Wednesday, December 14, 2005


It was Sunday morning. I had just rented my breakfast at the IP and was heading down to the Mandalay Bay sport book for some football. I had only about 4 hours of sleep in me but was looking forward to watching some football and hanging out with everyone.

Al, CJ, BG, the Poker Princess and thg were already there when I arrived. BG had the horse paper out in front of him scoping the races he wanted to play as the games went on. I have to give thanks to BG for being patient with all the questions I asked him about the ponies. He graciously took his time to explain what things meant, what to look for, etc. On Friday I had piggybacked him on a harness race at the MGM and was looking to do the same.

Nothing much was happening in the early games. Sport book football is always interesting as cheers go up from different parts of the crowd whenever something happens. Then when something big happens, the whole crowd goes nuts. Focus goes from their individual game to one game and then things erupt.

And sometimes, it doesn’t have to be football that a group erupts to. It can be a horse race.

It started off innocently. I am not sure who pointed it out on the big board first. But I heard the name and looked up. There it was. Horse 3 in the 6th race, I believe at Calder. The name looked big and bright on the board like a star calling out to me to follow.

Too Drunk To Call.

I laughed a bit at the name then asked BG what he thought. He scanned the paper and said something like “It’s ok. He has as good a chance as anyone”. I looked up at the board and saw the odds were like 8 to 1. It was about 45 minutes before the race so that meant little. At about 15 minutes to the race, I announced I was going. It was time to go see a man about a horse.

I went to the counter and told the guy I wanted to place $5 (yeah, big bettor here) on the 3 horse in the 6th race. I was a bit disappointed that the ticket didn’t have the horse’s name on it. That way I could have a souvenir like no other if the nag didn’t do anything.

At post time, Too Drunk to Call had it’s odds fall like a rock. It was at 24 to 1. It was becoming a bigger long shot by the second as he went into the gate. At this time, I think pretty much everyone had some money riding on him. So when we look up at the screen and see a horse bolting down the track before the race, we think our steed may have been Too Drunk to Race. No wait, that was the 1 horse. He had thrown his rider. A minute or two later, he was a scratch. But then something miraculous happened. The 2 horse, the favorite in the race at 3 to2, was also announced as a scratch. There would be no horse to the left of our boy and he would have the rail to himself. I muttered to Joe Speaker that that must be a good thing. I was thinking about how much it may pay if this race goes off. But then the odds came down. Too Drunk to Call was at 14 to 1 when all the horses were in the gate.

And they’re off….

Our horse shot out the gate taking an early lead. Around the first bend they went chugging along. Down the backstretch, Too Drunk To Call maintained his lead. Into the 3rd and 4th turn, good ol’ number 3 was still out front.

And down the stretch they came, Too Drunk to Call still in the lead. You cannot help but shout at this time. When you pick a horse only because of the name, it makes it that much more exciting. And when that horse’s name is so silly inspiring like Too Drunk To Call, you feel you have to shout it out a little louder, with more enthusiasm.

Too Drunk To Call was barreling down the front stretch now, still in the lead, but the 5 horse was gaining.

“Come on 3! Bring it home baby!”

They were approaching the finish line now, our horse still with the edge. With just a couple of furlongs to go, I saw it in the horse’s eye. It had a gleam like no other. He knew what was happening and decided to kick it up a notch. It was as if he could hear a bunch of drunken bloggers whooping it up for him from across the country. That or he had a shot and a beer waiting for him at the bar. Too Drunk To Call was not about to let us down and pulled away for victory.

And then we erupted! It was not only the thrill of victory; it was the hilarity of the moment. Some of us were too drunk to call the other night. And now we had a horse that understood us.

Word quickly spread thoughout the group as others arrived. It was a magical moment, one that I won’t forget. Too fuggin’ awesome. Even as I type this, I chuckle to myself thinking about it.

I had a fantastic time in Vegas. I left some money behind, but I made some new friends and had a blast with old ones. You cannot put a price on that.


Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Classic post. I can't wait until everyone else reads this.

vegaas said...

Hey man,
I am also a poker blogger in Milwaukee. Good to see I am not the only one.
If you know some others maybe we could get some games together to rival LA blogging group.

My blog site is

Erik said...

Too Drunk To Call. I gotta agree with you that that is the Best Horse Evar. The best part is that you just know there is a hell of a story/bender that the name came from. I think I'll try to see if I can find it tonight.