Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Eh Vegas: Eh?

So, I bet you figured I'd never get back to writing about the blogger gatherings. Ha! OK, I really figured I'd be back in Vegas before I got back to this, but apparently, I forgot just how little poker I play in the first couple months of summer. I live in Minnesota and the 6 hours of summer we get just can't be missed.

My poker of late has been spotty. Went really deep in poker league and then went from a seriously nice looking upward trend at $.25/.50 LHE in April to an almost matching downward slope in May. So in June, I've done what any good blogger has done when they find themselves sliding backwards...I've moved up to $.50/1.00 LHE. Strangely, this has helped. Go figure.

[Cue flashback sound...do di do, do di do...]

Back in March, I went to Toronto, Canada. A beautiful southern city that has a lot of people that say 'Eh' a lot. The lovely Kat didn't have to try really hard to convince me to go. I love to travel and even though I could drive to Canada in just to my north, I've never actually been there. Heck, my roommate freshman year of college was a Canuck.

The last post on this subject basically brought you up to speed to me having my crap in my room and meeting the TuckFards. I suggest you go read that post if you have no idea what going through customs can be like. I'll wait...[cue theme from Jeopardy] Back already?

I remember being asked several times where I wanted to go for supper. It might not be several times, it might have only been once, these memories are only 3 months old, but I was asked "Where do you want to go?" I remember thinking just how difficult a question that is. I've been in Toronto for about 2 hours now. I've had one beer. I've had only airport food for the better part of 9 hours and they no longer serve a snack on the airplane. "How about the Distillery district?" I might have answered. I'd heard of it, Kat and Astin had both had written about it. It sounded lovely and frankly, my standards had fallen to the being thirsty for good beer, laughs and food.

Most of the rest of this post will be done with pictures. Some of you know that I have 2 major hobbies, poker (duh!) and photography. Besides being something I find quite fun, it also remembers things way better then I do.

This first photo is The Distillery District. It really was quite a photographers dream spot to shoot, but I wasn't here to shoot. I was here to meet up with some bloggers, drink beer, laugh, and eat. Focus young grasshopper.

I'm showing this shot above for background, I actually shot it after we'd been there a while. Amazingly, I shot it freehand (meaning no tripod or steadying object). I'm guessing that having drank a fair bit of beer had really steadied my hands. The colors were just amazing.

When we entered Mill St. Brewpub it felt like home. Just look at all those lovely taps serving beers I've never tried before. I'm not sure what that bartenders name is, but he was serving beer. That's tops in my book. Ed(?), a poker blogger who apparently no longer blogs and I'd never met, was already there. He was kind enough to buy beer for some of us waiting for a large group table to be ready. I believe I started with the Pilsner. It's been 3 months...better note taking would have been useful.

Not surprisingly, the lighting sucked for photography in here. It would have been nice to have the whole group at one table, but it just wasn't in the cards. The New York crew had arrived, so I got to catch up with VinNay, whom I'd met in Vegas resulting from a story that I've yet to write about that starts with a tournament that I've only hinted at cause, I like to write about my blogger gatherings in reverse order. Umkay?!?

We shared the table with Kat, Mary and Dawn Summers. Now, just to clear the air. I had met all of these people in Vegas last December. I met Dawn and VinNay at the poker table. Unfortunately, the story you haven't heard yet is that I actually busted both of them. Oops. I called a shove from VinNay with jack high cause I was pretty sure I had him (more in another post) and Dawn was on my left when I was in the LB. I shoved into her with ducks and she instantly called with AKo. The ducks held.

Hello! My name is OhCaptain. Yes, we met in Vegas. I'm the dick that busted you with [insert hand that ain't huge].

Now, Mary, I was introduced to her at the end of the tournament after I had busted to Karol's then fiancee. This blogger world seems so small at times. Anywho, I'm really not sure what your brain's consistency is at the end of 9.5 hours of a poker tournament, but mine is complete Jello with a healthy smattering of emptiness. I probably said I was sorry to Mary for not remembering her 20 times, but the truth is, I really don't remember much at all from the hour immediately following my bust out of the tournament.

I'm just a sucker for neon. I could spend a lot of time down here shooting...sorry.

So the group spent a lot of time getting to know everyone. I hadn't got a chance to mingle with the other table yet. You can see the group walking away in the picture above. This small size didn't do it justice. The lighting and the structures down here were really impressive. I can't wait to go back next year (hint, hint!)

We return you to our regularly scheduled programming - Poker. Back to the Kat's apartment building for cash game poker. Canadian style!

DonKay is standing there, dealing out the cards. For some reason, this picture reminds me of DaVinci's Last Supper. Minus the Lord and the disciples and the whole Priory of Sion 'V' thing that means vessel or woman thing, but fun people sitting around playing home game poker.

This was cash $.25/.50 CA poker. It played more like $.20/.40 US poker, but that was apparently due to the exchange rate and not the quality of players. I'm really not sure how long we played. I do know that Astin and VinNay were down $60 CA ($48 US) in what seemed like 10 seconds. It could have been longer, but again. it was 3 months ago.

Most of us didn't care. If two players are down $120 CA ($96 US), then there has to be players up...and up we were.

Astin did explain his methodology. "I can't win if I fold." Enough said. (I think he explain it as a Durrr thing, but again...3 months ago...)

I somehow ended up something like $10 CA ($8 US). It might have been less, but that's where my mind is taking me and I like it.

Not really sure why, but I really liked the above photo as good stock photo. It does show Dawn putting out a rather large bet. The way she was winning, my guess it she won this pot too.

This was a much better atmosphere to get to know people. SOOOooo much more quiet, but the waitstaff sucked. You couldn't get just any beer. It would seem we were limited to what the TuckFards were drinking.

The game ran for a while and I gotta tell ya, it was fun. Next year...I think I'll try Astin's style. I think he made a comeback. Not sure he got it all back, but I don't remember him or VinNay buying in again.

At some time way past my usual Central Standard Time bedtime, we had hit the hay. I've never been much of a sleeper and this trip was no different. When the bright light of the morning sun came through my window, it just didn't feel like a lot of sleep, but no worries. They have Coke Zero in Canada.

Kat and I had a system for morning greetings. It's exactly what text messaging was invented for. She had sent me one to let me know that Keith was making gourmet coffee. I love the smell of good coffee. How could I refuse? I grabbed some more Coke Zero and headed up. A little known secret? I don't drink coffee. And yes, I am in IT.

Kat took us to the restaurant above, Jawny Bakers. I have no idea how we got here. Trips like these remind you who your friends are. You are literally in a foreign country and have no idea where you are. I'm pretty sure there were some left turns and some right turns. This restaurant RAWKED! The food was really quite good. I seem to remember having eggs and some really tasty bread. Again, notes would have been useful. One memory I do have...Aussie Millions was on the TV...poker TV at breakfast...priceless.

Here in Minnesota, brunch is a meal served between breakfast and lunch. I had always assumed that that was the origin of the word...you know BR(breakfast) + UNCH (lunch), but I was SADLY mistaken. Here in Toronto, brunch is served until damn near supper. OK, that's probably not really true either, but it was still being served after one, which here in middle America, is AFTER lunch. I got really confused...but thankfully, I was able to hide my confusion.

After we left here, we were on a quest for beer. VinNay was supposed to follow Keith and I in the silver/grey Honda(?). We later found out that they actually made at least two of these silver Honda's...VinNay followed the other. Oops. It gets better, he also had his cellphone off...

No worries. Kat, Keith and I went beer shopping anyways.

I think it's time to take a break. I'm hoping not to wait another 3 months to do this again, but you never know. I leave you with this. After buying the beer, it was time to go back to the apartment building and help Kat set up the Eh Vegas Blogger Poker Tournament. We played a fantastic game called Jungle Speed. Despite what you may have heard, I didn't actually slam Mary's head into the table...on purpose...

But that will have to wait until later.


lightning36 said...

Can't wait for your review on that new movie The Godfather II.

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice recap. Sounds like you had a good time. Good photos, too!

OhCaptain said...

Lightning: I only did a preview of The Godfather, I'm still working on my Steamboat Willie review.

Mojo: Thanks!