June 20, 2008

Not the Champ

People keep asking why I came to Vegas. The World Series combines so many things I hate: slow, boring games; bad food; long hours; and losing six out of seven times even if you're a great player. But everyone knows why I came to Vegas. For the waters.

Although I had some luck in the casino, I failed to cash in the $10,000 limit hold 'em championship at the 2008 World Series of Poker. I did make it to day two despite being sandwiched in between Brandon Adams on my right and eventual winner Rob Hollink on my left, then being moved to the right of Andy "The Rock" Bloch.

On day two I faced the rogue's gallery of Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren, and Joe Cassidy before Barry Greenstein showed up to round out the table. Nevertheless, I survived until the table broke but then got it all in with Ace-Queen against Ace-King and went busto about 3/4 of the way though this tough field.
I did manage to double my starting stack, but other than that the high point of the event was figuring out I could use the $10 food comp that Harrah's provides each $10,000 entrant to exactly cover a chicken parmesan sub and two bags of smoked almonds.

Desperate for good food, I cruised over to Bellagio for the tasting menu at Michael Mina, washed down with a 2006 Ken Wright Oregon Pinot Noir. I'm not loving the 2006 vintage compared with 2005, but I've never had anything from Ken Wright that wasn't good.
Michael Mina (formerly Aqua) is inside the conservatory, where I imagine Professor Plum killing someone with the candlestick every time I walk through the beautiful, fragrant, ever-changing floral display. This time they had a very clever mini-Bellagio complete with fountain show. Stop by and see it if you get the chance. It's one of the best free things to do in Vegas.
I'm planning to enter the $1500 mixed hold 'em event on Sunday.

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November 4, 2006

World Poker Tour

If there was anyone who still believed World Poker Tour Enterprises boss Steve Lipscomb when he said the rights-grabbing release players are required to sign was nothing to worry about and simply there to “protect against frivolous lawsuits,” take a look at the new WTPE Academy. In what’s certain to spark a new round of lawsuits, WPTE has decided to sell the footage taken at WPT tournaments, including hole-card information from hands never shown on television, to people who want to learn how to beat the players who signed those “standard” releases. When I first went to the site, I ironically saw a photo of Andy Bloch, one of the players suing WPTE over the release and other issues. Good move, Steve.

I filled out my mail-in ballot yesterday, voting straight Democratic as promised. It was easy to vote for my friend Ross Hunter for State Representative, and Jay Inslee for Congress, one of the few who voted against the Internet gambling ban. I was going to vote for Rodney Tom for State Senator simply because his opponent waged a negative and sneaky campaign including push-polling, but I had to hold my nose to vote for Maria Cantwell over the Libertarian candidate I would normally have picked. This is a time of crisis and the reality is a vote for a third party is a vote for the Republicans.

I achieved the ranking of Jam Master in Chuzzle on SkillJam, meaning I only get matched up against really good players now, making it kind of a bad bet to play for cash. I may have to take up Bejeweled.

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