The drive there from Minneapolis is one I have
done a number of times, so I was ready for it, with CDs
of the National Lampoon Radio Hour, a map from Mapquest to find my hotel and enough other information
printed to fill a briefcase. I had to work at the group home an insane amount before the trip, both to cover shifts,
and to get everything done I needed to. I had pulled 3 16 hours shifts in the previous 4 days, and had to pack
late Thursday night, with leaving at 7 am on Friday.
Still, we got into Chicago ahead of rush hour,
spend an hour or so lost, trying to find the hotel because
Mapquest screwed up listing the exit we needed and got our hotel room.
Which we discovered my second screw up (the first
being getting lost), I had booked the hotel room for the
wrong nights. Since it was amazingly cheap through priceline (and it was completely my fault) I didn’t get upset,
but asked if we could get an extra night, and after a bit of haggling, I got a decent rate and went up to the room.
After calling Bart to find out the evening’s plan,
I ran to the grocery store to get food (the hotel had a fridge
and stovetop), got cleaned up, and then we went into Chicago proper for the first night’s festivities. If you’ve
read other pokerfest reports, you’ll know that a bunch of us went to The Chicago Roof Lady’s place, but on
the way there, I got a call from the group home I work at, and one of the residents was having a episode and
had injured one of the staff. I could barely hear them, and gave a few directions to them, saying I would call
when I was able to talk…which was right as we got to the gathering. Yeah, my job never really leaves me alone.
The group that showed was great. Fun people,
a beautiful building, a great view from the roof and the best
conversation I’ve had in a long time. Bart even said he would give me a plug for my novels which are located here:
The next morning, I was up and ready to play.
I put my sunglasses, bottles of water, Enron hat (to throw people
off their game) and went on my way. Bartcop’s hotel was in a neighborhood of Chicago I’d never seen before,
but it reminded me a lot of Minneapolis’s Uptown district. Lots of older houses, beautifully taken care of, and a
few little places mixed in with the chain stores that draw in an artsy crowd. However, I didn’t have time to check
them out. I was there for poker.
The room that had been set up for us with lots
of things that made me feel right at home. A blow up doll of “President”
Bush in his Halloween costume, pretending he was a soldier, a Dick Cheney mask, and other things like that. I got in as
Bartcop was playing host, getting the chips ready for the games, handing out name tags and the like. By the time we sat
down to play, there were about 15 people there. The first game I played was probably the best…a great group of players,
and the people without a lot of experience weren’t taken advantage of, but helped by the people who had a lot of experience.
The blinds rose slowly enough that everyone got
to play a lot of hands, so that we got into the rhythm of the game.
LA Rick (who had a “Don’t bluff me, you bastard” sticker on) jumped out to an early chip lead, but for the first hour,
it was pretty much anyone’s game. There was a LOT of good players at that first table, but I used Doyle Brunson’s old rule
(Never call, raise or drop) and I slowly built up a strong chip lead. People got sick of me saying, “I’m coming in for a raise”,
but after 3 hours, I’d won the game. Not bad for a guy who just plays in a crappy home game and watches a hell of a lot of
poker on TV. Bart congratulated me and said he would make sure I got my prize sent to me at home, but if I wanted, he would
give me a plug for my weekly news parody at www.solitairerose.com/wnu.html instead, but I opted for the prize.
The second game was a bit rougher, we mixed up
the players (since a second game had started soon after the first) and
was at a table with mostly new people. Things moves faster in the second game I played, but I jumped to a quick chip lead
by getting a GREAT flop when two other players went all in. Even if they both had pocket aces, I had them beat with a nut flush
that had fallen to me, and had to call when they pushed their chips in the pot…after that, I just kept up the aggressive play and
ground out another win. Again, Bart tried to get me to settle for a plug for the comic strip I write at www.asylumon5thstreet.com
The final tournament of the night was one that
had to go quickly, since we had to be out of the room in 90 minutes, so
blinds raising at a rapid rate (they went from 1,000 and 2,000 to 50,000 and 100,000 the first time around the table) I saw that
I would be out of chips in a single time around the table, so I went all in the first time I got an ace, trying to get enough chips to
last through another round of antes and blinds…but got beat by someone with a pocket pair.
I think everyone was relieved when I was knocked
out, since after winning the two previous games, I was the odds on favorite
to win the third…but Bart was so happy that I didn’t win he said he’d plug the merchandise I sell from the comic strip I write at http://www.cafeshops.com/jinwicked/146350.
After that, most of the people there went to a
tequila place near Second City, and we took over the back of the bar, talking
entertainment and poker. I met some great people that night (and during the day). I’d like to thank everyone involved for making it
the best vacation I’ve had in a LONG time, and I can not wait for the next one within driving distance of me here in Minneapolis.
If you haven’t gone to a Bartcop pokerfest, and
read the page, GO!
Even if you don’t know how to play poker, you’ll meet some wonderful people, have some great tequila,
and get a rest from all the ditto monkeys you have to put up with.
And you can meet Bartcop, who is exactly as I imagined him, which is a good thing.
Now Bart, when are you holding one of these in
The Best Dressed Man In Comics
Now writing www.asylumon5thstreet.com, but it's funny despite that.
return to bartcop.com