Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Enjoy This Immensely

You probably won't. 2:03 mark and it's riff-time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

End of Trip: Tattoo You

It all ended with TheMark twitpic'ing the photo below and asking why would a half naked man be standing outside the Atlantic City airport. Here's how it would begin.


You can spice up any gambling trip with prop betting. It's a rule the G-Vegas travelling team follows almost all of the time. TheMark, Moutray and I gambled on several things during the weekend in AC, from who would be leading the Masters upon touchdown, to the sex of the shuttle driver from the airport. Generally harmless $10 bets were bandied about consistently from the beginning of the trip to the end.

One of the more interesting ones came about when during a walk down the Atlantic City boardwalk, TheMark spotted a Henna Tattoo place.

"OK guys, how about this one: Whoever loses the most, or wins the least, in our first poker session gets the names of the other 2 tattoo'd on their chest."

Moutray immediately agreed. I was a bit hesitant. TheMark and Moutray are excellent poker players and I'm not ashamed at saying I was an underdog in this contest. But I also wasn't going to be "that guy" who wouldn't go along with whatever the others wanted to do, especially when I was freerolling the entire trip.

"OK, fine," I agreed. I knew I'd regret it immediately.


We all put our names on the 2/5 and 1/2 NL tables upon arriving at the Taj Mahal poker room. There were no immediate seats except at a 2/4 limit table, so we parked our semi-inebriated asses down at a table full of nits and losers.

"Raise, re-raise, cap." I'm pretty sure each round of pre-flop betting went like that, and then post-flop actual poker would be played. Of course, at the lowest limit poker for the weekend, I'd be a card rack. QJd turned a flush and won a big pot. AA would turn a set and get paid. I was up $100+ at a 2/4 limit table before we got our names called to 1/2 NL.

"Hmmmm, maybe I'm not going to lose this one" I thought. Somewhere, a petite Eastern European Henna tattoo artist was laughing.


We played only an orbit at 1/2 before they opened a new 2/5 table. The three of us sat down and the table began to fill up with locals.

(Aside: What is it about New Jersey and the Northeast in general that causes fights to nearly break out at every poker table?)

I was leading the prop bet, but it wasn't long before TheMark flopped a set of deuces and cracked Aces for a big pot that put him in the lead.

One large fellow, who seemed quite friendly at first, began to berate TheMark.

"Hey buddy, you can't do math very well, can you?" he bellowed from the 1-seat.

"Huh," TheMark responded, smiling, gregarious as always.

"You just won a $700 pot and you tipped her $1. You're a cheap ass redneck."

Awesome. This guy is picking a fight because of a $1 tip. We were tipping every hand. $1. It's pretty standard. The amount of work a dealer does on a $700 pot that goes to showdown is exactly the same amount of work they do on a $20 pot that goes to showdown. This guy, manners aside, is apparently oblivious to his own stupidity.

TheMark ignored him and gave him a standard "Whatever buddy" reply.

That unfortunately didn't settle things.

"I'll knock you the fuck out." He was now challenging TheMark to fisticuffs right there at a 2/5 table at the Taj Mahal. The dealer said nothing and the floor was nowhere to be found.

"No you won't," I replied.

"Yes I will," he returned.

"No you won't." That's all I said to him. Because I knew he wouldn't. He was all mouth. Well, and belly. He was probably 350 pounds. Still, I was quite confident he'd not lay a hand on either me or TheMark.

A few more "Yes I will's" and "No you won'ts" went back and forth and finally the floor came over and warned us. I was actually laughing at the unintentional comedy of the situation. It was surreal. In the back of my mind, in a worst case scenario, I felt that if I could avoid being sat on, I'd be the favorite in the Octagon against him. would have set a -500 line in the bout.

BadBlood (-500) vs. Out of shape, random fat guy from New Jersey.


With TheMark doubling through, the prop bet was coming down to Moutray and I. We were each hovering at about even, with an hour and a half left to play before our agreed upon stop time.

Sadly, I was dealt pocket 10's. They are now referred to as pocket Henna's. I went broke with them, misplaying them horribly against K7o. And that was all she wrote. I was toast. It was just a matter of when we going to find time to go back to the Henna place. Hopefully never. Maybe we'd drink enough and gamble enough that they'd forget about the prop bet. I certainly wasn't going to bring it up. "Hey guys, remember I'm supposed to get your names tattoo'd on my chest." You would not hear me say that. Ever.


Sunday finally rolled around. Moutray was up for the trip, TheMark crushed the poker table for the trip and was up even after a really, really bad 10 minutes at roulette. I was way down. Miserably down. I torpedoed an $1100 stack at 1/2 PLO after letting the alcohol get to me on Saturday night, ruining any chance for a comeback. Perhaps the two travelling compatriots would have some pity on me?

Zero chance.

We ate breakfast, and TheMark said, "Let's go. Tattoo time."

Ugh. "We might not have time, we'll be late for the shuttle back to the airport," I said.

"We'll take a cab."

It was worth a shot.


TheMark and Moutray each picked their designs within which their names would appear. TheMark chose flaming dice, rolled up as snake eyes. Moutray chose a wavy banner, choosing to use the term "Whimsicle" in place of his name. As good of a poker player as Moutray is, apparently he didn't major in spelling at good old Furman University. Still, he instructed a young, blond Russian Henna tattoo artist to use that text in place of the stock "Hustler" wording that the tattoo design came with.

I took it like a good sport. After all, who likes a sore loser. There was only one minor problem left to contend with.

"How are we going to get back in the casino?" I asked. You see, I had to let the Henna ink dry for 30 minutes and I certainly wasn't going to ruin my favorite Affliction shirt. Our bags were checked with the casino and we had to walk back inside. I didn't think they'd let a shirtless customer through to the casino floor.

"It's New Jersey," TheMark said, "Nobody will care."

Sadly he was right.

I rode the escalator back up from the boardwalk to Caesar's Palace casino and walked to the desk where they had our luggage. Nobody said a word. I don't even think I got a stray look from anybody. I easily walked past 500 people without my shirt on and two large Henna tattoo's drying on my chest. Past the roulette tables, past the black jack tables, through the check-in lobby, past a small food court. I was the only one without a shirt. Yet nobody said a word to me.

I guess that's standard.


The ink finally dried while standing in the sun outside the airport. Finally, a curious gentlemen walked up to me and said, "Dude, what's up with no shirt?"

"BadBlood on poker dot blogspot dot com."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trip Report Interruption

I am postponing further trip reports from Atlantic City to post some pretty sweet action.

First, props to AlCantHang, not like he needed them, but still, props anyway.

Looks like my Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays got a little busier. And I'm OK with that. I haven't really participated all that much in previous BBT challenges. But this year, I'm going to make a huge effort to do so. So, thanks to Al for the invite and thanks to FullTilt for adding some pretty significant packages to our prize pools.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Master of Magnetism

Continuing with the use of sayings with the word "last" in them, I offer you this: "He who laughs last, laughs best."

Since it was still early in the trip, I would be laughing first. The three of us traveling to A.C. were staying at Caesar's but we'd be playing a lot of poker at the Borgata. One other thing we had planned was a dinner at Bobby Flay's.

During the ride up to Charlotte International, I was offered a piece of an already established wager between TheMark and Moutray. Moutray claimed, without a shadow of a doubt, that the poker chips in the Borgata poker room had magnets in them. He thought that because they stuck together so easily and seemed to attract each other when they were close together that it must be magnetism.

Upon hearing the prop bet I jumped on the not-magnet bandwagon with TheMark.

I told Moutray we could either prove there were no magnets in the chips logically or physically. After he took my action, I explained to him that if there were magnets in the chips, then there would be no way to stack them properly. If two chips attracted each other, then you'd just have to flip one over and they'd repel, making stacking them a near impossible task.

He was a bit demoralized and could only muster up a "Hmmm...that's a really good point" in response.

During my free dinner, in between bites of my free Filet Mignon, and in between sips of my free Heinekens, I told Moutray we'd go buy a $5 chip and open it up for him. Since he was responsible for the bill, he had a right to physical proof. I left the restaurant and brought back a redbird and TheMark immediately cracked it open by wedging it between fork prongs and twisting it. Out popped the brass insert, totally devoid of any magnetic properties. TheMark and I left Moutray with the bill and hopped into a $5/$10 NL game at the Borgata, digesting the free meal in total contentment.

Sure, we laughed a bit at Moutray's expense; but he'd certainly get one of the last laughs of this trip.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Degeneracy at 30,000 Feet

Lee Haney used to say, "Last set, best set," whenever he was referring to the last exercise of his weightlifting workouts. The reason I bring it up is because most road trips start out with such high anticipation that you could say, "First part, best part," about most of them. Last weekend was no exception for me.

TheMark and Moutray pulled into my driveway at about 10:45 am on Friday. We were running behind - we had a 1:00pm flight to catch out of Charlotte, an easy 90 minutes up Route 85. Moutray's Cadillac would provide sufficient speed to make up some of the time, but it was still going to be close. No matter though. The first words out of TheMark's mouth was, "Cocktails?"

TheMark was host for my trip. His roulette playing degeneracy has earned him legendary status among both his friends in G-Vegas and his friends at Harrah's. Harrah's was footing the bill for the round trip airfare and accommodations. I was tagging along for the ride and the $13 in taxes I had to pay. Who would say no to that?

TheMark reached down into his carry-on luggage and pulled out a bottle of Grey Goose and graciously poured a generous helping over some already iced Sugar Free Red Bull. "RBV," he said as he handed me my cup. Moutray would remain dry at least until we hit the airport. Smart. With netbooks in hand and a mifi card, TheMark and I warmed up the bankrolls with some online poker at 80mph. I think I lost $15 before we lost our connection. Technology rules.

Once in the airport, we were able to check in without much hassle and I bought the first official round of drinks at the gate. We were off to a good trip.

If you've ever taken a gambling junket before, you know that the flight out is filled with drinking and gambling. Harrah's makes sure everyone is lubed up prior to landing so that there's no shortage of inhibition removal preventing anyone from making their favorite -EV bets. Even on the flight, there are wages to be made.

For anyone who wanted to participate, you could write your seat number on a $5 bill and place it into a huge plastic garbage bag. The hostess would then take the bag up the aisle and when she got to the front, another hostess would pull out the winning bill. The winner kept the entire contents of the bag. As you'd guess, you could enter as many times as you wanted.

We summarily lost the $5 pool, the $10 pool and the $20 pool. "It don't matter," said TheMark, "we're taking down the hundo bag." Before the $100 pool went off, the hostess first had to determine if it was even viable. There were degenerates on the plane, but the question remained, how many would be willing to make a $100 wager. When prompted via intercom, all three of us in seats 16A, B, and C shot up our hands. Unfortunately, we were the only ones. I was under the impression that nobody else was willing to gamble that high on the plane ride out, so I mentally bookkept my losses thus far.

We continued to two-fist the free drinks and then, to my surprise, the trash bag made its way around the plane. The game was on after all and in went our Benjamins. We weren't sure how many in all were there, so we ran a side bet on the over under. I set the line at 14 and both TheMark and Moutray took the over.

The drawing was suspenseful, and it got delayed. As soon as the hostess stood up to make the pick, a huge burst of turbulence hit the plane and she went sprawling into her seat. I have to say, it was the worst turbulence I've ever been in. And I didn't even care. I was lit up "good fashion" as one of my co-workers used to say. The turbulence died down and the drawing was made.

"Sixteen A," came over the intercom and our row erupted. "Ship the bag o' money!" we yelled at the top of our lungs. Nobody else was laughing though because another severe batch of turbulence hit right at that moment. I bounced out of my seat and started spraying my drinks everywhere. I doused TheMark in Bloody Mary, Moutray bathed in his own Jack Daniels and coke. My jeans were soaked with vodka. It was crazy. Those less inebriated were worried, and not just a little bit. The three of us continued high-fiving each other not even caring if we were going to crash. "We're goin' down winners!" we screamed. "Trash lady, bring us our money!"

When things finally died down, we were delivered our bag and counted out the money. It wasn't as huge as we hoped, but there was $1200 in the bag and we each split it as per our agreement beforehand. We were all up over $250 and we hadn't even landed yet. Stupid, stupid fun.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Prior to Mastodon Weekend, TheMark told me that he had a poker apparel company lined up to contribute towards our evening of poker at Azia's. Well, that company came through in a big way for us, providing additional prize pool mobney's, footing much of the bill for the food and giving out "Bustout" bounties for anyone who eliminated either Jeff or his wife Nikki from the tournament.

In return, all they wanted was some linkage and promotion. In my opinion, that's a +EV transaction. So give Bustout Poker a look-see, they've launched their official site and are offering a WSOP Main Event package giveaway to those who purchase some of their premium shirts.

Here's a shot (stolen shamelessly from Doc Chako) of me in their Suicide Kings jersey after eliminating Nikki from the tournament.

Excuse the flexing and Bobby Bracelet's indifference to my posedown.

Since Jeff is a fellow metalhead, and I'm sure that we can both appreciate some old-school Testament. Here's a bonus metal clip of one of my favorite Skolnick solo's performed live at Alcatraz. Solo hits about 0:45 into the clip. Prrrrrrreeeeeeachhhhh!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pain for Pleasure

I wrote Otis an email documenting the game last night at Gucci Rick's:

Some people find pleasure in other's pain. Not that I think you're one of those people, but if there's a small bit of yourself that does, then you'll enjoy the following. :)

The scene is Gucci Rick's, where else would it be? It's about 1:30 am and the following has already taken place. I busted my first buy-in on a semi-bluff against Buddha. He found a way to call my check-raise all-in with middle set. Neither my flush draw nor my gut-shot straight draw got there on the river, so I rebought for the requisite $600.

I then folded for much of the evening. The game was slow due to the NCAA finals; getting dealt 62o and 92o did nothing to improve my demeanor. I steered the conversation amongst a table of semi-believers towards the topic of there being no heaven. That didn't go well. Odd.

My final hand that I'd see for the night was pocket Tens. I was in the big blind and had actually built my stack back up to a profitable position, albeit barely. Among a sea of limpers, Mike Myers raised his button to $17. I called from the blinds, but so did three other people. I should have perhaps re-raised, however, I wasn't going to build a huge pot out of position with tens. I was deep stacked. Let me repeat.....I was not going to build a big pot out of position. I was not going to.....

The flop came 663. I wasn't convinced I was behind yet, however, I checked and observed the action. It checked back to Mike Myers and he continuation bet $30. This seemed weak I recall thinking. I called, so did Buddha. The turn was an 8.

I decided that it was time to flat barrel. I launched $60 into the pot and Buddha quickly called. Mike Myers, succumbing to the effects of his own weaponry, folded. My read on his c-bet was accurate. However, Buddha's smooth call was worrisome. He could easily have a 6.

The river was a ten. I now liked my hand.

About 30 minutes earlier, Buddha had check-raise bluffed the Gooch on the river. It was a paired board with 4 diamonds and Gooch laid down the Ace of diamonds. Buddha showed an off suit Queen, a well executed bluff. I was also hoping to get bluffed here, because, let's face it, I had a monster.


I pause here because your Spidey Sense is going off. I know it is. Mine was too. But I'm not Peter Parker.


I fired off $87 into the pot and was waiting for a call or better yet, a raise. The raise came, just like I hoped, it was $216 more for me to call. It was odd. In a way I was happy I was going to win a huge hand late in the night. But before I acted, I went over once again some of the action.

Buddha limped UTG+1. He said, prior to limping, "I don't want to have to call a re-raise pre-flop with this hand for $50 dollars, so I'm limping." He did call a raise however. When I flat barreled the turn, he said, "Mike, I figured you'd be coming along for that bet," then called quite quickly.

His river raise was consistent with him having quads. But was I really just going to call second nuts here? It's Hold 'em, not Omaha. If I re-raise, pocket 8's call. 86 calls, pocket 3's might. Am I really going to be afraid of quad sixes?

"All in." I announced, but not very emphatically.

Let me once again say, "My final hand that I'd see for the night was pocket Tens."