Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:16 am Posts: 451 Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Warning: Looooonnnngggg read. Don't operate heavy machinery while reading. (note to mods - formatting/spacing was changed when cutting and pasting)
Ironman of Poker 3: Poker Learnings of Vegas for Make Benefit Glorious State of Iowa
The night before the 3rd IMOP, we had all been reduced to kids on Christmas Eve – no one could sleep, no work could be done – we should have just taken the whole week off. There were two rookies along for this year’s trip and they managed to survive, although just barely. Let’s look at this year’s field of competitors:
Name: Grange – IMOP ’07 Champ and walking fashion faux pa Superpower: Jedi-mind trick ability to get callers on his overbets with aces and cocktail waitresses to call Santa “Fat Bastard” every time they asked him if he wanted a drink. “Kryptonite”: Jedi-mind trick ability to get callers on his overbets with aces – and then they river a set. Over and over and over…oh, and drunk Englishmen Quote: “There are plenty of places to get it in bad better”
Name: Dan T – IMOP ’06 Champ and Wearer of the Wet Pants Superpower: Sophisticated cognac drinking abilities, gorilla-walk style when hammered “Kryptonite”: Full glasses of water + a busboy = Danny’s wet pants Quote: “…and then he poured water on my crotch!”
Name: JB – the only CFO I know who would wear shorts to Delmonico Superpower: Normally, a tournament pro who is so tight he squeaks when he walks “Kryptonite”: Flopped straights – NO GOOOOOOD!!!! Quote: “Uh, can I please stop playing 2/4 now, we’re three handed”
Name: Pledge Barbie – Pledge/rookie and general luck box Superpower: Ability to get it in with the worst and come out first “Kryptonite”: Flopped sets of aces Quote: “Do you want to touch my fuzzy puppy?”
Name: Pledge Bonnie – Pledge/rookie and catcher of Carona’s one case at a time… Superpower: Slapstick comedic ability “Kryptonite”: Bed sheets Quote: “I feel like dog sh!t.”
Name: Santa – founder of IMOP and once again Julie the Cruise director… Superpower: Insomnia! “Kryptonite”: Inability to beat Grange at worst jacket, even after pulling out the “Member’s Only” number. Quote: “I went heidi ho with 9/8 suited and it held up!”
IMOP – Event Summary (partial list of events which decide the winner of the IMOP trip) Most $ Won Overall Most $ Won Cash Poker Most $ Won Tournaments Most $ Won Sports Wagering Most $ Won Table/Pit games Conference Tournament “Super Bracket” pick ‘em Prop Betting Porn Slapper Poker Felt a player in a cash game Knock players out of tournaments (bonus if it’s another Ironman) Most cocktails Least sleep Most poker rooms played Largest pot won (cash game) Best hand Worst bad beat given/taken Worst Sport Jacket
There were several other bonus point events with ways to win and lose points, including: Give someone a high five or fist bump (-) Get another Ironman to give YOU a high give or fist bump (+) Get caught yawning (-), catch someone yawning (+) Fall asleep in public (-)
As always, to the victor go the spoils (which accurately describe most of the prizes): A giant Paul Jardin card watch with case A third grade basketball trophy with “Ironman of Poker 07” taped to it (and 08 now scribbled in) $100 cash A year’s worth of email taunting privileges
“Flavor of IMOP Love” – Wednesday 6:30PM
We arrive at the airport in dreary Cedar Rapids, IA more than ready to roll. Grange was already in Vegas grinding away at Caesars as the rest of us waited like cattle to board the cram packed Allegiant flight. I knew it was a good sign when they called all rows through 36 and Dan T and JB had seats in row 37. As it turns out, they did have a row 37 – it was the one with the window seat that didn’t have a window and right next to the engine. We had to scream at Dan the rest of the trip because he lost his hearing on the flight out. Somehow, Pledge Barbie managed to lose $60 to Pledge Bonnie playing In Between the Sheets on the flight out there, but as a non-sanctioned event, that game didn’t count in the standings. Ironically, the “sheets” would get even with Pledge Bonnie later…
We land at McCarran and our limo driver was waiting. Pledge Bonnie was able to hook us up with none other than Big Rick from “Flavor of Love”!!! That dude is AWESOME. The best laugh ever. He guides us over to our bag claim area and we agree to another game of “Baggage Claim Roulette” where the first bag out got paid by the other four guys (I won this game at the end of the trip last year). Apparently I own this game because after 10 excruciating minutes, out popped my bag! Winner, winner chicken dinner! Pledge Barbie graciously paid me by crumpling up his money and throwing it at my feet.
We arrive at the Venetian, check in, get a hold of Grange and agree to meet at O’Sheas for our opening ceremonies. Pledge Bonnie is out of his mind for a drink and Pledge Barbie smokes about 12 cigarettes on our 15 minute walk when we arrive. This year’s game was $5 in jacks-or-better video poker for five minutes. After the five minutes, the last place person (who busted first) and the second place finisher have to buy a round for the others. Grange is out first and JB managed to take second and they decide on jalapeño hot bloody marys. Everyone then submits their basketball picks, their sealed envelopes containing prop bets on the various events (such as who will cash the most, will Santa get in a physical confrontation, etc) and we draw for our signature hands. The signature hand game involves everyone in drawing a card from one of two piles. One pile has a 2,3,4 and the other has 6,7,8. The two cards you draw become your “signature hand” and you get Ironman points for each pot you win holding AND TABLING these cards. This was a fun event last year so we decided to do it again and it would prove both interesting and profitable at the tables once others started seeing what we were up to. More on that later.
We head down to Planet Hollywood, grab dinner and play cash games while we wait for the 2AM tournament to start up. During dinner, Grange makes the sucker bet of a lifetime to Pledge Bonnie. Namely, he bets Pledge Bonnie $20 that he can’t go the entire trip without having the same drink twice. Pledge Bonnie gladly accepts, then less than two hours later angrily pays Grange his money when he finishes his second consecutive Heineken. Drinks are flowing and bluffs are flying early. Dan winds up chopping for first place in the tourney and we consider this a very good omen. JB busts out first and true to tradition, has to sit and grind 2/4 limit until the last Ironman is out. He gets special recognition because he played 3 handed for half an hour until he came over and begged me to let him quit (which I did). His counterparts (Dan, Pledge Bonnie and Pledge Barbie) all owe him as they woosed out when they crashed out of the other tourneys.
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:16 am Posts: 451 Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
The Beat Down at Bally’s – Thursday 5AM The other guys stayed and played cash games while Grange and I headed over to Paris to play there since we hadn’t in the past. Well, the Paris was closed at 4 AM so we went next door to Bally’s for the single weirdest poker experience of my life. We walk up and there is exactly one game going and it’s five handed. Clearly, most of them were hammered drunk and they were begging us to sit down and play, which we did. I had the 3 seat and Grange had the 9 seat. Seat 6 and Seat 8 were English guys who had moved to Vegas for a reason I couldn’t entirely figure out. They ordered at least 6 Kamikaze shots for the table during the time they were there and would do things like get up in the middle of a hand where they had cards and walk around the table to talk to you about your hand. They also liked to greet incoming players to the table with a welcome hug (though they could never remember anyone’s name – such as when one of them told Grange “I like your skull Darryl” when his name is most assuredly not Darryl). While this was amusing to nearly all, it was NOT amusing to a nice young man (NYM) who sat down in the game and apparently had a thing about being touched by drunk guys. NYM immediately tells Englishman 1 (Simon), “If you f-in’ touch me again I will beat your ass,” which prompts Englishman 2 (Mark) to immediately reach over and put his hand on NYM’s shoulder and say, “He’s real sorry, we’re just being friendly.” NYM about jumps out of his skin and prepares to attack when the floor comes over to settle everyone down. As they continue their back and forth, I get my camera out and snap a few pictures of the events as Grange is cackling in the background. I then got a picture of their end of the table (including a not-so-amused NYM) in a big group hug. Priceless.
No great poker stories here but about an hour later, I was counting my chips when I look up just in time to see Mark turn to Grange and give him a big, forceful hug/head lock (out of nowhere) which caused both of them to fall over backwards on the floor like a linebacker taking down a quarterback. All I saw was four feet in the air and two chairs flying sideways. Their feet hit the table hard enough to knock over a few stacks and screw up the flop! Amazingly no one was hurt, but the dealer whispered to me to get one of the floor guys from the pit because the poker floor was on break and the dealer was REAL nervous. I got some pencil neck with a chip on his shoulder to come over and talk to them. Here’s the exchange:
Pencil Neck: “Hey, you guys are cut off from alcohol and you need to stop swearing, I’ve been listening to it all the way over there for the past three hours.”
Simon: “C’mon, man. What’s the problem?”
Pencil Neck: “You can’t say the f-word”.
Mark: “Well, how about the c-word, can we say that then?”
Pencil Neck: “No, do not say the c-word.”
Mark: “Well, what if we’re talking about your mum?”
Pencil Neck: “SECURITY!!!”
And that was nearly the end of Mark and Simon, except for one more incident. They actually didn’t object to being thrown out and walked around the table to shake hands with each player and wish them well – except when they got to NYM. As Simon is shaking NYM’s hand, Mark sneak attacks and gives him a half hug from behind! NYM wheels around and takes a big swing at Mark but misses and security jumps in and breaks it up and that’s the last we saw of the English…
Grange and I rack up and head back to the V at about 7 AM and find JB and Timmer at one of the two tables running that time of morning. After waiting and nearly falling asleep in public, Grange and I decide to catch a nap and head up to find Pledge Bonnie already snoring. I get a whopping 90 minutes and can’t resist the siren’s song of the poker room any longer. I head down and within another hour, all six guys are grinding away.
Of Signature Hands and Old School Casinos – Thursday 3PM I wind up sitting at a table next to Pledge Barbie when he pulls this gem. He has been playing aggressive and we’ve been yucking it up quite a bit with the other players at the table. It limps around to Pledge Barbie on the button ($450 behind) and he raises to $15. He gets a call from a decent young player (DYP) at the other end of the table ($225 behind). Flop comes A-10-5 rainbow. DYP checks and Pledge Barbie fires $50 at it. DYP calls. Turn is 9 (no flush). DYP checks. Pledge Barbie thinks for a moment, then says, “I’m all in.” and puts his chips and cash in the middle. DYP thinks for about 45 seconds and mucks. Pledge Barbie then proudly tables…6/3 off suit!! He played his signature hand for all his chips!!! Outstanding! We then had to explain the game to everyone and apologize to the kid for tabling that ridiculous bluff.
After playing all afternoon we then head over to tournament location number two: The Sahara for the 7PM tournament! This year it is a little sad for me because Dan’s brother Doug isn’t along and he HATES that place and all it stands for, which is one of the reasons I drag us over there every year (that and it’s the only live tournament I’ve won/chopped). We skip the horrific Mexican restaurant this year and jump right in the tournament. Nothing changes about this room; the server, the dealers, the floor – nothing. Egads it must be hard to move around that town. I manage to win a last longer bet with Grange and he goes from table chip lead to broke after back to back brutal beats. We’re down to two tables of 8 out of 80 original players. Somehow, Pledge Bonnie, JB and I are all at the same table. JB pushes all in with big cards and I call with 55 and flop a set and knock him out. Pledge Bonnie is still the big stack at the table and we get to the final table. I manage to knock out a couple of players and get a stack, meanwhile Pledge Bonnie is making good bets but getting out run by smaller stacks and eventually busts out, but in the money. We get down to five handed and I’m the chip leader and the 124 year old eastern European geezer next to me is a very close second. Everyone else is two orbits away from being blinded off. Talk of chopping the prize follows every hand, but nothing everyone can agree on comes up. Then, with me in the BB and K9 and geezer in the SB, this ridiculous situation comes up; he completes SB:
Flop is K,10,7. Geez fires a pot sized bet! Why in hell wouldn’t he just check and not have the big stacks clash? Against my better judgment (probably had something to do with all the Newcastle) I call. Turn is 9, no flush possibilities. He fires ANOTHER pot sized bet and I look at him and say, “What are you doing? Why do this?” I call with my two pair. The River is a J and he fires again. I have no choice but to call and turns over…K8 for a rivered straight. Holy crap! Unbelievable. Now I’M the short stack at the table and I’ve completely lost my mind. I manage to win a couple of uncontested pushes but I’m just treading water. The other shorty at the table is still working the chop angle but geezer is hearing none of it. We even offer to give him a big payday for his chipstack, which he first says “OK” to, then looks at the cards he’s just been dealt and then says, “No chop!” (think Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes). He actually does that two other times too so talk of chopping ends since the guy is going to essentially go back on his word every time. By this point, I’ve got to take a leak, but they aren’t giving any more breaks. I fold my button and run at a dead sprint out of the poker room and up the escalator to hallway where the restrooms are. I coming running back down and back into the poker room just as they are dealing my big blind again – phew (and yes, I did wash my hands). Geez asks where I went and says that he really has to go too. So, I start slowing down my decision making process hoping to make him a little uncomfortable (or perhaps more willing to chop since there is no way in hell that guy could run a step). He still won’t listen to a chop when this hand breaks out:
Nerd on the end with second most chips min raises. Other short stack calls for about half his chips, Geez calls. I look down and see AKd. I look at Geez and say, “OK, dude, are you sure you don’t want to chop, because I can make this real ugly.” He replies again, “I no chop!”. I say, c’mon, are you sure, you are going to take a big hit on this hand from someone and if you don’t chop now, I’m not agreeing to any chop that pays you what we’re offering right here and now (about $200 more than the rest of us).” He thinks then says, “NO CHOP!”. So I shrug and push all in for about three times the original bet. Nerd groans and mucks an obvious steal attempt. Other shorty thinks for a long time and then finally mucks not wanting to get eliminated with all the fireworks going on. Geez of course calls and rolls over 77. I river a K and scream “JUSTICE” which has the desired effect of really pissing off Geez. Now I’ve got a decent stack and Geez and Nerd are dead even. Well, well, guess who is ok with chopping now? Shorty really wants to chop so I don’t get in the way. We wind up giving Geez a little more and then it’s all hugs and high fives as he waddles off to the can.
We head back over the V to grind a little and then actually get some sleep.
One more part to go...
Last edited by Santa Claus on Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.