Thursday, November 02, 2006

Brodie TV and the Tao of Pai Gow

On Tuesday afternoon, I wandered over to the aromatic urine-drenched downtown section of Las Vegas. Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot was playing in a big Keno tournament at the Four Queens and he invited me to tag along so I can see what life is like on the Keno tournament circuit. It's kind of like the WPT except the groupies are much older and have less teeth.

"At least my female fans can't get pregnant," assured Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot as he slid on his sunglasses. "They're all past menopause."

Change100 drove us downtown because she never been to Binion's Horseshoe before. I snapped the photo (to the right) before we popped in for a few minutes and stumbled upon a televised poker tournament.

The Ultimate Poker Challenge filmed one of their tournaments for the upcoming season and we checked out the action. Richard "The Quiet Lion" Brodie made the final table and I sweated him in the stands for a bit. He ended up in fifth place.

On Tuesday morning, I should not have been gambling after still being under the influence after a four day bender which included the Vegoose music festival, several late night concerts, and Widespread Panic's Halloween show at MGM. Yet, there I was sitting at a 2/4 Limit table at the Excalibur with my buddy The Joker. He talked me into playing and the only games they were spreading were micro limit. I was too wasted to care and I should have been sleeping instead of buying a rack of germ-riddled chips.

I donked off most of my chips playing like Scotty Nguyen after he drank a six pack of MGD and his happy pills kicked in. Then I got lucky and found 8c-7c in EP and flopped a gut shot straight flush draw and the Poker Gods threw me a bone when I got there on the river. I won the hand with a straight flush and got to spin the wheel. It landed on Yellow 20 and since the Excalibur was running a double wheel spin promotion, I won $40.

I had not spun the Wheel in months and tipped my dealer 25% of my wheel spin. She looked happy considering she was stuck dealing 2/4 at 11am on a weekday.

I won a big pot in a three way hand involving the Joker and a portly tourist who sat in the seat next to me that had bad dragon breath and a sweat stain over his belly button which was the size of a frisbee. I rivered the nut flush, but that same card put a potential full house out there. I got stuck in the middle of a raising war between The Joker and The Tourist with the Sweaty Belly Button. I wanted to muck before I realized that I was not playing 10/20 at the Mirage, so I raised back. I ended up with the best hand and I was up against an inferior straight and menial three of a kind.

On Tuesday night, we played Pai Gow with Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. He was a newbie and picked up the game quickly after a short tutorial. Within an hour, he ran over the table. Change100 was getting cold decked and she angrily pounded her fist on the table when her flush lost to the dealer's flush by one card.

"Oh, she's a violent one!" the dealer said with a smile as he took her chips.

I spent a week in Las Vegas and barely gambled aside from a few sessions of poker and Pai Gow. My focus was on music this trip and despite my short gambling sessions, I left Sin City a winner as I stopped off in NYC for two days to do laundry and pack before I fly to Amsterdam.

By the way, I've come to the conclusion that Pai Gow is like Oxycontin... it's a sustainable high that lasts several hours. Except in Pai Gow, you get free drinks and you don't have to scratch your nose every twenty-seven seconds.

Oh, in case you were wondering, two of the best poker related costumes I saw all weekend were when one hippie guy went dressed as Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and another dude went as The Unabomber. I wanted to go as a WSOP internet qualifier and wear sunglasses and all Poker Stars gear with a piece of black tape over the .net part. Alas, I settled on wearing green scrubs and going as a Doctor.

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