If you are a constant reader you know what the tribe is, for you folks just joining us the tribe is a group of friends that decided that we would go on a quest. The tasks at hand, practice and then play in the World Series of Poker. In case you don’t know, anyone that has money and desire can play in this championship event with the best in the world no qualification necessary. This is the equivalent of a golfer being able to play with Tiger Woods for a green jacket every year. It’s a big deal.
This being the third year we made the trip it is obvious that we achieved our primary goal of playing in the big show. The tribe now has a different agenda, in 2004 Jason Writer cashed in 35th World Series of Poker in the $ 2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event, placing 77th of 834 entries, beyond that it was a dismal showing by the two founding fathers of the tribe. Honestly Jason and I would have to later admit that by all forms of measurement we were the lambs and they were the lions.
Even so those memories will always be among the fondest ones I have created in life so far and I have done some pretty cool stuff. That year also formed a friendship I know I have written about before but one that also deserves repeating, Jason and I faced certain death in the metaphoric field of battle and anyone that has done that knows the bond that forms. As far as I am concerned with that friendship poker and I are even, now don’t get me wrong if she decided to give me a world championship, I wouldn’t turn it down.
This year’s line up ended up being Jason, I & my lovely wife Lucy for the whole ten days. Two of the core tribe members were absent. Brad had pressing business matters that could not be ignored and could not attend. However always the solider he staked my tournaments this year so at least his money was there in 06. Honestly this added more pressure than I think I was expecting, it wasn’t the money that bothered me. I know that Brad wasn’t concerned about the cash even if I lost as long as I did my best. Brad has a reputation as an entrepreneur that makes excellent decisions and now he had decided to put faith in me and I was not at all interested in making either of us look foolish, esp since the result is a matter of public record. I have to be honest “Courage does not mean an absence of fear” I didn’t want to let Brad or anyone else that supports me in this deal down, I needed to win this year.
The other tribe member that was missing was none other than Gavin Writer – 69th of 2305 in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em 36th World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2005. He would be going down later in the month with a friend of his to play in other events, guess he found another tribe. Last but not least Randy Larsen would join us as our newest member but could only stay for the first 4 days, he mentioned his wife was giving birth that week and couldn’t stay the whole time or something to that effect. (Tourist) Let’s just say that Randy got the same cruel introduction to WSOP that I did and I am sure that by next year his balls and wallet will be ready for another dance and he will go much deeper without so much going on back at home. On a positive note he is very good at Bingo and cashed for over $400.00 first time out in that event. Randy, it was nice to have you there and remember you had the courage to stand and fight where many feared to go, plus I already have a new guy for next year so you as a veteran can haze him, more on my son in-law Brandon in later blogs.
Friday July 14th we are on the 9:30 flight out of Denver, buckle up boys in more ways than one. Jason is on the same flight with us and we are waiting for our bags in Vegas and it starts. Jason says “Let’s gamble on who pays for the ride to the Bellagio” My first big mistake I say “sure!” I know it’s going to be a limo, it always is but we should have defined “Limo” before I lost the bet. Which ever guy’s bag comes out on the conveyer first is winner and the other guy pays for the ride. Jason’s bag is out a half hour before mine and this leaves him plenty of time to run around and find the longest super stretch limousine available. I need to start being more careful with the side action.
We arrive in style and it takes forever to get checked in. Lucy needs a room with a view of the fountains, honestly that is the only thing she ever asks for I am a very lucky guy in that regard and even the generous tip to the girl at registration can’t make one available that is non smoking. We say whatever just give us a room and we will move tomorrow, we have an appointment with poker. We walk the 9 miles to the spa tower, I kiss an angel on the head, who is already in her jammies by the time I put my roll in the safe. Now finally we can go to the Rio and punch some people’s tickets for them. We also want to see the final table of the $50,000.00 buy in horse event that will finish tonight, Doyle and Chip are both at that table along with Mr. Ivy. This should be good. Andy Block is there also but he is such a liberal socialist that he is hard to like, I guess when you are a millionaire in a cash business it’s easy to keep pressing for more programs and higher taxes.
Time to get in the ring, Jason and I buy half of each other for the sit and goes which works out really well. It seemed that when ever I lost my table he was winning his and vice versa. Plus we had a ton of fun. Around 3:00am Jason was ready for the sandman so we parted ways in front of the Bellagio poker room, no way was I ready for bed. I still had half a tank and five hours before Lucy would head to the pool. I always make sure even if I play late that I get back to the room before she heads to the pool no need for her to worry and honestly 9:00pm to 9:00am is enough poker even for me except for a couple of times I had to call her because the game was just THAT good.
I talk to the high brush Nate and tell him I want to sit in the 15/30 hold’em game but the one that is short is full of rocks and I know the kid running that list won’t let me in the good game until the other game fills and at 3:00am I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Nate said “Sorry nothing I can do about it” Gezzz when did all this rule following get started. I go tell Chris I want in the 15/30 on table 34 and he says “Sorry my other game is 7 handed” Ok but get ready for some yelling, cuz I am going to bust open some rocks. For review, a rock is a very tight player usually earning a wage in the game; they sit around waiting for the best possible hand and are usually grumpy old people who like to complain about everyone’s play anyway like they should be the only ones allowed to win a hand. It is pitiful how easy it is to put them on a hand. Group one or two only and when they have it they NEVER slow down because the wait so long to play a premium hand they need to make up for all the blinds they lost and in the 15/30 it’s expensive to wait at $25.00 an orbit even more expensive when the game is short.
I buy a rack of $5.00 chips = $500.00 and I sit down and play the first ten hands I am dealt and I raise every time I open. This really gets them pissed there goes the group two hands. Now they are only playing AA, KK, QQ, JJ and AK and I hope they get those hands more than they do because I know what they have and I know what I have. I have suited connectors and low and middle pairs that I bring in raised. Once they figure it out I will have all ready chopped their heads off. I prefer an action game to this but I do like when they cry about how bad I play as I stack their chips. I have a lot of stick and move in the first half hour, I am showing lots of aggression and releasing when they play back at me. This is to make them think I am a loose but passive player like the tourists they are used to busting. When my first trap gets sprung I catch two of them at once, I raise under the gun with 2 ducks and both of them smooth call. The flop is 2cKhTd. I bet out like always, this time the old guy in the bears hat repumps and the dragon lady calls. I put in the third bet and grandpa raises again the dragon calls and so do I. The turn is a 5h I check Grand Dad checks and the lady puts in the big bet, I call and good ole grand dad pumps, I say “check raise?” She calls and He snaps at me “you play your game and I will play mine” I say “I don’t have a game I will just borrow yours, I raise too!” He re-raises without any hesitation, another call from the dragon and I cap it. He calls and she drops out. The river is the As long story short we are heads up and we get in 8 bets before he figures out top 2 pair is no good against this tourist, he calls the last raise. I show him his fate and he mucks what had to be Anna and gets up with what is left of his chips and walks away. I said “need a rack?” He didn’t.
I go on a mini rush and fill 3 racks, it’s 5:30 and I need to get a rice crispy treat and head for bed.
“Good night Rocks”