Bad Beat, Happy Feet

Sunday, June 15th, 2008, 6:25 pm

It’s like death and taxes–when you talk about a winning streak, it’s certain that streak will come to a sudden end. Which is exactly what happened to my hot run Friday night. Our final table ended around 8:30 and we went for a bite to eat before hitting the casino. Played some video poker–lost. Played some 3-6 drunkendonkenpokr and somehow managed to lose $70 despite getting quad Jacks (yes, my bitches, quads) for $50 high hand bonus. There was a guy at the table who was talking about Costa Rica and I mentioned I’d been there a few months ago. He said, "Did you go to the Del Mar?"

I said no, but I’d been to Key Largo. In case you’ve never been, the Del Mar and Key Largo are bars where, uh, ladies work. The Key Largo’s a nice place, they had a pretty good band playing that night, and the place is wall-to-wall prostitutes. Well, the place is wall-to-wall prostitutes and 50-ish Anglos chatting them up. I asked if he’d gone to see the Arenal volcano or visited the rain forest. Nope–he’d been there six times on business, and he’d never gone more than six blocks away from his hotel and the Del Mar. Which is like, oh, visiting Aruba and spending 95% of your time in the hotel. I pretended I wasn’t a hypocrite and told him he needed to get out in the countryside and see the sights.

Speaking of prostitutes, after I racked up Matt wanted to play a few more orbits so I went to the bar to play a bit more video poker and have a nightcap. There were 12 open seats to my left and right and a chubby blonde woman took the seat directly to my left. OK. I was too beat to be properly bemused when she said, "So, are you winning?"

"Oh, up and down," I said, surprised at how tired I sounded. We sat in silence for a few minutes before she asked where I was from, how long I was in town for, what I was up to the rest of the night. I told her the truth–I was waiting for a friend to play a few more hands of poker before we went home to collapse–and she believed me. The sales pitched ended there, and she cashed out and wished me good night. I did the same to her, fthough I was a bit miffed that even a hooker thought I looked too played out to be of interest. I lost another twenty bucks before Matt racked up and we went home just past 3AM.

I slept till 11, crawled to the bathroom to deal with some issues, then decided how to spend the day. I haven’t been to the Strip since I arrived so that was the plan. We parked at Caesar’s, Matt went to Hooters to play some table game he likes and I started gallivanting.

My gallivant came to a sudden end when I realized my sandals were rubbing me the wrong way. They’ve been bothering me and the ball of my right foot started to feel hot. My sandals are over 10 years old, I’ve been meaning to get new ones for years but I couldn’t bring myself to part with them. They’ve cushioned my feet as I walked through all sorts of exotic locals–Saigon, Costa Rica, Indian Lake, PA–and buying a new pair seemed almost an act of betrayal. I’ve subjected them to quadrillions of ergs over the years, and God knows I could’ve lost a few pounds and made their job easier. Still, as I walked through the Forum Shops I could tell that I wouldn’t be able to walk for miles and miles in them.

That’s when I passed The Walking Store. I said, "Hmm" and doubled back. I bought my prized Ecco slip-ons at one of their shops in Pittsburgh and I knew they sold sandals as well. Ecco sandals, in fact. I asked to see a pair similar to my Timberlands, slipped them on…and oh my God. They felt so GOOD. I swear my feet let out an audible sigh. So did my old sandals, I think–they’ve earned their rest.

With a literal bounce in my step I walked over to Bellagio. Figured I’d have a drink, play some video poker, and bask in the opulance. I ordered a Sierra Nevada and fed the machine some money. Here I made a boo-boo–these were $1 machines, not a quarter, meaning it was five bucks a click. I could’ve played a single credit and made my money stretch longer, but that didn’t occur to me until after I’d blown $100 in about fifteen seconds. "Yikes!" I said, ordering a second beer so I could at least double the return on my investment. I fed another $60 into that infernal gizmo before finishing my second pint, without so much as a full house. Quads? It seemed my quad magic had come to an end.

I walked aimlessly for awhile, ambling through the conservatory for a couple of laps and enjoying the light and the fountains. I snapped a few pics here and there and three separate couples asked if I could take their picture. Of course I said sure and I used my mad photography skillz to ensure it was a snapshot they’ll treasure forever, but it kinda bothered me in each instance the female half of the couple addressed me as "Sir". It also bothered me a bit to see all those couples walking hand-in-hand while I was raging solo. I sent a text to the girl I’m missing but I didn’t hear back, as it was past 11pm back east and she might’ve been asleep.

What better way to chase away the blues than to drink and gamble! I walked over the Paris (guess I was still in a romantic mood) and played a little video poker at Gustav’s Bar, which is where I met up with some friends last year the first day I arrived in Vegas for the WSOP. That was kinda blah, I went up to bar by the poker room and sports book and played a little there while I watched the end of the race. As I sipped my beer the bartender said, "We’re going on break for an hour" and he and the other guy left. OK, the bar was almost empty but I’d never heard of one closing down at 8:30 at night. Weird. I finished my beer, cashed out, and was on my way.

Of course I had to pay a visit to the Imperial Palace, not least of all because I needed to visit the restroom. Just before I got there I saw some kind of major brouhaha going on. Four bicycle cops in neon-yellow shirts were subduing a tall, skinny guy who wasn’t going gently into that good night. He was cuffed and the one cop was in his face telling the dude to stop resisting and follow his instructions. The guy in cuffs looked vaguely familiar, or maybe I’ve just seen too many crazed, frantic faces the past few weeks at the Rio. I pressed on, went inside the IP, visited the restroom, and quickly exited. Nothing against the place, but if there aren’t threescore bloggers livening up the joint there’s not much reason for me to stay.

I left and the cops were still dealing with the tall guy in cuffs. There was a pretty big crowd now and they had him on the ground with some kind of mesh bag over his head. He was screaming, SCREAMING, and a cop was kneeling on his back as he squirmed on the ground. I couldn’t tell if they put the bag on him because they hit him with pepper spray or to keep him from biting, but it was weird to see a dozen cops (some uniformed police had shown up as well) trying to control one guy. I’m not sure what the rules are about taking pictures of police activity (certainly legal, though I really didn’t want to have that discussion with a bunch of irritated cops) but I took a couple surrepticious shots. This was the only halfway-good one, though calling it any-good its pushing things:

That’s when Matt called to say that he was ready to go, so I walked back to Caesars, got the car, and spent 20 frustrating minutes driving down the Strip. I’ll try to avoid doing that in the future, whatta nightmare. Got Matt, did some bobbing and weaving to get on I-15, and we decided to stop at South Point. He wanted to see the Hulk movie, I wanted to see if I could get unstuck. My losses for the day had erased all my hard-won profits and I wanted a chance to recoup. So I sat in the $3/6 game, seeing some of the same faces as the night before, and got down to work.

My luck indeed turned. I lost some tough pots, but I hit a sneaky full house on the turn when another guy made a flush, hit another set to win a big pot…and then my Quad Magic returned. I made quad sevens but didn’t get a bonus because I only had one in my hand, and then on a J-2-J flop I decided to call with my pocket Fours, turned a set, and on the river, well…

A tidy $50 buck bonus, and then I won a few more pots before cashing out $110 to the good. Matt wanted to play another orbit or two so I sat at a nearby nickel video poker machine and, well:

On that very hand I though about bumping my bets up to a quarter, but if I had, I wouldn’t have hit quads. Just the way these things work. I cashed out there and we left soon after, me feeling much better after enduring a rough day. Play more poker, stay away from the machines. I’ll try.

We don’t work until 5pm today, the $10K Limit event. Get done at 3am, we haven’t worked this schedule yet, should be kinda weird. Tomorrow might be a very long day, but who knows? Just 2 weeks or so till the Main Event starts, and that’s cake compared to doing the preliminary tournaments. And then I get to go home. Can’t wait.

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2 Responses to “Bad Beat, Happy Feet”

  1. Joe Speaker Says:

    Sounds like a full day. Sorry to hear about drizz being arrested.

  2. Benny Distefano Says:

    More quads than Walter Reed.

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