Disclaimer: As all my trip reports go, I report to the best of my memory and ability and if I get any facts wrong such as times, dates, or people it's simply due to not taking notes during the trip.
Left home early, around 5am and arrived at the front door of The Bike right around 10:30. TRIED to find the hotel that I had booked and went on tilt when I found out that the people who worked at the hotel (Best Western Montebello) couldn't tell North from South and tried to just tell me to "Just go straight...". 40 mins later, I finally found it. So, I checked in and headed over to the Bike where the very first person I ran into was my favorite ADB'r, Peter AKA Foldem. (NICE license plate by the way, and I'm so sorry I didn't get to say goodbye to you, I didn't know you had to leave until it was too late)
My first impressions of The Bike was very good, I had never been to an LA card room before and I was stunned by the amount of tables (120+), the amount of people, the overall "niceness" of the place. I was impressed and liked it very much.
I jumped into the daily "Nooner" that The Bike offers, which I decided has a TERRIBLE structure, 800 chips, blinds start at 10/15 (IIRC) and is simply filled with a bunch of donkeys and wannabes. In other words, I busted out early. Tee Hee.
Thursday's 7:00pm ESCARGOT tourney was 1/2 PLHE, 1/2 PLO. I was pretty happy as I love to play PLO and was looking forward to those rounds. Kyle had other ideas in mind though and ended up busting me on the very first hand with his KK vs my AQ. No, I was not drunk, I just had a bout of BSOD and so therefore, I was able to head over to the regular tourney area and jump into The Bike's daily 7pm 15 mins late.
This is when I decided to have some fun and started drinking just a little, but continously. We get to the final 2 tables (about 100+ entries IMO, but I never asked), and I get a 5 minute penalty after dropping the "F" bomb after finding out that the tournament director cut me off. He obviously did not know who I was!!!
"Where's the cocktail waitress?" - Tanya
Blank stare - TD
"Did you CUT me off??" - Tanya
Pause, then "Um, yeah" - TD
"Are you fucking kidding me?" - Tanya
(Laughter all around, it was a fun table, even the TD laughed)
"OK Tanya, that's 5 minutes for you" - TD
"No problem, can I go to the bar while I'm sitting out?" - Tanya
(Laughter) "I can't stop you" - TD
So I, of course, ran over to the ESCARGOT tournament room to relay the story and to show how indignant I was. No matter what Scottro says, I did NOT "stumble into the room", I was walking quite fine and in fact wasn't even close to being drunk, although I did have a very active buzz going on.
So 5 mins pasts, I go back to the tourney, and about 30-40 mins later, near the bubble, I end up raising in MP, LP moves all in, I instant-call with my AA, he shows his QQ and the Q on the flop sends me home. Sigh.
So, I decided to head across the street to Applebees for a Fried Chicken Salad to go, took it back to my hotel room and fell asleep around 1am.
Discovered the baby $40 NLHE tables, where the max buy in is $40, what FUN tables!! I spent a lot of time at these tables over the weekend, even moving up to the $80 NLHE tables at a few points. Didn't really win, but was able to play for awhile with a limited/smaller budget which was nice.
Played the Nooner again, blech, I REALLY don't like their Nooner structure. In other words, I busted out pretty early.
This is the day I did my research on The Bike for my book, so I was busy interviewing, finding out information, etc for a few hours, then I started playing some CHORSEL with the ARG'rs, where I actually got to not only meet but sit next to BJKareoke (sp?) aka Barbara Gallamore. WOW, what a lady. I LOVED her. She was one my favorite people that I met this weekend. She was me 20+ years ago and I will be her 20+ years away. I liked her a lot, tons of spunk, great personality, don't even try to bullshit her, she's got cajones AND brains, loved her.
Got a little sleepy and wanted to take a nap before the 7pm tourney, just a little power nap, I had started drinking pretty early, and my 2nd wind hadn't caught up to me yet. You know you have it good when the Card Room Director not only lets you sleep in his card room, but gives you his leather couch in his office. 45 mins later, I was woken up and raring to go again!
Played in the 7pm ARG event, lord knows what it was, I can't remember and am too lazy to look it up, but again, I did not last long so I headed over to the cash game areas. However, on my way over, I hear music. It appears that the Sushi Bar/Restaurant that is inside The Bike has a DJ that performs every Friday night. Sign me up! So I didn't have to go anywhere, and decided that I would probably save money by just sitting in the bar all night long and dancing vs. playing cash games.
OHHHH, that brings me to a quick point. Drinks are not free in L.A. I did not know this. I did not plan on this (a liquor budget). I was quite bummed. I was able to get quite a few drinks bought for me from local players (They love playing with the "drunk" people) but um yeah, I spent some money on drinks this weekend. Being a Vegas girl, I just wasn't used to this. Ah well...I digress.
So I'm sitting at the Sushi Bar where Slim1Der aka Mark, Omaholic aka Rich and his wife Cheryl join me and while they eat sushi I just listen to the DJ and relax, have a few drinks, etc. Mark ends up leaving to go to bed (2 words: Cannot. Hang.), Rich heads over to the CHORSEL game and I stay at the bar enjoying the music with the other 4 people that were hanging out in there. LOL (Can you say DEAD??) So Cheryl hangs out with me for quite some time, got to know her and I must say Rich lucked out because she is one cool girl. Liked her a lot.
Once the DJ was done (1am or 2am, don't know) Cheryl and I head outside with this guy that I flirted with in the bar (Don't know his name, can't remember, maybe she knows...) to smoke a cigarette. (Oh calm down, I am a flirt, I flirt with everyone and will flirt back with anyone who flirts with me, it's just part of my bubbly personality) Anywho, we go back inside (Cheryl and I) and find out 3 mins later that I lost my purse. It's gone....not in the Sushi bar, not outside, and I had it in the Sushi bar because I paid my bar tab from my purse so it was literally lost within a 10 min timeframe and so then of course, in my mind, stolen would be a better word.
The thing is, I actually had all my money on my person, but the whole idea of cancelling credit cards, getting a new ID, etc, is just SUCH a pain, not to mention the fact that this was my Dior purse that I just bought back in October, so I was mad. Spoke with Security and they started to run the tapes because the floorman said that if they see who took it, they would ban that player from life from the casino.
LUCKY ME when the guy who I was flirting with comes up to me and says that he had been looking for me ever since I went back inside from smoking because I had left my purse outside and pulled my purse out from inside his jacket. (I think he didn't want to be seen carrying a purse, so he kind of "hid" it, LOL). I was SOO thankful, gave him a big hug and felt SO relieved.
Of course, I will admit that I was intoxicated at this point, but for some reason my bar tab inside the Sushi bar was only $37.....I STILL can't figure that out, but whatever....so I looked at Cheryl, said "Help Me" and her and Rich drove me to my hotel where I crashed around 4am, I'm guessing.
The ARG tourney started at 11:15am, no problem, I was there by 10:30am and proceeded to play (LHE??? Hmmm, can't remember), didn't do too well again so went over to the cash games and just had fun on the $40 NLHE tables until it was time for the Banquet.
The food was OK, IMO, not much of a selection, but it wasn't bad. Jerrod was our guest speaker and since his talk was mostly about his (and Bill Chen's) new book, he lost me several times as I am just NOT a mathematical person and there were a few times where he started speaking about equations, 9/44 is something I remember distinctly, and he just started losing me. Not his fault, he did fine, it was me, I just wasn't following very good. I do, however, disagree with his and Bill Chen's thoughts that Tourneys and cash games are NOT two different "animals" as most poker players believe. Being that I am a tournament player and not a cash game player, I KNOW they are two different "animals" and just couldn't grasp his concept on why they thought it wasn't. Maybe I'll talk about it with him or Bill one day to better understand their position.
Anywho, after the banquet it was time for Chowaha or however it's spelled....
My first time playing it and it was a BLAST!! We ended up with 13 playing, with Don aka SuperSteamer graciously offering to run the event, and Barry and I graciously did the liquor run. OK, OK, so it was actually Bob, but I thought he looked like a Barry instead so insisted on calling him that and he thought it was funny and laughed every time I did it, so I know I didn't offend him. (Besides, a lot of close friends of mine already know that I have a habit of doing this....I will actually "Re-Name" you and then that's it, your stuck with that name by me, even though it's not your name. Don't ask, it's just one of my quirks)
I ended up getting busted out by Kyle (AGAIN!!!) when my full house got spanked by his STRAIGHT FLUSH. Good grief!!!
Quick lesson of game:
You get 2 hole cards, just like in Hold Em.
There are 3 flops laid out, like so:
A round of betting, then 2 turn cards are laid out, like so:
A round of betting, then 1 river card is laid out, like so:
The trick is you have to use both hole cards and then the flop, turn and river that you use has to be connected. That's all I can say, if you don't get it, sorry!!
So after Chowaha was over (damn, am I even spelling that right??) We started playing a game that Rich aka Omaholic invented called Slomaha. FUN. GAME. Everyone who played loved it! You start with 6 cards, then you discard 1 after the flop, then 1 after the turn, leaving you with 4 cards in your hand, and you then play the game like normal Omaha by the time the river card is produced. It was great fun.
We also played some Chinese poker before we started the Chowaha, I started but then Rich took over for me when I ran to the liquor store and ended up winning us $14!!
By the way, everyone who tried the Hypnotiq loved it. It's good, you should buy a bottle and try it yourself!!
Party ends around 1-2am and I head to my hotel room where I enjoy another drink before hitting the hay.
ARG tourney starts at 12, it's NLHE, I actually lasted longer in this even then the others, but ended up getting busted by Scottro when he had KK and I had QQ. I know he would have NEVER have forgiven me if I had sucked out on him, as he was at my table the whole time and literally only played 3 hands in 3 hours, but it was QQ!!! He actually moved all in after an UTG raise, and I thought he was overbetting to protect a 1010 or JJ so I really didn't hesitate too much or put him on KK or AA once I saw my QQ, I knew I was going. He had me covered, so I was out.
At this point, just went over to play some $40 NLHE, but then we started a CHORBSEL game (Crazy Pineapple, LHE, Omaha H/L, Razz, Badugi, Stud, Stud H/L, 5 card Low Ball 1 draw), played that for several hours until the game broke up.
Slim1Der ended up in 9th place, you GO Mark!! So although he was planning on leaving for home Sunday afternoon (San Diego??) he didn't get out until about 5-6pm, and then with no money to boot, LOL. (sorry Mark. : )
Said our goodbyes to ARG'rs as they were leaving, then said goodbye to our game as once it broke up, that was it! No more ARG'rs left in the building!!!
Except for me that is, I knew I wasn't leaving for home until Monday afternoon so I decided to stay and play some $80 NLHE and drink! Had to stop drinking at 2am (damn CA laws) and ended up leaving The Bike around 4:30am, slept for 5 hours, then woke up and drove home!!
All in all, a great trip. Nothing compared to BARGE or even ATLARGE, but I wouldn't miss it again. I always have a great time at the ARG events. This was my 3rd official one, and I will be attending ATLARGE again coming up in March and would highly recommend anyone and everyone coming. You may not like or get along with EVERYONE but you will like and get along with MOST, and that's good enough for me!!
I enjoyed the staff at The Bike, found them all very nice and plenty of them. Although not enough cocktail waitresses, or they were just too slow for me, but I loved the floormen, the card room directors, etc. Nice group of people that really seemed to WANT us there which was pretty cool since they obviously didn't NEED us there.
On a final note, it has been stated that I have been trying too hard to become an ADB'r this was my comment to that on the BARGE list today:
"Let the record show, that while I have made it known in the past that I would like to be an ADB'r, I've given up on actively seeking membership as it would take years anyways, and if people really think that when I go to ARG events I'm deliberatly drinking WHAT I drink, WHEN I drink, then you really don't know me.
I live life to the fullest, I enjoy drinking, and I can handle more than most normal beings can, and I don't get hung over, so why not?
Anywho, I did discuss this at ESCARGOT with a few people about the exclusive "ADB" club and how it's just not as important as it was for me to "belong" as it was before BARGE. Hmmmm, maybe it's because I actually got to know a couple of them better. (wink wink)"