Thursday, January 26, 2017

TBC Meet Up Was a Great Time!

Last night a small but fun group met for the 1st Annual TBC "Memorial" Meet Up in Las Vegas. I decided to get there early, so I caught a Lyft ride from Caesars Palace and arrived at TGI Fridays about a half hour early. Nice to relax and wait for people to come.
It was kind of funny waiting and watching people come into Friday, wondering if any were looking for the gathering. Two guys walked in and appeared to be searching for something, and yes -- they were here for the meet up. It was officially on! One of them, Arch, sat down at the table while the other, Stacy, went to the bar with his wife, Miyuki, returning a bit later. These gentlemen knew Tony from Las Vegas (The Strat) and Jean (Gold Strike) and were happy to meet some people with the common TBC link.

The star himself arrived later with his good buddy Vince, who actually prefers to be called Vinnie (I hope my spelling is right). Alysia came a bit later and, stopping over a few times to make sure everything was alright, Dallas, who was working that night and who helped with arrangements at TGI Friday.

What can I say? It was a great night! We all shared some Tony stories and information and discussed Tony's future plans. The beer was cold and we kept ordering appetizer plates. There was lots of talk about poker, Las Vegas, the Gold Strike, Lake Tahoe and life in general. I hope that Tony enjoyed the evening, as people there genuinely are among the many that want him to succeed and have a good life.
Front: Alysia, Arch and Miyuki
Back: TBC, Vinnie, Dallas, lightning and Stacy

Part of the benefit of going to the meet up was hearing about Tony's next step. Of course, I will not DISCLOSE his plans just in case someone is stalking him with hopes of procuring the sockroll, u see.

Several people who hoped to attend were unable to due to work, family or other obligations. Mr. Subliminal sent his regrets as he was under the weather -- an occupational hazard for those who panhandle in the rain and cold. Michelle (9ontheturn) was still in the hospital and unable to finally meet Tony.

Some very special thanks from last night -- to Dallas, for suggesting the restaurant and extending happy hour drink and food specials for us; to Alysia, who generously covered the bar tab for everyone; and to Arch, who generously covered the food tab for everyone.

Tony, I hope you read this and comment on it. We had a great time and all wish the very best for you.

Now -- back to donking off money at the poker table!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

1st Annual TBC "Memorial" Meet Up Has Been Set for Wednesday, January 25

The Man ... The Myth ... The Legend ...
Tony Bigcharles

After much TBC Inner Circle haggling, posturing and fighting, a decision was finally reached to have the first ever international Tony Bigcharles meet up in Las Vegas this coming week. All friends and followers of Tony across the world -- and beyond -- are invited.

Actually, I had been kicking around this idea for about a year. Of course, the purpose, u see, is to have a FUN gathering for many of people who seem to live and breathe poker on social media sites like Twitter and/or who have at least a passing interest in the blog or gambling exploits of Tony Bigcharles. Come and meet or say hi to people you interact with or have read online. Have a drink or some food and come and go as you like.

1st Annual TBC "Memorial" Meet Up
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
6:30 p.m.
TGI Fridays -- 4570 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas 

Happy Hour will be extended for those coming and will include the following specials:

For those looking to mash some video poker, try your hand at dem Fridays GOOD machines. 

Some people tentatively set to be in attendance include:
  • Tony Bigcharles -- @sevencard2003
  • Alysia Chang -- @Onechiquita
  • Vince (Tony's sometime landlord)
  • serge -- @grrouchie
  • Dallas Leavitt -- @DallasLeavitt80
  • yours truly, lightning36 -- @lightning36
Sound like fun? Maybe not? Really -- what else would you be doing? Stop by and check it out!

If you are tentatively planning on coming, please leave a note in the comments section or pm me on Twitter.

We hope to see you there!

* special thanks to Dallas for helping with arrangements

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ready for Las Vegas: January 22-27

We are in a new year, Donald Trump is waiting to be sworn in as president, the future has a lot of questions, but ... there is always Las Vegas!

This month has not been as stressful as usual at work. The beginning of a new college semester always means the transition from planning and getting everything ready to actually beginning the semester -- and for what I do, that actually means one of the less busy times of the year. It has been pretty much a tradition for me to head out to Las Vegas at the end of January or in February. But the transition was not going to be as easy this time because ... the dreaded flu virus got me.

I snuck in a session at the closest poker room (90 miles away) on Monday night. Just after I got home, I felt a pain in my gizzard. I knew right away that I caught the same thing my wife, daughter and son had. I thought I would make it as the only one in the house to escape it, but ... believe me, you do NOT want to know the gory details. I've missed two days of work and hope to return tomorrow. At least I am fortunate to have gotten sick before my trip began.

My brother, thundering36, and I will be arriving in Sin City on Sunday and will be there for five nights. It looks like I will have to miss watching the Packers/Falcons game that day, but at least I should be able to catch most of the second game should I desire.

We will be staying at The Cromwell this trip. I was originally booked at Excalibur and thought of switching to Hooters, but due mostly to the previous degenerate ways of my brother, CET gave us an offer we couldn't refuse.

Earlier on Twitter, I had posted that the 1st Annual TBC Memorial Dinner would be held Wednesday, January 25 at approximately 6:30 p.m. Surprisingly, Mr. Bigcharles is actually in Las Vegas right now and, unless the rabbit in him takes over quickly, could attend. I really thought about making a reservation somewhere, but the last time I arranged a meet up meal in Las Vegas, only a couple of people showed up. I guess I should have known that a brunch was too early for most people. 

Alysia Chang suggested the new In-N-Out at The LINQ as a place for a meet-up. Of course, she knows my FONDNESS for a double-double animal style, u see. So, if any blog readers or Twitter followers are able to show up, that would be great (said in my Lundbergh Office Space voice). I'll send out a tweet or two soon. I always look forward to meeting online people in person and reconnecting with my Las Vegas friends. Consider yourself invited on Wednesday, January 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the In-N-Out t The LINQ.

If you'd like to arrange a personal meet-up or sling some cards while I am there (current favorite rooms are Mirage, Bally's and MGM, but I am open to other places), hit me up with a private message on Twitter -- @lightning36, naturally!

I imagine this post sounds pretty scattered. I'm still woozy from the flu, but looking for increasing health by take off time.

See ya in Vegas!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Brief 2016 Year Review in Pictures - Part II

Celebrated 28th wedding anniversary. Time flies. 

Went to Cubs/White Sox games at Wrigley Field and The Cell with thundering36

Saw Paul McCartney in concert at Busch Stadium.Played poker with Iron Mike Sharpe the next day.

Back to Las Vegas. MY kind of steak dinner at Ellis Island - $8.99!

Caught playing one of dem GOOD machines

A "real" steak - Beef Wellington at Gordon Ramsay's Steak. We finally celebrate thundering36's birthday a few years later than planned. Mrs. lightning36 was here also and met TBC.

I also played some poker with VegasDWP at Caesars Palace -- link to interesting story here -- and with Tony Bigcharles at Wynn.

Saw the Happy Together oldies concert tour with my wife and old friends Steve and Carol

Aside from the concert, September sucked.Work ... and work ... and more work.

For the first time in my lifetime, the Cubbies go to the World Series!

October meant being obsessed with the MLB playoffs since the Cubs were projected to go to their first World Series since WWII! I can't even tell you what else happened that month. Nothing else really mattered.

The Cubs win it! I can't even describe the feeling. Simply unbelievable.

At the University of Illinois vs Iowa football game with friend Steve. It was cold!

Christmas with my family

Back to New Orleans! At Cafe Dumond with Mrs. lightning

Had a nice dinner at Broussard's

Finishing out the trip with a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's

Such was my 2016. Many people are glad to see it go, and I can certainly be counted among those. The combination of losing my mother and my wife losing her job -- and some unsavory stories that go along with that -- pretty much spoiled the rest of the year. I am soooo looking forward to a great 2017!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Brief 2016 Year Review in Pictures - Part I


Nice trip to Scottsdale, crappy sessions of poker. Meh.

Met up with Lester (above) and James at Ho-Chunk Casino, Wisconsin Dells.

Trip to Las Vegas. Liking the Mirage poker.

Selfie with Michelle. And yes - I did wash my shirt!

Everyone should have a private Uber driver.

Another good session at Mirage. Why do I play elsewhere?

Even the local casino was treating me right!


This blog turned ten. Who'd have believed it.

Went to an exceptional concert in a small venue.


April must have been one dull month. Nothing much memorable happened. Little did I know that was the lull before the storm.

With my mom on Mothers Day before my trip to Las Vegas.

Just AC and Michelle having a little "fun" at AC's digs.

Clowning around with Flushhdraw at Johnny Rocket's.

MGM chip porn.

Aria chip porn while playing with Mr. Subliminal.

After my excellent trip to Las Vegas, things started falling apart in late May when my wife lost her job for no good reason. Little did I know that things would get even worse.


Unfortunately, the picture of my mom and me that I posted for May was the last picture we had taken together. She passed away on June 16 after a torturous week of the family watching her slowly pass away. Fortunately, the weekend brought us some relief as my family celebrated my son's 22nd birthday

The lightning36 clan

So the year that started out fun and with lots of promise suddenly turned to crap in May and June. Little wonder that I, along with many others, can't wait for this friggin' year to end.

Part II to come ...