VISIT POKERSTARS BONUS CODE AND POKERSTARS MARKETING CODE TO PLAY AT THE WORLD'S BEST POKER SITE
What's a PokerWonk?

Poker Blogs by Wonk

Footer

Recent Blogs

Footer

Poker Articles by Blog

Footer
Write about Poker. Read about Life. PokerWonks, the Poker Blog Community.

Post WSOP Changes

Date: Thu, Aug 2, 2012

It usually takes between ten days and two weeks for me to feel like myself after a summer at the WSOP. It usually depends on the amount of Vegas scum I have caked on my soul after watching the same jackholes throw good money at bad bets. This year it took a shorter amount of downtime to detox Vegas from system, probably because I spent more time away from the casinos then most years.

The unwind was even more necessary after the last few weeks of personal crap which included an old friend giving me crap for telling it like it is, a new friend getting herself in deep with the needle, and a whiny blogger giving me a not-too-subtle jab. It was time to get offline.

The process usually includes staying away from the bars, reconnecting with friends, and getting back on a schedule that doesn't involve "wake up-go to casino-watch idiots-drink heavily-pass out". I failed mostly at staying away from the bars because that's how I reconnected with my friends, so I got a solid C+ for my performance. The revised schedule was easier to handle.

After four years of doing nothing but poker related work, I moved on and began working with a company with zero interest in the game. Two days before heading home from Vegas I accepted a job designing websites for a pretty large company and managing content across several platforms. I nice mash of my former job(s) which allowed me to work from anywhere and my old career with some techno fun.

I'm not shutting the door on future work in poker (still helping out Dan with Pokerati.com so I get my poker fix), but I'm certainly not going out of my way to find something and no one is knocking down my door. A win for all.

Feels good to be a little closer to a normal member of society, though I'll never go back to an office job and regular hours. Degens gotta degen, drunks gotta drink.



My new office chair courtesy of the WSOP?

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2012: WSOP Complete, Back to the Grind

Date: Sun, Jul 22, 2012

Things were cruising right along at the WSOP until my normal schedule of "wander into the Rio whenever I want, write whenever I want, drink whenever I want, leave whenever I want" wasinterruptedsuddenly by employment which required silly things like showing up at specific times and working until my feet were numb.

That kept the debauchery level down for the rest of the summer right up until the Main Event, I was back to being a free-wheeling degenerate right as Otis and Benjo hit town. From there it was a few crazy nights at the hooker bar, reportedly some bowling shenanigans (that's a little fuzzy), and Pai Gow until I almost missed my flight out of Vegas.

I'll start wrapping my head around the past and future but until then I loaded a few images from the summer.



In the time I was gone, I did not neglect my duties trying to get a proper blogger tournament schedule up and running with Face Up Gaming. There were quite a few disconnect issues (or in my case, no-connect issues) during the last blogger freeroll but those have been corrected. I've spent the last month pounding away at their Gold Membership tournaments with a decent rate of return, although it doesn't look like I'll be able to grind my way into their $20,000 or $30,000 league finals. I blame work since I missed the juiciest league events.

We have ironed out a much more "blogger" friendly schedule for the BBT league with games on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights between 9pm and 10pmET. That should work out much better for our mostly US, mostly family-oriented, real-day-job type players.

I've reached out to many of you via email but now that I'm back from the WSOP, it's time to get things back in gear and have some blogger pokery fun. More coming soon.




I had a few special t-shirts for the summer
The ol' Johnny Cash was pulled out at the start of the obscene $1,000,000 buy-in tournament


Junk food central, Pop's cheesesteaks and candy safely locked up away from me



Things get a little squirrely near the end of the WSOP
Here's WhoJedi with a (non-CGI) lightsaber, and then his new home


Kara Scott with her own lightsaber and a Full Tilt bowling ball
(the last was a little surprising to find)


Finally, home sweet home
Dockside with a Lager

Read Full Poker Blog Post

Blogger Tournament Part Dos

Date: Tue, Jun 19, 2012

Ready my friends for the next installment from our friends at Face Up Gaming?

They've scheduled a 2nd blogger tournament for June 30th, plenty of time to check out the site, get registered, and get in the tournament. They just finished a system upgrade this weekend to address some issues including some big improvements in the lobby and continue to improve the product each time.

The tournament will also be running at an East Coast/West Coast friendly time of 3pm ET/Noon PT. This means I can play the tournament on more than 3 hours sleep (and I still beat most ya'll to the final table). Giving away more swag and we're getting enough players to kick off a regular BBT league so we can go back to crushing each other's souls on a regular basis.

If you have any questions, drop me a comment or an email.

Tournament: Bloggers 2
Date: Saturday, June 30th
Time: 3pm ET - Noon PT
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: battle2

See you there (and don't forget Bonus Code ACH, they're tracking our results against all others).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2012 WSOP: Wait for the Book

Date: Sun, Jun 17, 2012

Sunday was quiet in the Amazon Room, if you don't count the 3,000 lemurs and random old folks railing the Seniors Event. Only a mild 105 degrees outside and the upset dealers are talking about a mass walkout. Again. (This seems to happen every year around this point, after they've received their first paycheck). Pretty standard issues from everyone else including the players, who have never been the cheeriest bastards in the world.

The last few days have been uneventful according to my liver indicator. Spent a few hours hanging at the Hooker Bar (which, by the way, has it's own Twitter account @HookerBar courtesy of @WhoJedi) with WriterJen Newell and CaityCaity. The weekend was rounding out to be nice and slow until we got the call, a call to return to the Rio, and events which will never truly come out until I get permission and put that shit in a book.

Twas that good.

Cliff Notes version of Friday night included an early exit from the Rio, degenerate gambling at the Gold Coast before getting a call to return to rail Kirk Morrision's dad in the Seniors. That turned into a few beers, big leaguing Gavin Smith moments after he busted the Deuce-to-Seven event, weird conversations in the Rio hallways and then fast forward hours to that "oh shit balls, the sun is up and my ATM card is on fire" moment.

Things were said, promises broken, and random vomiting. All this happened when I was surprisingly the most sober and sane person in the mix. Those night/days/morning I can usually be found on the floor somewhere between my hotel room door and the bathroom or bed. Some day I'll get to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but it won't be this summer and it won't be here.

This promise needs to be kept.

~

Feel free to jump over the Pokerati where I'm putting up a few posts a week which do not include booze, nudity, or craziness. Just my infrequent douchebag-ness, a little snark, and a bit of poker.

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2012 WSOP: Series Interruptus

Date: Thu, Jun 14, 2012

In all the juggling aroun,d filling needed positions and finding my way to Las Vegas, I somehowneglectedto mention the return of Mastodon Weekend. One of my recent favorite times of impromptu degeneracy and good times. The history of this gathering near the gates of Bob Jones University is short but a metric shit ton of fun.

I'm not sure what the G-Vegas guys are thinking this time around though. The most strenuous thing we did at the last Mastodon Weekend was a pub crawl down several blocks of downtown Greenville, SC. Now those crazy crackers want to, and I can barely even type this out, throw a long distance run smack into the middle of the debauchery.

Naturally I will be in town to support those chuckleheads but I'll mostly be there to take up the drinking slack since I'm sure they will take it easy.

Here are the details, as best as I can figure them out. On October 27th is something called "The Run Fest" in Greenville South Cackalacky with cute little names like "Punkin Run" for events which include a marathon, half-marathon, and 5k Run. Sign up, run with the (redacted) or stand on the sidelines with me and a case of beer. Click the link above if interested in the events and register under for the "Mastodon" Team.

I'll be town the entire weekend, leaving Sunday for either Philly or Las Vegas for the November October Nine.

Just to get everyone ramped up, Otis threw together a little trailer for the weekend. Forgive my presence if you can. You should definitely stick around until the very end of the video.


Mastodon Weekend 2012 trailer from Brad Willis on Vimeo.

~~~~

Alright my blogging brothers and sisters. Throwing another reminder out there for anyone who signed up on Face Up Gaming for last weekend's Bloggers tournament. If you registered as a Gold Member, there is a $5,000 cash tournament this Sunday at 3pm (Noon for us Vegas/West Coasters). This is separate from their month end league events and is alone worth the membership.

I'm also in the process of setting up the BBT Blogger League once we have the details locked down. I've been playing the other league tournaments as often as possible trying to earn my way into the $30,000 and $20,000 cash events at the end of July. Check out their promotion page (other promotions besides this weekend's $5,000 event) and league page for details.

Tournament: $5,000 Cash
Date: Sunday, June 17th
Time: 3pmET (Noon PT)
Game: NLHE
Buyin: Membership required

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2012 WSOP: Early Mornings or Late Nights

Date: Mon, Jun 11, 2012

It's easy to hate the long days hanging around the Rio for the WSOP. The obvious exceptions are when friends win bracelets, I spend hours at the bar, or something historic happens. Friday night was an example of the really bad when I ended up leaving the Amazon Room with WhoJedi at 6am after watching a nearly 4 hour Stud/8 heads up battle. By the end I didn't care who won, although it would have been nice for occasional drunken cohort Todd Brunson could have won it all.

But none of that mattered because one of the good guys, one of the Bash at the Boathouse alumni, won his first WSOP bracelet. Most of my blogger brothers and sisters met Brandon Schaefer either during the 2005 blogger drunkfest in Vegas or in 2006 at the Bash at the Boathouse. I was going to recall those stories and then remembered that Pauly always does it better.

Moments of Clarity: Bash at the Boathouse Part II (For the record, I didn't even remember the first night tournament until tracking down the recap. Booze is good.)

He's a great guy who was unsatisfied with the life of a pro poker player and followed in his brother's footsteps by joining the US Army to become a helicopter pilot. He was actually in Vegas for the Electric Daisy Carnival mass party and decided to play one event while he was on leave before pilot training. He just went ahead and won the damned thing.




Cheers!

~

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday morning for the first blogger tournament on Face Up Gaming. As you can tell from the writeup above, I left the Rio at 6am and was (kinda sort) back awake for the start of the tournament at 10am from somewhere in North Las Vegas.

144 players showed up with a week's notice and a nice representation from the bloggers of old. It looks like lightning36 was the longest lasting of my group of bloggers and will pick up the bonus iPad along with his other swag. Oh yeah, and somehow I managed to finish 9th.

We're planning bigger/better things and this was a good first step. They are interested in hearing back from the bloggers about the tournament experience. Hit my comment section (or my email if you know it) with anything you have to say about the software, structure, the interface, etc. They are making a big push now and taking all the input they can get.

FYI for anyone who signed up for Gold Membership while registering, they running $5,000 cash tournament next Sunday, June 17th.

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2012 WSOP: Back to the "Grind"

Date: Fri, Jun 8, 2012

After missing the first week of the WSOP, I was contacted by ChipTic (the company working to supply damned-near-live chip counts. When the bugs are ironed out) about coming out to do some work. I was starting to get a little home sick for the Rio and took the offer. I was 30 feet from the door when someone offered up their bad beat story, the homesickness is gone.

It didn't take long to get back into the swing of things drunken degenerate-wise either. A well known pro would be picking me up off the floor of the hooker bar before I was in town for 24 hours. Time zone change, lack of food, and seeing old friends just made dumping a bottle of booze on top a little fool hardy. The sainted life of the idiot.

And the hooker bar had themselves a little upgrade. Say hi to Erica on the right. They found a new way to suck extra money from my pockets in the form of generous tips.

Other than the first night of insanity, and perhaps a little more of the same Wednesday, it's been a slow start to the summer and building up. The in(s)ane Electric Daisy Carnival Kill a Puppy rave is in town meaning every hotel is packed with zombies wearing bikinis and tutus.

Those are just the guys.

More fun to come as a few friends have gotten very close to winning a bracelet and I haven't checked out the new Vanessa Rousso, Liv Boeree, Maria Ho mansion which say nearly half a dozen trip to the ER during their first party.

Back with more later, I'm also posting over at Pokerati for Dan while I'm in town to keep things hopping.

Don't forget tomorrow's Blogger Tournament on Face Up Gaming. Cruise for 2, iPads, and other swag up for grabs.

Date: Saturday, June 9th
Time: 13:00ET
Game: NLHE
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: BATTLE (password is case sensitive)

1st - Bahamas Poker Cruise
2nd and 3rd - Blue Shark Optic Sunglasses - Value $150
4th - 6th - Face Up Hoodie
7th - 10th - Face Up Logo Wear
11- 20th - 300 tournaments points

The iPads will be awarded to the top performers from other blogger leagues (Pokerati, Ante Up, ACH, and PocketFives).

Read Full Poker Blog Post

Here We Go

Date: Mon, Jun 4, 2012

Everything has been ironed out and we have our first "Blogger Only" poker tournament setup on Face Up Gaming. They've pulled together some prizes to give out for our first event and I'm hoping for a great turnout (or at least let me win the thing). Top prize is a Ante Up cruise for 2 courtesy of Face Up Gaming plus other swag including 3 iPads.

(In non-pimping thoughts, oh man are the fields soft. So soft that I can beat them. Early Party-fishtank soft.)

The tournament runs this Saturday, June 9th at 13:00ET and it's open to bloggers and readers. You do not need a Gold Membership to register, just signup and play. This will be a great test run for the future and a big showing will give us a chance to expand and make ourselves a nice home.

I'll be playing from the pressbox at the WSOP, so I'll be distract and even easier money then before.

Date: Saturday, June 9th
Time: 13:00ET
Game: NLHE
Buyin: Freeroll
Password: BATTLE (password is case sensitive)

1st - Bahamas Poker Cruise
2nd and 3rd - Blue Shark Optic Sunglasses - Value $150
4th - 6th - Face Up Hoodie
7th - 10th - Face Up Logo Wear
11- 20th - 300 tournaments points

The iPads will be awarded to the top performers from other blogger leagues (Pokerati, Ante Up, ACH, and PocketFives).

Poker with the bloggers again, and I expect Waffles to remind me why I gave up playing against him.

Read Full Poker Blog Post

Face Up Gaming Wants Bloggers!

Date: Thu, May 31, 2012

And our action!

This break in my walk down the 2011 memory lane is brought to you by more free stuff.

I've been working with Face Up Gaming and we're getting closer to bringing back a series of tournaments for the bloggers and readers with actual money (and other real world prizes) instead of play money chips on Stars. It looks like we're going to be able to warm this thing up slowly and build it back up to where we were on April 14th last year starting with a few private tournaments awarding poker cruise giveaways and some iPads.

Face Up Gaming is also starting their next season of their tournament league tomorrow, June 1st, with a bunch of qualifying tournaments over the next two months. This past weekend they awarded $50,000 in cash for the latest tournament league and that's what is on the line at the end of this season. None of which I collected because I came to the game too late. Other promotions they have coming up include a seat in this year's WSOP Senior's Event, CardPlayer Cruise packages, and the LIPS Poker Queen Grand Championship. They also have two $5,000 freerolls coming up on June 10th and 17th.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think. I like the software, it has actual real prizes, and the soft soft fields you would expect from a new site. They make my level of play look high. By tomorrow I will have details about when the blogger tournaments will run and what they will be giving away.

Bonus code ACH (I really should have picked up Bonus Code IGGY!)

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2011 Roadtrip: Home and Foxwoods

Date: Thu, May 24, 2012

I did something last week which would have generated two thousands words of blog spew just a few short years ago. But now it just resulted in some irritation andexcessivedrinking. My laptop, barely a year old, completely shit the bed with an irreparable hardware issue causing random shutdowns. If your system won't stay up long enough to get through 2 minutes of porn, it's time to reload.

I handled it in such a way that it will no longer bother me and I'm surprised I forgot to grab a picture of the final solution (Was never able to use those two words together when I worked for Siemens). After finding a replacement system, I removed the hard drive even though my files were sufficiently backed up. I then calmly picked up my old, trusty laptop and snapped that sumbitch across my knee in such a manner as to neatly separate the two halves. The results were placed in their proper receptacles and I walked to the bar to get snookered.

So there's the simple explanation for dropping off the grid for a few days. The birth of a new system.

~

After spending most of January 2011 on the road, the local dive bar welcomed me back with open arms. And booze, pizza, cigarettes, and candies. In the middle of my short time in Philly I was summoned to Foxwoods Casino for some fun with WhoJedi, Timtern, etc. No matter the fact that Foxwoods forcibly enforces it's ridiculous last call and drinking policy, a good time was had by all.





Tasty tasty



BigMike tracking our various Super Bowl prop bets, I lost



Cruising past NYC on the way to Foxwoods



Short-rib Stroganoff at David Burke's Prime...



followed by the "Can of Cake"

Read Full Poker Blog Post

Battle of the Bloggers 6?

Date: Sat, May 19, 2012

Mayhaps.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks behind the new poker site called Face Up Gaming. It was a round-about process which included Riggstad, Pokerati Dan, about a dozen missed calls and a spam box full of messages never reaching the promised land. They are a new subsciption based model and were wondering about running a similar blogger series like the Battle of the Blogger tournaments I ran while toiling away at Full Tilt Poker. I sent out a few feeler emails (if I missed you, I apologize. My old blogger email database was lost in a blown up laptop drive poof last year) but the response has mostly been "show me what you've got".

We're still working out details a BBT-type setup but they already have everything in place to run individual leagues which seems to work well with what I have in mind. Now I just need to find out what I can get to dump even more on top. So far I dig the software (multi-tabling!) and it doesn't require a software download.

They are running a $5,000 freeroll on Sunday at 3pm ET (12:00 PT) if you want to kick the tires and check it out. It will require a membership to register for the tournament but it's also a 14 free trial to give it a try.

I'd be interested in everyone's opinion and thoughts, hopefully I can have something rock solid for prizes and a schedule next week. You can register with the link above or the banner below. In the old manner of the Blogfather, BONUS CODE ACH!

Read Full Poker Blog Post

2011 Roadtrip: January in New Orleans

Date: Thu, May 17, 2012

After spending two very cold January weeks in Chicago and Minneapolis, plus five very uncomfortable hours stuck in a train in Wisconsin, my initial plan was to make my first ever visit to Hawaii. Old friends made a move there and offered up their guest room for a few weeks of fun in the sun. Then they moved home just two weeks before I was to step foot on the plane. I ran through several warmer climate options and came up with New Orleans. My favorite city in the world and I hadn't been back since Hurricane Katrina. I fell back in love with the city and went back two more times before the end of the year.



Two of the first places I stop for grub in Nola, ACME Oyster House and Lucky Dogs after I'm wasted




Hand Grenades!




Had to swear to my friends that it wasn't me being hauled out on a stretcher in the middle of the day




Alley to the greatest heavy metal dive bar in the world, followed by feats o' strength




St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square




Dinner at Delmonico, lamb tenderloin (with bonus sausage) followed by Banana's Foster




Absolutely addicted to beignets, my typical breakfast was a bacon and egg sandwich and order of beignets


Read Full Poker Blog Post

2011 Roadtrip: January in Chicago and Minneapolis

Date: Tue, May 15, 2012

What the hell, why not get right into it. Not like I have anywhere to be or things to do. I'm going to start shipping up a metric shit ton of photos the next fews days that I collected over the last year. I'll start with January and see how far I get before I get tired of editing pictures and loading them aboard.

The first trip of the year was an impromptu trip to Chicago in the middle of January. Not the best time for my first real time in Chicago but our boy GamblingBlues was just a few weeks away from moving to Australia and a bunch of us flew in to suprise him. Booze, great food, good times, and more booze.




"Brunch" time for beers and basketball




Learn it, Live it, Love it




The bar tab from the previous night including "basket of bacon"




Shots!




Menu at the famous Kuma's Corner




Decided the Mastodon burger was the way to go, I was correct




After Chicago, I went north to balmy Minnesota for some Drizzle prop betting on Big Buck Hunter...




and this idiotic thing




Naturally this happened


Read Full Poker Blog Post

Time to Catch Up

Date: Mon, May 14, 2012


"Where the hell have you been?" is the question not asked by many people. Somewhere along the line I forgot the notification that my hosting account was expiring and it never occurred to me until someone sent me a message asking why I shut my site down. Never known for it's high brow content or deft touch at handling tough topics, the site (which at one points WAS a real site and not just a blogspot mirror) was so far in the back of my mind that I couldn't even remember the various logons to get it all back.

Then a few people tweaked me about letting it die, a few more situations came up where I wished I had a proper place to vent, and then I found myself unemployed for the first time since I was in high school. So it's back alive and actually restored pretty well thanks to a rigorous backup strategy so I would not lose 600mb of half or completely nekkid girls. God damn priorities.

Plus I missed my blogging brethren. I still chat with Pauly and Otis and Iggy (when his ass isn't knee deep in swamp) but I've avoided most of the blogging world once "blogging" actually became a job with Full Tilt and then the behind the scenes work with Epic Poker. Two companies. One DoJ indictment, one Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. I rule. But it seems things keep right on rolling as I'm going through my ancient links on the right and finding a number of old friends still splatting the internet with writtendiarrhea.

I was saddened when I learned Pauly was hanging up Tao of Poker. He was the first one around these parts who I met in person, and like everything else turned into one of the funny/crazy stories we continue to find ourselves playing out. The site will be missed if it never returns, it was a bright spot in the land of quote poker media unquote which is covered from end to end withunder-qualifiedchuckleheads getting into the gig just to meet their favorite players instead of actually reporting on anything of substance. Pauly never gave a fuck what anyone thought and still doesn't.

~

2011 was cruising along like a goddamn champ. I was making good money with Tilt, spending most of my time flying from one fun location to another, meeting a ton of great people, and usually drinking every bar out of SoCo. I was a roadtripping fool. Then my phone blew up while I was travelling back home from Ocean City, MD on April 15th and my life went sideways when the Department of Justice indicted Full Tilt, PokerStars, and UB. It wasn't a complete cock up of my life because somehow I managed to save a fewducatsand bounced a few more trips including hitting Las Vegas even though Tilt was dead.

My next gig went something like Jennifer Newell put me in touch with old blogger friend Michael Craig who turned around and got me in touch with the bigwigs at Epic Poker. That was a *short* fun gig acting as content manager but more importantly continued money flowing into my account to keep up my roadtrip. Before the end of the year, my silly schedule had me flying over 75,000 miles all within the continental US.

Threeseparatetrips to New Orleans where I fell back in love with a city. It has everything you can find in Las Vegas without the soul suck and the food/music/environment is better. I went to California a few times, most importantly with the boy to catch the Big 4 Festival just a few days after Black Friday. Reno, the Outer Banks, Daytona, Key West as well as the requisite half dozen trips to Las Vegas rounded out a year that was probably too much fun for one guy to handle.

Perhaps I'll begin to fill in the blanks for everyone as I go along. There were too many to plug them all in with my first "screw it, I'm back" post but I'll throw some pictures up over the next few days as the poor writer's crutch.

~

Another thing I actually missed last year was running the always anticipated, eventually hated Battle of the Blogger tournaments. If you don't know, that was such a huge pain in my ass it took a big kick in the ass for me to ever get it in gear. But the stat geek and fine hearted man I find somewhere down deep went ahead and built it back up to give away a bunch of free WSOP seats or whatever else they threw my way.

That's all gone the way of the doodoo bird unless you count the free home games on PokerStars but where's the fun without prizes. I've actually been talking to a new company about doing something similar to what we used to do but no promises at the moment. Everyone talks great until it's time to put their money where their hole is located. Battle of the Blogger Tournaments 6? I'd give it about a 20-to-1 shot, mostly because I'm not sure I want to put myself through that crap again.

~



Steve and BadBlood wait for Slayer

Read Full Poker Blog Post