Monday, December 17, 2007

Does My Ass Look Good in This Scarf?

I forget who said that. Mighta been Irish Jim. Mighta been Garthski. Events fuzzy at that juncture. Venetian sportsbook bar, post-tourney. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

For the record, until that Saturday morning, I had never owned, let alone wore, a scarf. The events leading to its purchase were pure serendipity.

I woke headache-free, but I could feel it lurking. Like a fog, similar to the daze in which I walked around the Flamingo casino floor. I had yet to shower. It was early yet. So I wore a ball cap and found its snugness to my head something of a security blanket against the hovering pain, as if it was a bandage holding my innards in place. That spawned an idea. Bandage, plus better warmth against the Vegas chill.

I needed to find a bounty for the tourney, so perused some of the shops at the Flamingo, also looking for a knit cap. No luck on the former and all I could find of the latter had gaudy stitched dice and an excessive price. Clearly, a road trip would be in order.

The first store you see upon entering the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood is Urban Outfitters. I'm about 15 years past being able to shop at this store and even when I did, back in the day, their style didn't really suit me. But, on this day, I scored.

En route, I had zipped up my sweater, all the way to my chin and my still scratchy throat was bathed in the soothing wool. Hell, I thought, I'm going to get a retarded knit cap. Why don't I go all the way and get a retarded scarf, too? For healing purposes.

Funny thing. I look very handsome in a scarf. I mean, even more than usual.


I also got a bounty. Two, in fact. The first was a hideous lime green t-shirt, harkening back to my youth and bearing "Frankie Say Relax." The second was an impulse buy. And awesome.

Naturally, the jibes began the moment I arrived at The Venetian. Dario Minieri was invoked countless times. Pauly had the best line.

"Does that scarf come with a small gay Italian boy attached to it?"


It's not like one can hope to find an easy table in the blogger events, but my starting group was sick. Not only in its ability and star power, but in the myriad styles featured.

Seat 1: Maigrey
Seat 2: Dah! Dr. Jeff. Of course. Thanks, maigs.
Seat 3: Iggy
Seat 4: Brian, Friend of Falstaf (one 'f'; he shed the other)
Seat 5: Schecky
Seat 6: Scarf Boy
Seat 7: Julian
Seat 8: BadBlood
Seat 9: The Fat Guy
Seat 10: Jesus. TripJax. Sorry, bro, especially since you (and your lovely wife) provided one of my favorite moments of the weekend, which you probably don't rmember.


I lost a quarter of my stack in the first level with AdJd. It was a limped pot and the flop was Ax8d4d. You'd think that was pretty good. But those limped pots, you know. Iggy led. I called. Kx on the turn. Iggy led, I raised. He called and I knew I was behind. Blank on the river and his A8 took it.

I picked up blinds and antes from there and stole an orphan pot before getting moved. Derek (and D's write-ups of these things are always my effing favorite; go now) was there, as was Johnny Hughes and Marty. Best I can do at this juncture.

I got aggressive and punished some limpers with late position raises. I also re-raised Mr. Hughes' hijack aggression with ATo and grabbed some more chips. Which was good, since the very next hand, I risked them all. I opened from the SB for 600 (75/150 level, I believe) and Marty popped it to 3k. I checked my cards again to make sure I had what I thought I had.

Yeah, I'm a pro.

I pushed, feeling pretty confident my jacks were ahead, especially when Marty said something like, "What have I gotten myself into?" He had to call. 3K into 10K. I had him slightly covered and he groaned when I flipped my cards. He had AJ (gold!) and I faded the ace to nearly double up.

No more action there and I'm soon moved to the one seat (hate the effing one seat!), recently vacated by The Reverend, a fact I knew, but one I'd have been able to deduce regardless, as the area beneath the chair was littered with shot glasses and empty water bottles and random notes on cardboard coasters. To my left were GCox and Big Stack (KK > AA) Blinders. The Wife filled the four seat briefly, until Blinders played the Grinch role and felted her. Otis followed. byron was in the five and I countered his Red Sox jersey and the obscene luck of New Englanders by playing "Tessie" over and over again on my iPod. Derek was there again and 'round the corner over there were Alan and, drum roll please, The Rooster.

That side of the table was aggressive, as you might guess. Blinders was, as well. Since I was well-stacked for the level, I avoided confrontation and waited for big cards. Pretty obvious what I was doing. "I know what you're doing over there, Speaker", The Rooster said as I shucked another POS hand. "Just waiting."

He's cagey.

But he got trapped nonetheless. Nothing he could do when I woke up with Kings. Alan open-pushed with A3, Joaquin called with AJ and he had to call my push for a middling 5K more (24K pot, approx.). I again faded the ace (this never happens on Full Tilt) and I was a sudden contender, near the chip lead based on my quick perusal. I also got Alan's bounty, a breathylyzer, which I really should have used later that night to see what kind of number I could blow. At least twice the legal limit, perhaps more.

Oddly, though I'd been drinking greyhounds since "Shuffle up and deal" (on top of the pre-game bloodys) and we were now 5 hours into it, I felt no buzz. That's focus, people.

I dropped 7K to byron when my suck was re-sucked (all-in pre-flop: AKo v. JJ and the board ran QT8J8). I was raising more pre-flop when I could open and donning my autistic face (okay, maybe a little buzzed), a blank, thousand-yard-stare deal that may or may not bear resemblance to Krazee Eyez Killa. Otis and byron got a kick out of it one time.

What's crackin', playa?

Down to three tables, I had a nice stack which got nicer when I busted Uncle Bracelet and Derek, beating their Big Slicks with TT and 88, respectively. The Bracelet's bounty defies description, but if you saw it, you enjoyed it. It's like the first dollar given to a business. I'll never open it. I may mount it (not a euphemism).

My Waterloo came at the final two tables. I went card dead for the first time and with an aggressive group that included Pauly, Johnny Hughes, Miami Don, BWoP and Bacon Bikini Mary, there were few opportunities to grab blinds and antes. The one time I tried, I got popped by The Doc, who was deep-stacked enough to make me lay down my JTs. By the time I got involved, I'd been squeezed down to an M of 3-ish. While I hate (hate, hate, hate) putting my tourney life on the line with AQ, I was running out of options, so I pushed with it even though Schecky had already opened. The board didn't bring anything higher than a 9 and his 66 held up to oust me and gain him the Poo Bounty.

15th place. Refund of my buy-in. My best showing (by far) in a live WPBT event. I went 2-2 on races, which is statistically fair (that never happens on Full Tilt). And I felt like I played a good tourney. Congratulations to all the top finishers (lucksacks) and huge and hearty thanks to Falstaf for his organization and The Venetian' excellent hosting of the event.

I still wasn't drunk. Exhausted, yes. I needed to decompress, so I sat outside the casino for a while, enjoying the fresh air, tattered and forlorn, swaddled in my scarfy finery. Wasn't sure I was going to last much longer and likely wouldn't have had it not been for a bolt of inspiration from Falstaf. Food. Noodle Bar. Stat.

Jasmine tea. Dumplings. Chicken noodle soup with a fucking pork chop in it, which is the dish I ordered largely based on its name: Pai Goo. The company of one of The Greats. The perfect meal at the perfect time. I was rejuvenated.

Then I went and got drunk. Sailor on Shore Leave Drunk.

(to be continued)

My scarf. My last table. Photo courtesy of Dr. Pauly


At 12:31 PM, Blogger Betty Underground said...

Wait, really? You never owned or wore a scarf before that day?

Godsmacked! And just when ya think you know a guy.

I would have thought someone in your life with challenged gift giving abilities (certainly not moi) would have caved and gone with the old back-up scarf gift.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

50 degrees and you need a hat with a scarf?

Grade A W-U-S-S should be stamped on it like a steak.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Betty Underground said...

Oh, and I found your ass exceptionally nice to gaze upon with the knit cap hanging out of the pocket.

Sorta got a bad-boy vibe! Yummy.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Seat 2 was none other than Dr. Jeff!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

I was at your starting table to the left of TFG...methinks I was the 9 seat...or maybe we had 10 at our starting table. It is all sort of a blur now...

If I remember one thing during the weekend, it was you holding irish whiskey...constantly...

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Pauly said...

It's moments like the scarf that make your friend think, "Maybe Speaker likes tube steak?"

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Alana Noel Voth said...

What a sweet thing to say, Betty. Super fine observation skills.



At 9:59 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Erm, yeah. You did know that Tessy is one of our songs, right?

If you are going to hate New England sports fans the least you could do is know which songs belong to us, scarf-boy.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Joe Speaker said...

Exactly, byron. I was using your own powers against you. And it worked, for one brief turn card.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger TripJax said...

Please, please tell me what the fave moment was...


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