Wednesday, December 14, 2005
WPBT Winter Classic December 2005: Imperial Palace
The WPBT Vegas trip this December was unbelievably fun. I didn’t think I could have a better time than last June, but in fact, I did. Allow me to explain…
Day 1: Friday, December 9th
My WPBT Vegas trip started out horribly, as documented in earlier blog posts. First, there was the Southwest airplane accident at Midway airport, and the subsequent cancellation of my flight. Then, my rescheduled flight was delayed several hours. Needless to say, it wasn’t a most pleasant start to the trip.
Misery aside, I finally made it to Las Vegas on Friday afternoon, and what a relief it was. My joy in dumping my belongings in my already-occupied hotel room (I was rooming with April, who had arrived the previous day) was dampened by a suitcase full of lotion. I had a bit of cleanup to do, as the Southwest Airlines baggage handlers managed to break a bottle of lotion in half, from inside a travel bag inside my suitcase. How? Who knows – but it probably has something to do with the new 3-inch tear across the front of my suitcase. At that point, all I wanted to do was get the airport grime off of me and grab a bite to eat.
After taking a quick shower, I headed out into the maze of the Imperial Palace in search of the “Burger Palace,” which was conveniently located near the poker room. I grabbed me a burger (which was quite tasty, actually) and on my way out of the burger joint, ran into Human Head and Mrs. Head railbirding some bloggers in the poker room. We chatted a bit, and then the Heads kindly showed me where the hotel drugstore was so I could buy myself a toothbrush. They headed back upstairs for an afternoon siesta, and I hopped on the monorail to seek out bloggers at MGM.
Who should I see sitting in the monorail car as I climbed on but April, Gracie, Pablo, and an assortment of bloggers! What timing! Only in Vegas – a blogger at every turn. We headed to MGM and I could hardly contain my excitement.
Upon arrival at MGM, I saw CJ sitting down with a few other bloggers to a $4/8 limit hold’em game. Looks good to me! I bought in and sat down in the 1 seat. This was my first encounter with Alan of Geek and Proud (and his fantastic hammer card capper). He had his handheld Treo device on hand to log his poker seat time and results, and I immediately appreciated his geekness. I was, in fact, quite jealous of his poker tracking software, as I don’t know of any such software available for my handheld device of choice (the Blackberry). I might just have to write one myself. Pablo also played at that table, as did Jeff. I need some confirmation here – hey Jeff: was that Jeff, as in, Donkey Puncher Jeff? I never did get around to asking. I also had to contend with Chad, a couple seats to my left. Why is it that when he raises, I practically pee myself in fear? And what the hell is up with the fact that almost every blogger I sat with this weekend can play some mean motherfuckin poker?
The $4/8 game was not very kind to me, and I was reminded repeatedly why I switched from limit to no-limit hold’em. There were some brutal suckouts going on, as we had a couple luckbox tourists scooping massive pots off of us bloggers. As one luckbox left, another would take his place. (No, I don’t mean CJ – though he wins the Luckbox Award for the weekend!)
I showed down my only hammer of the weekend at this table, in a horrifyingly embarrassing fashion. You see, with a few Cap’n & 7-Up’s in me, by the end of the evening, I was doing a bit more chatting than pot odds calculating (or any other serious poker endeavor). I was on the button and looked down to see the Hammer, seven-deuce in all of its glorious offsuit colors. I dutifully raised it up preflop, and the blinds folded (both bloggers). I slammed my Hammer down on the table in glee, only to realize that two people had limped into the pot ahead of me at the other end of the table.
My hand played face up, and it checked down to the river, where I lost the pot to some random pair.
I’m so not cool.
Thus concludes my hammer story!
As more and more bloggers arrived at the MGM poker room, rumor had it that Wil Wheaton and Paul Phillips were due to make an appearance. It seems that the latter was a bit offended that he hadn’t been invited firsthand to attend any of our blogger gatherings, which cracks me up. A bit twighlight-zone, eh? The two did eventually arrive, and I hear that they played some non-donkey poker at the $200 max no-limit hold’em game. I, unfortunately, did not get a chance to sit at that game. I wish I had – being the dorky fangirl that I am.
After a few hours at MGM, April and I decided to head back to the Imperial Palace to get a few winks of shut-eye. The morning would bring the WPBT Winter Classic tournament, and I for one wanted to be decently rested. Since I was running on 2 stressed out hours of sleep from the travel fiasco the night before, I was pooped anyway. No, sir’s, a party animal I am not. Time for bed! We headed back to the IP and crashed out for the night.
Up next: the WPBT tournament, my 30 seconds of celebrity gawking, and Storming the Castle, Part Deux.