I’ve already mentioned the Twitter link, but I’ll post it here one more time in case you’re interested in following along as I play in the World Series of Poker events #51 and #54. Event #51 starts this Saturday, June 27th, and #54 is on Monday, June 29th. I will not be posting the updates, my friend Jeremy will be, but the intention is to give chip counts and tournament updates (and Vegas updates in general), for me as well as our friend Tony, who is also playing in the same events.
The link is http://www.twitter.com/hotpokeraction
You don’t have to be a Twitter user to follow along. Just bookmark the page and check back whenever you want, and you’ll see the newest updates.
I’m pretty excited about the trip in general, independent of the WSOP tournaments. Jer, Tony, Dave, are going to be a pretty good group of guys to be there with. Add to that that I have another group of friends that are going to be there at the same time, staying at the Wynn, (I haven’t seen Ming for over 2 years!) and it’s shaping up to be a fun week.
I’m not looking forward to the potential 40+ degree weather, but it’s always nice and cool inside at the poker table!
On a different, but somewhat related note, has everybody seen The Hangover?
It seems so, because I had it recommended to me by no less than twenty people. That’s not a joke. I can’t ever remember a movie gaining so much popularity from word-of-mouth. I hadn’t really considered it, but now almost everyone I know is telling me that I’ll love it, and I should see it before Vegas, so I decided to go.
But here’s the thing, I couldn’t find anyone to go with since everyone had ALREADY SEEN IT!
So, I finally convince my friend Phil to go with me, even though he’s already seen it, and we went on Sunday night. We show up at 10:12 for a 10:15 show at Galaxy and find out that it’s sold out. Sold Out? On a Sunday night…at 10 pm….after being out for 3 weeks??? So we hop in the car and race out to Empire on the other end of town, and make it in time for a 10:30 show.
Now, after having it built up and hyped so much to me, it surely ended up being a disappointment, right? That’s what you’re expecting me to say, aren’t you.
Well, it was fantastic. Hilarious. And let me be the next one to join the throng of people recommending that you see it.
It was great seeing a movie that takes place in Vegas, only 3 days before I’m going to be there. I won’t be providing a ‘movie review’ or analysis, since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone (rare though you may be) who hasn’t seen it yet.
But I will say:
- I had forgotten how much I love Heather Graham
- Mike Tyson + Phil Collins = pure awesome
- The leap out of the trunk may be my favourite part of the movie
- “Next weekend isn’t good for me. The Jonas Brothers are in town.”
(Probably only one or two more updates before I leave Thursday morning, and I likely won’t be updating while I’m away.)
I'm serious. But don't be alarmed, I don't think it's anything that I need to see a doctor about... I'm just on the biggest asparagus kick of my life.
I'm loving it right now, and eating it with almost every meal. Just last night I made some, to go alongside my chicken with white wine; on Sunday, I had it as part of a risotto at Nick and Nat's, and on Saturday night, I had it at Caesar Martini's in a way I have never had before...wrapped in bacon. As I discussed on the patio that night, almost every food on the planet can be made better by being wrapped in bacon, but this sure was a nice treat. I plan on making it at home soon.
I only jumped on the asparagus bandwagon in the last 2 or 3 years. I couldn't stand the stuff before that, and I'm not sure why. But I'm glad I've joined the party.
Even if I'm spending more on Toilet Duck cleansers while it's in season.
Well, things have calmed down a bit since the Waterloo Arts Festival was this past weekend (that's why you're getting three new posts tonight!). It was a great event, undoubtedly our best Festival yet, and it really was an enjoyable weekend. The gala on Thursday night was fantastic, the weather was beautiful all weekend, the crowds were great, and so were the people. I'm exhausted, but it was a great time.
I was looking forward to the weekend because two of my favourites were coming back this year, Jim with The Jim Show, and John with his Human Fountain show (see picture above). The shows are great, but hanging out with the performers is even better, and then you add in Lee and Neal and Aytahn, and meeting great new people like Pedro, Rick, Dana, and Tim, and it sure is a memorable time.
Highlights for me from the weekend:
- The Privy People, easily my favourite part of the weekend. I never thought I would use a porta-poppy while being serenaded by a flute, but Dana changed that. - The meals we had at Caeasar Martini's and Nick and Nat's Uptown 21. Wow. I can't even begin to describe how fantastic the food was this weekend. - John's sense of humour. That guy never fails to crack me up whenever I talk to him. - The Jim Show - seen it about 20 times, and never get sick of it. - Driving Pedro to airport. Great conversation.
Best quotes of the weekend:
"That's the spirit." "What are you in for?" "Chad...that's a dude." "Some people are douchebags."
I'll post some pics in the coming days, once I get my hands on the pics. (like the one that Kirsten took that I stole and posted above.)
The countdown is on. We leave on the 25th, and get back on July 2nd. I'm playing in two WSOP events, both $1500 No-Limit tournaments. Event #51 on the 27th, and Event #54 on the 29th. There are 6 of us going right now, and it's a great group of guys, so it's going to be one hell of a trip. Add to that that I've got another group of 5 or 6 friends that will be there at the same time, and I'm really excited. It's been a while since I've been away, and the fact that I'm leaving on June 25th is symbolically appropriate in a way.
For those of you interested in following our WSOP progress, we've set up a Twitter account so that you can follow us during the tournament. Jeremy and/or Dave will be updating periodically while Tony and I are playing in the events. If you want to follow, here's a link.
You don't need to be a Twitter user to follow, just bookmark the link if you want to check updates. I've also added a link on the sidebar.
I've been enjoying the WSOP so far. Daniel Negreanu at two final tables, Phil Ivey wins two bracelets already, Brock Parker wins two bracelets as well. I'm watching a lot of coverage online at Bluff Magazine, where you can watch the final tables as they happen live. I'm looking forward to watching Johnny Chan go for his 11th bracelet tonight as he's down to the final 5 in the Heads-Up Event. (leading his match right now as I write)
My friend Matt is here from Vancouver, and last week, when he came into work, he plopped a freezer bag down on my desk. My heart jumped because it could only mean one thing...that he had brought me some beef brisket from Memphis Blues in Vancouver.
You see, the beef brisket from Memphis Blues is arguably my favourite food in the entire world, so I try to get anyone traveling from Vancouver to Waterloo to 'mule' some meat on the plane, freezing it and stuffing in their luggage to thaw on the way here. (It's double-wrapped in foil and cellophane, so nothing gets on the clothes obviously.)
Take a look. Seriously...how awesome does that look? (That's the real deal...Matt took that pic to taunt me one night when he went there. He emailed me from the restaurant.)
Now, Matt is a new dad, and has been extremely busy lately, so I didn't even ask him to bring any on this trip, so you can imagine my surprise when I see this freezer bag on my desk.
So I look at him and say, "Seriously? I could hug you right now." And he says, "Just open it."
Well, when I open it up, there's no brisket inside...but there IS a Mexican wrestling mask that I had asked to borrow for my upcoming trip to Vegas. So it's a not a total disappointment, but I was a little bit heartbroken not to see the brisket. I was confused as to why he used the freezer bag, though. Didn't make much sense, unless he was just trying really hard to be a jerk.
About 10 minutes later, I'm walking by his office, and he calls me in. When I walk in, he smiles and hands me a bag. I open the bag to find 2 glorious pounds of beef brisket.
Well done, Matt. Best surprise in a long long time.
I had to go to downtown Kitchener today on my lunch break to pay a speeding ticket. I'm sorry if you were expecting a good story involving that, but it was just a basic 'cop catches you going too fast' kind of story. Although it was entertaining watching Phil ask the cop all these bike helmet questions as he's giving me the ticket...
So I'm on my way into the courthouse to pay the ticket, and standing out front of the main entrance are three police officers talking. As I'm walking up, these two young men, maybe 20 or 21, walk out and by the officers. The one guy looks at one of the cops, and gives him a total skunk-eye...completely shooting daggers at him with his eyes. The cop just smiles at him and says "You have a nice day, now." And as the 2 guys walk away, and I'm walking in the building, the guy around and mutters something else to the cop. It was clear they had just both been involved in something in one of the court proceedings.
I didn't think much of it, that was all I saw until I paid my ticket and was walking out a few minutes later. There was no one in line, and it was relatively quick, so I was in and out of there in about four minutes, at the absolute most.
When I'm walking out, I see the 2 guys in the parking lot, not 20 feet from the entrance, surrounded by the 3 cops, and now a fourth one as well. And the one is talking into his radio asking for a car, one young guy is on the phone yelling at someone, and the original cop is writing something up.
Seriously...you were just IN COURT, and you can't get 20 feet from the courthouse without getting into trouble with the cops again?
Ok, if you haven't seen this video yet, this is truly a MUST-watch. First off, I'm not sure why Poison (yes...that Poison) was even performing at the Tony Awards, but they were. And thank god. Because if they hadn't been booked, we wouldn't be able to see Mr. Rock of Love, Bandana-wearing, porn-video starring, chick cowboy hat-wearing, Bret Michaels get absolutely SMOKED by part of the set, which was descending after their performance.
It's obvious that they knew it was coming down. Just look how fast CC and Robbie got out of the way. But Bret just has to soak up that extra couple of seconds from the crowd, and watch the price he pays.
First off, before getting to one of my rapid-fire, bullet-point, Random Thoughts posts, I have to put a call out to you gentle readers, and hope that some of you may be able to help.
Next week is the Waterloo Arts Festival, and for those of you who have never been to the Festival, I hope you'll come and check it out. I will post more details later in the week. However, the reason I mention it now is that we are a tad short on volunteers for the weekend, so I'm putting a request out to anyone who may be interested in volunteering for any amount of time next weekend (June 13/14), even just a couple of hours. It's a good excuse to be outside at Waterloo Park, plus you get a spiffy T-shirt! If you're interested, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can fill out the Volunteer Application form at the website www.waterlooartsfestival.com. If we even get a couple of new volunteers in the next week, it will be a big help!
Now, on to the rest...
- I went to Drayton last night for the opening night of The Odd Couple, which my brother directed. It was a great show, and very very funny the way it was modernized. The cast was fantastic. I highly recommend it if you're up for a theatre outing in the next few weeks. - I taped an episode of What's Your Point on CTV earlier this week, and it airs on Saturday night at 6:30 pm. It was a good experience, and we had a great panel overall. Tune in on Saturday. - I don't know what happened, but I tweaked my neck somehow the other night when I was sleeping and I'm in a lot of pain this last couple of days. I hope it clears up soon. - With no new TV shows on, I thought I'd give I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here a shot. I'm done after one episode. Horrible. - I have however started watching Poker After Dark, which I hadn't really watched in the past. I record it nightly now, and I'm enjoying the table conversations more than anything else. The Hellmuth Bash cash game special was very entertaining. - Speaking of poker, 3 weeks from now I'll be in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. We have a great group of guys going, and another group of friends is going to be there at the same time. It's going to be awesome! - I ran into Danny Michel when I was at Ben Thanh for lunch today. That's the third or fourth time I've run into him there. I'm almost seeing him more there than in concert! Looking forward to the concert at the Starlight on the 17th. - Tomorrow is my neighbourhood's annual garage sale day, so Lucas and I have a morning planned of walking around and shopping in the 'hood. It's always a fun day, and the weather is supposed to be great tomorrow. - The other night after dinner, Lucas and I went over to the schoolyard to play basketball, and I taught him how to play 21. The first game, he had trouble breaking the ice, so in the second game, I told him he could skip that part and just start scoring point right away, but I would still have to break the ice. Next thing I know, he's leading 20-16! I did come back to win, but I was sweating it! I was thinking how it'll be nice for him to remember the first time he beat me, but I wasn't expecting it to be the first night! He's pretty good...it won't be long.
As many of you know, I'm heading off to Las Vegas to try my luck in a couple of World Series of poker events later this month. I thought I would share with you two of my favourite poker blogs that I read. I know a number of you will be interested in following them, they are both very well-written, and feature two great Canadian poker players.
The first is Watts' Poker Blog, by Mike Watson, aka SirWatts in the online poker world. I don't really know Mike all that well, but we did meet when we was playing varsity baseball for the University of Waterloo and I was their announcer. We also were both part of a Canadian poker forum for a number of years. Mike has done extremely well in the past couple of years, including a WPT win in Las Vegas. The second is Please Don't Tap The Glass, by Matt Wood. I've known Matt for a number of years, beginning from his time as a player and coach with the McMaster Maruaders. It was in 2005 at the CIS National Championships in Halifax that I discovered our mutual interest in poker. I was there doing a webcast for the University of Waterloo, and filing a report for Rogers Television, and after each night's games, it was a tradition to head over to Casino Halifax with Dale to play some poker. It was then that I first got to play with Matt, and I'll never forget his comment to this player who was bleeding chips to our table, "You know, if you take those chips to the cage at the end of the night, they'll give you money for them. Real money!"
Matt went heads-up at the WSOP last year for a bracelet, but finished second after a valiant effort. Here's a shot from Bluff Magazine of him at the final table. Both blogs are very up-to-date as both Mike and Matt are currently in Vegas playing in WSOP events. Links have been added to the Blog List on the sidebar.
As many of you know, I play poker at the Casino in Brantford. I've been going there for almost 5 years now. About four years ago, this crazy story happened.
We were playing $5/$10 limit, and my friend Chris and I were at the same table. It's amazing how much I remember from this night. There was a girl named Amanda sitting beside me and we were chatting a fair bit for most of the night. A few seats over, there was a guy who looked exactly like Adam Rodriguez...so much so, that another guy from our table kept saying, "Hey, CSI Miami, It's on you!" We had a pretty good table, and we were playing late into the night. It was after midnight, and Lawrence was our dealer. Now Lawrence is a tad snarky and sarcastic, but not really to the point that it was offensive or annoying...at least not to me. However, after a few bad beats, or during a losing session, it definitely wasn't amusing to have him as your dealer.
I was sitting in seat 5, which is important to know for this story. For those of you who don't know where that would be, take a look at the picture below. See the guy in the striped shirt with his baseball cap on backwards? That's where I was sitting. So, it's late, and I'm tired, so I ordered a coffee. My coffee comes, and I have just folded my cards on that particular hand, and I take a drink of my coffee. All of a sudden...out of nowhere...I sneeze.
And I don't mean a tiny little sneeze either. I mean a near-explosion. With a mouthful of coffee. All I see is brown covering the inside of my glasses, and when I recover enough to take them off, I look at Lawrence, and he's completely covered in coffee, and wiping his face with his hand. A quick survey of the room tells me that it's come to a complete standstill and everyone is getting up to come over and see what's happened. I look over at my friend Chris in Seat 9, who is still IN THE HAND, and he's looking at me with his hands outstretched as if to say, "What the F*ck?" I look down at the table, and see that all the chips in the pot are soaked, and I've covered the flop in coffee as well. (The flop was J-6-6 by the way, not sure how I always remember that) I've even propelled the coffee so far as to get some on the BACK of the player at the next table, which is behind Lawrence. From what Chris told me afterwards, it was essentially a direct hit on Lawrence's face, with some side propulsion to the next table and some residual bounceback onto the chips and cards.
Now Kathy, who is one of the pit managers in the room that night, comes over and asks what happened, and I stammer, "I....sneezed." And she gets in my face and almost yells, "What do you mean you sneezed!?" Now, I didn't really think I was being that cryptic about what happened, but I felt like right now wasn't the best time to be sarcastic, so I just repeated myself. She was NOT impressed. We laugh about it now, but it was a side of her I hadn't seen before, nor do I want to see again.
So Kathy decides that the hand has to be completed, and then they'll have to close the table down and figure out what to do. So the hand finished, and Chris actually wins it, and immediately asks, "Do I have to take THOSE chips?" Yes he does, and they table gets closed down for about 20 minutes while I apologize profusely to Lawrence, Kathy, and all of the other players at the table.
They end up having to wet the table down to clean it, then use a hairdryer to dry the wet spot, and it was Lawrence that had to sit there, still with my coffee-spit soaked into his clothes, and hold the hairdryer while it dried. We ended up going back about 20 minutes later, and it was so awkward on that first hand...there was total silence. All of a sudden, one of the guys says "Hey, why does it smell like coffee?", and it broke the ice, we all laughed and continued on.
Needless to say, it was not my finest hour. I can't help but wonder what the surveillance video looks like from above...it must be spectacular.
Although I have to say, the funniest part of the whole night, was just before we left. I had already cashed out, and we were waiting on Chris. I went out to the casino floor to wait with our other friend Phil, who was playing Three Card Poker. I walk up to him at the table, and when he sees me, he says to the dealer, "Hey, tell him what you just told me." So the dealer says "Some guy in the poker room tonight sneezed coffee and nailed Lawrence right in the face." I said "How do you you know?" and he says, "It's all anyone is talking about in the break room. Apparently it was awesome."