I went the unconventional way and non-linear approach to this year's Vegas trip reports with the Seven Deadly Sins. It seemed like a good idea when I started, but after the third one, I regretted my decision to undertake the trip reports in that manner. Being one not to give up, I gutted through it and finished my rambling dissertation on the darkside of Las Vegas. However, in doing so, I left out plenty of random stories.
Here's a chance for me to mention a those odd things as I flip through my notebook and glance over my notes, which these days are sparse. Usually I'm jotting down a few key words that will help me recall a particular moment. That's why I prefer that hour before I pass out or the first hour when I wake up to quickly ramble on in my own private journal/notes.
So taking a page out of Derek's succinct Hemmingwayesque trip reports, here are actual excerpts from my notes...
Overheard while waiting for the elevators at the IP:
Cowboy 1: "Someone is smoking reefer."
Cowboy 2: "Not me."
Cowboy 1: "And it smells like good shit, too."
After a losing streak, StB banked at my Pai Gow and got burned. He let Mrs. Head play out of his stack and she got a quads and a straight flush which sent him on MPGT (Mega Pai Gow Tilt). After I was cold decked at the same table, I let Change100 play out of my stack and she won $200.
Derek was getting smoked by one Pai Gow dealer. He had hands that should have won, but he seemed to get beat out by a slim margin on dozens of hands. "That's not supposed to happen," the dealer would say about twenty times.
On the way to the Wynn buffet, a group of us walked from the IP including Sweet Sweet Pablo. A pickup trucked jam packed with cowboys headed to the NRF stopped at a red light and taunted Pablo, "Get a haircut! Get a hair cut yaw gawd'ammed hippie!" To which I screamed out, "I can't quit yew!"
I ate Kobe meatballs at the Wynn buffet and ate my dessert halfway instead of waiting until the end. Chilly offered me $50 to eat four sugar packets. I declined.
April (CA) brought her Mom, who was totally cool. She actually hung out with us and thought we were fun.
Kamikazes with Drizz on his birthday at the Geisha Bar. Makers and Ginger with StB at the Pai Gow tables. Shots of SoCo with AlCantHang everywhere. Patron with Kat and Sweet Sweet Pablo at the Geisha Bar and pints of Stella with Human Head at the MGM.
Pauly: "I like Twinkies and little Asian boys?"
Gracie: "You mean little Asian boys who can run fast?"
Pauly: "And Twinkies too."
At the bar behind the poker room at the MGM, Derek walked over to Human Head and myself with a grin on his face and a cigarette dangling from his lip. "I just felted an old guy who didn't have any chips." A guy sat down and played one hand before he the runner brought him chips and Derek felted him in the process. Rebuy!
There were two old guys who looked like Santa dressed up like Santa on the monorail. They were going to the MGM and talked about strip clubs and hookers from Vietnam.
After Michalski's drunken shenanigans at the MGM where he had cleaning rings around his head, we nicknamed his blog Sketcherati.
"Standards have been dropped." - Derek on the behavior of common citizens in Las Vegas
I played Pai Gow with Grubbette at the IP and bluffed Grubby out of a pot in the blogger tournament.
Miami Don gave me a tip about the Celtics and I bet them heavily along with the under in the Pacers/Cavs game. Went 2-0 in Miami Don tips on Saturday. Sunday was a different story and thanks to Vince Young, I stayed stuck.
The Tao of Daddy... "You should probably get what you get."
There were three elevators that led up to my tower at the IP. The far left one was contaminated for a full day after some unlucky fucker blew chunks and puked in there. We'd have to hold our noses when we went in. As we waited to go downstairs, the puke elevator showed up. We were about to take a step inside when another elevator opened up. Out rushed an old cowboy and his wife. Derek, myself, and Pablo ran in about to celebrate and we almost died because the elevator smelled like shit. Seriously. That old man must have busted ass and shit his pants. Something foul must be lurking in his bowels. I never thought that I'd admit to wanting to ride in the puke elevator instead.
"Ladies, my name is Bobby Bracelet and I'm also known as Bobby Beer Goggles. Hear that ladies?" - Bobby Bracelet
I lost a heads up match against Falstaff at the PokerTek thingy. The cheesecake gave me indigestion but I dug the free beer.
"Furgburgers." That's all I had written in my notes. Furburgers.
Explaining Maudie the concept of manscaping particularly to make the penis look larger than it actually is.
The Rooster held court as he gave off his oral sex tips. I thought Maudie was going to explode.
"That wasn't a hooker. That was a homeless person." - Derek to Joe Speaker
I can spot a hooker in Las Vegas with ease. It's really not that hard sometimes. The one we spotted dressed like a working girl so it was obvious. She had the hooker gait and gave off that glassy look as she hobbled through the IP over to the poker room and sat down at a 2/4 Limit table. She had just serviced a client minutes before and tossed a piece of gum in her mouth and as ready to donk off that evening's cock smuggling money. "She's playing with seed money," Derek mentioned.
F Train and I had an interesting discussion about certain bloggers who are notorious for going broke and how many times we've staked those malfortutious bloggers in tournaments on several instances. There were also a few bloggers who had a bad habit of borrowing money from friends and paying the debt late or never returning it. We decided to start a Blogger Debt Consolidation Service. Depending on the blogger there debts would be valued by their ability to pay. We would buy up blogger debts at a premium and sell them on the market. With Bad Blood as our muscle we'd be in pretty good shape. By the way, a SirWaffle marker is worth more than gold.
I finally met Joe Speaker's buddy Dacia aka Betty Underground. She went out to sushi the week before with two friends who happened to be big fans of the Tao of Poker and Obituarium. They were floored when they found out she knew Joe Speaker and was going to Vegas to meet me. To quote one of my favorite lines from Entourage... "I love my fans."
A Tale of Three Pairs of Pocket Aces... In the blogger tourney, my A-A held up against Kat's Q-10 in early action. And just before the break (and end of the rebuy period where I still was eligible for my rebuy) I had A-Ks and called a big raise from Dawn. I flopped a gutshot and a nut flush draw on a board of Qs-Jx-4s. Dawn bet, I moved all in and she quickly called, flipping over A-A. I rivered the 8s to double up. She glared at me as I stacked up her chips. Karma would come back my way, but not in a good way. With A-A I raised in EP and -Ev called. The flop was all rags and all the money went in on the flop. -Ev flopped bottom set with 2-2 and I was fucked. Bounced somewhere in 50ish place, I quickly headed outside for the bar.
Karol goes to Atlantic City like three days a week, but she had never been to Las Vegas before the gathering. She ended up winning a tournament at Stratosphere while Ryan took down the Aladdin tourney.
I played Mrs. Head Roshambo. Joe Speaker backed her and it was a pleasure taking his money. I went for the "I'm going tell you what I'm gonna throw psyche out move" where I'd say, "I'm going rock!" And sure enough, I'd put down rock. That messed with Mrs. Head as I got inside her head and sent her on MRT (Mega Roshambo Tilt). Ridiculous prop bets were one of the few areas I actually cleaned up in, even though F Train refused to play "High card out of the muck for $20" with me. Bastard.
After the last Sunday afternoon game, the bar at the Sports Book had a 2 for 1 drink special for two (or three?) hours. That's what did us in on Sunday. We had been drinking since 10am and then they offer us twofers? Are you shitting me?
At one point I was stuck almost 3K. The actual number was under 2700 by the time I left Vegas and I did nail a bet on the Lakers which pulled me to about 2K in losses for the weekend. I also gobbled up an entire bottle of Motrin.
I had an amazing conversation with DrChako. He told me about his upcoming deployment to Iraq and told me a great deal about his daily life. Glad he was able to make it.
I also was fortunate to finally meet Gary. He was older than I expected and a dead ringer for Greg Allman. The guy was a machine and did not sleep and lived off of cigarettes and beer all weekend. He offered to take me fishing.
Maudie showed us her cool tattoo:
Jim from Ireland was a nice fit with the gang. He went deep in the tournament and bought me several drinks. He and Garth got into a hilarious verbal spat that reminded me of a bad SNL skit where a drunk Australian and a drunk Irishman playfully hurled ethnic insults back and forth to one another.
On Sunday night, I ate dinner with Derek and on_thg. It was close to 10 or 11pm. Derek and on_thg both just got up from naps so they were technically eating their breakfast. I ordered a banana split.
ABC. Always Be Closing.
That's all I have for now. Sorry that I had to rush this post. Of course the best memories are the ones that I can't fully conjur up into concrete sentences and those are the moments that will keep me warm on cold nights and make me chuckle at random points in the future. Some things in life should be experienced for yourself. And this gathering was one of them. They really are what you make of them. If you want to get wasted, there are folks who will do that. If you want to throw dice... you'll find a few to do the same. Poker? Tournaments? Fine dining? There's someone in the group who has a similar game plan in mind.
I wasn't bullshitting when I said this was my favorite get together since the first one. The ones in June are tough because I have to work the WSOP and don't get to have as much fun. That's why I dig the December ones. I guess with the cowboys in town it makes for an interesting mix.
As always, I'm fortunate that I've crossed paths with so many of you. And I'm lucky to consider many of you very close friends. That's why a weekend like the one we had is important to me since we all live very far apart and don't get to see each other. I know many of us went to this gathering knowing that it could very well be the last one. The future of poker and the bloggers is uncertain. And I never know where I'll be a few months from now. I'm glad we soaked up every possible moment to celebrate our friendship.