"To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect." - Lao TzuI was exhausted by the time my last night in Vegas rolled around, after a wild couple of days and turbulent nights of hanging out with some of my favorite poker bloggers amidst the coruscate lights of Vegas. How did I cap off an amazing weekend? I hit the poker room with Grubby and Derek. Gambling wise, I was up for the trip. With a nice Sunday at the sports book in Mandalay Bay, I won enough money to cover all my expenses. Airfare, hotel, taxis, drinks and food were all paid for by the Bengals covering and from loose calls from fishy Cowboys at the Excalibur. At that point, thanks to the AlCantHangVegasExperience, my liver resembled the last urinal in the men's room at McSorely's on St. Patrick's Day... it was a repugnant scene. Drained from the lack of sleep, beat up from the binge drinking, jacked up on pure casino oxygen and high as a kite on my new-found celebrity status... I was overloaded with emotions and stumbled around with an impending feeling of forlorn depression that always sank in heavy during the last day of a trip when I adventure to somewhere special. I wanted to enjoy every last second in Vegas with whoever was leftover and still standing.
We were all seated at different $2-6 tables. A few guys from Otis' Missouri crew were lingering around the Excalibur poker room which was still crowded after their Monday Night Football promotion. I found a spot in seat one, right next to the dealer. There was an extremely drunk, chubby girl sitting next to me. She looked like Drew Barrymore's homely trailer park cousin. She was slurping a pink drink with a straw and giggling uncontrollably as I stacked up my chips. Her breasts would tremble like the ground near Kilauea volcano everytime she laughed. She was spilling out of her white juicy couture halter top and in my notes I actually wrote down, "She had tits the size of a microwave." Why I chose the word "microwave" to describe her superabundant breasts, I'll never know. Weeks later I'm still baffled. Where they big? At least the size of one of the Olsen Twins. Was everyone at the table staring at them? How could you not?
She was drunk, very chatty, and playing any two cards to the river. She was roaring through a rack of chips on questionable calls, pounding drinks like Judy Garland, and asking me a dozen questions at once.
"Where are you from?"
I lied. "Rhode Island."
"What do you do?"
I lied again. "Aquarium salesman at Fish R' Us. Do you want my card?"
"Why are you here?"
"The rodeo. My probation ended and I was finally free to leave the state."
When I asked her what she did for a living she giggled and threw me a seductive glance. "I make men happy," she said as she lowered her voice.
I waited for the punchline or at least an explanation. Nothing. She let my mind wander. How could she make men happy? She's a kick ass mechanic? An amazing cook? Or she's a stripper? Maybe even a call girl?
She ordered another drink and I asked our waitress for a ginger ale to soothe my aching stomach. I guess I had been messing around with my chips and I inadvertently let rip a chip shuffle which I will do when I'm bored.
"That's cool! Can you teach me how to do that?"
The drunk girl tried her best and the chips flew all over the place. In between giggles she said, "I can't do that. But I can do this trick!"
She touched her nose with her tongue. Twice, just in case I was looking the first time. At that point I ruled her out as a mechanic and cook.
"My," as I paused for dramatic effect, "that's impressive."
"I can do it again!" she squealed.
Just when I thought I saw it all in Vegas, a call girl was doing tongue tricks for me at a poker table in between hands. She was the perfect Vegas fish... soused, without a clue, playing with someone else's money, and calling anything to the river. I won a pot with bottom pair against her. It was very ugly. But hey, ugliness builds bankrolls. Her "friend" was seated at Grubby's table. When she was busted, she would get up and go over to get more chips from him. I'm sure you can't do that, but I wasn't going to point it out. She would bring over $20 or $25 in chips and lose it all on a hand, get up and ask for more money. She did that five or six times. I won at least three of those pots. I nearly doubled up in the first half hour. I was on a rush. That was until a new guy, draped in moral turpitudes, sat down in seat 5. Three hands later he ended up in the now infamous brawl. I could have rewritten it... but that would be revisionist bloggery and I'm not one of those bloggers. So I'll just cut and past what I wrote... just a few hours after it happened. Here's the original post from 12.14.04:
I was in the middle of the hand... and I had the absolute nuts too in a pot well over $100.Yeah, so there you have it. The brawl revisited. I know that I got a lot of shit from everyone because I did not raise that guy. I should have. I just wanted to get the hand over, you know? Next time that happens, you know what I'll do. Things got a little wacky. The giggly, liquored up call girl left to my dismay, as did the dude who got his ass kicked. The husband and wife were in police custody. Alas, I lost four players from my table and my mini rush was over. Eventually Grubby sat to my left. Derek joined a few orbits later.
Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 5: Guy #1
Seat 7: Drunk wife
Seat 8: Her husband
I just sat down at the table. A young, chubby girl with breasts the size of a microwave sitting in seat 2 was wasted as she sipped on vodka cranberries. Later on Grubby and I had an interesting conversation trying to decide if she was a hooker or not. Anyway, I must say for the first few minutes at my table, she was talking non stop to me. I never had a chance to glance down at the other side of the table to see who was who. I never knew that the people sitting in seats 7 and 8 were a married couple. A new dealer sat down. Since I'm in Seat 1, right next to the dealer, I always make small talk. I asked her how her night had been going, "I just started. Ask me in a little bit," she said.
I'm on the button, I have Q-9s and I limped in a seven way pot on a $2-6 spread table. The flop has an ace but with two flush cards. Everyone limped and I called. No flush for me on the turn and ended up raising and got a few callers. The river was a King of spades. I hit the flush... the nut flush. I had the best hand at that point. Apparently, I spaced out for a few seconds. Everyone had checked to me. I was thinking the proper amount to bet to get the most callers. At that point the drunk woman in seat 7 flipped over her cards. She wasn't paying attention and thought I checked the betting. I told the dealer I needed "time" and was deciding. Dealer told her to turn her cards back over.
"What the fuck," she said pointing to me, "he checked."
"No, it's still his turn to act," replied the dealer. She was angry. I bet $6. The guy in seat 4, check raised me! Great opportunity to win a bigger pot. I love when people bet into me when I had the nuts. Everyone in the hand folded. I was ready to raise and picked up a few chips.
"Way to go you dumb shit," said the man in seat 4 to the married woman.
"Hey, watch you language!" shouted the dealer.
"Go fuck yourself!" she yelled in his direction.
"It won't be as good as fucking you," he quickly shot back. I was about to utter, "Raise," when the husband in seat 8 jumped up and ran towards the guy on seat 4 who stood up ready to confront the angry husband. He tackled him and threw him to the table one row over (in front of the Bad Beat Wheel). Chips went flying everywhere when they landed on the table. It was surreal, just like out of a movie. No one saw them coming.
"Security!" I heard someone yell as they were rolling on the table and an old lady got caught in the fracas.
Right away, I said, "Everyone, protect your chips," as I slammed my hand down on my hole cards to protect my hand and put my left arm and hand over my stack of chips.
It took security a few minutes to arrive and when they finally showed up, they were in full force. The wife tried to run away and was caught a few steps outside the poker room. It took nearly twenty minutes to sort everything out. It seemed like there were three people sitting at that other table who were hurt and shaken up. $1 chips cluttered the floor. The entire poker room was buzzing and everyone stood up to see what happened. My brother had jumped up and thought I was in a fight. Otis' brother called Otis and said, "Get back to the poker room, there's a fight at Pauly's table!"
It took twenty minutes for everything to be sorted out. The floor person came over to the table to discuss the situation with the dealer. The hand was still alive and I was not going to leave without taking down my pot. A police man escorted the guy in seat 4 to the table. His face was all puffy. The husband was giving him the business when they were rolling around the table. We completed the hand. I should have raised him! But I simply called. He had a baby flush and I had the nuts and took down the monster pot. I tipped the dealer $10 from the pot. She was psyched since she didn't get any tips during the down time. Grubby was sitting at the table right in front of mine. They were brawling just behind him. Derek and Otis ran over to get the story. Unreal, eh? The entire remainder of the night, everyone was talking about it. I must have told the blogger and Otis' crew the story at all their different tables. It was weird to have an entire table and dealer stop their game to hear my side of the story. I guess I became a part of the story. I was the guy who had the nuts when the fight started!
I wish I could get the video tape to post on my blog. Ah, just another night in Vegas!
At one point I saw the Swedish Hammer (27s) and limped in. Grubby raised and I folded. Here's the rest of the story, from Grubby's view:
I'll leave you this morning with my Hammer story. Monday night I'm sitting at the Excalibur 2/6 impending lawsuit fight table (and Pauly, she wasn't a hooker or am I just refusing to believe a hooker would reject me?) with Pauly and his brother. Pauly was to my right, and we were chatting often enough that I felt other people were suspicious of collusion. I made sure not to talk if we were both in the hand.Yeah, that would have been a huge moment in poker blogging history... the time Grubby and I chopped a pot with the hammer at a table in Vegas! It was not meant to be. By the way, Grubby is the man. He single handily put his little stamp on poker culture and introduced a word that will eventually become a part of poker vernacular. I suggest that February 7... will be from here on out called... St. Grubby's Day. I am petitioning the Pope to set aside an official church holiday for Grubby and the Hammer. I encourage all bloggers to drop as many hammers as they can on St. Grubby's Day... Feb. 7!
I get 72o in the BB, which excites me as much as pocket Aces. Everyone in the world limps for $2 including Pauly, and I raise to $8. All fold except the person in the cutoff. Sigh. This is my first hand raising at the table, and here I have a caller.
The flop is A3x (rainbow). My Hammer is looking good. CO bets out.
Little did he know the monster I held.
I bring up the cards to Pauly and ask, "Wanna see?"
He shakes his head, "No."
CO calls. The turn is 5.
I ask Pauly, "Wanna see?"
He says, "I know what you have."
I now have a gutshot straight and no odds to call. Such is the glory of The Hammer and will make my eventual win all the sweeter.
I consider raising but decide to slowplay this one and pop him on the river.
River is nothing and he bets. I let him off easy this time and fold, though I did consider raising so I could show the hand.
Pauly said he also had The Hammer. Had he raised, I would've reraised, and we would've driven everyone out and then split the pot with The Hammer.
But he said his was suited, so not technically a real Hammer.
I forgave him.
Eventually the ubiquitous Otis joined us at the table and we had a couple of locals at the tables with four bloggers. One heavyset guy wearing a Santa's hat was a taxi driver and he joked around with our dealer. They were tooling on the cowboys and the rodeo crowds. Supposedly they don't tip... very well... er, at all. I'm from New York City and people are hustling for everything. Tipping is how you get things done a little bit faster. I'm tipping everyone here. Delivery guys, doormen, taxi drivers, dog walkers, shampoo girls, cops, bartenders, drug dealers, coatcheck girls, bookies, the cute Cambodian girl with the nosering who butters my bagels... you name it. But in Vegas, there's a lot of random tourists who don't have the money for superfluous tips or don't comprehend the tipping culture and how many people who work in the service industry rely upon tips as income. At any rate, based on the cowboy standards, I'm a big tipper in Vegas.
Anyway, I was pumped to spend my last hours at the poker table in Vegas with Derek, Grubby, and Otis. There was a moment when Otis told Grubby he needed to update his blog more often. "You're one to talk, man," I blurted out. Otis shrugged. He got my point.
It was a wild last day and night. The plowed call girl would have made my night, but the brawl was something that I will never forget about that Vegas trip. As if I did not have enough material to write about or enough random memories to keep me entertained for many years to come... the Vegas Gods threw me a bone. A big one too. That poor shmuck who got his ass kicked limped back to the poker room to play after he filed a police report and saw the paramedics. I glanced at his face. He resembled Rocky at the end of the first flick. (Sorry, HDouble... I couldn't resist. "Cut me, Mickey!")
Before I left I sat at a $1-3 table with some of Otis' crew... Martin and Brian in particular for one orbit. There was a very cute college girl there who kept talking about seeing Texas Dolly at the Bellagio. She was drunk and dropped a few F-bombs. Of course the dealer at the table was the same dealer from the Brawl. I thought it was funny how people in the poker room were talking about the fight all night and how in a few hours the majority of the facts in those versions were so far off. I looked at the dealer and shrugged my shoulders when a few of the kids at my table were talking up a incident that thinly resembled the brawl at my table. There was a gun in their version and I had a royal straight flush that time! The dealer and I knew what really happened. I was too tired to correct them.
I said my good-byes to everyone and to Otis and Grubby. Derek and I grabbed a few donuts from Krispy Kreme before I went up to the room to write and pack before I crashed.
... To be continued.
Here's the timetable of the rest of my trip reports:As you can tell the timetable for my trip reports have been constantly changing. Sorry for the delay. Stay tuned for the final installment of my Vegas stories which will be posted on Monday.
1.31 - Day 5: Afterthoughts plus my fav. pictures & quotes
And here are the ones I have already posted:
Chapter 1: Day 1, Part I
Chapter 2: Day 1, Part II
Chapter 3: Day 2, Part I
Chapter 4: Day 2, Part II... WPBT Holiday Classic
Chapter 5: Day 2, Part III
Chapter 6: Day 3, Part I
Chapter 7: Day 3, Part II
Chapter 8: Day 4, Part I
Derek posted some of his trip reports. Check those out.