Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Vegas...Day 3, Playing poker because some people just should not be playing blackjack

Before I get back to Vegas, I had to pop this in. You know those of pictures you see on TV, usually during some news report, where they show someone's face and they have their name below along with some description of why they are being interviewed. Like, John Smith, witness to accident. There are a list of descriptions you just don't want to be under your name. The obvious come out as ax murderer, drug addict and the like. But there is one you never want either: Bi curious.

You don't even want that mentioned after your name. Not that the bi part is bad. I could care less which way you swing. It is the curious part. That is where the trouble begins. That screams pervert, sexual deviant. It says that now you are curious about men and women (without saying which one you started with) but it also says that animals are probably next. What won't this person screw to get off?

Don't let this happen to you. Otherwise you might have a news story about you and how they had to perform surgery to get the vacuum off of your penis.

I awake on day 3 with a mission in mind. To check out some of the new poker rooms on the Strip. I go down, have breakfast and leave Harrahs, heading south. I pop into the Imperial Palace to check out the poker room and to play if something is going on. They have signs around showing that they have Texas Hold Em but not a single one tells you where the damn room is. I go up the central set of escalators. Nope, not up here. I see something that says it is on the 3rd floor. I walk towards the back and get in an elevator. Nope, that is the hotel. I go further back towards the "classic car collection". Who even looks through that exhibit? No it isn't back there. I walk around wondering where the hell this room is hidden. Then I notice another set of escalators on the side. Upstairs is the sportsbook. Hmm...rule of thumb usually has a poker room near a sportsbook. Sure enough, I find it up there.

And it is dead. Not a single person playing. Just some dealers arguing. I go back to the escalators and opt to choose the stairs as a half dozen old people have just gotten on the escalator. I can help but wonder when the last time it was that someone used these stairs as they are in pristine condition.

I head out and over the bridge to Ballys. They have opened up their poker "room" as well. It isn't even a room. More like a poker area cordoned off by ropes next to a bar. Only one table going on there so I head down to play some video poker. I like the Multi Strike games. So I throw 20 bones in and play for a bit. Not really losing nor making money but my attention deficit disorder is kicking in so I cash out down a bit and look at the nickel slots. I don't mind playing this things as I find them to be entertaining at times. The times that I get the bonus game that is. All I care about is playing that bonus game. Don't matter too much if I win or lose as long as I get to play the game. One of the games I like, Tailgate Party, is right behind me so I put the ticket into there (gotta like the electronic ticket payout!). I am playing and it takes a while for me to hit the bonus football game. I proceed to march my team on down and score the touchdown! I cash out just above 20 and move on. I look around for whatever game might catch my eye.

There is Wheel of Fortune game. Sure why not. It is even a seasonal version. I know this when I line up 3 Vannas and she wishes me Seasons Greetings. Pat then does the same. So I play along until I hit the bonus and spin the wheel. Once again, I cash out. Just under 20. I look around and see the Rocky machine. I guess if you like up 3 Rockys you get some boxing bonus? The payouts didn't quite say. This machine has 20 lines to it so it is a buck a spin. I play for a bit and decide this game stinks. I walk along and see a different set of Wheel of Fortune and decide to plow the rest into that machine before I head over to the Aladdin.

A couple of spins in, I hit the bonus on that one. More wheel spinning for me! The first thing that comes up though is WHEEL. It tells me to pick a letter. I pick the first E, thinking of E at the bar and his slot playing tendencies. The first E gives me 7 spins, which is also the highest you can get. So I hit the button and the wheel spins. On the 3rd spin, I hit "Extra Spins". Cool. I have 7 more spins. I keep spinning away and keep hitting "Extra Spins". My bonus total is building up nicely. Spin. Spin. Spin. Extra Spins. Spin. Spin. Spin. Extra Spins. I am building the bonus up over 1000. Anytime I get low on spins, it hits Extra Spins. There is even a running total of how many spins I have. When all is done, at least 10 minutes have gone by and I have spun the wheel 70 times! Holy Shit Batman! The bonus total was over 1800. I cashed out for $118. Cha Ching!

I head over to play poker at the Aladdin as they have a 1pm tourney. Big mistake as I stunk. Some bad players were at the table and they tilted me early. I was done within a half hour. That is bad. Before that I had killed some time playing the Top Dollar slots and broke even. I also play some Crazy 4 Poker which was a mistake as well. The only good thing was that they gave away free copies of poker man Howard Lederer DVD on poker tells. It is still sitting in my carryon a week later.

So I left the Aladdin and went across the street to the Bellagio. I watched a bit of the WPT event as I waited to play some poker there. There were still some big names going at it so I walked around to see who was still in. 15 minutes later I was called to play my own game. We started in the poker room but then they moved us by the tournament area which was rather neat. It was inspiring to be playing just feet away from the pros. I did pretty well too. I won a couple hands early and was up over $100. Cards were falling in my favor as I hit straights, flushes and sets. It got even better when she came by.

The future Mrs. StB. Shana Hiatt sat down just beyond the other side of the table. Suddenly I had no clue what was happening in the game I was playing. I was staring at this vision of beauty. TV does her no justice. Sweet innocent looking girl. Oh would I sop her gravy up with my biscuit! 15 minutes later she went to do some camera work and I woke up.

A couple hours later I racked up a tidy profit and went to get something to eat. I went back to Harrahs to drop off the DVD. I ate some chinese food and decided to play some blackjack. I sat down at a table that had one other guy playing. He didn't mind if I joined in mid shoe. So I did. A couple hands later, some girl sat down with some grungy dude beside her. She only played at first but then he decided to play a couple of hands. The guy who was there left. I see why. These people were terrible, especially him. Dealer would have a 10 showing, he had 14. He had to think about it and decide to hit. He would bust. Dealer would then show 15 and bust paying me off. Next hand, same thing happens. He has 14 again with the dealer showing a 10. This time he declares "Oh no, I ain't hitting it this time". Of course his girl does and catches a 6 to give herself 16 (no, they didn't double down either). She stays. I stay on my 19. Dealer shows 20 and sweeps the board. Of course the grungy guy then talks about how lucky the dealer is. How about how stupid you are? Get the freaking card that advises on play. If you are too stupid to understand basic strategy, then you are too stupid to play blackjack. They busted out a number of hands later. Then some Asian ladies came to play. One knew what she was doing. The younger one didn't have a clue. She was playing just like the other idiots until her mother (?) started advising her.

Next the drunk Texan plopped down next to me. He had just made a killing playing 3 card poker. He was talking about how stupid he may be playing by betting 100 a hand but it was all of his winnings. He was using the casino's money at this point. He was doing ok but went on a losing streak. He became a little less focused when a buddy of his that he hadn't seen for a number of years showed up behind him. It was funny as he kept shaking his hand, play a hand, give him a hug, play a hand, shake his hand, tell everyone he hadn't seen him for a long time. This went on for 20 minutes. All the while, the table was hot then cold. I left after an hour and being down $40.

I decided to go across the street back to the Mirage poker room. The wait for the 6/12 games was somewhat long so I hopped on a 3/6 table to spell the time. That was a mistake. This game was pretty tight except for the Chinese lady who played every hand. She was dumping her chips pretty well until she started sucking out. Like the time she hit runner runner for her flush to beat my top pair. Others around the table started doing the same thing. Suckout after suckout. I was trying to decide whether to stay and run it out or go.

The ass at the other table helped make up my mind. This dork kept shouting "Shift the cookies!" every time he won a pot. It was annoying the crap out of me. He was also harrassing some guy, who had to be a buddy, to tip the dealer. Again and again, he was yelling for him to tip the dealer. He made him tip on winners and losers. How stupid are you to tip a dealer on a losing hand? Anyway this kept going on and on. The dealers found him annoying but he was feeding tokes their way so they could take him.

Once I dropped roughly half my buy in, I decided I couldn't take the insanity of the crappy table any longer. I rather think about the hot slot machine payout and the Bellagio win. Maybe I should go back to the Bellagio to pick up my soon to be wife Shana.....

1 comment:

James Wigderson said...

So... When did they show you on TV?