaker moved to our table after his broke. For the clothing fashionitas out there, Speaker wore two outfits on Friday... his drinking at the Boathouse outfit (red soccer jersey and cargo shorts) and his LA chic tournament outfit (fancy silk shirt over a ratty long-sleeve shirt and hipster jeans). His hair sparkled in the late afternoon Boathouse sunlight and it continued to shine underneath the fluorescent hue of the hotel's conference room lights.

Speaker had been playing and listening to his iPod the entire tournament. When he was moved to our table, Gavin needled him hard before he could stack up his chips.

"Headphones? Headphones are for pussies," Gavin shouted. He had been drinking heavily to shake off the hangover from the night before. He flew in from Atlanta where he had been partying all night with Erick Lindgren and Josh Arieh. They went to the Georgia Tech game and gambled on the entire second half. Gavin proudly boasted that he had won well over $35,000 in prop bets against his buddies.

"Spaceman!" Gavin yelled out as he picked up his empty cup. "Will you mix my drink to the proper levels?"

I busted Speaker when my A-K held up against his A-8. By the break, I was second in chips to Steve who had been running over the table while he and Gavin raised every single pot. Bad Blood moved to my table and he lost a monster pot to Gavin when his K-7 lost to K-6 after Gavin flopped two pair.
The Final Table:
Seat 1: Pablo
Seat 2: Karol
Seat 3: TripJax
Seat 4: Veneno (then Gavin)
Seat 5: Carter
Seat 6: Steve
Seat 7: Dawn
Seat 8: Your Hero

Final Table pic (Courtesy of Carter)

The entire night, Gavin bought chips off of people after he busted out after the rebuy period ended. He bought out Veneno and took her chips at the final table. The action went fast. I won a big pot off of Gavin when I flopped an ace with A-10. That's where things got blurry and I began to lose time again. By the time I made it to the money, all of the liquor I had consumed hit me at once. I had no idea how I was one of the final four players despite being completely hammered. I sold my chips to Gavin and drank with Maudie when she got in.

Steve won the tournament while cash games sprung up on two different tables. F Train and I started pulling out cards out of the muck to play High Card for a Buck. I was on a roll. F Train fell behind and we jumped from table to table pulling out cards. He lost every time and bumped the stakes up to $5. I continued my streak. Then it got ugly. We started playing high card for $20 a pop. Joe Speaker and Steve joined the mix. Steve had the Queen of diamonds when I picked up a card and flipped it over. The Ace of diamonds.

"Ship it!" I screamed.

That was my last memory of Friday night.

* * * * *

I woke up the next morning in my clothes as the rain pelted the open window in my hotel room. I managed to talk myself down from puking as my head throbbed. From 6am to Noon I rocked back and forth in the fetal position wanting to die as my hangover reached category five status.

I finally gathered enough strength to wake and bake and drive Derek and the Rooster to Friendly's for food. Our waitress, a high school kid named Amanda, was slower than a Parisian waitress serving a table full of fat stupid American tourists. The Rooster sweet talked her, trying to persuade her that a life of high class cock smuggling in the big city was better than slinging hash for crappy tips in the middle of nowhere.

I ordered a chocolate shake and had a few sips before I felt like puking. I ate three or bites of my burger and pushed it aside. Only a few hours before the biggest drinking day of the year I could barely move let alone take a whiff of SoCo without projectile vomiting kitten sized chunks of bile. In the last few years, the Bash at the Boathouse surpassed St. Patrick's Day and Elvis' Birthday as the highest amount of alcohol consumed by me in any given 24 hour period during a calendar year. I acted like a Boathouse rookie and foolishly got Albert Finney drunk less than twelve hours before the Super Bowl of Binge Drinking.

The charity tournament took place on the patio and Bad Blood live blogged most of it. I met Loren who won the satellite on Full Tilt and wished him luck.

By the way, congrats to CJ who took it down! The Luckbox prevailed once again. After the tournament, Gavin Smith played people heads up for $100 a pop with all proceeds going to charity. A happy Veneno jubilantly told me she won one of those.

I met a couple of bloggers for the first time like Slb who introduced himself to me at the bar. I spread out my time during the afternoon between keeping an eye on the college football games and watching the charity tournament. I ended up going 9-1 in the college games and had a couple of big bets on Notre Dame against Michigan State.

I did my best to stay away from liquor until AlCantHang bought me a shot around 5pm. Only a few hours earlier, I couldn't even stand up and there I was back on the horse downing shots with Al. I sat at the bar with StB and suggested songs to Al's buddy Phil as he prepared the setlist for his band Vibe Tribe.

I also played High Card for a Buck with F Train, Gracie, Jordan, and Drizz. The Rooster dealt and I couldn't beat Gracie, who ended my winning streak.

The downstairs opened up and the party migrated. The Beer Pong contest began as the first of the bands took the stage. The Boathouse Bash always features local musical acts. Three years ago, I hung out a lot inside listening to the bands. I didn't know as many people in attendance back then... just a handful.

Last year, more blogger showed up and we spent more time outside on the deck drinking and talking. And this year, I hardly spent any time inside listening to Petey and the Bandcampers, Vibe Tribe, and the AlCantHang Experience. I hung outside at the bar and listened to them pump the music out there. I managed to catch Carter, Gavin, and Brandon singing lyrics on a cover of a Killers song.

I was too hungover to be chugging beers and passed on the Beer Pong tournament. There was an open spot at the last second and Carter asked me to be his teammate. I reluctantly accepted. Our first round match was against StB and brdweb. I nailed my first throw and it was all downhill from there. We were down 5-2 and mounted a good comeback but ended up losing.

Brandon Schaefer was a ringer. He had been playing all summer at the house he rented in Las Vegas with Carl Olson, Jen Leo, and John Caldwell. They played beer pong in the kitchen every night. Schaefer and Bad Blood went deep and should have won but lost on a controversial play. They took second place and I was impressed with the Beer Pong prowess of my blogger brethren.

One of the first notes I jotted down was a quote from the Rooster... "When I rubbed her, I thought I made her cum."

I have no idea what he was talking about but it must have been funny at the time because I don't write stuff down too frequently. Even F Train took a photo and added it to his Flickr gallery so it must have some significance. Only the Rooster knows. I won a prop bet against F Train. Dawn and Karol were AWOL. We set the line for their arrival time at 7:15 and he took the under. They arrived much later after ditching F Train and spending the day gambling in AC. They're hardcore.

When darkness fell, the natives grew rowdy. The liquor flowed and stupid shit ensued. I heard rumors of several female bloggers showing their breasts for beads. I missed Maudie flash but she has a funny pic of me. StB and I got into a heated discussion about Hurricane Katrina while Bobby Bracelet brought his A game again but this year he had his eyes set on a 19 year old college chick. Bobby Bracelet looked good at the plate, but the kid displayed his warning track power when he flied out to deep center field.

The Rooster was recruiting more women for his harem when Carter failed to be a good and honorable wingman and dissed the Rooster in front of the ladies. The two had words and stepped out into the parking lot. I knew that Carter was totally bluffing and trying to act tough in front of the ladies. The Rooster twirled a t-shirt around his knuckles and hand as he prepped for a fight so I followed them out. Carter talked his way out of it and I kept an eye on them because the Rooster would drop him out in one punch. The two eventually hugged it out and stumbled back inside.

I drank a shot of SoCo with Al and the guy from HellsSatans Poker who's name I forgot. I met one of Joe Speaker's childhood friends, Donnie, who shared some dirt on Speaker's teenage years. Some of his tales were classics and I hope Speaker writes those up in a book or Truckin' story one day. I hung out with Maudie who showed me her tattoo while Drizz and I kicked back and drank beers with Poker Wolf. At some point in the night I did a dial-a-shot with G-Rob and Iggy.

Bloggers were groping other bloggers. At some point Kat yelled, "If you are going to grope me, do it properly!" as she pulled my hands to her breasts and ass and I coped a feel. I saw F Train getting molested and Gavin Smith with his hands down the back on some woman's pants.

I think Joe Speaker explained F Train as "120 pounds of fury." Or maybe that was F Train describing himself? Derek lost a prop bet against BG as they gambled on his weight. F Train won the Lewey Award last year for Excellence in Public Intoxication. Although he paced himself better in 2006, he still put forth a performance worthy of consideration.

At some point in the night, Derek walked into the bathroom and saw two bloggers blowing chow. The stall was occupied by an unlucky guy taking a dump. With no place to hurl, Drizz puked in the garbage while F Train puked in an urinal.

When Drizz stumbled out of the bathroom, T had already set him up with a glass of water with a note on it saying, "Drizz's Water."

Drizz dusted himself off and kept on drinking. That's why he won this year's Puke and Rally Award. AlCantHang gave TripJax the Lewey Ward, but I think it's too close to tell. Last year, F Train took the Lewey Award down uncontested. But this year's field was rich in drunken debauchery. There were several people worthy of consideration. That's why I compiled an All Lewey Team for this year's Bash.
All Lewey Team: Bash at the Boathouse
F Train
Gavin Smith
Trip Jax
If you don't know, Lewey's drunken performance at the Bash in 2004 became so legendary that we named an award after him. He lost several hundred dollars in a cash game before he shouted out in detailed description his ex-girlfriend's vagina while her mother stood only a few feet away. I never knew that the human body could bounce off pavement like that until I witnessed the infamous Running of the Lewey where he took off down a steep hill and fell before skidding twenty feet on pavement.

We closed out the Boathouse and I was in much better shape to drive home. The good thing about the hangover was that it insured that I wouldn't drink as much as Wednesday or Friday nights. Which meant no inklings of a wicked hangover (like in previous years) when I woke up to drive back to NYC on Sunday morning.

Here are some random pictures:

Late night, we hung out in my suite with Gavin Smith who told us some funny stories about life on the road and being recognized as a pro including turning down sex with a Playboy playmate. He stumbled out of the room muttering, "I'm going to get a Salisbury steak. Do you want one?"

There's nothing quite like the Bash at the Boathouse. There's Carnival and Mardi Gras and Running of the Bulls. And then there's Bash at the Boathouse, which is a combination of all three legendary yearly events. Even if it were held in the middle of Alaska, I'd hire a dogsled to take me to the party to pay homage to AlCantHang and try to help raise money for BigMike's nephew.

I once said that there are very few people who live up to their reputations. AlCantHang is one of those people. As Gavin Smith put it best, "Why do they call you AlCantHang? Because I thought I drank a lot but you drink a shitload more than me. You're a fuckin' rock star."

One of the greatest things about having a blog is meeting amazing people. AlCantHang sits at the top of that list. I've been fortunate to have been invited with Derek to spend the last three years at the Boathouse celebrating life with AlCantHang and his friends BigMike, Lewey, Tony, Landow, Jimmy Dubs, and of course Eva. I don't judge a man's wealth by his material possessions or by the balance of his bank account. True wealth is determined by the number of amazing and resourceful friendships that a person has. AlCantHang is one of the wealthiest people I know. He's a friend to many and I'm a better person having him in my life.

Thanks again to AlCantHang and BigMike for an amazing weekend. You guys are the real rockstars in a world of lip syncers.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Treading Water: Bash at the Boathouse Part I

After the WSOP ended, I did everything possible to forget about the poker world and the carnival-like atmosphere of tournament poker escaping to the nearby mountains in Boulder and the picturesque beaches of Malibu. I avoided the monstrous poker machine for a few weeks as the post-WSOP poker world was peppered by several black eyes and blemishes. Lawsuits. Arrests. Mayhem.

Whenever hefty sums of money are involved, the vultures and angle shooters swoop in like maddened machete wielding children rushing out of the jungles of Sierra Leone in the middle of the night chopping off the hands of other children in neighboring villages. Just like the civil wars destroying the lives and homes of millions in West Africa, the poker world is in the middle of an ugly bar brawl. The WSOP champion is getting sued. The WPT is getting sued by their former hostess and some of the world's best poker players. Then there's the main event chip controversy which is still unanswered.

And how about the gaming industry arrests? Normally, I applaud cops for arresting suits. Not in this instance. They're trying to scare you into thinking that you're next, when the guys sitting at home betting $100 on the Monday night football game or donking off a couple hundred of their hard earned income online are committing harmless/victimless crimes. Right now there are hordes of angry people all over the planet chanting "Death to America!" and burning our flags. They want to kill you, your mother, and your kids. Those are the folks that our federalies should be rounding up and intimidating, and not guys and girls like you and me.

Of course, I missed all that nonsense. I was on vacation. Or "holiday" as my European friends would say. Poker has been an afterthought during the last few weeks and will continue to be so in upcoming months as I devote all my time and energy into traveling and other writing projects. With that said, ever since AlCantHang announced the dates for the 2006 Bash at Boathouse sometime in October of 2005, I was one of the first people to commit since Derek and I were in attendance at the last two.

The Bash has morphed into a Burning Man for Alcoholics, where people travel from all over the farthest corners of the world to gather together in the middle of nowhere to act weird and celebrate one of the greatest cultural icons of the 21st century... AlCantHang.

The Boathouse would be the last stop on a four day bender that started in New York City and spilled over into Atlantic City and eventually landed me at the Boathouse knocking back shots of Southern Comfort with AlCantHang at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Drinking and gambling can be a soul-munching solitary experience. But when you do it with friends in the right places, you hit highs that you'll be chasing the rest of your life.

* * * * *

After a quick birthday dinner with Derek, Falstaff, and The Rooster, we embarked on a bar hopping binge. We followed the Rooster as he took us down random Midtown side streets to all of his favorite places where we'd check up on "his bitches." He knew the adorable bartender at one hole in the wall where shots were the specialty drink. After knocking back a Snakes on a Plane (pictured above), we ordered a Top Gun for Falstaff, who the dyslexic Rooster started calling Flagstaff. The Top Gun shot featured props and background music as the bartender blasted Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. She handed Flagstaff a pilot's hat.

"Who's Goose?" she asked as she dangled a pair of aviator sunglasses.

I raised my hand and she slid the sunglasses on my face. The music blasted and Falstaff downed the shot. Next up was the Jose Canseco shot... aptly served in a fake hypodermic needle that you stuck in your mouth and squeezed out all the liquor. We called Balco Bad Blood for a dial-a-shot.

Sometime later, we found ourselves in a crowded college bar knocking back $1 mugs of beers as the Rooster and Derek rated the local talent of twentysomething coeds. After a few drinks we ended up at an Upper West Side dive bar called Yogis. I watched Derek Jeter hit his November 1st homerun in a crowded Yogis during the 2001 World Series.

Yogis features cheap drinks and the jukebox is all country and western songs. It was somewhat empty for a Wednesday night and the Rooster started things off right with a round of Pabst Blue Ribbon... for $8. That began the PBR binge for Flagstaff (who incidentally the last time I saw him around 1:55am on Sunday was clutching a PBR tall boy at the Boathouse).

Spaceman and Jen B. were in town to cover a Hip Hop Hold'em tournament and they stopped by with F Train to join in the fracas. Jen B. is a sweet Kentucky girl (currently living in Texas) and she knew all the words to the songs. Flagstaff is an admitted redneck and Spaceman lives in rural Tennessee so he also qualifies. And of course, the Rooster is a man of many talents including being able to recite the lyrics to several thousand country songs. We were in the right place to get loaded.

The Rooster says he's a suit, but in all reality, he's a pimp. That was confirmed when he whispered in my ear and pointed at the cute bartender, "For $200 she'll let you do whatever you want. She's an actress who said she'd do 'whatever it takes' to make money."

Derek described the two bartenders as Coyote Ugly wanna-bes. The blonde was spunky and girl next door sexy. The brunette was sultry and surly. They drank like bikers and jumped up on the bar to dance at random moments. They made out with female customers and aggressively pushed drinks and questioned your manhood if you nursed a beer.

They also charged $25 for a body shot. One bartender would lie down on the bar and pull up her shirt. The other would hold a lime in her mouth and pour tequila on the stomach of the other bartender. The lucky drunk who purchased the shot would lick up the liquor on the stomach of the hot bartender wile everyone standing in a ten foot radius whipped out their cell phone cameras to capture the timeless moment.

"What's your favorite drink?" the brunette asked me.

That's always changing. I've had a long term friendship with my boys Jim and Jack. I went south of the border for a stint before a nasty accident where I puked for three days straight and urinated on the walkman of a friend's girlfriend. For a while, I was a vodka guy. Most recently, I've been drinking vodka and Redbull or whiskey and gingerale.

"Makers and gingerale," I shouted over the Johnny Cash song that blasted on the jukebox.

"Shot! What's your favorite shot?" she asked.

"SoCo," I shouted.

She whirled around and picked up a bottle of Southern Comfort and jumped up on the bar.

"Let's go birthday boy!" she screamed as all my friends pulled out their cameras.

Kids don't try this at home

I stood with my back to the bar as she pulled my head into her crotch. She poured a shot. Then a second. And third. The fourth one was sloppy and she poured faster than I could chug. The excess SoCo spilled all over my mouth and shirt. Drenched in SoCo, the next few hours became a blur as I lost time. We figured out I had about 16-18 assorted shots and drinks between dinner at 7pm and 2am.

I had only the fuzzy memory of my friends and the bizarre photos that I took on my camera to help piece together the rest of that night. Here are some of the pics:

Body shots

Hot girl on girl action!

* * * * *

I had a category three hangover as I stood in line to get my rental car. I hoped that the guy behind the counter couldn't smell my breath or the odor of the liquor that seeped through my sweat glands. The drive to Atlantic City with Derek and the Rooster was a chore as I fought off the headaches and swirling gastric juices in my stomach.

We checked into the Borgata and got a room on the 43rd floor. We headed down to the poker room to meet up with BG, Flagstaff, and StB who were all seated at the same 3/6 table. Carter was somewhere in the new poker room playing NL. A new blogger came over to introduce himself and we met brdweb for the first time.

I had not been back to the Borgata since I lived there for two weeks in January covering the Borgata Winter Open. I befriended several staff members including dealers and floor people. I got to catch up with a few and it felt nice to know that I was missed during the most recent Borgata tournaments. One of the suits found out that I was in the poker room and left his office to come down to the casino floor to say hello and wish me a happy birthday. He hoped that I could return in January 2007 to cover the Borgata Winter tournament and asked me where I wanted to go to dinner as he whipped out his cellphone and arranged a reservation at the new Bobby Flay restaurant.

Eventually, Derek, the Rooster, and myself were seated with StB, BG, and Flagstaff donking around at the low limit table. I won a big hand off of BG in a capped pot preflop when my Aces held up. The flop was K-K-x and if he held A-K, I was fucked. A Jack fell on the turn. Convinced that I was beat, I check/called all the way to the river. He showed Q-Q.

I was involved with a hand against StB that bugged him the entire weekend. I raised with AKs preflop. I missed the flop, turn, and river. But I led out everytime. There was a boat on the board by the river and I didn't notice because I had been watching StB the entire time. He reluctantly called the flop and almost mucked on the turn before sighing and tossing in his bet.

"For some reason I think you have A-K," he said.

With the boat on the board by the river, he assumed I had a big pair and mucked. I showed him my hand and he shook his head.

"I knew it," he muttered.

He knew he should have called that bet, especially in a low limit game. That hand would haunt him all weekend.

The highlight of the day involved a hand with a wanna be gangster in Seat 10 and StB. The guy in seat one who looked like an extra from The Sopranos limped UTG. The Rooster raised and StB reraised. The guy called two bets cold. I think StB had A-K because the flop was K-8-8 and the guy won the pot with 8-4o. When he showed his hand, StB said, "You're playing that crap? To two raises?"

The guy snapped, "Shut up tourist. Stop acting like a sore loser."

"Hey, fuck you man," the Rooster barked across the table sticking up for his friend and fellow blogger.

The guy looked at the Rooster and started shaking. The intimidating Rooster clocked the guy and slightly motioned his head to the door indicating that if the guy had a problem, the Rooster would be happy to smooth things out in the parking lot.

"Settle down pal," Derek added as he crossed his arms and glared at the guy in seat 10.

"Floor!" the dealer yelled as he sensed a fight.

The guy backed down as his testicles shrunk to the size of snow peas. He realized that he was sitting at a table with six friends. Flagstaff and Derek are big dudes. And no one wants to mess with the Rooster, who stopped boxing after he nearly killed an opponent in the ring.

The game broke after BG went to the new race book to play the ponies. My buddy JW was in town on a business trip and happened to be staying at the Borgata. We went to dinner at Bobby Flay's Steakhouse with Derek and caught up on things. We hadn't seen each other since I left Las Vegas at the end of August. JW ordered the Cajun filet mignon which came with chili peppers and crawfish. He also ordered us a round of oyster and crab meat shooters with hot sauce and Stoli. Talk about spicy.

By then, the mental fatigue from writing 15 hours a day for ten straight days caught up with me and the hangover from my birthday the night before lingered all afternoon. I decided to reserve energy for the AlCantHang leg of the trip. With time still left on the clock to run a few plays, I took a knee and ran off the field for halftime. I went to bed early as the Rooster played until 6am. He stumbled into the room and passed out on the floor near the door. He screamed at housekeeping at 8am for trying to come in even though there was a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door.

to be continued....
Coming Soon...

Stay tuned for a recap of the four day bender that spilled over into three states which included my birthday, a trip to the Borgata, and the Bash at the Boathouse.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Truckin' - September 2006, Vol. 6, Issue 9

The September issue of Truckin' has been published and features the debut of Mean Gene, who wrote one of the most powerful pieces on 9.11 that I've read in five years. Our good buddy Otis shared a story about his grandfather. This epic issue includes the debut of a new writer and poker blogger Doog. Check out his story Roots. And we have contributions from regulars... Sean A. Donahue, my buddy Sigge from Norway, and yours truly.

September 2006, Vol. 6, Issue 9

1. Can't Find My Way Home By Paul McGuire
The sharp teeth of depression sinks into my skin and draws blood late at nights when I'm sitting alone in a hotel room and there's nothing on TV and I've smoked all my drugs and I have no one to talk... More

2. Grandpa Was a Gambler by Brad Willis
Grandpa's jaw was stronger than I ever could've imagined it could be. As he stood beside a beautiful and buxom woman that would someday be my grandma, Grandpa looked like movie star from 1940... More

3. Five Years After 9/11 by Gene Bromberg
We spent all that blood and treasure going after Iraq, while the people who attacked us on 9/11 still walk the earth... More

4. Dining with a Celebrity by Sean A. Donahue
I always like finding old friends. The only key is will the friendship that we had still strong enough to last through my divorce and her marriage?... More

5. To Lena; I Hate It by Sigge S. Amdal
A promise is superfluous when what's promised is something I intend to do... More

6. Roots - Part I by Doog
When my father and his brothers were going through Leo G's belongings, they came across a satchel containing $25,000 in cash. In the bag was a handwritten note... More

If you like these stories, then email your friends and pester your co-workers. Tell them to print the stories up and read them on the shitter. It takes a few seconds to pass along the URL and everyone at Truckin' seriously appreciates your support.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I have a gut, a bald spot, and an off-shore bank account. I outlived Jesus Christ, Jim Morrison, and Chris Farley... more

Monday, September 18, 2006

5 Recent Hilarious Google Referrals...
1. Eric Molina douchebag
2. Vanessa Rousso naked pictures
3. Who is Liz Lieu's boyfriend?
4. Smoking crack in the parking lot of Spearmint Rhino
5. "I tell the women that the face is my experience and the hands are my soul - anything to get those panties down"

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dog Humpers

I went to the Verizon store in the Flat Iron District to buy a new cell phone. The saleslady, a young woman named Soozy with a nose ring and a back tattoo, asked me what kind of phone I wanted. I shrugged my shoulders.

I hate shopping and I hate talking on my cell phone. Shopping for cellphones was sheer torture. She waved her hand and indicated that I should follow her over to the far wall as I stared at her ass.

"This one is great of you like games. Do you know how to play the Dallas Texas Hold'em poker?"

I shrugged my shoulders.

"You know, Dallas Texas Hold'em. Like they play on the TV. Well, this is the best phone to use to play poker," she said in a poor attempt to convince me to buy that crappy phone.

I picked a different one and she rang me up at the counter. I went to the Tech Desk in the back of the store to get my address book switched. The guy at the desk reminded me of the pothead version of Theo Huxtable from The Cosby Show. After he transferred the data to my new phone, he checked to see if it worked and said, "You got Phil Gordon's phone number? No joke? That poker guy?"

I shrugged my shoulders and walked out of the store. It had been raining for two days straight and the early morning rain soaked me on Fifth Avenue. My flimsy umbrella, a thin green piece of shit with a silver Silverton Casino logo on it, provided very little protection against the downpour. I inherited the green umbrella from Grubby. It was one of the many casino gifts that he left behind when he moved out of Las Vegas. I don't know why I didn't question the durability of an umbrella given away as a promotion from a Nevada local's casino that Grubby got for playing through $2K in Mr. Cashman slots at Silverton.

* * * * *

Poker has not been on my mind the last few weeks as I delved into the non-gambling world. This past week, I've been embroiled in a time consuming creative writing project. I caught up on a few indie films when I was in Hollyweird at the end of the summer, such as Little Miss Sunshine and Factotum. I finally saw all those episodes of Entourage that I missed while on assignment in Las Vegas. I've been seeing plenty of live concerts in both Boulder and in New York featuring some of my favorite bands. I posted reviews of Widespread Panic's shows at Radio City Music Hall over at the Tao of Pauly and my music blog. And I've been switching back and forth between reading Chuck Klosterman's new book and a biography on Philip K. Dick called Divine Invasions that Ryan recommended to me

I've played some poker over the last few weeks which included a several hit and run sessions online at Full Tilt where I'm still working off that bonus. I'm 93% close to clearing it. By the way, Poker Stars has a reload bonus running through Sept. 19th at Midnight. Normally you can stack their bonuses but this one expires in six months.

When I was in California, I played on FT with Peter Birks. It was early morning for him in England as he tried to squeeze in an hour of play before he went to work. It must be strange to wake up in Europe to play against the East Coast Americans who've been up all night chasing loses and against West Coasters approaching the Midnight hour.

I played short-handed NL with Grubby at FT as we multi-tabled with Donkey Puncher at a 3/6 table. Puncher took it on the chin after losing a big pot set over set. I mucked the winning hand preflop to two raises in front of me. I also played a little 5/10 with Zeem and my brother.

Last weekend, I had Pocket Aces three times in 15 hands spread out on various limit tables. They all held up. I just checked Poker Tracker and my Aces held up 5 out of the last 6 times and 12 out of the last 15. That means I'm due to get them busted. I'm gonna muck them the next time I get them. My Kings tell a different and sadder story. I had one of those horrible sessions where K-K were brutally cracked twice at the same table with the same hand. Two different players rivered me with 10-7o.

Alas, the karmic pendulum swings both ways like a Phuket tranny hooker. In the last 50 hands that I played on Party Poker, I cracked Aces with Jacks and cracked Kings with Q-Js. Some days the dog humps you and some days you get to hump the dog.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

2006 WCOOP on Poker Stars and More Quality Scribes

I've been on the down low the last two weeks. I returned to NYC and started a writing project which occupies all of my time and energy. I have to put poker on hold for a while. On Monday morning, I went to a memorial mass for friends who died on 9.11. I was touched by two pieces... Mean Gene's Five Years After 9.11 and Kid Dynamite's 5 Years Later. Check them out.

ScurvyDog also wrote an interesting piece called Die, Poker Blogs, Die!

Oh and make sure you read one of my favorite posts all time.... How to Leave a Comment by Tony Pierce.

* * * * *

If you don't know PokerStars is running the 2006 WCOOP starting on Saturday with their Razz event. Derek had been playing different satellites the past few weeks, which are still running.

The WCOOP schedule features one Razz and two HORSE events. They had 16 events last year and added two more for 2006. Like the WSOP, the winner's of WCOOP events also win a bracelet.
September 16: Razz ($200+$15)
September 17: NL Hold 'em ($500+$30)
September 18: PL Omaha (rebuys) ($300+$20)
September 19: NL Hold 'em Match Play ($200+$15)
September 20: Limit Omaha High/Low ($500+$30)
September 21: NL Hold 'em (rebuys) ($200+$15)
September 22: Limit Hold 'em ($200+$15)
September 23: HORSE ($200+$15)
September 23: PL Hold 'em ($500+$30)
September 24: NL Hold 'em ($1,000+ $50)
September 25: Seven Card Stud ($300+$20)
September 26: PL Omaha8 ($300+$20)
September 27: PL Hold'em ($300+$20)
September 28: Seven Card Stud High/Low ($500+$30)
September 29: PL Omaha ($500+$30)
September 30: HORSE ($5,000+$200)
September 30: Limit Hold'em ($1,000+$50)
October 1: NL Hold 'em ($2,500+$100)
I'm thinking about playing the $500 PL Omaha if my schedule clears up by then.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Quality Scribes: Craig, Calistri, and Lavalli

It appears that Enyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew cracked the case of the $2 million chips controversy at the WSOP main event. Check out Amy Calistri and Tim Lavalli's reports:
Two Million Questions. Will Poker Answer?: Part One
Two Million Questions. Will Poker Answer?: Part Two
Two Million Questions. Will Poker Answer?: Part Three

Also, Michael Craig has been giving Card Player a lot of guff in his blog:
The Beginning of the End? Or the End of the Beginning?
Mercy Killing at Card Player

Friday, September 08, 2006

21 Flavors: A 2006 WSOP Photo Dump

I've been sorting through the thousands of photos that I shot during the 2006 WSOP. I already sent hundreds of them to the trash. Here's a quick gallery of twenty-one of my favorite photos that I never posted during the WSOP for some reason or another. A slightly different version of one or two may have appeared in previous posts, but most of these have not been published before.

Feel free to click on the photos to see an enlarged view.

Lacey Jones

Gavin Smith's hangover relief

Isabelle contemplating a call

Michael Craig takes notes with Shecky in the foreground

Wil with Anna Benson in the background

Phil Ivey with his Superfan on the rail

Lucky numbers

Hachem and Fossilman playing heads-up Battleship

Paradise Poker girls

Vannessa's cleavage

Barry signing books



Bad Blood and G Rob tour the media room

Dimitri Nobles scoops a pot

Milwaukee's Beast girls

Joe Hachem

Johnnie Chan sweating Jamie Gold on Day 5

Jamie Gold interviewed by ESPN guy

Former Star Trek Actor feeds meth addiction by stealing water

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I'm in purgatory which is that short period of time after a holiday ends. I'm in limbo wandering around between heaven (vacation) and hell (work). Over the past two weeks, I've roamed around Colorado, Las Vegas, Hollyweird, and now in NYC spending time with friends, taking photos, seeing bands, investigating the JonBenet murder case, reading books, and enjoying a well needed break away from Las Vegas.

I played some poker sporadically over the past two weeks. My last few days in Las Vegas were spent at the tables either at Red Rock or at Green Valley Ranch. In LA and Boulder, I played online grinding out my reload bonus at Full Tilt. I sat outside on a bench in the Pearl Street mall in downtown Boulder playing 5/10 and checking out all the cute hippie college girls from CU that just returned from summer break. I felt like Wooderson from Dazed and Confused because, "I get older and they stay the same age."

Last Wednesday, I was busy and missed the Gavin Smith Charity Tournament even though I signed up for it. I managed to come in 16th out of 45 without playing a hand! I think I did better than if I actually played. Thanks to AlCantHang for setting that up.

Two weekends ago, I hung out with Daddy in Boulder, CO. We saw Galactic, one of my favorite bands from New Orleans. We partied hard with my buddy the Joker and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. I posted reviews of three of Galactic's Colorado shows over at the Tao of Pauly and at my music blog. If you like Led Zeppelin, then you have to check out the videos I show from one of the Galactic shows at the Fox Theatre.
Kashmir (8.26.06)
Shibuya (8.26.06)
Immigrant Song, Whole Lotta Love > Meter Maid, Manic Depression (8.26.06)
The Joker's Galactic Video (8.26.06)
Over the weekend, I played heads-up Chinese Poker with Change100. She had a nice lead early but I came from behind to win handily. I hit a stretch where my second best hand was beating out her best hand.

Two months ago I was in Tennessee and watched a dude with possum-made boots snort coke off a buck knife in the middle of the crowd at Sonic Youth during Bonnaroo. A month ago in Las Vegas, I lost $400 because Otis proved me wrong and ate two Keno crayons. And just the other day, I sat in Change100's Beverly Hills apartment and watched gay, nut-biting, toy humping sexually overactive dogs of famous actors while I played online poker.

Change100's roommate Showcase is a dog-walker to the stars and brings the dogs over in the afternoon. One dog was nicknamed Gay Mack because he only liked to hump other male dogs. One was a tiny red Dachshund named Billy. He was a pussy for a dog and could not leave Showcase's side. Billy would also chew and bite his testicles in order to masturbate. He did it for a few minutes while I sat on the couch and stared in amazement and jealousy. The other dog was a pug named Pug. He was the "biggest fuckin' pug" that I have ever seen. Pug liked to hump a squeeze toy that would moan when he mounted it. Those dogs kept me entertained in between folding hands.

On my JetBlue flight from LA to NYC, I watched the 2006 WSOP main event. I caught one of the rare moments I was in the shot... during Greg Raymer's bustout hand when his 8-8 ran into A-A. I sweated Raymer for almost four hours that day while working for Poker Stars Blog and was really bummed to see him go. I also saw Ryan bust Jesus.

I also saw CJ a couple of times with Dimitri Nobles. If you don't know the story, CJ was Nobles' good luck charm. I also spotted several of my fellow media friends in background shots such as Flipchip, Spaceman, Tuscaloosa Johnny, Jen Browning, Joy, Tom Murphy, PokerWire Amanda, Greg from Image Masters, Mad from PokerStars, and of course CJ.

Here's some quick poker pimpage:
Thanks to Jason Goldman for mentioning the Tao of Poker during his interview with LAist.

I signed up for the Tanner Evers Charity Event on Full Tilt. Mookie did a gracious deed and set this up. It's now your turn to do something to improve your karma.

April wrote a review of Jay Greenspan's book Hunting Fish. Check it out.

Michael Craig has been blogging some great stuff recently, specifically a piece called Free Richard Lee.

Speaking of the WSOP, Lou Krieger has a few suggestions for the 2007 WSOP.

Don't forget about checking out Flipchip's Las Vegas photos.

Lastly, the guys at the Lord Admiral Card Club are hanging it up. Listen to their last episode. There was a time in this world when Cinci Sean and Brent Stacks had the best poker podcast on the planet and I was fortunate to be a contributor on more than one instance. Thanks guys for all your hard work over the years.

That's it for now. The bad news is that I'm starting a new project in a few days that will take up all of my time and energy for the remainder of the month. The good news is that it's not poker-related.