Monday, December 20, 2004

Chapter 5... Day 2, Part III: Saturday Night Live
"Certain moments in your life define your existence. That was one of them... a monkey in a cowboy outfit riding a dog." - Tao of Pauly
I can tell what sort I night had during my travels by the condition of my notes. There are only a two scribbled sentences in my notebook for entries dated after 6pm Saturday and before 10am on Sunday... just a few words to remind me of the events of a stretch of sixteen harmless hours in Las Vegas. I have only few clues and my ambivalent memory to help with this part of the trip report. Here are my notes:
11:43pm... dropped the hammer... fucktards in seats 8,9,10 analyzing hand 3 hours later... playing with Derek, HDouble, & Iggy
That's a start. OK, so after the tournament I found myself leaving Sam's Town in a cab with the NYC crew... Derek, Ferrari, F Train, and Julie. We all grabbed dinner together and Ferrari made the most questionable food choice of the weekend... the fish n' chips with milk. After that I pretty sure we headed to the poker room. I was seated in the back right next to Bad Blood's no limit table. If I turned around, he was right there. We chatted a lot in between hands, just like any night on Party Poker. By the way, every time I saw Bad Blood in Las Vegas, he was playing poker. He even offered up a hammer bounty for his table. A few folks from Otis' crew were peppered throughout the Excalibur Poker room. And I'd wave and check in for regular Hammer updates.

Iggy recharged his batteries and eventually woke up before Midnight. He quickly joined my table and we were chatting it up. He was chugging Budweisers and extolling the virtues of Yahoo poker in an attempt to snag an Oscar nod for Best Fish-like Performance.

Grubby, F Train, EvaCanHang, and HDouble were all rocking a NL table near the Christmas tree. I heard F Train tried to crack Eva's Kings with the Hammer! And Grubby tried to crack HDouble's pocket aces with the Hiltons... to pick up a Pauly painting and to get HDouble a wheel spin. Aces held up. Maudie was cleaning out a bunch of frat boys and cowboys at her $1-3 table. Everytime I walked by she was grinding it out. Same for Bill Rini. Every time I checked, he had another rack of chips!

At some point, just when I thought I had seen it all... the monkey on the dog was shown on the big screen. Yeah, ESPN2 had full rodeo coverage all weekend long and that was the main attraction on the big screen in the poker room. When they unleashed the monkey, the entire crowd began hootin' and hollerin'. It reminded me of the insanity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It was one of those bizarre scenes that you completely miss the context of while reading my report in your cubicle at work. But trust me, if you were shitfaced at 4am, floating around in a sea of loose cowboys at a poker room in Las Vegas and you saw two hundred and fifty people cheering for a monkey dressed up like a cowboy on a Collie... then maybe you too would start to think that time travel is probable, peace in the Middle East is possible and that I'm 100% pretty sure I'll catch my next gutshot draw, even if it is a one outer.

Certain moments in your life define your existence. That was one of them... a monkey in a cowboy outfit riding a dog.

That was also the only other sentence I had scribbled in my notes. So the next time someone corners me at one of those dreadful New York cocktail parties and asks me if I believe in God, I can honestly say, "I do believe that monkeys can ride dogs. I've seen it in Vegas."

I tried my hardest not to laugh watching Iggy play low limit. HDouble joined our table and he accidentally turned over his cards when he thought the hand was over. He showed J7o. Yes. I have proof that not only did HDouble play J7o in Vegas... he won the pot with two pair! Later on in the night, Iggy cracked Derek's KK with 89s and even predicted that he'd river him preflop! Grubby would sit and play in either my seat of Iggy's seat when we'd take a breaks. I'd be making the rounds visitng CJ and other tables while Grubby would play out of his rack. A few times he used Iggy's rack and I was surprised no one said anything, not even the dealer! Sitting at the same table with Iggy, Derek, Grubby, and HDouble was one of those moments in Vegas where I was like, "Damn... there's no place I'd rather be!"

We were playing a $2-6 spread table and I dropped the Hammer in a pot with six limpers after raising the max preflop. Two callers and I came out firing on the flop. Everyone folded and I flipped over The Hammer! Some goofball kid from LA in Seat 10 was miffed. The rest of the night he kept talking about the hand. After a dropping the hammer, you know that everyone will call you down afterwards... so you'd better be prepared to have you high pocket pairs cracked by people playing marginal stuff. I tightened up and played good hands the rest of the night and built up a nice stack, doubling my buy in easily. Those fucktards at the far end of the table were analyzing and dissecting that move for more time than it actually deserved. I never got more attention at a poker table before. Hours later he'd say something everytime I'd raise or win a pot. Eventually I snapped at him.

"Geez. Let it go man. I was obviously fucking around. How many pots have I taken off you since then?"

He shut up after that and the hammer put him on tilt. He foolishly called everytime I raised thinking that I had nothing. Oh well. Before the night ended, I sat at Maudie's table. She was exhausted and was only staying up because it was her last night in Vegas, but she continued her run and doubled up her buyin.

On my way back to our room for a late night party, I saw Otis sitting by himself at a Pai Gow table. I wish I had a camera. I also saw Grubby and EvaCanHang happily playing the slots. Little did I know that they'd be playing until the early morning hours. Yeah, hanging out with poker bloggers, sucking up too much pure casino oxygen, and drinking watered down strawberry coladas makes you do weird things at 7am. But weird is the norm in Las Vegas, and in the end we were just just like the other animals at the circus; tired, dehydrated, and desperately needing a bath.

... to be continued.
Here's the timetable of the rest of my trip reports:

12.21 - Day 3, Part I: Sun. am shots and NFL betting at Mandalay Bay
12.22 - Day 3, Part II: Late night hijinks including Bellagio hookers
12.24 - Day 4, Part I: Aladdin tourney report & hanging w/ Grubby & Derek
12.26 - Day 4, Part II: The Brawl revisited and Late Night with Otis
12.27 - 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

Derek finally posted his Day 1 trip report. Check that out.
As you can tell the timetable for my trip reports have been constantly changing. I have too much to write!! Stay tuned for more wild and wacky Vegas stories. There are plenty fo Hammer stories too. In the meantime, please visit everyone's blog for their kickass trip reports; HDouble, Iggy, Derek, Poker Prof, Flip Chip, and Foiled Coup from Lasvegasvegas, Dick from Buy It In Vegas, Riding the F Train, Boy Genius, Bad Blood, Bill Rini, Felicia, Glenn, Otis & CJ & G-Rob, Al Cant Hang & EvaCanHang, Maudie, Signor Ferrari, - EV, Bob, Grubby, Mas from Genius of Poker, Martin from JMC Automatic and Brian, Linda from Poker Works, and Daddy from Snail Trax. Did I miss anybody? Some are up, some are in the process of writing them, and some people like my brother are swamped with work, so I'm sure you'll be reading about this trip over the next few weeks. Thanks for stopping by.

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