November 22, 2004

Outfoxed: The 2004 Foxwoods WPT Event

Ho ho ho

At the suggestion of Avi "Two Cokes" Freedman I spent the next two days in a high-limit mixed game, a combination of Hold 'Em and Omaha Hi/Lo with a betting structure of $300/$600.  This game was referred to as "300/600 HO." There were acronyms for just about every combination of games and most of the big action tended to be in the mixed games. I did pretty well in this game, winning nicely on Friday and losing about half back on Saturday, although I still wasn't really sure I know how to play limit Hold 'Em. It was fun playing with all those big chips; that was for sure. Foxwoods was a rather unpleasant place to play, although like most modern card rooms there was no smoking allowed. The cocktail service typically took 10-15 minutes to retrieve an order. There were no comps to speak of and they had a no cell-phone policy, not just at the tables but anywhere in the poker room. I asked a floorperson about it and he said someone had used a camera phone to take pictures of the players and posted them on the Internet so they banned cell phones. I didn't bother to point out that anyone taking a picture would take it before they could yell at him and the people they were yelling at, talking on the phones, were not taking pictures. He went on to say they wanted to ban food from the poker room because it made a mess. Those darned customers, always making things inconvenient for the employees.


I left the game early on Friday to go to the Full Tilt Poker dinner they were putting on for the winners of their on-line satellites. One of the guys had bought in for $4.40 and made it all the way to the big event. We all wished him luck. Dinner was at the award-winning Boom restaurant in nearby Stonington, CT. The place was owned by Erik "Rounders" Seidel's sister-in-law and she rolled out the red carpet for the guests. I probably could have finagled an invitation from Full Tilt since many of my friends were affiliated with the site but I ended up going as Avi Two-Cokes' brother Noam's date. They brought around huge plates of delicious hors d'oeuvres and poured a yummy little California Cabernet, which I drank too much of so I was glad I had the day off tomorrow. Among the Tilters present were Erik, Andy "The Rock" Bloch, Howard "Bub" (The Professor) Lederer, John "JJ" Juanda, Phil Ivey, Allen Cunningham, Melissa Hayden, and Jennifer Harman. I was also pleased to meet Thomas "Raze It" Giorgi, one of the best players on Full Tilt.  The steak I had for the entrée was world class. I had come over on the bus but snuck into the VIP limo for the ride home.


I spent Saturday recovering from the wine while the first half of the 674 entrants played. My turn came Sunday. I drew table 10, seat eight. There was no one at the table I recognized but I just got no cards all day. Eventually former WSOP champ Huck Seed came and sat on my left but he busted out quickly. Finally I gambled on a pair of Nines in early position and called a reraise all in by an unpredictable player on the small blind. He had Jacks. I didn't improve and I was out of the contest early. I went up to the VIP lounge and found WPT finalists Matt Matros and Russell Rosenblum commiserating. We were all exhausted and about to leave when Erin Ness, the girl from Maxim magazine who got a lot of TV time in this year's World Series main event, walked in. All of a sudden everyone had plenty of energy and we hung around talking to Erin for a couple hours.


I had already booked my return flight for Monday in anticipation of busting out the first day. Andy "The Rock" Bloch busted soon after I did and we made plans to drive up to Boston together to catch our flights. We used some wampum to buy gas and headed up about four hours before flight time, leaving us plenty of room for error and traffic. It was a good thing, too, because the Neverlost, for some reason, took us through scenic Rhode Island surface streets instead of taking the Mass Pike. We saved $6.10 in tolls and got to the airport on time anyway.


The evening Alaska flight left punctually and I watched a couple movies on the digEplayer while downing scotch and soda. I enjoyed I, Robot, a Will Smith sci-fi flick only loosely based on Asimov's book of the same name. Then I watched Around the World in 80 Days, a children's adventure movie that I picked just because Jackie Chan was in it. Both movies entertained but didn't make my list of all-time greats.


Shortstack picked me up in the black T-Bird and whisked us back to Kirkland, home of Costco and us. My next tournament series was at Bellagio in December.


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