We need to get a 2007 Dead Pool going. I know there are all different kinds of point scoring systems out there, but in the interest of keeping this simple:
1. Each team submits a roster of 15 living individuals to my email address prior to midnight of January 1, 2007. All picks must be specifically named and must be famous. What's famous? We want the mainstream media to notice and report on the individual's death. If you have to ask "is this person famous?", chances are that they're not famous enough for our purposes.
2. I will have final, sole, and completely arbitrary discretion as to whether any individual roster member is famous. If I deem that any of your picks is not "famous", the pick will be struck from your roster and you will not have an opportunity to replace it. So make sure your picks are famous!
3. Similarly, if you submit a roster with an individual who is already deceased, that individual will be struck from your roster and you will not have an opportunity to replace it. So make sure your picks are alive!
4. To make this easy and further encourage people to pick highly visible "famous" people (as if Rule 2 wasn't enough), whose deaths will not be "missed" by the mainstream media, each roster member who dies during 2007 shall be worth one point, regardless of manner of demise or age or health status of that person as of January 1, 2007. So if you want to play Art Linkletter or Brooke Astor, go right ahead.
5. Game will run from midnight of January 1, 2007 until 11:59pm of December 31, 2007.
6. The winner of the Dead Pool shall be the team with the most correct picks.
7. In the event of a tie, the ages of all correct picks of each tied team will be added together, with team with lowest total age being declared winner.
8. Scheduled executions do not count as a correct pick. You can play Saddam Hussein for his murder / suicide potential, but if the government kills him, you get no points.
9. Rosters of each team will be published on this site during the first week of January, for the sake of complete transparency.
We can either play for bragging rights or for a small entry fee (perhaps $20), with all money being award to the winner. I'm open either way.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
We need to get a 2007 Dead Pool going. I know there are all different kinds of point scoring systems out there, but in the interest of keeping this simple:
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I'm running out of steam with recounting the Vegas trip, so just a few more random highlights:
* teaching a midwestern, pai gow playing housewife the meaning of "beeyatch".
* 9am phone calls from the Geisha Bar on Friday morning. Many, many people not in attendance felt the combined wrath of The Rooster and 130 Pounds of Fury that day. One of them was so intimidated he immediately purchased a ticket on the next flight to Vegas. Hear that, ladies?
* The Dinner. Many of you have heard about it; I present now, for the first time, the blurry photo of the final damage (WITHOUT tip). Jokes were immediately made about how we were all stuck a buy-in without even playing any cards. For what it's worth, the food was excellent and the company was exquisite. I definitely enjoyed the meal.
* All-you-can-eat sushi at Sushi Mon. Way, way, waaaaaaay off the strip, but worth the trip. Two words: cajun albacore. Mmmmmm.
* Playing The Rooster's stack in the 2/4 HORSE game for an hour. First hand, Omaha/8, I'm in the BB with 255J and flop a wheel. Somehow, I dodge all the higher straights, flushes and full houses all the way to the river and scoop the pot. Sweet! Poker is easy.
* Discussing the concept of $100 jeans with Change100.
* Paigow with Grubette. Paigow with Garth. Paigow with Joe Speaker. Paigow with Pauly. Hell, paigow by myself at 11am on Monday morning after I managed to frighten the two other players at the table into leaving by shouting "PAIGOW!!!" every time the dealer hit a paigow. At one point, she hit 8 paigows in 30 minutes. Sweet! Paigow is easy.
* Sportsbook Sunday. More specifically, quiet conversations with Iggy that were ultimately interrupted by The Sex Symposium. I had never considered that jalapeno peppers have uses outside of the kitchen.
* On a more personal note, making my first sports bet ever (Saints +7.5). The Saints go on to crush the Romosexuals and the Boys. Sweet! Sports betting is easy. Of coures, I immediately regret not betting the money line.
* The phone call I made to YankeeHater laaaaate Sunday night: "It's 3:30am. I am staring right now at Falstaff, who is sitting in the IP Poker Room playing in a 2/4 limit BTO game with Dutch Boyd."
* Winding things down on Monday with: BG at the Teahouse, and Pauly, Derek, and Change100 at Outback (bloomin' onion for the table, natch), before running into Dawn "Stuck $1700" Summers and Dutch Boyd's New Best Friend, Karol.
*** EDITED TO ADD: * Hailing a cab on the Strip at 6am Sunday morning after emerging from the IP to see a line at the cab stand a mile and half long. The cab started to pull away, with back door still open, as I was putting my left foot into it. Strangely, this is not the first time in my life that I have had to make the decision of whether or not to jump into a moving cab.
Apparently, the life lessons that I've learned in 12 years have taught me that jumping in a moving cab is bad. *** END EDIT
This is by no means a comprehensive list. It's just what I can recall off the top of my head right now, over a week later. I know I was a bit down on this trip before it happened; maybe I'll address that another time. For now, all I'll say is DAMN it was fun to slough off all my responsibilities for 4 days and once again pick up the mantle of 'Degenerate' with many of the fine, fine friends I've made over the last 2+ years. Thanks to April for making it happen at all, but thanks to many of my friends for making it memorable.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
This week I added the following blogs to my dusty blogroll. All of these people were present in Vegas last week (except for DP) and have written up their adventures:
Katitude Does Poker
Low Limit Grinder
Give a click-through and happy reading.
It was during the interminable walk between the MGM poker room and the MGM parking garage at 2:30 Saturday morning that I realized I was fading faster than Lindsay Lohan's career. 24 hours of treating my liver like it was on loan from Mickey Mantle, combined with scant sleep, was taking its toll. The thought of leaving the hotel where my bed was located for a ghetto hotel a mile and half up the Strip that was sure to be crawling with hookers and pimps in fur-lined hats was decidedly unappealing.
"I think I might bail," I said to Grubby, Grubette and Doug. "I'm pretty tired." We stopped near a bank of Wheel of Fortune slots.
"You'll pick up some energy on the way," Grubette suggested. "Besides, you don't want to miss Doug telling another Filipina dealer 'I love you' in Tagalog." He had so shocked a woman in the MGM cage by busting out that phrase that she nearly fell over in surprise.
"I don't know. I'm really at the point right now where I either need a cup of coffee or to go to bed."
Grubette's eyes lit up like an action junkie putting the last of her money on red at the roulette table. "Flip a coin for it?" She fished a quarter out of her pocket. "Heads, bed. Tails, coffee."
I'm not a big believer in fate. I think that most of what happens in the universe is random and unplanned, and that people invent routine into their lives so that they feel like they're in control of what is otherwise a chaotic world. At that moment I had no idea whether or not I was going to wind up asleep in my bed within 15 minutes, and certainly didn't think I had a destiny one way or the other. Leaving my fate up to the flip of a quarter, in the middle of the neon-splashed gambling capital of the world, seemed like a suitably random way to make the decision, even if not the most rational or level-headed, given the state of my consciousness and my liver. Nonetheless, I agreed to Grubette's proposal.
She carefully set the quarter on her thumb, tails side up, and flicked it into the air. It plunked Doug in the side of his tonsured head before falling to the rainbow-hued MGM carpet and rolling underneath one of the Wheel of Fortune slot machines. A cursory search was made, but the quarter was gone. We were no closer to a resolution. The quarter had failed us.
Another quarter was produced. Again Grubette set it on her thumb and flicked it into the air. This quarter managed to settle on a crease in Doug's jeans near his ankle. Grubby, Doug and I all leaned down to see that it was tails side up while Grubette, not seeing the quarter, searched all around the floor for it. We laughed and laughed until finally pointing to it, at which point she swatted it off Doug's pants. It rolled around for a few seconds before settling gently to the carpet. Tails side up yet again.
"Coffee it is," I said. "The quarter told me." With that, we resumed our trek for the parking garage.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
"I'm sorry, sir. This bathroom is temporarily closed." The baby-faced security guard tried to look imposing as he and his partner(?) stood in front of the entrance to the only men's room on the main level of the IP, arms folded across their chests. This was obviously an Important Job that they had been given, and they were taking it quite seriously.
Just fucking great. It was already well past 4am, and I had been drinking steadily for 5 hours. I was in imminent danger of a bladder malfunction that would rival the scene in Die Hard 3 where Bruce Willis gets blown out of New York City Water Tunnel Number 3 by a million gallons of water, and while I would have jumped at the chance to urinate on Babyface's self-satisfied mug, it wasn't really his fault. The nearest bathroom, according to Babyface, was 14 miles away. Awesome.
Cue me hotfotting it past the Dealertainers (Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, and Hot Girl with Exposed Flat Midriff who was supposed to be Christina Aguilera but bore as much of a resemblance to the Queen of Porn as I do) and up the escalator to the sports book bathrooms, where sweet, sweet relief could be had. Ahhhhh, much better. There was still a nice cold vodka shot with Corona back waiting for me at the Geisha bar when I got back. Excellent.
About this time, I learned that video poker is rigged. Drizz, already feeling no pain after a string of birthday shots, fed $20 into one of the machines at the Geisha Bar. I can't claim with a straight face that he used optimal video poker strategerie (drawing 5 on every hand will ocassionaly pay dividends but has to be seen as, at best, a flawed strategy), and yet I still don't think the machine should have blown through his money that fast. Rigged, I tell you.
One of the bloggers came by and asked us if we had seen a particular female blogger, codenamed 'Ophelia, who was strangely absent. Drizz hadn't seen anything for much of the previous hour, but in the depths of my alcohol-befuddled consciousness, the question triggered a distant alarm, a short order cook's bell that an order is ready, barely audible over the din of a packed restaurant. Ophelia... Ophelia... oh, right, the person who went to the bathroom about 30 minutes ago and whose possessions I am supposed to be watching. At the other end of the bar.
Hmm. Ok, stay cool.
"Last I saw her, she was headed to the ladies room." We'll just keep that other little detail about her belongings to ourself for the time being.
"She's not in there. I already looked. All of her stuff was on the bar, though," and here my interrogator raised up one hand slightly to show that it contained a purse (sweet! she totally just bailed me out), "so I feel like she has to be around here somewhere." She shuffled off to press other bloggers on the potential whereabouts of our MIA blogger.
A second alarm, this one a bit more brazen like the alarm signifying a period change in high school, sounded deep in my head. I excused myself from Drizz's company (doubtful he even noticed as he was well on his way to Wheelchair Land), headed past Michael, Garth and HGWEFM, and approached Babyface for a second time, still standing as self-importantly as he had been earlier.
"Bathroom's still closed." He stood up just a little straighter to really try to convey his authority. Good job, guy. Way to discharge that Important Job you have in a responsible manner.
"Yeah. Listen... by any chance, is there a pink-haired woman in there? Named Ophelia?"
"Maybe. What's she wearing?" This from Babyface's partner, who will henceforth be referred to as Number Two. And it wasn't really a fair question. You can't expect a guy who has been drinking for five hours (me) to remember what he himself is wearing without sneaking a peek at his shirt, never mind what someone that he's hardly spoken to is wearing.
"Really, I have no idea. We both just got in town, and we're part of the same group."
"Is she wearing red?"
"No. Why, is the woman in there wearing red?" Maybe it wasn't 'Ophelia' after all. That would be disappointing, because it would mean that she was still Out There, somewhere.
"No. I was just testing you." From this point forward, Number Two will be referred to as Assface.
"Listen, Assface, is there a pink-haired woman named Ophelia in the men's room or not? Maybe you could let me in to see if it's her?"
"Can't do that. Are there any other women in your group?" Aha! Yes, yes there were. In fact, one of them is worriedly pressing bloggers at the Geisha Bar on Ophelia's whereabouts, instead of fondling their asses, as is her usual m.o. Past the Dealertainers for the third time (note to HGWEFM: Christina is so 5 years ago. Get a new shtick) back to the Geisha Bar, where I grabbed her by the hand and forcefully told her to come with me. And she obeyed! I made a mental note to try this out on women in a NYC bar some night with the Rooster.
En route past the Dealertainers for a FOURTH time, I brought her up to speed.
"1. I think Ophelia is in the men's room. 2. HGWEFM is getting moist watching me pass back and forth in front of her. 3. Security won't let me into the men's room to confirm it's Ophelia in there."
We converged on the men's room at the same time as two fine, upstanding men of Clark County Rescue Squad, each of whom had enough gear strapped to their backs to survive a week on Mt. Everest. I guess you never know what kind of shenanigans a drunk and disorderly might pull. I plopped down at a slot machine as Assface led the new arrivals into the men's room. My blogger sister reappeared briefly in the doorway a few moments later to confirm that, indeed, our Ophelia was in there, and then disappeared again. Iggy describes what happened next:
As [the CCRS] checked her blood pressure and whatnot, and to find out if she was OK/coherent, they asked one simple question to ensure she had her wits about her.Ten minutes later, one concerned blogger and one Ophelia emerged, smiling cheerfully at Babyface as a third member of the CCRS wheeled a stretcher into the men's room. As they staggered off, Babyface shouted at their backs "Enjoy your stay at IP!"
“Honey, can you tell me who the President of the United States is?”
And she quickly replied, “Fuck that, I’m Canadian.”
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
"Vegas Moments" write-ups will be temporarily delayed because: (a) I spent last night working off the sleep debt I owe my body; (b) I am going to the weekly Crackhouse game tonight in order to continue Dawn Summers' ruinous slide towards January; and (c) tomorrow night is my company's holiday party. However, in the interim, if anyone who isn't linked up here wants a link, please leave a comment. I intend to add a few people I met this weekend to the blogroll in any event, but I know that I have neglected to update it for quite some time.
Also, if anyone in the New York area is interested in joining me and a small group of friends for SantaCon this Saturday, leave a comment. "Santa doesn't half ass the holiday so neither do we."
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
For the fourth day in a row, I am awake at 5am. I have just stumbled back to the IP poker room after spending some hard-earned Pai Gow (no bonus) comp dollars on a slice of barely serviceable cheesecake with
BG some guy who doesn't have me linked up, and I see with some disappointment that the 2/4 limit BTO8 game has broken. Dawn Summers is sitting in a 1/2 NLHE game with a surprisingly tall stack. I tap her lightly on the shoulder.
Me: Karol go to bed?
Dawn: No. She went to a strip club with Dutch.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
(12:20:48 PM) F-Train: I'm getting excited about seeing everyone.Today:
(12:20:58 PM) Grubette: yeah me too
(11:33:05 AM) F-Train: today is the day.See you charming mofos in a few hours.
(11:33:13 AM) Grubette: vegas trip day!
(11:41:59 AM) F-Train: vegas!
(11:42:02 AM) F-Train: (baby)
(11:42:33 AM) Grubette: YES
UPDATE: Joe Speaker has a few last minute additions to the agenda for the weekend. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Monday, December 04, 2006
"Everything that has a beginning has an end."
And so we've come to the traditional "Vegas is approaching" series of posts from around the poker blogosphere, anticipated almost as much as the "Vegas was so great, words can't adequately capture it" posts that will follow. I say that with only a trace of sarcasm.
This upcoming trip and tournament will mark the third WPBT Winter Classic. The first Winter Classic, "Hammer Forged", took place way back in the dark ages of December 2004, before the poker world's collective soul had been soiled by the sight of David Williams rimming a trailer park whore, and when Jennifer Tilly was still just some washed up Hollywood has-been with huge hooters. I remember arriving in Vegas early that Saturday morning and taking a cab directly to Sam's Town for the breakfast meet and greet. The first blogger I met was Felicia Lee, and yet somehow I didn't slit my wrists open or try to get on the first flight back to JFK before the rest arrived. A boisterous entourage of 8 or 10 heavily intoxicated individuals rumbled in maybe 30 minutes later, led proudly by some fat hippy wearing a jester's hat. We didn't break any attendance records at that first meeting, but the fact that 30 complete strangers showed up for a random weekend of gambling and guzzling booze spoke volumes to the fact that maybe this poker blogging thing had legs, and maybe these people were pretty damn awesome.
"Too Drunk to Call: Winter Classic 2" followed in December 2005. Spurred by the success of the inaugural Winter Classic, and the Summer Classic that followed in July, not to mention the proliferation of poker blogs as the WPT and WSOP brought poker into American homes every. damn. night. of the week, over 100 degenerates descended on an unseasonably warm Las Vegas. Old friendships were re-inforced and solidified; new friendships were fired in the crucibles of cocaine in a can, baby, and cabs driven by guys with names like Ricky the Pussy Eater. Those events helped carry us to the present.
Any good story unfolds over three acts. All beginnings have an end. I am quite certain that many of the friendships forged at WC1 and WC2 will persist despite the slow downward spiral of the "poker blog" as a concept, and despite the asteroid-like impact of the UIGEA on the Golden Age of Poker. All the same, I can't help but feel that the Winter Classic 3 may be "The Last Ride of the Rodeo Clown", as the number of people interested in attending these events on an annual basis rapidly diminishes.
It's a strange happenstance that the inaugural Winter Classic, and every one since, has been scheduled for the same weekend as the National Finals of Rodeo. Thousands of rugged American cowboys, dressed in denim, boots and big belt buckles, descend on Sin City to see who can hogtie a steer the fastest at the rodeo. Well every rodeo needs its clowns. Dust off those jester's hats. If this *is* going to be our last ride, let's go out as the goofiest counterpoint to those cowboys that we can be.
Those who attended WC1 remember Whiplash, the dog-riding monkey, being projected on a giant screen in the Excalibur poker room as he held on to a rambunctious border collie for dear life. Those who attended WC2 remember a certain $200 roshambo prop bet between Phil Gordon and Human Head's wife. What will you remember from WC3?