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Poker postseason recap, summer 2019

August 11, 2019

By Matthew E. MillikenMEMwrites.wordpress.comAug. 11, 2019 The six-month-long World Tavern Poker season will conclude this evening. Thus far I’ve collected one prize — or make that two prizes, a plaque-and-medallion two-in-one combination — thanks to my taking the season points championship at the venue where I serve as tournament director on Sunday nights. It’s only my […]

Mid-2019 D.C.–area poker anecdotes, conclusion

July 28, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 28, 2019 My D.C.–area poker tour concluded with a visit to a popular area venue. Things did not go as hoped. I don’t think I won a hand during the hour or so that I played in the early game. This set the stage for a pretty unenjoyable remainder […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 11

June 7, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 7, 2019 As I’ve mentioned a couple of times in this series of posts, the last five springs running I’ve attended a national World Tavern Poker event at a particular casino in Pennsylvania. That venue is Mohegan Sun Pocono in the hills above Wilkes-Barre. (This facility, I ought to […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 9

June 2, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 2, 2019 I went back to the casino a little after 7 Wednesday evening to play in the Dream Team tournament, which had a separate prize for the four-person team that collected the most cumulative points. (Each player was given a certain number of points for each blind level […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 8

June 1, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 1, 2019 Depending on the tournament, a blind at these national World Tavern Poker event can last 15, 20 or 30 minutes. (Meaning that whatever the blinds — 100–200, 3,000–6,000, anything — they stay at that level until the new blinds are announced.) Regardless of the blind length, however, […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 5

May 28, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com May 28, 2019 I thought I’d fall into bed around midnight on Monday, if not before then. But I was extremely excited about the conclusion to the national championship and how it would play out the next morning. I think it wasn’t until around 2 a.m. that the sandman visited […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 3

May 22, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com May 22, 2019 Nancy A—, North Carolina player, was moved to our table perhaps 90 minutes into the national championship finals. At some point, a universally beloved World Tavern Poker employee named Scooty walked up to our table with a smirk on his face and told her, “You drive however […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 2

May 22, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com May 22, 2019 Shortly after 10 a.m. on Monday, May 20, flight one of the World Tavern Poker national championship finals got under way. For this, my second event of Open 26, I was assigned seat six at table 124, which was located in the back of the ballroom, near one […]

Pennsylvania pokerpalooza 2019: Part 1

May 21, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com May 21, 2019 Author’s note: This post contains some profanity near the end. MEM Seconds before the digital clock metaphorically struck 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, I started my vehicular conveyance and began driving from my parental unit’s domicile to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The skies were bright and clear, the weather was […]

Poker postseason stories, winter 2019: Part 4

March 9, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com March 9, 2019 Saturday inevitably leads to Sunday — that’s how weekdays work. And a tournament of champions is supposed to be followed either by another tournament of champions or the regular season — but not invariably. Because of a Super Bowl–related closure, the venue where I usually run poker […]

Poker postseason stories, winter 2019: Part 2

February 21, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 21, 2019 Every six months, World Tavern Poker concludes a regular season and transitions into two weeks of tavern-level championship events. The first postseason week is dedicated to tavern championships; the second, to so-called tournaments of champions. Each week has a slightly different format and eligibility criteria. But the […]

Poker postseason stories, winter 2019: Part 1

February 20, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 20, 2019 I was involved in a remarkable World Tavern Poker hand the other evening. Playing the button — that is, dealing, which puts me last to act after the flop — I saw four players limp into the pot for 400 chips. When I looked at my hole […]

Fortunes of play: Notes on an extended tavern championship run

August 4, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Aug. 4, 2018 Having botched my chance at a season points championship in the World Tavern Poker venue where I play on Tuesday nights as well as the one where I play (and direct tournaments) on Sunday nights, I had extra motivation to want to do well in the two-week “postseason” […]

May 2018 pokerpalooza: Day 5, tournament 8

June 25, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 25, 2018 On the final day of pokerpalooza, my morning tasks included waking up, showering, dressing, breakfasting, brushing my teeth, packing, checking out and driving over to the casino, where I would be participating in what World Tavern Poker calls the National Tournament of Champions Finals. None of this […]

May 2018 pokerpalooza: Day 4, tournaments 6 and 7

June 13, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 13, 2018 On Wednesday morning, I began playing in an event called the Patriot Poker Kickoff Tournament. I no longer recall much about this event, except that I did OK at my first table and then had a major flameout after being moved to a different table. That afternoon, […]

May 2018 pokerpalooza: Day 2, tournament 4

May 29, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com May 29, 2018 I have a bit of a checkered history with tag-team tournaments, which was the format on tap for Monday evening. The tag team is unlike every other event played at World Tavern Poker’s national gatherings in that it involves teams. Normally, poker players are lone wolves, battling […]

May 2018 pokerpalooza: Day 2, tournament 3

May 24, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com May 24, 2018 Author’s note: On June 11, I edited the fifth paragraph, which immediately follows the jump. Originally, the passage had wrongly indicated that the winner of a grinder tournament does not get to keep the chips in front of him or her. As usual, additions are marked with boldface text; deletions, with a […]

Tales from the free poker postseason

February 8, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 8, 2018 Author’s note: This post includes a brief reference to criminal activity that may upset some readers. I’ve placed a trigger warning to mark the relevant text. MEM It’s been nearly nine months since I last wrote about poker. But my experience Tuesday night makes it time to revisit the […]

More tales of free poker: The hungry and disgruntled player

July 13, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com July 13, 2016 The evening started off well enough. In an early hand against a man named Aziz, whom I know sometimes plays junk, I started off with the ace and jack of diamonds and hit a jack on the flop, which gave me top pair and top kicker. He […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 3, tournament 5

June 12, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 12, 2016 National championship finals, Tuesday morning, June 7, 2016. When I got back to the motel early Tuesday after that night’s epic near-miss, I asked the front desk clerk for some paper, a pen and some tape. wrote a note to my roommates: “Please wake me up at […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 2, tournament 4

June 11, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 11, 2016 Tag team tournament, Monday evening, June 6, 2016. After a nap, I set aside my misgivings and reported to the Mohegan Sun Poconos ballroom, hoping to kick some tail and win some money. There were 234 two-person teams in the event. I started off at table 3 in […]

June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 2, interlude

June 11, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 11, 2016 Monday afternoon, June 6, 2016. Once I advanced to Tuesday morning’s national championship competition, I had a problem: What should I do with myself for the rest of Monday? I’d initially considered playing in Monday’s 1 p.m. bounty tournament. But although it may have been possible to buy in […]

Tales of tavern championships, summer 2015 edition (part 2)

August 13, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Aug. 13, 2015 Saturday night. Buck’s Billiards, a joint just on the Cary side of the Raleigh-Cary municipal boundary, is a popular World Tavern Poker venue. Tournaments there frequently have four or five tables. It’s not unheard of for contests to attract six tables’ worth of players with about 10 people apiece. If […]

Tales of tavern championships, summer 2015 edition (part 1)

August 12, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Aug. 12, 2015 Thursday night.  I managed to get to S—’s, a Raleigh billiards hall, just on the dot of 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. I was eager to be on time because of a mistaken impression — a stricture that applied in previous World Tavern Poker seasons but had changed this […]

A few championship hands: Blurry recollections of poker wins and losses

September 10, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Sept. 10, 2014 It’s been a while since I last wrote about my accomplishments and misdeeds at the poker table. A lot has happened since then. I got credited with my Memorial Day tournament win and wound up with eight for the six-month-long season. This disappointed me, because 10 wins would have […]