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The 2011 New Orleans poker trip report was an unfortunate casualty of our hectic end of season points chase and my side projects. New Orleans is one of our favorite stops on the WSOP circuit, so much to see… and do… and drink… and eat… especially eat. There was no shortage of action on the felt either. Many heros made deep runs, and on my birthday I got a rare triple final table sweat with three friends in three different ring events on the stage at the same time. I really had no intention of spending my birthday in a poker room, but I’m always happy to support my friends no matter the day. I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me either, I stretched my birthday celebration out across the whole two week trip to compensate- a lil trick I learned from Lala.

Out on Bourbon street. Thanks to Jordan Cutter (@VegasJdub) for being our tour/drink guide.

We always eat well in New Orleans. We don’t rent a car when we go, so most of our favorite spots are within walking distance of the casino. This is a good thing because we can walk off some of the thousands of calories we consume during our stay. We made regular trips to Mother’s for the crawfish etouffee and Po’boys. We made two or three trips to Crazy Lobster, a touristy Riverwalk restaurant that serves stout hurricanes and one of our favorites: the Seafood Bucket deluxe. The Seafood Bucket deluxe consists of two lobsters, stone crab, crawfish, shrimp and a little bit of filler. It wasn’t quite as fresh as it was the year before, but it is still a great way to get your seafood fix.

Buckets with the boys.

Another of our regular stops was Felix’s off bourbon street. I recommend eating at the bar where they shuck the oysters as fast as you can put them down. An Abita strawberry or three to wash it down and a dozen char broiled oysters and you have a very satisfying meal.

Hand Grenades and oysters, the breakfast of champions.

Between meals there was a little poker going on. I didn’t play many events on the stop because I wanted to rest up for the summer and enjoy my birthday. I got a nice birthday present in the form of a triple final table sweat. Josh Evans (@JoshEvansLV) FT’d event 1 and finished 2nd, Cliff fisher (@BRDPoker) FT’d event 2 and finished 5th, and John Harris (@85nutz) FT’d event 3 and shipped his second ring!

Congrats to John Harris on number 2!

LaLa (@CanULala) also got in on the action FT’ing event 7 and finishing 6th.

My baby grinding away, showing them how to Lala.

A couple more good guys grabbed rings in NOLA side events: Michael (Car Wash) Schneider shipped his first ring in event 10 and Justin Gardenhire (@Gardyone) snagged his 3rd ring in event 11.

Congrats Car Wash on a well deserved first! (picture by Image Masters)

Justin Gardenhire with the 3 peat! (picture by Image Masters)

You would think that all those final tables would have been enough for one stop, it turns out they were just warm up for the main event.

They were double barreling at the table and we were double barreling on the rail.

In a stop full of great final table sweats the main event did not disappoint. Two members of our traveling family made final table appearances in the main: Dan “Du ma” Lowery (@danmflowery) and Andrew Nguyen (@winnersnguyen).

Andrew Nguyen and Dan “MF” Lowery on the main event grind.

Dan “Du Ma” Lowery with racks on racks on racks.

Dan Lowery was one of the most successful grinders on the circuit last year. Juggling family obligations and a couple businesses, Dan’s circuit schedule was limited, but he was still able to to finish top 4 or better in three different circuit main events (2nd in Durant , 2nd in Lake Tahoe, and 4th in New Orleans). Dan had the ring slip through his fingers a couple times, but his consistent deep runs in the biggest events left no doubt that he is the real deal. He and his wife Krista are an invaluable part of our traveling family and I’m sure there are many more big scores in his future.

Andrew “No balls, no babies” Nguyen

Andrew Nguyen has been grinding the circuit with La and I since our first stop. He is our original circuit road dog and has grinded and hustled his way across the country with us. He is a founding member of #TeamPBJ, even though he isn’t a big fan of white boy food. I’m proud to call Andrew my brother and couldn’t be happier to see him taking his place on the big stage. Drew has a style all his own, great taste in food, and a gift of gab that has gotten us all sorts of places we shouldn’t have been. While he wasn’t able to grab the belt, he was able to cut out a nice slice of the prize pool. Congratulations my brother on an excellent score, I’m sorry it took me so long to get the blog out.

Drew demonstrating the “great wall” style of stacking chips.

Drew playing HU with Justin (@theycallmetrues) Truesdell, the eventual champion and a good kid.

I had a blast partying and railing all my friends and family this year in New Orleans. I hope to have more of the same opportunities next year, with a little less partying and a few more runs of my own. The National Championship tacked on to the end of this series should also provide some additional drama as the circuit regs battle it out for the last few at large spots. Hope to see everyone there next year for another round of big things in the Big Easy.