Friday, August 29, 2008

95 Rocks - Ace High Poker song

Old Video of a calling station who deservedly gets rolled. Those crazy scandis.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Weekly Column

I don't want my statement of support of Monkey to get pushed down too far so please scroll down to the next item for that.

Anyway, I'm bummed, won't be joining the boys for the GCPC. Actually, I might be traveling tomorrow, if the storm turns. Yesterday's field being close to 600 is overwhelming a bit-in a really good way. I would have been there today if things had gone a little bit better.

I decided if I had a big score at the Harrahs weekly I'd come down for either the Thursday or Friday event, Gustave permiting of course. I cashed, but busted out in 8th when I commited a series of mistakes on one hand. It was a paltry pay day too as only 57 players played. I added another underpair catching a set to beat an overpair to my tally, I think I'm still on the losing end of that one 30-2 (it happening to me vs. me doing it to someone else) in a tournament. The two times that's happened I've cashed so, I had a good feeling when my 99 improved to a set vs. JJ.

The hand that busted me was another blind vs. blind hand. J4 offsuit. I catch second pair. I bet the KJ7 flop. He calls. Ace hits the turn. He bets to me what feels like an overbet for little under half my chips (which was a middle to big stack). I stew. I go over the range of hands he'd have and just didn't feel he could have limped into a pot with an A. Maybe a weak one. So, I decided he had to have a king. But AK was nearly impossible so how did his hand get better. I got a serious weak read from him on the flop bet as if he was just calling for the heck of it. Was he now making a play. I had also seen him fold to over-the-top shoves three times at the final table, and I'd be leaving him plenty of chips left to fold. I worked up my courage and went with my flop read and shoved.

He thought. And thought. And thought. And thought. Just when it looked like he was about to fold, somebody called clock on him. Then he looked up and decided he'd think for most of the minute. With about 10 seconds left he threw his chips in with some reservation. My thoughts through this process was he had a King with a cr**y kicker. I thought he was going to lay down. Then, as his deliberation went longer and longer, I wondered if he was going to make one hell of a call with a jack and a better kicker. If so, I was thoroughly outplayed. He turns over A9.

Head scratcher there. Must have thought I had two pair, J7 or something(?). He hadn't seen me play anything but winners so I guess I made the right move on the right guy but on the wrong card. I also must assume he thought I was posturing at the flop and didn't connect.

Just as a fare-thee-well present, the dealer throws two river cards out giving me a third jack with the sixth card. Table reacts like I had sucked out. I did a double take as I had already started walking away when the fifth card bricked. Wha-huh?

There was one guy at the final table who I played with for an hour before going into it. He had accumalated a huge stack and just sat on it. He told me they always chop at 6. As the final table went a couple of rounds the blinds and antes were finally catching even him. I had a clear plan of shocking and tilting the dude, when we got to 6 handed by telling him that I wasn't chopping at all. I was playing for it all. That's part of the rationale behind shoving on the dude, I was going for the win, and I trusted my flop read.

One of the myriad mistakes was I didn't have to make that move then. Another was ignoring the information on the turn that his hand had improved. I had convinced myself he wasn't the type to call my flop bet with air, but in review he probably did so because he had A high, thought that might be good, and was simply tired of the final table pushing on him. The odd thing is, the A hits, which is what he wants and he doesn't instacall my shove. Maybe it shocked him. I don't know. Ultimately as Gene succintly put it, I went out with J4 and he'd never lose with that hand. Totally was in a place where I could have just given the guy a walk or laid it down. I'm of mixed minds because he almost folded but still too many negatives for playing the hand the way I did. Maybe just shove the flop and take the blinds, limps and antes. Easy to say in hindsight. Also, just made two crazy fourth pair calls on guys a round before. After calling two bets from a guy, I knew had nothing he said, "Pair of twos," and I said "pair of fours" and he looked like he was going to vomit. "I should just go home now."

Another interesting hand was earlier in the tournament when a big stack fairly new to the table, makes a bigger than normal raise from the button on an unopened pot. I look down to AJsuited in the blind. I couldn't see his chips, I ask what he's got. A ton. Oh. I really didn't know what to do with the hand. I probably only had 6x his bet so thought about shoving, but I didn't feel good there. It didn't feel like a pure steal. Of the range of hands I put him on, there were only a smattering that I had a clear edge on. I think a fold would have been fine there. Instead I chose call. If I hit the flop I go for it. If not, I'll try a steal (thought about shoving no matter what came) and see what happens. Bricks. I bet. He shoves. I fold. Yeah. That's a poorly played hand.

I enjoyed discussing the hands with Parfait during the break. He had a good showing despite getting the cold deck a couple of times. I think he made it to to less than 30 left. I don't know if we came to a conclusion with the AJ. Push or fold. Maybe fold if my gut was telling me something was off. Definitely, not call, bet, fold.

Went to boomtown for the completion of the daily double. Took a typical boomtown beat. 8 limpers around to me in the big blind, I got KK. I put in just under half my stack. Guy with a stack almost equal to mine calls. Flop is QJx. I put the rest in. He calls VERY deliberately. I turn over my kings hoping he's got KQ, maybe AQ. He looks at my hand and doesn't turn his over, kind of looks up like he's thinking and then shows QJ for two pair. Nice preflop call for half your chips sir with QJ, I think. What I say is "Good hand! Good luck."

Will be heading out of town if the storm tracks for Gustave continue. Gene is pretty confident they are going to Texas. The national media is trying to bolster sales for plywood stores and Walmart. I hope he's right. He told me to use WeatherUnderground to track the storm instead of the weather channel. Nonetheless, I'm acting like chicken little (is that right?) and cleaning out the fridge and freezer and making preparations.

Good luck everybody. Hope the storms miss the Gulf Coast completely. Maybe they can crash into each other and die, even if that's not the way weather works.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Please review Monkey's blog for his account of the current situation. Our position at Gulf Coast Poker has been to not edit any of our bloggers material. They opinions are their own. In fact, the blogs are their own, so it is not our place to edit or censure them. We understand that the wild times get as much coverage as the daily grind. Those are an aspect of one part of the poker lifestyle. The best part of Monkey's blog is his unfiltered viewpoint, his blatant honesty, and the window that affords us into his life as an up and coming poker player.

In a recent post he made note of the fact he clued in a friend he had a big hand by kneeing him so he could get out of the pot. As a result of reading his blog the Beau has banned him from their casino. In my opinon this is severe. Will's actions were a breach of poker etiquette, yes, the first step toward collusion, maybe, but cheating no. Point of fact, him merely retelling the story is indicative of his intent in the situation.

Will played the hand with no intention of cheating other players out of their money. Had he kneed his friend to induce a raise or build a pot, absolutely he'd deserve a lifetime ban and he'd be trying to cheat somebody out of their money. Instead he put all his chips into the center and gave his friend a warning to steer clear. Had the knee been used to induce his friend to call and maybe create some pot odds to induce other players into the pot, that would be a far worse offense. Nothing of the sort took place. Nothing malicious was at hand, nothing ominous was going on, and no other players were in jeopardy by this action. In fact, the only person who lost money because of this action was Will. That's the most pertinent part of this situation. It was to Will's detriment and not his advantage. I am not saying what Will did was not wrong. It was. However, his intent was not to cheat or steal.

Let's be clear, I (and GCP) do not approve of the knee or any form of signaling, or any action that might be construed as the first step toward collusion. But I support Will and stand behind him. The parallels to this action are seen every day in a casino with no more than 10 minute/hand penalties being doled out. What's the difference between this and a player who exposes his hand to one player (arguably a far greater offense) out of turn? Or the player who is in a hand and announces what he has or even shows his hand to keep somebody from chasing a miracle. Yes, they are all wrong but nobody is banned from the casino. Let's repeat, based purely on intent, Will's action was not done to cheat people out of money.

Will is not a cheater.

Gulf Coast Poker.NET takes pride in going after the online poker websites that cheat people out of money Read our archived news bits. We hate thieves and cheaters. In fact, we've turned down online advertising money from some websites just because we question their scruples. If we knew of individuals cheating, we'd take pride in going after and exposing them. If Will was cheating somebody out of money we'd sever our ties to him, but he's not.

We do not condone, endorse, or encourage cheating in any form.

Furthermore, we've been proactive in exposing cheating, PlayerN has several poker stories heavily influenced by books written to protect players from cheaters. One of the long term goals of the fictional tales is to expose cheaters' tactics to a broader audience, so we can all better protect ourselves.

Cheating should be eliminated at any sign, and we are grateful the Beau is proactive in keeping their games honest. That is truly a good thing. Their vigilance ensures a safe place for us to play. That being said, in this case, I feel they are being too heavy handed in punishment and I hope they will reconsider. Will deserves to be sanctioned, perhaps a day or two ban, but nothing to the extent of a lifetime ban which is excessive.

We welcome all feedback on this situation and want to know where readers stand. I am considering steps we can take to help Will, perhaps an online petition urging the Beau to reconsider in time for the Gulf Coast Poker Championship.

We invite comments on Monkey's Situation

Some questions...
1. Do you think the Beau is being too heavy handed?
2. Would you an endorse a petition if offered?
3. What do you think is appropriate for Will going forward?
4. Any other comments or thoughts are welcome...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vegas Bachelor Party Timelion v. 6

What’s a Timelion? A Big cat with a clock? Yes it's a tall Flava Flav. I watched that dreck of a TV show Flavor of Love and discovered Flavor gets upset when his name is misspelled “F-l-a-v-a” because it’s Flavor. I find that more than odd. Anyway, a timelion is also kind of like a misspelling or a homophone of sorts. But only if I said “misspelling” and you thought of a skinny 90210 veteran with twin airbags stapled onto her chest under a face only daddy, Secretariat or a gold digger could love. And a timelion is like a homophone, if you hear homophone and think a bejeweled, bedazzled, pink, feathered phone whose ring tone is set to “Fabulous.” Scan down for the real answer it's in volume one.

Anyway, we left our tale with SuperBill’s trying to serve his tournament penalty for his 504th f bomb by doing a lap around the table instead of sitting out a lap of hands. Once he was corrected, what’s a SuperBill to do to kill time? The husband and wife “team” at the limit table are gone. And the poker room has filled up a bit. The answer is obviously badger the nearest celebrity. Sure enough, he spies Tony Parker, the world champion point guard of the San Antonio Spurs sitting at 1-2 table.

SB: Is that Tony Parker?

Floorman (Whose facing is saying “Oh god no”): Uh…. Tony Parker? (Not a good bluffer).

SB: Yeah that is Tony Parker, you know that basketball player.

Floorman is flumoxed--what to do? He thinks too long, SuperBill is already across the room and at the table.

SB: Tony good to meet you.

TP (who has just folded): Right.

Some vague pleasantries are exchanged.

SB: Can I ask you a question?

TP: O… kay.

SB: You think you are good at poker?

TP: I’m not bad.

SB: Not bad? Or good?

TP: I guess I’m good.

SB (emphasizing his drunkenness, he’s a cagey phuck): Well, I’d thrash you one on one.

TP (clearly a competitor and not the type to back down from a challenge): Oh…really.

SB: Yeah. Soon as I win that tournament I’ll come and clear you out.

TP (bemused like he’d be if I had just assured him I could dunk): Okay well, I’ll be here.

SB starts to walk back to the tournament. The floorman informs him he’s got 9 minutes left on
his penalty.

Ooops, bad news for Mr. Parker. Floorman strokes his moustache and walks to the cage.

SB: Hey guy.

TP : Yes.

SB: You know, actually, the true way to measure whose better is to play heads up.

TP (perhaps knowing that distraction is the best way to divert an infant, drunk or idiot): You know that’s my brother down there. He’s good too.

SB focuses in or a dude with thick sunglasses, huge bling from his neck, and based on his demeanor possessing slightly less patience then Tony.

SB: Hi Tony Parker’s brother. Annnnnnnyway, why don’t we play heads up. Me vs. you.

TP (falling for the drunken idiot act—maybe it was because SB’s sweat was 80 proof): I’ll play you but you got your tournament.

SB: Tell you what, we’ll play but you put up a $1000 and I’ll put up $500.

TP: So I put up double the money?

SB: Yeah, you are worth like 10 of me.

TP (In his head… “more like 100 of you” but still smiling and humoring): Oh that seems fair. I don’t think they’d do it but it’d be fun.

SB (to the floorman): You’d get us a dealer to play heads up.

Floorman who has been watching the conversation, probably with one hand on the security buzzer the entire time is still wearing a smile of amusement. Even SuperBill is wondering why everybody is being so friendly and agreeable. Internal recognition that he must be much drunker then he thinks he is. That realization is quickly stowed in the n-f’ing way department.

FM shrugs: I think we can make that happen.

TP clearly doesn’t like the answer: Um, um, well, you still got your tournament to play.

SB: I can tell you are scared. And I understand. I’d be frightened too. Just like you’d kill me in hoops I’ll kill you in poker. So why play me heads up? Because you’re not going to back down from the challenge. You’ll be able to tell your kids about this one day. But since you are having second doubts, I tell you what, if I win the tournament we’ll play.

TP (who at this point has shown the patience of a special ed teacher): Fine, you win the tournament we are going to play.

At this point, a tiny woman sits back down in her seat, she’s got the Unabomber look going and you totally wouldn’t notice her, except for the fact she’s gorgeous. Most women under the age of 40 and under 160 libs in a poker room are like an 8 or a 9 just by virtue of being… a woman… in a poker room. So when you put a real beauty in there it’s like being in the presence of Athena. Point being… Eva Longoria is not going to hide under a hoodie. SuperBill theorizes the average woman should prefer beauty to brains, because he can see easier than he can think. Tony got lucky, Eva's got both, brains and beauty.

SB looks at TP and raises his eyebrows a couple of times knowingly. And looks over at Tony's wife and back to him. He raises the eyebrows again and gets a smile.

SB: Well done. Well done.

Friday, August 22, 2008

November Nine

I was reading on Pokerati that pros are offering to coach the November Nine for a piece of their winnings. Wha-huh?

On those terms I'd say no to everyone. For a fee maybe, for a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage maybe (like 0.0001%) but in general no. The November Nine has to realize that their "coach" will get a butt load of publicity standing behind them. On top of that, if the coached player does well Norman Chad will attribute it to the coaching 100 times during the broadcast and not the player.

Whatever company the coach is "working for" (ie FullTilt or Stars) will get plenty of advertising as the camera will seek them out Johnny Chan behind Jaime Gold style. Although with ChanPoker just going under I guess that didn't help his site out too much. His misstep ignored, if you think about it, the coaching pays for itself just from the camera time.

Not only that, coaches could actually cut into the Nine's secondary profit streams. If you were an online site, who would you rather have your logo splashed on, the player who as yet is an unknown or a known "coach." Let's say you win, with Negreanu in your corner, who do you think will get the bulk of the credit? Not you. For that reason, I wouldn't hire a coach, though I disagree with the reasoning on Pokerati that these guys in order to get through fields this big are better then all but a couple of pros. Not a chance.

However, there are plenty of people to seek out based on chip stack size and other variables for guidance--but not as a "coach" per se. Final table experience being a big a plus. Even better situational final table experience is the most important. Big Stack Dennis Phillips meet Greg Raymer. Short stacks should seek out Joe Hachem. Luckbox who is in over his head but knows to be aggressive meet Jerry Yang.

November Nine has all the leverage. Many of the top players realize publicity is what cements their non-poker revenue. All those final table or featured table drop-ins by Hellmuth and others are planned out. An up and coming pro would do well to simply offer his services for free than reap the benefits as being named a coach on the telecast if his guy does well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poker Interlude, Timelion Timeout ii

As humorous as some people find SB's bender in Vegas, and I'm glad to know somebody's laughing, even if it's at me, I don't want to totally forget poker, so some quick hands from today's Harrahs tournament.

I make one move today, in a battle of the blinds. I thought I represented a hand pretty well and the kid agreed with me but he said if I bet the turn he'd fold. Which I'm a little confused over. Tell me what ya'll think. Am I overthinking this and missing the obvious. My hand is irrelevant, because it never connected, in the small blind. I think it was J9. Folded to me. I just gave him a walk an orbit earlier. Considered raising but wanted to see a flop and despite being OOP I thought I'd know where I was in the hand. I complete he limps. Flop comes KK7 (no draw). I check. He bets. I don't buy a king but maybe a 7. I think I can get him off with the right turn or river cards. Turn is 10. Would he buy me chasing a 10? Maybe, but I decide to check and he checks behind. River is a brick, maybe, a 2. I figure my play could represent king and it's time to bet. My mistake was I bet too little, I believe. At the time, him being one of only two credible players on the table, I didn't want to look like I was buying the pot, so I reduced my bet. Probably shouldn't have as he's got such a weak holding (I think) better to make him think about it.

He called. I mucked. He showed a flimsy 7 with a decent kicker problems.

I asked if I bet too little. He said had I bet the turn he would have folded. I said I checked the turn to bet a good river or represent the king. If had a king I'd let him bet the turn for me, right? He told me on the river he knew I had King or nothing.

So, why would he fold the turn?

I guess instead of thinking my check represented me wanting him to bet again, it represented a chasing hand--but what was I chasing in that scenario--a 10?

Want to give Floorman Ray at Harrahs a compliment for another hand. To set the stage I get moved tables after having two ladies river three straights on me and halving my starting stack. One checked the river to me and I check behind with a set because something was rotten in Demark after I had been betting the flop and turn. She showed rivered straight. The other lady I had top pair I think Queen kicker. Bet the flop, ahead, bet the turn ahead (in position after her checks), fold to her all in river bet. She says she had a straight. Other hands beat me so I'll accept the straight. Tilted me a little bit them chasing. And the last one, I had JJ, 10 high board. Bet, call. Brick. Bet, call. River brings a 8 spades making an open-ender and/or a flush. She bets. I fold. Table says she caught a flush, I say 5-6. She shows me the straight (5-6).

Somehow I'm not tilting though I am frustrated. I sit down at the new table and two hands in, the dealer tosses a card between the two guys after me. Guy to my left picks up the wrong card and she declares a misdeal (Is that a misdeal--anybody know the rules?) even though there were only two cards to left for her to deal out. I normally don't look but I pick up two black Queens. Oops, I'm boiling a bit now. Needed a double up hand. I remind myself I could have gone broke and chill out.

An orbit later two more ladies. Sweet. I'm UTG. I bet out a $500 chip and clearly say "$500" (50-100). Guy in MP throws out a $500 chip. Couple of people fold. Button throws out 4 hundred chips. I tell him he needs one more. Dealer says "What?" I said "I said $500" my side of the table agrees. She didn't hear me and thought I called and whispered it to the guy next to her in MP. Now here's where it gets weird. She lets the MP fold and take his chip back. Then she says action to the button who promptly goes all in. Meanwhile, the guy after him had already folded (out of turn) during the rewind portion of this affair.

The dealer is a good dealer and a nice girl, but I decide I'm just going to call floor and get a ruling on it, rather then have her ruling which seemed to be that guy's all in bet was legal be clarified and than me protest. Ray comes over and gets it right I think. The first guy, who the dealer told I only called, acted as if it was $100. Then the two people that folded acted on the same action. Therefore the button's action to raise it to $400 stands. Technically now the MP guy who tossed his cards in the muck could still be in the hand with $100 out there. Focusing on the button I forget to get his $100 back into the pot (kind of dickish but the rules).

So it's agreed the button raise to $400 (and my $500 raise was void). Now I'm looking weak and one of the blinds calls. I say to myself, he's either got AK, AA, or KK. If AA, KK, so be it, I'll commit if the flop doesn't bring a card above my Queens and lose to those two hands. The blind calling made me think AK was the most likely (possible he's got one of those Aces). So I only call the $400. Didn't have to coin flip right here. I got $2100 behind. Flop is AA7. Blind checks. I check. Button checks. I feel he's slowplaying AK. Sweet I saved my tournament by calling the floor. Turn is a brick. Check, Check, Check.

River: Miracle queen. Check. I ship my remaining $2100. Button flat calls. Big Blind calls.

My full house beats AK and 1010 (yeah what the f was he thinking). AK (button) goes ballistic to his neighbors saying I screwed him out of the pot by calling floor. He says to me, "You were weak you would have folded." I told him "If you think I was folded Queens preflop you are crazy. I'd rather not put all my chips on a coin flip sir. But, if I had to I would have... with so little left. In fact, my actions were the best possible thing for you. Had your bet stood. I have to call and you'd lose on the river. But here, if you had just bet you'd have dragged a pot." I understand slowlyplaying top trips with a K kicker but I at least bet the turn vs. two people. He steams for a while. Oh well. I hit a two outer and tripled up, shame my stack was only $2500 at the start of it.

Later, I'm getting short and after shipping it to steal the blinds two hands later UTG 8 handed I look at AJ. I don't like shipping it with AJ here but blinds are 300-600. I'm about to be BB. I notice One of the big stacks wasn't in his seat, 7 handed it's not that bad a shove. I push $3200 in. Folds to the big blind who has about $4000. He's commited $600 with the blind. He counts out $3200 leaving him with $800 left (forgetting $600 already in). Gets his nerve up and calls.

I say to myself, that's why you never ship it with AJ, A10 UTG, somebody will wake up with AK, AQ. I'm almost embarrassed to show my hand. I playfully try to peek at his. He shows KQ o/s. I'm stunned I'm a favorite. DaRock fires out a K on the flop and gives me a bit of sweat on the turn with a gutter to go with my Ace draw, but empty.

I leave the casino wonder what people are thinking playing KQ so strongly. AJ other than a small or mid pocket pair is about as good as he can hope for. AK, AQ got him crushed. Otherwise he's coinflipping to protect $600 and basically putting his tournament on the line with KQ o/s. I could have him crushed again with QQ or KK or even AA (though i'll buy somebody thinking I wouldn't shove AA there or maybe KK).

Maybe, I'm bitter. But that's not where I'm making my stand, with KQ o/s against a guy who's only shown premium hands when raising EP since he came to the table.

Speaking of sour grapes, I also watched another kid call all the way to the river, big bets, with only overcards and hit every time. He did it to me once with KQ which he raised in early position with. I got 98 clubs suited on the button. But, position, blinds and antes justify they call. I think he's got a big hand but let's see a flop. Two clubs Jack high. Check, Check. Turn is 9 spades, now two spades too. I bet fairly big. He calls. River is a King ball. He checks. I've seen this movie. I check and he shows KQ. I gave him too much credit thinking AK, after his flop check, but either way I knew where I was in the hand. I wonder if guys like that ever know "where they are" in the hand. Kid to my left who I battled in the blinds said this was going on all morning before I got to the table. Oh well.

Going to Boomtown now. If I thought I saw silly this morning I'm about to find out what silly really is.

VIDEO of THE WEEK If They Never Played Poker

Saw this on Tao of Poker but it's from 2+2 forums.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vegas Bachelor Party Timelion v. 5

A timelion, for those that don't know, is a large cat trained by shaman to meow or roar, depending on your proximity, on the hour every hour. These cats when released into the wild or when escaping after killing their keepers usually starved as mid-stalk they'd announce it was four o'clock. Or not. Scroll down for the real definition.

It's 5 am or so on a friday in Las Vegas. I'm now steamrolling my two opponents in a limit hold 'em game. I tell them they are going to make me rich. After the casino's cut and the tips we fire out there may be $60 on the table for me to win.

5:07 SB (which stands for SuperBill a persona rarely seen in 6 years but accompaning me on my bachelor party) to his two tablemates on a 2-4 limit game: You thought your husband and wife hustle was going to work on me. But see, I figured you out. Like a first base coach I stole your signs.
Man: Doesn't a first base coach give...
SB: That's why I'm up $12. Pay the Lion. That $8 pot is mine! I'll play ya'll as long as you want to play. You are going to make me rich. Now, I'm pretty sure I saw you, madam, on a WPT final table, makes no difference that you are hiding you skills here on the low rent table, I recognize you missus Selbst. But don't worry I'm not going anywhere, as long as you two want to play I'll play. Right JoAnne?"

Dealer: Eeeeets Joan.

SB: Let me stress, I'm here for as long as you two want to play.

5:07:13 Dealer (at the other table): Seat Open

SB: Um, good luck and good night.

5:07:55 SuperBill drops his whites onto the table and adds some hundos to the tally. The stinkeye is liberally applied to everyone. They are reminded that SuperBill will unburden them of their chips. Looks are exchanged that were half "Look at this ahole" and the other half "This guy is going to lose all his money."

5:08:12 SB lose an all-in pot. Pay attention to the times every once in a while. Otherwise this would just be about lions. Down one buy in. I believe Virge calls it advertising. The table is excited as SuperBill pulls out another few hundos. In about one orbit (or 10 hands) SB has blown half of that buy-in. The table is very irritated at the drunken stooge but happy to have him there.

5:10 Win first pot. Table has labeled SuperBill a maniac. Willing to call him down with rags. They also hate him. This is very promising.

5:30 Won my buy-ins back, sitting on a ton of chips. Engaging the wiseacre with taunts about how his chips want to run over to the table and play with mine. SB asks if he has stack envy.

5:32 Never count out the mad Texan. Tex told me he'd try and make it out if he had a good night at Shorties. I receive no phone call from him. I assume it wasn't a good night. Strike that, wasn't a great night, he was at Shorty's I'm sure it was a good night. Read SouthPaw Rounder's blog on that place.

5:33 Friend in Seattle farts in the mouth of different sleeping girl.

5:33 SuperBill is the only one awake from the bachelor party.

6:32 am Have great reads on everybody at the table. They all want to bust SB. SB makes a bluff on the one tight guy, shows it, and then the guy becomes irate even though he's been laughing at my nonsense prior to that. This play confirms I'm a maniac. Wiseacre is kind enough to tutor SB and tell SB why that bluff was such a dumb poker move.

SB: Hey have your seen your chips recently. They appear to have left home. And these chips in front of me look a lot like yours. Well, all the chips look-a-like but these look especially like the ones you used to have. Yes, they have your dirty fingerprints all over them. Were you eating nachos earlier? Or do you hands just smell like cheese. You like cheese? You want some Fromundacheese? ... No? O.K.

Table: Fromundacheese?

SB: From unda my balls.

7:30 am SB has really tightened up even though table hasn't noticed. Proceed to win pot after pot as the table alternates trying to run down SuperBill with second pair. You can make so much more money when you are hated. There's no question about it. The problem is being that guy. Nothing redeemable about SuperBill. I'm almost embarrassed to exagerate about him.

8:00 am (Maybe it was 9 maybe it was 10 but the first Caesers Tournament is about to start). I got two racks of chips in front of me. SB takes his winnings and tells the table he's leaving. Three or four players also cash out pissed.

"I'm the asshole?"

8:10 am Join tournament. Here's where the memory is as blurry as it gets. Memory is a funny thing. SuperBill never blacks out or forgets anything he just doesn't rush his memories. I had a friend who used to black out and then deny he did what we said he did. On one of his tamer nights he used the oven in our apartment as a percussion instrument, timing the slamming of its door to match his chant "Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Kappa Slamma, I slam Kappa Kappa Gammas." Our next door neighbors were Kappas. No lion was paid, his mating song was unsuccessful. Obviously, the oven door did not survive. Like many things in his hands at 3 am in the morning they were quickly and always much to his surprise broken.

After one night when a lazy boy had been dismantled, by accident of course, and we brought another one of his destructions to his attention, he said, "I never do the things that you say I do. You just know that I can't remember what I did last night, so you blame everything on me because you know I won't remember." I loved the logic. This was the same guy who kicked a guy in the knee and tore his ACl to shreds and immediately said, "There's no way you can blame this one on me."

Anyway, my memory from a lack of sleep and an excess of chicken drop shots at the Pai Gow table draws a blank on most of this tournament. When my friends had woken up and started the day, SuperBill was still alive with two tables to go. SuperBill was also behind a mountain of chips. Apparently, the F-Bomb isn't allowed because they heard SuperBill drop it about 20 times and his friend the bemused mustachio'd floorman give him a warning each time. The other players were exasperated. Finally, the F bomb flys out of SuperBill's mouth one more time.

Floorman: I have to give you a penalty.

SB: I don't get a f**king warning?

Much laughter. Floorman thought SuperBill was HE-LARIOUS. One of that .01%.

Floorman: You have to get up. One orbit penalty (which means ten hands have to be dealt around the table with SuperBill not in the action but his chips going toward the blinds and antes as if he was there and his cards just being folded--explanation for the nonpoker playing friends reading).

SB: I have to get up?

Floorman: One orbit penalty. It's got to go around the table before you can sit back down.

SB: Go around the table before I can sit back down?

SuperBill of course walks around the table and sits back down (fully knowing the rules).

SB: One orbit. Deal me in Dealer. And what is your name?

Dealer: Eeeets Joan.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vegas Bachelor Party Timelion Volume iv

Timelion is a timeline. Just think of it as typo if you don't know what it is. Or scroll down to volume i for more info. By the way want to give a shout to Bake who is recovering from surgery right now. Get well, Bake.

Early am at Caesers, let's call it 4 am: SuperBill arrives to near empty poker room. There is a 2-4 limit game going on with two players and a dealer. There is a jammed packed 1-2 game. SuperBill gets in the cue for the 1-2 game. Two or three seconds have passed, so he's bored. The nice man and woman at the 2-4 game hope SuperBill doesn't see them. They look like the kids in class that didn't do the reading and are praying the teacher doesn't call on them. Seeing this, SuperBill of course gets a rack of whites and sit down at the 2-4 game. Yes, it's 3 handed. Yes, there is probably only $80 on the table. And yes, SuperBill is going to steamroll this action.

4:01 am: One of SuperBill's powers is a sense of knowing when someone doesn't like him. Maybe he's just good at playing the averages with 99.9% in one corner and the other .01% in the other. Within one hand he senses the dealer falls into the larger group. She immediately hates him. Maybe it's the swagger, maybe it's the bravado, maybe it's the drunkeness.

4:02 am: For the hell of it, SuperBill accuses the two other players, in a 2-4 game no less, of colluding. SuperBill finds great humor in this on the inside, but appears earnest on the outside. They are, as people often are in SuperBill's presence, confused.

4:03 am: SuperBill continues with this absurd line of thought, isinuating his opponents are throwing signs and after asking the unsympathetic dealer to agree with him, she pleads "No English." He asks her what her name is. She doesn't reply but moves her stringy hair away from her name tag.

It reads JoAn. Very "No English."

SB: Jo An?

J: Joan

SB: No, we pronouce that Jo An (despite her anglo features and anglo name she says she speaks "No English" so SuperBill needs to enlighten her).

J: Joan

SB: Jo-ANNE. See two Capital letters. That's Jo. That's Anne. JoAnne.

J: Joan.

She steals a furtive glance to the floorman who is boredly stroking his mustache. SuperBill follows her eyes to the gentleman and is immediately envious of said stache. Floorman feels their eyes and arches an eyebrow. Before the dealer can speak...

SB: Solid stache. Well worn. Well worn. Very robust.

FM: Why thank you.

SB: Very robust. Huh?

As much as the table wants to disagree with SuperBill they can't help but acknowledge with nods that is a very robust moustache.

SB: Verily.

4:05 am. The woman and man who obviously don't know each other and very clearly can not be married unless this Vegas lifer schlub married WAY out of his league drag a pot or two. In the next hand, SuperBill after much deliberation, remember this is a 2-4 limit game, makes a "HUGE" laydown. The man shows a bluff. Bluff was a winner, but they don't need to know that. SuperBill is first to act. Looks at them both suspiciously,

SB: You are one of those husband and wife teams I hear about.

Man (rosy with the assertion this woman would be blind enough and desperate enough to lie down with him): Oh, you think so? (He guffaws. I never really knew exactly what a guffaw was until seeing him do it, kind of like a laugh but not, it was a guffaw most definitely. In the obscenity cases of the 80s it was determined you couldn't define obscenity but you'd know it when you saw it. I've seen plenty of obscene things, while SuperBill has yet to seen the obscene, he'd say titillating yes, obscene never... anyway, a guffaw works the same way, I can't define it but the guy was doing it, and doing it excessively. It was like when you hit the wrong link and got to an adult site, and the adult site had very odd things. Anyway, this wasn't a matter of seeing dudes in leather chaps with hobby horses, guaze and super slinky, this was a guy guffawing clearly delighted by SuperBill's assertion, though it'd be easy to picture in him full leather regalia).

Woman (disgusted with the notion of somehow being in the schlub's range): No WE are not!

SuperBill (eyeing his cards as if there was a decision to make): No, I think you are. What do you do wait til some drunkard shows up late night and then play two on one?

Man: guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.

Woman (gives her first, but the night's 2nd furtive glance, this one aimed at the dealer, who throws her own at the floorman who continues to stroke his moustache and surrepticiously smell his fingers): We are not cheating.

SuperBill: I'll lay this down until I get a feel for this table. You better not fold to the big blind.

Man: guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.

SuperBill leaps up and approaches the 1-2 table.

SB: You guys got a seat?

Table (thinking oh look at this sucker): No.

Table Wiseacre: We'll make room for you. Are we allowed to do that? (Clearly a snide and rhetorical question, that dealer of course takes literally and calls over the floor to ask if they can play 11 handed).

SuperBill's dander is up. A wiseacre, delicious. Table chortles, similar to a guffaw but more annoying. Dander is now very high, SuperBill will not be out done.

SuperBill (walks over to the table and points to everybody one by one): I'll take your money, I'll take your money, I'll take your money, I'll take your money... uh, actually no I won't, you look like one of those internet kids, you'll take my money but that's okay because I'll take his money, I'll take your money, I'll take your money, can't take your money cause you are too scared of me you won't play me in any pots, but I'll take that guys money, he's tilting right? (and pointing at the table wiseacre) and you, better pack those chips a snack because they are coming over to uncle Bill's for a sleep over.

Floorman, clearly floored by the robust mustachio compliments plyed on him by SuperBill watches in amusement. Then he ignores the idiot (that would be SuperBill if you aren't following) completely as though he wasn't calling out 9 people mid action and tells the dealer SuperBill would have to wait for a seat to open.

-Table shoots 11 more furtive glances to SuperBill's new ally, who is back to stroking his stache and smelling his fingers. Table despises SuperBill.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Timelion Timeout

Sorry folks, I've been out of town again at a wedding. Taking a break from the timelions to catch up with some stuff but I'll get back to the Vegas trip in short order.

At the wedding in Richmond hung out at the same bar as Ben Wallace. I think it might be owned by his brother (or brother in law). It's in the fan and called Sidewalk Cafe (? Definitely sidewalk something). For some reason, I did not approach Big Ben or challenge him to a poker game. Don't know if he would have tolerated SuperBill as nicely as other NBAers have.

Hard to focus on anything but the Olympics. Michael Phelps is silly. Heard other athletes talking about just watching him is an honor. But they are all nobodies of course... like LeBron James.

Painful soccer paragraph that happens to this blog every once in a while--right now! Skip if you can avert your eyes. I watched Marcelo Balboa singlehandedly moosch (jinx, blackcat) the US Mens Soccer team. Up 2-1 over group favorite "Nederland" with 5 minutes left. Balboa starts talking about how we've qualified for the next round. As two of our top players get their second yellow (therefore missing their next game) Balboa compounds it by saying that was a good thing, because we've won the Holland game, Adu and Bradley can afford to take off the Nigeria game (our last group game) and will be ready for the quarterfinals--rather than carrying a yellow to the knock out stage and risking a second and having to sit out an elimination game it's better to wash the board clean. I'm screaming at him to shut up. Sho nuff, in the third minute of three minutes of injury time, free kick. The Dutch bang in a screamer and painfully the Americans now have to win or tie their last game against Nigeria to qualify. Not only that, we have to do it without two of our best players. Yeah. 2-1 to Nigeria today. Thanks Mooschelo Balboa I hate you.

How about those French SMASHING the Americans in the relay. Okay, I went back to hating the french after that remark, sorry Tony Parker, but after we kicked their butts in the pool I'm over it. I also saw a French boxer vs. a Dominican Republic guy last night. Looked like the "frechie" was trying to surrender as he took a knee. Tony--I couldn't help myself. Although, he wasn't quitting, apparently it was an equipment failure with his chin strap--but that didn't stop the Dominican from jacking him with a right hook as the French dude was wide open on one knee with one arm in the air. Then the ref didn't penalize the guy for the cheap shot. Suddenly, I was rooting for France.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Timelion v. 3

Already two Timelions about the bachelor party Vegas and I'm only now arriving in Vegas in volume 3?

Nobody said brevity was my strong suit. In law school when my friend applied to be a member of some important studious group (Law Review, maybe), they had an essay for a question It was brutally worded and a mess of commas, subthoughts, paratheses, and overall a convoluted miasma that was probably written by five or six future defenders of lead toys. For a parallel in ineptitude continue reading my posts. At the heart of this half page question, it was basically asking what skills or attributes he'd bring to the table. His answer of course was one word: "brevity."

Probably not wholly original, but it was especially applicable and I believe he got the gig. I was in the somewhat less pretigious DVD Review. Anyway, you'll see no such well chosen concise words of genuis here. Why? Because part of my voice in retelling these anectdotes is SuperBill, and SuperBill thinks brevity is only for people he talks over.

12:01 a.m. Friday In Vegas, the heat is oppressive, we have to wait in the taxi line that serpentines more times than an Disney ride. We were moving the whole time, but I felt like I should get a Fast-Pass and go play the airport slots, until it'd be my turn at the front of the line. Silky Joe wonders if the cab is going to Hot Dog the pick up.

12:15 am Friday. The cab driver is an agreeable sort as they always are in Vegas when you land. Must be much more fun picking up tourists at the airport when they still have cash trying to run like water out of their pockets and not when they are returning with pocket lint, credit card receipts, and unchanged dollar tokens. Not 15 seconds into my first interaction with a local and I get "Oh a bachelor party, here's my card go to BIG BUNNIES JUNK N THE TRUNK strip club and use this and you'll get in for free, blah, blah, blah." That's a running refrain in Vegas, everybody from the housekeepers to the cops are on the dole for one strip club or another.

12:30 am Drop off luggage in hotel room. It's got one master bed, a cot and a sofa for four people. Apparently, even if you booked two queens those rooms are given on a first come first serve basis. I'm mad at first, but then SuperBill reminded me he doesn't sleep, sometimes he stares at the back of his eyelids for a couple of hours but that's only so other people don't get suspicious of his superpowers.

12:45 Part of the crew is already getting things started at ("Wild") Bill's across the street from Caesers. Not too many 5 dollar craps, blackjack, or pai gow tables at Caesers so our poor asses were humping it to the slum land on the strip. My brother's friend who is limit poker pro (though because the game is dying is now a no limit poker pro) gets the painful duty of being our tourguide. After moving to New Orleans, I quickly learned living in a destination city is awesome because you are always seeing your farflung friends who make a trip out of it, but it also sucks because you are expected to know every turn, street, restaurant, bar, and tradition. Anyway, Matt became that guy in Vegas, but he delivered. He leads us, me, my brother, and Silky Joe to Casino Royale for dollar michelobs and $3 craps.

12:50 Eddie Baby "the uncivil servent", Bake, the Brothers Johnson, Scotty Foro, Gint Dog, and Roro, fresh off of a winning roll at "Wild" Bill's storm the casino. Man half-hugs are exchanged. We've all aged fairly well. Couldn't help thinking it would have been infinitely better if we all had mustaches. Roro who lost the mustachio bet is sporting a goatee. It's thin. I know when he shaves the chin he'll look like a South American Dictator and very, very awkward. Some men can pull off a mustache, like Tom Selleck and Tom Selleck, but Roro is no Tom Selleck. Actually, Silky Joe was rocking his stache with aplomb so make that Tom Selleck, Silky Joe, and Tom Selleck. Anyway, Roro is no Silky Joe either.

1am. I buy the group a round of dollar beers. When I lived in DC with their 5 dollar beers and 10 dollar mixed drinks sipped by all the wannabee Capitol Hill ballers in places like Ozios or Club Five, two rounds for a group this big would practically leave me broke for the night. Then I noticed people weren't always reciprocating because I'd buy for 10 people but never get 10 drinks bought for me. I asked my friend Crabby about that and he stunned me by saying he never bought rounds EVER. This was after two or three years of me getting him at least one drink every night. It wasn't in a "I'm a cock" way, but in a "I'm so cheap, why would I buy some-one else a drink" way. Course, SuperBill wouldn't stand for that behavior so Crabby quickly became the go to guy for the first round every night out. To his credit we soon added a stop in our circuit on our nights out. We'd always find ourselves in a dive bar before a club and there would be Crabby racing back with dollar beers. So, I felt like Crabby a bit. I was getting dollar beers and fully aware my generous friends would be buying me premium liquor in two nights. More on Don's cheapness later. The bartender tells me he can get us in for free at a strip club.

115 am My friend in Seattle who couldn't make it, who is an ultramarathoner now--as a hobby, but still a Gigilo in every since of the word, is picking up a girl on Eharmony for a tuesday 10 pm slot that just opened up. SuperBill who is starting to savor his dollar beers and coming out of his shell a little bit, is somewhat glad that pimp who must have pencillin for blood won't be there to reenact the "good ol days." A Bluebonic Tonic is ordered in his honor.

120 am My friend in Austin who claims they didn't manufacture enough Xanaxs for him to fly, has been asleep for 5 hours. His acerbic wit is also missed. In college, he once dressed as BamBam from the Flintstones for halloween and spent the next 5 hours clubbing girls in the head with his inflatable BamBam club. He also limited his vocabulary to only two words, "Bam Bam." No matter what they said he replied Bam Bam. Somehow he met a girl that night. Bam Bam. Brevity.

121 am We go back to Wild Bill's because there is no room at the Casino Royale $0.25 craps table. I play some craps. Lose $50. I play some Pai Gow and win $50 maybe? Maybe I lost it. Pai Gow is all about drinking for free on the casino as you push, push, push, and not lose any money (or win any). Matt our Tour Guide had to keep reminding me there was no need to press my bets, the chicken drops, and random shots our new friends at the table kept ordering was the real edge in this game. I believe I told them my profession was marketing North Dakota's state aquarium. They never heard of it. "See why they hired me?"

2:40 am Reconvene with most of the group, and discover some of them have already returned to the hotel to make like BamBam in Austin. I'm perplexed. Huh? SuperBill reminds the remaining debauchers sleep is for the comatose, the elderly, and untrained newborns.

2:41 am SuperBill officially takes over... Brevity, sleep, and rationalism die in one fell swoop.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Vegas Timelion v. 2

Timelion is a timeline. See volume 1 below for an explanation. Feel free to drag a pot and say "Pay THE LION, Pay him handsomely" and I will think you are cool, it's the new "Ship it to the Colonel."


Thursday 1 am. I dream the fanciful dreams of anyone going to Vegas, winning cars Nick Papageorgio style, going heads up and dragging huge pots from an deep pocketed-Cowboy fish who bathes in his crude oil, channel TJ Cloutier's wet-dream and getting a 20 consective hour craps roll and needing an IV to stay on my feet and a cart for all my chips, and getting the high-rollas suite. At the end of my dream a drunken Wayne Newton gets eaten by Siegfield and his lion (PAY HIM WAYNE!). I awake to see one of my dogs licking her crotch feverishly. Ewww, does she do that every time she thinks I'm sleeping? I'm kind of grossed out.

Thursday 7:30 am. I get a text message from the Brothers Johnson saying they arrived at 4 am in Vegas. A mere six hours after their second flight out of NYC was canceled. I lied in the previous timelion. They were the first to arrive and hadn't yet lost at craps. That actually happened on thursday not wednesday. Fill that in later in this post if your are a completionist. They say a lot of sleep is good for your memory. Remember the over/under for hours I'd sleep on this weekend was 12 out of 84. Details may be fuzzy and inaccurate.

Thursday 8am. I fire off an email to Gary Parrish the CBS Sportsline college basketball writer who was in Vegas covering the top recruits in the country in a series of basketball tournaments. Guy once wrote that he plays online poker, I've been a fan of him since. I ask if any UNC or Richmond recruits will be playing while I'm out there. He responds and says he'll get back to me. Very cool. He also has a blog post about getting killed in BlackJack shortly after mentioning me in a round about way. He actually made no mention of me whatsoever, but I can infer I was one of the many he mentioned because my ego demands it. Scroll down to the rundown on Vegas.

Thursday 10am. My lady, and when I say "my lady" I use the same inflection as used in the Pina Colada song, please have that running in your head anytime you read it, packs me up for Vegas. My lady is too sweet and I'm lucky to have her though I get the feeling she's being extra sweet to reinforce how good I got it. After loading up my suitcase she reminds me about her skills with a vise and mentions to me she's also quite handy with a mallet. Did I say I was lucky to have her? But, I'm a good boy... so my gonads will be safe. I think somewhere inside even SuperBill was even shaking.

Thursday 10:01 am. A friend of mine on West Coast time wakes up and farts into the open mouth of the girl snoring next to him. He didn't know her until late last night. Unfortunately, said friend pulls out of joining me on the bachelor party. He's good for about three or four ridiculous stories a weekend, this weekend will be a blast but this news means my recap is infinitely less potent without his exploits.

Thursday 10:02 am. Random girl wakes up from her dream of chugging cow turds and has a terrible taste in her mouth. Thankfully she's in Seattle so she can quickly replace the taste with coffee breath.

Thursday 10:30 am. Learn more of the trouble makers are en route to Vegas. Get a text from Pay the Lion--phrase coiner, but not coin-dropper, Bake is on his way. What's a coin dropper? It's a person that drops coins. Another friend one night years ago was on a beach bus ripped after a charming game of pussy put the cap on (You take a bottle of hard alcohol and swig it and pass it to the next person in the circle and the game goes until... Pussy Puts the Cap on) and he pulls something out of his pockets which starts an avalanche of silver dropping all over the floor. I say, "Yo, you are dropping coins, You're dropping coins," He looks stupefied. I say, "You are dropping coins!" as his life savings in nickels continues to fall to the floor.

He's clueless, and asks, "What does that mean? What does that mean? I'm dropping coins? What does that mean?" Obviously we didn't tell him the literal interpretation was the correct one and of course, any time he f'd up or said the wrong thing, or said the right thing and we still wanted to f with him we informed him, "You are dropping coins." I once took a video camera out on the town in Atlanta during a Superbowl weekend (Rams-Titans) and enticed any and every girl, after telling her the camera loved her, to tell my friend on camera that he was a "One-trick pony who was always dropping coins." Unfortunately, the one trick pony and coin-dropper dropped coins and couldn't make the trip, but Pay the Lion could and was ready to for the lion to get paid.

Thursday 11 am My palm literally starts itching. I receive an email from my investment banker friend in NYC, who also couldn't make the trip, it simply asks me whose name my room is under. I don't know whether to be scared or excited. I reply my brother's. I'm hoping he's going to pull a surprise show-up in Vegas like I did eight years ago. I simply knocked on the door after telling everybody I was a late scratch, and I like to think enhanced the experience for everybody. Could my boy bring some surprise spur of the moment joy to my life now? I mull it over.

Thursday 3 pm sit in the New Orleans airport. My boy Silky Joe who is the husband of one of my wives bridesmaids and an all around fun guy is riding shot-gun on the trip. At one point there was some momentum to have all the bachelor party fools show up to Vegas with a mustache. It got steam after one of our friends lost a bet and had to wear a mustache for one night. I was enthralled by the idea of traveling around town with a 15 guys with Jeromy Giambi staches at once. People would wonder if it was a Pittsburgh Police Force convention. Or did mustaches suddenly come into fashion overnight and they missed the memo?

Such latent comedy in any and every interaction. Two of the chief pushers of this idea backed out of the trip--yeah, I'm talking about you Austin Martin, I think you backed out around the time of your last blog post. A couple of us, grew thick goat-tees so we could shave and leave that forrested thatch on our upper lips if the rest of the group complied. Silky Joe, needed no short-term vanity, he grew a thick, resplendent full mustache, which was every bit Tom Selleck or a midwestern high school football coach. So as we waited for the flight, I admired his facial foliage. Even the guy who lost the bet didn't have the courage to go strictly stache until the one night payout. Silky Joe has balls.

Thursday 7pm. We land in Dallas and try unsuccessfully to get onto three earlier flights to Vegas via standby. No dice. In one we were next up when suddenly they called the people 15, 16, and 17 on the standby list. I'm inform them they are out of order. They tell me I'm out of order. I'm out of order? You're out of order.

People in uniforms win arguments, even SuperBill knows that.

Thursday 715 pm. I have my first beer. Mmmmm. Beer.

Thursday 11pm. Silky Joe starts his running joke for the travel weekend by loudly telling me and everybody in earshot he had spoken to the pilot and the pilot said "He was going to hotdog the landing." This induces nervous conversation. A lady next to me discovers I'm headed to Vegas for my bachelor weekend. She works for Macys online registry... you don't say. Like Manna from the heavens, God puts the lady who has singlehandedly caused more internet strife in me and Jessica's life right next to me. We tried to register for two weeks and couldn't speak to a human ever and got one error message after another. It's like Macy's didn't want to make money. This lady quickly felt the wrath of a future groom when the future bride ain't happy.

Thursday 11:51... VEGAS TIME... We land. Pilot does not Hot Dog the landing.

Vegas Timelion v. 1

Timelion? It's actually a timeline, it's called a Timelion in honor of my friend "Bake" who on our first trip to Vegas in 2000 (V2K as it was dubbed) heard the craps dealers say "pay the line" at the MGM. He thought they were saying Pay the Lion. Maybe because of MGM's lions we don't really know. For two or three months when something good would happen he'd say "Pay the Lion" and none of us made the connection to Vegas. When finally asked, Bake explained that's what they said at the Craps table. Now, anytime the word line is in play, lion is often substituted. Kind of stupid but kind of funny that months went by with him aimlessly saying Pay the Lion and we just thought it was some Wrestling slogan or something. Anyway, Timelines are Timelions, You can also... Read Between the Lions... and That's the Bottom Lion. So when I did the write up of that inaugral Vegas trip I did it in a series of Timelions. I'm dusting off that old device to recap my bachelor party, this time.


11am wednesday morning Harrahs tournament New Orleans. I'm gonna to triple my Vegas bankroll by winning the donkament. I'm happy to pay the gross 25% vig or whatever it is, because I'm going to win.

1215 wednesday I'm headed to the rails. I get involved in 5 hands and play them terribly. As bad a tournament poker session as I've had in a long time. Even the two hands I won, I cost myself money, a gross, gross way to head out to Vegas.

1230 Goondingy and Gene pump me up yet again after I own up to how grossly and amateurish I've played. I find when I know what I've done I really don't need people to tell me what an idiot I was, I need them to pump me up. A day or so after being the idiot, we can analyze the hand and review my poor judgment. Ray and Gene are good at doing just that. Reaffirming that I played like a dbag just isn't helpful.

100 Despite their encouragment, I'm still pissed. Can't believe I'm going to Vegas on a down note. The last three years, I've come into my Vegas trip winning my travel and gambling money immediately before it and being on freeroll out there. This time I'm down 125.

115 I realize I'm going to my frikkin Bachelor Party with 15 to 20 people cool enough to fly out to Vegas to party with me. I get over my sad sack self.

130 Emails exchanged. First two in the crew have landed. Already lost some money on the Craps table. Some over/unders for the trip are exchanged. I set a personal line of 12 hours of sleep in Las Vegas (somewhere poker players are rubbing their hands in glee). Yeah, that's 12 hours over an 84 hour period. That also will involve copious amounts of alcohol and beer being consumed by me. Hint, I was thinking the under.

231 Wives of my friends start praying they'll use their good judgment for three days. My fiancee reminds me she knows how to use a vise and has no compunction against putting my eggs in one and squeezing--hard. I tell her that's bad e.v. for me.

3:22 Start thinking about packing. I dust off an old pair of slate pants and a clubby shirt (probably 4 years out of date but close enough to being cool for me to wear). I realize how different a person I am now then 6 years ago, when I actually used to listen to Techno and went out 5 nights a week to acquire emails for my promotion business. I knew my girl was the one when I dumped out my shoeboxes full of girls' email addresses and phone numbers a year into our relationship. Or, you could say I hoped she was the one, because she had discovered this rather incriminating bounty and demanded it's disposal. Just kidding hon.

Still, I'm excited that the old SuperBill (that's me liquored up with King of the Jungle--Lion Courage) may be breaking out again. He's a friend I haven't seen in a while. One of those guys that get's into a heck of a lot trouble but always talks his way out of it at the very end. When I was single, SuperBill would hit on a dude's girlfriend, by accident of course, and go from just about to get his ass kicked to having the dude buy him shots all night. I channel SuperBill on the poker table when I make a big bluff, because SuperBill has made the biggest bluffs possible.

One time after my first jazzfest day, 12 hours in the sun drinking beer was topped by my friend's mom giving me a tallboy bourbon and coke, that was essentially all bourbon and me drinking it like it was all coke. Surpise, surprise Superbill showed up. Later, on Magazine street, I somehow get into an argument with a restaurant owner. I'm sure it was his fault, entirely. Why? Because SuperBill is never in the wrong and his patrons... wanted to give me that slice of pizza. Yeah, I'm not proud of SuperBill that's why he's been on the bench for years and why the fiancee threatened my eggs if he got out of hand. Anyway, this is about bluffing so back to the story and enough with the apologies for my behavior, SuperBill never apologizes. Within short order the restaurant owner has his kitchen staff out lined up threatening to whale on us. Me and my friend are outnumbered 12 to 2.

Bahhh. SuperBill loves those odds. I channel my DeNiro in Taxi Driver and I put an index finger in each of their faces and inform them I will seriously injure them should they be foolish enough to make good on the restaurant owner's threats. My language was much saltier. You wouldn't think by looking at me I'd be any good in a fight, and for the most part you'd be right. I usually avoid the fights or come out on top because more than anything I'm damn lucky in those situations and my punches always seem to connect and the others miss. Maybe I'm wiry or quick, maybe I am a closet bad-ass or maybe I'm just f'ing lucky. Okay, I'm just lucky. Still, my accountant's stature probably enhanced my unchecked cockiness because I was so obviously overmatched by one of them much less 12 of them. So, for me to ignore the odds so brazenly probably meant I knew something they didn't.

Then, one of them a new "U.S." American from the southern hemisphere revealed he was holding a knife. He of course had a hairnet on and a thin dirty mustache. He smiled like a thug in a movie. And of course the knife as it spun in his hand glinted off the street light and the gathered folks watching me try to wreck a train did a collective inhale. Suddenly, my friend evaporated into thin air and the odds became 12 against 1. Others in the lineup suggested their hands behind their backs also held steel.

Fight or Flight right?

Flight's the only correct action huh?

Nah, I all-in that motherf'r.

"Sweet!" I exclaim genuinely stoked. "I'm going to kill you with that. But if you guys are using knives you gotta let me take you on one at a time." I point to the guy fondling the knife and point to the alley behind the restaurant. "Let's go, me and you. You got the knife... for now." I start walking.

Suddenly, the restaurant owner, probably realizing an scene from Scarface playing out on his front porch was bad for business and thinking I'm absolutely out of my tree steps in. Things were clearly out of hand and now was not the time for posturing. Sanity prevailed in his drunken head. He quickly issues an apology. He sends his thugs back inside, who are now looking at me in wide-eyed amazement (Loco Gringo) and then gives me a free slice of pizza... SuperBill strikes again.

My friend who made like Patrick Swayze in Ghost and disappeared to work a Pottery wheel (only without Demi Moore) tells me he's never seen anything like that. Did I have a deathwish? Just the opposite I inform him. I believe had I not been willing to go all in, and had I shown any weakness, one of the twelve probably throws a hand my way, and we probably get our asses handed to us and at that point who knows if an overzealous short-order cook shives us. It was the only play, All you can eat baby.

So, that's what the old Bill is capable of. That's what I channel when I got 23 offsuit with a board of overcards and I shove in a deepstack game. That's the Bill, my fiancee, wants to contain, because she's smart. That's the Bill I've grown out of. That's where Wild Bill name comes from, not the Mild Bill I've been for the last six years, except on a poker table. And, I realize that's the Bill Vegas might get a taste of, as I think of 15 guys ordering me free drinks.

More to come...