I went to my first face-to-face poker blogger gathering on July 21, at GCox25's place in Oklahoma City. I had one helluva lot of fun, and packed a lot of good times into one day and evening. Here are my top ten favorite things about my trip to Okie-Vegas:
10. Learning Chinese Poker for the very first time, and not sucking at it. Beginner's luck was mine.
9. Watching the Coxes' midget Yorkie-Shih Tzu dog run up and down the furniture and beg for attention. That little furball can leap, lemme tell you.
8. Chowing down on tasty Oklahoma barbecue from Van's Pig Stand and homemade sausage balls, deviled eggs, and endless other munchies courtesy of the fabulous cook, hostess, photographer with everyone's cameras, and all around good sport Mrs. GCox.
7. Participating with the other bloggers in my first dial-a-shots; some live, as with AlCan'tHang, and some on voice mails of bloggers who had some flimsy excuse for not attending in person AND didn't even answer their damn phones.
6. Watching and hearing 23skidoo, surflexus, Jordan, GCox, F-Train, Katitude, and Maudie get up and sing some karaoke. Video was recorded (not by me); hopefully highlights (or lowlights) will be posted somewhere soon. If TripJax sang any karaoke, I missed it, dammit.
5. Singing a bit of karaoke myself, to that number one hit by Yes, Owner of a Lonely Heart. Jon Anderson does not need to worry about losing his singing job to me. I also played some air guitar and drums on a song or two, which I am much better at than singing.
4. Listening to Mrs. GCox sing along with the karaoke machine. She is actually a wonderful singer and put the rest of us to shame.
3. Doing the Time Warp with most of the bloggers as our grand group karaoke finale (at least before I left). Photographic and video evidence of this performance exists, but that is all I can say for now.
2. Playing in my first "live and in person" poker blogger tournament. I used my "unconventional play" strategy (also known as playing like a moron) to donk off all but 2 big blinds worth of chips, then staged an amazing comeback (also known as turning into a card rack and suckout artist) to finish in second place, right behind the deserving Katitude who took down first prize.
1. And the number one best thing about my first Okie-Vegas experience..... meeting the gracious, friendly, welcoming, funny, crazy poker bloggers and their friends and family members. I think it was Gracie who said that our group of poker bloggers consists of some of the best people around. I couldn't agree more, at least based on my experience this weekend. I hope to get together with these folks again soon, and to meet more of the folks who didn't make it to this party and were missed by all.
Thanks must go first and foremost to Gary and Carrie Cox, our host and hostess, who went out of their way to make everyone feel at home, whether they had ever met us before or not. I also have to thank everyone who played at my tourney table for putting up with my newbie-ish play. I have played very few live tourneys for real money, and it showed. But eventually I settled down and the poker gods looked favorably on me in the second half of the game, especially when I caught a runner-runner boat over boat to triple up and stay alive. Of course, I was very glad to meet everyone there, and I feel like I have some real, live, not-invisible Internet friends now.
I can't wait to read everyone else's reports on Okie-Vegas 2007. I'm pretty sure everyone had fun, and might possibly have a story or two to tell.