I was too drunk to remember my cards, but I remember for a fact (after a night at the Sherwood Forest bar in the Excalibur hotel) that I had laid a perfect trap with my flush (or maybe it was two-pair) and Bill Rini got lucky on the river to take my stack and send me home defeated … like literally with no more money.
That was at a cash game in 2005 (or maybe 2006?) during one of the earlier WPBT weekends.
The World Poker Blogger Tour held its 9th annual Winter Classic tournament this past weekend, at Aria. The $125 no-limit hold’em tournament (complete with lasts-longer bets, team competition, and inside-jokey booby prizes) is technically what brings everyone to town. But the WPBT is so much more — an event that spreads across the entire Las Vegas Valley for a long weekend. It’s the drinking, and golf, and this year hiking around Red Rock Canyon, and drinking, and fancy meals and dive bars, and mixed games, and more drinking, and gambling in the pits, and the occasional hookup of course, and more drinking … I think they’re mighta been a marriage or two linked to the WPBT, and even a couple divorces.
Here are a few links to get your mind kickin’ before we get into the throes of poker “news” … to sites that have been on my radar of late for varying reasons. These independently selected, never-for-sale (except at the very top and very bottom) click-worthy internet suggestions are brought to you by the fine folks at:
Tao of Fear — Pauly steps away from poker and Phish to take on the real world, a place that turns out to be filled with (very real) mayhem, foreigners, and death … and that’s just Wall Street pre-Libya! There’s a fine line between current events and conspiracy theory … a few pills and maybe a shot of whiskey, too.
Bill’s Blog and Hardboiled Poker — two of the more thoughtful poker blogs out there … well-informed, and always adding something new to the conversation. I never link to Bill Rini or Shamus enough … but hey, following either of these guys is kinda like a subscription to the New Yorker … so much good stuff, just near-impossible to keep up. I have about eight specific posts from each of them waiting to be written up, but usually about 2/3 through, one of them produces a missive that makes me realize the pedantic flaws in whatever I was originally thinking.
Poro Report 2011 — kinda like Drudge, or actually a lot like Drudge … a well-culled link-dump directing you to the most current and relevant bits of poker news and industry convo harvested from around the internet.
LV Fashion Report — Some new sassy blogger chick’s take on Vegas people and all their outerwear is trying to suggest. (With a few sneak peaks at new Vegas properties, too.) I’m pretty sure “Kate Couture” isn’t her real name, but I think I’ve seen her running around Panorama Towers … so obviously she’s got insight into the most pea-cocky of poker players.
J Gary Wise — my fellow 2x award-winning Poker Beat sparring partner seems to be swimming with craziness these days without TPB to give him a wild-rant fix — (I know the feeling) — and thus the ESPN columnist has been spewing out original, semi-intelligent content rather fierce. Sometimes pokery, sometimes not, but either way, Gary is still Gary, and therefore sure to at some point make you wanna punch him.
A Year of Culinary Curiousity — Former Pokerati contrib Jen Newell has a new non-poker blog … about food and cooking and edible bad beats. In a way, it is kinda like a poker blog, as Jen tries to move up in stakes and hone her kitchen game — skill and luck determining results. Glad she decided against calling the site All You Can Eat, Baby!
The Maven Training — If you’re not maximizing your return at the tables, you’re playing suboptimal poker, leaving profits behind. Whether you prefer cash games or tournaments, live or online, be the best at your table by training with accomplished pros. Next boot camp: March 4-6.10% Pokerati discount here.
The World Poker Tour seems to have gone from the leader in the industry to a company with teetering stock prices and an unknown future/direction. It’s no surprise that the past few years of declining tournaments on the schedule, players in the events, and television channels willing to pay for the shows, rumors will fly about a possible sale of the company.
It’s been discussed for some time that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are interested in a purchase as well, both companies of which are sponsors of the WPT. Since numerous entities have good relationships with the World Poker Tour, it might simply be a matter of $$$.