I seized an opportunity for a quick trek down to Seattle this weekend to see some old friends. Not so coincidentally this was also the weekend that several Seattle-area poker bloggers had chosen to hold a home game, so I crashed the party.
Saturday did not have an auspicious beginning. I endured a ridiculous 90-minute wait at the Peace Arch border crossing. This delay pushed back my Seattle arrival to 1pm, and caused me to miss the first of my planned rendez-vous. I can't blame my friend Wolfgang, he was being a responsible parent to his young daughter and nap-time is inviolate for any sane father having to pull solitary child-care duties.
So, I shifted gears and parked down near Pioneer Square to take a walk, eventually ending up at a favourite bookstore -- Eliott Bay Book Co. and happily browsed the shelves and after making some purchases, I ducked downstairs to the cafe and snarfed down some good soup as I waited for the arrival of Zeem. He was a bit late and I found out that a humourless traffic cop had ticketed my car during its 12-minute window of vulnerability. Of course, I discovered the bad news AFTER I had purchased another two hours' worth of parking.
Undeterred and unwilling to have my good mood spoilt, I rode shotgun as Zeem took me over to a nearby bar, Shorty's, where I embarassed myself with an abysmal performance in its pinball arcade. The games were in generally good working order but I felt a bit curtailed by the lack of adequate lighting in the room.
Then, we proceeded along to the evening festivities, a blogger home game with a few luminaries of the Seattle poker landscape. I was the proud Gigli of the 8-player NLHE tourney where the host slaughtered me in an early pot where I flopped a 9-high club flush and raised Doc's opening bet (he had a mere two pair). Chris, the gracious host who had made sure I had copious amounts of Guinness in my system at all times, came over the top. Zeem folded what he later showed was the queen-high flush, and I announced that I wasn't good enough to fold my 1-out redraw to a straight flush and promptly got busted by a king-high flush. Yes, three of us had flopped a made club flush. It's always crubs, as CK would say. Always!
However, this proved to be a blessing in disguise because it left me with my hands free to devour food and drink without constraint. It's rare that I go bananas over tapas, but The Wife makes a mean guacomole which I could not get enough of. I doubt Astin could match it. I am willing to judge that competition and adjudicate any and all prop bets on this. I washed it down with yet more Guinness and a couple of glasses of a fine shiraz I'd had before and was happy to sample again. The Doc knows how to live well!
I was allowed to choose the format of the second tournament. It went on a little long, but I redeemed myself by winning the HOOSE event we put on (double Omaha in place of Razz). I think I won something like 22 of the 24 Stud08 hands that were dealt? It was pretty sick.
We capped the late night with a dealer's choice cash game and most of the bloggers enjoyed my pick of Crazy Pineapple for an orbit of play -- and I proved how to go broke with AAx. Later I also demonstrated my poor judgment in not folding the flopped nut straight in a hand of Omaha, and got stacked when a gutterball draw got there on the turn. But I ground back up close to even by the time the game broke.
The party ended about 2:30AM as some of the bloggers made grandiose claims of needing to do healthy exercise activities early on Sunday. I think this was merely an excuse to avoid giving me any action on my Wii Golf challenge even though I promised to play wrong-handed.
I then took advantage of Chris' offer of a spare bed, snatched a few hours' sleep, and drove home late Sunday morning after seeing a few other old Seattle-based friends for a quick chat and a late-morning cup of coffee.
It was a fun whirlwind of a trip.
NB. Rough count of gibes at token Canuck: 19
Rough count of phone calls made by Doc & Wife to other Canadian poker bloggers to mock my Gigli performance: 2