It's a challenge to write in Las Vegas. A friend once equated the bunker mentality with a bunch of old school war reporters. The challenge of ducking bullets and telling good stories is harder than it probably appears. Of course, there is rarely real ammo here. The dangers are hedonism and fatigue. I'm doing well on this trip, though (as mentioned in the posts below this one) not entirely innocent of running rampant in the pit. I've run well, though, and for that I feel pretty fortunate.
I'm here to work, not play. Tomorrow marks the first real test of my abilities, such as they are. I'm not ready or able to tell the full story of the G-Vegas boys' visit (plus, G-Rob's account of BadBlood's $4,000 run at Texas Hold'em Bonus cannot be topped). Regardless, here's some fun remainders from G-Rob's remainders.
There's something to be said for being us. That is, there is something to be said for constant table chatter in the pit. It's, for better or worse, a distracting sideshow of blue conversation, massive money swings, and wild screaming. It's obnoxious, but by the point we get there, we simply don't care.
It paid off this time, though, in the form of dealers who just blindly ignored our losing hands and paid us off. Pai Gow push? Pay the men. Absolute losers in Texas Hold'em Bonus? Ship it. G-Rob and I alone probably swung $1,000 together on bets we should've lost but got paid on anyway. Who said the economy is tanking?
It's hard to be an honest man in Vegas. I had to catch myself from pointing out my losing hands. To fight the inherent honesty, I just looked at G-Rob. He's experienced in this sort of deception. One smirk from him was all I needed.
The dealers may be friendly, but the pit boss is always watching. When Blood went on his massive run at the Palms, he once won a huge hand, gestured like he would soon own the casino, and screamed out, "Call the Maloof Brothers!"
The pit boss, a dead ringer for Lorne Michaels, just deadpanned, "We'll be fine." Damned cooler. Within half hour of his arrival, Blood realized his run was over and stacked up.
Speaking of coolers, one night at Green Valley Ranch, I went on a tear at Three-Card Poker, a game I'd never played before. I hit a big bet with trip queens. Again, it set us on a run toward obnoxiousness that had our dealer flustered, paying off losers, and generally fucking up at every turn.
"You okay?" we asked.
"No," she said. "A friend of mine found her son dead this week."
I'm pretty sure they don't teach that kind of conversation in dealer school.
The pit boss noticed the dealer was in no shape for us. She brought in the cooler of coolers and we bolted. Thank goodness for every other table game in that joint.
See, I said I'm here to work and not play. And that's true. In past years, I've probably spent four or five nights out of every seven playing something...poker, Pai Gow, blackjack, something. It's what Wil and Ryan described in 2006 as "a regretful evening."
This time, there has been very little of any of that. But, I've been fortunate in what I have played. In just a few hours of playing, I'm up about $3,500 playing poker and $1,200 playing table games. For me, that's pretty damned good, which is why I'm probably done for the trip. It can't go anywhere but down from here.
How well am I running? Well, I turned psychic.
Late night at GVR, I got suckered into a poker game. Somebody started prop betting on the Amy the Dealer's age. I set the line at 29, because I absolutely rule at setting lines on things that don't matter. I wish I'd taken big wagers, because I would've got it all. Who needs the over or under when you nail the line like that?
I wasn't done, however. People then started guessing the girl's middle name. Most people guessed Marie. I shook my head, tilted it for a second, and said, "No, she looks more like an Amy Katherine."
I wish I had a picture of that girl's face as a reminder of the night I was psychic.
She accused me of being a stalker.
Finally, while Blood and G-Rob were tilting an entire poker room, CJ offered to show me his Roulette and Craps systems. I've played both games before but never with any success. My favorite moment out of that hour was me stacking piles of chips and questioning how in the world I could possibly be winning and how CJ could possibly be this smart.
The croupier just looked up and said with a straight face, "He's telling you right."