Ode to the WPBT

by , Dec 4, 2012 | 1:00 pm

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.

There are actually a handful of these sorts of poker reunions each year in Vegas, BARGE probably being the most notable. But we were different at the WPBT. We weren’t just forum posters, you see … we all had our own blogs, and hammer pins! A few of us/them would go on to make WSOP and WPT final tables, while others would go on to become the poker media, and/or part of the gaming industry, at least briefly during the boom years.

But for those playing this weekend, it’s really about a group of strangers that somehow became friends, all over a game of poker, gathering to reconnect (in real life, not just online) as life moves on but humanity stays the same.

(That plus lotsa pai gow and maybe a little craps.)

So it seems like as good a time as any, thus, to share what I think might be the very first poker blog post in history. It comes from a lady known as “the blogmother” … Linda Geenen of PokerWorks. She got her start blogging as a dealer in Bellagio’s high-stakes games who kept her personal journal online. Linda’s played in probably seven or so WPBT events, and penned this poem in 1982:

The poker player’s lament
Posted on February 10, 1982 by Linda R. Geenen

Oh, woe is me. I’ve been here for days. I was hog-tied and drug in and forced to stay. I’ve lost thousands at least, give or take a few. My banker will kill me. What shall I do?

I make a straight on the flop – drawn out on the end. Then deuces full – killed once again. In agony I scream, “Change the deck, change the game!” Hand after hand the result is the same.

I hate all the dealers, the Poker God too. I’ve cussed everything ’til the air is blue. I’ll play one more hand, then I may start to win. If not . . . what the hell, I’ll just buy in again.

Turns out even 30 years later it still holds true — not just as an ode for poker players, but as an exultation for the WPBT and similar poker-inspired bacchanalia.

4 Comments to “Ode to the WPBT”

  1. Bill Rini

    Uhm, sorry? LOL

  2. Dan Michalski

    as i said at the time … that’s what i get for playing the 5-7.

    (i think the hand is coming back … you had aces or kings, and counterfeited my two pair with some runner-runner. )

  3. Bill Rini

    That’s the way I roll. Runner-Runner!

  4. OhCaptain

    Just can’t believe I missed it this year. Next year…