Friday, December 28, 2007

Head wasn't in the game

I probably shouldn't have played the RiverChasers last night. I signed up at the last minute, not really enthusiastic about playing. I paid off a hand where I knew I was beat. My gut told me the J on the river gave him two pair, but I tossed in the chips anyways.

I played rather uninspiringly. Is that a word? It is now.

I have done this too many times lately. Played without caring about the outcome. Or played knowing that I wasn't into the game. Yesterday it was the same old thing. I was more interested in ditching the cold I had than playing poker. My thoughts were on the shots I would be drinking instead of playing poker and drinking. See what happens when you head isn't into the game?

I did the two shots shortly after busting out. Very poor read. The Maker's hit the spot though. I felt great this morning. So great I did a shot just because I wanted to.

I may play some this weekend. The concept of the Blogger Skillz game intrigues me a bit. I just may have to show up on Tuesday for that.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Booze and poker cures a cold

I felt rather crappy yesterday. Woke up with a sore throat and was sneezing. Could feel the body begin to ache and tire as the day went on. As I left work, I could feel the cold moving into my sinuses.

I know the cure for a cold. It is quite simple. Do 2 shots before going to bed. Do 1 shot as soon as you wake up. It has to be the first thing you do. Do 2 shots before going to bed on that second day. On day 3, you will feel much better.

It is day 2. The shot this morning was the rough one. Maker's Mark will warm you up and make your stomach do a summersault.

Before I do my 2 shots tonight, I figure I will get in the RiverChasers tourney, assuming there is one. Otherwise I may donk around some low limit PLO or NLHE. I know the whisky will kill the cold. But can it help me kill at the tables?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Truer words have never been spoken

Nothing Comes Between Me And My Beer.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Free money and me don't mix well

I was cruising through the free roll last night. Well, that and the bottle of Korbel. Brandy that is, not champagne. I am not the mimosa drinker.

It was down to 13 or so and I was just behind lucko. I felt like I was in the zone. I was in the top 10 of the Riverchasers tourney as well. Then I got a bit ahead of myself. Played a hand too hard and was basically done in both tournaments within minutes.

Suck and resuck and I go home. That blew. I overplayed A 10s against 10 10 . Got lucky when I outflopped him but the case 10 comes on the turn and I get crippled. Close to the same thing in the RC game where I overplayed A 6s. Yeah, drunk poker doesn't always pay off, but it irritates me that I played well until the end once again.

I made up for it playing some NL though so it wasn't a total loss.

Congrats to jeciimd and lucko on their wins.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Online return not good

Played some limit last night to no success. Things started good as I took down some nice pots just to see them go floating away. Getting aces cracked twice by K 10 and J 10 when someone catches second pair on the river is frustrating. It got me a bit tilty which didn't help much later on watching people play any connectors and hit.

After Vegas I have been interested in playing more. More live play that is. But I cannot get myself to go down to the Pot to play. Not yet, even though they have been running radio spots about their new expanded poker room for the last year. I guess what I need is a good home game.

Anyone got one in the Milwaukee area?

Being the end of year, things are slow at work. I need some stuff to read. Looks like I will start the day here, Tacky Christmas Yards. Sad to see how Halloween has influenced the Christmas season in trashy yards.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fishing with the sharks

I have probably said this way too many times about how I don't consider myself to be a good cash game NL player. I am still in the learning stages. I can make some money in Las Vegas playing against other tourists but have to make sure I don't get myself in way over my head. I have blown trip winning on one hand when I couldn't fold aces knowing my opponent had outflopped me.

I managed to avoid those pitfalls this year. I guess is has been the result of listening to what others are saying about the games and then not trying to get too stupid when my butt is in a chair.

I played a lot of NL poker (that I can remember at least) with a lot of different bloggers the first couple of days. Pauly, Falstaff, Change100, VinNay, and Johnny Hughes. I was good as long as the table was never more than 3 of these players sitting. That was the plan. If the level of player got too great at the table, either play tight or walk. Again, avoid doing anything stupid. If the game was manageable, stay. Table selection was the key to making money.

Somehow though I found myself sitting with the sharks on Sunday night after the football games ended. It started out simple enough. Smokkee was in the 10 seat buying in short. I bought in for $200 and ScottMc was down in the 2 seat. Not a problem. Avoid these guys and I am good. Well soon Miami Don would be next to me and The Fat Guy would be sitting down two to my left. Add in Bacon Bikini Mary and later Zeem and I wondered what the hell was happening. I think I saw Miami Don staring at my chips and counting them as his own a couple of times.

I held my own. Played tighter than normal and tried to watch how these guys play. It seemed like a big fight for the money that was in the 3 and 4 seat. I managed to fight back from my early losses to be down just $17 by the time I left. But add in the Megabeat jackpot payout and I was ahead. Not too shabby from a guy still learning. Next time though, I find myself an easier table.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mistakes and bad reads

It is a full week since I took off for Vegas. After spending some time reading some trip reports, I began to wonder if I was actually there. I say this because there is some time I cannot account for. Like Thursday. I left Caesars after busting out of the tournament. I went back to the IP. I believe I went to the bar (sounds like a natural act). But I am not sure. I remember throwing some craps and then later trying to find where everyone went. Somewhere in there is 3 hours that I do not recall. One thing I do recall is Maudie asking why her butt was vibrating.

Same with Friday. I remember getting something to eat at BK at O'Sheas. I came back and donked it up with Falstaff, thg, and the Bracelet at the 2/4 table before moving to the new 1/2 NL game. Played there for a couple hours and then.... next thing I know I was getting into a cab to go to the MGM. Though possible, I doubt I was in the IP poker room playing for 7 hours.

Somewhere in there, I lost two afternoons. Interesting.

The cash games were good to me last weekend. Not fantastic but good. Had a mix of winning and losing sessions but the loss was only $100 and that was after being stuck $300. It happened in a 3 way pot. I opened for $10 in EP with K K. Cowboy on my left smooth calls. Aggro boy in MP raises to $35. I lick my chops thinking I am getting his last $100. I raise to $100 even after it folds around to me. But then the Cowboy on my left pushes. Aggro boy calls. I said something like "I guess I have to call" and pushed my chips in. Cowboy had A A, Aggro boy had 9 9 and rivered a 9 to take down the main pot.

Later I would realize my mistake. I was focusing on Aggro Boy. I knew I had him beat. What I didn't do was take the time to think about what Cowboy could be holding. With about $200 behind, I thought I had to call because of how much was already in. Had I taken time to think about Cowboy's move, I may have folded. Doubt it as I quickly thought of this as one of those online moves that someone makes with 10 10, but I might have folded if I had thought it through.

On Sunday night, I lost a good pot simply because I totally didn't go with the read and the tell. I had gotten frisky and opened the betting with A 8s in EP. The table was tight and I was pretty sure the old Cowboy in the 10 seat would call and fold the flop like he continually had. Flop was all low cards and I made a bet. I believe he raised me. I called his turn bet thinking I would get him on the river. River paired up my 8. I called his bet thinking he was grasping at air, but saw his 6 5 offsuit had flopped a straight.

I totally misplayed that hand. Not only because I called down with a pair of 8s, but I totally ignored his read. Maudie mentioned in right after the hand. I had seen it before as well. He only bet when he had something and his left hand would shake in anticipation of betting or calling. Had I paid attention and gone with it, I would have saved myself some money. In the end I posted a small lost $17 from that session.

But toss in gains of $143 and $186 and it made up for those two bad plays.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Playing them blind

No, that is not a typo. The title should not be "Playing them blinds". What do you think this is, a strategy post?

I am talking about playing blind. Not looking at your cards, firing those chips out there, and playing the person and their hand. And the amazing results you can have.

See, it is easy when you find the right table. The right table is a 2/4 limit game at the IP that has a couple bloggers at it. One of those has to be an action junkie, the other a good player who wants to have some fun. The rest of the table needs to be those serious tourist players who are going to play any ace, any connectors and any suited cards. Those are the ones you are going to tilt.

An amazing thing is going to happen when you play blind. First, no one is going to believe you when you tell them you haven't looked at your cards. They simply are going to buy it right away. Second, they will get mad and think you are an idiot because you kept betting without looking at your cards. Third, they suddenly think you have absolutely nothing later on even though you have looked at your cards.

There is a legend in the annals of the WPBT December Classic trip. A hand that Iggy played from the rail as he smoked a cigarette. He kept telling the dealer he wanted to bet or raise against a kid. The dealer complied and put his chips in. The kid ended up folding to Iggy's river bet. That is the beauty of playing blind. In these low limit games, you can play the player hard and not worry about your cards.

I ran this gambit against on_thg and Bobby Bracelet with mixed results. I did get thg to fold a hand with my river bet (sorry Mike, had to say it), but the Bracelet got lucky on me though his lower lip was quivering at the end and he didn't have the grapefruits to make the final raise.

See, it all starts with the live straddle. Place them 4 gray chips out and have some fun. Auto raise when 6 people call to see a flop. Bet the flop. Most of these tourists haven't even noticed that you haven't looked at your cards. They think you have a strong hand. If that flop is ragged, at least 4 of those 6 will fold. Bet the turn and river as soon as the card is being turned. Shows strength and sets up the tilt. When they fold the river, turn over the cards one by one and tell them you had to see what you had. Give a look of disbelief when they admit you had them beat. In most cases, ace high will be good.

Or if you are up against the former 863rd greatest player in the world, go for the staredown. I had a lot of fun with Bob in this hand. But on this hand, his poker fu was greater than mine.

I had the live straddle on. I am sitting in the 7 seat with Bob in the 10 on Friday morning. Bob raises me. I raise back blindly and we see a flop. Flop is........I don't know. No clue. I am not looking at the cards on the board. I am in a mortal stare down with Bob. He who blinks first is losing this pot. I bet out. He raises. Call. As the dealer begins to turn the turn card (hey, I can see movement out of my peripheral vision) I bet out. Bob stares back and raises. I call. River card comes and my four grays are out there as I bet out quickly. But this time Bob pauses and takes the time to look at his cards. I think I have him as he just calls. Bob turns over two pair. This could be tough. I look at Bob again and the take a gander on what the board is showing. I look at my cards and turn the first one. An ace, giving me a pair. I either need a an ace or something else to pair the board to take it down. A five doesn't cut it and Bob takes down a good pot.

When he just called, I thought I had him. Close but no cigar.

Next time you are in Vegas and looking for something to do in the morning, go play the 2/4 game. You will have a blast straddling and playing blind. Besides, if you somehow lose that hand, you should be able to make it back on those donkeys that are playing so tight at this game.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Figured it out

I have finally figured out the meaning behind the Las Vegas marketing campaign. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas because you can drink so much that you just don't remember what happened in Vegas.

No, there were no blackouts. No wheelchair rides back to the hotel. No puking. Or falling down.

Close, but no cigar.

Friday was one long session of poker and beer. It started around 10 am. It ended with a trip to Hooters for dinner and then trying to remember how to walk. Around 11 I finished eating some wings, got up to head to the casino and stumbled a bit. It was like I walked into a wall. Suddenly I felt blotto.

So I did what anyone would do. I went back to the hotel to sleep. I went and sat down in front of a slot machine and finished my 24 ounce mug of beer. After playing a slot machine for a while, I decided to try that walking thing again.

Still a problem.

Play some more games and try after 15 minutes. Hey, I think I can make it to the door. Soon I was in a cab and heading back up the strip.

I don't quite know what happened. Sure I drank alot but I didn't feel bad until after I got down to eating the wings. That might have been it. Tossing food into a stomach full of beer may be a bad idea.

Maybe I will have more later. If I can remember. Right now I need to get back to reality. The start of this latest trip was a rocky one. I had spent Wednesday just trying to survive work. Got out of there and went to shovel the snow at my mother's house. Got there to discover I had lost a glove. Probably fell out of my bag somewhere at work. Once I was done, I had to rush to the vet for cat food. Got there just before they closed. Went home and shoveled again. All the while noticing that the street hadn't been cleaned well because of the car that had been parked there. That meant all of that snow would end up in my driveway. Yep, a couple hours later I would be back outside shoveling.

But it gets worse. I was going to do some dishes before I left but couldn't because the trap on the kitchen sink decided it was a good time to develop a leak. Not a big deal but I didn't feel like running out to the store to get a new trap. So that had to wait (got it done today!).

Got up and headed to the airport on Thursday. Everything went well until the plane got in the air. I pulled out my DVD player and noticed that one of my ear buds had lost the little cover on it. I had to watch the movie with just one. Same with listening to the MP3 player.

To top it off, the cab driver decided the best way to get to the IP was via the strip. Asshat!

Thankfully it got better after that. As long as I forget the sessions at the craps table that is.

The poker tables were much kinder. I had two bad hands but managed to fight my way back and get majorly unstuck both times. Maybe I will review those hands later this week.

Also, before I had to get on the plane, the Megabeats jackpot was hit at the Paris. That meant everyone sitting at the IP was going to win as well. Getting handed $140 just before leaving cuz my ass was in a poker seat is my idea of a good beat!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A trip down under

Thanks to the guys at Full Tilt Poker for giving us a chance to win a trip to the Aussie Millions. I hope everyone enjoys my tale.

I stood at the rail and let out a big sigh. Though I was a bit disappointed, I was also extremely happy. It was just over 3 years ago that I had downloaded Full Tilt Poker and won $100 in their Beta Freeroll tournaments. Now, here I was making the money in the Aussie Millions. Sure it was only $24k for 72nd place, not the $1.75 million first prize. But I made it through 2 full days of poker in my first major poker tournament. Not bad for a trip that was won on Full Tilt.

I knew things would be unique about the trip from the beginning. Having arrived in LAX, I was able to navigate my way to the correct gate in no time. I passed some of the Full Tilt guys along the way. Since we had time, I decided to get a beer to relax myself for the flight. It didn’t seem like to much of a surprise to run into Gavin Smith in the bar. I had met him at Al’s Bash at the Boathouse in 2006 and he was a good guy. As I mentioned meeting him before at the Bash, a big smile came across his face and he began saying what a great time it was. Hey, he was preaching to the choir as I am a veteran of Al’s parties. We kept on talking and before we knew it, the plane was boarding. We finished our beers and parted ways.

As I waited at the gate to get on the plane, I ran into Hoy and Lucko. Hoy won his way to Australia in the 25 seat giveaway while Lucko won the Battle of the Bloggers Tournament of Champions. Hanging with these guys over the next couple of days was great, especially when I was able to get some advice about playing such a big tournament. The advice they gave me helped settle me down and focus. Thanks again guys.

I mentioned that this trip would be unique. It started at the airport. The airline lost my luggage. Somehow they made a mistake and my clothes were headed off to Kuala Lumpur. Great! I may be stuck wearing the same underwear for the next week. Do they have Target stores in Australia?

But that wouldn’t be the end of it. Because I had to argue with the airline, I missed the limo rides to the casino that FTP had provided. The FTP assured me they would send a car back but I told them I could cab it. I just wanted to get settled in and take a shower.

Things seemed better as the cab soon pulled up in front of the Crown Casino. I paid the driver and stepped out of the car. As I did, I made sure not to smash my finger in the door like Dr. Pauly had. By doing so, I forgot my travel bag in the cab and didn’t realize it until after he started driving away. I panicked for a second until I saw he had to stop at a light. I then sprinted down the roadway after him, waving my hands like a lunatic. Just before the light turned green, I was able to slam my hand into the trunk and get his attention. He got out of the car and looked rather agitated for me hitting his car. I quickly told him my bag was in the back seat. He apologized, handed me the bag, and told me to get back in as he would drive me back that way. Nice guy. Hope the rest of these people are as well.

Next thing I knew, I was waking up wondering where the heck I was. Apparently I had checked in, found my room and crashed. It was now 3 in the afternoon and I hadn’t a clue what was going on. I showered and went down to the casino to see what was happening. Along the way, I kept hoping my luck would change. I figured the worst had to be behind me.

Nuh uh. Things would be rough as I played some limit poker just to ease into the scene. Nothing went right. I couldn’t win a hand to save my life. You name the suckout, it happened. How I walked away with just a small loss, I don’t know. Tried some blackjack and had the same result. It seemed a night in the sportsbook was the best solution. If I can’t win at the tables, maybe some Australian basketball would help. Well, many beers and bets later, I was still down. Maybe tomorrow would be better.

The next morning I woke up feeling much better. I had an itinerary for the day’s events waiting for me. A trip to the zoo, eh? What the heck, let’s check it out. As the bus headed to the zoo, I got to know some other qualifiers. Bill from Missouri was a good guy as was Mike from Seattle. We kinda wandered around the zoo together. Some interesting native species were seen. All was good until I was attacked by a rampaging kangaroo. Seriously. We were walking down a path when we heard some commotion from behind. Just as I turned around, I saw a kangaroo coming right at me. Bill and Mike moved just before it was on top of us. I froze. And caught a nice jab to the jaw and went down. Kinda like this except without the boxing ring:

I was stunned. I was sitting on my butt wondering if what happened had just happened. I got knocked out by a kangaroo? Wow. Can this get any worse? I guess it could because I didn’t soil my only pair of drawers. I would later choose to spend the golf outing in the club house at the bar. I had heard there were kangaroos on the course and I wasn't going to take any chances.

Back at the casino, I finally had some good luck winning $460 at the NL tables. Maybe I had some ‘roo luck going for me now. What I thought was bad luck was actually good. Hopefully things would continue

And they did. I won’t bore you with the details but I was up a nice sum for the trip. I gave the credit to my 5 day old underwear and the kangaroo punch. Thus, I had a good feeling going into the main event of the Aussie Millions. I had done well in the Full Tilt tournament the day before, just missing out on a final table. But I did get a bounty for knocking out Mike the Mouth Matusow. With the Hammer nonetheless! Setting him on major tilt is something I won’t ever forget.

I was playing in the first flight. I liked it as I was on a bit of a roll. Only problem was that I was quite nervous and I think it showed. Though I got lucky by having no big name pros at my table, the players there did notice how tight I was playing. For the first 3 hours it seemed like all I did was fold or play from the blinds. The one time I did raise, a couple of the guys joked about how I must have had a monster. Guess the K K showed in my eyes. Thus during the break, I called up the Hoy for some advice on how to calm down. He kept it simple. Relax and play. Act like you have been there before.

I did better after the break. I loosened up to take advantage of my new table image. It worked well. No one wanted to mix up with me at first. But then they began to doubt what I was playing. Thankfully they started calling and re-raising me when I had some big hands. A K suited twice got me some good pots. Catching a set with Q Q busted a short stack’s K K and I was just over double my starting stack with a couple hours left in the day. To make it to the second day was a nice accomplishment I thought.

Thankfully, I didn’t screw up and go broke. On the second to last hand of the day, I made a raise from MP with J J and got called by the button and BB. Uh oh. The button was a sneaky kid from Florida. He loved to play a lot of suited connectors no matter what the raise was. It worked well for him as he had over 40k in front of him. The BB was a rock. The flop came 9 10 3, two clubs. BB checked. I made a continuation bet of 2/3 the pot. Just the kid called. The turn was a rough one. J of clubs. Sure I had a set but now the flush and straight possibilities were there. I bet out ¾ of the pot this time. The kid thought and sneered “all in!”.

My stomach sank. How do I fold top set here? How do I call when I could easily be way behind? Moments ago I was just happy to be making the second day and now I was on the brink of destruction. I must have thought about it for 10 minutes. The table was quite patient with me taking so much time. Finally, I folded those knaves face up. I heard a “wow!” from the rock followed by a “huh?”. The kid showed A 5. A total bluff. Suddenly I was back below the starting stack of 10k and was feeling miserable. I folded the next two orbits, just happy to make it to the next day.

On the second day one flight, I spent some time watching Hoy and Lucko. I tried to study how they acted and reacted to the various bets, hoping to pick up some tips. When I got tired of standing, I would spend some time back in the sportsbook or playing a bit of limit. I wanted to keep my mind on poker but not have it immersed. I think I found a nice balance.

When it was turn to play on Day 2, I was ready. My new friends Bill and Mike had both been knocked out but were there to follow my play. It helped. I started out by being a bit too aggressive. I was getting froggy with A J and A 10, friendly or aggravating hands for bloggers depending on who you talk to. They worked well for me early as I scooped a couple decent pots to double up. I got a bit ahead of myself later with A J when I pushed on an OESD and was called down by bottom two pair.

That would be the only setback on Day 2. I changed gears to a conservative mode and it paid off when I went on a mini rush with Q Q, then K K, and then A K. I guess my opponents kept thinking I was playing any big Ace. I took advantage of a tight table after a change and began my process all over again. At the end of Day 2 I was solid in the middle of the pack, but more importantly, brimming with confidence. I felt like I could actually get lucky and take this tournament down.

But it was not to be. I sludged my way through the field and felt relieve when the call when out that the bubble had burst. I was happy that I was going to take some money home but had to make sure I didn't get stupid.

One strange that occurred during the tournament was that I wasn't at the same table as any of the top pros. That changed on Day 3. I found myself seated two spots to the right of Andy Bloch. As if that is bad enough, he had a monster stack and appeared to be controlling the table. I decided I wasn't going to tangle with him unless I had a monster hand.

I avoided Bloch for hours but didn't really collect any chips. I could steal the blinds here and there but Bloch kept coming over the top and forcing me to fold. I guess it is much easier when you don't play against the best.

Then I would find A K suited on the button. I figured I would pounce on Bloch and make it look like a steal. I raised it up 3xs the blinds to make it look like another steal. I was waiting for him to re-steal but he just called. Huh? No re-raise? What was he up to? The flop seemed great for me. A K 10, two of my suit. Top two pair with the nut flush draw. I decided to take it easy and bet half the pot when Bloch checked to me. He smooth called the bet. Uh...ok. The turn was a harmless 7. Nothing had changed for me. Bloch checked and I checked behind. Maybe he was chasing the flush draw as well. River was a final blank. But now Bloch bet out. My initial reaction was simple. He was going to bully me out of the pot. I wasn't going to allow that and quickly announced "All in!".

I stood by the rail and let out a big sigh. I was out. Hadn't taken the time to fully think about what my opponent might have. I was right about one thing. He was on a flush draw. Only problem was he had flopped a straight. If the turn or river had been a diamond, I would have doubled up and still been going. Instead I was out.

But I still had a smile on my face. It amazes me how this blog has opened up so many opportunities to meet some great people around this world. The number of new friends made from playing this game of poker has been stupendous. Quality people and quality memories that will last forever. Thanks again to the fine people at Full Tilt Poker for bringing a beer city guy to the land down under.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Good time to get out of here

I spent 30 minutes shoveling the 6 inches of snow this morning. By the time I was done, there was another 1/4 inch minimal on what I had cleaned up.

The 20 minute drive to work took 50 minutes.

And my electric razor quit on me this morning. I have an old one somewhere. Hopefully I can find it.

I need to hit the bank, the vet, and shovel some more snow before I can get home to shovel today's accumulation.

They say that there is more snow on the way.

Good time for me to get out of here and go drink and gamble and drink and meet up with new friends while I drink. I cannot really put into words what it is I like about Vegas. It is the one place I really don't have a care in the world. A nice place of escape.

In roughly 24 hours, I will be enjoying a beer at the airport. The weather better cooperate and not screw up my flights. I needs to get my gamble on.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Block off your calendar

Do yourself a favor right now and go block off the last hour or two of your last work day before Vegas. Stop thinking about the Bodonkey tournament on Bodog tonight. Go to Outlook or whatever calendar they use at work and mark your last hours as "busy". The last thing you want is some douchebag seeing you can attend an end of day meeting. You don't need to have a reason to block it off. If someone asks why you are busy tell them research.

Got it done? Good.

You can read all the details on the Bodog touney over at BadBloods. I am too busy to list it all out here again.

I am busy doing research.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Low expectations

At work, not Las Vegas.

Seriously. My employer cannot expect much to be accomplished over the next 3 days. I am here physically, not mentally. Too busy brushing up on when to double down, how many units is the correct bet on the craps table, and when to keep two pair together at the Pai gow table.

I did play some poker this weekend. A little limit as well as some no limit and triple draw to shake the rust off for live play. Ok, so there won't be any live TD but I had fun. Did good in the NL winning half a buyin in just 30 minutes. Played limit for an hour and lost 2 big bets at 3/6. All came down to the last hand where I went chasing with a gutshot straight. Pot was over $120 so I had to.

Made the final financial maneuvers this morning and will hit the bank tomorrow. I can then sit like a zombie at work on Wednesday. Will be wheels down by 10:30 and at the luxury that is the IP by 11. From there, I may go down to Hooters for a bite or may just go across to Caesars to hook up with Blood. Or I may hit the Pai Gow tables at the IP. Any which way, you know I will have a beer in my hand.

Commence the longest 3 days in the!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Vegas with "strangers"

Whenever I am heading off to Vegas, I always get asked the question, "Who are you going with?" Twice a year my response is, "No one. Going out to meet up with some people I know." There may be some pressing and I tell them how it is a group of friends I know from playing poker. I get an confused look and the topic is dropped. I go off and meet the people I know as well as make new friends. I always have a good time.

Mainly because you get to know people like Otis. Most of you have read about his gift to Dr. Chako. It is people like Dr. Chako and Otis that make these trips worth it. I have known Otis a couple years and played some poker with the Doc last December. I don't think he remembers the drunk guy who kept raising his pots at the HORSE game, but that doesn't matter.

Dr. Chako is off serving our country. Otis' gift makes his time away from his family just a bit more bearable. Now, you don't have to go and buy a guitar and send one yourself. But you can do something. Chako had mentioned a charity called Operation Happy Note. Their mission is to get musical instruments to deployed service men and women. Take the time to donate some of that advertisement money you are collecting and make someone happy with the gift of music. Not only will you feel better, it is good karma for Vegas. Besides, I am sure Al will buy you a shot if you do. I know I will.