I don't like exclamation points. I'm not sure why the forefathers of punctuation decided to include a mark that indicates decibels. They would've been much better of to create a mark denoting sarcasm. Or, better yet, a punctuation mark that is indicative of flirting. That way, when G-Rob writes, "Otis is balding~" I would know that actually means, "You wanna sleep with my wife?" Who knew the tilde could be so hot?
My disdain for the exclamation point often translates into a rather reserved demeanor. While I can be a bit bouncey, smiley, and silly after several drinks, I rarely yell.
Of course, if you'd been with me in Vegas on the recent WPBT trip, you would never know that, for it seemed I took every opportunity to scream at the top of my lungs.
Being reserved was easy in Thursday's early hours. Aside from an exciting trip to Fat Burger with Dr. Jeff, BadBlood, and the Brothers Smith (where we ran into Chilly), Thursday afternoon and evening were pretty laid back. I assumed the role of a rock in a no-limit game at the MGM. I played in the MGM $125, final tabled, but didn't make the money. Then, while waiting for something better to do, got hopped up on goofballs while playing the biggest limit game running at the MGM that night (a whopping $4/$8 half-kill game) where I proceeded to cut a bankroll artery and spew bloody chips all over the felt. In limit, it's all about pushing the edges and I pushed every edge over the edge. The guy to my right couldn't believe how bad I played. I think he might have called his financial consultant and asked him to figure a new swimming pool into the 2006 budget.
Even when I sneaked over to the Excalibur and played even worse poker (and had my only winning session of the trip), I sat quietly. At one moment, while sitting at a $2-$6 spread game, I played worse than I thought possible. On one hand, I cracked a guy's set of kings with 25 suited in diamonds after rivering a flush (In my defense, the guy let himself get runner-runner beat by refusing to raise with top set). There were a couple bloggers around who wanted to hoot and holler. I shushed them. I felt bad for the guy. And I vowed to not do it to anybody again. But then my A6o looked really good on a board that flopped a six. When the turn fell, I was heads up with a gentleman who didn't speak a great deal of English, but had seen me runner-runner the guy a few hands earlier. With one card to come, there were two flush draws on the board. The man stood from his chair, took his entire chip stack, and moved it into the middle of the table. While his exact words escape me, it was something to the effect of, "Alright, you and me, you suck out artist. Put it all in right now." I responded with something like, "I think I'll just call for six dollars." Imagine my surprise when an ace fell on the river to give me aces up against...his pair of kings.
And somehow, perhaps to keep from getting killed in a language I didn't understand, I didn't yell. I sat sheepishly and stacked the poor guy's chips. The dealer was well compensated.
Finally, I decided to move to a No-Limit blogger game where I met a guy I can only remember as "Lima, Ohio." I recall a brief conversation where he schooled me in the pronunciation of Lima. As I recall, it's like the bean, not the city in Peru. I only recall one hand at that table. I raised pre-flop with pocket tens and Joe Speaker popped me back. I simply called and we saw an ace-high flop. Sensing there was only one way to win the pot, I bet the pot. Speaker thought for a few seconds before folding pocket queens face-up. Hubris overtook me and I rolled my tens. Speaker was non-plussed, but I didn't yell.
Later we moved to a new table where Rose was happy to deal us a little PL O8. When a British guy sat down, I wanted to yell to the rafters that, "Hey, this dude is from England! He plays this game for real! Run! Flee! Retreat!" Instead, I said much the same thing in a calm, if increasingly inebriated, voice.
So, when did I yell? Well, right after that.
Heather conscripted me and a few others to hit the Pai Gow tables where I could really strut my stuff. And before I knew it, I was yelling about everything. Included below are the things I recall yelling. Others who were there can fill in the blanks.
1. Who's winning over there (while pointing at a craps table)??!!!! Cuz we're winning over here!
2. Cocktails! (with a hard emphasis on the first syllable)
3. Boy, some steak and eggs would taste really good right now! (While eying the stingy pit boss)
4. Where's Marty?! (A man who had vowed to play Pai Gow with me, but instead did the patented Iggy Bender--frankly, a better decision)
5. Pai Gow! (in concert with my fellow players, which at one point moved the stingy pit boss to dryly remark to the dealer, 'I think you might have a Pai Gow there.')
The ensuing hangover turned Friday into what I've come to think of as a "Quiet Day." And then Saturday hit. That day is a post in itself if I can ever steel myself to write it. However, there are two things I remember yelling too many times.
1. Checks!!!!! (Which after a couple yells, apparently summoned the floor, who asked me to keep it down. I, again apparently, responded with something like, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to have so much fun.")
2. Cocktails!! (See above)
All in all, my yelling makes me ashamed.
And yet, for some reason, as I prepare to post this, I'm smiling.