Thursday, August 02, 2012

Post WSOP Changes 

It usually takes between ten days and two weeks for me to feel like myself after a summer at the WSOP. It usually depends on the amount of Vegas scum I have caked on my soul after watching the same jackholes throw good money at bad bets. This year it took a shorter amount of downtime to detox Vegas from system, probably because I spent more time away from the casinos then most years.

The unwind was even more necessary after the last few weeks of personal crap which included an old friend giving me crap for telling it like it is, a new friend getting herself in deep with the needle, and a whiny blogger giving me a not-too-subtle jab. It was time to get offline.

The process usually includes staying away from the bars, reconnecting with friends, and getting back on a schedule that doesn't involve "wake up-go to casino-watch idiots-drink heavily-pass out". I failed mostly at staying away from the bars because that's how I reconnected with my friends, so I got a solid C+ for my performance. The revised schedule was easier to handle.

After four years of doing nothing but poker related work, I moved on and began working with a company with zero interest in the game. Two days before heading home from Vegas I accepted a job designing websites for a pretty large company and managing content across several platforms. I nice mash of my former job(s) which allowed me to work from anywhere and my old career with some techno fun.

I'm not shutting the door on future work in poker (still helping out Dan with Pokerati.com so I get my poker fix), but I'm certainly not going out of my way to find something and no one is knocking down my door. A win for all.

Feels good to be a little closer to a normal member of society, though I'll never go back to an office job and regular hours. Degens gotta degen, drunks gotta drink.



My new office chair courtesy of the WSOP?

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

2012: WSOP Complete, Back to the Grind 

Things were cruising right along at the WSOP until my normal schedule of "wander into the Rio whenever I want, write whenever I want, drink whenever I want, leave whenever I want" was interrupted suddenly by employment which required silly things like showing up at specific times and working until my feet were numb.

That kept the debauchery level down for the rest of the summer right up until the Main Event, I was back to being a free-wheeling degenerate right as Otis and Benjo hit town. From there it was a few crazy nights at the hooker bar, reportedly some bowling shenanigans (that's a little fuzzy), and Pai Gow until I almost missed my flight out of Vegas.

I'll start wrapping my head around the past and future but until then I loaded a few images from the summer.



In the time I was gone, I did not neglect my duties trying to get a proper blogger tournament schedule up and running with Face Up Gaming. There were quite a few disconnect issues (or in my case, no-connect issues) during the last blogger freeroll but those have been corrected. I've spent the last month pounding away at their Gold Membership tournaments with a decent rate of return, although it doesn't look like I'll be able to grind my way into their $20,000 or $30,000 league finals. I blame work since I missed the juiciest league events.

We have ironed out a much more "blogger" friendly schedule for the BBT league with games on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights between 9pm and 10pmET. That should work out much better for our mostly US, mostly family-oriented, real-day-job type players.

I've reached out to many of you via email but now that I'm back from the WSOP, it's time to get things back in gear and have some blogger pokery fun. More coming soon.



 

I had a few special t-shirts for the summer
The ol' Johnny Cash was pulled out at the start of the obscene $1,000,000 buy-in tournament

 

Junk food central, Pop's cheesesteaks and candy safely locked up away from me



Things get a little squirrely near the end of the WSOP
Here's WhoJedi with a (non-CGI) lightsaber, and then his new home

 

Kara Scott with her own lightsaber and a Full Tilt bowling ball
(the last was a little surprising to find)


Finally, home sweet home
Dockside with a Lager

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blogger Tournament Dos 

Friendly reminder for anyone around Saturday afternoon looking to sling some virtual chips at your blogging brothers and sisters, the second Blogger Tournament will held at 3pm ET on Face Up Gaming. I'll be there chipper and happy as a clam at noon my time in Vegas after a long night at the Rio. I'll be even easier money.

I'm considering putting a bounty on Waffles and a few others, just need to find something properly degenerate to taunt people into playing any two cards against him.

Cheers, see you there.

Tournament: Bloggers 2
Date: Saturday, June 30th
Time: 3pm ET - Noon PT
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: battle2

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 WSOP: Night with Nolan 

This post began three days ago when I was able to just muddle my way through the WSOP looking for anything interesting or someone to hit the bar with me. Then my gig with ChipTic kicked in and actually making me work for a living. Delayed but delivered, even if somewhat less than what I intended at the beginning.

It feels like Nolan Dalla has been around the WSOP since the first event in 1970, not true but it's damned near close. He's one of the good guys who's been around since the time at Binion's and continues to serve as their media director. No matter the issue, all he cares about is protecting the game. This all means the man has stories you've never heard and will never see in print.

Since he covers every final table, generally two a day ending in the wee hours of the morning, you are lucky if you can find a few minutes to shoot the shit before he bolts off towards the other room. There are usually two times during the series when we all have a chance to sit around and have a real conversation. The day before and the day after the Main Event. The last few years we've all gathered at the hooker bar after the November Nine is set in stone to tell tales of the summer and talk wistfully about the past.

This summer we were lucky when an impromptu gathering of poker media types at the Gold Coast bowling alley turned into an early morning, mostly sober (if you can believe that), time of sitting around the bar with Dalla, WhoJedi, and CaityCaity. One of the few notable times when no one within shouting distance of the Rio gave a flying crap about anything WSOP related. Instead it was an enjoyable evening of talking about music, movies, books, hardcore HARDCORE politics, and a little poker at the beginning.

It was one of those great nights when you somehow find out new things about people you've known for years, and interesting things about people you rarely see outside of the poker room. The biggest revelation of the night was finding I was booked into the Gold Coast in the very room Nolan Dalla interviewed Stuey Ungar in the midst of a coke-fueled summer for what would later become One of a Kind: The Rise and Fal of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar.

Unfortunately, I only spent 60 seconds in the room when I asked for another room because my lazy ass didn't want to walk so far to the elevator. History be damned, thank god I didn't keep it and pass out of the floor. The embedded coke might have gotten into my system.

~

Less than a week until the next Blogger Tournament on Face Up Gaming. Lots of swag and a ton of fun.

Tournament: Bloggers 2
Date: Saturday, June 30th
Time: 3pm ET - Noon PT
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: battle2

 

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blogger Tournament Part Dos 

Ready my friends for the next installment from our friends at Face Up Gaming?

They've scheduled a 2nd blogger tournament for June 30th, plenty of time to check out the site, get registered, and get in the tournament. They just finished a system upgrade this weekend to address some issues including some big improvements in the lobby and continue to improve the product each time.

The tournament will also be running at an East Coast/West Coast friendly time of 3pm ET/Noon PT. This means I can play the tournament on more than 3 hours sleep (and I still beat most ya'll to the final table). Giving away more swag and we're getting enough players to kick off a regular BBT league so we can go back to crushing each other's souls on a regular basis.

If you have any questions, drop me a comment or an email.

Tournament: Bloggers 2
Date: Saturday, June 30th
Time: 3pm ET - Noon PT
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: battle2

See you there (and don't forget Bonus Code ACH, they're tracking our results against all others).

 

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

2012 WSOP: Wait for the Book 

Sunday was quiet in the Amazon Room, if you don't count the 3,000 lemurs and random old folks railing the Seniors Event. Only a mild 105 degrees outside and the upset dealers are talking about a mass walkout.  Again. (This seems to happen every year around this point, after they've received their first paycheck). Pretty standard issues from everyone else including the players, who have never been the cheeriest bastards in the world.

The last few days have been uneventful according to my liver indicator. Spent a few hours hanging at the Hooker Bar (which, by the way, has it's own Twitter account @HookerBar courtesy of @WhoJedi) with WriterJen Newell and CaityCaity. The weekend was rounding out to be nice and slow until we got the call, a call to return to the Rio, and events which will never truly come out until I get permission and put that shit in a book.

Twas that good.

Cliff Notes version of Friday night included an early exit from the Rio, degenerate gambling at the Gold Coast before getting a call to return to rail Kirk Morrision's dad in the Seniors. That turned into a few beers, big leaguing Gavin Smith moments after he busted the Deuce-to-Seven event, weird conversations in the Rio hallways and then fast forward hours to that "oh shit balls, the sun is up and my ATM card is on fire" moment.

Things were said, promises broken, and random vomiting. All this happened when I was surprisingly the most sober and sane person in the mix. Those night/days/morning I can usually be found on the floor somewhere between my hotel room door and the bathroom or bed. Some day I'll get to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but it won't be this summer and it won't be here.

This promise needs to be kept.

~

Feel free to jump over the Pokerati where I'm putting up a few posts a week which do not include booze, nudity, or craziness. Just my infrequent douchebag-ness, a little snark, and a bit of poker.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012 WSOP: Series Interruptus 

In all the juggling aroun,d filling needed positions and finding my way to Las Vegas, I somehow neglected to mention the return of Mastodon Weekend. One of my recent favorite times of impromptu degeneracy and good times. The history of this gathering near the gates of Bob Jones University is short but a metric shit ton of fun.

I'm not sure what the G-Vegas guys are thinking this time around though. The most strenuous thing we did at the last Mastodon Weekend was a pub crawl down several blocks of downtown Greenville, SC. Now those crazy crackers want to, and I can barely even type this out, throw a long distance run smack into the middle of the debauchery.

Naturally I will be in town to support those chuckleheads but I'll mostly be there to take up the drinking slack since I'm sure they will take it easy.

Here are the details, as best as I can figure them out. On October 27th is something called "The Run Fest" in Greenville South Cackalacky with cute little names like "Punkin Run" for events which include a marathon, half-marathon, and 5k Run. Sign up, run with the (redacted) or stand on the sidelines with me and a case of beer. Click the link above if interested in the events and register under for the "Mastodon" Team.

I'll be town the entire weekend, leaving Sunday for either Philly or Las Vegas for the November October Nine.

Just to get everyone ramped up, Otis threw together a little trailer for the weekend. Forgive my presence if you can. You should definitely stick around until the very end of the video.


Mastodon Weekend 2012 trailer from Brad Willis on Vimeo.

~~~~

Alright my blogging brothers and sisters. Throwing another reminder out there for anyone who signed up on Face Up Gaming for last weekend's Bloggers tournament. If you registered as a Gold Member, there is a $5,000 cash tournament this Sunday at 3pm (Noon for us Vegas/West Coasters). This is separate from their month end league events and is alone worth the membership.

I'm also in the process of setting up the BBT Blogger League once we have the details locked down. I've been playing the other league tournaments as often as possible trying to earn my way into the $30,000 and $20,000 cash events at the end of July. Check out their promotion page (other promotions besides this weekend's $5,000 event) and league page for details.

Tournament: $5,000 Cash
Date: Sunday, June 17th
Time: 3pmET (Noon PT)
Game: NLHE
Buyin: Membership required

 

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Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 WSOP: Early Mornings or Late Nights 

It's easy to hate the long days hanging around the Rio for the WSOP. The obvious exceptions are when friends win bracelets, I spend hours at the bar, or something historic happens. Friday night was an example of the really bad when I ended up leaving the Amazon Room with WhoJedi at 6am after watching a nearly 4 hour Stud/8 heads up battle. By the end I didn't care who won, although it would have been nice for occasional drunken cohort Todd Brunson could have won it all.

But none of that mattered because one of the good guys, one of the Bash at the Boathouse alumni, won his first WSOP bracelet. Most of my blogger brothers and sisters met Brandon Schaefer either during the 2005 blogger drunkfest in Vegas or in 2006 at the Bash at the Boathouse. I was going to recall those stories and then remembered that Pauly always does it better.

Moments of Clarity: Bash at the Boathouse Part II (For the record, I didn't even remember the first night tournament until tracking down the recap. Booze is good.)

He's a great guy who was unsatisfied with the life of a pro poker player and followed in his brother's footsteps by joining the US Army to become a helicopter pilot. He was actually in Vegas for the Electric Daisy Carnival mass party and decided to play one event while he was on leave before pilot training. He just went ahead and won the damned thing.




Cheers!

~

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday morning for the first blogger tournament on Face Up Gaming. As you can tell from the writeup above, I left the Rio at 6am and was (kinda sort) back awake for the start of the tournament at 10am from somewhere in North Las Vegas.

144 players showed up with a week's notice and a nice representation from the bloggers of old. It looks like lightning36 was the longest lasting of my group of bloggers and will pick up the bonus iPad along with his other swag. Oh yeah, and somehow I managed to finish 9th.

We're planning bigger/better things and this was a good first step. They are interested in hearing back from the bloggers about the tournament experience. Hit my comment section (or my email if you know it) with anything you have to say about the software, structure, the interface, etc. They are making a big push now and taking all the input they can get.

FYI for anyone who signed up for Gold Membership while registering, they running $5,000 cash tournament next Sunday, June 17th.


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Friday, June 08, 2012

2012 WSOP: Back to the "Grind" 

After missing the first week of the WSOP, I was contacted by ChipTic (the company working to supply damned-near-live chip counts. When the bugs are ironed out) about coming out to do some work. I was starting to get a little home sick for the Rio and took the offer. I was 30 feet from the door when someone offered up their bad beat story, the homesickness is gone.

It didn't take long to get back into the swing of things drunken degenerate-wise either. A well known pro would be picking me up off the floor of the hooker bar before I was in town for 24 hours. Time zone change, lack of food, and seeing old friends just made dumping a bottle of booze on top a little fool hardy. The sainted life of the idiot.

And the hooker bar had themselves a little upgrade. Say hi to Erica on the right. They found a new way to suck extra money from my pockets in the form of generous tips.

Other than the first night of insanity, and perhaps a little more of the same Wednesday, it's been a slow start to the summer and building up. The in(s)ane Electric Daisy Carnival Kill a Puppy rave is in town meaning every hotel is packed with zombies wearing bikinis and tutus.

Those are just the guys.

More fun to come as a few friends have gotten very close to winning a bracelet and I haven't checked out the new Vanessa Rousso, Liv Boeree, Maria Ho mansion which say nearly half a dozen trip to the ER during their first party.

Back with more later, I'm also posting over at Pokerati for Dan while I'm in town to keep things hopping.

Don't forget tomorrow's Blogger Tournament on Face Up Gaming. Cruise for 2, iPads, and other swag up for grabs.

Date: Saturday, June 9th
Time: 13:00ET
Game: NLHE
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: BATTLE (password is case sensitive)

1st - Bahamas Poker Cruise
2nd and 3rd - Blue Shark Optic Sunglasses - Value $150
4th - 6th - Face Up Hoodie
7th - 10th - Face Up Logo Wear
11- 20th - 300 tournaments points

The iPads will be awarded to the top performers from other blogger leagues (Pokerati, Ante Up, ACH, and PocketFives).


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Monday, June 04, 2012

Here We Go 

Everything has been ironed out and we have our first "Blogger Only" poker tournament setup on Face Up Gaming. They've pulled together some prizes to give out for our first event and I'm hoping for a great turnout (or at least let me win the thing). Top prize is a Ante Up cruise for 2 courtesy of Face Up Gaming plus other swag including 3 iPads.

(In non-pimping thoughts, oh man are the fields soft. So soft that I can beat them. Early Party-fishtank soft.)

The tournament runs this Saturday, June 9th at 13:00ET and it's open to bloggers and readers. You do not need a Gold Membership to register, just signup and play. This will be a great test run for the future and a big showing will give us a chance to expand and make ourselves a nice home.

I'll be playing from the pressbox at the WSOP, so I'll be distract and even easier money then before.

Date: Saturday, June 9th
Time: 13:00ET
Game: NLHE
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: BATTLE (password is case sensitive)

1st - Bahamas Poker Cruise
2nd and 3rd - Blue Shark Optic Sunglasses - Value $150
4th - 6th - Face Up Hoodie
7th - 10th - Face Up Logo Wear
11- 20th - 300 tournaments points

The iPads will be awarded to the top performers from other blogger leagues (Pokerati, Ante Up, ACH, and PocketFives).

Poker with the bloggers again, and I expect Waffles to remind me why I gave up playing against him.


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