Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Bourbonators Series of Poker

On this blog, I have written about my experiences playing our regular monthly home game. We call our group, The Bourbonators. Looking back, I've never really described what this is.

Bourbonators, by charter, is a men only Whiskey Club. It was founded about a year before I joined as a group of friends that got together once a month to sample a whiskey, scotch or bourbon chosen by the Chief Bourbonator. One member hosts the group at their house and is responsible for providing the food and an estrogen free environment.

When I first joined the group, it was required that the host's female house companions not be present. This requirement has gone to the wayside because most of us have wives and kids. When it was mostly a group of newlyweds and single guys, this wasn't really a problem; add years of marriage and kids. Ain't gonna happen.

At the beginning of each meeting, the Chief Bourbonator introduces us to the beverage of the month. We use a copy of the Jim Murray's Whisky Bible as a guide. The monthly dues to the club are $5. This money is used pay for both the liquor of the month and a traveling bottle of something that mixes well and isn't very expense. Think 1.75 L.
Any good whisky connoisseur will tell you, the only way to evaluate a spirit is neat, and this is just how the first drink must be poured. Neat is defined at Wikipedia as 
"...referring to a single, unmixed liquor or spirit served at room temperature, without any water or other mixer."

This method provides the taster with the highest level of contact with the flavors and smells of the libation. It also separates the men from the boys. After a member has finished their first glass, they are free to mix the traveling whisky with ice or a mixer and some of us regularly switch to beer for it's cold amber goodness. I'll be honest, I'm much more of a beer snob then I am a whisky connoisseur.

If you aren't familiar with the differences between whisky, whiskey, scotch and bourbon and wonder why a group known as Bourbonators talks so much about whisk(e)y, I'll refer you to here. It's all in the location, location, location and what is used to make the mash...after that, it's all about time.

But this isn't a whisky blog and my name isn't Astin. This is a poker blog and my name is OhCaptain (it isn't really OhCaptain, but that's too bad for you). So why am I jabbering about this now?
After sampling and discussing the booze of the month, we settle down and play some poker. For the most part, we play No Limit Hold 'em, but when the winds are right, we deviate and play a mixed game. By the winds being right I mean when there's not a lot of us and those that remain know more then one doesn't happen often.
To spice up the home game, we've added "The Bourbonator Series of Poker Championship". or the BSOP. We are really that creative. The is a point series so regular attendance and consistent play are vital to your success.
Each month, we play 2 sit-n-go's. For about the last 9 months, we've averaged between 12 and 14 players, so it's two tables. The stakes are high at $5 a tournament. One of the biggest reasons for the success of this group is the wives have a horrible time complaining about it. I mean $15 for a night out with the guys...come one. You can't even walk into a bar for that price.
The group consists of many different skill levels and each month there seems to be at least one stranger. One the greatest influences I've noticed over the years is the influence the flavor of the month has on play. Those months that the Chief Bourbonator chooses a 150+ proof beverage, the games are extremely loose...I mean...VERY LOOSE. Those are also some of the meetings we get 3 games in...but I think you'll know why.
The BSOP keeps people focused. You get one point for ever person that finishes before you and a point for yourself. So if you are Gigli, you 1 point. To make sure you aren't just sitting their folding to the points every month, you also get 1 point for every knock out.
Each month we grind it out until one person finishes the tournament with the greatest number of points above 150. As was the case this month, 2 people had enough points that if they both made it deep, we would go down to basically, who finished deeper.
So what is the prize? What every man wants. The trophy you see in this post and a bottle of booze. Oh, and bragging rights. The latter is probably the most important. Who doesn't want bragging rights.
If you made it this far in the post. Thank you. I decided to write this post now because I finally did it. I won the BSOP Championship. I'm pretty excited about this. I'm heading to Vegas to play in the Blogger Winter Gathering Tournament with this title under my belt. Should put fear in the heart of all the rounders sitting at the table at the Venetian.
Well, maybe not fear, but...OK, this probably won't make a bit of difference to anyone there, but I am going and very much looking forward to meeting who ever it is that will be there.


jamyhawk said...

Congratulations! I see you are quite proud of that trophy.

GL in Vegas....

NewinNov said...

Thanks for the basic math clarification. Now I gotta check out what the heck that trophy is all about...

NewinNov said...

Ok, finished reading. Had a dinner break. Congratulations on your win. A trophy and a bottle, double win.

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice job! Also, have fun out west at the blogger [strike]decadence[/strike] gathering.

lightning36 said...

Congrats! Always good to take down a championship of any sort.

Got sick on whiskey when I was about 20 or 21. Have had only three drinks of whiskey since then.

Have fun at the blogger gathering in Las Vegas and good luck in the tournament. Take that sucker down and show some of the supposed "A-listers" who is boss!