Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Whatevs

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vegas: Winter 2007 Part III: Fight Night

If you missed part one or part two, go read them now, I'll wait.
I awoke to find Big Show missing, and relieved that Tubbo had crashed on the couch instead of living up to his threat to "canoodle" me. After showering up, I found Big Show attacking the Venetian double deck game. He quickly cashed out and we got our daily 5 minutes of fresh air on the walk over to Chipotle, where we fueled up for an aggressive day at the poker tables.
Although there were at times several tremendously juicy fish at the Venetian 5-10NL game who were willing to put in their entire $2000 stacks with top pair, I was unable to make anything good happen against them, and instead found myself on the short end of pocket kings vs. a flopped set of jacks.
A bunch of bloggers were at the Venetian for a special tournament, and I finally met the immortal Doctor Pauly. I also said hi to The Bracelet, Ftrain and Falstaff. This was the second time I was in Vegas at the same time as the blogger posse, and the second time I'd stayed on my own path with the Big Show instead of partaking in the blogger agenda.
After 6 depressing hours in the 5-10NL game, I finally bailed to go get cleaned up to watch the fight: Mayeather-Hatton: Undefeated. Now, the sportsbooks can't show the fight, because MGM owns the rights, so the way it works is that MGM properties sold tickets to closed circuit viewings (read: a ballroom with 50 tables set up and the fight projected onto 8 big screens around the room) for the masses who couldn't get tickets to the MGM arena. Even these closed circuit viewings were tough tickets, and Big Show's VIP connection fell down on us at the last minute, even after promising us we would be all set.
Springing into action, I immediately suggested we cruise over to the under the radar Treasure Island - the former crown jewel of the MGM empire - back when it was the Mirage empire. Ok, so the T.I. was never the actual crown jewel - it was always the Mirage's retarded little brother, but anyway - they'd have the fight, and it had to be a better shot than the Mirage or their properties down by the MGM.
We speed-walked to the T.I.'s ballroom, where I was informed by the ticket checker that there were possibly some tickets that had been released - we should check downstairs at the Mystere ticket office. After cruising back downstairs and waiting in line for 10 minutes, we had the pleasure of paying $50 each for a seat at the closed circuit viewing. Open bar? Free food? Nope. Nope. Not so much as a free drink ticket included. Worst beat of the trip, but anyway; Tubbo and Big Show arbitraged the situation by bringing up chicken fingers and beers from the deli downstairs - where the beers were $2 less.
Estimates of the number of British hooligans who came for the fight ranged from 80,000 to 200,000, and the Ricky Hatton song got annoying real quick. Still, it was more fun to route for Hatton than Pretty Boy Floyd, although Floyd almost won me over when he entered the ring to The Boss's Born In the USA. This fight, despite both fighters being undefeated, was like watching Rocky come to life. Hatton IS Rocky, and Floyd IS Apollo.
Earlier I had argued with Big Show about the price on the fight: I wanted Hatton + 200, he wanted Mayweather - 180. I explained that the line was +185/-215, so +200 was mid market. He and Tubbo didn't realize that the line had changed, and the normally robust Big Show proved to be a giant pussy in basically saying "I don't want anymore action." I took solace in buying a ticket at the Venetian sports book at a worse price (+185 at 3pm, which promptly went to +275 by the start of the fight!!!!), explaining to Big Show; "Hah - Fuck you - either I win this ticket, and I'm happy, or I lose, and I'm paying the book instead of YOU! CHUG IT!" This was the reason I was able to celebrate and dance in Big Show's face when Hatton got knocked out, as I didn't have to fork the cash over to him.
So, dragging early on our third night in Vegas, we somehow came up with The Worst Idea In History - which was to take a cab over to the MGM post fight. Arriving at the MGM we found a scene that looked like the Running of the Bulls met an English soccer game. A pure, impenetrable mass of humanity. The bright side was that there was no riot. We fought through the casino, but quickly bailed on that idea and walked across the street to the immortal Tropicana, where I'd never been.
Upon entering the Trop's bus-depot like side entrance, I realized that I had been there. As we made a quick lap through the casino I realized why I'd blocked it out of my memory - it totally chugged cock. As we exited through the other side door, we came upon what I crowned "The most depressing place on the strip," which reminded me of the bleachers at Baby's the old club in the Hard Rock - carpeted steps with vending machines at the bottom, and a variety of drunken lightweights and people seeking warmth from the cold passed out. Not a happy scene.
Being a mere 100 yards from the former San Remo, now Hooters Casino, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see how this re branding was working. Strangely, Hooters seemed to be doing good business, but without any of their trademark Hooters charm - the dealers were by and large below average in looks, and they were wearing mostly standard garb - with only a sparse few in Hooters outfits. However, they did not let us down in the intelligence (lack of) department; resulting in the first favorable dealer error of our trip!
Feeling like crap, I put the waitress on severe tilt by ordering the Dirty Dave: hot tea with honey and lemon. Now, Dave has made this a Sunday morning poker room staple, as a cure for all of Saturday's ills, but I'm reasonably sure that I'm the first person ever to order it on Saturday night in the history of Hooters. The waitress looked at me like I just told her I was a hot air balloon pilot. She stared at me. I stared at her. "I'm serious," I told her. She didn't move. "Really. I need to get right - THEN I'll start drinking," I explained, which seemed to pacify her, as she went off and eventually returned with 3 different tea choices for me, along with some detailed recommendations of which I might like.
We were seated at a Let It Ride table, where I was losing my L-I-R virginity - a rarity for me to find a casino game I'd never played. Within the first hour, Big Show and Tubbo both squeezed out open ended 4 card straight flushes, which are the holy grail of this game. They each had two outs to a 200-1 payout, but each missed his draw. After being felted and rebuying, I went on a hot streak, and managed to spike a straight, and then a flush - which is a big hand in this game. I'd tilted the dealer by refusing to bet the extra $1 bonus on each hand, which basically would help me if i managed to make a royal flush. When I made my straight, she paid me off for the $25 bonus anyway, as Tubbo, Big Show and I instinctively fell silent, until Tubbo cried out "Who's the big winner?!?!?! KD's the big winner!!!!" in the style of Trent from Swingers.
When I made my flush, an 8-1 payout, smoke started coming out the dealers ears. "What's 8-1 on $30?" She asked out loud. I stared at her. "2400?" I volunteered. She pursed her lips. She Big Show's jaw dropped. My jaw dropped. She asked the pit boss: "What's 8-1 on $30?" He looked at her and walked away.
"I think he's going to get a calculator!" I told Big Show, being honest, but he was almost too stunned to laugh - even the fucking PIT BOSS didn't know! Eventually, using all her fingers and toes, she came up with the correct answer, $240, all on her own! The thing is, this dealer wasn't a typical Hooters employee like you're thinking! She was a short pig with the mandated "you're not hot enough" uniform: long sleeved white t-shirt under yellow short sleeved collared shirt, and long black pants.
Despite the positive EV of retarded dealers, we packed up at Hooters and returned to the Venetian where we played a mammoth double deck blackjack session with Androgynous Kim Jong Il. This guy - I THINK it was a guy - was a spitting image of what would happen if Kim Jong Il starred in the classic Saturday Night Live "It's Pat," sketch. So AKJI (Androgynous Kim Jong Il" is in the first base seat, with Big Show in the middle and me one to the right of 3rd base. We're playing black chips, and AKJI is playing two hands. He gets a blackjack on the top of the deck in at least one of his hands EVERY FUCKING SHOE. Meanwhile, I'm on a blackjack frigid streak, 0 for my last 8 hours. I put Big Show on tilt by ordering a Kahlua on the rocks to drink!
The night before at Harrah's, as we screamed "MONKEY!!!!!" every time we needed the dealer to bust, one dealer informed us that the phrase was originally "monarchy," which seemed to make sense, as one would call for a monarchy card: king, queen, jack. Thus, without confirmation of the fact, Big Show would proceed to scream MONARCHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE every time for the rest of the trip, tilting all casino employees within earshot.
The pit boss at the Venetian inquired, "Why are you yelling monarchy?" Big Show looked at him but declined to comment, so I just replied "Would you prefer if we yell PAI GOW!" Anyway, I had an epic hand where I had 2's split twice and doubled twice, getting 5 units in play against a dealer 5. I made a few 18's, but the dealer turned over a ten in the hole and then a 4, and swept my chips. With a massively favorable deck now, I feigned tilt, and pushed $600 out on the next hand, which I promptly won to get right. AKJI put me on the worst kind of tilt when he refused to split 9's against a dealer 6 - which must be one of the highest EV plays one can have the opportunity to make in a casino. However, Tubbo encountered a character in his 6 deck shoe who made what was officially The Worst Play I've Ever Seen. This stereotypical rich Southerner had $1k bet, and decided to split 7's against a dealer 10. Of course, he busted one hand, and received an Ace on the other. The proper play on a soft 18 vs. a dealer 10 is to hit, but this guy thought for 45 seconds about DOUBLING his bet! In the end he elected to stay, watched the dealer bust, and broke even on the hand.
This nauseating play broke my will, and I hit the room for some much needed rest.
First thing Sunday morning, we called Dirty Dave to get the hot plays for the NFL. He put us into a jackpot 3-team parlay that ended up going 0-3. Perfect. Then we hit the Grand Luxe, to claim our breakfast comp we'd earned the previous evening. I was severely tilted when I was informed that since it was 11am, I could no longer order from the breakfast page, which contained the omelet I desired. Instead, I could only order one of the omelets listed on the lunch page. I stared at the waiter, not comprehending. "So you don't have omelets right now?" I asked. "Just these omelets here," he pointed. "But you DO have eggs right? I mean, it's 11:00 on the nose - they can't make me the omelet from the OTHER page?" He was having none of it, and I settled for a bagel with lox, which chugged cock.
We put together a new parlay, consisting of the Denver-KC over, which basically got there in the first half, the Cleveland-Jets CLE money line, which worked fine, and the Pats-Steelers over 47 1/2. With the score 17-13 at the half, we were sitting pretty, especially when the Pats scored two more TD's to make it 31-13 with a full quarter remaining. We needed a score of any kind, and didn't even think we'd regret that the Pats had missed a field goal, and the Pittsburgh had failed to score from first and goal in the 3rd quarter. Savvy gamblers that we are, we quickly realized that Pitt wasn't going to be kicking any FG's, and we needed the Pats to score a TD on their current drive with 9 minutes remaining, otherwise our sure thing was going to be in serious danger of going down in flames. As Randy Moss dropped the TD catch on 3rd down and the Pats kicked a field goal to put us within a hook of the number (34-13), I buried my face in my hands and lamented the oncoming train wreck.
Pittsburgh managed to get inside the 25 with under 4 minutes left, but, refusing to give up, was obviously not going to kick a field goal. Instead, they failed to score and turned it over on downs. What made this especially painful was that when the Steelers got the ball back with 90 seconds to play, they gave up! Electing to run draw plays instead of airing it out to score! I mean, I can understand not kicking the field goal earlier, but what the fuck - either you're giving up, or not. If you're not giving up, then try to fucking score! Despite cashing a winning Patriots ticket, the UNDER beat in the parlay put me on bajungi tilt, which worsened considerably when we ran into JC, who put the monster kaibash on me, and resulted in me dropping a full blackjack buyin - which was my FIRST losing session of the trip at a casino game!
Big Show and Tubbo headed off to the airport, and I hung with JC a little, grinding out a small Pai Gow win, before I hit the poker room to kill my final few hours playing in a nice little shorthanded 5-10NL game with 2 pros and a few fish. Unfortunately, just as the game filled up with Euro-tourist fish, I had to go catch my flight. My cabbie put me on the kind of tilt I only dream of, when, after asking me "You want to take the strip or the highway?" I replied "The quick way." He didn't know I've been here 30 times, and responded "The highway." Now, 90 seconds later, I tell him, "This is NOT the quick way," at which point he gets all defensive, and shows me his sheet, where the last customer from the Venetian paid the same rate my meter came to - cause he took that doucheball for the long ride also! For those of you unaware, the highway route basically takes you all the way around the entire airport. So, instead of cruising down the strip, making a left, and entering the airport, you do a 7 mile loop around it, and come in the same way. Since there was no Strip traffic on Sunday night, I was on mega-tilt all the way home to New York.
A Quiznos sub at the airport placated me slightly, as did the fact that despite giving back more than 1/2 my winnings in my final 6 hours in Vegas, I was leaving a winner, which is something you can never complain about. The Lords of Tilt threw me a final curveball, when the guy jammed into the middle seat next to me was the poor man's Biz Markie. Unfortunately, this guy lacked the smooth rhyming skills, but snored like a buzzsaw, and spread his legs at a 90 degree angle.
I pulled my hood over my head and entered an altered state of consciousness.
Trip diversity displayed:
Casino games: Blackjack, Pai Gow, Let it Ride, Roulette
Poker: 4-8 Limit, 1-2NL, 2-5NL, 5-10NL
Drinks: Vodka & grapefruit, Vodka & cran, beer, hot tea, Kahlua, Kahlua hot chocolate, Captain & coke
until next time,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vegas Winter 2007 Part II: Culture Clash

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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vegas - Winter 2007 International Incident

I'm not an amateur. I'm not a doucheball. I don't wear my sunglasses or wifebeater on the plane, I don't drink from a plastic yard glass in the airport, or anywhere else for that matter, and I don't scream "Vegas Baby!" Ever. The main goal on the mentally and physically taxing flight from NYC to Vegas is always the same: 1) don't get tilted and 2) try to get some rest.
Why then, are the Black Car companies constantly trying to violate the first of the two very simple rules? Mrs. Dynamite doesn't like to take a car - she just hails a cab. However, since nothing tilts me faster than NYC taxis, and a town car only costs a buck more, I go that route almost every time. The main method the car services provide in terms of tilt induction is to show up late. While I've been on a hot streak lately, with my last several cars coming on time, I can't seem to avoid the most powerful weapon the drivers employ: SMELL. I know what you're thinking - this isn't a toxic curry b.o. I get assaulted by - it's the uber-perfume of fake flowers or air cleaner so vicious it makes my medulla throb.
So I get in the car, and am immediately in a quandary. I can't breathe solely through my mouth for an hour, and I'm only wearing a sweatshirt in the 30 degree weather, so I can't open the window to alleviate the floral assault. I fight it for as long as I can, then, like Luke leaning toward the Dark Side, I embrace the odor and give in to it. It's like the smell at the Venetian - only much much worse. On the bright side, I can't even smell it after 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I also can't feel my toes or remember my name.
Arriving at the airport for my noon flight, the doucheballs are not hard to find. There is a pack of d-balls, clearly of Da Bronx variety, annoyingly eyeing my Red Sox sweatshirt. I send Dirty Dave a quick text notifying him of the doucheballiness that is abundant already, and he responds "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Terps!" I quickly explain that these are not the ACC variety of doucheballs, but rather, the much lower class Fordham sub-sector, easily identifiable by flat-brimmed Yankee hats. If you EVER see someone with a flat-brimmed Yankee hat, you know you're dealing with a special kind of doucheball.
Then, like something out of a nature movie, an entirely different species of douche strolled up - the douche-WASP. Identified by their casual business attire, the douche-WASPs were carrying Bud Light bottles at the airport gate, prominently displaying the bottles much like the way a poison frog displays bright colors to advertise it's wares - only I guess this was the opposite - they were trying to attract attention, not repel it. I was in awe. Hey guys - really? You felt the need to show everyone how cool you were by hanging out at the gate an hour before your flight drinking Bud Lights? Is the hot airport pussy flocking to you like a moth to a flame? No? Didn't think so.
I can deal with doucheballs, but I can't deal with SARS, and after moving my seat to get away from the young dude coughing with his mouth open, I inadvertently planted myself in close proximity to a party of 7 Chinamen hacking some sort of serious shit, without covering their mouths of course. Talk about tilt. Kid Dynamite is a germaphobe - there you have it.
After I suffered through the latest issue of Newsweek, which chugged cock, Delta began the boarding process. I couldn't figure out the system - they board by zone, and you'd assume they board from the back of the plane to the front, right? No. I think it's completely random. Fuckwads. Patiently awaiting my turn, I handed the gate agent my boarding pass, which she scanned. The machine beeped and she told me "seat change - lots of those today." Before objecting, I noticed that I still had an aisle seat, and elected not to whip out the DYKWTFIA? Karmically, the tide quickly turned in my favor when, despite the "full flight" the flight attendants kept preaching about, I had an empty middle seat next to me. Jackpot.
The Fordham D-balls were several rows in front of me, and, amongst the group of 6 I counted the following: 1 desert camouflage bandana. 1 jungle camouflage zip down sweatshirt. 1 pair of sunglasses worn on board. 1 wool knit cap. 1 face-frame style beard (WICKED douchey). 1 spankhound chanting "Mayweather!" And of course, 1 wifebeater t-shirt. I calmly put in my headphones and resolved to endure the 5 1/2 hour flight, and that's really what it is: endurance. This is a long, painful flight.
I make it to Vegas and breeze through the empty cab line at the airport, arriving at the Venetian in short order. The room is comped, somehow, courtesy of the Big Show, who will be arriving in short order, and I check in, activate my line of credit, and drop my bags in the room before heading to the poker room.
The 2-5NL game was nit central. The players do not believe it's legal to raise from first position with The Vortex (68s), and the mere verbal claim that I had done so resulted in a near lynch mob. Later, a somewhat bizarre guy on the button bumped it to $30, and had the small blind re-pop him to $130. Action came back around to the cutoff, who smooth called the $130, and now the button made it $430 to go. I was sitting all the way across the table, and the guy to my right whispered "he has aces." I threw out a $5 chip and said "I'll take "NOT ACES." He faded in a hurry, but the guy to my left quickly took the action, explaining to me, seriously, "The third raise means aces 95% of the time." I asked him if he wanted any more action, but he declined. Now the small blind popped it one more time, all in for $680, the cutoff folded, and the button stopped to think.
"Ship it," I told Mr. 95%. "What? We won't know until we see his hand!" "He's thinking. That means NOT ACES," you dipshit. Turns out the button called with TT, which held up against the sb's AK. At least the nit-factor is going down a little!
I ran over the game for a little while, sucked out with QQ vs AA when I spiked a set, and was starving by the time Big Show showed up around 7pm. We quickly hit the Panda Express in the food court, which was clearly a mistake, resulting in gastrointestinal trauma for the rest of the night. Fueled up, we returned to the Venetian casino floor to dominate their double deck blackjack game.
After several hours of play, we were each holding a nice win, and the cigar girl strolled by. We knew from prior experience that the pit boss should be more than willing to comp us a simple cigar, which Big Show requested.
"Sorry, I can't," the pit boss replied, "I can buy you a pack of smokes though."
"But we don't smoke," Big Show replied, and we stared at her like she had 3 heads. Standoff.
"We don't control the cigar concession, sorry," the pit boss continued.
"Wait a second," I chimed in, "You can buy us dinner at Grand Luxe, but you can't buy us a cigar?" We were seriously confused, and starting to get severely tilted.
"That's correct," from the pit boss, but no logical explanation.
Big Show and I looked at each other, and the TILT factor was palpable. "How much money are we going to steam off at this table because we don't want to pay for a $15 cigar ourselves?" I asked him.
"At LEAST a full buy in," he knew it was gonna happen, but we maintained our focus and continued to grind up our win.
An hour later, the cigar girl strolled by again, and the pit boss chimed in, "I can buy you one of those cigars!"
"What did you think we were talking about?!?!?!" We were incredulous, as that's all we'd wanted in the first place. "Ohh - I thought you wanted one of the special ones from the Salon," the pit boss explained, as we were in the pit right outside the high limit salon area. So we finally got our cigars, free of charge (SHIP IT!), and smoked them as we again encountered a communications breakdown, this time with our dealer.
"How much do we have to bet in baccarat if we want to tear up the cards?" I asked him, as this would give us great pleasure - in baccarat, you are allowed to destroy the cards as you look at them. "I've seen guys bet $200,000 a hand," he explained.
"No no, what's the MINIMUM?" Big Show tried to help this idiot understand the question.
"Some guys bet $15k a hand, some guys bet more," the dealer replied. What the fuck language am I speaking?
"I understand that," I interrupted again. "What is the minimum we have to bet though to rip the cards up?"
"A lot of guys just bet $5,000," the dealer was really trying to tilt me by completely ignoring the question and feigning ignorance of the US American language. He appeared to be Bulgarian or Croatian or something like that, but was no fool, and seemed to comprehend fine.
"Say WHAT again!" Big Show grunted, imitating Jules from Pulp Fiction, as I laughed and gave up the line of questioning, and put aside my dreams of shredding a baccarat shoe for the moment.
Having thrashed the double deck game, we made a quick hit and run at the Pai Gow pit, before deciding to play some late night drunken low-limit no limit hold'em.
We sat down next to each other at a 1-2 NL table which became 7 handed, and I won the first 8 hands in a row by raising and re-raising, firing at flops. Big Show eventually laughed "that's EIGHT in a row." "Maybe I should slow down?" I inquired. "Why? Wait until they put money in the pot." If someone called a flop bet, or bet into you, it was an easy laydown. Otherwise, we'd continue to abuse the game. One Canadian doucheball tilted Big Show by wearing a big dopey ski hat, and thinking he was a pro. Big Show was in the bathroom when this idiot raised with JTs, and then explained to me, with his loony accent, "That's a good hand, a money making hand, eh?" "You're a douche, EH?" I muttered to myself, and resumed my abuse of him and the other helpless ducklings, before we quickly tired and retired to the room to refuel for the night.
more to come.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Here Comes Another Bubble

Good Stuff

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Fat Stripper

When you see a sign that says "The Fat Stripper" what do you think of? I'll give you a hint - this post is NOT a Vegas trip report.
What if you saw that sign on the window of a retail store while walking down the street? If I told you that the store sold fruit smoothies, you might eventually figure out that there is a gigantic difference between FAT stripper, and fat STRIPPER. Most of us, upon seeing "The Fat Stripper," probably assume, as I did, that fat is an adjective... I peeked in the window, wondering where they were hiding her in this little store, before it hit me - "OHHHHHHHHH... it's a shake that makes me skinny!"
The idiots at the smoothie store are probably wondering why no fit girls are coming in and ordering The Fat Stripper... "I don't get it... it SHOULD be delicious - blueberries, strawberries, fat free yogurt.... why don't our customers want it?" In the words of the classic Seinfeld sketch: "Who are the ad wizards that came up with THIS one?"
The Big Show and I hit Vegas on Thursday. Trip report imminent when we return.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Triple Crown

So Bones writes to me, "I feel like I know WAY too much about what's going on inside your bathroom these days." Hey man - life gives you lemons, you make lemonade... Which is why today's post completes the triple crown: it's about Oscar's pee.

We went to our Thursday night agility training class, which is held in a building that has a pet boutique in the ground floor. Oscar, in his excitement browsing the store, decided to tag a deluxe carrying bag - lifting his leg and unleashing a torrent of fury on it. As we asked the store clerks for some cleaner and paper towels, I cringed at the $140 price tag. The clerks didn't realize that Oscar had hit the bag, and told us "Guys - relax - that's clean enough," as we furiously scrubbed at the bag with the stain cleaner and paper towels.

When we explained that Oscar had hit the bag too, he told us not to worry. Mrs. Dynamite razzed me all through class, "That's one less puppy that they'll be able to get adopted because they are a non-profit and cannot sell that bag now." She insisted that we check with the guy on the way out. We practically begged him to make us buy the bag, but he insisted it wasn't an issue, and Oscar was off the hook.

Here's a video from a more successful trip to a store with Oscar - on his 2nd birthday last month when I let him pick out his own treat:

and here's a picture of him in his pirate halloween costume:

until next time,


Sunday, November 25, 2007


Saturday night recap:
7:30: dinner @ Sullivan Diner with Mrs. Dynamite and Scott. A burger for Scott, grilled cheese & bacon for Mrs. Dynamite, and grilled chicken club with guacamole for Kid Dynamite. 1 bottle of pinot noir.
8:30: Off the Wagon on MacDougal Street. I elected not to ask the bouncer if I got a prize if I was the oldest person in the bar as he checked my ID. We basked in the glory of old school college bars, watching NYU juniors play beer pong with pitchers of Bud Light, and trying to no avail to get Scott to hit on the sloppy young co-eds. After finishing my pint of Sam's Winter Ale, we moved on.
9:30: Down the Hatch on W. 4th St: the sister bar of Off the Wagon, and equally collegiate in atmosphere. We were impressed when the couple next to us wasted no time in starting their night: 6 tequila shots lined up and slammed in 3 minutes. Mrs. Dynamite and I repeatedly urged Scott not to be too picky with the ladies "look bro, at this hour you have to take WHATEVER you can get." But Scott was unfazed, glaring at me: "It's not even 10 o'clock," although in Kid Dynamite time that's basically 1am.
11:30: Home in bed with Mrs. Dynamite and Oscar. Yep - this is my life - who could ask for more?
but then it gets interesting:
3am: Mrs. Dynamite gets up to go to the bathroom. After several minutes, and the sounds of repeated toilet flushing, I come to the conclusion that something is awry. I hear Mrs. Dynamite repeatedly opening and closing the bathroom door, going into the kitchen and back, and I decide to go check on her - hoping I won't find her in tears with her head in the toilet. She only had 2 beers and is no lightweight, so I'm not sure what's up.
As I approach the bathroom door, open a sliver, I catch the surprising site of her in her bathrobe - why the bathrobe? What happened to her clothes? "You ok?" "Yeah - GREAT," she replies sarcastically, in good spirits, laughing at her predicament.
"WHAT happened?" I'm not sure I want to know, as the bathmats are in the washing machine, along with the shower curtain and all Mrs. Dynamite's clothes, and the unmistakable smell of chunder hangs in the air.
"You don't want to know," she assures me. "You KNOW I do," and I do!
"I was feeling fine - I got up to get a drink of water, and as soon as I put the glass to my lips, I projectile vomited. EVERYWHERE," she calmly laughed.
"Drunk?" I didn't quite get it.
"No, just full stomach syndrome I think," the two tall Bud Light draughts had taken their toll in volume, not alcohol.
I gestured at a spot on the bathroom door frame where some residual high velocity spatter was still lingering.
"You don't understand," she gave me the details, "it was EVERYWHERE. I had to get into the shower with my clothes on to wash the chunks off!" I began laughing hysterically as she recounted the gory details.
"I tried to put my fingers over my mouth, but it shot out the sides- I looked like I'd just won a pie eating contest!" mmmmm... Grilled cheese & bacon colored with pinot noir, and Bud Light for volume. Sounds delish. "I can't get the smell of puke out of my nostrils. Does my hair smell like puke?" She was concerned.
"You're all good baby," and she was - which is the only reason I'm able to re-tell the story here - Mrs. Dynamite was fine, able to laugh her way through the whole situation, concerned only with how she was going to clean up the destruction without waking up my cousin who was visiting for the night, and sleeping on the Aerobed downstairs. So Mrs. Dynamite selflessly tiptoed around the crime scene, dabbing, scrubbing, and wiping down the chunder chunks, without even making enough noise to attract Oscar to check out what was happening.
That's my girl.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day

My dad taught third grade for about 30 years, and every year he'd hit me with the same two poems he'd tell his third graders, in exactly the same slow and deliberate cadence he delivers it to his eager third grade pupils. This year was no different:
"When the turkey gobble-gobbles it is plump and proud and perky. When the family gobble-gobbles, it is gobbling up the turkey."
"If turkeys thought, they'd run away a week before Thanksgiving Day. But turkeys can't anticipate, and so there's turkey on our plate."
Both poems courtesy of Jack Prelutsky.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Top Notch

One of the best pages I've seen in a while. If you're not an aficionado of rap lyrics, this will make no sense to you. On the other hand, if you are, you will appreciate true genius.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stool Softener and Ass Bubbles

I woke up yesterday with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. By noon I felt like I was even money to either crap my pants or puke before I made it home on the subway. I had a nausea and stomach pain that quickly evolved into a fever - basically like food poisoning symptoms but without the volcanic eruptions spewing from both ends of my body - thankfully.
When I told my wife the symptoms, she quickly responded "Oh, you should take a stool softener."
"What? I don't think that's the problem," I was more than skeptical.
"Yeah - you're probably backed up - that's why you feel nauseous."
At this point I was willing to try anything to make the pain stop, so I popped one of the stool softeners (dosage guidelines: take 1-3: I'll play it safe) she had on hand for symptoms related to the effects of Vicodin post-surgery.
And this is how I came to be sitting on the toilet blowing ass-bubbles today. I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that I actually listened to her "stool softener" advice - I'd never taken a stool softener before in my life, and probably won't take one again anytime soon, but it's become an instant inside joke in the Dynamite household.... Can't sleep? Try a stool softener. Headache? Stool softener will fix that. Indigestion? You know it - stool softener.
Now I'm taking pepto-bismal to counteract the effects of the stool softener, even as Mrs. Dynamite strenuously insists that the stool softener does not cause laxative effects; despite empirical evidence to the contrary. Ok - I realise that this post is probably a case of Too Much Information, but if the thought of me sitting on the toilet blowing bubbles out my ass while my wife laughs at me doesn't put a smile on your face, well, then, you'll have to find a new 'blog to read.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

NYC Poker Tragedy

On Friday evening, a new NYC poker club was robbed at gunpoint by several men - one of whom discharged his weapon (a sawed off shotgun) accidentally during the heist, hitting and killing one of the players - Frank Desena.
Needless to say, this is horrible - and that is a tremendous understatement.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ship It!

I didn't write much at all about the Red Sox this year because I am superstitious, and didn't want to jinx their ride to the title, but now that it's in the books, I can send out an emphatic SUCK IT to all the Yankee chooches out there, especially Arod and Scott "Scummer" Boras - who demonstrated a complete lack of class by announcing Arod's opting out of his contract in the 8th inning of the clinching World Series game last night.

I thought this picture of Jon Lester with his two trophies was terrific - a guy who fought through cancer and seems to have everything he can want now. Congrats Jon:

And how can you ever get enought of Jonathan Paplebon's intensity?

The Sox got contributions from their homegrown young guns (Pedroia, Ellsbury, Paplebon, Lester, Youkilis) their big name players (Manny, Ortiz, Lowell, Beckett, even JD Drew!), and even the unlikeliest of stars like Bobby "game winning HR" Kielty.
I watched a few innings of the game last night at the Riviera, a fanatical Red Sox bar near my apartment in Manhattan. Honus was plastered, and I tried to get him to use my sure-fire Sox chick pickup line "Hey baby, why don't you come over to my place and blow it like Gagne," but he pussed out at the last minute. I eventually retired to the solitude of my own apartment to enjoy the clinching moment in peace, just as I had in 2004.
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner summed the situation up well in his postgame comments: "2004 was for our parents and grandparents and those people who suffered through eight decades before a World Championship. This is for us and for our children and for everybody in Red Sox Nation."
Go Sox.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Angle Shot of the Week

The Cleveland Indians hired Red Sox ace Josh Beckett's ex-girlfriend, Danielle Peck, to sing the national anthem last night, as a result of what they claim was pure coincidence.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, Beckett seemed unfazed and pitched a masterful 8 innings to stave off elimination and send the series back to Boston. Still, I give them credit for a legitimately advance tilt induction attempt on Beckett.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Manny Being Manny

"I haven't been right all year. When you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's how you know you're a bad man." - Manny Ramirez

What a sick night of baseball. After the Indians got help from a swarm of midge flies to finally crack the concentration of Yankee's lights out setup man Joba Chamberlain and Cleveland manufactured a walk off win, the Sox conjured up their own dramatic finish at Fenway. As soon as the Angels began to intentionally walk David Ortiz in the bottom of the 9th, Fenway was standing room only, chanting "MANNY! MANNY! MANNY!" while Ortiz was still at the plate with Manny standing in the on deck circle. Manny delivered with a bomb off K-rod that landed about 750 ft away on the other side of the Mass Pike, sending Fenway into a frenzy.

The Sox walk off win was preceded up by JD "I've been on fire ever since that doucheball at Capital Grille thought Kid Dynamite was me" Drew's 2 RBI single in the first, and a tremendous assist from 17 year old fan Danny Vinik.

Vinik barehanded a Manny Ramirez foul ball that Angel's catcher Jeff Mathis was extending over the photographer's box to grab, giving Manny a second chance, and eventually resulting in a walk for Manny and a sac fly by Mike Lowell to tie the game. And before all you ignorant BoSox haters start piping up - Vinik's play was 100% legal, since he did not reach into the field of play. If the kid's name sounds familiar, it's because his dad, Jeffrey Vinik, was the former head of Fidelity's flagship Magellan mutual fund, and is now a limited partner in the Red Sox.

I hate the whole Actober campaign, but October baseball is living up to the hype.

Go Sox!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

EV Whore

Yeah, I'm an EV whore - I couldn't resist the allure of the Pokerstars Blogger free roll - Sklansky bucks just for entering!!!

The boys over at the Spirit of Jake Plummer have done it again with another quality post. If you missed the one I linked up last week, check it out now. These guys are kinda like the Wickedchops of sports writing - good stuff.



Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 1387609

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that I have a ton of Sklansky Bucks to spend. The bad news is that in reality I just clocked my worst poker session ever - courtesy of some sick sick beats I will not relate here.
However, this post was so good, it warranted a Kid Dynamite post to highlight its genius.
Oh yeah - Bruce Springsteen in Rockefeller Center this morning really got me pumped for the upcoming shows... Bruce Springsteen UberFan MegaPost is imminent... but not tonight.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Boot and Rally

The best boot-and-rally I've ever seen. In Swedish no less.

And I love this Lou Piniella video - to the tune of Rihanna's Umbrella.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

JD Who?

I remember when I took what was basically Psych 101 in college, we discussed something called anchoring bias.
Anchoring bias works as follows: you ask one group of subjects a question like "Is the population of the United States more or less than one billion people?"
You ask a second group of subjects "Is the population of the United states more or less than 100 million people?"
Then you ask each group of subjects to write down the number that they think is the actual population of the united states. The subjects in group one, who were given the one billion "anchor" in the leading question will on average guess higher than the subjects in group two who were given 100 million as the anchor number.
So what the heck does this have to do with anything relevant that I may write about? Well, I think it explains how I was mistaken for JD Drew while out in Boston last weekend. Let me explain.
The Capital Grille on Newbury Street in Boston is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights. After the Red Sox-Yankee 4pm game, we had a 9pm ressie, and showed up to a packed house, to find the host turning away four San Diego Chargers defensive backs who had shown up without a reservation (sorry gentlemen, please call me ahead of time next time you're in town and I'll take care of you). Fortunately, the host clearly knew who the fuck WE were, and sat us promptly.
We were in a booth, with Mariano Rivera and some guests seated in the booth directly to my right and one up, and Jack Welch, the legendary GE CEO and some guests seated directly to my right and one back. Now, although almost no one noticed Jack Welch, everyone noticed Mariano, and several people came by to shake his hand and solicit an autograph during dinner.
This is where the Anchoring Bias comes in, because, you see, on Saturday night at Capital Grille, you kinda start to assume that everyone there is "someone." I happened to be with 3 other guys, one of whom was about 6 foot 6, so other tables started eyeing us. I'm guessing they weren't whispering: "Hey - that's Kid Dynamite - that guy who writes those sweet Vegas recaps!" When two of the guys in our party got up to go to the bathroom, a Sox fan wandered over, still wearing the red long sleeve jersey jacket he'd worn to the game.
"JD Drew," he accused me - as he extended his hand to me. Now, you have to understand - although I might normally be attempted to play along, JD Drew is not exactly a fan favorite in Boston. He has been a very expensive and very disappointing failure so far this year. Thus, when someone comes up to you thinking you're JD Drew, they are quite likely to react poorly, as three of my friends separately replied via text message "DID HE PUNCH YOU FOR SUCKING?" "DID HE TELL YOU U SUCK?" "DID HE BOO U?"
So I look this doucheball in the eye, and calmly say, "No." I look about as much like JD Drew as I look like Dustin Pedroia - which is to say, not much.
He keeps his hand out, saying "You're JD Drew."
I stare at him with a look that says without words "dude - STOP," but he doesn't believe me - he's sure I AM JD Drew, and I am just shy or afraid or something.
"I'm not JD Drew," I tell him quietly.
His hand is still extended, and he says "Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you on a good game today," you see, Drew had actually driven in a clutch RBI against the Yankees!
I shook his hand, smiling, and telling him one last time, "I'm not JD Drew," while shaking my head. He walked away, back to his 8 man table, and they proceeded to stare at me for the next 15 minutes.
I tried to unload a deuce in the bathroom, but wilted under the pressure, fearing that at any minute a camera phone would appear under the stall trying to catch JD Drew on the crapper for the Boston Herald.
until next time,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vegas Summer 2007 Part III

If you haven't read Part One or Part Two go do so immediately...
So where were we? Ah yes - I'd survived my liquidity crisis at the Venetian double deck blackjack table, and gone to see what the boys were up to before getting ready for dinner.
Let simplify Friday night down to two pieces of wisdom: 1) When you're going out for dinner in Vegas, especially with a large party - just suck it up and go to a quality place. If you try to save $30 a head by going to one of these places that has 300 seats and less than top notch food, you'll end up vastly OVERpaying for the dog food they serve you with attitude. 2) Do NOT, under any circumstances, try to roll 19 guys deep at a gentleman's club. Just don't.
So anyway, after a vicious series of clusterfucks Friday night, Saturday began in unusual Vegas fashion for me: at the pool! We had two cabanas at the Venetian pool - the only problems were a) it was 105 degrees outside, b) I will get skin cancer if I sit in the Vegas sun for more than 4 and a half minutes and c) IT WAS ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE FUCKING DEGREES OUTSIDE!
Still, I hid in the shade of the cabana long enough to down a burger for nourishment, and then head off to the poker room. (Warning: ACTUAL POKER CONTENT imminent!)
I sat in the 2-5NL game for 1 orbit while waiting for a seat in the 5-10NL game. After calling a raise with 88 and flopping top set on a draw heavy board (8-7-3 with two hearts), I raised the preflop raiser's flop bet and took down the pot. On the next hand, I again called a raise with 33, and saw a nearly identical flop: 8-6-5 with two hearts. I decided to get all fancy 2+2 style on the preflop raiser, and just call his flop bet, seeing what developed on the turn.
When the ultimate scare card - the 4 of hearts peeled off on the turn, the preflop raiser checked to me. I smiled on the inside, as I laughed at how easy this game was, and bet out $120. The preflop raiser promptly checkraised me all-in for about $250 more. Fahhhhhhk. I mucked, asking him innocently, "That card didn't scare you at all? Maybe just a little bit? I thought it was a pretty scary card."
He shrugged "I didn't think you had the flush," and now another doucheball piped in "Me neither." I laughed and racked up my chips - realizing I'd given my opponents too much credite - assuming they had brains - and heading for the 5-10NL game that I'd just been called for.
I rounded my stack up to $800 and surveyed the scene: There was a short stacked young gunner who was playing tight seated two to my left, with a Russian former NYC Cab Driver (Russian) between us. On the other side of the table was a Southern Card Rack (SCR), a Middle Eastern Putz (MEP), The Poor Man's Gary Busey (BUSEY), and an Eastern European Calling Station (EECS).
The first hand I played was my old nemesis A-Q. After 1 limper, I made it $50 to go and was called 3 times - I'd be third to act post flop. I kinda liked the flop of K-8-4 rainbow, as I thought the rest of the table viewed me as a tight aggro player, and would assume I had something like at least A-K when I fired out $150 after it was checked to me. It was folded back to Busey, who leaned around the dealer, asking "How much you got left?" I showed him that I had about $600 left. "That's it?" He asked - being a total dick. "That's it," I answered. He nodded and said "All in," just for emphasis - as he had about $4k in front of him.
I laughed and mucked - hey douchball - this isn't my first time at the table! The only question I was asking myself is if I'd make the call with AK there - I don't think so. I made a mental note that I'd be stacking this cockchugger imminently. As it turned out, I had to wait about an hour, until Busey's $20 straddle was called, and I made it $60 to go with TT. Busey called, as did the limper, and we saw a flop of 9-8-4 with two clubs. Busey and the limper checked to me, and I fired out $200. Busey nodded, and like the payoff wizard he was, called. The limper folded, and I watched as the dealer peeled off the 7 of clubs on the turn.
Busey looked up from his food and checked again. Although I couldn't really hate this card more, I thought that Busey would bet here with a made hand - hoping I wouldn't believe him - as he would be wrong to try to trap me - given the tight play I'd exhibited, even if he had proven that he was a calling station. "All-in - $450" I said, sliding my chips forward and counting them down. He nodded, and called - I cringed.
The river was an offsuit jack, and I quickly turned my hand up, declaring "I have a straight." Busey considered the board - eyed me annoyingly - and mucked his hand. I don't think the jack helped me - as he was the type to show his cards if he'd received a bad beat - he likely had something like A-9 or A-8 with the Ace of clubs.
I gave some chips back another hour later in this frigid deck: The Russian opened for $50, and I was next with KK. I made it $160 ($1400 stack), and it was mucked around to MEP - who was a total donkey and moved all in for $600. I began salivating. When the action came back to the Russian, he now moved all in for $790. I jumped out of my seat, not believing the action. "Wow, really?" I couldn't believe I could lay this hand down in this game, especially since I'd already labled MEP as a douche-royale, and these stacks were not deep enough. I took 30 seconds before saying "I call," and turning to the Russian: "You have aces?" "No - queens," he admitted. I turned to the MEP and stated: "YOU don't have aces." He nodded - he did. What? Faahhhhhhhhkkk. Frigid. At this point, the new young gunner to my left said "I guess this would be a bad time to tell you I folded a king," and I groaned.
We turned our hands up, and amidst the oooohs and ahhhhs there were suddenly 20 people standing around our table to see the flop of Q-Q-T. FAAAHHHHHKKKK!!! I couldn't even win the side pot!
Fortunately, Busey still had money left, and was kind enough to double me up again an hour later when I finally found AA. Again the Russian opened for $50, and again I made it $160. Busey cold called $160 from the $20 straddle, and the Russian called as well. The flop was 9-9-5, and Busey bet out $200. The Russian folded, and I instantly pushed in my last $450 - $250 more to him. He shrugged, called, and when I tabled my AA he mumbled something about needing a 4. The kid to my left thought he said he had 4 outs (7-6? 8-7 ??), but in any case, when the J and Q peeled off, he mucked his hand, and I was up again.
The Young Gunner scooped a big pot with A-Q unimproved when he raised preflop, bet the K-8-4 two club flop, and moved in for about 2 times the pot when the turn bricked off. The Russian took the chips he'd gotten with his flopped quad queens and called after some deliberation. It seemed that the Young Gunner had to have at least AK, but when the river bricked off, he said "I missed." The Russian nodded "Me too," and finally the Gunner turned over his AQ. The Russian turned over Ac9c, and the Gunner scooped about 3 dimes - much to his surprise.
Later, SFCEO (Southern Former CEO) sat down in the one seat, and asked the waitress what kind of white wine they served. She began to consult a list of ONE in her head... "Ummm.. Chardonnnay...... ummmm..." The CEO interrupted her "Please bring me the driest white you have," and a look of horror came over the waitress's face. Seeing this, I tried to stifle a laugh, which ended up erupting like a snort. She looked at me for help, and I laughed "Just ask the bartender - he'll know," as the CEO looked at me with wide eyes - shocked by her ignorance.
"Come on," I told him, "To be fair, what kind of doofus orders a dry white wine in the poker room?"
Well, I'll tell you what kind of doofus - the kind of doofus who thinks like this: Busey is clearly on tilt - MEGA-tilt. He has had aces 5 times - and cannot get away from them - each time paying off $1k plus in turn and river bets -and his stack has dwindled. YoungGun opens a pot for $60, and Busey in the SB steams "TWO HUNDRED." Now the CEO thinks for 45 seconds, and mucks reluctantly. The YoungGun mucks too, and I look at CEO, inquiring, "Ace jack?" cause that's the kind of hand this idiot would really like to play here stuck between two raisers. "Nooooo - I'd play Ace Jack there - I had pocket jacks." The Young Gun practically knocks over his chips in disbelief - and I stare with my mouth open, as JJ, aka FridayInVegas is practically the nuts right there against the steaming Busey. CEO explains "You see, if I had Ace Jack it makes it less likely that he has aces there," and my brain immediately shut down as he proceeded to have a discussion about it with the Russian - WHO AGREED!!!
When the Russian and the MEP finally left, I got up to cash out, logging a $687 profit for the four hours, and decided to abuse the Venetian's Pai Gow pit a bit. I sat for an hour, pounding 6 vodka-grapefruits and taking $300 out of the game before I went upstairs to freshen up for our big Saturday night at Tao. We pre-partied in Dave's room, with ample booze and appetizers, before heading down to Tao - preying there would be no more clusterfucks. No matter how carefully you plan, nothing is certain when you have a 19 man party in Vegas. We'd been set up with a booth and a six bottle minimum, and had only to endure the last minute plug job the hostess laid on us, telling us we'd have to get 7 bottles, since it was "a big night." No shit - it's Saturday - it's ALWAYS a big night on Saturday - nice bait & switch you filthy bottle whore - but what could we do - Dave handed over his credit card, and we were led to a quality box above the main dance floor.
I couldn't help thinking it was an error when we ordered Jack Daniels for one of our bottles, and of course I was right, as it was the only thing left at the end of the night. Several bottles into the evening, on our way to 10 bottles, Brian somehow escaped eviction when, in an attempt to "slap an icecube out of Brendan's hand," he instead slapped a full vodka tonic over the ledge of the skybox onto the floor below. I don't know how he talked his way out of that one, but several hours later, we were in a real jam when Brian was down on the dance floor and his little brother Mikey, sloshed out of his mind, attempted to lob a drink to him. I watched from 8 feet away in slow motion as this train wreck unfolded, springing to life screaming "NOOOOOOO," almost exactly like Apollo Creed's trainer in Rocky IV when Drago knocks Apollo out (killing him) and Apollo's head slams against the mat - you KNOW the scene I'm talking about.
Too slow to stop him, I winced as Mikey tossed the drink over, and security suddenly swarmed us like wasps. After tense deliberations which lasted a full 20 minutes, Dave managed to negotiate our continued occupation of the skybox, offering to let the bouncer throttle him if anything else went wrong.
Dirty Dave would never believe that the boys brought back a group of legitimate bona fide KCSH's to our booth - Kansas City Sweat Hogs!!! The girls were probably surprised with the ferocity with which we guarded our booze - Andy whispered to me "If she even LOOKS at our vodka, I'm throwing her the FUCK out of here." See, us happily married men have different priorities - booze over flooze.
We eventually staggered out of Tao after 4am, where I decided to drop a buy-in at the PaiGow pit before retiring to bed for the night.
Sunday morning, I woke up and beat up the double deck blackjack pit for a few hours, doubting that Mikey would awake from his coma in time for our 1pm flight. As I stacked green chips into a tower, Mikey finally called me and stumbled down to the casino floor lugging his two athletic bags, and sweating a mixture of vodka and tequila.
As we headed off to the airport, I realized he was still trashed, and he managed to get himself subjected to a full search at security when he left his sunblock in his bag. The young Irish TSA worker swabbed Mikey's bag with a pad, as I prayed Mikey didn't have any illicit substances. "It's gonna screen high for alcohol and stupidity," I joked to the agent, who replied honestly, "that's ok, if that was illegal they'd fire ME." We ultimately made it through security, and back to NYC in one piece, where I began plotting our next trip...
until next time.