Saturday, August 05, 2006

Vegas,, more Vegas.

So this past week has seen me in oh-so-sunny and unseasonably HUMID Las Vegas. While I'm the first person to enjoy a trip to Vegas, its no secret that in my pseudo-crippled blind ass state, poker has proved to be one of the few hobbies I have left that I have any level of proficiency at. However, this proves the saying that you can have too much of a good thing. BUT! Most importantly, another key piece fell into place on the "stuff to do before I die list" so there is a big silver lining to dealing with furniture and shoe conventioneers from across the pond.

This month is the World Series of Poker and yours truly was dropped right into the middle of it. I did play an event, I'll get to that later, but one of the most interesting things was seeing it as a true measure of the growth and legitimacy of the industry. The Gaming Lifestyle Show (interesting name) filled a huge convention room at the Rio and was packed side to side with all manner of businesses plying their wares. While it was dominated by the online cardrooms/casinos, there were several other small businesses and media groups pimping themselves as well. While touring as the unofficial spokesperson and promo-pimp for the guys at "Life’s A Bluff" ( I was able to meet dozens of famous poker pros and World Series Bracelet winners and media magnates. (Get ready for the name dropping) Including:

Greg Raymer (cut him off in the buffet line and then he ate off my used plate...interesting story, but a hell of a down to earth guy to mix with us all at the PPA event -- keepin' poker legal.)
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
Doyle Brunson
Todd Brunson
Jennifer Harmon
Phil Laak
Mike Sexton
Joe Sebok, Gavin Smith and Scott Huff
('The Circuit' Poker Radio Hosts on Sirrius and at, fun show with great tips)
Bart Hanson (of 'Live at the Bike' fame. A special hello to former LA tournament grinder Ronnie McMillan who is doing the website graphics for L@tB.)
Humberto Brenes
Antonio Esphandiari
Joe Hachem
Max Pescatori
(Congrats on your first bracelet Max)
Jhonny Chan (Twice. Sorry if I bothered you Mr. Chan.)
Phil Gordon (Thanks for the tournament advice Mr. Gordon, it helped me do well, see below)
Howard Lederer (Best “who the hell are you” stare, and then friendly handshake)
David Williamson III
(I still think he looks like the guy from Night Court)
Byron Liggett (Columnist for the NW for Poker Player and a guy that was cool enough to share a couple of drinks with a bunch of 30 something web-heads that enjoyed all his stories.)
Mhin "the Master"
Scotty Nguyen

And above all, the Life's A Bluff Crew. (Quack Quack)

Vegas got me thinking and I decided that if I could pop my little chunk of my bankroll into something substantial, I would try to enter the last braceleted event in the world series, Event #40, the $1000 NL Hold 'Em "Donkey Rodeo". Short stacked, fast blinds (compared to other events) and low buy-in it is known to be a fast action, Russian Roulette style game. Actually, very similar to the dozens of events that I've played so I figured I had an edge. Well, they (strongly) cut off the entries at 1100 and 100 alternates due to a chip shortage (WTF??) and lil' old me got in. It was because I won a night tournament that I entered with the LaB team and split a 3 way win for first and $1,100 plus some cash from a few side games and, well, that went right into Event #40 with some cash back. Well, about 1200 people and I finished around 120 in. So, top 10% and on a hell of a run till a bad beat on a perfect move chunked out half my chips, I finished in view of the money, but not quite there. I call it a heck of a virgin WSOP attempt.

Note, I'm tired, the spelling could suck, and I may have left some people out, but here is the story and I hope you loved it. I'm happy to be home and ready to do it again next year.

Want to know who the players are? and find the profiles.


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