Back from 3 days in AC. Two things I did little of over the long weekend -- win money & sleep.
We rolled into town about 10:30 Friday night after the obligatory pitstop at Delaware Park to place some [losing] NFL teases. After a swift check-in at Harrah's (thank you, Diamond card) and dinner at Bills Burger, I hit the blackjack tables along with my follow degenerates (I'll refer to them as "Chicago," "Boston" and "Buddy"). The session was relatively unremarkable. Won a quick $300 . . . got up . . . took a quick break, during which I gave back $100 at the 100-hand joker poker machine . . . sat back down at the blackjack table and lost $200. 3 hours in and I was even. Not a bad night . . .
After several more drinks, Boston and Chicago retreated for the night, and Buddy and I decided to hit up the poker room at 3:00 am. We were seated at the same table. I bought in for $200 and was card dead for several hours. Then, at 5:00am, as the sun was about to rise over the marina, and sitting on just under my starting stack, I called a $10 preflop raise in position with 66. Heads up, we saw a flop of 6, T, 3 (two hearts). Villain leads out for $15. I call. Turn is a blank. Villain bets $25. Even though the board is not very scary (I don't put Villain on a heart draw), I decide to play the hand a bit quicker and raise to $80. Villain calls. Turn is the A of hearts. Villain says, "I'll put him all in . . ." After a 5 minute dispute between the dealer, the player in the 6 seat (who was a dealer at Showboat) and Villain about whether that is a "bet" or not, I decided to get on with the show and gave a "call." Sitting on $65 by the river, I'm not folding my set. Villain, of course, triumphantly flips his rivered flush and I decide to call it a night (or, a morning, as the case may be). As I walk away from the table, I hear Buddy in full defensive mode, commenting to no one in particular, "that's not how I play the game," presumably referring to Villain's turn-call of my raise with 9 outs. I couldn't agree more . . . Two weeks into the new year, I'm down about $700 and not running well at all. I can't remember the last time I got my money in bad and rivered someone . . . Yet, seems like it get the treatment nearly every week... Whatever. I guess that's just $1/2NL holdem . . .
Got up Saturday morning at 8:30am after a brief two and a half hours sleep. Buddy (who I was sharing a room with) had gotten in an hour or so before and was still alseep. I made my way down to the poker room and drank coffee and folded hands for an hour or so before Chicago came over and we decided to play some blackjack. We each made a couple hundred. Chicago was in for $500 and, after a bad back end of a shoe, was down to his last $100. He dropped it all in the box, won the hand, and five minutes later, cashed out with $750. Black jack is definately a game of runs. Makes one wonder why you grind $1/2 NL hoping for $15 an hour . . .
Around noon, Chicago, Boston, Buddy and I walked the path by the marina over to the Borgata to get set up for the NFL playoff games. Long Bar was the venue of choice. We set up shop on some stools against the bar and order the first round. A few minutes later, we noticed Buddy was gone. Three hours, one NFL game, and a bunch of beers later, Buddy was still MIA. Not picking up his phone; not answering texts. Just MIA. He could be playing poker or blackjack. Or, he could be dead. The latter, a far more likely scenario had Boston been the missing person. In fact, a few years back, in Vegas, on a "getaway day," Boston went completely missing over the course of about 10 hours. . . As a brief aside, the story leading up to his disappearance goes like this:
It was March Madness in Vegas. Buddy and Boston decided to start the day at a Champagne brunch at Paris. Buddy's wife and a few of her friends were there, so it's not as gay as it sounds. Four hours or so later, me, Chicago and a few other friends met up to play black jack at Luxor. Buddy and Boston arive. Boston is carrying an eighteen pack of miller lite. We all sit down at two adjacent tables and start grinding. Boston is, at first, drinking alone out of the eighteen pack . . . Pit boss says nothing. Boston is then tossing us beers from the eighteen pack. Pit boss says nothing. An hour later, a nice middle age couple call over the coctail waitress to place an order, to which Boston yells out, "hey, I got some Miller lite if you want . . ." Apparently, that crossed the Luxor's invisible line. Either the (now, near empty) Miller Lite pack, or Boston, must leave the pit. They both do....
Several hours later, our relatively large group shows up for our dinner reservation at some swank joint at the Four Seasons near Mandalay Bay. Boston is MIA. Twenty minutes or so passes, and we begin to order. Shortly thereafter, Boston shows up. Dressed in a sports jacket and tie. . . . and, so drunk, he can barely speak. The waiter asks him what he wants . . . Boston responds (in theory, at least .. . ) . . . Waiter asks again . . . Boston slurs something . . . waiter looks to us for help . . . none found . . . Somehow, Boston succeeds in ordering something and we all eventually eat . . .
After dinner, we make a quick stop at the bar on the floor at MB for a few more coctails. Then I bail back to my room at The Hotel and decide to call it a night. I've got a red eye back to DC the following evening and its my last real "night" in Vegas, but I have my limits . . . my liver has its limits . . . I'm done. Boston and Buddy, however, venture out for more. I know this because I awake to 7 missed calls (thank you, silent ringer . . .)
The next morning, folks start heading to McCarren. Chicago and I still have ten hours or so to kill. We start out in the Mandalay Bay sportsbook watching the Sunday morning NCAA games. Boston does not join. His flight, as we recall, is not until early afternoon. He is, however, no where to be found. When the early games end, Chicago and I head to a Mexican joint somewhere in either Mandalay Bay or Four Seasons to watch the middle games. We call Boston . . . we text Boston . . . no response. I can no longer recall which of the two of us first jokingly suggested, "perhaps he's dead." But, when 2:00 rolled around and we still had not heard a word, the joke became marginally less funny. And, when it was 9:00 pm and we were heading for McCarren for our red-eyes, still in the dark about Boston's wellfare, the humour had been completely drained. We were both left wondering, at what point are you, as a friend, obligated to call the cops to report a missing 35 year old, last seen the night before playing "hooker or not" at the casino bar in a voice loud enough to get us all killed . . . A question I'd rather not have to ponder again any time soon . . .
Anyow, as you should be able to deduce based on his inclusion in the post at hand, Boston was not dead. He had, however, slept right through checkout . . . and through his flight home. I guess that's one way to secure an additional night in the desert....
[Back to MLK weekend, Long Bar, present day . . .]
I figure, if Boston survived his disappearance in Vegas, surely Buddy is still alive. Nevertheless, after hour four, I decided I should prolly take a walk and see if he was around. Indeed, he was. I found him sitting at a black jack table, pounding Coronas and commenting far too loudly about how hot the waitresses were at Borgata as compared to Harrah's. Proof of life secured, it was back to Long Bar for the Patriots-Broncos game . . . By 10:30, however, I was done. I can no longer function full speed on less than 3 hours sleep . . . Sunday was another day. . . .
Sunday began with a trip to Toga Bar at Caesars. Game On at Caesars Pier use to be my venue of choice for sports viewing, but its closed down (yes, the AC economy is roaring right along . . .). We sat at the bar for most of the afternoon, alternating trips to the black jack tables up the stairs, two at a time, while holding down our prime seats at the bar. Then it was off to Mortons for dinner. Nothing like a fine fillet and a couple of bottles of wine to get one in the mood for an impending black jack melt down . . .
And so, after dinner, we cabbed over to Showboat to play some black jack at the "after dark" area. Showboat's attempt to attract more sub-60yr patrons is somewhat of a fail. Despite a live band, go-go dancers and dealers dressed like whores, the place was still someone dead. Especially for a holiday weekend night. Nevertheless, we proceeded to get our black jack on. My session was somewhat less successful than Buddy's and Chicago's. I bought in for $300 and was broke within 10 minutes ($25 base bets). It has to turn around, of course . . . so, I bought in for another $300. That buy-in too lasted less than 20 minutes. I got up, took a walk around, finally tried out Mr. Cashmen (WTF is with that game?), and then wandered back to the pit. At this point, Buddy is still grinding with a stack of $500 or so . . . As for Chicago, he's now playing heads-up against a dealer at another table . . . betting all blacks . . . and winning (it's amazing how alcohol and casino-oxygenated air can lead a person to treat a stack of $2,500 in chips as if worth little more than the value of the clay they're made from . . .). Apparently, I'm the lone loser. Chicago talks me into sitting down with him....again I buy in for another $200 . . . I start out by winning my first hand. It's the only hand I win . . . and within 5 minutes, I'm broke once again. Fun game. Perhaps I see the merit in grinding $1/2 NL for $15 an hour . . .
It's now 4:00 am . . . again. I'm down $800, and that's not even the worse beat of the night. That occured when a very large, very drunk chick dragged me out on the dance floor by nearing ripping my arm out of its socket. Once out there, I busted a half-ass move or two, and fled the first moment she turned her back . . . It was time to leave AC. Clearly...
All in all, it was a fun degenerate weekend. I lost a decent amount of cash; but no one died. I guess that counts as a win.