Wednesday, June 08, 2005

He's Only Mostly Dead

Thursday: Part I
Thursday: Part II
Friday: Part I

Friday: Part II

I had played it beautifully. For those of you who recall my weekly Vegas Guides, I am forever extolling the virtues of a well-placed nap. Now, Vegas is a difficult place to snooze. As action junkies, we get too amped up and the final result is fighting through those tired barriers to the point where sleep chooses you, not the other way around. But I had followed my patented recipe to the T.

1. Drink way too much the night before.
2. Don't sleep.
3. Start in on the bloody marys in the afternoon.
4. Wait for the crash.

For those of you scoring at home, the crash came about 6:30. I flopped on the scratchy Plaza bedspread and died for a while. I can't conceive of my mental and physical state had I still been playing in the WSOP. I'll go out on a limb and guess not good.

Felt great when I awoke a few hours later. Took a shower/ankle bath, donned my Vegas finery and made out for the Excalibur.

I have an image to uphold, you know. Perhaps the metrosexual/borderline gay image isn't one I would have chosen for myself (I prefer swashbuckling attacking midfielder), but, as I told Pauly, when you get a hook, you have to go with it, grow the seed planted in the public conscious. So I was wearing my Vegas shirt. Upon seeing it a few years back, a friend dubbed me "Johnny Bravo" after Greg Brady's musical alter ego. Okay, seriously, that's TWO Brady Bunch references in my trip report. You'd think I'm completely bereft of more recent pop cultural touchstones.

Er...moving on.

I stopped in the Plaza gift shop for some Gatorade, my sentry against dehydration. The cashier, a lovely octegenarian, slowly processed my transaction, flashed me her still-girlish smile and said, "I love your shirt." Ladies, get out your walkers and sensible dancing shoes, Daddy's on the prowl tonight.

I love the bleeping Excalibur. It holds a special place as the site of my first foray into blackjack, my maiden voyage into casino poker (7-card stud about 5 years ago) and, most importantly, where I dragged my first live Texas Hold 'Em pot. I'm always excited to go there. I've never had a losing poker session there. Yep, you see where this is going.

If you were standing at the rail and hocked a loogie in any random direction, you'd have hit at least two familiar faces. Every table was on various levels of blogger-induced tilt. G-Vegas had commandeered one and was spinning Hammers into Quads. -EV was value calling his nuts and straddling with abandon. drizz had his table quite literally titled, the weight of his $12,000 initial buy-in to the $2-$6 game leaning the felt his way. It was at this last table where I planted my ass in the two seat, along with Billy Legend and The Sundance Kid (yes Mike, you are now The Sundance Kid. Rini's earned a sidekick).

The play was uneventful for a while. I chatted up the congenial fellow--name of Gary--in Seat 1, who seemed a pretty solid player. Early on, he was showing down some darn good hands. It was just a smokescreen, because he quickly started showing down some crappy hands. Let's say he was prominently involved.

No hand of the day today. Too many entertaining ones to recount. I limped along in a family pot with A4 sOOOOOOOOOted and saw a flop of Axx rainbow. drizz led out, was called by Gary and I raised 'er up. This is one of those subtle plays of mine. I call it: I HAVE AN ACE! ANYBODY ELSE?! Folded around to drizz who gives me that Paul Bunyan stare and says, "I think you have me out-kicked" and mucks. Uh, doubtful. Gary calls. Turn gives me another club and the flush draw. Gary check-calls. River is no help on the flush and my four doesn't even play as a kicker, so I check behind. Gary shows A4 sOOOOOOOOOOOted for a split pot as drizz leaps across the table to strangle me. He was a little steamy for five minutes there. I enjoyed that.

Soon, I peek and see my first Holy Grail of the weekend. It sings to me like the Sirens and it's $8 to go for anyone wanting to fuck with The Hammer. Only Gary has the sack. Flop is exceedingly raggedy with a deuce and again with the check-calls from Gary. I catch drizz's eye and I guess I have a tell because I immediately know that HE knows what I've got. Turn is a ten and boy is this getting repetitive. River is another ten and, you guessed it, check-check. Gary flips 52 sOOOOOOOOOOted for the split pot. I had him out-kicked until the River! Hammer Suckout Alert!

So, I'm doing fine. I pulled another pot with Cowboys and am up $25 or so when the Sundance Kid decides he wants Apparently, he was unaware I played in the World Series of Poker earlier that day. But he went ahead and three-bet my pocket kings anyway. Cap!

Hooray, flop comes AQx. Sundance tries to get fancy with a check, but I check behind. Even someone with my limited capacities knows there's not a single hand he could be holding that is not now ahead of mine. Turn jack gives me outs, so I call his $6 bet. River is a rag, I muck my Kings to his bet and he shows his AQ. Which is where it all turns sour. The poker, that is. The experience is still sweet as honey.

I wandered around the room, sweating various folks, various folks wandered by to chat with me, including the lovely and talented MrsBlood, with whom I discussed child-rearing at length. Never did get the correct steps to teaching pre-schoolers the check-raise, however.

Our table broke and I continued my wanderings, eventually taking a seat at another star-studded $2-$6 table. -EV was on my right in the two, the always excitable Matthew Lillard to my left, followed around the table by Pauly, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, Derek and Tim. Here comes the gambOOOOOOOOlery.

"I believe it's your straddle, sir." So it is. LIVE 4! And away we go. Some straddles cost me a chunk. I fold a lot of rags. A poor unsuspecting guy claims the one seat from a departing Tim and immediately raises behind Chad, who says, "I don't think I like the new guy." In this case, first impressions are wrong, since New Guy spread his entire rack around the table in 45 short minutes. I won a nice pot off him, the only one I remember getting against this group, outside of the blind with The Hammer. I can't be sure. It's really murky right about here. I wrote down my session stats (dropped $35 on the first table; $41 on the second), but nothing else. Been wracking my brain to remember something other than the nearly continuous laughter, but there's nothing to grab onto. All I get are quick little snippets, barely there and indiscernable, like a Tool video (YES! a cultural reference from after the Nixon Administration!). It's possible Bob might have worked his WSOP participation into the conversation.

The next thing I recall is a Pauly-led expedition, the first leg of which was a futile attempt to find--and heckle--Otis at a Pai-Gow table; the second, a vital stop at Krispy Kreme. I can't imagine working the Skank Shift at the Excal's Krispy Kreme is a rewarding gig. Our Fried Dough Specialist did nothing to deter that hypothesis. Obviously stirred from more important matters, he grumbled through the 12 or so orders. We were imminently grateful, nonetheless. Manna from heaven them there doughnuts.

The caravan headed back downtown, where I couldn't begin to tell you what occurred. I know for certain I made it back to my room. And dreamed the dreams of the damned.

Next: The WPBT Aladdin Classic and Booger Elvis


At 10:46 PM, Blogger Irritable Male Syndrome said...

How could've I completely(how in the fuck do you spell that word? I'm drunk!) spaced on the "I don't like the new guy" speech each time he raised, because I rememember now that I would've busted him out.

I raised to $8 UTG with 3's(yes, pocket 3's) and he and Matt, the reader, called. If Matt would've not been so stupid as to enter the pot, my 3's would've CRUSHED his ace high.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Irritable Male Syndrome said...

By the way, Jerk, IM me on Yahoo, because I don't have your handle.


At 2:45 AM, Blogger Pauly said...

Great posts! When are you coming BACK to Vegas?

At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Epiphany - the missing ingredient to my Vegas experience and the reason why I left money there. Krispy Kremes. Didn't get any...

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

When you flashed that damn smile of yours I instantly put you on AJo.

Sooooooooooo rigged. :)

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But my AQ was SOOOOOTED!

At 2:52 PM, Blogger CanYouSmellWhatTheHawkIsCooking said...

Where have you gone, Joe DiSpeakio? Our (athletics) nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Boo hoo hoo.

What's that you say, Mrs. Nostalgia-son? IMBB has left and gone away.

Boo hoo hoo.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Ha! I love the Sundance Kid thing.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger jon said...

I am looking everywhere for girl shoes and girl shoes, while doing so I somehow stumbled onto your girl shoes blog. I am happy to say I learned something and will look into this further...

Thanks for the great posts...



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