Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Menagerie of Tweakers and LLT

Las Vegas is a magnet for the absurd and peculiar. I don't know too many places where you can order a Mai Tai at 4am from a bartender named Sully or find a hooker to take a dump on your chest for $300. Sometimes you can find both at the same bar.

The temptation to gamble at any time makes it difficult for people with feable minds to live here. And if your gambling addiction is coupled with a penchant for liquor or drugs, you're heading down a rabbit hole of misery and despair. Everyone is entitled to one vice and one fetish, especially in this town. Having multiple addictions hampers your decision making ability and a city like Las Vegas was built on those unfortunate souls and their addictions. Maintaining solid play at the tables takes a tremendous amount of concentration and discipline. But being an action junkie and a drunk or a compulsive gambler and a tweaker makes it impossible to win over the long term.

I waited for my seat at Red Rock to be called when a sweaty lanky guy in his 30s walked over to me muttering something about the Jonbenet Ramsey killer.

"They got the wrong person, man. That John Mark Karr guy is evil but he's copping to a hit he didn't even do. Everyone knows it's not him. Everyone knows," he spurted out in three seconds.

"Everyone knows the brother did it," I said.

"He did. And that guy they picked up is the patsy," he quickly babbled as he wiped a a quart of sweat off his face.

"They are giving him three names before he's even tried like all the other serial psychos. John Mark Karr," I added.

He stopped and looked right at me with his shifty eyes. His pupils were dilated as he furiously scratched a rash underneath his unshaven face. He reeked of a slimy chemical aroma and that gave him up. I crossed paths with a tweaker roaming around in a casino ready to piss away every dollar in his pocket before he came down.

Crystal meth sits in your system for up to 6 or 8 hours depending on the purity of the dosage and some folks are up for a week at a time. Unlike other forms of intoxication, inside of five or size hours only 50% of the drug leaves your bloodstream. That leaves hours of tweaking which is that in between phase of being jacked up and crashing.

Some addicts walk around in circles when they are tweaking. Others clean their houses. Some drive for hours on end. Some put all their money in slot machines and Las Vegas is cluttered with those tweakers. You don't see them because they don't like going near the Strip and other touristy areas like the Bellagio Fountains. They lurk in the shadows of downtown or hang out at local's casinos playing single deck blackjack or end up offering to trade their rifle for Grubby's TV after reading his ad on Craigslist.

A tweaker ran into Red Rock itching to play poker. And he sat at my table talking to himself and playing as erratic as he behaved. I couldn't figure out how he scraped together $220 for the buy-in because that guy doesn't look like he's held a job in several months. He probably has been up for over a week without eating or showering.

Deep dark ovals encircled his eyes as he constantly scratched his ashen face. He looked like one of those zombies from The Serpent and the Rainbow and failed to keep eye contact with me when he rambled on about the Jonbenet conspiracy. He couldn't sit still and kept repeating, "The brother. The brother. The brother. He did it."

Smelly jumpy tweaker guy played every hand and raised too frequently. He had the kill button for three or four hands in a row on more than one instance so the stakes were bumped up to 15/30 most of the time he played. He'd lost a ton of chips in a big pot when he overplayed second pair. He'd also picked up a lot of pots playing junk hands and having good ones when the other players didn't give him credit like me for instance when I has A-J and lost to his Big Slick when we both flopped an Ace.

After I lost another big pot to the tweaker and I came to the conclusion that you cannot bluff tourists, tweakers, and Scandinavians... because they will all call you down to the river with nothing.

* * * * *

I took 7th place out of 97 in an EPT rebuy satellite on Poker Stars. I missed a seat to the $450 satellite by 3 spots. The blinds were up super fast that it became a push fest ninety minutes in. I bluffed off all my chips with the Hammer shortly before the rebuy period ended. I flopped a 7 but busted.

I did a rebuy with three minutes to spare. The very next hand I found A-K in the big blind. When four players limped in, I pushed. All four called as my hand held up in a multi-way pot. I had 5K in chips and jumped up to 18th out of 64 by the first break.

I doubled up with J-J against a maniac who moved all in before me with K-8s. I won another pot with K-Js and was 3rd in chips with five tables to go. By the time two tables remained, I was 8th in chips. The only bad beat that I issued all day happened when I cracked A-J with K-J. I flopped a King to survive an all in and moved up as high as 3rd in chips with 13 left. When the final table seated I found myself as one of the short stacks 6th overall. With accelerating blinds I made a move with 9-9 and lost a race to A-10. Out in 7th. Making the final table was worthless.

* * * * *

Of course I didn't forget about Liz Lieu Tuesdays. Last week we had Liz with puppies. This week it's back to the pool.

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