Writings from Truckin'


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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

grubette does Vegas

from grubette's weekend...

Vegas has this new slogan currently playing on California airwaves showing people at work falling asleep at their desk and looking zombie-like going through their day. Their slogan is, “Go home tired.” I love that slogan- it’s so appropriate. I usually need a day to recover from a weekend in Vegas, but if I have to go to work, it’s like a whole week.

Vegas is a 47 minute flight from where I am which I find absolutely amazing. My ticket was $47.60 one-way, which is equally amazing for Fri/Sun travel. Arriving in Vegas early, Doug and I met up with a realtor (oh, good god, are we really thinking of buying a place there?). Our realtor sells houses to placate his wife and kid (something about having to feed and clothe them), but his real passion is performing in a cover band. His guitar teacher was the lead singer of Slaughter. So he says, in Vegas cover band performers are paid up to $12k a night, far more than original bands. Hmm.

We looked at 8 properties for sale. Only loved one, but it had been sold 15 minutes earlier. Shoot, yet again, I’ve lost the earbud cover for my ipod.. why do they make the carpets at work so camouflaged?

Where was I? We get to Luxor and check in with an obviously overworked and underpaid clerk. Tip of the day: get a nice room in Vegas, because you may be hanging over the toilet later in the evening wishing you could vomit and it’s always nice to have a marble floor to look at and good ventilation (again, poor foreshadowing).

Played poker at Luxor. Met a guy that said he played at Commerce at a NL $5000 buy-in with Ben Affleck. Apparently, Ben told another player he liked his sunglasses and wanted to purchase them, which he did for $200. The guy takes them off and gives them to Ben, who said he just wanted to see the other player’s eyes and didn’t really want the sunglasses. Met some friends from out of town for dinner, then we all went to play craps where we all won. But, I wanted to play at Mandalay. I loooove Mandalay’s poker room. It’s intimate, has high ceilings, has wood-rimmed tables (so your chips don’t topple over), serves Starbucks™ and they have a ½ kill. For a few hours of play they give you a $5 food comp. I noticed in previous visits that everytime I go to Mandalay I get very drunk. This is because they serve top-shelf sh*t.

So yeah, I had to wait for 2 hours to get a table. In the meantime I played and lost in craps. Just $50. But my friends stayed while I went to check on my poker table. Twenty minutes later they’re down $1400 on a bad run of a pair of freakin’ dice. In front of the poker room I met Richard, who had just moved/retired to Vegas and proceeded to tell me his life story. I love this kind of reality though. I’m certain I’m coming across as being vain, but this guy wanted me bad! He was 70 and single. What’s up with me and these ol’ fellas? I’m on $4/8 and $6/12 lists, but get the $4/8 first. And the first of many, many, Stoli Vanil & ginger ales. Four drinks later, I have K7o. The flop gives me a pair of 7’s. The turn matches up my King. During this time, my friend is standing in the wings, while I’m telling him how drunk I am. Two pair, I’m betting like mad, lots of callers and a huge pot. “Don” is sitting to my right, checking out all the action. The river is ? I know it wasn’t a face card. Everyone folds but me and one other guy. I check, he bets, I call, he confidently flips up his two pair, Kings and Jacks. Damn, him two pair too? I show my cards to Don to get some sympathy.. why, Don why? Don says under his breath, “Turn your cards over.” I’m still bemoaning my loss with the cards in my hand and Don says again, “Turn your cards over, you have a full house.” Oops, the river was a 7, giving me a boat. I didn’t even see it. Of course, I could barely see my hand in front of my face at that point. I placed my cards on the table while the caller picked his up and threw them at the dealer, nearly giving her a papercut across the face. Then he starts fuming at Don, and then argues with the dealer that I mucked my hand. I fail to see how this is possible, since I was hold the cards the whole time. This was reminiscent of the last time I played and drank at Mandalay, when the camera had to be checked because the dealer screwed up and pushed my pot to another player. Grubby can vouch for me on that one because he was sitting next to me (yes, I was very drunk).

My friend and I left to find Doug, playing Blackjack. I was watching blackjack for awhile and began to notice how difficult it was to stand. Abruptly, I said, “I have to go,” and went to the bathroom. Another reason for playing at Mandalay, they have beautiful bathrooms with towel-like papertowels. I was in there awhile hoping miraculously I would become sober. But no go. Doug called me in the bathroom and I told him I was going back to Luxor. He told me to come find him but I could barely find my own ass, so I just stumbled back to the room. 4am. Hey, not too bad, I could read the clock. I hung out in front of the toilet taking in the scenery, liking how well appointed the Luxor’s suite bathrooms are. I haven’t vomited in about a decade, but I would have broken my streak to rid myself of that poisonous alcohol that night. I guess I couldn’t have been that drunk, because I counted my money before I went to bed. Habit. Up $200.

Doug gets in at 7am, spending all that time chasing a purple chip ($500). He got it.

I missed both Luxor tournaments the next day because they were sold out. I play their regular $2/4 game. I sit next to a young local guy named Chris that was personable as hell. At one point he said, “Oh the humanity!” so I asked if he played on line or read blogs, thinking he picked it up from Iggy. Nope, neither. Maybe he picked it up from Heathers, which is where I know it from.

Our friends treated us to dinner at Isis -- fan-freakin’-tastic. The food and service was top-notch. But they had a silly requirement on their menu, $40 minimum order per person. It cheapened the whole experience, especially when after we ordered our entrees and the waiter mentioned that if the minimum wasn’t met, they would charge it to us anyway, so maybe we should order another appetizer or salad. I mean, we hadn’t even finished ordering drinks or dessert, so it seemed tacky to mention this. Our friend had picked up some “2 for $45” girlie ad cards in the bathroom and wondered aloud (very loudly) what does this girl do for $45, swallow? His wife hushed him, and he quickly changed the conversation to a topic about birds, wrens and “swallows.”

Over to Mandalay again, drinks anyone? This time (second tip of the day) I called and placed my name on the list, so I didn’t have to wait. I had a terrific, loose table with a drunk, Cap’n’Diet Coke drinking guy from Al’bama, Rick, who immediately introduces himself when I sit down, David, an ex-lawyer and one old rock with bumpy arms that looked like huge boils ready to explode (no, he didn’t hit on me). Al’bama had about $500 in front of him, but he was very drunk and fishy. After 2 hours, he had no money and had to re-buy. Doug was playing also at a different table. So, how interesting is this: David was a family lawyer when he decided to dump it all and play poker for a living. Ok, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, but Moneymaker leaving his boring accountant job, housewives, entrepreneurs or retirees becoming professional poker players are not the same thing. Exchanging changing diapers for trips on the poker circuit is totally understandable, but already having an interesting, lucrative job and dumping it for a hole in your résumé is another. David also had the twodimes.net for poker software implanted in his head because he knew the odds for winning instantly (to the tenth place!). Sure takes some gusto.. obviously he was successful at it, because he said his wife didn’t mind. I’m jealous, but I tire of poker and drink too much.. I could never do it. I don’t know how David and grubby can play so often!

Back to Luxor to meet up with our friends who were done after an hour of playing. They had attained that never-before-seen-to-me $1,000 baby blue chip. One for each of them. Cool. I proceeded to play until 6am, rolled into bed, woke up at 9.30am to ask about seats for the tourney but they were sold out again. I did manage to play the noon tourney, failing miserably and out 15th/45.

All in all, I lost about a hundred bucks for the whole weekend. At least I didn’t lose my cookies too. I can’t wait to go back. Grubs, have a great time this weekend.. I seriously would consider flying in for the day and meet up with ya!

bread with nuts aplenty
egg drop soup
chicken with mixed vegetables (no cabbage)
steamed rice
fortune cookie: You will have many friends when you need them... when PartyPoker's servers don't crash for a change

2 Pepsis (they need a new pluralization -- it looks like a medication)

more Chinese food
3 Quarker granola bars

grub: 1100 (incl. rent, two baby gifts, curses to Amazon for charging shipping on baby items)
poker: 125