Ironman of Poker 5: A Wolfpack of 12
Hello. How about that flight in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City (ha ha ha). You guys may not know this, but we consider ourselves…a bunch of loners. We tend to think of ourselves as a seven man wolf pack. But when Colt brought Fat Jesus along, we knew they were ones of our own. And our wolf pack, it grew by two. So we were nine…so there were nine of us in the pack. We…we were alone first in the pack, then Colt and Fat Jesus joined in later. About three months ago, when Santa introduced us to the other pledges, we thought…wait a second, could it be? And now we know for sure, we just added three more guys to our wolf pack. 12 of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, we make a toast!
The original seven veterans had all punched their tickets and were in. But then a magical thing happened, five rookies stepped forward and pledged their allegiance to the IMOP fraternity. Hilarity was sure to ensue.
*Santa Claus
Twitter Name: @IronmenofPoker
IMOP Claims to Fame: IMOP cruise director. Busted the Sherminator.
Poker Style: Erratic. Starting hand selection is usually tight, but opens up in direct proportion to drinks consumed, and in inverse proportion to hours slept.
Twitter Name: @IMOPLucky
IMOP Claim to Fame: Having water dumped in his crotch at Delmonico.
Poker Style: Tight-aggressive. Tilts easily and with dramatic effect.

Twitter Name: @Sahara_D
IMOP Claim to Fame: Hates the Sahara casino.
Poker Style: Tournament assassin, cash game corpse.

Twitter Name: @Grange95
IMOP Claim to Fame: Best worst-dressed player.
Poker Style: Sneaky. Loves to crack AA/KK with trash. Sucks at tournaments, though he won a tournament at Caesars Palace, including heads up with Barbie for the title.

Twitter Name: @JBDIA
IMOP Claim to Fame: Getting finger-raped at the Fashion Mall.
Poker Style: DIA means “diamonds in azz”, so you can only begin to imagine how tight this guy plays.

Twitter Name: @imopbarbie
IMOP Claim to Fame: Perpetrator of the “Meat Tank” prop bet.
Poker Style: Uber-maniac. Loves “the Spanish Inquisition” (6-3). Specializes in tilting Euros.

Twitter Name: @bonny2bag
IMOP Claim to Fame: Demolishing the “most cocktails” record, yet losing a drinking prop bet to Grange within the first two hours of the competition.
Poker Style: Drunken psychotic. After four Coronas, he will terrorize any cash game by making any play with any two cards. Unreadable, unless passed out.

*Colt (rookie)
Twitter Name: @COLT45o
IMOP Claim to Fame: Winning the pledge trivia contest, and wearing a man-purse (er, "satchel") with skittles all through IMOP-V.
Poker Style: Cagey drunk tournament specialist.

*Baby Carlos (rookie)
Twitter Name: @Dotdon12
IMOP Claim to Fame: Rookie cashes in the ugly jacket competition? Inconcievable!
Poker Style: Uh, well, he’s really good at sports betting!

*Fat Jesus (rookie)
Twitter Name: @fjimop
IMOP Claim to Fame: Caring greatly about missing Ironman’s safety – after an omelet of course.
Poker Style: Strong enough to strategically pounce on drunkies at V in the wee hours every night…

*River Joe (rookie)
Twitter Name: @riverjoe2
IMOP Claim to Fame: Sporting mullet wig in fine fashion.
Poker Style: If you can’t figure it out by his name, then you are dumber than a box of hair.

*Mr. Chow (rookie)
Twitter Name: @aMrChow
IMOP Claim to Fame: Being called ‘gay’ by a dealer at the Venetian.
Poker Style: The kind that had people from other tables drooling for a seat to open next to him.

The Contests
As usual, there were a number of different contests that would make up the overall scoring to determine who our IMOP 5 Champion would be. We scaled back a few of the old standbys but came up a few new ones for 2010:
• In honor of the 5th year of the trip, winning any pot with deuce-trey was worth points – though you must table it every time. As usual, and as expected, this resulted in creating much action at any table where an Ironman was present. It also resulted in at least two of us losing our entire stack playing that damn hand…
• For tilt inducement purposes, points would be given out for uttering the phrase, “I put you on aces” anytime an Ironman would snap off a big hand with trash. Barbie put this one to good use as his combination of calling any raise with any two cards along with being a luckbox wound up giving him ample opportunity to add insult to injury.
• Since we didn’t have any NCAA tourney component, we opted for filling out brackets for the prestigious Missouri Valley Conference tourney. Let’s just say Sahara won’t be setting up a picks hotline anytime soon.
• Not only did we have the usual “Ugly Jacket” dinner competition, but this year introduced the “Worst Concert T-Shirt” competition with some strong entries.
• As usual, there were points for things like most feltings, tournament cashes, best hand and pit game profits. We also had a prop betting sheet which included things like, “Will an Ironman get in a physical confrontation?” (+1500).
This year also marked a brand new competition, the team events. Lucky, Santa and Grange were the three past champions and each drafted a team from a pool of the other 9 participants. The three teams were:
• Lucky’s Charms: Lucky, JBDIA, Bonny and Colt
• The Burning Sensations: Santa, Fat Jesus, Mr. Chow and River Joe
• Team Cowbell: Grange, Sahara, Baby Carlos, Barbie (they actually wore “Cowbell Hero” t-shirts)
The events included best team finish in each sanctioned tournament as well as a series of events with one person representing each team. These were: team with last guy to finally sleep after arrival in Vegas, team with guy who drank the most between 11am and 9pm on Saturday and a photo scavenger hunt for things like man missing a tooth, a tiger, Mike Tyson and ID of a guy named Phil, Allen or Stu…
Apparently the IMOP and the lure of Vegas were too much for some to resist for long. Five of the twelve participants wound up in Vegas ahead of the official Thursday evening start time. River Joe and Lucky were in a few days early for work conferences. Grange and Santa were in a day early. It was interesting to see the tweets and texts coming in from the others as they made their way in. The best travel story came thanks to rookie Colt and his ignorance of certain FAA regulations about got him tossed in jail before he even set foot in Vegas.
Colt had read last year’s trip report where Barbie had gone value drinking by bringing several small bottles of crown royal through security at the airport and mixed them with cokes prior to boarding the plane. Apparently Colt took this to mean that anything goes as he dutifully ran his vodka through the xray machine and headed to the gate. The fun began when he got on the plane. When the flight attendant came by to ask him if he wanted a cocktail, Colt replied, “Just a coke, I brought my own,” and held up one of his small bottles. Well, she was not happy and asked him to hand it over. He wouldn’t and after threatening jail time and other manner of medieval torture, she told him to stow it in his carry on. Except he didn’t have one. That’s right; his only carry on were the bottles of alcohol themselves. Only an Ironman…
So, fellow IMOP JBDIA had to put them in his bag – and she asked to see them a few times to make sure Colt hadn’t sucked one of them down. Crisis averted. Especially since she didn’t know about the other four he had in the seat pouch in front of him.
The gang finally all arrived and got baggage stowed at the V, which would again be our home base this year after a one year hiatus to Bellagio. We quickly set about this year’s opening ceremony which was pledge hazing of the five newbs at O’Sheas. Each of the rookies were asked questions about each of the prior four IMOP trips, with a fifth round of questions from The Hangover. There were, of course, prop betting opportunities on which one would win. Once the scoring was finished, a white elephant style “gift” exchange was held for items required to be worn for the first night of the trip. These included neon green and pink feather boa with matching sun glasses, a mullet wig, giant hats and a man purse, which would later be filled with skittles by Colt who got stuck with that one despite being the pledge hazing winner. As expected, our group attracted a great deal of attention even amongst the beer pong crowd. We were already in fine form as we headed for Planet Hollywood and their 2am tournament.
We saw several dealers at PHo who recognized us from prior years. With the pledges all decked out in their various regalia, the drunks entering the tourney were bewildered by what was happening. As frequently seems to happen, an Ironman ended up first with JBDIA breaking his tournament cherry with a chop.
As Ironmen started to donk out of the tournament, the cash games they got into became chip spewing festivals. As the morning was winding down, Bonny was taking the title as this year’s gigantic stack tilt machine, again nearly causing an international incident. He gets tangled up in a hand with a Brit and an Irish guy. Bonny makes a big bluff with bottom pair holding Q6. Irish guy folds a set, Brit calls down with…no pair? Irish guy, already on tilt from being abused by Grange, pops off to Bonny who replies, “If you call me one more name I’m going throw you across the room like a rag doll!”. But sadly, for those of holding physical confrontation prop bet tickets, no violence occurred.
The remaining IMOP crew headed down the strip in the morning light to the Champion’s Breakfast at…Denny’s! Santa treated everyone to Moon’s Over My Hammy and other high end delicacies as we recounted the first evening’s shenanigans. Fat Jesus was still wearing his boa and all was right with the world. After breakfast, a few went to get a nap while the rest of us went to the V to continue the gamble fest before heading to our next tournament that afternoon.
As we headed to TI at 2pm for our second officially sanctioned tournament, all three “Up All Night” team representatives still had not been to bed yet (Barbie, JBDIA and Fat Jesus), along with a few others. It was hard to tell if Barbie was being held together soley by cigarettes and devils (aka vodka red bull), but he was a force to be reckoned with. JBDIA was on fumes and while The Burning Sensations had confidence in Fat Jesus, it was already clear Barbie was on a roll.
The TI tournament was the forum for the “Worst Concert T-Shirt” competition which had some very strong contenders. Mr. Chow was sporting KC and the Sunshine Band, Colt had on a Billy Squire number that was two sizes two small, River Joe had a SWEET Weird Al Yankovic shirt. But the upset winner had to be Sahara-the-conservative with a freakish Michael Bolton shirt with a larger-than-life-size head on the front. Congrats and well played! The Burning Sensations were well represented with River Joe and Mr. Chow finishing third and fourth and pulling them back into the team race.
A few wandered off to get their first sleep of the trip while others headed to Isla to get their grub on. Those at Isla were lucky enough to run into a group of women who were strangely attracted to the concert t-shirts and helped participate in the scavenger hunt by volunteering themselves for the “cleavage” item. Never underestimate the power of Michael Bolton’s effect on women…or having a gay guy with you. Just sayin’.

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  1. So brilliant!
    So brilliant!
    So brilliant!
    Bring on the next episode please Sir.

  2. All is right with the world - the IMOP TR is here. Cannot wait for the next two parts!

  3. now everything is alright with the world. lurking avp for a couple of months, planning vegas and the annual trip comin up in a couple of weeks. as cream on the mashed potatoes, as we say in sweden, a new imop tr. sweet.

  4. I swear to god, I'll pistol whip the next guy thats sayes SHENANIGANS.......

  5. @Santa Claus

    At some point during the trip, did you also sing:

    And we're the 12 best friends that anybody could have
    We're the 12 best friends that anyone could have
    We're the 12 best friends that anyone can have
    And we'll never, ever, ever, ever, ever leave each other
    We're the best 12 friends that anybody could have
    I mean, the 12 best friends that anybody could have
    That's right, the 12 best friends that anybody can have



  6. Thanks for the trip report. How did the Q6 work out at the table. Shame the Irish guy did not throw down. The physical competition bet was an easy one to lay money on.

  7. Awesome stuff. Can't wait to see the rest - and the pics!

  8. @CRM114FGD135

    At some point during the trip, did you also sing:

    And we're the 12 best friends that anybody could have
    We're the 12 best friends that anyone could have
    We're the 12 best friends that anyone can have
    And we'll never, ever, ever, ever, ever leave each other
    We're the best 12 friends that anybody could have
    I mean, the 12 best friends that anybody could have
    That's right, the 12 best friends that anybody can have



    We actually were going to make the pledges sing that after the initiation/hazing ceremony, but things sort of got out of control. Best laid plans and all. *Sigh*

  9. Gr8 report...what a hoot that musta been!!!!!

  10. Classic of course, I just feel blessed to have played a bit of cash with a few of the Ironmen on their recent trip. Anxiously awaiting part II

  11. For the love of the Gambling Gods and all things good in this world.........get on with it!
    How much glory do you need?
    Type Santa......type, type type....then post, post post!

  12. @travhast

    On behalf of the Ironmen, I apologize for all tauntings and tiltings our crew may have inflicted on your countrymen the past five years. Good luck on your trip!

  13. So, Doctor Santa, Phd. & Lord Grange, Esq. now that you've won the "under" on the appearance of this, if I may ask, will you be adding the photos of you guys playing at the Aria in leopard print snuggies with sushi in your hair (or whatever it was this time) as an appendix to your dissertation later?

  14. @Local Rock

    funny you should say that ... stay tuned for part II of the report!

  15. ahhh... the suspense is killing me.

    photos please. i must see them!!!

    thx for TR... so far

  16. Good stuff! I eagerly await the rest....

  17. Always an enjoyable read, but you might need to reevaluate Colt's status. I mean really, Vodka & Coke?

  18. HILARIOUS!!! I can't wait for the rest. I am glad I'm in Vegas now, I want to make sure and see you guys in action next time around.

  19. @fatb

    Hey Farva what's the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy sh%# on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

    Thanks for posting guys....ho-lar-e-ous

  20. Why is 6-3 the " spanish inquisition?"

    Great stuff man, love reading the reports!

  21. @bigchip

    Because..."no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

  22. That is GREAT!!! Was trying to figure out some historical reference that I was missing. Love it!

  23. The pledges at hazing for opening ceremonies. From left: Fat Jesus, River Joe, Baby Carlos, Mr. Chow and Colt.

  24. The whole crowd, plus one unknown party crasher. From left: Santa, Fat Jesus, Bonny, River Joe, Barbie (in way back), unknown yahoo (in front), Baby Carlos, Mr. Chow, Lucky, Colt, Grange (in back), Sahara (in front), JBDIA with his head chopped off at the end there...

  25. Amazing TR! You guys do it right, no doubt about it. Are all of you Iowans? What casinos do you guys hit up?

  26. @hawkeye_heit
    Grange's home turf is Prairie Meadows, the rest of us are eastern Iowa and play mostly Riverside (though I probably play once or twice a month at PM when I'm there on business).

  27. Mr. Chow and the back of his KC and the Sunshine Band shirt.

    Colt sported the two-sizes-too-small Billy Squire number.

    And our t-shirt winner, Sahara with his Michael Bolton debacle. After this picture maybe we should call him Sahara Dynamite...