"Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul." - Ignatius J. Reilly8 May 2005
We were back at the Behle Street Cafe in Covington, Kentucky just across the river from Cincinnati. Dirt McGirt tried to explain to the waiter that he wanted a beer in an OJ glass to chase on the side with his Bloody Mary.
"That's how they do it in Colorado."
"For fuck's sake, we're in Kentucky," I muttered as I ordered a beer.
Only a few hours earlier I found myself in a vicious game of Cornhole with money and blogger pride on the line. The rest of the late night events were fuzzy. I recalled that Weir measured a lot of things with his tape measure and that I took a piss in some alley in downtown Cincinnati, but that was it.
Mother's Day Sunday and the cafe was buzzing with mimosa drinking mom's. I called my mother early and like a good gambler, I gave my Mom cash for mother's day out of my bankroll before I left.
Daddy and I decided to go with the Mother's Day brunch special buffet. The offered up shrimp and garlic mashed potatoes and crepes among other great and tasty things. I grabbed a fist full of bacon, french toast, fresh berries, scalloped potatoes, and avoided the shrimp. I'm an incorrigible gambler but the notion of eating shrimp in Kentucky after two days of binge drinking is a serious wager on your health. I punked out and went for the fruit cup.
Iggy and Huggy Bear rented a suite at the nearby Raddison and hosted their bi-monthly home game there. The hotel is a unique circular building and is easily recognizable from downtown Covington and from the highway. They have a revolving restaurant on the top floor also filled with mimosa drinking moms. Just one floor below the good people at the Raddison rented out one of their finest suites to a group of degenerate gamblers, known drug fiends, and unsavory alcoholic thugs. Man, I was pumped to meet some of Iggy's best friends because I knew I'd fit right in.
The Players:On the rail we had UWannaBet. He was swamped with obligations especially on Mother's Day. He didn't sit in the game, but stopped by for a few beers and a few laughs. It's always cool to meet fellow bloggers who you've played online with. On Saturday mornings, UWannaBet and I sometimes killed the $25 NL tables on Party Poker. Fun times. He also participated in several of my Pauly's Pub fantasy sports pools. Good guy. Next time I'm in town, he better play with us!
Seat 1: Iggy... Our host who arranged a home game on his birthday. He made us feel like rockstars during our trip to Cincinnati. What else can you say about Iggy that already hasn't been said about everyone's favorite alcoholic cut and paster?
Seat 2: GMoney... One of Iggy's long time friends and part of the original four players in Iggy's infamous home games. GMoney knows his music and saw some amazing shows in his life. He's a Deadhead and partied down at both the Reds game and the Trey concert with Daddy and myself.
Seat 3: TDubb... In one of the funniest stories ever posted on Iggy's blog, TDubb was the hero in that particular write up when he dropped the infamous hammer. He's played in a few blogger events in the past and kept the party going whenever things got a little slow.
Seat 4: Rants of a Young Mind... a fellow poker blogger and the youngster in the group. He's a proud Xavier University alum and drinks Miller Lite because that's what his favorite Nascar driver drinks. Anyone who shows up with a huge cooler filled with beer gets up a thumbs up in my book.
Seat 5: Dr. Pauly... the infamous former gynecologist turned writer stopped off for some early Sunday afternoon hijinks while on his Midwestern Tour. He was paid an ungodly sum of money by a Canadian magazine to write 1,400 words on the Donkey Fucker phenomena but would ended up submitting a rambling dissertation on Zen Buddhism and Cornhole to which his editor responded, "What the fuck is cornhole, eh?"
Seat 6: Huggy Bear... he used to live in Vegas with Iggy so knows how to influence people with tips. He paid off the bellhops and some other folks at the hotel and they left us alone all day and night. Huggy Bear is a rock and only plays top notched hands. I saw him lay down several monsters. What discipline!
Seat 7: Mr. Fabulous... Another former Vegas resident who's one of the four original regulars in Iggy's home game since the inception. He's been a guest poster to Iggy's blog and is a film geek who excels at movie reviews. He was shrugging off a wicked bender from the night before and was hitting the Jack Daniels. We partied hard at the Trey concert together twelve hours earlier.
Seat 8: Old Man River... the old guy at the table (Sheriff's dad) who eventually sharked us all. He killed the table over the last few hours and walked away the big winner.
Seat 9 (early): Dirt McGirt... the Roy Hobbs of Cornhole is a two time Indiana state champion. He's a part of Daddy's "Hey Bub" crew from Indiana. He partied hard with us in the wee hours of the morning drinking dunkels and playing cornhole.
Seat 9 (late): The Sheriff... he's the biggest guy in the room (even bigger than Daddy) and was the table captain. He kept the game going even when everyone was too wasted and not paying attention to bets. When the Sheriff spoke, everyone listened.
Seat 10: Daddy... he's the mind behind whale pussy burritos and posted the best "how to guide" in bestiality that I've ever seen. He's a machine and can knock back shiners faster than Tara Reid at happy hour. He's about to become a millionaire with his "Scripture Quote of the Day" email service.
The night was special because not only was it Iggy's birthday, but it also marked the five year anniversary of Iggy's home game. I felt fortunate to be a part of the rare occasion. I really wanted this write up to be one of the best I've ever written. I realize that is impossible because I took very few notes and that I could never recapture the fun no matter how many times I tried to write it. I was on vacation and vowed to live in the moment as much as possible. As it got later, I got drunker and took less and less notes.
We played no limit $100 max buyin with 25c/50c blinds. I bought in for $60 as did mostly everyone, except Iggy who bought in for $100. That's always an awful sight at the table, finding Iggy with more chips than you before you even sit down.
Here's what I was able to recapture from the few scribblings in my pad.
3:03pm EST... Dirt McGirt and Iggy were heads up. The flop: 9h-6d-4h. At some point Iggy goaded Dirt McGirt into check raising him when another 6 fell on the turn. The 5h fell on the river and Dirt was all in. Iggy flipped over pocket sixes for quads. Dirt McGirt lost his buy in and grabbed another cold one before he hit the road.
4:20pm EST... Daddy had pocket kings and was involved in the biggest pot of the game up until that point against Old Man River. Daddy got all quiet and began to perspire when he pushed all in and made Old Man River think for a few minutes about calling. He was losing his sight and the Sheriff had to call out the cards so he knew what he had. Old Man River eventually folded and Daddy let out a big sigh and said, "I'm sweating like a fat kid in a poker game."
5:12pm ST... I built up an early chip lead (see picture above!) and doubled my buy in. I hit a straight with 34o in the big blind and took down a big pot against Old Man River. TDubb and Mr. Fabulous did dial-a-shot with Al Cant Hang.
6:31pm EST... Huggy Bear was involved in one the oddest hands of the night. He's a tight player. With KK, Huggy raised preflop and got a few callers. The flop: A-Q-J. He bet, Old man River called, and GMoney reraised. Huggy Bear turned to me and said, "I need some professional advice."
I peeked at his hole cards and responded, "You've been playing with GMoney for five years. You've known him a lot longer than that."
Huggy Bear let out a deep sigh and threw his pocket kings into the muck. Old Man River had been playing loose from the second he sat down and quickly called. The turn: A. Old Man River check-called then folded on the river when another ace fell. I put George on A-something. I expected him to show quads. Instead he flipped over pocket jacks. Huggy's kings would have been good!
7:04pm EST... After losing his buy-in and taking a short break, Jeff from Rants of a Young Mind rejoined the game and dropped the Hammer. I'm glad he decided to stick around.
7:32pm EST... At some point I had Maudie, Otis, and Derek on the phone doing various dial-a-shots with Iggy. Man, it felt cool to have other bloggers call me because I was so shitfaced that I lost track of the outside world as well as cyberland. When you unplug yourself from technology for a few days and step back from the world of blogging and being an internet celebrity, you quickly lose yourself in the real world instead of plodding along the virtual entity known as the blogosphere.
8:16pm EST... We ordered a shitload of pizzas for dinner and somehow the conversation got turned to the local strip clubs. I was warned that the strip clubs were stocked with plenty of chunky dancers with C-section scars and flat tires. Daddy suggested we go to one and try to get her to come back to the room for a private show. "Dude, we'll pay them off in bacon."
9:14pm EST... Probably this was the hand of the night. Mr. Fabulous was short stacked and moved all-in on the flop of A-K-Q and two suited cards. GMoney flopped a Broadway straight with JTo and raised all in. Old Man River called with 82s. GMoney's straight held up and Mr. Fabulous was knocked out.
9:40pm EST... Daddy dropped the hammer. At the same exact time, a donkey in Hill Jack county was touched in an inappropriate manner.
11:32pm EST... Old Man River got the best of all of us over the course of the night. He saw almost every flop and called every raise with junk hands. Daddy raised preflop with JJ. The Sheriff, Old Man River, and Huggy Bear all called. The flop: 9-9-3. Daddy bet the pot. Only Old Man River called and Huggy and Sheriff dropped out. The turn: 5. Daddy bet the pot again and Old Man River called. The river was a king and Daddy bet about 50% of the pot with JJ. Old Man River called. He showed K5s. Daddy was crushed by the river and lost is buy in. The game ended shortly after that.
The big winner was Old Man River. I think I did second best with a $60 win. The game was super fun and we played for almost nine hours. Wow. It had been a long time since I sat at a poker table like that and all notion of time evaporated. Time rushed by as we were enjoying ourselves.
Besides poker, we drank a lot of alcohol and got pretty wasted. Over the course of the game, I got to chat with everyone. I spent some quality time with Mr. Fabulous and GMoney on Saturday. Seriously, Iggy's crew is made of some amazing people. I was lucky to get to meet them and catch a small glimpse of Iggy's social group. Because I sat in between Jeff and Huggy Bear, I chatted with them the most.
In the end, I say that you can tell a lot about a man by his friends. Iggy's crew is top notch and I truly felt special to be a part of an amazing weekend. The Iggy Home Game seemed to be just one of the many highlights for me as a poker blogger. I read all about it before. I'm sure some of you feel the same way about my Blue Parrot write ups... that you have to check that out sometime. That's exactly how I felt about both Daddy's Hill Jack game and Iggy's infamous home game.
The crowd thinned out and one of Iggy's good friends stopped by while TDubb hung around and we partied some more. Joe suggested we get some coneys, which are mini-hot dogs filled with chili and cheese. How could I pass up on eating a local delicacy?
Joanne called for a dail-a-shot late night. Daddy passed out around 1am. Iggy and I spent the next four plus hours drinking and talking. We both knew that we'd have very little time for one-on-one conversations when we got to Vegas. There's going to be a massive rush of bloggers wanting to talk and be around Iggy. That's why our late night chat was special. Quality conversations.
I think it's funny that whenever Iggy and I talk, he takes notes. Seriously. In Vegas on the Sunday after the blogger tournament, we all met up at Mandalay Bay's sports book to gamble on NFL games. We all got trashed and in a drunken stupor, Iggy and I spoke about some half-baked ideas we both had. On the back of a sports betting sheet, Iggy scribbled down some thoughts. He says he still has that piece of paper!
Anyway, during out late night talk in the suite he took more notes as I sipped Miller High Life. Daddy likes to call them "Hi Dogs." I wish I can say that we spoke about three or four specific things, but we didn't. We were all over the map. Iggy is an interesting dude and we had a lot to discuss including the future of our blogs. Did we reach the apex? Or is this just the foot of the mountain? Time will tell.
Just as the first break of daylight began creeping over the Kentucky Hills, I finished up my last beer of the three day bender. It was time for sleep. Iggy let us crash there in the suite, which was cool. How many times can you just pass out a few steps away from the poker table?
A few hours later, we woke up and headed to Waffle House downstairs. There are several things I miss about living in the South. Waffle House is one of them. I almost came in my pants when our cute waitress asked me if I wanted "sweat tea." Hell yes. I wanted to get in her pants too. Her name was Tabby and she looked like Julia Stiles. She told us that her old man was a preacher. In my 32 years on Earth I realized that preacher's daughters fell into one of two categories... angels or demons. I hoped she was the rebellious type and wouldn't mind being picked up by a degenerate gambler from NYC on assignment in Middle America trying to break open the case of Donkey Fuckers. She cracked a few bad jokes of her own and gave Iggy a ton of shit for not finishing his breakfast. Daddy on the other hand went to town at Waffle House. He ordered double hash browns. I went with the bacon and cheese patty melt. That's the perfect hangover food.
Before I said my good-byes to Iggy, I picked up two cartons of cigarettes. One was for Derek and the other for my lovey assistant, Jessica. Cigarettes are over $8 a pack in the big city. In Kentucky they are $20 a carton. My money goes a long way when I travel to middle America and the South.
I told Iggy I'd see him in Vegas. Daddy and I got back into his pimp mobile, the one I puked in a few days before. We were ready to leave Kentucky and Ohio and head back to Indiana. My three day bender was over.
Thanks to both Daddy and Iggy (and my friend Lori) for their hospitality. And special thanks goes out to their friends who all welcomed me like I was one of them. Despite all the red neck references, donkey fucker jokes, inbred Kentucky comments, and me railing on people because they have six teeth... I really had an awesome experience. The poker was kick ass. The Trey concert was amazing. The drinking was epic. Some of the best trips you'll take in your life are unexpected. This was one of them.