Sunday, December 16, 2012

All Guys, Gay or Straight, Are Distracted by Girl-On-Girl Action

Last month, I attended the WPBT Winter Classic 2012.  This was the first time I’ve attended a World Poker Blogger Tour event.  I would have attended last year’s, except for the fact that I didn’t know about it.  I had just barely gotten into blogging in late 2011, and hadn’t really connected with much of the poker blogging community.  But sometime during the year, I heard about this annual get together and knew I had to attend this year.  The big event was the $125 WBPT tournament at the Aria, using their regular structure that I’m quite familiar with.
The trouble is—and this is the story of my life—I’m late to the party.  Some time before Black Friday, both poker and blogging about it were in their heyday.  Today, not so much.  Most of the attendees at this year’s event, as in past events, were major, major poker bloggers back in the day when online poker was the rage.  But now it turns out that most of the major poker bloggers have either stopped blogging altogether or greatly reduced their bloging output. In fact, most of them now basically communicate their thoughts about poker and life via Twitter.  One hundred and forty characters max, huh?  Yeah, you can see why that is not my preferred social media outlet! And of course, they’ve all been attending these events for years together and all know each other.  Some intimately so, as you’ll see. 
Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging about poker (well, sort of about poker) for over a year, I knew I was going to feel like an outsider.  But I was sure there would be some familiar faces.  I knew Lightning was going to be attending.  I also hoped that Josie would be in attendance, if for no other reason than for her to finish what she started in the Mirage poker room in June (see here), but was informed by Lightning that she wouldn’t be coming.
Of course, I strongly suspected that Poker Grump would be in attendance, and somehow we managed to convince grrouchie to join the fun, even though he hates tournaments.  Then, from Twitter, I learned that Grange would be there too.  Grange (or Michael M as he seems to be transitioning to) is one of the veteran bloggers who still blogs (and quite well), and has even dropped by this blog in the past to leave a comment or two.  I was really looking forward to meeting him based on his great blog posts and his incredible wit, and he did not disappoint.  In fact, he had the line of the day.
And I managed to convinced Prudence to join us as well, even though she might not technically be considered a blogger.  But hey, I’ve sort of made her a legend in certain blogging circles. 
I know I should have used the occasion to introduce myself to all the famous bloggers (and tweeters) that were in attendance.  But somehow, probably due to a deep-seeded psychological flaw, I failed to do that.  None-the-less, I did take note of the names (or, twitter-handles) of most of the fine folks I interacted with.  In fact, I was probably following most of them on twitter already.  Some of them (but not all) were following me as well). 
Long time readers are familiar with my penchant for using pseudonyms on this blog.  I actually considered that (in at least some cases) for this post.  But come on, every one there, everyone I am going to mention, is a blogger themselves, and they all knew they were among fellow bloggers.  Trying to hide their identities therefore seems totally unnecessary.  I hope no one mentioned in this report disagrees.  Oh, except for those already mentioned, I’m going to link to the twitter accounts, not the blogs, of the people I mention, since so few of them blog much these days.  And I’ll mostly use their twitter handles instead of their real names (which I might not know anyway), so I guess I am using pseudonyms after all.
Prudence and I arrived at the Aria together and soon found Lightning, who had earlier asked me to be his “last longer” partner.  I know that sounds desperate on his part, but the truth is, I did manage to last longer than he did.  We signed up and then chatted and I had Lightning point out Grange to me.  I went over and introduced myself to him.  Soon both grrouchie and Grump showed up and we all chatted.  And then we headed to our assigned tournament tables. 
Prudence and Lightning were assigned to the same table, to be henceforth called the “fun table.”  It was right behind the table I was at, and throughout the early levels of the tournament, I heard raucous laughter coming from the table every few minutes.  That may or may not have something to do with a rather famous celebrity that was at the same table, sitting right next to Lightning.  It was none other than the Wil Wheaton, star of The Big Bang Theory..
Ok, that’s a joke—and not mine.  In fact Wil Wheaton is famous for the movie Stand By Me and the TV show Star Trek, The Next Generation.  And many other acting projects.  But of course he does have a recurring role on The Big Bang Theory (my current favorite TV show, by the way), playing himself (he’s totally wrong for the role).  Or a twisted version of himself.
But apparently someone at the table where Wil was knew he was famous but couldn’t quite place him.  So the dealer explained that he’s “from the Big Bang Theory.”  That so amused PokerVixen—who was also at that table—that she sent out a tweet about it.  That’s how I heard it. 
At my table was Grange. That was a bit alarming.  I knew from his blog, and from a comment I received here once by JT88Keys, that he would be a very tough player to get chips from.  So I sent out a tweet about playing at his table and that I’d have to beware of The Spanish Inquisition—the deadly starting hand of 6-3.  In much the same way that Grump’s favorite starting hand is the deuce-four, the Spanish Inquisition (so named because, well, nobody expects it) is Grange’s favorite hand.
And thus the tournament began.  Most of the group at my table knew each other from past events and had much to discuss during the play.  So I tried hard to concentrate on the game and see if I could learn enough about how people played to try to win some chips.  I later learned that to my immediate left was DrChako and to my immediate right was NumbBono,.  Also at my starting table was poker journalist Jessica Welman.  They all were tough players, as was everyone else at my table.  This was going to be interesting.
I blew some chips early to NumbBono by first chasing a flush draw, then not pressing the issue when I turned a pair of Aces but had a weak kicker.  I didn’t bet it and then called on the river when I let him catch his second pair. 
But I found that my raises and re-raises were respected and I started stealing some chips.  I don’t recall the “victim” but I did a check-raise semi-bluff on the flop and got the villain to lay down his hand.
A tough female player was moved from another table to ours, placed immediately to Grange’s left. I later found out this was CK, who was well known to everyone in the room.  Not long after, the most unusual moment of the tournament—for me, anyway—took place.  Right in the middle of play, a woman came over to our table and basically sat down on CK’s lap.  I wasn’t sure if she was still playing at another table or had just busted out.  But she proceeded to give CK one helluva kiss smack dab on the lips.  The back of her head was facing me dead on, but it was clear this was one serious kiss, not a little peck on the cheek.
This certainly caught the attention of all the players at our table, most of whom were guys.  I didn’t time the kiss, but it seemed like it lasted five minutes.  I’m sure it was quite a bit less than that in reality (10 seconds, 15 seconds, more?).  At some point the dealer started asking for antes and blinds and pretty much everyone was ignoring him, because we were all paying attention to the kiss.  Eventually the woman got up and we all tried to refocus on the poker.
I believe Grange, who was right next to this and certainly had the best view, was one of the blinds and was understandably tardy in putting out his chips.  After the woman left, he said he was distracted and apologized for not putting out his blind in a timely fashion.  Someone at the table—I think it was the woman who was sitting next to CK—indicated surprise that such activity would distract Grange, who is gay.  So he responded something to the effect, “All guys, gay or straight, are distracted by girl-on-girl action.”
Apparently so.
During one of the breaks, I had to press Grange for the identity of the two participants: he clearly knew both of them.  The woman who sat on CK’s lap and gave her the smooch was Michelle (MrsChako).  I later found out, much to my surprise, that these two lovely ladies had engaged in such public displays of affection previously, and not infrequently.  First, the next day, I noticed a tweet by Poker Grump to Michelle that, with her gone, there was no more chance to be aroused by her making out with CK.
So I tweeted back, saying “You saw that too?  Thank goodness, I thought I was fantasizing.  Now I can blog about it!”
Grump tweeted back that the two have a long history of this stuff, and referenced a performance they put on last year for Grange’s birthday.  I of course a) cursed my bad timing for not being there and b) immediately asked Grump if a write up of this event existed anywhere on the web.  He disappointed me by telling me that it did not.
However, when Michelle caught up with our tweets, she responded with this gem, “One of our favorite pastimes in Vegas.  Right after taking money from unsuspecting males in the 1/2 game.”
I responded that this seemed like an excellent pasttime to me.
As I thought about it, I realized from Michelle’s comment that she and CK had apparently created this routine as their own personal version of the Jennifer Tilly effect. Just another—but extremely effective—way of distracting male players. I can assure you that it works.
But back to the WPBT tournament.  After the first break, I was getting towards desperation territory and it appeared my tournament life was nearing an end.  But then I was dealt pocket Aces and before it got to me, the lady next to CK (sorry, didn’t get her name) raised.  So I went all in, and she called me with AQ.  A Queen on the turn wasn’t enough to help her out and I doubled up.
She was now the short stack, and a few hands later she shoved.  I had pocket Queens, so I shoved too to isolate her.  No one else stuck around.  She had Queen-10, so again I had her dominated. Again she caught a pair on the turn but it wasn’t enough to save her and I had the rest of her chips.  Now I actually had enough chips to play some poker with.
Then our table broke, and I was moved to the fun table (although, after the girl-on-girl action at my table, that no longer seemed appropriate).  This was the table that had Prudence, Lightning and Wil Wheaton to start.  By now, Wil was out—falling victim to Lightning, no less—and Grump himself had joined the table earlier.  I had the good fortune to be seated between two lovely women, Prudence and PokerVixen.  Prudence had had some ups and downs during the tournament.  She started out well, and then fell victim to Grump.  He crippled her when, as I recall the story, she flopped top pair, top kicker and he apparently flopped quintuple 3’s. 
Then she fell victim to TheWookieWay.  He was playing 10-2 out of position (doesn’t everyone?) and flopped two pair.  Prudence’s top pair/flush draw wasn’t good enough when she failed to hit her flush, and she was gone.  (Edited to Add:  I received a tweet from PokerVixen claiming credit for busting out Prudence.  Yes, now I remember.  Wookie merely crippled her. PokerVixen delivered the finishing blow).
During one of the breaks, I noticed Wil Wheaton talking to Lightning and a couple of other people, and I managed to find a way to introduce myself to him and shake his hand.  I not only complimented him on his acting career but mentioned that I remembered his forward to one of the editions of Lee Jones’ great introductory poker book, Winning Low Limit Hold’em.  That book was the first one I really studied when I got started in poker, and Wil wrote a deservedly laudatory intro for it.  Both the book and the intro made an impression on me. We had a brief but very nice chat about the book.   
Now, throughout the tournament, I was finding that my raises were getting a lot more respect than usual.  I wonder if this was because I was playing with better players than I usually do?  Since no one was calling me with questionable hands, I started raising with weaker holdings than I usually do.  I took some chips from both Wookie and Grump this way, but please don’t tell them, let that be our little secret.  One time I had pocket fives, called a small preflop raise, and then bet out when the flop was King high and missed me completely.  No one called.  As I stacked my chips, Grump, from across the table, asked me if I had pocket Kings there.  And then told everyone that pocket Kings was my favorite hand.
Anyway, Grump had a ton of chips when I got to this table, but soon lost them, while I survived.  Grange came to our table with a ton of chips, and he too was gone before I was.  Lightning was long out, and grrouchie had busted out quite a bit earlier.
Meanwhile I stayed alive by raising selectively and never getting called.  At least for a long time.  After those two all ins with the woman at my first table, I went a long, long time without having to shove.  Suddenly I was getting the idea that I might just have a chance to cash.  However, there were only 55 or so entrants, so only five got paid. 
And then we were down to 10 players and they assembled the final table.    Pictures were taken and it was tweeted that I had made the final table.  That was pretty cool, and though I was probably the short stack at the table, I thought there was at least a semi-decent chance I could cash.
Alas, that thought didn’t last long.  After the redraw, I was under the gun for the first hand dealt.  I folded a garbage hand, as I was in fold or shove mode.  The next hand I was the big blind and looked down at Ace/8 of diamonds.  A player in late position, who I later found out was Vinnay, made a big raise.  But with my big blind already in the pot, I thought A8 sooooted was more than good enough to shove there, so I did.  Back to Vinnay who thought long and hard before shrugging his shoulders and calling.
First time my shove had been called in a long, long time.  He flipped over pocket 10’s, so I had one live card, plus the flush possibility.  The flop missed both of us, but has one diamond.  The turn is a diamond….but the 10 of diamonds, so it’s flush or nothing.  The river is a red card…..but the King of hearts, not diamonds.  I am done.  First person out of the final table. 
I had started to tweet that I was at the final table, but for someone reason it wasn’t sent, and by the time I noticed that, I was done.
I picked up my belongings and started to leave, then went back to Vinnay to ask his name.  I wanted to make sure I gave “credit” to the guy who busted me out.  The only two players at the final table whose identities I knew were Wookie and Jess Wellman.  Both of them ended up cashing.  I actually ran into Wookie at another poker room many hours later that night and congratulated him personally for his second place finish.
And with that, I was done.  I do want to mention one more person, April, who was the blogger who actually organized the whole event, as she has done for several years at least, I believe.  She did a great job and it was a really fun event.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to formally meet her during the event.  Hopefully, next year.


  1. Grump's Notes Version:

    I played in a tournament with a lot of bloggers, made final table but didn't cash. Oh, and there was some kissing.

    1. LOL! This is your best Grump's notes version yet. But seriously, you should have had "some" in ALL CAPS before "kissing." Even you tweeted that you were aroused.

  2. Yeah -- the girl-on-girl action with The Wife and ck was nothing new. It is a good thing boobie kisses weren't on tap or you would have been a tad more ... distracted ...

    1. Actually, Lightning, I'd already seen and reported on that particular scenario previously. Girl-on-girl Motor-boating! See here

  3. Rob, I was on your immediate left when the final table started. Unfortunately, I didn't introduce myself before you busted out. Congrats on making the final table. The bloggers are, indeed, a tough bunch of players and anyone who goes deep in this tourney has to be pretty good or extremely lucky, or both.

    I don't blog much but I did post a WPBT trip report, so feel free to take a look at it. My Twitter handle is @yestbay if you need it. See you next year!

    1. Thanks, David. I see you busted out next after me. Oh well.... Congrats back at you for making the final table and lasting a little longer than I did.

      I did see your report, a fine read. Hopefully next year we will meet up again and spend much time together at the final table.

  4. It was great to meet you. Trust me, even with this being my third WPBT, I'm still meeting new folks and struggling to keep names and blogger/Twitter handles straight. As for my name, please stick with Grange; the Michael M. thing was sort of forced on me by Google, and I'm not overly excited about it.

    I blew up in 12th place in the tourney, when Wookie hit a minor suckout against me (all-in on the flop with my J8 vs. his JT, board was 8-7-6, and he turned his Ten; oh well!). But it was barely enough for me and Dan England to chop the last longer. Also, I badly misplayed 99 vs. Dan's KK AIPF to cripple myself, so there's that ...

    To paraphrase Wanda Sykes, all guys and even most gals love some hot girl-on-girl action, but no woman has a fantasy about walking in on their husband going at it with Pete the plumber ...

    And yeah, last year's double lap dance for my birthday in the MGM poker room was smoking hot! Brings a whole new meaning to "mixed games" and "Stud8" (or Stud9).

    1. A double lap dance at the MGM? Holy shit, when did they start offering that? Damn, that must have been something to see--and even a better something to have received.

      And no one got pictures? How is that possible?

      Anyway, great meeting you, Grange,, thanks for the comment (and the retweet) and thanks for giving me the great title for this post!

  5. I did manage to last longer than he did.

    Lightning is a transient phenomenon. Possibly that is easier to prove at a tournament table than with a summer storm.

    1. This was before he was emboldened by his Royal Flush at Venetian.

  6. Rob, I imagine that I need to send some wipes out to you to clean your keyboard of drool ... and whatever else is stuck to the keys ...

    1. Thanks, Ljghtbulb, but not necessary. I come prepared (so-to-speak).

  7. it is 100% FALSE that ALL guys like girl on girl action. it annoys me to no end to see it and i find it very disgusting. Now 2 guys having sex, that doesnt bother me at all, and in fact its too bad more guys arent gay to take them off the market for women.

    1. Hi, Tony, thanks for reading and commenting. Unfortunately, I had to cut out the rest of your comments before publishing. You lapsed into the kind of hateful, social & political commentary that you sometimes put on your own blog and that you always get criticized for. I'm not going to tell you how to do your own blog, but I don't want that on MY blog. This blog is meant to fun and entertaining, I avoid political and social commentary (unless I can do it in a humorous fashion that clearly is not meant to be taken seriously.

      That said, I do believe most men enjoy the girl-on-girl fantasy. Emphasis on the word FANTASY. In the fantasy, it always ends the "right way." I won't explain to you what that right way is, I hope you can figure it out.

  8. I hate to admit it but I'm going to go against my normal political an social stances and agree with tony. Not all guys enjoy girl on girl action. I would much rather it be an entire pack of girl on girl on girl action.

    Sounds like an extremely fun tourney

    1. LOL, Vook. I have to agree with you, the more the merrier.

      And yes, it was a boatload of fun.