Sunday, January 28, 2007

Settlement Day and Almost Famous

Brandon and I watched the end of the men's finals of the Australian Open in our hotel room. The show that came on afterwards was a Discovery Travel & Life program called Vegas Virgins featuring Lou Krieger! It's a reality show were five Americans take on five Brits to see who is the best poker player. Lou gives the amateurs advice on how to play poker. The players were awful, but Lou shines.

Brandon left for Alice Springs this morning and I had to settle up our Chinese Poker debt. I ended up -67 overall. I went on a tear and got down to as low as -45, but in the last day or so, Brandon stormed back.

I had him on the ropes one late night when we played on the roof of our hostel. The hot German chick with no underwear came over to watch and that sent the both of us on Mega Hot Chick Minus Underwear Chinese Poker Tilt (MHCMUCPT). I managed to keep my shit together, but poor Brandon could not even set his hand straight as the bats circled around above us and the depths of MHCMUCPT allowed me to make a comeback.

Since we arrived in Sydney we played on the roof of our hostel, on a Ferry to Manly Beach, and in the Botanical Gardens where we fought off our wicked hangovers after attending a BBQ at Nigel's flat.

Nigel is a publisher of a Australian Travel magazine and a devoted reader of my blogs. He invited me and Brandon over to his BBQ. We headed over to Glebe and his place was a few blocks from Ali's. Funny that we were hanging out in Glebe for two nights in a row, at a BBQ, drinking with strangers. But they weren't strangers... Aussies are extremely friendly and hospitable people. Nigel's friends were fascinated that Brandon was a "professional gambler" and that I got paid to travel the world and write.

It was a surreal scene kinda like out of Almost Famous when the guitar player headed to a high school party and jumped off the roof into the pool exclaiming, "I'm a golden god!" Except that there was no LSD and no pool for me to jump into off the roof.

We hung out in the kitchen and drank heavily as they made mojitos from scratch. When the liquor ran out, Nigel yelled, "Off to the pub!" And about 20-25 people stumbled out into the streets and wandered into the pub a few blocks away. The basement had slot machines (or pokies as they call it). Brandon and I played pool against Nigel and his buddy Gavin and it's safe to say the the Yanks are dominate pool players after we beat the Aussies 2-0.

When the pub closed, we headed to another bar and sat in the back. We drank Coopers Pale Ale and played poker. Actually it was $2/hand and we'd all go in blind pre-flop. An Irish guy wandered up and joined us. We played four-way for a bit and the winner of the hand would take down $8 in $2 Aussie coins. I cracked Brandon's J-J with 6-5s after I rivered a flush. Nigel had Kings almost cracked by Brandon's A-Q. The flop was an Ace but Nigel rivered a two-outer to scoop the pot.

I ended up the big winner and won enough for cab fare back to King's Cross where the strung out hookers sit outside on milk crates looking for johns.

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