Tuesday, May 16, 2006

LaFelta Vermouth and the Village Drunk

Last year I traveled to the Midwest for a three day bender that spread across three states. Inside of a 48 hour period, I won a tournament in Hilljack, Indiana, puked in Daddy's car, saw a Reds game, attended a concert, and played cornhole at the Hoffbrauhaus in Kentucky at 2am. After that memorable trip, I returned for more hijinks. We had several returning characters in the sequel, including a couple of new and familiar faces.


It had been a while since I flew an airline other than JetBlue, which doesn't fly into Cincinnati. I booked Delta, which I used to fly all the time when they were one of the best in the industry. These days, JetBlue gets all my business... 11 flights since November and I have two coming up in the next week. Since Delta doesn't offer free TV, I listened to my iPod and read Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live.

If there's one guy I want to be... it's Klosterman, that lucky fuck. He's has both Spin magazine and ESPN on his writer's resume and gets paid to write about music, pop culture, and sports. Anyway in his recent book, Spin sends the neurotic pot smoking Klosterman to random locations all over America where famous rockstars died. He headed out on a roadtrip to several infamous landmarks such as the Chelsea Hotel in New York City on 23rd Street, around the corner from where I used to live. The Chelsea Hotel was the spot where the Sex Pistol's talentless bass player Sid Vicious killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in an alcho-narcotic-driven stupor. Klosterman also visited the field in Mississippi where Lynard Skynard's plane crashed and at the intersection in Macon, Georgia where Duane Allman was killed in a traffic accident when his motorcycle was (supposedly) hit by a peach truck.

Iggy picked me up at the airport before we drove around Kentucky looking for a Cracker Barrel. We didn't find one and took the backroads to Belterra Casino. I spotted a sign for a tractor pull just before we crossed the Ohio River into Indiana. The Belterra is a riverboat casino and degenerate gamblers from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky flock there because Indiana is the only state in the area that allows gambling.

The Belterra's luxury hotel is located on land, but the casino is on an actual riverboat connected to the hotel. The casino floor area is small with hundreds of blue hairs shoving their social security checks into the maze-like rows of slot machines.

"Heaven's waiting room," is what one friend of mine called the slots area in casinos.

Iggy frequently plays poker in the crescent moon shaped room at Belterra. We arrived just after lunchtime with four tables of action going. As we waited to be seated, I found a copy of Poker Player Newspaper. That particular issue featured the first running of my new column on online poker. I was a little bit giddy as I showed it to Iggy. It took me a year to get promoted to regular columnist. Click here to download the current issue.

We played poker for a few hours. Iggy and I sat at the same 3-6 and 4-8 tables. I lost $73 against a bunch of elderly good old boys with Southern accents and rural twangs. We quit to go eat and drink. Iggy ordered two beers at once at the bar because our bartender was slow. She was horrible.


After eating at a Cracker Barrel in Kentucky, we picked up Maudie at the airport and checked into the hotel in Covington, Kentucky just over the river from Cincinnati. Last year, Daddy and I walked over the bridge to go to the Reds game. And just like last year, Iggy rented out a suite. We actually had the same exact suite. Daddy and BG drove in from Indiana for some pre-partying before the evening Reds game. BG told us about his tryst the night before with a gal wearing a trucker's hat while we played a variation of Chinese Poker that had a few Go Fish elements. It's basically Chinese Poker but you can draw up to 4 cards. We played three-handed and I lost quads over quads on several instances. BG picked up a few bucks from both me and Daddy, who got smoked.

Iggy's buddy Dann works for the Reds and hooked us up with amazing seats. He helped Iggy put out the message on the Jumbrotron welcoming for us to the game. It was cold and soggy night, but we drank and ate through it, despite the Reds loss.

After the game I played six handed NL in the suite with BG, Maudie, Daddy, GMoney, and Iggy. I got felted three times and never bought back in after I went on serious tilt. I was playing Iggy's mucked cards since he was two seats to my left. On two instances I went broke, one time with SMTL against BG's Hiltons. Maudie knocked back tequila and walked away the big winner the first night.

At 4am, I accompanied a very drunk Daddy to the Waffle House a few blocks away. On the way to the Reds game we were told by our cab driver that the Waffle House was considered the dirtiest in the area and was cited for several health code violations. That Waffle House was the late night magnet for the lowest strata of society which included raccoon-eyed meth dealers, haunty hookers, Glock-packing pimps, drunken frat boys, and several deranged members of the local homeless population.

My friend Lori (who went to law school in Covington) warned me, "That's were people disappear from. You know, like so-and-so was last seen at the Waffle House before going missing for three weeks. Then the police find their rotting and raped corpse floating in the Ohio River."

Alas, you can't keep a drunk fat man away from hashbrowns and pecan waffles, despite the dangerous circumstances.

We survived our dining experience with no problems as Daddy hit on all the waitresses including one scary looking chick with gang tattoos behind her both of her ears. I have enough material for a Truckin' story, perhaps two. I'm going back to Hollyweird this week so I can pitch them a new reality series where Daddy and I travel around America eating in Waffle Houses and Denny's at 3am after we drink beer and huff airplane glue in the parking lot. It can also be a ground breaking documentary film. Degenerate cinema. I might even pitch the idea to European venture capitalists. Those Germans with film almost anything.


I woke up early to buy Widespread Panic summer tour tickets at Red Rocks, Colorado and for two shows in LA. We drove to the Anchor Grill for breakfast. Five hungover souls squeezed into a small booth in the 24 hour dive that specializes in goetta, which is oats and sausage. It looks like a fried, flattened horseshit but is considered a delicacy.

"Goetta is an acquired taste," I'm told from the locals.

I took two bites and that was enough. I should have tried it with syrup but I was scared. They had a jukebox and Iggy played Patsy Cline for Maudie.

We played poker in the suite and drank for about 10 hourswhile some of Iggy's buddies showed up to play such as Huggie Bear, Dann, Jim, The Sheriff, TDub, Mr. Fabulous, and GMoney who brought all the kick ass tunes. We also had a special guest blogger... Duggle Bogey!

The real drama started when the infamous Fast Eddie arrived. I've seen pictures on Iggy's blog and heard the stories. Fast Eddie was an admitted redneck and hick with a six figure bankroll who played 10 SNGs at once.

"Is the entire floor revolving, or is that just the restaurant?" Fast Eddie asked in his slow drawl as he stared out the window of the suite. Two floors above us was the rotating restaurant. Our floor was stationary.

Fast Eddie would go on a tear after he had just $8 in chips remaining. When he tripled up, he left faster than he walked in. Lucky for me we had 12 players at that point and had to split the game up into two tables. I sat at the "kiddie table," a nickname that we (Daddy, TDub, GMoney, Duggle, and Dann) gave our game since the average pot was about $4. The other table (Iggy, Fast Eddie, Mr. Fab, Maudie, BG, and Sheriff) had players going all in on almost every hand. The pots were huge and everyone in that game had to rebuy at one time.

I started out winning a few prop bets from Duggle after we started picking "high card" out of the muck. When I was heads up with Daddy, we'd play Vegas Hold'em rules where we both got to see one of each other's hole cards. I bluffed him out of a pot with the Hammer. He had A-Q. His ace was exposed and my 2 of diamonds was exposed. The flop was K-Q-x with two diamonds. The turn was the 2 of clubs. I moved all in and Daddy mucked his A-Q face up because he thought I turned a set with 2-2. I did a similar move with 3-3 earlier in the night. I showed the Hammer bluff. Grubby would be proud. He's the originator of both the Hammer and Vegas Hold'em and I utilized both in the same hand.

After singing the lyrics to The Band's Don't Do It for the 347th time, Daddy admitted he was going to name his first born daughter "LaFelta Vermouth." That would be a great name for my jazz band. I think that Daddy was inspired from Drizz naming his newborn daughter Vegas.

I was down early and came back when I put GMoney on slight tilt after I sucked out on him twice. We eventually combined the two tables and I ended up winning back the money I lost the night before. Daddy lost a few bucks doing Roshambo with Iggy on Friday night. He picked up some cash on a prop bet when he chugged an entire grape Smirnoff Ice. It was one of those nights when everyone was drinking, laughing, and playing cards. I'm glad that I had the chance to party it up with my friends, hang out with Iggy's Cincinnati homies, watch Maudie shoot tequila, and play in a homegame with Duggle.

Just before 6am, we returned to the sketchy Waffle House so Daddy could eat another plate of triple hashbrowns topped with Bert's chili. He hit on the same pear-shaped waitress from the night before along with every female employee inlcuding the one who was missing a few teeth. The sun slowly crept above the Kentucky hills as we stumbled out of the dirtiest Waffle House in the South. Folks were getting up to go to church, as we capped off another epic night of drinking and gambling.

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