Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Weekend 


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vegas is coming 

Vegas is coming. Vegas is coming.

That's all I keep telling myself these days as we get down to the next major event. That's how I get through my days recently. Vegas in the summer got me through a really shitty spring. The Bash in September kept me sane through the summer planning and the new job. Since the Bash I've been waiting for the Vegas trip and trying to stay sane. Not as easy as you would think in my current environment.

Vegas has always been my fall back option when it comes to completely losing myself in complete debauchery that's my place. I have no worries other than making sure my staggering ass can get back to the room in one piece, which is not necessarily as easy as you would think. I've told the hooker-rolling story serveral times over the last two weeks for some reason. People never get tired of hearing about degenerate behavior to make themselves feel better.
"She stood up and almost fell over. We've all been that drunk before. So drunk that you barely notice it when slumped on a bar stool until the excess booze hits you like a ton of bricks as soon as you stand up to go take a leak. Your legs disappear and you spin around like a weeble wobble hoping to get lucky and gain your balance before you smash your face into the edge of the bar. The old hooker stumbled back and twirled around a few times as she nearly collided with the electronic roulette table.

Pauly - Existentialist Conversations with Hookers: Maelstrom at the Hooker Bar
Replace the bumbling stumbling hooker with a drunk hippy and Pauly just described my typical Vegas night.

There is nothing that puts me straight better than sitting around a random bar in Sin City with some of my old-time friends who don't see me as a blogger or corporate shill or some mythical drinking creature capable of putting a bar in the black with one nice bender. When I pony up to the bar with the likes of Dr. Pauly, Otis, or any other number of close friends I won't hear countless stories of bad beats or anything to do with poker other than the occasional story from a random trip. It's always about that one moment in time, the booze and the stories.

Those were back in the days before I was a self-indulgent weenie who could actually put 10 words together without chain smoking a pack of Marlboros just to end to get it done. Pauly's writeup of his recent trip to the Rio and the Hooker Bar brought back some of those memories, specifically some of my own good times with Grubby at the very same bar during a past forgotten WSoP. The Hooker Bar was put on the back burner by most of the regular writers during the Series, instead retreating to their newer better hangouts and no one goes to the Rio during the Winter Gathering. Who the hell goes to the Rio unless they absolutely have to? The last time I was there with Grubby and MiamiDon I ended up in two different strip clubs and doing the 4-mile walk of shame after the Vegas sunrise.

So I've got my eyes firmly set on a weekend in the middle of December. I'll get to see my friends who I drink with on too few occasions and for too short a time. I'll drink too much and play really really bad poker (and I mean Waffles bad poker). I'll probably fall down a few more times for people to post on YouTube and I definitely plan to make a complete full out of myself. Except for when I'll be the man performing the marriage ceremony of Gracie and Sweet Sweet Pablo, I promise to be on my best behavior. I can't make any promises for my stripper date though.

Until then I'll read Pauly's post a few more dozen times and prepare myself.

Existentialist Conversations with Hookers: Maelstrom at the Hooker Bar


I've been lax the last few months with pimping Truckin'. Here you go.

November 2008, Vol. 7, Issue 11

1. Jupiter Four by Paul McGuire
Cal never had a chance. After one season of winter ball in the Dominican Republic, he walked away from baseball. He was miserable down there. His Spanish was bad. He caught a nasty parasite and his girlfriend constantly begged him to come home.... More

2. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Conviviality by May B. Yesno
The voice crackles and chatters. The sum and substance of the call is an invite to play with resistors and transistors and bread boards, hot solder and imagination. One of the customers wanted company. His wife was off chasing her particular dreams of sustenance some six hundred miles away across two mountain ranges... More

3. Luna Moth by Betty After Dark
Then you flipped me. On my back. Crawling on top of me. Hovering over me, you pushed my arms above my head. I imagined you had tied me up. You fumbled. We giggled... More

4. The Green Chip by Jonathan Bennetts
In just over twelve months Alex had hit rock bottom and it seemed like he had been there forever. He plummeted headlong into being a hopeless drunk who'd lost everything; his sole reason for living now was to raise five bucks daily for his quart of Orillia Tiger Ruby Red Port wine... More

5. Pizza and the Party by Matt Moon
tried talking and joking with Brittany but she was giving one-or-two-word responses. She was not digging me. She'd rather stare out the backseat window than associate with me. That was very unfortunate. I was really hammered and she had some cute aspects to her. I kept trying to progress the conversation but failed miserably every single time.... More


Poker trip from hell or How I could never be Dr. Pauly 

Things have been so hectic around here that I barely have time to think let alone write in this tiny space but that's no excuse. Last week I had a chance to go work at a charity poker game in NYC hosted by Beth and Dan Shak. Some poker bigwigs would be there but I would be on the job and I've never come close to being a poker fanboy.

I'll never be confused with the poker writers like Dr. Pauly, Otis or the other dozens of fine writers who make their living writing wonderful stuff about a group of degenerates sitting around slinging chips. I don't have the chops and generally the client doesn't go for the rubbish that usually comes pouring out of my brain. The official website would never contain the stories about the hooker dressed player who ended up passing out on the table before she busted or the ex-Phillie pitcher standing on a New York City sidewalk slurring his "Fuck the Mets and Fuck the Yankees" to whomever was passing by or the mini-rant the Poker Brat laid on Jordan as he was dealing a hand. I was there in strict PR mode and there are even some things I won't mention here for fear of getting cut off in the future.

It was going to be a long day so I did what I do best. Went out the night before and got myself in a world class twisted mess. Riggs was set to pick me up at 8am but I couldn't tell you what time I finally crawled in the house. There was a long anguishing drive down the AC Expressway to start things off at the Borgata. They donated the tables for the charity game as well as a few poker staff to facilitate the dealing, never mind the meetings that would take us past the scheduled departure time. The only thing that made me anywhere near right was a few slices of pizza and a gallon of cola.

Leaving late had one nasty side effect. Getting to the Lincoln Tunnel at 4:30 is an experience I never wish to have again, especially being one of three people stuffed in the back of an undersized SUV. More years were taken off my life by sucking those bus fumes that smoking has ever done. That also meant I would miss a schedule pre-game drink near the hotel with Derek, Joaquin and Mary Bacon-bikini.

But have no fear, we are all imaginative if nothing else. The party just switched from over-priced bar drinks in Manhattan to free drinks on the 36th floor of the Mandarin Oriental. They made their appearance while I was finishing set up in my little corner with the other worker bees, that included trying to fix Rigg's newly blowed the fuck up laptop and tuning things up with BuddyDank Radio. For my own future reference, the radio microphone generally works better when pointing at your mouth instead of the back of you head.

Good news, one of the bars was sitting within 10 feet of my table. Bad news, not a lick of Southern Comfort in the entire building. As it was, I just made sure to help myself to the monstrous buffet they had going. Gyoza, shumai, spring rolls and a living breathing sushi chef taking specialized orders. It was a target rich environment for the Rooster and I wouldn't be the least surprised if he didn't walk out of the building with a few rich bitch phone numbers.

The game was just about the most uneventful $5,000 buyin game you'll ever see. 90% of the players probably never played before and were just there for the cause. You were just as likely to see players in line for the buffet or bar then see them actually sitting down to play a hand. Hellmuth was doing double duty by MC'ing as well as playing. It's no secret that Hellmuth is one of my least favorite players thanks to his complete douchebaggery at the tables, but I'll have to give him this one. He did a great job at the event and made things interesting for all in attendance. Mini-rant at Jordan not withstanding. He was actually rebuying for other players when they busted if they didn't have the cash on hand to do so.

Naturally the cynic in me automatically thinks he must have gotten one huge appearance fee to act so well.

Once the rebuy period was over the craziness kicked in. There was a timeframe for when they needed to leave the room and the game quickly became an uber-turbo with bustouts all over the place. That left plenty of people standing around watching the bigwigs and chugging free drinks. One drunken player was flagged twice by Hellmuth over the mic, telling the bartender to cut him off. There's something to put on your resume. The passed out girl was eventually shuffled off quietly to the elevators but not before making a stumbling effort to hit the bathrooms. In the blink of an eye the game was done, winners declared and numbers announced. $825,000 for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, not a bad pull.

All that and my experiences with some Secret Service looking big men barely even registers in my mind. I'm guessing there was someone pretty damned important visiting the Mandarin Oriental that evening and I'm guessing they weren't there to protect a very drunk Ricky Bottalico.

The drive back to home via Atlantic City took an hour longer than normal thanks to a missed turn and Riggs spent the 90 minute drive from AC to Phoenixville mostly asleep, thanking the drinking gods we survived because he was driving while sleeping.

24 hours, 4am to 4am. Pub -> P-ville -> Atlantic City -> New York City -> Atlantic City (via the Turnpike and NOT the Parkway!) -> P-ville. All survived without a single drop of booze in my system. Let's never attempt this again or I'll start naming names.