Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Non-Frontier

I can't imagine anyone else shed a tear as the (New) Frontier was imploded yesterday on the Vegas Strip. I did, though. I have a number of memories of the place, nearly all of them occuring in my nascent Vegas phase.

My second greatest gambling-related moment took place there (this was number one). I was in town with two buddies, the first time I'd been to Vegas with them, and they were skeptical, to put it mildly, when I suggested we hit up the Frontier for craps. I'd always had good luck at the game there and they offered 10x odds on cheap tables, the latter information convincing Big Head and Jorginho to give it a try.

We walk onto the tiny casino floor and as we approached the craps table, one of the croupiers shouted, "Joe!" (well, he shouted my actual name). First time I ever felt like a Big Shot. Turns out dealers remember big tippers.

I had cleaned up on the table my previous visit and was tossing redbirds every which way at the dealers. Meanwhile, my girlfriend at the time was stashing black chips in her purse. When we finally called it a night, she stopped at the toilets before we cashed out and went back to our hotel. In the meantime, I sat at at vacant blackjack table digging the black chips out of her purse, which she left with me to watch. Didn't take long for two burly security guards to come up and ask me what the hell I was doing stacking blackies out of a woman's purse. I managed to convince them I was on the up and up, but they still stuck around to make sure.

It's the place where Big Head--on a subsequent trip--"fooled" the blackjack dealers. Needing a little card (they were dealt face down back then), he'd ask for a ten; needing a ten, he'd say "little one." When the dealer gave him the opposite of what he asked for, he'd celebrate, punctuating one 21 by splaying his fingers above his head, dancing them around and shouting, "You are my puppet!"

It's where I ended up one night with Bro and Sate. Bro had been a cooler all weekend and we were calling him "Eddie Mush." Sate and I were making a bit of a comeback at the craps table and when Bro walked by we literally shoved him away from us, prompting one of the dealers, who had been the beneficiary of several tips already, to say, in all seriousness, "I can have him thrown out if you want."

Yeah, you had to wade through the omnipresent picket line/labor strife to get there. The couple times I booked a room there, they smelled old and musty, though not on par with The Plaza. Amenities were few and there were no pirate shows or volcanos to behold. Still, I cut my gambling teeth there.

And I, for one, will miss it.

6 Comments:

At 12:49 PM, Blogger pokerpeaker said...

Regarding Don't Forget to Flush, given that I'm either too stupid or too lazy to figure out how to comment over there:

$5??? Jesus! Maybe I've got a loose tooth somewhere....

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Betty Underground said...

It doesn't matter how many times I hear them, I LOVE your Vegas stories.

Add Big Head to one, and I might just spew whatever substance I am eating at the time out of my nose laughing so hard.

Nice read, Joe.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger KajaPoker said...

I forgot which offsprung blogs you told me to read. I got Hausfrau, but what were the others?

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger donkeypuncher said...

Man - I need to get my ass out to Vegas.

By linking up the Roshambo post, you forced me to do a Google search for "trump josh spill beer." I got a much needed chuckle after reading: "I just fell and threw my beer in my own face"

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Best time at the Frontier:

Playing 7 card stud for my first entry into live poker

Worst time:
Having a craps dealer accuse me of angle shooting when he left a redbird on his side of the felt while paying me off. I pointed it out he denied it. Killed my buzz, my streak, and that the last time I won at craps that weekend.

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Blinders said...

I loved the frontier. When we would break through the picket lines, we would always say, "just going in to take their money, we are on your side!". They striked that place for 5 years so it was your only way to get in without scrapping with a teamster. Good times

 

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