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[Fips Was There...] 826NYC’s charity poker tournament with Ira Glass and David Cross

We here at FIPS spend a hell of a lot of time out and about in Brooklyn, attending outdoor concerts, comedy shows and various other events. So [FIPS Was There...] is where we're gonna' talk about all this shit.

This past Saturday, I walked into the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company looking for 826NYC’s charity poker tournament called "Poker For Jokers." After a week of fundraising, I’d managed to secure $518.24 to turn into poker chips for me to gamble with. Amongst my opponents were David Cross and Ira Glass. I was actually afraid to meet Ira Glass in person, for fear that my man crush on him would be shattered (no pun intended).

But not afraid enough to beat him if I had to.

So, I walked in and thought, fuck these little kids, where’s the poker? The place was tiny as all hell, certainly not big enough for a poker tournament. When asked where the poker tournament was, I was escorted into a private room, complete with a secret entrance behind a bookshelf.

Fuck yeah. Gambino-style, back-room poker. That’s what I’m talking about. This is the Brooklyn I know and love.

I checked in and was told to get my ass to table “C.” I assumed that meant “C” for “Cool as Rolando” but I guess it just meant “C” for “Cross," as in "David Cross.” Yeah, I got to play at the same table as David Cross. Ain’t no big thing. Sure, he was in Arrested Development, the best comedy show of all time. But, again, fuck him. I was in it to win it. Even if all the money raised went to 826NYC’s reading and writing program for kids, and all the winner got was a plastic trophy signed by Glass and Cross.

Luckily, I got there pretty close to the start of the tournament, so I didn’t have to deal with too much awkward small talk in which me and everyone else at the table pretended we weren’t nerds in awe of sitting at a table with David Cross.

I came out swinging, raising big on the first hand, then folding when someone else caught a much nicer hand. It was the beginning of a long, drawn out war of attrition amongst the five of us at the table. In fact, I think we lasted the longest without losing a player. Unlike Ira Glass, who we all laughed at from a distance when he had to buy back in about 30 minutes into the tournament. Fucking amateur. We showed him how we roll in Brooklyn. Go back to Chicago, homeboy.

The highlight of the afternoon was forcing Cross to fold. I texted my buddy: “I just made David Cross fold like a bitch!” My buddy suggested I ask Cross about his role in the Chipmunk movies, in order to keep him on tilt. I should have. Instead, I lost two big hands when I raised him only to have him call and catch his cards. Motherfucker.

Anyway, after a lot of back and forth, I finally met my match at around the two hour mark. And not even to a celebrity, just to some dude in a Brooklyn Cyclones cap. I had to make a big move with an Ace-Queen, so I went all-in only to have the douchebag call with an Ace-King.

Ok, the guy wasn’t really a douchebag. He was a nice fellow. But he beat me, so, douchebag.

Hey, it was for charity, right? (Thank you, David Cross, for that joke).

I asked my buddy, Matt Shafeek (who made it to the final table) to give me the scoop on his experience. He had a nice moment with Ira Glass who, again, I avoided for fear of pissing myself in admiration.

“During the first break I got to chat with Ira Glass," Matt told me, "Who had just been eliminated. I told him I loved his speech about creativity and he confessed that the speech has become bigger than him, reaching people who had no idea who he even was, which I thought was interesting. I mentioned doing NaNoWriMo at one point, and was astonished to find he'd actually never heard of it before. So there I was explaining what National Novel Writing Month was, and seemingly impressing a creative hero/icon of mine, which was sort of surreal.”

I asked Matt if Ira sounds as awesome in person as he does on the radio. According to Matt “he sounded a bit more ‘normal,’ if that makes sense. Like his radio voice was just a little bit softer and slower than how he talked normally, which I think makes sense. 

And thus, a wonderful afternoon of poker was had at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company, for the benefit of 826NYC. I’m glad FiPS gave me the opportunity to partake and raise some money on behalf of the kids. I just wish I’d given those hipster celebrities a good ass whooping.

See you next year, bitches.

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