Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vegas Indian Summer 2008 - No City for Old Men


I woke up at 5:30am for the first time in about 9 months, and felt like I was going to work: Wall Street was blowing up - Lehman Brothers had failed to find a buyer the previous weekend, and BofA was buying Merrill Lynch. I had more pressing concerns though: shower and shave before my 7:30am flight to Vegas! Now, the Big Show and I are Vegas professionals, but we made an atypical mistake in planning this trip: we'd booked the flights a mere 2 weeks before, and hadn't locked up our hotel room before hand. We reasoned "Monday to Thursday in the summer? Won't be a problem," but when we called our hostess at the Venetian, we were shocked to find that there were no room comps available! She said she'd be able to take care of us on the weekend, but apparently the Venetian and Palazzo were slammed with both a technology conference and a big party for Mexican Independence Day! Still, we pulled some strings and Big Show's boss hooked us up with a freeroll room at the Mirage, courtesy of his own 7 figure line of credit.

My car arrived with no trouble, and we breezed to JFK where I ran into a little Monday morning security line traffic. After negotiating the pack of doucheballs, I stopped to take a leak, and was fascinated by the waterless pisser in the bathroom. Not even a piss mint in there - amazing.

The flight was uneventful, apart from a typical array of fat ignorant idiots, and I breezed through McCarran to a 3 minute cab line, and straight to the Mirage. I checked my bag and, not psyched to play 3-6 limit hold'em, walked across the street to the Venetian, where I checked in on the 2-5NL list, and grabbed a quick bite to eat up in the food court at Panda Express. I returned to the poker room just in time to grab my seat, and sat down eager to reverse my recent ill fortunes at the poker table and dominate some doucheballs.

In my first orbit, I over-limped a UTG limper holding pocket 5's. 4 more people limped, and a nitty old regular in the small blind made a strange raise to $25. The initial limper now popped it to $125, and I folded quickly, as did everyone else back to the small blind, who thought for 2 minutes before mucking what he claimed (and I'm sure he was telling the truth) was QQ. I nodded at him: "You mucked queens?" "Yeah," he lamented. I nodded understandingly, "I mucked kings," I said, and it never occurred to him that I was full of shit - he thought that actually made SENSE! My old friend The Dealer was to the nit's left, and eyed me suspiciously, at which point I made an "are you fucking kidding me - of course I didn't muck kings" face, and he smiled and chuckled.

I was rapidly put on bajungi tilt by a complete ass-clown two seats to my left: an early position player opened for $30, and I called, directly to his left with 66. Now, Assclown says "raise 20" and is informed by the dealer that the minimum raise is to $55, which he is now obligated to make. It's folded back to the initial raiser, who now 4-bets it to $155, and I have to fold. Assclown calls, puts his last $60 in on the A-6-3 all heart flop, and turns another ace that he didn't need to crack the initial raiser's KK with his ACE JACK! Kid Dynamite falls victim to the three bet squeeze play min raise from a total assclown who held AJ - oy vey. I steamed right out of the room, and back accross the street, exchanging text messages with Chops along the way, who was trying his best to antagonize me.

Fortunately, Big Show had just landed, and he promptly met me at the Mirage, where we checked into our comped room, dropped out bags, and returned to the infamous Pai Gow pit where we'd been liquidated the year before. We were playing $10 Pai Gow, and upon seeing our player's cards, the pit boss politely informed us that we'd have to bet $25 per hand to be rated. I calmly replied that we understood, and that we would get there, and then chided Big Show: "He already has you rated: as a total douchebag."

I was excited to tell Big Show about the waterless urinal at JFK Airport, and he quickly inquired "What if you take a dooker in it?" "It's a urinal," I reiterated, but he just stared at me. "Yeah, so... same question." Sick fucker. Amazingly, the Mirage urinals have VERTICAL no-splash astro-turfs in them, as opposed to the Wynn's piss pots, which still have the horizontal no-splashers in them. I wonder if each casino has an Executive Vice President In Charge of Quelling Urinal Splashback. Heck - I'd go back to work for that job.

After we lit up cigars, and I kept the cocktail waitress alert and tilted with a steady assault of varied drinks (champagne, Captains & diet, Coors Light, Cabernet), we were joined at the $10 Pai Gow table by Omar, a native Mexican who was in town to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. He thoroughly enjoyed our attempts to converse with him in Spanish (from me: "Como te gusta Julio Cesar Chavez?" and from Big Show, the much less couth: "Hijo de puta.") Omar was impressed when we managed to have an almost real conversation entirely in Spanish, where he told me that he was in town with his wife and another couple, who were out shopping. I replied by telling him that I didn't work, and that my wife was at home working. We then celebrated in the only way possible - with margaritas. Oh - by the way - Omar spoke perfect English, and a few other languages as well.

Although we never bumped our bets up to the big player stud rating green chip $25 level, after a few hours, the pit boss fell prey to our irresistible personalities, and started conversing with us on the state of the stock market. He was excited that I also liked gold as an investment, and repeatedly hammered me with his tip to buy small cap gold stocks. Then, as the coup of the day, he asked, "would you guys like to get something to eat?" before writing us a comp to Carnegie Deli! Big Show and I mock-high-fived, having thoroughly beaten the system: despite deliberately and fearlessly maintaining our min-bets, well below the normal rating level (right in the heart of the rated:Douchebag realm), we'd secured a dinner comp. Free rolll!

We gratefully accepted the comp, and gorged ourselves on pastrami and brisket at the Carnegie Deli before returning to the Mirage poker room to dominate a little 1-2NL. Perhaps I was too impatient, but again I simply couldn't crack the game. At one point, Big Show elbows me, and says, "Look - Jose Canseco!" Sure enough, it looked exactly like Jose, only smaller! I remember Canseco as an absolute beast. Even without the juice, there's no way he could be this small - he looked like he was 6 foot 4, 210 lbs! Big Show was adamant, and we confirmed it was indeed Jose when Big Show simply yelled "JOSE!" at him, and Jose turned and half-smiled.

Later, a girl came and sat down in the 3 seat between Big Show in the 2, and me in the 4. It turns out it was Jose's companion/girlfriend, and I promptly put her on bajungi tilt by calling a preflop raise with A5s, calling her little flop continuation bet with bottom pair, and stacking her when I turned two pair. We were talking to her about how small Jose was, "He must be 210lbs!" I pleaded, and Jose came over to retrieve her, having busted out of his own $70 Sit'n'go. "THAT'S not 210 pounds," she gushed, practically drooling, in a day dream, as Jose came over, which Big Show later translated (accurately, I think) as "it feels like more than 210 pounds when he's slamming me after a half bottle of Grey Goose."

I turned to chat with Jose, telling him, "Jose, I have a vintage 1994 Red Sox jersey-t-shirt with CANSECO 33 on the back - it's from MVP sports and I think I'm probably the only guy in the world who still has one." Either my complement came out wrong, or Jose was on tilt from taking a 3 outer in the sit'n'go (Big Show later reasoned: "he's probably BROKE!"), but he gave me an indifferent, unenthusiastic "great," with an implied "go fuck yourself."
After cashing our Monday Night Football ticket - we hammered the OVER, which got there before halftime I think, we bailed on the poker game, and dominated some more low stakes Pai Gow for a bit, before turning in early on account of being old men.
stay tuned for part II..


My final out said...

I love the title. That cracks me up. Sounds like you guys have a seriously good time down there. Keep the reports coming.


Jordan said...

What's up with Canseco?! DHKWTFYA?

Anonymous said...

I saw canseco in mirage back in April or may... He was sittin playin 1-2nl, made me feel like the man playin the big 2-5 game :) he had some little hottie with him then too. I'm sure he has no problem finding them though...