Zombie Trip Report: Shootout at the Post V

Poker Zombie

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Most post-meetup reports are very long, or they are too short to do justice. Not a surprise, because there is soooo much fun in these very long weekends (mine started on Tuesday). Not being one to short-change a written story, my trip report would wear out the scroll bar on your phone.

So I decided to make my trip report it's own thread. In an effort to change it up, instead of the standardized chronological report, I will break mine up into installments. Each chapter focusing on a different aspect of the meetup. Today's installment:

Out and About in Atlanta

Meetups are more than cards in a basement. It's a vacation in another city, and that means seeing and doing things outside of the basement. We drove down on Tuesday and got a room at the Hotel Clermont.

The Hotel is a 4-star hotel in what used to be a run-down location. It has been cleaned up and was rather nice, but it didn't feel quite up to 4-star standards. The valets were sloppily dressed. Not a big deal. I expect valets to look unkempt as they run from the lot back to their post, and from their post back to the lot to retrieve a car. But I expect this at 3-star locations. 4 and 5 star places should hire enough valets to staff both locations and to allow walking time, so this was falling just a bit short.

The valet asks "do you need a luggage cart", to which I replied in the affirmative. I've only got a small carry-on, and @Mrs Poker Zombie has a slightly larger bag, but we also have a wooden box... a cherry presentation box containing 1000 CPC chips.

The porter asks "Is that it?" as I personally lift the case out of the trunk and put it on the cart. He had that air of "Why did you pull me away from my TV show if this was all you needed" vibe going on. Again, not very 4-star. So when we got to the room, I let him try to lift the case.

He failed.

You know how those luggage carts have a rubber bumper around the base? I always thought that was for bumping into walls. Apparently it's a safety measure in case a relatively small box contains a "heavy for it's size" number of chips, and the box doesn't lift by one handle so the cart slams into the shin of the bellhop.

"Yeah, that's heavy"

"Yup".

A couple doors down from the Hotel is a place that Alton Brown once called "The best fried chicken in America", Hop's Chicken.

Hop's is located in the Ponce City Market, in a building that once housed a Sears Roebuck department store and regional offices, back in the 1920s. That means at one time you could get anything here. I'm just here for the chicken. I look over the menu, and then I decide.

"1/2 chicken, and a Stella" - because I need my second beer. Yes, second. The Hotel gave us a beer at check-in, but I'll circle back to that...

"We don't have any more 1/2 chickens"

This meme comes to mind...
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...but if I can't get 1/2 a chicken, then 2 chickens are right out.

"How about a breast and a leg?"

"Sorry, we only have legs and thighs"

"Ok, a leg and a thigh."

She pauses, then says "We only have thighs". She didn't even look. She knew she was bluffing, and apparently I called her. I'm on track for a good weekend.

"OK, two thighs." I guess I got my two chickens afterall.
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Despite the comedy of errors, the bird was the best I've ever had, hands down. Crispy, but a really thin coating of batter. It has changed my focus on how to make fried chicken. Time to fire up the test kitchen, because I need to make this.

At the Hotel Clermont, as we checked in the desk clerk told us a bit about the history of the hotel. When he mentioned the Clermont Lounge, I replied "That's why we're here. to visit the lounge tonight".

"Really? Here..." he turned and opened a big safe in the room, that turned out to be a refrigerator. "Guests going can have two PBRs". Granted, it's Pabst, a beer that you can order by name at the same time you are throwing up, but free beer is free beer.

The lounge is oddly... not terrible. The rail was mostly duct-tape, but when the dancers were not on stage, this could have been any trendy nightclub where hipsters drank PBR, Rolling Rock, or whatever shit-beer was the "ironic" beer that was trending.

The dancers were friendly, but they looked like they were selected at random from the local DMV. Some good looking, some not so much, but they all were owning it, and that made it feel better than the spaced-out, regretful look typically found on a strippers face. People wadded up dollar bills into little balls and tried taking jump shots at the G-string basket. Since I was leading the NCAA bracket challenge I took a shot, but missed. If this is another premonition for the weekend, it doesn't look good for the Spartans.

The whole place was odd for a strip club. Decent lighting, music at a volume that allowed conversations, not really clean, but not really dirty. The oddest part though was that female patrons outnumbered the male patrons 2.5-1.

Definite "no cameras policy", so no feature pic.

The morning of the meetup We headed to Top Golf.

Top Golf locations have sprung up all over lately, so I thought I'd give it a try. Mind you, I've never golfed (unless putt-putt counts), so this was my chance to do it without tearing up a course with divots, slowing down real golfers, and losing golf balls.

Or so I thought.

The lady at the counter asks if I am a lefty. I don't know, I tell her. I've never golfed. My dad was left-handed, so I learned to putt left-handed, but virtually everything else, I do right. So I get a set of left-handed clubs, and there are right handed clubs in the bay.

Then I take some shots. Whap! I swing and I stand there looking for the ball. I must have crushed it. I turn to Mrs Zombie and ask "did you see where it went?"

"Yes, it's right at your feet." :bag:

I tee back up, and the next 2 shots go the same way. The club fits right under the ball and above the mat. 3 strokes and I haven't left the green.

Drivers are too short. I need something with a big open face. I grab a pitching wedge.

Whack!-Whack!

Somehow, I hit the ball, and as it's rising up into the air, the club makes contact on my follow-through. The ball is off like a rocket behind me. It careens off the scoring monitor and wizzes around the bay. I'm just happy it didn't knock over my martini.

I graciously lose $10 in a bet with Mrs Zombie, who fared much better.
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Zombie ratings:
Hotel Clairmont: 3 Brains. Not great but for the price I'd like the staff to be better. The view from the rooftop bar however, was amazing.
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Clermont Lounge: 3 Brains. It was an experience, and I don't regret it, but sexy it was not.

Hops chicken: 4 Brains. It very well could have been 5, but running out of chicken at a chicken place belongs in the WTF thread, not a trip report.


Stay tuned for Chapter 2: Food
 
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ATLarchip

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A lot of people say Clermont Lounge is where strippers go to die, but I say it’s where they go to LIVE!

Great start to your trip. Next time you’ll have to check out The Painted Duck for some duck bowling and craft cocktails.
 

Poker Zombie

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I'm not much of a fan of craft cocktails... Give me a martini, dry, and I'm happy. I figure if Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey could survive with one liquor and no mixers... then that's good enough for me.

However, I pulled up the Painted Duck, and it does look fun. If I can remember it for my next trip, I'll definitely head there (schedules permitting).
 

Chippy McChiperson

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A lot of people say Clermont Lounge is where strippers go to die, but I say it’s where they go to LIVE!

Great start to your trip. Next time you’ll have to check out The Painted Duck for some duck bowling and craft cocktails.

I thought duck pin bowling was a Baltimore thing, didn’t realize they did that anywhere else
 

ATLarchip

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To my knowledge, this is the only bar in Atlanta that offers duck pin bowling. It’s set up like a speakeasy where you go down some stairs after entering some non-assuming doors. They have other games there as well and a pretty decent food menu. Don’t go there when they’re busy otherwise you’ll never get a lane. Make sure to check out the shared unisex restrooms, they’re interesting.
 

Poker Zombie

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Chapter 2:

FOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!

Meetups are also eat-ups. It's not a surprise really, that a group of people that can appreciate the differences in poker chip construction materials would also appreciate good food as well. Atlanta has no lack of excellent eating establishments.

@Mr Tree started things off right, by kicking off the meetup with early arrivals meeting at the Peach and Porkchop.

I was tempted to go with the namesake pork chop with peach chutney, but knowing BBQ was on tap for the weekend I decided to go with the fish and chips. Fried food done right never disappoints, and this was no exception, but it did not overwhelm. I did start the weekend of gambol though by offering to pay for dinner if anyone could guess the playing card that was on my phone. As it was a freeroll, all played, giving roughly a 5:1 chance that dinner would be on me. When the first pick by @flipupchipup was the 7 of... the sweat was on, but my tells were in full lockdown. He selected diamonds, a near miss. Nobody else got close as the picking went around the table and all missed the :7s:. The good omens are playing out for me.

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Group shot courtesy of (and by that I mean I stole it from) ni9n3r and our waiter.

Around the table with @ChaosRock , @k9dr , Mrs Zombie, Poker Zombie, flipupchipup, @BGinGA , Jen (Anthony's better half... well, better 3/4s really), @Anthony Martino , @ni9n3r , Mr Tree, and @Schmendr1ck .

Note that while everyone was posing for the camera, Anthony was still telling his story. Another omen for the weekend...

Before the meet-up dinner, Mrs Zombie and I had lunch at a local place called The Local. What they lacked in original naming, they made up for on the plate. This "meat and three" styled restaurant was light years ahead of any meat and three I have ever been to. I've been to places that have been around for nearly 70 years because their food was so good, and this place was better. Fresh, perfectly cooked, flavorful, and innovative. We arrived early, which was good, because by 11:30, the place was packed.
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When discussing food, one cannot overlook the importance of hot dogs. The weiner roller ran non-stop all weekend. Even when everyone was stuffed from dinner, the hot dogs were constantly being demolished. Kudos to all the people that kept the dogs rolling and the buns in the warmer (myself included) all weekend. I'd like to get a final count of dogs consumed from Tom... I'd put the over-under at 60.

The only downside... it's going to take Tom a month of airing out the house so it doesn't smell like hot dogs anymore.

Unfortunately, I did not take a photo because I was not expecting to do a lengthy trip report, and a congressional friend told me to never take pictures of weiners, as you will always regret it.

The only breakfast we made it to over the weekend was Maple Street Biscuit Company. This rapidly growing southern chain Takes breakfast in a new direction. I like new directions for breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, bacon and eggs are fine, but it feels very 2-dimensional. Hard to mess up, but near impossible to excel. So when I saw "The Squawking Goat" I had to give it a try. Fried chicken and goat cheese with a pepper jelly.
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The Breakfast was a battle... Moist vs Dry...

Round 1, Dry lands the first punch. The chicken is slightly overcooked. Not terrible, but since I watched the girl frying the bird test every single piece that came out of the fryer with a meat thermometer, I would have expected precision, like a Rolls-Royce quality control expert going over the finished product with micro calipers.

Round 2 goes to moist as the jelly lends itself to making up for the birds mistake. It was however, the least hot pepper jelly I ever had, despite seeing the red flakes. I think their pepper jelly was red bell pepper jelly.

Round 3, and we are back to dry. The biscuit was not the "flaky" biscuit they advertised. It was as dense as a hot dog bun. This wouldn't be bad if you were eating it as a sandwich, but the thing stood probably 6" tall. It had to be disassembled to eat.

Round 4, The Goat cheese... also dry. I like goat cheese, but this was a thick medallion, that needed to be washed down with each bite. Lucky for me, Round 5 was the orange juice. I love a good fresh orange juice, and this hit the fresh squeezed mark. It was like drinking a liquid orange, the way OJ should be.

Zombie ratings...
Peach and the Pork Chop: 3 Brains. It hit all it's marks, and service was good, but the Fish and Chips may have been a mistake. I actually had to look at the menu again to remember what I had eaten that night, so clearly it wasn't very memorable.

The Local: 5 brains. This is definitely a place to hit if you are in Alpharetta. It has renewed my faith in the "Meat and Three".

Maple Street Biscuit Company: 2 Brains. It was $16 a person for breakfast, and while the concept was there I feel that it was overly restrained. Un-hot pepper jelly, chicken cooked a little too long. It was like a nitty player playing circus games. It's fine to be that way, but not exactly what it's supposed to be.

Stay tuned for Chapter 3, The Cards...
 
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pltrgyst

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"1/2 chicken, and a Stella" - because I need my second beer. Yes, second. The Hotel gave us a beer at check-in, but I'll circle back to that...

"We don't have any more 1/2 chickens"

....but if I can't get 1/2 a chicken, then 2 chickens are right out.

"How about a breast and a leg?"

"Sorry, we only have legs and thighs"

"Ok, a leg and a thigh."

She pauses, then says "We only have thighs". She didn't even look...."

Eerily reminiscent of Monty Python's "Cheese Shop" !!! :cool:cool:cool
 

Poker Zombie

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Chapter 3:

The Pokerz

While all meetups are fun (this was #11 for me), the central focus is and about the cards and the chips. This is where the Hitching Post excels. There were 1/1 circus games for the big hitters. There were .25/.50 circus games for the smaller fish. There was a .25/.50 NL game for the players that were high-variance adverse (or simply wanted to play a game they understood). There was an Open Face Chinese Pineapple tournament, a NL turbo tournament, a Circus game tournament, and a deepstack NL tournament. Many running concurrently.

If you couldn't find a game you liked, you weren't at the Hitching Post.

There were 5 tables running pretty consistently throughout the weekend. If you were one of the unfortunate ones to learn that poker is dumb, "Secret Hitler" was running nearly every evening so you could blow off steam, laugh, and lose without losing any money.

This trip, I cannot complain much about poker being dumb. My bankroll was dented, but not destroyed.

Poker Zombie​
Mrs Poker Zombie​
Zombie Totals​
Wednesday​
OFCP .25/pt
In $40 Out $51
$2/$4 Limit Circus
In $200 Out $156​
OFCP
In $40 Out $13
$2/$4 Limit Circus
In $200 Out $200​
PZ -$33
MPZ -$27​
Thursday​
.25/.50 PL Circus
In $100 Out $84
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $134 Out $113
Circus Tournament
In $60 Out $0
Last Longer +$20​
.25/.50 PL Circus
In $100 Out $278
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $150 Out $220
Circus Tournament
In $60 Out $0​
PZ -$77
MPZ +$188​
Friday​
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $150 Out $175
NL Holdem Satellite
In $20 out $115​
25/.50 PL Circus
In $150 Out $80
OFCP Tournament
(Concluded Saturday)
In $40 Out $160
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $175 Out $172​
PZ +$120
MPZ +$47​
Saturday​
Main Event
In $115 Out $0​
Main Event
In $115 Out $20
Last Longer +$20​
PZ -$115
MPZ -$75

Weekend Totals:
PZ -$105
MPZ +$133​

As someone that is always looking to improve how tournaments are run I always look with a critical eye at what happened. Even though all comments have been positive, I want to make the next one better. This is where I can see room to improve (hints for other meetup hosts too):
Rodeo:
  • Scarney seemed to be well loved by many, but once the tournament gets short-handed/heads up, it loses it's luster. The game is rarely scooped by design, so nearly every hand was chopped - a waste of time when heads-up. Even more painful when it's 4am and the tournament is still running.
  • I ran the Open Face tourney during the cash games, pulling 2-3 participants out of their games as their bracket came up. This didn't seem to break any games, so I think it went well. It was requested that I drop the increasing blind levels, so I did, but each bracket took 40 minutes to an hour to complete. There was also a single-hand seeding round, where the top 4 seeds battled heads-up, while the bottom 6 battled in 3 player brackets, and those 10 hands took a little over an hour to complete. In the end there just wasn't enough time to complete the tournament, and the final 3 had to agree to a chop. In the future, I think the OFCP would need to start earlier to allow time for the finals to play out.
  • Every tournament needs a @krafticus , a @Jonesey07 , a @Gobbs and a Mrs Poker Zombie. Their dealing/shuffling was well received, and when the tables get short handed, nobody loves to self deal. Kudos to those that tipped their dealers who shuffled and/or pitched cards when they could have been in a cash game.
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Mr Tree

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Chapter 3:

The Pokerz

While all meetups are fun (this was #11 for me), the central focus is and about the cards and the chips. This is where the Hitching Post excels. There were 1/1 circus games for the big hitters. There were .25/.50 circus games for the smaller fish. There was a .25/.50 NL game for the players that were high-variance adverse (or simply wanted to play a game they understood). There was an Open Face Chinese Pineapple tournament, a NL turbo tournament, a Circus game tournament, and a deepstack NL tournament. Many running concurrently.

If you couldn't find a game you liked, you weren't at the Hitching Post.

There were 5 tables running pretty consistently throughout the weekend. If you were one of the unfortunate ones to learn that poker is dumb, "Secret Hitler" was running nearly every evening so you could blow off steam, laugh, and lose without losing any money.

This trip, I cannot complain much about poker being dumb. My bankroll was dented, but not destroyed.

Poker Zombie​
Mrs Poker Zombie​
Zombie Totals​
Wednesday​
OFCP .25/pt
In $40 Out $51
$2/$4 Limit Circus
In $200 Out $156​
OFCP
In $40 Out $13
$2/$4 Limit Circus
In $200 Out $200​
PZ -$33
MPZ -$27​
Thursday​
.25/.50 PL Circus
In $100 Out $84
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $134 Out $113
Circus Tournament
In $60 Out $0
Last Longer +$20​
.25/.50 PL Circus
In $100 Out $278
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $150 Out $220
Circus Tournament
In $60 Out $0​
PZ -$77
MPZ +$188​
Friday​
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $150 Out $175
NL Holdem Satellite
In $20 out $115​
25/.50 PL Circus
In $150 Out $80
OFCP Tournament
(Concluded Saturday)
In $40 Out $160
.25/.50 NL Holdem
In $175 Out $172​
PZ +$120
MPZ +$47​
Saturday​
Main Event
In $115 Out $0​
Main Event
In $115 Out $20
Last Longer +$20​
PZ -$115
MPZ -$75

Weekend Totals:
PZ -$105
MPZ +$133​

As someone that is always looking to improve how tournaments are run I always look with a critical eye at what happened. Even though all comments have been positive, I want to make the next one better. This is where I can see room to improve (hints for other meetup hosts too):
Rodeo:
  • Scarney seemed to be well loved by many, but once the tournament gets short-handed/heads up, it loses it's luster. The game is rarely scooped by design, so nearly every hand was chopped - a waste of time when heads-up. Even more painful when it's 4am and the tournament is still running.
  • I ran the Open Face tourney during the cash games, pulling 2-3 participants out of their games as their bracket came up. This didn't seem to break any games, so I think it went well. It was requested that I drop the increasing blind levels, so I did, but each bracket took 40 minutes to an hour to complete. There was also a single-hand seeding round, where the top 4 seeds battled heads-up, while the bottom 6 battled in 3 player brackets, and those 10 hands took a little over an hour to complete. In the end there just wasn't enough time to complete the tournament, and the final 3 had to agree to a chop. In the future, I think the OFCP would need to start earlier to allow time for the finals to play out.
  • Every tournament needs a @krafticus , a @Jonesey07 , a @Gobbs and a Mrs Poker Zombie. Their dealing/shuffling was well received, and when the tables get short handed, nobody loves to self deal. Kudos to those that tipped their dealers who shuffled and/or pitched cards when they could have been in a cash game.
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View attachment 275178 View attachment 275179

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View attachment 275186
Your Scarney note is spot on. Fun game but it doesn’t accomplish much in a tournament setting. The host was also underprepared for the ferocity of Rodeo rebuys. That will not happen again.
 

krafticus

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I'm in that same boat. I am also a really .. passionate.. about how smoothly the game runs. Once you get players in the middle seats who don't pay attention, don't push pots, and never know what is going on, it bugs me. Once out, I figured I could help make the game more "efficient". I don't mind tooting my own horn, but I deal pretty well. I shuffle very fast as well, even though I always passed the shuffle. If it wasn't shuffled, I scooped it back up and did it. I made a few mistakes dealing, but at that point, I had been working on 6.5 hours of sleep through the 3 days. I was exhausted. My table most likely did see a few more hands per orbit than others, but I know they weren't complaining at all.

All in all, I think I made about $120 dealing the tournament and the cash game afterwards. I was very thankful for everyone's generosity !!
 
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