Monday, December 1, 2014

Counting down to WPBT 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pictures of you

I posted back in May. Oh boy. Whiskey club was tonight. Consumables may have been consumed. I assure you, I was washing down some amazing pulled pork with anything I may have drank tonight.

Proceeding with a long overdue drunken post.

I did a query of the Google using the phrase, "Songs about reminiscing". The first hit was, of course, Reminiscing by Little River Band. Well, I'm old, but my soul sings to a different tune. I've seen Little River Band in concert. They were pretty darn good for a free show, but that's not my thing.

The second song to come up was The Cure, Pictures of You. Love that song. Bet you didn't know me when I wore a long black coat with pins on the collar. Yep, had mousse in my hair and headphones in my ears. Those were the days. Follow me on Facebook and you might see...probably not.

So this blogging thing. My RSS feed is quite different than it used to be. I still see a few of you. Blogging and telling your stories. I miss tell mine. So much has changed in my life. My kids are older. Not quite the cute little ones of old.

I'm the dad of a teenager. She's really quite awesome. She's gotten very much into Doctor Who. I just smile. Doctor Who is quite fun. In fact, she's talked me into going to Comicon in Chicago with her. Well, she probably wouldn't be going at the age of 15 to Chicago without a parent to Comicon. Entering stage left...geek dad.

I went to the WPBT gathering in December. Simply a great experience. I photographed a friggin' WPT event. Ask anyone there, dragging me away was not a simple task. I nearly missed sipping a delicious Pappy Van Winkle with some very good friends (Astin, Grange and company)

I took pictures for much of the weekend, during business hours.

I'm still quite the poker nerd. You see BJ and Short Stack Shamus got me a press pass. Well, mostly BJ, and it was more of a nudge and a how to over a Moscow Mule at Monte Carlo which also ended in my maybe accidentally acquiring a copper cup. Which I will neither confirm nor deny exists in my camera equipment drawer. Anyways. I spend much of the trip following around the pros I'd watched on TV or maybe sharing a restaurant with while going out for dinner with several awesome people on a previous trip (Garth, Kat, PeaceCorn, Al, Drizz and others). I'm not even sure how I can display the hundreds of pictures I took. I due owe the good people at the WPT something. They let me in. Katkin especially.

Funny story. I'm submitting my application for a press pass to the desk girl in charge of taking such things. She asks what publication I work for. You know, I work for OhCaptain Poker dot com. Ya, I used this place. Good times. Anywho. I'm submitting the application and she's on the phone. I'm actually a bit nervous cuz this ain't exactly the home of fine journalism. At the same time she's on the phone, I'm getting direct tweets from Jon. "I can't believe I'm giving you a press pass. Post something good about whiskey, alright?" I have been a horrible disappointment. If you have thoughts about how I can post these picture, let me know. I'm thinking about just posting all of them with the stories going through my head when I took them.

Below, this was one of my favorites. The staff of the WPT are so awesome. They are filming a TV show, I mean something lots of people will see, but look at this...they make an action shot FOR ME of them photographing chips. I still chuckle when I see this.
Hanging with the crew of the show was really pretty spectacular for this poker geek. Maybe someday, I'll have the courage to give up the tie and cube to follow this dream. Poker gonna last that long?

One thing that was a challenge for me the whole time I spent shooting the tournament was not engaging in conversation with the players. I mean, these are some of the biggest name pros out there. Daniel Negreanu actually approached me on a break. Other pros started to do the same by Sunday. Asking who I was. That was damn cool. I usually just said, "I'm just a guy living a dream." Honest. That's what I was thinking all weekend. Kid Poker just engaged in small talk.

Phil Laak ran into by the press table. He apologized and was way more courteous than I could have ever expected. He tapped me on the shoulder and said "Excuse me." then patiently waited for me to move. My inner poker geek freaked out. Holy shit! The Unibomber! That overwhelming feeling didn't ever leave me. I was full on freaking out inside.

Phil Hellmuth - ya. Total dick in person to me. My only interaction with him was when he shoved me getting back to his table. I wasn't even in his way. My guess was that was him welcoming me to the poker press. Dick. My inner geek wanted desperately to wait for him to pull a trap but be ready with a bigger trap. Weak tight...pfft.

I posted this picture to Facebook. Yep, that's me with Jennifer Tilly.When we started this, I signed an agreement not to engage the players. I kept that promise even during this picture. You see, she kept seeing me walk through with my camera, occasionally she was sitting next to other famous poker players and when she was, she wanted a selfie with the other pro. I was a cameraman so she'd quite often ask me to take the picture. Ya, my inner hacker struggled with having unlocked access to her cellphone, but I held strong and just took the pictures. Well, finally, I asked her, if I take one more picture, I need one with her for me. Jean Robert Beland took this picture with my phone. How cool is that? My inner poker geek was smiling huge.
I can't imagine missing this trip again. Even though the last trip didn't have the old school, original bloggers, it was an amazing experience. I still think it would be cool for me to actually meet Wil Weaton, but he never goes when I do. Remember how my daughter wants to go to Comicon. Well, we are going and I swear everyone from Star Trek Next Generation will be there BUT HIM. {Snicker}

I've played poker with my whiskey club over the last couple of years. We had a meeting tonight. I hosted. That probably explains the extra, um, beverage.

In 2013, I got sent to Las Vegas for work. I know, weird, right? I'm quite sure the thought of sending me to Vegas for work was checked and double checked. I did my best to be a good boy while there for work. I started the trip by driving out to CK's house for some fantastic BBQ. poker. I had a great time hanging with PokerVixen and WriterJen. We had dinner together. poker. I took some of my classmates to see the history of poker in downtown Las Vegas. I didn't play any poker. Then CK suggested I play the Wednesday night tournament at Aria with her. Well, maybe one quick night. I do like Aria poker. Was weird, people asked me how I knew CK, you know, since I'm just a guy from Minnesota. I made a couple mistakes, had a glass of Glenlevit 12, calmed down, raked some pots and eventually finished 5th. A nice little pile of cash. Paid for me to stay past my class until Sunday. I love Las Vegas.

Well, it's extremely late. Way past my bedtime. If you got this far, leave me a comment. I sometimes wonder if there's anyone still out there. This is a part of my life I miss but I don't know where I can find the time to do it right. Might have to be an occasional poster for a while. You going to Comicon in Chicago? You live in Chicago? Let me know.

Talk to you later. Peace.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

PTO Request Submitted - WPBT Winter Gathering

[skipping record sound] I need to post more. [/skipping record sound]

Any great minds out there harnessed a time travelling worm hole for me? I need a few more hours in the day that don't cut into my dream time. Now that my kids are grown, I actually get sleep and right now, I'm really lovin' it.

The dates are set for the Winter Gather 2014 Edition. I've submitted the request for a hall pass, PTO (employers term for vacation) and created alerts on Kayak for prices, although I think I'm buying the airfare soon. Prices may never get better than they are right now, unless you know something and really want to share that with me....I'd be much obliged.

For those of you scoring at home, if I'm going, the likelihood the Wil Wheaton will also being there is very slim. We've each gone 5 of the 10 years, and we've never been there the same year.

To sum things up...