So I neglected to mention why I titled part one of this Vegas trip report "International Incident." Ricky "the Hitman" Hatton, the pride of Manchester England, was in town to take his undefeated record up against Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather's undefeated record. Hatton's people were everywhere - noticeable on the plane from New York, and all over Vegas. I quickly jumped on the Hatton bandwagon as these English boxing hooligans would be constantly drunk and screaming out their theme song in support of their man, to the tune of "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland:"
There's only oneeeeeeeee Ricky Hatton
There's only oneeeeeeeee Ricky Hatton
Walkin' along, singing this song,
Walkin' in a Hatton wonderland.
Not much of a song, I know, but they make up for it with unabashed drunken enthusiasm, singing this song all over town 48 hours before the fight. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this was the ONLY song they had for Hatton, and it became tedious quicker than you could imagine.
I mentioned to Big Show that I wanted to see if we could get a line on "There will be a riot in Vegas this weekend," on account of the perfect storm consisting of Ricky Hatton's crowd meeting Floyd Mayweather's crowd, with the rodeo cowboy crowd thrown in as a jackpot wildcard. Of course, the standard douchebag crowd always presents the freeroll for riotous behavior. I made the Riot Line: Riot +150. I'm talking full fledged Holyfield-Tyson kind of riot.
We pondered this over a noon brunch at Carnegie Deli in the Mirage. Big Show and I split a brisket and a pastrami sandwich. The pastrami was decent, the brisket was a little bland, and both were slightly too fatty. The English couple next to us each ordered BLT's, which looked to contain 2 full pounds of stacked crispy bacon each. Oy Vey.
Returning to the Venetian, there was still not much going on in the poker room, so we resumed our assault on the double deck blackjack table for a few hours, booking another win before settling in to play some poker. I put my name on the 2-5 and 5-10 NL lists, having just missed the last 5-10NL seat, and slummed it with Big Show in HELL - the 4-8 limit game! We raised and reraised pots continually, and when we finally made a hand, would get paid off graciously. I made a beautiful chip stack honeycomb tower, and Big Show retaliated by building a replica of the Luxor with stacks of 4 which could be easily grabbed to bet and raise with. Big Show wasn't kidding when he claimed he thought it was probably the juiciest game in the room. However, I was fully tilted by the slow pace and asinine play, and jumped at the chance when a new 5-10NL table opened up.
I ground away at the 5-10NL game for several hours, working up a decent win, before I was moved to the main table right as one of the young local pros took a sick 5 outer in a $5500 pot. I was seated to his immediate right, with a loose tourist to his left, and another local young gun to the tourist's left.
After the kid calmed down, he took the time to point out a character at the next table who claims to be the mack daddy of poker, and was promptly moved to my immediate right. This guy, I couldn't make this up, takes out a 2x4 inch business card from a metal case and slides it to the tourist two to my left, extending his hand and introducing himself. You have to click the link to get a more complete picture. I almost thought he was kidding. Coach Roberto was a local, and his shtick clearly put the kid to my left on severe tilt. "He'll probably sign one of these for you if you want," I needled the young gun, as he rolled his eyes and bit his lip - clearly boiling inside. So Roberto hands his card to the tourist, who looks at it and says dryly "So you won a tournament with Aces," which causes me to laugh out loud uncontrollably. I politely slide the card back to Roberto, who tells me "You can keep it." "No thanks - that's ok," I'm trying not to laugh, but the tourist honestly wants the second card and grabs it, saying his buddy may be interested. Coach Roberto was a perfectly nice gentleman, and played a solid thought not scary game (the young guns to my left were infinitely more dangerous). His card mentioned game theory, but I didn't want to explain to him that I was reasonably sure I'd already FORGOTTEN more about game theory than he'd ever know. He did manage to FELT the young gun to my left in a $3700 pot when Coach Roberto made a preflop raise and flopped a set, fading the kid's flush and gutshot draws.
Tubbo arrived, and I got up from the table to go with Tubbo and Big Show to get some food. The 2lbs of Carnegie Deli meat was still rumbling - and there really is no better word - RUMBLING - in my stomach, so I could only manage to throw down half a turkey panini before we went in search of negative EV.
We made it over to Harrah's for some nice double deck blackjack action, and were tilted this time by the skunked cigars Tubbo had brought for us. Now, you can't complain when one of your buddies goes out of his way to pack cigars and bring them for you, but Big Show put on a pathetic show in managing to choke down only about 2 inches of his (ZING!). A latino SoCal gang banger was in the 3rd base seat at our table, and promised us he'd bring us some good cigars if we came back tomorrow night. Hector parlayed his $100 into $1600 before taking it almost all the way back down to the felt with some reckless play.
Further tilt ensued when we discovered that Harrah's does not allow double after split in the double deck game. "WHATTTTTT? Do you know who the fuck I am?" I stared at the dealer. "Some poker players who lost and are now playing blackjack to get even?" He quickly shot back! I looked at Big Show, pursing my lips and nodding respectfully at the dealer's SEMI-successfull read, and correcting him, "Not bad, but we didn't lose today." Of course it's not hard to tell the poker players in the blackjack pit from the variety of extremely intimidating yet non-douchey chip tricks we constantly employ.
Tubbo wanted to book a win, so we got up, and as we were walking away, spotted a roulette wheel which has run red 5 times in a row. "Get down on black?" Big Show never learns. "Come on man, don't fight the tape - it's a momentum market," I explained for the tenth time, as I bet my stray chips on red. "RED - winner," the croupier paid us, and I didn't move. He stacked the winnings into a new bet, as Big Show confirmed with me, "Let it ride?" "Big MO baby! MOMENTUM!" Red came up again, so we parlayed it one more time, and reaped the reward of our third consecutive red. We picked up our chips and cashed out, looking back over our shoulder to see the streak broken as we laughed and high-fived, "market timing bay-beeee!"
Late night Venetian Pai Gow has been a tough game to crack, but we took another shot at it, working a relentless Marty strategy, which resulted in me having to increase my bet by a factor of 10 in short order. After some sweat, I got even, and Big Show was similarly successful. I retired for the night, while Big Show and Tubbo went to roll the bones unsuccessfully for another few hours.
next up: Fight Night.