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Uzo before poker, never been broker...

A week after my crushing defeat at my birthday tournament, me and the boys went out for my bachelor party. We went to a bar in downtown Ottawa called The Honest Lawyer. I had about 3 pints of beer before my brother pointed out that we both knew the bartender from our younger days in a small town just outside Ottawa. After some food and some foosball, the bartender calls us over to the bar and sets up 5 different shots of various liquors and liqueurs. I down those in about 2 minutes and just as the booze starts to hit me, my bachelor party crew calls me back to the table.

I get back to the table and my best man gives me a smile and slaps about $160 down on the table and announces that we're going to the Casino de Hull (just across the Ottawa river in Quebec). I'm like, "That's awesome!" and we're gone.

Fifteen minutes later, we stroll into the lobby of the casino. It's pretty big, lots of lights, clean, and not too busy. We check our coats then walk into the casino. Well, all I saw at first were the million or so slot machines. But I wasn't here to play slots, I wanted to play poker. So we take a left past the bar and head over to the gaming tables.

And that's when I found out that the Casino does not have poker. They have something called Caribbean poker, but it seemed like a real money pit to me. In the five minutes that I watched, I saw everyone at the table lose a lot of money (at least what I call a lot), except the dealer who raked in all the chips with a smug look on his face.

After an hour or so, most of the guys had gambled away all their money. Only my brother and a friend Alex had any money left. My brother had just doubled his $100 into $200 at the roulette table and Alex was grinding it out at the blackjack table. So my brother and I sit down and played some blackjack. After about 2 hours, I was up about $80 and my brother was up $120 more. We pissed everyone off at the table for hitting when the dealer was showing low cards, but like we cared - it's our money and we can piss it away if we want to.

On the last hand, my brother and I bet $40. I'm dealt a 14, my brother is dealt a 16. Dealer is showing a 2. I'm first to go, so I double down and get hit with a 7 for 21. My brother does the same and gets his 5 for a 21. Some old lady at the table yells at us for not playing properly (what the f*ck does that mean? She wasn't even playing because she thought my brother had jinxed her...he totally did though...on purpose too!). Every one else stands, which is the right move in this case, but it's only money, right? The dealer shows a 12, hits an 8 on her next card for a 20, and everyone loses except us. So we stand up to leave, my brother trash talks the entire table, and then we're off to a friend's house to play some poker...finally!

Long story short (short because I don't remember much), we get to my friend's place. I have a couple beers, bust out of a first tournament ($20 buy-in for that one, but I was using my "gambling" money from earlier) when I go out with AK vs. my brother's 88. He hit his set on the flop and bets, I go all-in, he calls...I blame the alcohol on that one...

There was a second tournament, but just after I bought in, I did five shots of Uzo and passed out before the cards were dealt. That is still, to this day, the fastest that I have ever lost $20 in a tournament.

Still, when I woke up the next evening, I felt that I could become a better poker player. If only there was a way that I could practice at home...

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