Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vegas - Summer 2009: To the FELT! Part III

If you missed Part I or Part II, go get yourself caught up.


Leeroux woke up early and hit the airport for his flight home. Rico and I slept in for another 90 minutes, and then headed to the pool to wait for Big Show & Tubbs to rise from the dead. When they finally crawled out of bed, we headed over to the Grand Luxe with J and Connor for some breakfast. I had a topic of conversation for breakfast, and I explained my theory to the table. I'd always thought that Vegas was an American fantasy land - a place where people could go and act like they can't act at home - be someone else - do what you don't normally do. Guys come drink their balls off, girls act and dress like total whores, people spend money on completely stupid shit like $180 steaks and $450 bottles of Vodka and generally act like morons. VEGAS BABY!

However, it had just hit me, suddenly, that this wasn't a fantasy land - this was REALITY. This was the uber REAL America - douchebag rednecks walking around with a hollow plastic guitar filled with frozen margarita around their neck. Fucktards gambling away their rent at 6:5 blackjack tables without the slightest regard to the better odds at the next table or the next room. An endless parade of chooches who wear sunglasses inside with their tilted trucker hats and Ed Hardy shirts. Fat whales with no sense of personal space who walk right at you in the middle of the sidewalk, then stop and look up. Other fat whales stacking their plates with disgusting frozen shrimp cocktail and dirty king crabs legs from the all you can eat buffet. The one thing that really confused me though was the whore gene that seems to really blossom in the ladies in Vegas. What is it about Vegas that makes women wear butt-cheek length skirts and tight scooping satin shirts with no bras? Rico had a theory on that, explaining that this is how the girls actually were - but that they didn't have the opportunity to express their sluttitude in their little home towns. "If they had clubs like this in Podunk, USA, they'd act like whores there too," Rico elaborated. I couldn't shake the epiphany - that Vegas was the Real World - not an escape.

Anyway, after breakfast me and Big Show sat down at the quarter double deck blackjack table in the Palazzo outside the high limit salon. I got another channel check when, while waiting for my marker, I asked the pit boss, "How's business been?" "Slow," she replied. "Slow since the summer? Or slow all year?"

"Slow since we opened, eighteen months ago," she explained. "Write that down," I told Big Show, "and buy some LVS puts."

We battled for almost 4 hours at the bj table, where I managed to almost break even, and Big Show racked up a nice win. Neither of us could rival the blackjack MACHINE who sat down in the one seat and turned $500 into $5500 in 2 hours with an absolute clinic in how to spike blackjacks. We also got lessons in the fine art of hitting a 14 against a dealer's 6, and staying on 16 against a dealer's 7 from a doucheball who sat down for a brief period between us. Needless to say, he didn't last long.

I pulled another hundo out of my pocket to round up my buy-in so I could buy back my marker, and my streak of still not having cashed out any chips at the cage was intact. Big Show and Tubbs were heading to the airport - we said our goodbyes, complete with man-hugs, and I was on my own. I still had 5 hours to kill before my red-eye flight home, so I figured I'd crush it in the Venetian poker room a bit. I put my name on the 2-5NL and 5-10NL lists, and then asked to be added to the Omaha list as well - they had a 4-8 limit game with a half kill. "There's a seat in the pot limit omaha game," the floorperson told me. "ooooh.. PLO? I'll take it," I said, and found the 1-2 PLO game off to the side.

I put a rack of red chips on the table, and ran to the bathroom. When I came back, my chips were gone. "What happened?" I asked, as the table feigned innocence. "You took them with you," and old guy next to my seat claimed, but he quickly lifted up the bag he had on the side cart to show that he was just fucking with me, and my rack was on the cart. Now, obviously, I couldn't let the locals get to me, so I just looked at him, smiled, and asked, "Do you know who the fuck I am?" They did not. The game was 1-2 blinds, but the bring-in is $5, and the max first raise is to $15. The blinds are considered $5 each for purposes of counting the pot, and the max buyin is $500. Surprisingly, the game was SUPER nitty, as I'd soon find out.

After 45 minutes, I checkraised a guy all-in on a K-4-3 flop with two spades, holding the 5-6 and a ten high spade draw. He agonized for 4 minutes, asking "If I call can we run it twice?" "No. One time," I told him, and he went back into the tank. He tried BEGGING me to run it twice, but I laughed and said ONE TIME, which resulted in him folding after another minute of agony. The game was so nitty that it should have made it easy for me to not make asinine river payoffs, but donkey river payoffs are the staple of any NLHE specialist playing PLO. I made a great call on one hand when I correctly deduced that my opponent could not possibly have a monster hand the way the hand played out (the flop was checked around, I potted the turn - he called me on the button, and then he bet 1/2 pot on the river when what looked like a brick hit and I checked it to him). I was right - he had nothing much until he hit his gutshot on the rio to make the nuts. Then I flopped the nuts with AKxx against the tightest guy at the table who flopped top set. He bet the flop, which I called. He check-called the 7 on the turn, and I should have snap mucked when the river paired the 7 and he bet out. I didn't. Cause I'm a hold'em donkey. That one was bad.

In one hand, action was checked around on a paired flop, and again on the turn. The river brought a ten (4-4-6-8-T with three spades) and the SB led out for the pot. The button smooth called with pocket tens, and I jumped out of my seat. "HUH? How can you not put in a raise?" I was incredulous. "I've seen quads too many times," was the reply - and this guy was no fool. "You'll learn," another one of the nitty locals told me, and I laughed at their nittitude. You have to understand, in my game in the city, I'm the nit of all nits, but this was out of control. The river bettor had pocket 8's, for the third nuts.

As you can imagine, the session ended with me getting stacked again - when my combo straight + flush draw missed against top set, and I wished the table good luck, taking no solace in the fact that my perfect streak of not making it to the cage had lasted the entire trip. I fetched my bag from the valet at the Mirage, and headed to the airport. My cabbie pulled a highly advanced move to get us out of a major gridlock jam on the Strip - turning into the IP entryway and sneaking out the back way, weaving down the backroads back to the airport. He explained to me that sometimes people think he's taking them for a ride when he takes shortcuts like that, but I responded that I knew what was up, and that I wouldn't complain unless he tried to take me on the highway, in which case I'd choke him out from the backseat.

I always used to fly US Airways, since they allow you to purchase an upgrade to first class for $100 if it's available the day before your flight. However, US Airways pulled all of their direct flights to Vegas from both Newark and JFK, so I was on Delta this time. Out of habit, I approached the gate desk and asked the guy if there were any first class seats available. He told me that I could have one for $150. "I thought you didn't sell them?" I was surprised, but he explained that he was overbooked in coach, so he'd let me buy an upgrade cause he needed my coach seat. "But, if you're overbooked, you can give it to me for free, right?" I tried the last angle in my arsenal. The pro was not impressed, explaining that if he was going to give it away, it would probably be to someone with a higher fair or higher frequent flier status than me. I quickly handed over my credit card, and was on the plane in my first class seat 5 minutes later when we started boarding. I got a jackpot bonus when the plane was a Boeing 757-300, with massive first class seats which reclined and adjusted 6 different ways. I couldn't even touch the seat in front of me.

I leaned back, put on my ipod, and drifted into dreams of the next trip to the desert.



Twin C said...

Sorry about the non-stop feltage, but fantastic trip reports, man. I missed these.

Yanga said...

Good reporting. Too bad I missed the trip.