Let's see if I can get this one in a single post.
Saturday - Tournament day! We'll get to that.
So, up at the crack of enough-time-for-breakfast. I fire out a "anyone want more Wicked Spoon?" tweet, only be told Maigrey beat me to the punch because it was so awesome the day before. So I tag along with group, getting there about a plate or two in. Still, it's plenty of time to sample what I missed the day before (still very good) and head to the tournament.
See, that wasn't so painful. I pied-pipered the group back through Crystals to the poker room at Aria, signed up both myself and my last-longer team, caught up with some folks, grabbed BrainMC's nuts, and found my seat.
Oh wait... before it all started, we grabbed the group photo. I played backup photog in a crappy spot, while OhCaptain perched on high to get what I assume are better pictures. However, here is the best I grabbed.
Who was I seated with? It's been a while, so apologies to the one person I think I'm forgetting. There was CJ, Drizz, Alcanthang, Maigrey, Jordan's buddy, a couple women I didn't know, eventually WhoJedi I think, and the mystery person my brain refuses to acknowledge even though I knew them.
Anyway, cards in the air, chatter and bounties and all that. Hey! Jd, rest of the Royal on the board! Awh, couldn't get the final call on the river, showed the stone cold nuts anyway. Up a bit. Ooo! Aces. Won a little. Hammer drop (first at the table). Al saw into my soul when the 7 hit on the turn and wisely folded, yes a legit hammer win.
Then I bled chips for a while... NOBODY got knocked out until PokerVixen saw the rail after the 2nd round. Then people relaxed, knowing they wouldn't own a copy of Gigli. I went down sometime after the break when I shoved my KK preflop and Al called with AQ because he wanted my bounty (pic of your choice). JT7 flop. Yah, no doubt here... K on the turn for my set, his nut straight, and I went home. Seems only fair that I got KO'd by Al (who ran like a god for most of the tournament I hear), a minor bit of retribution for our HU battle a couple years back. So yet another blogger gets a copy of the Vegas sunrise shot. I should get on contacting Al about that.
So I'm out. I'm not particularly upset about it. Disappointed, sure, but it's hard to get mad in a friendly game like this one.I wander a bit, tell Dawn that she's the lone shining light for Team Bedrock (BrainMC being KO'd a few minutes before me), and decide to wander a bit. Back to the room for a bit, and I fire out a text asking where I'm having dinner and with whom. CK gets back to me pronto and plans are made.
Showered, changed, and back downstairs I once again swing by the tournament, shoot the shit a bit, and go back out on the floor (because watching live poker, even when it's friends, is boring, and I feel like I'm intruding on their play). I wander by a bank of slots.
Normally, I ignore the video penny slots that nobody understands the workings of. 15 lines? 5 credits per line? No idea what wins? It's basic insanity. But one caught my eye. "Do you like games with Gladiators?" DO I?? Airplane! The slot machine!
I plunk my ass down, drop $100 in, and bet the max. BONUS! Touch a square! Huh? Er... ok... touch.. nothing... touch... nothing. Touch the right thing -- BONUS!! Touch passengers! Uh... ok... touch... touch... touch... bonus, bonus, bonus. Super bonus! Double bonus! Spinny give me money bonus! I have no idea what's going on, but I keep winning. On my first spin. Oh hell do I like games with gladiators.
When it finally ends, I have something like 18000 credits. Sweet. $180. Seems like a lot of work for $80 though. Wait... that's waaay more than I started with. Oh! It's a nickel machine! $900! Wheee.
So I play it down a bit. Hit another bonus, play that down and cash out. Put in another hundo, hit more bonuses, and cash out. I walk away with around $1100. That definitely makes up for lack of tournament winning. Airplane! The Slot Machine is awesome.
Dinner isn't until 9:30, so I find more railbirds and chat it up. Numbono, PokahDave, F-Train, etc.. The final table is rocking 50% women, including my teammate Dawn Summers. I'm hoping the "member of Astin's team wins the tournament" streak continues, but alas, she crushes all my hopes and dreams by going out 4th. Um, I mean... great job Dawn! Congrats to Chilly's friend for taking the whole thing down (right? It's been awhile. There was a chop at 3 I think.)
Wander wander wander. Bar, slots, bar, tourney. Chilly taking prop bets on how many toenails he has painted (answer: 1). Finally, dinner time arrives, I grab my coat and head out with CK, Grange, and CaityCaity to Carnevino.
Never been before. Will be back in January. Carol did the ordering with some minor input from the rest of us and the waiter, and the meal was top-notch.
Bison chop, lamb, sweetbreads (my choice, and the most unexciting part of the meal, but I'm spoiled by the best sweetbreads in the world available in Toronto), pastas, carpaccio, crudo, house-cured pastrami, and more. The food was great, the conversation and company better. But isn't that how these WPBT things are supposed to work? Everything we do, the tournament, the outings, the gambling, the dinners, the drinks -- they're all noise around the core purpose of meeting up with awesome people.
Dinner wrapped up, and I finally made it to the IP. The moment I walked in those broken doors, I realized that I hadn't felt like I was in Vegas until right then. The Aria is very nice. The Excalibur is cheesy. Dinners at fancy restaurants are delicious. But with this group, and these trips, the Imperial Palace is home.
And what does one do in the IP? One sits down at a table and plays PAI GOW!!! I can't remember how much I lost there, but it was worth the price of admission to joke around with BrainMC, Maigrey, and the rotating cast of friends showing off their Pai Gow skills. Hours and a few drinks later I plunked down at The Ghostbusters slots because craps was looking too full. Turns out that Slimer also wants to give me money because I walked up a couple hundred in a game I couldn't seem to lose.
By this time it was about half past ridiculous o'clock in the morning and I grabbed a cab back (the long away around, I REALLY need to pay better attention to the cabbies who are ripping me off) to Aria with Absinthentics and called it a night.
Next up - the final day, a small photo walk, and runners.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Let's see if I can get this one in a single post.