Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vegas - Summer 2009: To the FELT! Part II

Where were we? Oh yes... Part I ended with me crawling out of bed Saturday morning, still drunk, laughing at a text from the Big Show inquiring simply: "How did we get home?"

After showering up, Rico, Leeroux and I hit the Mirage buffet for some fuel. I noticed a quite bearish channel check - the Mirage no longer serves fresh squeezed OJ at the buffet, they now serve crappy diluted concentrate, like you get in the frozen foods section. I lamented this downgrade, but enjoyed a melange of breakfast pizza, Chinese dumplings, sausage and breakfast burritos. After the buffet, Rico and I found seats at the pai gow table outside the Mirage poker room to kill time while waiting for the rest of the slackers to rally, as Leeroux returned to the room to catch another 90 minutes of beauty sleep and "watch the golf tournament." I still had $375 in chips from the previous night's pai gow session, which I promptly put in play. Tubbs and Big Show stumbled through on their way to breakfast at Carnegie Deli. Tubbs had procured shirts for all of us to wear in honor of the Big Show, and distributed them promptly:

The color was a blinding fluorescent yellow that doesn't come through true in the pictures - these were brilliant porn-slapper reproduction shirts. They also made it quite easy to see any one of us from 50 yards away. Since Rico looks like he could be the supervisor for a pornslapper crew, many people stopped to ask us for directions to various places, assuming we were locals who were on duty. One guy offered to buy one of the shirts, but Tubbs' $50 price quote turned him away. Of course there was also an endless array of morons who would stare blankly at us and ask "What's the deal with the shirts? Bachelor party or something?" Which would inevitably result in one of us giving a smart ass reply about either 1) how smart that person was or 2) that no, these were just our work outfits.

The Mirage put me on bajungi tilt with a merciless 90 minutes of pai gow punishment in which I think I set a record for number of pai gows by a player. For those who don't know, a pai gow is when you make no pair with your 7 cards. It's not a good thing - unless the dealer has one. So I'm getting ground down in brutal fashion, and I decide to hit the roulette wheel with the remainder of the pai gow buyin, where I sat down to pound out 7 straight spins betting the 10 and the 8. After the 7th spin I'm felted, and get up since I see the Carnegie crew returning, easily visible due to the pornslapper shirts. I wander over to talk to Tubbs, as Big Show walks right past me to the roulette table I'd just vacated, just in time to see the number 10 come up. Steam coming out my ears now, I place my remaining chips from my pocket ($175) on black, and watch the spin come up red. Felted again.

Big Show and I decide to hit the Mirage double deck blackjack game. Although it's not a pitch game (where they pitch the cards to you face down, like we prefer), it was only 5 feet away, so we settled on it, since it still has decent rules. You wouldn't believe how many blackjack games in town now pay 6:5 on blackjacks. Originally, this was just a single deck blackjack phenomenon, but as a dealer at the IP explained to us later that evening, Harrah's has used O'Shea's as an experiment to see how its player base would react to the poor payout odds. Not surprisingly, since the crowd at O'Shea's is a lower end crowd who probably doesn't give two shits about odds, they didn't care at all, and Harrah's extrapolated that decreased payout structure throughout its other casinos. You can now find 6 deck shoe games that pay 6:5 at all Harrah's properties! Amazingly, these games still have people sitting at them, even though the house still offers sparse 3:2 payout tables interspersed amongst them. I viewed this as another severely bearish channel check: once you get to the point where you are crushing your customers so badly that they don't even care, it's a sign of impending doom. As the saying goes, "you can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin him only once." The fact that 6:5 blackjack is running rampant is a bad thing, as it is illustrative that you're down to the bottom of the barrel in terms of customers. Once you wash out the last customers, there's no one left. Anyway... Tubbs countered with a bullish channel check that the Mirage, despite cutting orange juice costs, still had Quilted Northern toilet paper in both the rooms, AND in the general population crappers in the casino. This pleased him greatly.

So Big Show and I sit down to play some face up double deck, and I'm down $800 within 30 minutes. Steaming, I wander into the "Baccarat Lounge" in my fluorescent yellow pornslapper shirt, and spot a black chip table that's empty. I quickly retrieve Big Show, who of course has the same obnoxious shirt on, and we sit down to rip up some cards at baccarat. As soon as we sit down, a maniacal Filipino sits down with us. This is potentially problematic, since in Baccarat whomever has the highest wager on each side (player or bank) gets to handle the cards for that hand. We didn't want to have to get into a bigger dick contest with this guy, so we held off for a minute. Fortunately, he was insanely superstitious, and would decide to take a hand off every few hands, where we jumped in and ran off a string of 5 winning hands. Then we just waited until he placed his bet, and took the other side of him, causing him to cackle like the villain in a James Bond movie and narrow his eyes at us as if we were the enemy, before cackling loudly as he turned over a string of natural winners. At one point Big Show had a $100 bet out, and MP (Maniacal Filipino) pushed out a $105 bet, in order to control the cards. Needless to say, this is horrendous etiquette, and I chided Big Show for not upping it to $110 in a declaration of all our war.

We channeled our inner Escobar, and asked the dealer to expose the cards one at a time. "One card please... and the other," so we'd know what we'd need to squeeze out to win the hand. On bajungi tilt and all-in again, I was up against the ropes, needing a miracle. I squeezed my second card and found paint - a king that didn't help me. I instantly ripped the card in half right down the middle which drew a gasp from the dealer and the 3 pit personnel who were standing by the game. It was as if I'd taken a dump on the table. "Uh oh," I muttered to Big Show, "I didn't think it'd rip that easily," as he was choking back laughter. The dealer chided me "PLEASE don't rip the cards," as they summoned supervisors to deal with this violation. After a brief huddle, the pit boss went to the drawer and pulled out a sheath of clear tape, to TAPE the card back together before throwing it in the discard slot, as I tried not to laugh, despite my severe tilt at having steamed off another dime at the baccarat table.

A different Asian pit boss retrieved some information, then calmly approached me to ask, "please, Mr. Dynamite, if you would be so kind as to not rip the cards in half." "Of course, I'm very sorry," I apologized, as I felt Big Show's chair vibrating from the laughter he was trying to quash. I received a text from Dirty Dave that read: "Just booted, rally questionable." I replied, "Just dropped a quick 17 hunge," to which he begged, "PLEASE tell me it was pai gow!"

Felted, I sat with Big Show for another 20 minutes, before we got up to return to his room with Tubbs and Connor to see if we could make any more sense of the end of the prior evening. Connor had no recollection of walking out of Encore, repeatedly begging me to punch him in the arm. Big Show recounted how he woke up in the middle of the night to find Connor in Tubbs' bed, and Tubbs missing. Surprised, he went in search of Tubbs, and found him lying passed out face up on the bathroom floor. Smartly, Big Show simply stepped over Tubbs and took a leak before returning to bed.

Since it was Big Show's bachelor party, we had obligatorily set up a quick assault on the Spearmint Rhino - an afternoon hit and run before dinner. The Rhino's limo-bus picked us up, with the limo driver taking a moment to pause at this group of 10 scrubs in pornslapper shirts, admitting, "this should be interesting." Tubbs had called earlier to confirm that their dress code consisted of no "plain white t-shirts." "These are definitely NOT white," Tubbs reasoned with me, and I couldn't help but concur. The Rhino offered the best deal in town - $100 bottles of liquor before 8pm. While we're EV hounds, and normally wouldn't pass up an opportunity to pay $100 for a bottle that is normally at least $450 (or $30 retail, depending on how you look at it!), everyone was too beat up from the night before to want to drink more quantities of hard liquor at this time, so we settled for light beers.

Being one of Big Show's groomsmen, I bought him a dance with a tall young lady. As she came over to me to collect payment, I asked, "How did it go?" "I think it went well," she answered, before turning to Big Show, a chair away, and saying, "How was is?" Big Show was polite, "Not bad." "On a scale of one to ten?" She probed. Big Show, a master market maker, pursed his lips, tilted his head, took 4 seconds, and loudly replied, "SIX."

Had I been drinking at the moment, I would have choked on my beer and thrown up right there. Instead, I merely let out a surprised hoot (more of a "guffaw," I guess), as this was like a slap in the face to this girl who clearly thought she warranted a ten. She tried to gain more info about what was wrong with her performance, and I clearly recognized that this was our signal to begin rallying the troops to head home.

We returned to the Mirage and showered up, ditching the pornslapper shirts for nicer dinner wear, and re-convened on the casino floor to head to dinner at BOA Steak in the Caesar Forum Shops. Dinner was solid - Tubbs had set up a fixed price menu for us, recommending that we go with the bone-in ribeye to "maximize value." Exhausted, Big Show and I each nodded off briefly at the dinner table, before rallying and roaming out to check out the Saturday night action on the strip. We meandered through Harrahs, where there was a lot of action in the outdoor party pit. There was a guy making those cool 5 minute spray paint art designs, who we stared at for a few minutes, before proceeding to the Imperial Palace.

I knew I had a problem brewing, as my stomach was killing me. There are lots of usable bathrooms in casinos on the strip, but I was in no man's land. The IP is flat out awful, as is Harrah's. The Bellagio and Caesar's were at least a 25 minute walk away - time I didn't have. I sucked it up and faced the wrath of the general population crapper in the back of the IP's casino floor. If you've seen Trainspotting, you know the legendary scene about "The Worst Toilet in Scotland." Well, that's what the IP is like. Surprisingly, I managed to snag some streak of luck, and found a remotely usable stall. While on the crapper, I texted Tubbs, Big Show, and Dirty Dave, "Taking a crap at the IP. Fuck My Life." Dirty Dave quickly responded, "So am I - I found a lower turnover facility on the 3rd floor outside the racebook. Still nasty!"

Emerging little worse for wear, I found Rico and Leeroux dominating a blackjack game, while Big Show and Tubbs were exercising some dice control at the craps table. Big Show came over to say hi to our favorite pit boss, the legendary Frank. "What's going on Frank?" Big Show inquired. "Just trying to get a look at those tits," Frank answered honestly, tilting his head at a customer in the slots pit 20 feet away with what Big Show described as "double K cups."

Financially and physically beat, I wandered back to the room to retire early at 2am, and prepare for my last day in Vegas.

Stay tuned for Part III



Custom T-shirts said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge

Matthieu said...

big up frome France !
liked the description of the IP bathroom and this fuck my life episode !

Anonymous said...

Where is Part III doucheball?

Anonymous said...

will part 3 be ready in 2009????