Last Monday, I lost my first prop bet in NYC when Dawn insisted that The Rooster would show up for his first ever Crackhouse tournament. I originally gave her 3-1 odds but reset the number when The Rooster texted Karol about getting specific directions. Brooklyn was far away from The Rooster's usual hunting grounds, so I figured he would not make the effort to travel to an outer borough. When he called from the subway station, I had lost and I paid Dawn.
On Tuesday, I lost at credit card roulette. I went out to dinner at Chat & Chew near Union Square with Spaceman, Rachel, Derek, and F Train. I asked Derek and F Train if they wanted to treat our out of town guests and play some credit roulette in the process. They agreed and we fanned out our three cards for the waiter to pick. Alas, our very gay waiter took mine as I screamed, "D'oh!" Lucky for me that the food was relatively inexpensive for NYC as we avoided getting liquor at dinner. I did get free drinks afterwards at McManus' pub.
On Thursday, I hung out with the Joker, his buddy Jeff, and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot who was in town for various reasons. I did my best to entice random prop bets. One of them never materialized but involved the Imagine memorial for John Lennon in Central Park.
We wandered through Strawberry Fields and came upon the Imagine memorial. Several old hippies and Beatles fans mingled around snapping photos. Someone took flower petals and made a peace sign on the memorial. Two green apples sat inside the peace sign and I offered Jeff $20 to run up and take a bite out of the apple. It was the forbidden fruit at the time and he deliberated about doing it for a few minutes. He ended up declining. I bumped the offer to $40. He wouldn't do it. I didn't blame him. If any of those Beatles freaks caught him desecrating John Lennon's memorial they would have beaten him to a bloody pulp and then lynched him on one of the oak tress in Strawberry Fields. They give peace a chance but not when it comes to messing with the homage to their idol. John Lennon is still a draw these days even almost 27 years after he was whacked by the CIA. Wait, did I just write that? I mean... after he was whacked by Mark David Chapman who happened to be carrying a copy of The Catcher in the Rye in his back pocket when he was arrested by NYPD in December of 1980.
We discussed the possibility of urinating on the Imagine memorial. I offered $100 for that task and Jeff declined. Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot thought about gathering up dog shit from all over the city and smearing it on the memorial. I would have given him $200 for that, but he pussied out.
It was only the late afternoon when we left Central Park and started drinking at Firehouse. We sat outside and waited for the Rooster to arrive. In the meantime, I managed to lose a prop bet to Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. We had a sizzling hot waitress who quickly became the object of our desires along with our degenerate gambling. She had curves in all the right places, puffy lips, and amazing eyes to match her equally luscious smile. We were all smitten by her natural looks and detected a slight accent. I offered up a prop bet... "Guess what country our waitress was from?"
The last time I played Waitress Geography was in Byron Bay, Australia with Schecky and Brandon Schaefer... and I lost.
I put our waitress on Brazil but gave Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot first choice to let him know that I wasn't rigging the bet. I had never met her before and had not been to the Firehouse in over two years.
He picked Brazil. Fuck me. I had to go with my second choice of Spain even though I knew it was a losing cause. Jeff went with Portugal.
"Excuse me," I asked our waitress after she dropped off another bottle of Stella for me. "What's your name?"
"Helene," she said.
"And where are you from?"
"Brasil," she said.
I tossed $100 to Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. Lucky fucker. Waitress Geography is so fuckin' rigged.
I think we freaked out our Brazilian waitress and we got a different one for the rest of the time we were there. Our second waitress was a cute blonde with a European accent. I asked her if she was German and she mentioned that she was from Finland.
"Yes!" she emphatically said.
I guessed correctly and asked her of she knew anything about poker. She nodded.
"Do you know Patrik Antonius?"
"Antonius? Yes I do! He used to date my best friend. He asked her to move to Las Vegas with him."
"Isn't he dreamy?" I said.
"Yes. I think so."
I also dropped the names of Thomas Whalroos and other famous Finnish players such as Juha Helppi and Jani Sointula. She knew all of them and went to university with a couple of them.
She asked me if I was a poker player and the Rooster told her that I was a famous poker writer. She pointed at Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot and said, "You look familiar. I have seen you before. In a Finnish magazine? Maybe on TV?"
Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot destroyed the competition at the 2006 Scandinavian Keno Championships. He picked up a fan along the way.
In true Roosteresque fashion, he asked our Finnish waitress to join us later in the night.
"I have a previous engagement," she said. "But so far you guys seem more fun than him."
We left that bar and went down the street to Prohibition. That's where Jeff fell in love with the bartender. Swear to God, she was named Amber. And she was blonde too.
We sat at the bar and the Rooster quickly jumped into action. "Yo Pauly Drama, we have to set an over/under line. Jeff should do it. How many times a night does Amber get hit on by customers."
Jeff said 7 and I laughed. I would have set the line at 27 1/2. A chick that hot is a magnet for every guy in the tri-state area. We both said over and didn't end up betting. Of course, we were shocked when Amber revealed the actual number
"Five," she said, "Guys are intimated by me, especially when I'm behind the bar."
Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot asked her to tell us one quirky thing about herself. He admitted that he didn't like onions and she revealed that she didn't like sour things like drinks or licking any sour candy.
"Anything else that you don't like to lick?" said Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot with a straight face.
She blushed and changed the subject. She told us how she had an addictive personality and jumped from hobby to hobby. She admitted that she used to play poker thanks to the influence of her ex-boyfriend. She played Hold'em and used to have a Party Poker account. She erased the software from her laptop and closed her account the day after they broke up.
"I have such an addictive personality," she continued. "I need something new to get addicted to."
"Hi, I'm Jeff," he said beating the Rooster to the punch.
After bar hopping with the Rooster to a few other places, we ended up at Bar 75, a hipster joint on the Upper West Side that featured over priced drinks and plenty of board games to play. We grabbed Connect Four and began a series of heads-up matches. I schooled Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot and went 2-0. The matches weren't even close and they ended as quickly as they started. He left and went to see if a gaggle of wealthy yuppie freaks wanted to shoot dice on the steps of the brownstone next door.
That's when the Rooster sat down. He humbled me after winning the first game. He's a cagey mofo. It doesn't matter if the game was poker, women, or Connect Four. He's a tough competitor. He set me up in the first game and I lost in a fairly quick match. Down 0-1, I fought back in the second match which lasted almost ten minutes. I emerged victorious and tied it up after I picked off the Rooster when he failed to see my diagonal build up. The last match went fast. The Rooster couldn't handle my deft Connect Four skills and he busted out quickly. I think he was distracted by a quartet of twenty-something chicks that sat on the couch next to us. As soon as he lost, he headed over to chat up the ladies. Always be closing.
I went home that night knowing that I crushed the Connect Four heads-up battles and felt great about my game. I'm considering starting a new blog... Tao of Connect Four.
Here's a video montage of the last two weeks in NYC.
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