Did you know that, thanks to the popularity of shows like Celebrity Poker Showdown, poker players are now cooler than, like, pro athletes? Just kidding. But for the moment, poker players are definitely trendy, as is playing Texas Hold 'Em surrounded by attractive people inside a massive club. But you know what would be really cool? Winning the tourney and getting a spot in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, where you can win up to $5 million.
So if the terms "posting the blinds" and "fourth street" mean something to you, get your bad self online and register for a spot in HUSH's Houston Hold 'Em Championship Tournament. Then show up and see if your name's been drawn to play. Even if you're not selected, there will be plenty to distract you: HUSH has a 1,700-square-foot sunken dance floor, skyboxes and a video-screen ceiling.
There's no fee, but a donation to the Furniture Bank of Houston might improve your karma. If you perform well enough, you'll be asked to come back for the November finals; the winner of that event will be given the $10,000 entrance fee to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Try your luck at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 20. 20000 Katy Freeway (Barker Cypress exit). For information, call 713-330-4874 or visit www.thebuzz.com. Free. -- Julia Ramey
Centerfold's Dewar's and Water
An old army buddy of mine was passing through town and wanted to check out a titty bar. We polished off a six-pack of Lone Star at my apartment and headed over to Centerfold's (6166 Richmond, 713-952-0799) for a few hours of sin. The drink of choice was Dewar's and water, but the music was pure crap. Wanda was our favorite dancer, sexy as she was, but she couldn't stop telling stories about how her uncle beat her. (The ladies' names have been changed.) Teddy also fell for Ukiah, an Amazon chick as statuesque as a redwood -- except for her weird tits, which I couldn't quite get past. She didn't talk too good, but she did have an ass that would stop a freight train. Overall, the talent was amazing, but our behavior wasn't so impressive. Weaving my way through all the lonely bastards on the way back from the men's room, I almost spilled $40 worth of cosmopolitans. And by the time Tammy joined our party, I couldn't stop laughing. She was scared of me from the beginning and kept begging Teddy to keep me away from her. Pretty quickly, I felt the goon squad approaching, so we threw down a couple of C-notes and headed for the door. Then we went to Whataburger and inhaled two jalapeño burgers faster than a couple of stoners.
Measure out the Scotch in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Make an off-color joke to your date, wait for the eerie silence and add a splash of water. Count your blessings. You got this far. --J.W. Crooker
Bouncin' on 25s
Twenty-four-hour party people? Bah. The folks at the Contemporary Arts Museum are about to one-up those laggards with a 25-hour-long opening party for the exhibit "Perspectives@25: A Quarter Century of New Art in Houston." You can come and go at will, but they'll be up day and night offering a new activity each hour -- from karaoke to poker to break dancing to gallery talks. The exhibit features works by Philip Glass, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman and other artists featured during the first 25 years of the "Perspectives" series. 9 p.m. Friday, October 15, through 10 p.m. Saturday, October 16. 5216 Montrose. For a full schedule, call 713-284-8250 or visit www.camh.org. Free. -- Julia Ramey
Cats and Dawgs
Are you the kind of dorky pet owner who dresses up your pooch for Halloween, spends hundreds of dollars on "towers" for your cat or takes your ferret (on a leash) to the coffee shop? Relax, we're not making fun -- in fact, there's a place for people like you. You can get dolled up and mingle with equally crazed animal lovers at Houston PetSet's Soirée. Young professionals with puppy (and any other critter) love are encouraged to hook up at M Bar, talk shop about the organization and schmooze over cocktails. And don't bark at the cover charge -- proceeds from the door go to local animal welfare groups. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 16. 402 Main. For information, call 713-624-8833 or visit www.houstonpetset.org. $30. -- Steven Devadanam