World Poker Blogger Tour Winter Classic 2 – Part 3

After showering I listened to the 14 messages on my cell (how did I sleep through the phone ringing 13 times? Oh yeah, I remember now . . . kind of.) and found out that everybody was up at the MGM for mixed games and Mike Fay from the poker room at Imperial Palace wanted to meet with me before tomorrow’s tournament. I showered, threw on some clothes, and went down to the poker room (which is really down and then back up again). We went over blind structures, payout schedules, and other misc. details.

After taking care of business, I jump in a cab and make my way up to the MGM. Every table is filled with bloggers and they’re ramming and jamming their way into big wins or losses.
I find Franklin, the hardest working man in poker, and give him his Full Tilt jersey that I had brought with me from work. As I said in Part I, we just wrapped up a major project and as a show of appreciation the company had jerseys made up for the team. Franklin had pulled a 27 hour shift on Wed/Thurs (after a week of 16 and 18 hour shifts) and left completely exhausted before they handed out the booty. There’s nothing like being handed the Full Tilt jersey that people have just watched nearly every major pro player sport on the World Series of Poker to tighten up your table.

ALERT: For anyone who has asked if I can get them a Full Tilt jersey, read the above paragraph a few times. Those babies aren’t handed out lightly.

Next I go say hi to Wil Wheaton who is sitting next to Paul Phillips. When I’m introduced to Paul he says “Oh, so you’re the one who didn’t invite me to this tournament.” I try to cover a little and Paul catches me by saying “Oh, start back peddling and keep going.” When I tell him that I will make sure he’s invited to all future events he tells me that much like Groucho Marx, he doesn’t want to be associated with any group who would have him. Paul’s a cool cat and one of my favorite pro bloggers. I really do hope he can make the next WPBT event.

I make my way around the MGM poker room and over to the sports bar where the heavy drinking has begun. I’m still recovering and very dehydrated so I wimp out with some non-alcoholic drinks before breaking into some vodka tonics.

Most disturbing thing I heard that evening was Human Head tell me he wanted to make out with me to thank me for organizing everything. Fortunately his wife was very against that idea.

Funniest moment of the evening was TrumpJosh slipping on a wet floor around the bar and throwing his beer in his own face. Josh and I are chatting and he suddenly becomes much shorter as his feet start to slide out from under him. He makes a desperate, but unsuccessful, attempt at grabbing onto the bar but the laws of physics prevail. As his feet slide farther and farther out from under him in slow motion he courageously keeps his beer level. Well, until he was inches from the floor and in a spastic motion he jerked his beer hand upward drenching himself in suds.

I make another round of the poker room and Phil Gordon is sitting with Hank and Rick at a NL table. I sweat the game for a bit and say some more hello’s to folks.

As I return to the sports bar Mrs. Head, who had thankfully saved me from making out with her husband, had just received some backing to go play Phil Gordon in a little Roshambo. Phil sees that he can make a quick $200 and immediately pops up from the table to take her action. He explains the specific rules he plays by and asks if Mrs. Head would like a practice throw. She confidently declines and the two of them go at it. Mrs. Head goes up early but Phil came back to even things up. In the end, the mighty Phil Gordon couldn’t hold off the determined Mrs. Head who got the best of it.

Phil Gordon playing Mrs. Head in Roshambo

As the bloggers filtered out of the MGM to do the smart thing and get a good night’s rest before the tournament I end up doing the dumb thing and sitting down with Joaquin to play a mixed game. I’ve never even played deuce to seven triple draw but you wouldn’t know it by the way I gave away my chips like a pro. To my right was a guy who goes by the online handle JoeTall on 2+2. He wasn’t with the bloggers but I had read his 2+2 postings and was not at all surprised that he was one of the lucky recipients of my chips.

After donking off $100 I looked at my watch to see that it was almost 6am. Joaquin and I headed back to the Imperial Palace where I resisted the siren call of the black jack tables and went straight to bed.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.