Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blogger tournament

Home from the big blogger tournament at Caesars Palace. I finished in 17th place out of 86 players; top nine were to be paid. Not praiseworthy, but not completely shameful, either. I played well enough not to be kicking myself for anything, which is better than I usually feel after busting out of a tournament. And I lasted a couple of hours longer than either of my partners on the "Two Chicks and a Grump" team; I'm glad for that, because I worried that I'd make a fool of myself and thus make them sorry they recruited me. The tourney is still running as I write (down to last six, according to the latest Twitter feed), so final team standings are not yet determined, but I hear our team will end up in something like 5th place, which, again, doesn't earn any money, but also isn't cause to slit one's wrists in shame.

I had as much fun as I've ever had in a poker tournament. Met a bunch of new and interesting people, some of whose writing I had already been reading, and some of whom I think I should start paying more attention to. It was also surprising and humbling to learn that some of the luminaries of the poker writing world already knew who I was and read these silly things I write, when I had no idea that I was on their radar screens. But that fact is also kind of intimidating; it makes me feel like I should have something more worthwhile to say, and find a better way to say it, than has been my wont. (Of course, just as many people I met had no idea who I was, and kind of did the polite fake-knowing smile-and-nod thing when I mentioned the blog's name. That's more like what I expect, being a little fish in a big pond.)

I was grateful that so many people were kind and welcoming to me. As I've expressed countless times here, I'm just painfully shy and feel maximally awkward when surrounded by strangers. (How unfortunate for me that I have picked a job in which that's pretty much my lot every day, eh?) But this group made me about as relaxed and comfortable as it's possible for me to feel when I'm in such a situation. Get this--I even gritted my teeth and actively introduced myself to some people, instead of just waiting to figure out who they were by catching bits of conversation (my usual pathetically passive strategy). And nobody made me feel like a dweeb for doing so, or for the fact that I would subsequently run out of small talk about three sentences later.

Despite not making the money, I didn't leave empty-handed. The WPBT has a tradition of entrants bringing a bounty to present to the player who knocks him or her out--usually something emblematic of the one presenting it. I wish I had known of this in advance; I would have found some sort of Grump tchotchke (brag: I spelled that right on the first guess!) to give to Alcanthang, who sent me to the rail. I picked up the DVD shown above when I put a bad beat on Shane Nickerson, a very nice guy who, I have to confess, I had not heard of before we spent some time playing HORSE last night. Heck, I hadn't even heard of this show before, which tells you how out of touch I am with pop culture. But I understand he's the executive producer (see IMDB entry here), and he's on the commentary track of the DVD. Cool!

The whole weekend experience was overwhelming positive, and I'm already looking forward to taking my small part in it again next year--assuming I'm still around, still playing poker, and still blogging about it. None of those things is certain (what in life is?), but we'll see.

One of the people at my starting table today was Linda from She appears to be one of the few that has managed to write about the affair so far (though I assume copious other reports will be hitting the web in the next few days). See her report here. Hey, Linda--where can we see all those photos you were taking all day?


Minton said...

you need to find the guy who had the card protectors from a few posts ago and see if you can get one of grumpy holding the 2/4 (bonus if it's crubs)for your bounty next year

Nailed It said...

It was a pleasure to meet you, too! I had a great time at that table.