Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2006 WPBT Winter Classic Trip Report Part 1: What's a Hognut?

I am going to try and relate what just happened to me, and to those unfortunate individuals who accompanied me on my journey into complete degeneracy in Vegas. Let's face it, I am a very lazy man, and thus instead of attempting to regale you with a multi-part opus I am going with the good old "point form" method of retelling. I am going to attempt to have it chronological, and put approximate times where I know them... but let's face it, I spent most of this time hideously intoxicated, and so I am going to forget or miss certain things. And Vegas is reknowned for it's clock unfriendliness. I did spend a bunch of time with Maigrey though, so check her blog for updates to try and cross-reference what I've written. I also realise I am not going to be able to do justice to how much fun I actually had, but such is life.

Let's get this party started!
  • Friday, 10pm: I land in Vegas, along with most of the cowboys from Texas.
  • Friday, 11pm: I get to the Imperial Palace.
  • The next half hour: I try to get various room keys to work, resulting in me going back to the front desk twice. I eventually get let in by a locksmith who informs me that the key system is down, and I'll have to sort my key situation out later. I shrug, throw my bags into the room, and head to the MGM.
  • Friday, just before midnight: I finally arrive at the MGM, meeting and greeting old and new friends, including Gracie and Pablo, Iggy, Pauly, Change100, BG, Spaceman and Mrs Spaceman, the Heads... too many to mention in all.
  • Next little while: I cruise around the poker tables saying hello to people actually playing poker. I immediately call Biggestron "Zeem", though I catch myself straight away.
  • I stand next to Easycure and ask if anyone knows who Easycure is (I thought it was him, but figured it was the best way to handle things).
  • I am on a roll.
  • Weak Player asks me to play his stack for a moment. The game is Columbine*, which I have not played before.
  • After my second hand of Columbine the floor manager comes over and goes apeshit. So we switch to Crazy Pineapple, which I have not ever played before.
  • I explain to Love Elf about 15 times how to play Crazy Pineapple. She restrains herself and doesn't punch me.
  • Weak returns. The 8 or so hands of poker I played with his stack were the only ones I played the entire weekend using real chips and real cards.
  • Really.
  • I head back to the bar. I recognise Gary straight off, and feel better about the whole Biggestron and Easycure thing.
  • Kat administers a butt grab on behalf of the absent Jules. She also introduces me to Joanne.
  • I get talking to Michalski, who is wearing three large plastic tubes around his neck. Apparently this is totally cool because he "got them out of the trash".
  • I faux lurch away from something at the bar (I swear it was a faux lurch). The lurch lands me next to a black guy at the end of the bar, who I immediately challenge to a foot race. He informs me that though he is getting on in years, he is still pretty spry. This leads us to a long and interesting talk about life and life lessons. Really cool guy.
  • I also think I might be getting drunk at this point.
  • Sometime Saturday in the am: Maigrey says it's time to head to the IP, as people have started to head there for -EV action. Who am I to say no? We grab a cab and vamoose.
  • We jump on a Pai Gow table with various blogger types.
  • I manage to cover my cards in lemon juice from my Corona.
  • We spy the Bracelet playing Blackjack, and head over.
  • Things start to get heated between Linda the sassy Blackjack dealer and Tunoj the punk Indian. I think Tunoj is clearly in the wrong. He responds by pressing his bets, getting hit in the face by the deck, and leaves with many black checks. Asshole.
  • Bobby Bracelet introduces us to the "hognut"**.
  • We get Carlos the surly blackjack dealer. I think deep down Carlos is a nice guy, he just hides it well. Really well.
  • I start doing things like betting $25 a hand, then playing two boxes at $25 a hand.
  • I don't do things like that.
  • BG arrives at the Blackjack table. I realise that he has gone to bed and gotten up. I also realise I have no idea what time it is.
  • Saturday 9am or something: That's what the time is. Since the tournament is in a matter of hours, we decide it's time to retire. But first, we eat!
  • Saturday 10am-ish: On the way to food, we run into more people who have gone to bed and gotten back up, Easycure and Biggestron. They tag along with us for food.
  • Easycure and Biggestron graciously offer to take our money and pay for the meal after we have eaten so we can go to bed NOW.
  • A minute later: I remember I have this whole room key situation to remedy.
  • Saturday 10:40am: The room key situation is remedied, and I get inside my room. I set my alarm, and collapse.
  • Saturday 12:45pm: My alarm goes off.
  • A fraction of a second later: I disable the alarm.
  • Saturday 2:15pm: I wake up and check the time. When I see that I have missed the tournament I swear. Loudly. I decide it's either time to try and get up to head to the tournament, or go back to bed.
  • Saturday 2:16pm: I fall back asleep.
  • The next 6 hours or so: I alternate between light sleep and being woken up by the bands playing at the joint in front of the IP. One of the bands plays rock covers, though apparently only the first verse and chorus of each song.
That left me with at least some foundation of rest for me to assail the rest of the weekend.... which will be continued in Part 2.

Bonus Teaser for Part 2: If Garthmeister J. was a Dealertainer, who would he be?

* Columbine is reverse Hold 'Em. That is the river is dealt first, then the turn, and then the flop.

** The "hognut" is as follows (this is the brief explanation from Bobby, which I have transcribed. All errors are mine.): "Basically a hog's nuts lie ontop of one another, like a figure eight. So if you need an 8 you put your clenched fists atop one another with the bottom pinky out. [ed: see diagram below] Then you stroke the felt with your pinky, and call for the hognut." Also related: the "reverse hognut".

"Give me a hognut!"


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