What happened in Vegas: The Auction
Submitted by RyanEstrada on April 22, 2008 - 14:49
For a while, I've been alluding to this infamous trip to Vegas I was going on. Well, I just got back, and I'm ready to spill all the sordid details. First of all, you may be wondering.... I don't gamble, i don't drink, and I'm not particularly interested in seeing showgirls or Elvis impersonators... so what the heck brought me to Sin City?
Well, as most of you know, I work with a guy named Frank Frisina and illustrate a couple of poker comics... Life's a Bluff, and Livin' on Poker Road. Now, within the webcomics community, these may just be considered a couple of minor works by an artist who's just under the bar of notability (in the words of Wikipedia). But in the professional poker community, that's enough to make Frank and I VIPs, right alongside Olympic gold medal winning athletes, NFL players, actors, and poker pros.
We got invited out to the Jennifer Harman Charity Poker tournament. Not just invited, but flown out and put up in private suites. Unbeknownst to me, they even put up the money for me to play in the tournament, to which I had to explain that I have no idea how to play poker, and politely ducked out. I was supposed to walk the red carpet, but opted to instead hang out at the end of the red carpet and gather celebrity signatures on the drawing I was auctioning off to raise money for the charity (The Nevada SPCA, a no-kill animal shelter)
What drawing is that? Well, Life's a Bluff typically donates original drawings to events like this to be auctioned off for the charity in question. Typically, a picture of a few of the big-name pros who will be attending. But I decided to take it one step further and draw EVERYONE attending.
As we got closer to the event, more people RSVPed, so I drew a second companion piece to include all of them.
My goal for the event was simple..... I had heard many, many times that the piece Brandon J Carr had done the year prior had been the second highest bid-upon item in the auction, second only to Doyle Brunson's hat, right off his head. This year, I was going to beat Doyle Brunson's hat.
The hat was auctioned off around the middle of the tournament, and went for $1000.
When it came time to auction off my drawing, I was a little terrified. It was several hours into the tournament, and 90% of the players had already been knocked out of the game and gone home. It was down to about 3 or 4 tables, and the pressure was on for the players to pay close attention to the game, because they were very close to the final table. So even those few people were not paying much attention to the auction going on at the same time as they were playing. Not to mention, that just about everyone who was featured in my second piece hadn't shown up, so we decided just to throw it in as a freebie to whoever won the first one.
Shortly before ours, there was an auction for dinner for 2 with the Olympic snowboarding team, which not a single person bid on, and I imagine it must have been a painful experience for those snowboarders to watch the emcee spend 15 minutes begging the crowd for just one single bid.
But even though the pressure was on, my piece started to gain interest, as crowds looked closely to see who they could recognize, and to see if they were in it themselves. Some even found Waldo, hidden in the crowd. (The drawing was printed on all the programs, but seeing it close up, people were finally able to skim through the crowd.)
In the end, the drawing went for $1750, to that excited gentleman pictured below.
I'll post more about the actual event as I get more pictures, but also stay tuned for stories from the suite, and the tale of the dude who tried to mug me in Juarez.
**Oh, and as a follow up to my previous post, neither Carrot Top, Shannon Elizabeth or Jennifer Tilly showed up.