Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

Beer, brewing and poker, with possibly some inane drivel on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

So, what does a Player like myself do after he gets home from the Playboy Mansion with a few days to digest what's happened?

He takes his two extra days off to write about the experience, of course, pounding out as much verbal mush as possible.

Well, that's what I would be doing if Time Warner hadn't turned off our internets due to "spamming issues". Whatever. I'm not about to sit in the Dunn Bros. across the street from my house in order to write all day long, which is where I'm writing from right now.

It's at a time like that proves just how dependent I am on having a reliable internet connection. And also how much I hate Dunn Bros. coffee.

The Time Warner rep--who just happens to know nothing about internet security, by the by--said that I either have to reformat the harddrive or have a service professional clean everything up before getting our cable modem turned back on. Uh, right.

What a colossal pain in my ass.

So, until I have can get online again, this will have to do. Hey, I may even have some poker talk here from my time in Vegas, if you're lucky. In fact, I can guarantee you'll get lucky, which is more than I can say for any of my compatriots this past weekend.


Monday, March 27, 2006

That's the funny thing in all of this; I'm not a puker. I rarely, if ever, puke from drinking too much. Throw me in a vehicle that decides it's necessary to move, well, then we have what happened to me on Saturday night.

I will forever be labled The Puker Blogger. Somebody--I think it was Jason-- said I should change the name of my blog to Pukeramarama. So not funny, man. Way to kick a man when he's already down on the ground (horking Mansion drinks, of course).

Right now, I'm sitting in our MGM deluxe hotel room, The Strip at my back. It's 9am. I'd probably be more inspired to write more facing the other way, but I'm to lazy to shift. So, I get to look at the black and white pictures of some hot actress that's more than likely long since dead, and some effeminate man with terrible eyebrows. Talk about inspiration. It's not easy to write about something of this magnitude, and I'm sure when I get done pouring out everything I know about the subject, I'll want to scrap it and start over. It's almost impossible to serve any sort of justice for an event like this.

Did it live up to my expectations? And then some, yes. The possibility that any of us will ever get invited back is so slight, not because of anyone's outrageous actions(though we did have to talk Al down from jumping into the pool, clothes and all, more than once), but face it, we're not "Playboy People". No offense to anyone, but we're not. And not that I think anyone of us in the group thinks otherwise, but I'm working on 5 hours of fitful sleep here; cut me some frickin slack, you jerks. But, despite(in spite?) all of that, I would go back immediately if asked, even if I was promised another day long hangover as a result.

The best thing about all the trip reports coming in, is that everybody did their own thing after our shuttle bus eeked through the Mansion arch and into the turnaround. We all hung out intermittently, but everybody had their own agenda for the night. Me, I wandered the party by myself a large portion of the night, just taking it all in. And it won't sink in for quite some time, really. It's just too much information to process. And because of that, my stories might take some time in coming. Normally when I come home from a WPBT event, I hate writing about it because there's always 35 accounts of the same, damn event, and making it interesting and funny to read is a lot of work. This, however, is different.

You must wait for the goods, which is exactly what I told Ava Fabian and Tiffany Taylor; the only two girls in bunny suits that night. They tittered like the innocent women they are, and we all got into a huge tickle fight right there, poolside.

Yeah, blatant lie. I didn't even know their names until Joe Speaker screamed them out and would not shut up about how many times he's wanked off to the former's boobies in the classic flick "Ski School". It would've been too much information, had we not been where we were.

Most memorable event on Saturday night: It wasn't getting to see Shannon Elizabeth in person, even though she is 10,000,000 times better looking in person. I know it doesn't seem possible, but it is. It also wasn't having Tara Reid walk 2 feet away from me, and not even realize that she was shit-faced until everyone else told me later. Hmmm...not so sure if I should be proud that I was more drunk than Tara Reid, or ashamed. Probably a little bit of both. It wasn't even that I was the only person to recognize Arnold Drummond's best friend, Dudley, who just happened to have not grown since Different Strokes.

No, my favorite point in the night is the conversation shared on the sloping front lawn of the Mansion as the party continued on in the back yard. I could've done that all night, really. Plus, I never would've been able to take the following picture had I been worried about missing something inside the poker tent.

Al passing out on the front steps of the Mansion

Oh yeah, we're all class.

So, until I get up bits of pieces of the night as I remember them, please check out the UHI Institute website. They were the event sponsor, and they made it possible for 8 shmucks like us to make all of you out there, very very jealous. And for that, I'm grateful.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's the morning after, and I might still be drunk. I'm not sure. But, do know that I threw up last night, long after I left the Mansion. I might've been tanked, everybody else will tell you, I'm sure.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I'm currently sitting in the Four Points Sheraton LAX, waiting for people to take showers. Then, we head to UCLA to catch the "media shuttle" to The Mansion. Here's to hoping we don't miss the damn shuttle.

I drank until 6am this morning, even finished up $150 after dropping a buy-in and getting staked by Bob. Let's just see how 4 hours of sleep and a 6 hour drive treat me, shall we? We shall. I'm going to try to live blog my night, but it just might not be possible. Depending on internet connection, I'll update here when I get a chance.

Holy Fuck.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's been awhile since I've written anything regarding poker, and it might have to wait until after I return from Vegas in a few weeks that I actually sit down and mash something out with this keyboard o' mine. I let The Bitch back in my life a few weeks ago with the promise that things would change, that this time it would be different. Well, she's still a bitch, but slightly less of one, so I'm keeping her around while the apologetic head-getting is good.

I'm not much of a basketball fan, and even less of a basketball player. You can't expect much for a 6'1" white guy, and unfortunately I've never been called the Poor Man's John Stockton. The NBA is the poker equivalent to a house-rigged home game, though, and I rarely watch my Timberwolves play. And when I do, they usually lose. I'd rather watch women's hockey.

But, it's March Madness! Am I allowed to use that phrase if it's not for profit? Who cares. I love NCAA basketball, even if the Gopher's could only beat ranked teams at William's Arena, but couldn't beat the Special Olympics gold medalist if the game was played on the road. At least we have the NIT.


I signed up for the NCAA March Madness on Demand, and it sounds like I'm one of the lucky few whose company isn't bright enough to block the feed. So, I'm sitting here, eating my sub-par penne and watching anything and everything I can related to the tourney. Why not throw a little wrench in the spokes and live blog? Ok, you win unassuming, silent, nodding readers.

12:45pm- Uh, gwah? Pacific better not fuck up my whole bracket. During last year's tourney, I was out of the running during the 3rd round. I picked, liked, 1 game right. Maybe even less. This tied at half time thing does not sit well with me.

12:55pm- High-larious. The pop-up window that displays the video for this thing employs what is called a "Boss Button". You click it and you get this. Fine, it's not that funny. In my defense, though, I find farts funny.

1:05pm: Crap, I may be away from this for awhile. Next update pending.

1:40pm: Ok, quit fucking around BC. Finish 'em already. You've put on a good ruse so far, but there's no reason to make this 'close game' this believable. I can't have you losing in the first fucking round. To Pacific. If, by chance, you decide to choke, I might as well do the same thing, but on the money I spent on my bracket.

1:44:pm: I'll never understand why you'd try to block a three point shot. WHY? Get in their face, put your hands up, but it's un-fucking-necessary to think you're good enough to block the shot without hitting the shooter.

1:45pm: Oh God.

2:06pm: Double OT? No. Just no. My poor steroid-enlarged heart can't take it.

2:07pm: If you've ever met me, you'd realize that the steroid thing was a joke. If I was actually taking steroids--for anything other than my impending gender reassignment surgery, of course--I should ask for my money back.

2:21pm: It's a damn good thing BC dominated in the 2nd overtime. I didn't want to say anything for fear of being beaten by a sack of soap, but I have Boston College going to the Final Four. Aaaaand, now that I've written it down here, they'll likely lose in the next round. Lovely. I'm 3-0 so far, and that's 3 more right picks than I had in all of the first 10 games last year.

Due to "blackouts", I'm forced to either watch the (3)Florida vs. (14)South Alabama, or the (2)Tennessee vs. (15)Winthrop. The latter is a surprisingly good game so far. The only problem is that I have to listen to Kevin Harlan scream into my ear, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear a Pooh Richardson reference in the next 10 minutes.

2:34pm: Winthrop just put in a 5'8" freshman. Hell, even I'm taller than that kid. Put me in, coach. I'm ready to throw up bricks, double dribble and wow the cheerleaders with my 13cm vertical, but at least I've got 3" inches on the frosh.

You're right, that's 5". I'm not good with numbers, either.

2:40pm: Break in the action. I'm stopping by Home Depot after work to pick up a no splash funnel, clear tubing, a roll of duct tape and a leak-proof piss sack. I'm not sure if they carry the last item, but I'm sick of missing parts of the game because I have to pee every 10 minutes.

3:04pm: In the next 4 games, I've got (7)Marquette, (2)Tennessee(How in the fuck did they get the 2 seed?), (3)Florida and I picked (12)Montana for my (12) over (5) first round upset pick. So far, so good, but like CJ said "Watch out for Winthrop. Could be close at the end".

3:26 pm: My ears hurt. It's either because my headphones are too tight, or Kevin Harlan's voice is boring into my brain through my ear canal. It's a toss up.

3:36 pm: My ex-girlfriend, Crystal, attends the University of Memphis, and she gave me the following advice; "Don't bet on the Tigers. They're overrated, and I just want them to lose so all the stupid people down here will shut up about 'em."

Oh yeah, her favorite team is Duke.

You make the call here.

Make the call about what? Like I have a clue. I'm the writer, not the thinker person.

4:04 pm: Be afraid of anyone named "Major", and Winthrop looks like they have a case of the ill-advised-shot-itis.

4:23 pm: The end of the Tennesee/Winthrop is the exact reason I love this tournament. Good God.

5:04 pm Fuck Marquette. Had it not been for their atrocious play(I'm just taking a stab here, as it was a blackout game), my 2006 NCAA bracket would've started out at 7-0. I'm not that lucky.

Ah hell, I'm leaving work. I just can't wait to brush the new snow off my car, drive home behind the pleb Minnesota drivers, and attempt to secure a parking spot for the next few days. Snow Emergencies are a bitch.

Monday, March 06, 2006

No poker poo today. I've been 4-tabling the low stakes SNG's on Party for the last week, and it just solidifies that Nerd is a damn machine. So, until I have anything reasonably witty and funny to say regarding poker, you'll have to wait. Instead, read this.

I was on my way out to Buffalo last night to eat dinner when the fam, when my phone rang.

"Where are you? We're hungry" my mom said from somewhere deep inside the phone.

"Mom, it's three forty-five! You're crazy."

That's when my mom brought out the secret weapon; my niece, Avery. There was a muffled conversation on the other end of the line, followed by "Cha! Ea!", and little more whispering with the coup de grace being a hushed "Me Hungee." That is, of course, painfully cute two year-old speak for "Chad, hurry up! Let's eat! I'm hungry."

It was so goddamn cute that I felt a tinge of pain in my epididymis. And not wanting to incur the wrath of a hungry child, I sped all the way to my parent's place. Even at that age, a girl can still get me to do her bidding pretty damn easily, which is sad.

When I walked in the door, I expected a cheer, or maybe even a small "Yay!", but I didn't even get that. All I got was a sheepish smile, and a niece hiding behind my brother's leg. It's been brought to my attention--over and over again--that my niece is flirting with me, and I had no clue. And she's better at it than I am. Which isn't saying much, but I've got her by a good 28 years. I shouldn't be as bad as I am.

So, we sit down to eat, but Avery is so preoccupied by my presence, that her mashed potatoes aren't so much ending up in her mouth, as they are being firmly remashed into her chubby little cheeks. If I didn't know better, I would almost believe that her tippy cup of milk had a little Bailey's or Kahlua mixed in, but I know my brother only uses that method of inducing sleep after 6pm, not before.

As I'm putting on my coat and preparing to come back to the city, my mom tells Avery to give me a hug goodbye. My niece responds by slowly shuffling her way over to me, not so sure if I'm going to give her a hug, or force her to eat all of her vegetables. I get down on my knees and open my arms, in preparation for the hug, and she responds by upping her shuffling to a full-on sprint, headbutting me in the chest.

On my way out to the car, I hear an emphatic "BYE!", only to turn around to see my niece smiling and waving spastically at me. Motherfucker.

Goddamn it, Kid, don't make me like you. Don't you dare give kids a good name. I don't want to believe that children aren't the devil, but you're doing a damn good job of making me believe otherwise.

I've spent every Sunday night for the past 6 months either on the patio, or bellied up to the bar at Drink Uptown. I have my reasons; mainly the cheap drinks and a nice pour into the beginning of the work week, but the main reason the place keeps my business is because of the staff. They treat me well.

Rachel and I have taken a liking to one bartender in particular; a persian looking girl named Michelle. She's young, cute and basically anything I'd ever want my personal bartender/sex-crazed girlfriend to be. Most of all, though, she's always been overly-friendly to me.

But, I'm not one to assume that a girl wants me to bone her, just because they're personable. After all, it is a part of her job to interact with people on a constant basis. Plus, she's the kind of girl that gets hit on constantly. I'm not about to be one of those guys. I've tried to ask out girls that work at bars before, and each time has ended less than swell, so I've given up on taking that approach.

I can't say that I wasn't a little giddy, though, when she grabbed my hand last week as I was leaving and said "You should come see me next Sunday over at my new job".


Yesterday, as I left The Coolest Niece Alive, I debated whether or not I wanted to go over and talk with Michelle. The whole idea of this girl liking me just smacked of lame. Huge balls of lame. I'm ever-the-Pessimist when it comes to girls, so the thought that she could genuinely be interested on me, well, that notion wasn't all that plausible.

But, ever-the-HornyGuy said "Hey, she really could like you! She's all ooooover your jock, dude. Go for it. The only thing it can hurt is your pride, and it's not as if you've got a whole shit-ton of that left, anyhow."

So I went, but not without recruiting Rachel as my out. If things were not going as planned, Rachel could offer up some excuse about having to leave, and that would be that. Plus, I needed a chauffeur, and that Rachel is a month into her self-imposed drinking exile, that was just a coincidence, I swear.

The night started off like every other Sunday night; me sitting at Drink, drinking. Around 9pm, Rachel showed up, and it was decided that we'd head over to see Michelle around 10-ish. That was cool with me. It gave me time to get my cheap drink on, and in turn I wouldn't spend so much money at the trendy new cold spot on the other side of the lake.

We pulled up to a parking meter on a side street, and I got to bear witness to the abomination that is Rachel's parallel parking skills. Lack thereof is more like it. She tried to park her Matchbox-sized Hyundai in a spot relative in size to that of an O'Hare runway three times, and each time she hit the curb.

"Good God, do you want me to do it?" I asked.

"YES!" she pouted as she got out of the car. "Damn it."

I was a little surprised that she gave up so quickly, but there's no telling how long we would've been there had I not hopped in driver's seat and backed neatly into the spot on the first try. Biggest. Parking. Spot. Ever!

We entered the front door, took a seat at the bar, and I was immediately rewarded with a tall, shiney glass of frothy heaven. Ohhhhh, Miller Lite, how I don't mind thee, not one bit. Damn, I could get used to a woman that brings me a beer without even having to ask.

We talked with Michelle for a few minutes inbetween her helping other customers, and it was just like I thought it would be, minus her jumping over the bar and attacking me outright, of course. Other than that, yeah, great. But she had to go and ruin the dream for me.

"Oooh, here, let me get you a menu."

She placed the menu down in front of us, and continued talking, but instead of chatting about the weather, or how amazing my ass looks in these jeans, or how much she'd like to meet me in the bathroom in t-minus 3 minutes, she started talking about menu items that were tasty.

Rachel and I didn't ask for a menu, and we didn't care what we might, you know, for future reference, eat on a visit somewhere down the road. Michelle was our only objective.

There's an episode of South Park called "Raisins". Raisins is a chain restaurant that's a knock off of Hooter's, except the waitresses don't have big ol' bonzongos, they just have little raisins for boobs. The hook for the waitress at Raisins is to feign interest in the customer by calling them 'cutie', 'honey' and 'sweetie' so that the customer will, in turn, give out bigger tips.

As Michelle talked about an overpriced sandwich, it hit me that I'd been raisin'ed. All the touching, and smiling, and casual glances that went on; she didn't like me. She didn't even like my Doggy Style. She liked my tip money!

Damn the man.

Michelle walked to the other side of the bar, and I told Rachel that we'd both been raisined; motherfucking raisined! She laughed and agreed, and I finished my beer so I could be in bed by midnight.


Am I broken up over this? Not at all. I thought it was a funny story. She's still a cool girl, and I can almost guarantee that she'd laugh while reading it. Almost. And I'll probably end up there next week.

But I am a little afraid of the day that my niece learns--actually learns--that flirting can get you whatever you want from a man, whether that be money, "Emmies!"(M&M's to the uninitiated), or even just a hug from your crotchety, 30 year old uncle.

I'm so screwed.