Poker Blogger Tourney: Profiling the Bloggers

I’m beat. Didn’t get much sleep in Vegas, but had a blast. It was surreal to meet the people whose writing I’ve been reading over the last year. Much thanks to Pauly and The Poker Prof for setting up the tourney and the “meet and greet”. When I catch up on sleep I’ll write up a proper trip report, but for anyone who’s interested I thought I’d give my impressions of the bloggers I met, in the order they finished in the tourney.
1. Felicia — I’d met Fel at the WSOP, but she’s a tough player whose victory no one surprised. Too bad she hates hold ’em, her patience and aggression makes her an excellent tourney player.
3. Julie from the Blue Parrot — Julie was on my left at the final table, and I couldn’t get a read on her at all. Seemed fearless and I was very impressed by her play.
4. Foiled Coup — “Action” Coup was tighter than Dan Harrington. Anytime he was in a pot I was petrified. Played a great tourney and had a great sense of humor to go with his game.
5. Glenn — Fel’s hubby pretty much knocked me out of the tourney, and is a solid, soft-spoken player. Always thinking at the table, he was one of the few players I was afraid to get in pots with.
6. Pauly — All-around nice guy and one of the few true “hippies” I’ve met. Super tight, but got hit in the face with the deck in this tourney to amass a huge chip lead. Very friendly and outgoing, it was a pleasure to meet him.
7. HDouble — Can’t decide if he’s a jock or a geek. His NL game is pretty bad, but stole a lot of blinds in this tourney to make the final table.
8. Martin — Didn’t get to play much with Martin, but seemed like a tight and solid player. Suprisingly outlasted his buddy Otis, which I’m sure he’ll remind him of continuously for the next few months.
9. BG — Quiet and usually smirking, I could hang with the Genius any time. I didn’t get to see much of him in the tourney, but enjoyed his wry humor in the Excalibur side games. I wish I got to watch the games with him on Sunday, as he definitely knows his football.
10. Al Cant Hang — Life of the party, Al lived up to his image and beyond. Al is a walking party, and everything around him turns into a festival. In a few minutes at the craps table he had everyone at the table (including the dealers) whooping it up. Did I mention he can drink?
11. Mas — Met the “Genius of Poker” briefly, but he seemed like a laid-back guy who was always smiling. I’m glad I didn’t have to play a hand against him.
12. Otis — Very introspective and always thinking. Saw him play the hammer about 4 times with no fear in the Excalibur low limit game, and the room erupted the last time he played it, when he won a monster pot at a table next to me. Another really nice guy, I could hang out with Otis at a poker table all night.
13. Ferrari — Ferrari was on my right for most of the tourney, and played a tight, solid game. He knocked out FTrain when he turned a boat with his pocket 3s, and I tried to stay out of his way for most of the tourney.
14. Maudie — Sweet Maudie was on my left at the tourney, and came over the top of me a couple times on my steal attempts. Played excellently, but took two terrible beats and was severely crippled. I had the honor of knocking her out when I stole with 76s on the button, and she wisely defended her blind with K5o. She was crushing her table at Excalibur when I said goodbye, so I don’t feel too bad about the knockout.
15. Bob — I had the honor of teaching BG’s little bro how to play craps, which he took to immediately. Bob was a blast to hang out with, and a rambling-gambling type who I’d rather play craps with than poker.
16. -EV — Kevin nearly crippled me in the tourney when he pushed his short stack in against my early raise with KK. He flipped over AJ, and of course an Ace came on the flop. But my two outer hit on the river (thanks for the karma, Three Kings). Kev was an intense player, and hopefully I’ll get to hang with him next time.
17. Derek — Pauly’s younger bro was a laid-back guy, and always ready with a smile. I saw him take some vicious beats in the Excalibur limit game, but he never stopped grinning. A pleasure to hang out with.
18. Mrs. Can’t Hang — I had the good fortune to spend a lot of time with Eva, who was a blast to hang out with (not just because she’s beautiful). She was seated directly on my left in the tourney, and I knocked her out when my KQ outkicked her Q5 when a Queen came on the turn. Impossible to put on a hand (and therefore difficult to play against), Eva could be a scary no-limit player if she applied herself. It was refreshing to hear a female’s perspective on the poker scene, as well as some funny stories about Al. I believe her new nickname after this weekend is “EvaCanHang”.
19. G Rob — I didn’t get to play with G-Rob, but he seemed to be building up chips every time I looked over at his table at the Excal. When Otis gets famous G Rob will have a job as a bodyguard– a big dude.
21. Poker Prof — I’d met the Prof before, and he’s always a pleasure to chat with, even though we seem to switch into geekspeak within 2 minutes of the conversation. He did a great job setting everything up, and has the qualifications to be the poker blogger mastermind.
23. CJ — One of the few bloggers I had to literally look up to, super-tall CJ is a disciplined and thoughtful grinder who was killing the Excalibur game. He was slowly building his stack every time I went over to his table to say hi. Resembles Erik Seidel in height and demeanor.
24. Bad Blood — Owner of the best and worst t-shirt I’ve ever seen (wait till you see the pictures), Blood was a blast to talk with and seemed to have a good head on his shoulders.
25. Grubby — My second meeting with the Grubster was never without fun or action, and we even got to tackle the blackjack tables together (I got killed, Grubby survived). Grubs is super-introspective and deep thinking, and is probably the blogger I’m most similar to in many ways. The conversations about blogging, poker, and the future were some of the most memorable moments in Vegas, and I’m sure I’ll be making visits to the Vegas Grub Manor in the near future.
26. Linda from Poker Works — The poker blogger/dealer queen was both tough and regal, and had an excellent perspective on the poker scene after years of experience. I didn’t get to play with her, but her calm and cool attitude was refreshing and honest.
27. F Train — An intense player who I got to play some hands against. Very creative and fear-inspiring, I hated being in a pot with the New York blogger. One of the highlights of the side games was F Train’s all-in reraise with the Hammer against Eva’s KK. Beautiful. I think F Train has a bright future in poker ahead of him, and I expect him to be a major player in tournaments in the near future.
28. Daddy — A cooler, poker-blogging version of Kramer, Daddy had me cracking up the entire weekend with Lebowski quotes. Survived a mano-a-mano all-night drinking session with Iggy, which tells you something.
29. Flip Chip — A wise veteran of the poker scene, my second meeting with Flip Chip was full of intelligent conversation. Flip Chip always has an interesting take on Vegas and the poker scene, as he’s seen it grow from the start.
30. Bill Rini — Bill was grinding away the players at Excalibur, and had another rack in front of him every time I stopped by. He may have taken the honor of most hands played in Vegas by a blogger, although Otis probably gave him a run for his money. Like his blog, Bill was smart and funny, and hopefully I’ll get to meet him out in LA for some no fold ’em action.
And of course, Iggy was snoozing away in his hotel room by the time the tourney started, but my compadre and I did get to play some hands together. Somehow he always manages to keep me awake about 5 hours after I plan on going to sleep.
The thing that impressed me the most about the bloggers was their level of intelligence and friendliness. I hope we get to do it again soon.

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