The origins of Average Guy Poker can be traced back to November 2007. JD Deckard played host to a 14 player tournament that included close friend Dan Martin. JD and Dan had become friends through work, but didn’t understand the passion the other had for no limit Texas hold ‘em until then.
In January of 2008 JD and Dan started playing heads up poker on a regular basis at Dan’s apartment. These games were part of meager beginnings to say the least. Dan and JD played on the floor or his coffee table for hours. Although punishing each other with bad beats and well timed traps was fun, the game needed to grow.
In March of ’08 a fresh faced poker rookie named Troy Steffy aligned himself with JD and Dan to form the original 3(615) Mafia. The group named was derived from the 3/6 Mafia rap group, our 615 area code, and our family mentality similar to that of the mafia. As we collectively grew in talent, it became obvious that our player count needed to grow too. Player recruitment became the major focus of the original three members.
Our first addition came in June of ’08 when Andy McElhiney (r.i.p.) joined the game. He was a friend of Dan’s through work. JD brought along a co-worker named Alan Dennis (r.i.p.) shortly thereafter. Troy had recruited possibly the most disliked player in our history with the addition of Danny Franklin (r.i.p.).Much of the structure in our current game was already implemented by this point. Our basic starting chip stack and blind levels were in place.
Alan had a friend that was a poker junkie named Ricky Hodge. Ricky became our seventh (now fourth in seniority) member in July of ’08. JD again contributed to the player growth movement by adding co-worker Mark Herring to our fast expanding poker club in August of ’08. It was about this time we lost an early member to a job promotion. Alan had parted ways, but left behind a connection that would bring us another member.
In February 2009 The 3(615) Mafia added its newest member, Mike Krisle. Mike was a friend of Ricky’s and quite the poker addict before arriving on the scene. In March of ’09 as Andy and Danny slowly faded out of the game we were joined by Buzz Finger. The seven remaining players make up the 3(615) Mafia as it stands today. Much like the Big Ten Conference, no matter the player count, the name stays the same.
After playing for months for pride alone a new twist was needed to spice up the competition. September of ’09 saw the birth of the point system. A trial run was done for the rest of the year. January of 2010 saw a launch of our first officially tracked point system. The season was capped off by adjusting starting chip stacks based on total points for the year in our first “main event” game named The Chip Bowl Championship. Ricky was our 2010 season points champion which gave him a head start on the field, but Dan outlasted them all and claimed this first prolific title.
As the 2011 season gets underway, who will write the next chapter in our club history? Only time will tell, but the journey is underway. Tony Porter begins his probational stage of joining the group and antes have been introduced. A tweaked point system including knockout bonuses makes its trial run. Bluff dice, which were installed in ’09 and used to make a player show his folded hand, are a thing of the past too. No matter if it’s mafia or average, it’s poker. We’re all in…
The 2011 season for AGP began with a planning session at Hooters in Murfreesboro, TN in January. Several members met to discuss the upcoming season. Topics included a revision of the points system where each quarter would have different consequences based on the order of finish. Also it was discussed that the season would be broke down into 4 quarters consisting of 11 weeks each, culminating with a Big Game in which only the AGP members were eligible to play (no scabs). We also added antes to the game which would later be dissolved late in the 3rd quarter. It was agreed that the 7-2 bounty would only be awarded once each game, and at the beginning of every game a player would be named as the knockout bounty. The player who took out the bounty would receive an additional two points for the night, and if the bounty won the game he would receive the points. The website was revived and would see much growth in the year.
The 1st quarter had 8 different winners in 10 games with only Troy and Buzz winning more than once. Mark Herring managed to win his first game ever this quarter too! AGP welcomed two new players to the game, Alan Dennis and Bryan Knepper. Alan was a returning player from the past and Bryan was Troy’s friend. They played the first quarter as probation players and began full-time status in the 2nd quarter. Quarter one ended with the first Big Game of the year called “The Big River Showdown” which took place on March 15th. It was a unique format as it was bracket tournament structure similar to the NCAA basketball tournament. Members were seeded according to their finish in the points for the quarter. The championship was taken down by the #5 seed Mike “Daggum” Krisle in which he disposed of #4 seed JD “Chip Nazi” Deckard, #1 seed Troy “King of Poker” Steffy, and #7 seed Ricky “Poker God” Hodge. It was Daggum’s first win of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Now that the two new players were off of probation, we had a full table of players up to 10. However, one member would not return for the rest of the season by the name of Tony “5 dollar” Porter. So we had nine but something was missing. Alan and Bryan didn’t have nicknames, so they were given these two names, “Fairly Odd” Alan Dennis and Bryan “Quad Steak” Knepper. They were certainly official now and eligible to play in all games including the Big Games. By this time the website had continued to improve and each week there was a recap of the game complete with insults, quotes and hand of the night. The 2nd quarter started just as the first had with a win by the KOP. He annihilated the table railing 6 of 7 for a decisive victory. JD played great in the 2nd quarter as he was on top of the points at the end of the quarter. Perhaps the most entertaining game of the quarter was the “Welfare Warfare” on April 26th. It pitted Dan “Mags” Martin and Alan. Dan had been sidelined from work, mostly from illness and back problems. He had been living off of long-term disability and donations. Alan had recently been ousted from his job and decided he would wait awhile before getting another job, freeloading off of his family for a bit. Anyway, turns out Dan wins the game and doesn’t even remember doing it! The 2nd Big Game of the year was called “Tiltamania.” In this game each player was given a bounty placed on them. The amount of the bounty was based on the order of finish in the points for the quarter with last place having the highest bounty. Knock out the player and collect the bounty was the format. It was a wild game, but once again Mike “Daggum” Krisle came out victorious and won the event, giving him two Big Games in a row!
The website continued to evolve as more and more traffic arrived through the attention of the facebook page. This is when AGP began to really build a fan base. The 3rd quarter started with a win from Ricky along with his newly reconstructed arm from his previous brush with death. The 3rd quarter also had some controversy as there was a scandal involving KOP and Buzz in which Buzz was docked points for giving up and handing a win to the KOP. Out of the controversy came a few changes to the game. One was that the games would have a 9 pm sharp start time and the blinds would increase every 20 minutes instead of the previous 30. Later in the quarter the antes were taken out of the game. The 3rd quarter also witnessed more and more growth from the website as Dan and Daggum became article writers. Although it took a few weeks to lock in Dan (see archive in August for full details). Dan would be writing satirical articles based on a wide range of topics and Daggum’s articles would be poker based. The website had taken a turn for the best. Pokerpalooza was the Big Game of the 3rd quarter and it featured a mixed game format showcasing, no limit hold ‘em and pot limit Omaha. Originally 5-card stud was added to the game, but later taken out due to a lack of player knowledge. The game also had “free pass” chips which could be used to retrieve a bet or blind pre-flop only. The amount of chips you received depended on your order of finish in the points for the quarter with 1st place receiving 9 passes and last place receiving 1 pass. During the Big Game JD and Daggum duel blogged the play of the game that night where each of them had no idea what each other was writing. In the end Dan took down the championship and was the first player to win a Big Game that year other than Daggum. Crazy as it may seem, the two bloggers finished 2nd (JD) and 3rd (Daggum), staying focused even while writing the progress recap. Pokerpalooza created the most drama and the wildest hands, especially in the Omaha hands (see archive in August for a full recap of the game).
The 4th quarter started off with a bang as JD won the first game of the quarter and began to pull away in the points standings for the year. The website was really starting to take off as more articles were posted in the quarter than the previous three combined! Traffic began increasing every month. During the month of September AGP also added an interview section on the site and scored an interview with Tom Abraham, a local sports talk radio personality. In addition to “The Beat” and “The Dan Truth” two more weekly articles were added called “Outside Interference” by JD, featuring pro wrestling and “Illegal Contact to the Head” by Troy, featuring comments on sports. AGP branched out further by helping sponsor a charity poker tournament in McMinnville, TN for Children’s Miracle Network. JD clinched the points title with a few games to go in the season and would have the most chips going into the Chip Bowl. The short stack would start with 120 chips. Then a $1 chip would be awarded for every point you finished above last place. Bryan proved that when no limit hold ‘em is the game and you have patience that anyone can win. He outlasted everyone to win the year end championship and cap off the season. The 2011 season was in the books and it was a great season filled with unforgettable memories and a way of life for some of us. The website has became a place where anybody could be entertained, offering a variety topics for a wide range of people. We have added yet another writer to the staff, Rosey Smeltzer, with the “Rosey Outlook.” Just this last month we had over 46,000 hits on the site and are up to over 160 likes on Facebook! AGP is on the rise and the 2012 season is nearly upon us! What is in store for 2012? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure. No matter if it’s poker, satire, sports or entertainment we are AGP and we are all in!