DC

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Crunch Time

Week 16.  The NFL Season is drawing to a close.   I stopped making the drive to the Meadowlands after the Pittsburgh game a month or so ago.   I've become so detached that I even lacked the effort to try and sell my tickets on EBAY the past two games.  I'm actively rooting against the Jets, hoping for a good draft pick . . . Jet Up!

And yet, I've ben loving NFL Sundays.  Thank you gambling!

This is another big weekend for PPP.  As I previously wrote, I placed $2,000 in NFL Futures at Bellagio in August.  Tampa OVER 7 . . . Colts OVER 9.5 . . . Pittsburgh OVER 9 . . . Philly OVER 9.5.  (Before you say anything, as I've explained before, I don't play unders out of principle . . . If I did, I would have been big on the JETS and SKINS under 7.5 . . .).   Tampa was dead out of the gate, but I've been sweating the remaining 3 all season.  The Colts cashed last week, and Philly and Pitt need to win 1 out of 2 the next two weeks to bring it home (of course, Pitt should already be across the goal line, except the Jets had to fuck me, as usual, by winning that game at home).

In addition, I'm in the finals of my fantasy league -- a 12 team, $100 buy-in, winner-take-all . . .  $1,100 on the line this weekend.  I generally suck at Fantasy Football.  This year, my team finished the regular season 7-5, but has been hot the past two weeks when it counts.  Here's the line-up I'm rolling with this weekend:

QB:  Pepe Sanchez (mid-season replacement for Foles)
RB:  Eddie Lacy
RB2: Leveon Bell
WR1: De Sean Jackson
WR2: Julian Edelman
WR3: Kevin Benjamin
TE: D. Allen
Flx: Jeremy Hill
K: M. Crosby
D: Rams (vs. G-Men)

Let's do this!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Post About Our Hero

I had originally posted this (or, attempted to post this), as a reply on Lightning's blog. See  Sir Lightning's Blog. But, apparently, there are limits to the acceptable length of comments.  So, I decided to repost here.  I'm not sure this is even worthy of a post.  But, since I spent some time drafting it, I figured I'd let if fly.  Blogging is hard WORK, u see . . .


So, take it for what it's worth.  And, Tony, if you are reading, I hope you are not offended by this.  It's my honest opinion.  Hopefully you are capable of seeing your "friendships" from other people's perspectives and, in response, perhaps modifying your behavior. 


***



Lightning's post epitomizes the experience of being "friends" with TBC on a vacation to Vegas.  Except that it under-emphasizes the amount of pestering text messages and phone calls you actually get when you don't do exactly what he wants you to do.  Many of us (like myself and Lightning) go to Vegas a handful of times a year, for vacation.  Sometimes, I'll fly in just for a quick weekend -- arrive Friday night and redeye out Sunday, straight to work Monday morning).  Speaking for myself (and I assume others), I do NOT go to Vegas to spend time with Tony.  Often, I do see him while I'm there; but it's certainly not the point of the trip.  Not even close.  I don't think Tony understands this.

Beyond this, spending time with Tony in Vegas is not always easy or convenient.  Often times, by the time Tony wakes up and feels HE is ready to MUST GAMBLE IMMEDIATELY, I'm already doing something for the evening.  Many times, I'm at a Casino on the South end of the strip, hanging out, with plans to grab a nice dinner somewhere.  Then Tony starts in, trying to get me to come to the Venetian . . . the Wynn . . . or even downtown.   It's generally a non-starter for me.  Again, I'm in Vegas a few times a year, often for just a few days at a time, and I'm not giving up my evening for Tony's convenience. 


This weekend was another prime example, 1000 miles away from Vegas.  Earlier in the week, I had finalized my weekend plans.  I booked a room at the Westin by BWI Friday night, and a room at the Sheraton in Towson Saturday (and no, I did not get room 1029 -- the "death" room . . .).  The plan was to play poker Friday night, go see a concert Saturday night, and spend Sunday watching NFL with friends back in Rockville.  So, Friday night, I left work early, got to the Horseshoe around 6:00, played some video poker, briefly, then had dinner and played poker for 4 hours.  Around midnight, I drove back to the Westin and went to the Lounge for a scotch or two.  It was then that I saw Tony's twitter posts.  He was in the air, heading for Baltimore, and wanted me to pick him up at the airport . . . at 2:00 am.  He apparently had a room for the night, like 3 miles from the airport.  Now, this is simply not a normal request.  Why would I (or anyone) stay up until 2:00 am to greet Tony at the airport and give him a 5 minute ride back to his hotel?  I declined, without hesitation . . . Saturday, I woke up about 10:00, got in a quick workout, an drove over to the Horseshoe to spend a quick couple of hours drinking coffee and playing VP.  Around 1:00, I drove out to Towson, grabbed some food, and started pre-partying for the O.A.R. / Train concert, which started at 6:30.  I went straight back to the hotel afterwards.  Sunday, I woke up (with assistance of an alarm) at 10:00 and drove home to Rockville.  I did some chores around the house and, around 1:00, went out to a local bar to watch some NFL.  Now, I have no idea what Tony did over the weekend.  I do believe, based on what I read, that he played poker from Saturday evening until 7:00 am Sunday.  I'm pretty damn confident he was not awake in the mornings, which would have been the only times I had a few free moments over the weekend.  Yet, Tony was apparently pissed off that I did not make an effort to see him.  This is what it is like to be "friends" with Tony . . .


Compounding the issue (and, Tony may not like to hear this, but it's the realty of the situation), I'm yet to find something Tony brings to the "friendship."  Sure, he'll occasionally comp you a meal.  A nice gesture, but I don't need a free meal (I don't come to Vegas for a free meal.  Rather, if I'm in town for three days, I want to eat at three awesome restaurants.  That's just me.  But that's how I roll in Vegas).  And, Tony will often write about all the things he WISHES he could do for his friends (like be there at the airport for them when they arrive in town).  But it's a lot easy to write about what you WISH you could do when you have no means of actually doing it.  It, of course, is a matter of speculation whether Tony would actually follow through with these things if he had a car, etc.  I mean, Tony always talks about the things he'd do for his friends, if only he could . . . but then he seems to ignore his own family.  He'll claim he lacks the means to travel home for Christmas to spend time with his mom and his son; yet he can afford to dust of $3,000 in a singe night degening on a video poker machine and then fly out to Maryland the very same evening and travel around the east coast.  So, if actions are any indications, it seems like Tony may, in fact, be all talk when it comes to all the giving he would do if he were only capable of giving . . . 

Beyond this, (at least in my opinion), Tony and I have nothing in common.  He has no interests outside of poker . . . doesn't like sports . . . doesn't like good food . . . has f*cked political / religious beliefs . . . and is virtually impossible to carry on a an actual conversation with.   I went out to lunch with Tony in Vegas over the summer.  We went to Yard House, a place where you can actually sit down, order from a waitress, and spend time hanging out.  The conversation was all about what Tony should do . . . were he should play poker . . . where he should travel to . . . And, even in the context of this loaded topic, it was apparent to me that Tony did not want to hear what I was saying to him.  When the advice was not exactly what he wanted to hear, it appeared he was a million miles away . . . then, when I was done, he'd shoot out another question.  And, no, I'm not an idiot.  I'm aware this is a prime behavioral characteristic of his autism.  But, it provides some insight (at least from my perspective) on what it's like to spend time with Tony. 

In short, if you want to hang out with Tony, you will play poker.  True enough, he may occasionally relent and go to lunch with you or something; but, even then, it's patently obvious that each and every minute, all he really wants to do is get back to gambling.   And, for the kicker, when you do play poker with him, he generally makes the table as unpleasant as possible.   Generally, he talks . . . a lot.  And, regardless of his intentions, much of his behavior comes off as patently antagonistic.  Showing bluffs . . . telling people how bad they played a hand . . . Generally speaking, a table with Tony is less pleasant than a tony-less table.  That's just the reality of the situation.   And hell, I'm saying that and I KNOW the guy.  Imagine how your average tourist views him?  

So,  all of this begs the question, why would I go out of my way to hang out with Tony?

Lightening actually makes the rest of us "inner circle guys" look bad.  He, prolly more than anyone, spends substantial effort trying to be a friend to Tony.  I'm not really sure what he gets back in return, aside from a better spot in heaven when this ride ultimately comes to an end.  In my opinion, he devotes an undue amount of time on his trips driving Tony around and playing in poker rooms in which he might not otherwise play.  I think he's just THAT nice a guy (no, I am NOT being paid to write this).  But, as his most recent trip proves, even he has his limits when it comes to dealing with Tony.

In the end, Tony renders me perpetually conflicted.  On the one hand, I can emphasize with him.  I can only imagine how lonely it must be to live the life he is leading.  I also understand that his personal issues contribute largely to his conduct and self-centeredness.  On the other hand, I just find it hard to deal with him.  I think it's actually easier to deal with him in person, largely because his issues are ever present -- a constant reminder that I'm not dealing with the average guy.  On-line . . . not so much.  Tony claims he is insulted by the things I sometimes write.  I think that's a fair point.  But, I also think Tony brings a lot of it on himself.  I do believe Tony trolls.  Often.  And yes, I think he is 100% aware of his actions.  And, for my part, I often write things, or respond to his posts, in a way that I later regret.  I should be a big enough person to just ignore a lot of Tony's statements.  But, apparently, I'm not.  in the end, Tony just has a way of getting to me.

Ultimately, I'm not sure what Tony can do about any of this.  I'm not sure he is capable of broadening his interests  . . . or of seeing things from other people's perspective, including trying to actually carry on a conversation . . . listening, and not just asking questions . . . . delving into topics others want to talk about, and not just what he wants to know about . . . doing things that other people want to do, aside from just gambling.  Maybe the answer is for Tony to find friends whose interests and mindsets are more in line with his.  Off the top of my head, I have no idea who these people would be... But, perhaps some exist.  Of course, Tony's nomad lifestyle makes it difficult to find such friends.    

But, it seems clear the current situation is not working out for Tony.  He is constantly pissed off and disappointed in his "friends," and his "friends" inevitably get pissed off at him and distance themselves.  Frankly, I think the problem is that, when push comes to shove, Tony and his friends have nothing in common.  It seems like all of Tony's "friends" are bloggers and other people he meets on the internet.  My experience is that such people are generally quite normal people, who lead normal lives and have normal interests.  They would not typically be friends with Tony under normal circumstances.  If you met Tony at a poker table, he would probably not be the first person you would ask to hang out with at dinner or to watch a game.  Many of the people Tony meets online are simply drawn in by the saga.  Some get a first hand taste and withdraw back into the online shadows.  Others step forward and actually try to help Tony.  I'm constantly amazed by the stories I hear of the assistance people have rendered.  I learned of a new story just yesterday (yes, I'm looking at you, agsweep . . .).  Josie was incredibly kind back in the day.  I'm not sure Tony truly realizes the lengths people have gone to help him.  Are these people "friends"?  Perhaps.  But I don't think they provide the type of "friendship" that Tony is looking for.  That's simply the reality.  Or, at least that's my educated take on it. 
 
So, assuming anyone is still reading this . . . in sum:

(1) Tony is hard to get along with;
(2) lightning is a good guy; many other folks who have met Tony through blogs /forums are also great people;
(3) PPP should try harder to be nice to Tony
(4) Tony should try some different approaches to making friends aside from bloggers;
  
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Night Session at The Shoe

I'm writing from the Westin by BWI, about 6 miles from downtown Baltimore . . . sipping a Macallan . . . neat, of course. 

I just finished a fairly wild 4 hour session of $1/3 NL at the Horseshoe.  After complaining that the last few sessions were relatively uninteresting, tonight I found myself in several uncomfortable spots.  I probably blew a few of them.  Perhaps in laughable fashion.  You be the judge.

My second hand at the table, I look down at AQ off.  Some chick limps.  I raise to $12, and an older reg re-raises to $38.  Action back on chick, and she re-pops to $88.  Welcome to the table.  Old guy has KK.  Chick has JJ.  Pete Peters has two cards in the muck.

Fifteen minutes later, I win a nice pot with 99.  The very next hand, some dude straddles to $15.  Then old guy from first hand (KK) raises to $48.  He has me covered by a lot.  Action comes around to me.  I'm flummoxed.  I have no idea how to play the hand.  Limping for $50 to set mine seems bad.  And re-raising doesn't seem any better, particularly since the only time I've seen this guy raise he had a monster.  I don't think he folds to a three bet.  So, what the f*ck do I do on the flop (assuming I don't hit a set)?  I'm basically paying $50 to set mine or playing JJ for stacks early in the session.  So, I fold.   Folding JJ pre flop feels bad.  Frankly, I just didn't know how to play the hand.

Over the course of the next two hours, I pissed away $75 or so calling small raises with hands like 55 . . . 44 . . . 66 and missing my sets.  Repeatedly limp-calling-folding-to-flop-bets also feels lousy.   Then, I finally hit my hand.   I look down at TT in position and raise to $16.  Two callers.  Flop comes T84 rainbow.   It checks to me, and I decide to check through as the board is fairly dry.  The turn is a delicious 8.  Some dude, who I had previously been informed, is a "really, really good player," shoves $180.  I snap.  He asks, "do you have tens?  You must have tens.  Only hand that can call there."  Um.  Yes sir, I do have TT.  I show and he mucks.  He then proceeds to bitch about how I run so hot, unlike him.  Of course, I hadn't won a hand in several hours.  But, whatever.

Twenty minutes later, I again get into a hand with the "really, really good player."  I have AA UTG.  I raise to $16 and get two callers, including the "really, really good player."  The flop comes down KQ8.  I lead for $28.  Kid next to me, who has me covered and is decent, but capable of chasing draws, raises to $65.  "Really, really good player" tanks and bitches about his misfortune.  Then, of course, he shoves for about $180.  Looking at the hand, I'm having trouble putting him on a hand that has me beat.  QQ or KK likely would have re-raised pre flop.  Did he call with KQ?  88?  Ultimately, I don't want to lose most of my stack with a mere pair.  Plus, I have the kid behind me yet to act.  I fold.  As does the kid.  The "really, really good player" asks me what I had.  For whatever reason, I tell him - "Aces."  And then he flashes an ace of his own.  Presumably, he had AK . . .  He then launches off about how I am totally predictable, etc., and how knew he could get me to lay down.  Um.  OK, sir.  Based on what?  The one hand you saw me play where I turned the nuts on you and called your shove?  Go fuck yourself, sir.

A little while later, I sort of get my revenge.  A bunch of us limp into a pot 6 handed.  I have A(d) 5(d).  The flop comes down K(d) J(h) 2(d).  The kid from before leads out for $10, and gets 2 calls, including the "really, really good player."  I call.  The turn is the J(s).  This time, it checks around, and I bet $45.  I figure it's a decent spot to represent trips in the event the diamond doesn't hit the river.  Both the kid and the "really, really good player" call.  The river blanks and both check to me.  I value bet my imaginary jack for $120.  Both fold rather quickly.  "Really, really good player" shows his really, really good lay down of top pair.  Of course, I can't resist, and show him the busted flush draw.  But, given how predictable I am, I'm sure he already knew I had ace-high . . .

Anyhow, I ended up walking with a $253 profit, which made up for the $200 I lost playing VP when I first arrived at the casino.  Not a bad evening.

I may head back tomorrow for a little while, depending on when I wake up.  I'm going to see a concert up the road in Towson tomorrow night, headlined by O.A.R. and Train (but "no," I'm not gay . . .) . . .  And, weather is suppose to be high-40's, so I'm hoping to get a 5-mile run in as well before I begin pre-partying.  So, not sure how much time I'll have to gamble.

And, finally, some BREAKING NEWS:

To paraphrase the greatest television show ever, which happened to take place just a few miles from where I sit: "TONY COM'N . . . TONY COM'N"  That's right, apparently TBC is on his way to Baltimore as I write.  He'll be landing mere miles from here at 2:00 am.   He's already offered me money to pick him up from the airport and drive him to his hotel.  At 2:00am.   As Lightning would say . . . FML . . .

-PPP
  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Who Died in this Room?

I spend many nights in hotel rooms.  In addition to visiting various casinos, I generally hit Platinum at SPG every year (25 visits / 50 nights) and stay the occasional night at non-affiliated hotels when a deal is too good to pass up.  I don't stay at bad places.  I don't do "motels."  Perhaps it has something to do with my upbringing.  I spent many a night on family vacations in a Motel 6.  It's not an experience I wish to replicate.  Hell, the primary reason I went to law school was to be able to avoid roadside motels.  Several years ago, I briefly forget the lesson.  I booked a room at a Holiday Inn Express in Charles Town, West Virginia, so that I could enjoy some cocktails along with a night of poker and not worry about driving.  I cashed out my chips, and returned to the room around 2:00 am.  It smelled like mold and poor service.  If depression had a fragrance, this was it.  I tried to sleep; but after an hour, I decided I was sober enough and made the hour or so drive back home to Bethesda.

Even the nicest of hotels present certain concerns.  I mean, just think god-knows-who was sleeping in that bed before you!  Shit -- how many people DIED in that bed?  Generally, however, I'm able to push these thoughts aside and get some sleep.  But there's always one exception -- a little something spelled M.U.R.D.E.R. . . .

Yes, this freaks me out.  Back in 2009, a father drowned his kids on the 10th floor of the Marriot in downtown Baltimore across from Camden Yards.  I haven't stayed there since, for fear I'd pull a key-card for the death scene.  Some dude killed himself and his girlfriend in their room at Revel in AC last year.  As a result, I haven't stayed there, either (well, that and the fact that Revel charged like $400 a night).  And, of course, there was the suicide at the MGM Grand this morning.


But, the MGM Grand death was not what had me thinking about this.  No.  Rather, I have a reservation this weekend at an SPG property, walking distance to a concert I'll be going to.  As a Platinum member, I generally get upgraded to Club Level.  Well, in researching this property (as I always do before booking a place for a first time), I discovered that there was actually a murder at this hotel as well.  It happened back in 2009.  And it wasn't just a murder.  No.  There were 4 deaths!  Some dude -- an attorney -- killed his wife and two kids.  Strangled them.  Laid them out on the king bed.  Then went into the bathroom and blew his fucken brains out.  And it happened on the Club Level.  Hell, I even know the room number.  How many rooms are on an average hotel floor?  And how many of them are king beds?  What are my odds of pulling that room?  It's prolly only slightly worse than flopping a set with a pocket pair (which, I guess, means I have nothing to worry about the way I've been running lately).


Generally, when I check into a place, I'm easy going.  I take what's given to me.  I can't remember the last time I requested a room change.  Maybe never.  But, this weekend, there is no way I'm spending my Saturday at a murder scene.  F-That!  I think I'll be inventing a medical condition that requires accommodations on a low floor.

Surely I'm not the only person with issues about things like this.  Could you spend the night in a former murder scene?         

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Post About Nothing

It's Monday evening.  I'm home watching Eaten Alive off the DVR, knowing, based on reviews I read this afternoon, that no one will, in fact, be eaten alive.  An inevitable disappointment . . .

It's been a while since I've written.  It looks like I've found a way to post again on my MacBook.  Indeed, this very post post renders it beyond question.  So, now that I have the ability to post pictures again, I'll try and put on my Pete P. Peters hat more often.  But, the truth of the matter is I really haven't had much to write about recently.   My weekends have all been pretty much the same -- some concerts . . . some gambling . . . watching football.   Only so many times I can write about that.  

Work has sucked.  To say things have been slow would be an understatement.  I haven't done much of anything the past two months, since my biggest case settled the first week in October and nothing else is really ready for litigation.  So, I've been writing articles . . . and looking for work to manufacture on a contingency case . . .  I get up early . . . get to work by 7:30 . . . and try to stay busy in the morning.  After lunch, I go to the gym for 2 hours.  Then I waste away a few hours before leaving at 6:00 or so.  It's depressing.  And, while the checks still clear every two weeks, it remains to be seen how long this will continue if things don't pick up.  And, frankly, I have mixed feelings about it all.  Some days, I feel like being laid off would not be the worst thing in the world.  I could get by for quite a long time without worry.   And I'd love a few months of doing nothing.  Hell, if I got canned, I'd probably be in Hawaii within days . . . and then Vegas for a month or so  . . .  Only then would I start looking for work.  It would probably be glorious . . .  And I'm not even sure I'd try and continuing practicing law.   Perhaps I'd go in-house at one of the big insurers . . . or finally pursue my dream of becoming a barrister at Starbucks . . . and just run out the clock for the next couple of decades . . .  At least my investments in LVS and MPEL are killing it lately . . .  FML . . .

On the positive side, I've been focusing more on working out.  Usually from like 2 to 4 in the afternoon.  It gives me a nice break from the nothingness of my work day.  I lift for an hour or so and get my swell on.   There are some smoke-shows walking around in Yoga pants.  I like to stare at them in between sets . . . just trying to resist the urge to dole out spankings.  In my head, I'm certain they've all been bad and are in need of some light punishment in the form of a heavy hand to their delightful ass . . . (oops . . . sorry . . . forgot I was blogging there for a second . . .).   Afterwards, I try and run 2 or 3 quick miles before calling it a day . . .  I look forward to getting into decent shape so all the young girls can ignore me at the pools in Vegas yet again this summer  . . . I guess it's better than being laughed at?  

Anyhow, after depressing the crap out of myself writing this crap post, I'll leave you with some sweet, sweet (like, really sweet) video poker porn from last Saturday at the Shoe.   I flopped this sucker within the first 10 minutes of mash:


Then followed up with this one:


Then, after running bad for an hour or so, I rallied with this:


And finally, closed out with a little deuces wild:


As I started with free play, so I walked with $350 profit . . .

I also played actual poker for 3 hours, won $120, and played not a single hand worthy of comment . . .   I've only got 88 hours of cash logged this year.  I'm down $30, thanks mainly to hands I lost in Vegas earlier in the year, including being abused by ggrouchie.   As TBC would say, "my hourly sucks . . ."  Hopefully, I can get it black before years end (something TBC would likely not say) and obtain a moral victory . . .

Monday, November 24, 2014

Technical Help

I've recently had some issues posting.  First, my work computer (where I'm posting from now) does not let me upload pictures.  It's been this way for a year or so.  And, recently, my laptop (an Apple Airbook) does not seem to be loading Blogger correctly.  Specifically, the "menu" bar at the top of the page (which, for readers, I believe has a search option, and a "Next Blog" button, and for bloggers, lets you access your account and draft new posts) simply no longer appears.  Has any one dealt with this issue before?  Is there another way to initiate a new post?  A big part of this blog is pictures, and I've lost some motivation to update without the ability to include them.  Hopefully, I can resolve this issue soon.


Anyway, beyond this, same old, same old.... Spent Friday night at the Horseshoe Baltimore, monkey mashing, drinking wine (bartender pulled out a bottle of 2003 Cab which was a pleasant surprise . . .) and playing poker . . . Saturday, I drove up to AC for more gambling, more steaks and wine, and an O.A.R. show at the Tropicana.  And, Wednesday, I'll start the trip back to Long Island for the holiday . . . a stop off at Borgata Wednesday night, Thursday with the family, and Friday heading in to NYC to catch O.A.R. again.  It's rough; but someone has to do these things.


So, if any one has suggestions on getting this page to load right, please let me know.


Pete   

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jet Up!







The term is undefined.  However, based on usage and context, it appears to mean "perseverance in the midst of a multi-decade shit-show" . . . "still trying in the face of certain failure" . . .  "being all that you can be when you know you can't be much" . . .


Jet Up!




It's Monday.  Shockingly, I'm dragging.  After spending the previous two weekends in Chicago and Denver, respectively, and walking through my door well past Midnight Sunday night, this weekend I arrived back home at the early hour of 11:00 pm after making the five hour drive from the Meadowlands.  I could complain about being tired.  But I'll Jet Up! 


While my memory often fails me, I'm fairly certain Memorial Day Weekend was the last time I stepped foot in an AC Casino.  The Horseshoe Baltimore is 35 minutes away, and, since Revel, Trump Plaza and Showboat closed (causing a major reduction in capacity), I've gone from comped weekends at Harrah's to $200+ a night.  I simply have little reason or desire to travel 4 hours to Atlantic City to spend $500 on a hotel room.


But this past weekend was different.  It was Jets-Steelers Sunday in the swamp, and my co-worker/friend MK is from Pittsburgh and a huge Steelers fan.  He's also married with kids, and doesn't get away to the casino very often.  So, it seemed an appropriate time to Jet Up! and spend the weekend in AC.  And, Friday, my buddy "Jimmy" (who you've previously read about), who I attend the Jets games with, surprised me with a text that he too would be getting away from the family for the weekend and heading to Harrah's.  The game was afoot.


MK and I left the office around 5:30 Friday evening, and arrived at Harrah's by 10:00.  Jimmy rolled in shortly thereafter.  After catching up over a few frosty beverages, we found an open black jack table and sat down.  As you may recall, coming into this weekend, I was on a streak of 12 double-downs lost in a row.  I quickly picked up where I left off.  I ran my streak to 15, and was down another $300 before the waitress came around with my first drink.  I mean, for real?  15 doubles in a row?  I thought about walking away.  But, ultimately, I decided to Jet Up!  I rebought for another $200 and, a few hands in, looked down at 88 on a dealer 7.  Playing $40 a hand, I split and pulled a 2 and another 8.  Here we go.  I double the 10 and pull a . . . deuce for a 12.  Of course.  I split my 8's again and pull a 3.  I double and pull a 4 for a 15.  Of course.  I end up with a face (for 18) on the last 8.  Shockingly, the dealer busts, my streak ends, and I rake a solid $200 hand.  The very next hand I get a spot to double down again  . . . and pull 21.  An hour later, I'm sitting on a stack of green, and, when the shoe ends, I cash out a solid $1,300. 


After a bit more debauchery, as the hands on the clock signaled 4:00 am, MK, Jimmy and I decide to finally get dinner.  Off to Bill's Burger.  My diet has been clean all week.  But that's about to change.  We split some loaded nachos to start.  And a bacon cheese burger, of course.  And we order fries and onion rings as well.  The waiter brings out the nachos, followed by the burgers.  And, perhaps in an act of unspoken humanity, she forgets the fries and onion rings.  We consider just accepting her oversight and calling it a night.  But, ultimately, we Jet Up! and remind her about the remainder of our order,  At 4:45 am, we're stuffing ourselves with more fat and carbs.  It would not be Friday night / Saturday morning in AC without a completely unnecessary act of gluttony.  By 5:00 am, we head back to the room.


Three gentlemen in a room.  Two beds.  Fantastic.  I mean, one of the few things PPP enjoys more than fine wine and delightful filets is a good night's sleep.  Pete Peters is too old to be sharing a bed.  It's inhumane.  I imagine this is how poor people live.  A gentlemen with 25,000 Caesars' tier points should be entitled to his own damn bed.  Yet, I suck it up and sleep with Jimmy . . . Compounding matters, although I search the room for a suitable "rape guard," I come up empty.  Nothing.  The threat of man-on-man contact has escalated.  The risk level is beyond the pale.  But there's nothing that can be done.  Hesitant, I climb in bed and try to get some sleep.  Jimmy, for his part, seems unfazed . . .


7:30 am and the first encroachment occurs.  Perhaps it's a six sense -- I awake just in time to see an arm start to come over the top.  I react quickly -- "NO!!!" I declare, as I block the arm.  Jimmy, half asleep, oblivious, retreats, seemingly unfazed.


I try to get back to sleep.  I NEED more sleep.  It's only been slightly more than two hours since my last beer.  I try my hardest.  I think I fall back into a light sleep.  And them it happens.  I feel a knee . . . or maybe a shin or a foot . . . against my back.  What is the meaning of this?   How eff'n hard is it to stay on your side of the damn bed?  The thought of playing little spoon to Jimmy is, in a word, horrific.  It's only 8:00 am.   A mere three hours after the Bill's Burger debacle.  I'm still drunk.  Yet I know I'm never getting back to sleep.  I get up and head down to the casino floor to grind some 100 hand video poker.  I'm too old for this . . .


By noon, Saturday, I'm feeling surprisingly good.  MK and Jimmy decide to play some craps.  I take the opportunity to make a food run to the local Shop Rite in Absecon to load up on a delightful assortment of meats for the Sunday tailgate.  When I get back to Harrah's, around 1:00 am, MK and Jimmy are watching football and drinking Bloody Mary's at Exhibit Bar.  I grab a miller lite and the game is once again afoot.


At 3:00, we head over to Harry's Oyster Bar at Bally's to watch the Notre Dame game.  MK is a proud graduate of the Law School in South Bend, and doesn't miss a game.    Notre Dame is a wreck.  The words flying out of MK's mouth would never be tolerated at a Catholic University.  Hell, perhaps anywhere else in the country other than a casino bar in AC and we'd have been asked to leave. 


At half time, trying to change the luck of the Irish, we head over to Toga Bar at Caesars.  It's nearly 5:00.  Our plan is to intoxicate swiftly and be ready to call it a night by midnight, so we can get some rest before making the early morning drive up to the Meadowlands the next morning.  MK opts for Red Bull - vodka; Jimmy hits Jack and coke.  I go straight for the Patron and club.  After a few rounds, by 6:30, we are on fire and decide to grind some black jack before our 9:30 reservation at Izakaya at Borgata. 


We head upstairs and once again find an empty table.  The cocktail waitress comes by.  She's cute.  Not a local.  But from another land.  Her grasp of the local language may be somewhat strained.  I order a Corona.  Jimmy seconds the motion.  MK deliberates and ultimately inquires: "do you have any cocaine?  Or meth?"  The waitress, perhaps confused, delivers the bad news that she does not.  MK opts for Irish Coffee.  A strange choice for early evening.  But who am I to question the choices of a grown man teetering on the edge of a regrettable AC bender?  The cards eventually hit the air.  MK starts off hot.  After several black jacks in a row, he promises Karan, a rotund dealer old enough to be considering retirement, "we're gonna make out soooo hard after this session!"  [Perhaps not surprisingly, Sunday morning, on the drive north to the stadium, MK has no recollection of even playing black jack at Caesars until I remind him].  I do not fair as well.  I burn through a $300 buy-in.  I rebuy for another $300 and get started on a new streak of double-down losses.  I hit 5 in a row before I'm a full $600 in the red and decide I've had enough.


It's 8:30 when we hop in a cab to the Borgata.  First stop - Long Bar for pre-sake adult beverages.  Seems reasonable at the time.  We finally roll into Izakaya at 9:45 -- fifteen minutes late for our reservation; nevertheless, we're seated without issue.  We order some sushi and, after some deliberation, opt for a full bottle of sake. Time to Jet Up!  Rationale decision-making has called it a night.






At 11:30 or so, we're the only people left in the restaurant, and we're politely asked to leave.  We stumble 30 feet down the hallway and decide to grab "one last beer" at long bar.


It's mid-night when we arrive back at Harrah's.  Our plan was to be asleep by now.  But, at same point around half-way through the bottle of sake, we decided we'd play some poker before calling it a night.  MK and I get seated at the same table.  Jimmy is at another table.  Jimmy has never played $1/2 NL before.  But fear not.  I taught him everything he needs to know during the three minute cab ride from Borgata to Harrah's.  I think it sounded something like this:


PPP:  "Dude; you'll be fine.  Just buy in for $200 and play tight."


Jimmy:  "OK, man."


PPP:  "And always be thinking about position.  Play tight.  But play even tighter when you are out of position."


Jimmy:  "OK, man.  Hey, what do you mean 'position'"?


PPP:  Like, if it limps around to you, and you are, like, last to act, you might play AJ or AT.  But, like, if you are one of the first people to act, don't play AJ or AT."


Jimmy:  "OK, man."


PPP:  "So, play big pocket pairs, and like AK . . . otherwise, just fold . . . drink some free beers and have fun."  And, like, if you get a small pocket pair, you can limp and see if you hit a set."


Jimmy:  "Totally.  Is a 'set' three-of-a-kind?"


PPP:  "Yeah.  And, if you do play a hand, play aggressive.  Just bet the shit out of the flop.  Better to win very little than lose a lot by getting tricky."


Jimmy:  "Yeah, bro.  Totally."


PPP:  "But, like, if you are playing, like AA and the flop is like 78T and there are two spades, and you bet, and someone calls . . . and then you bet the turn and they call again or raise you, you are prolly beat, so you have to fold. 


Jimmy:  "OK."


PPP:  "I mean, if you play a hand, play aggressive and bet the fuck out of it; but don't be stupid and lose your entire buy-in with a pair, you know."


Jimmy:  "Totally."


PPP:  "I mean, have fun, but don't be afraid to just sit there and fold for a few hours and drinks some beers . . ."


In the end, Jimmy claimed he played one hand . . . and he couldn't remember whether he won it or lost it.






I called it a night at 1:30.  Jimmy came up to the room about half hour later.  And MK rolled in around 3:00 am.  I awoke in the morning without the assistance of an alarm at 7:15.  If Jimmy encroached on me, I was too exhausted to notice.


Sunday morning.  Rough.  My brain is not working.  Feeling shaky.  Nevertheless, by 8:15, we are on the road.  About an hour into the drive, my head starts pounding.  And I start feeling nauseous.  We pull over to a rest stop for gas.  I get out of the car, pace a bit and get some fresh air.  I down some Advil for my head and a Muscle Milk to coat my stomach.  Time to Jet Up!  We get back on the road and I feel better.


We hit the Meadowlands at 10:30, break out the cooler and start all over.  Ice cold Coors Lite.  Two hours later, everyone one is feeling good as we head into the stadium.  I'm openly rooting for the Steelers.  I mean, the Jets season is over, and I bet Pittsburgh OVER 9 wins at Bellagio during my trip to Vegas in August.  So, of course, it's 17-0 Jets in the first quarter.  Makes total sense.  Perhaps MK and I should not watch football together.  Between his Irish and Steelers, it would be hard to fathom a worse 1-2 punch performance in a single weekend.  Both his teams must have combined for 10 turnovers (as well as two missed chip-shot field goals).  Rough weekend for the guy.






After a few post-game filets, we headed back to D.C., arriving around 10:00 pm.  Another great (but exhausting) weekend in the books.






-PPP









  



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Digging a Ditch to Hell or Building a Stairway to Heaven?

I can't help myself.  I just can't. 

Anyone who follows gaming stocks knows that over the past few months, the sector has been crushed.  Absolutely crushed.  While the indexes continue to rise, LVS is in the $50's (down from a high of $88).  MPEL is $24 after hitting $45 earlier in the year.   The culprit?  Largely the Chinese government, which has been cracking down on corruption which, in turn, has purportedly chased the VIP segment of the Macau market into hiding.  As a result, after years of year-over-year growth, revenue in the world's biggest gaming market is on the decline.  Add to this the fact that Japanese parliament is apparently punting on its casino bill this session, and gaming stocks have taken the biggest hit since the perfect storm in 2008. 

But, for how long?

Sheldon Adelson views Macau's issues as simply cyclical.  And if there is one thing I believe, it's not to doubt "Uncle Shelly."  Say what you want about the man (and, I'm sure poker players have some choice words given Adelson's stance on on-line poker), but the guy is a visionary.  While Steve Wynn may build the worlds most beautiful casinos, it is Adelson's vision that is transforming Cotai into the world's greatest gambling mecca.  If Adelson continues to build, I will continue to invest (it's worth noting the opportunities that Adelson has passed on -- Manila . . . Spain . . . additional domestic casinos . . .  In short, when Adelson moves into a market, his plan is to transform, not simply build a casino for the sake of building a casino).

As for Macau, the government's efforts are having the effect of transitioning the market from VIP to mass gaming which, over the long haul, may actually lead to larger growth, particularly as the Chinese middle class continues to prosper.  Infrastructure in the region continues to improve, most notably with a soon-to-be opened bridge from the mainland to the Cotai Peninsula.  And capacity continues to ramp up with all of the major players (LVS, MPEL, WYNN and MGM) opening new projects in the next several years (despite the numerous existing concessions, LVS continues to gain market share, particularly in the mass market).   Add to this the development of non-gaming attractions currently underway nearby, aimed at bringing family entertainment to the region, and Macau's possibilities seem limitless.  Macau may soon be more than just a mecca for gambling; it is shooting to be a world-wide tourist destination.

It seems to me, at this very moment, that LVS is the perfect combination of growth and value.  Is gambling going anywhere?  Is the Communist government in China going to tank the Macau economy?  I'm betting the answer to these questions is "no."  In the meantime, the company continues to give back to shareholders with regular dividend increases and an ongoing stock buy-back program.  So, while LVS continues to be the proverbial "falling knife," I continue to buy.  Hell, in 2015, at current PPS, the yield alone will be north of 4%.

You often hear the philosophy that diversification is the key to investing.  I call bullshit on that.  I certainly believe in mutual funds.  Indeed, they hold the majority of my investments.  However, I also believe that when you have a winning idea, you pound it into the ground.  Since 2008, the gaming sector has been my winning idea.  And now, as 2015 nears, I still believe that to be the case.  Short term - who knows.  It's been painful.  Days like today, I look at how disproportionately my portfolio leans towards gaming (the only individual stocks I own are LVS, MGM and MPEL) and I watch the market open, and feel nauseated.  But, you know . . . "blood on the streets" and all . . .   I'm willing to gamble on the thesis long term.  Gamble BIG.  In 2020, I'm either going to be crying over my foolishness, or rolling in funds.  But, as we all know, unless you're Tony Bigcharles, you can't beat the casino.  So I'm betting on the casino.   Time will tell if the bet is a winner.        

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pete P Peters - Family Man

At the airport in Denver, awaiting my fight back to D.C.  I arrived early, to allow an hour or so for cold beer and football before take off.

Saturday morning, I met my niece at the Denver Museum of Science and Shit (actual name).  We looked a stuff.  It was sort of like my typical Saturday.  Without the gambling.  And the football.  And beer.  She's a good kid, so it was sort of fun.


After the museum, it was off to my brothers place to meet my other niece:


Um.  Call me in a year or so when she learns some tricks . . .

After an afternoon at the park, dinner, legos and blocks, I retreated back to the Westin, and ventured out on the town for a few beers and to watch the end of the late games.  I played three college Fanduels . . . $25 total investment.  By the time I got back to the city, I was first in one tournament and 17th and 7th in the other two . . . each with well over 1,000 runners.  Heading in to the 4th quarter of the late games, I was cashing for $1,850 . . .  Once the Cal game went final (and Daniel Lasko's night came to an end), I was in the clear.  I started the day with .55 cents left in my account, and closed with just under 2 grand . . . .

This morning (Sunday), I went back out to visit the family . . . more legos . . . more blocks . . . another trip to the park.  No football.   None. 

My take on kids -- if you are lucky, they are happy . . . in a good mood.  You spend your day supervising . . . performing trivial tasks (putting on shoes . . . getting drinks of water . . . preparing snacks) . . . watching them have fun . . . pretending that the leaves on the ground, or some random fucken rock, is worthy of prolonged discussion.  If you are unlucky, you spend your day listening to a  kid whine . . . trying to get them to act civilized . . . doling out discipline . . .  Under neither scenario do you get to do anything that you actually would like to do.  And, in 20 years, if all goes well - best case scenario -- you produced a productive member of society . . .  What am I missing?




Monday, October 27, 2014

Zoooom . . . Chicago

Saturday morning, Pete Peters arose before dawn and caught a flight to Chicago.  Why spend the weekend watching football in D.C. when you can spend the weekend watching football in Chicago?
 
I touched down around 9:00 am local time.  My buddy Ross -- a Chicago resident - - swung around the airport loop and picked me up.  Gamblor was scheduled to fly in from New York around 11:20, so we had some time to kill.  We decided to spend it at Rivers Casino, a short drive away.  The place was empty.  Yet, the black jack tables were all $25 minimum.  We figured Gamblor would want to play some 21 when he arrived, so Ross and I decided to just grind some VP for a couple of hours and catch up.  All of the single hand games were $1 minimum.  Absolutely insane.  In order to play max credits, you'd have to bet $5 a hand.  Too rich for my blood (although, sadly, there were some old ladies letting it fly at $5 a pop . . .  It was like watching an anti-gambling commercial live and in person . . .).  Anyway, we found a bank of $100 hand machines, and let it rip.  At one point, I got down to my last .55 cents.  Then I hit some hands, and worked my crisp hundred back up to $116.  Ultimately, Ross left with 24 cents profit.  I was the big winner -- a flat quarter in the black.  Bragging rights to Pete Peters....

After swinging back by the airport to pick up Gamblor, we went back to Rivers for some lunch.  Then we met up with Gamblor's friend, Greg, who also lives in Chicago, and found an empty black jack table.  Now, if you'll recall, my last few sessions of 21 have not worked out well.  It was time for momentum to swing back in favor of P3.  It had to.  It was time for a heater.  My watch was way, way off . . .  I bought in for $300 and was stacked before the first shoe ran dry.  My first hand played was 33 on a dealer 6.  I split.  Pulled a 10 and a 7 . . . stayed, and doubled . . . . to a 16.  Of course.  But, the hand is still looking OK, right?  Until the dealer pulls 18 . . . down $105 first hand.  And it got no better.  Eventually, down to my last $35, I pull another spot to double down.  I reach into my sock for another crisp hundred.  In for $400.  I lose the hand.  I lose the next hand for $25.  Then I put my remaining $55 or so down.... and lose that too.  Down $400 in twenty minutes.... Down $1,200 or so the past three weeks in about an hour of combined play.  8 double-downs lost in a row.  I think it's time to take a break from the 21...

After getting our hats handed to us at Rivers, we headed into the city and settled in at a bar on Clark, just across the street from Wrigley Field, to watch the afternoon NCAA games.  Then, around 9:00, it was off to dinner.  Filets at Gibsons.  We racked up a decent bill over the course of 2 hours.  Several bottles of wine compounded the damage.  In the end, only one reasonable thing to do -- "Credit Card Roulette" for the $700 tab . . .  Fittingly, Gamblor takes this one in the ass . . .

11:30 or so.  Saturday night.  Off to the dive bar across the street.  Gamblor is less-than-pleased with the results of the day's wagering.  He wants to push it.  Usually, this is the time of the evening when this crew breaks out the dice.  But we were dice-less.  But no worries.  We each have hands.  And cash.  We do the only reasonable thing -- "rock-paper-scissors" for $20's . . .  The metagame was outstanding.  True "level 3" thinking:

Everyone knows that Rock is the most popular starting move.  I know that you know that.  You will think, therefore, that I'm going Paper.  Which makes Rock the play. . . .

Hard to find an edge in this crowd.  The game goes on for half-hour or so with bills changing hands and adult beverages being drained.  Then it happens.  Ross's wife's best friend "randomly" shows up at the bar.  And she's with a group of her own friends.  Coincidence?  Likely.  I mean, Chicago is a small town with only a handful of bars.  Ugh.  Either way, the degenerate wagering comes to an abrupt end.  Women in their mid-forties really don't think four guys playing rock-paper-scissors for cash is very cool.  Instead, we spend the next hour pretending to not be hammered and engaging in forced conversation.  "Oh.  So you work for WholeFoods . . . You open new locations . . . You just moved to Chicago to open a few new stores.  Cool.  How do you like living in Chicago so far?"  Meanwhile, of course, I'm staring at her chest, wondering if she really has decent sized tits or if its just  some sort of Victoria's Secret-Induced Magic . . . wondering if I have a shot with her . . . if she'd be the oldest chick I've ever slept with . . . and what the fallout would be the next morning when Ross' wife finds out that I took advantage of her friend (or, perhaps more accurately, if I allowed this forty-eight year old to take advantage of me . . .).  In the end, the mental exercise is all for nothing, as her ugly friend imbibes too much, too quickly, and forces the impromptu gathering to a premature close . . . We gentlemen decide to have a nightcap (drink # 15 for the day seems necessary) before we call it a night . . .

Of course, upon arriving back at Ross' palatial palace, we decide our nightcap was premature.  We grab a bottle from our host's wine collection and retreat to his rooftop deck to enjoy the fortuitously mild Chicago weather.  The fire pit is simply delightful.  We recall stories from years past, when we were younger, more energetic.  The trip to Vegas when we lost our friend Sean for a full 24 hours . . . The trip to Baton Rouge for the LSU game . . . where we racked up an $800 bar tab pre-gaming across the street from the stadium and never actually made it in to the game that we flew across the county to see . . . That time in New Orleans when we bought Jaeger shots for the whole bar, but no one else would take one, so we drank all 30 ourselves . . .  Now, of course, a fun night out is Steaks and wine.  Life moves on.  Things are not the same.  Unclear whether things are better now or not.  It's so easy to wax philosophical late in the morning after a 14 hour bender.  But at 3:00 am, our night finally comes to a close . . .

Sunday was a standard NFL Sunday.  Brunch in the Andersonville neighborhood, and then back out to watch the games.  At 7:00, I hopped a cab back to O'Hare . . . Zoooom at 9:00 . . . Back home through my door in Bethesda, Maryland at 1:00 am . . .  Another weekend in the books . . .    

 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unlucky Horseshoe

Friday night was a debacle at The Shoe.  I got there early - around 5:00, and began with some sweet, sweet VP.  I quickly hit the old, runner, runner . . . runner Aces . . .


I added to my profit by getting to the bonus round in the Hangover slot machine and, before dinner, found myself up $250.

After dinner at Binions, things quickly deteriorated.  I bought in to the $1/3 game for $300.  Over the course of 2 hours, I showed down 6 hands.  I lost 5 of them . . . each, by one card!  Yes, the first hand played, I raised 99 to $15 and got 4 callers.  The flop was 4 T 6 . . .  It folded to me in position and I bet $45.  One guy called.  We checked the turn.  River was a Q.  We both checked it down.  He showed KT for the win.  

Second hand, I again raise from position with JJ and get one caller.  Flop comes out ace high.  He checks, and I check.  He checks the blank turn, and I bet.  He calls.    He checks the river, and I check.  Villain says, "I don;t have the ace . . ."  Phhhewwww.  Cool.  I show down my jacks.  He tables QQ.  Huh?  He limp-called his queens?  OK.  0-2.

Rebuy for another $100 . . .

I proceed to lose TT to AJ on a J high board . . . 88 to 99 . . . and QJ to KK on a queen high board.

I grabbed my remaining $200 and walk in frustration . . .

To the black jack table, with haste!

I throw down my remaining chips along with 3 additional crisp hundreds . . .  In for $500 at a $25 table . . .  The dealer starts the shoe hot, and I'm quickly down $200.  I consider just calling it a night.  I don't.  I stick around for more.   Hand shuffle, second shoe of the night . . .  And then things really get ugly . . .

During the course of the next 15 hands or so, I'm dealt 11 three times.  I double each.  I pull aces on all three hands . . .  my 12's lose . . .

I pull a T on a dealer 9.  I double.  An ace?  No.  The streak ends.  An 8.  Dealer pulls the standard face for 19.

Shortly thereafter down to my last $130 or so . . .  I have $35 on the table and I'm dealt A 5 against a dealer 5.  I double ($70 on the hand) and pull a 4.  THANK YOU!  FINALLY!  Dealer pulls a 7 . . . followed by a 9 . . . 21.   GO. FUCK. YOURSELF!   I pick up my few remaining chips, and my night comes to an infuriating close . . . 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Never Before Told Story of Debauchery

Actually, there are one or two folks who have heard this story.  But, by and large, it has not been told.  In fact, I probably should not be telling it now.  But, it happened long ago.  I've recovered from it.  And, importantly, I learned from it.  Pete Peters is not the same person anymore.  So, with that . . . here it goes . . .

Back in the day, Pete Peters was a National's season ticket holder.  I was a mid-level associate at a big law firm at the time.  I split a full season package with some colleagues at work.  Generally, I'd end up with 20 to 25 games a year.  We had four seats, and I attended games with a fellow associate, a paralegal and his friend.  We'll call them Ross, Mike and Patrick, respectively . . . because, like, those were their names. 

This particular story took place during the National's first season in the new ballpark.  The team was not very good.  The games were often boring.  And as a result, we tended to drink.  A lot.  Like, a lot.  This included a tradition we began our first year, back at the old RFK stadium -- the Seventh Inning Tequila Shot.  It was exactly as it sounds.  During the seventh inning, while people sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame, we'd make haste for the nearest full bar in the stadium and partake in shots of Tequila just before the alcohol cut off.  Ross would do the ordering:  "Four shots of your cheapest, warmest tequila for me and my three friends . . ."   We'd invariably leave the stadium a mess.  And, far too often, doubling down on our poor discretion, we'd continue the evening at some downtown bar before calling it a night.  This occasionally led to me stumbling back to the office in near blackout conditions, and sleeping it off on my office floor . . . or some random partner's couch. 

One evening, I awoke in the middle of the night.  I was on a telecom partner's sofa.   I hardly knew the guy.  I was litigation; he was regulatory.  Our worlds rarely collided.  But, from what little I did know, he seemed like a dick.  Anyway . . . I wake up . . . confused . . . pretty much blind.  After a minute or so, I realize the problem -- I'm missing my glasses.  They are not on the couch.  Or on the floor.  Shit.  I stumble around the office for nearly an hour before I find them on top of a refrigerator in a pantry.  Not a good evening. 

Yet, the next morning is worse.  After heading home to shower, I return to the office around 10:00am . . . hung over as hell . . .   when I realize I'm missing my phone.   I soon discover its location when I hear my old friend, Mr. Telecom partner, yelling at his secretary from around the corner: "WHO'SE GODDAMN PHONE IS THIS RINGING IN MY OFFICE!?!?!?!"  Turns out, the phone had fallen from my pocket during the night and was lodged between the couch cushions.  Oddly, Sir Telecom was somewhat aggrieved by the sweet, sweet sounds of my Magnum P.I. theme song ringtone blaring from between the cushions during his morning conference call . . . (I told you he was a dick . . .).  Fortunately, sometime later, when he left his office, his assistant kindly retrieved the phone for me and I avoided additional embarrassment. 

But, this is not the story I sat down to write.  It's a mere tangent.  And it pales in comparison to the tale at hand . . .

The night in issue went down like so many nights before . . . pregame beers . . . in-game beers . . . Seventh-Inning-Stretch warm tequila . . . and post game beverages.   It was Friday night, so we probably went even harder than usual.  At some point, likely around 11:30, Ross and I decide we want food.  Both dressed in disheveled jeans and t-shirts, we opt for the fanciest restaurant on the block.  We enter and bully our way to a table.  A waiter runs over and promptly tells us the kitchen just closed.  Undeterred, we still insist on food.  Further raising the ire of the waiter, we are insisting on pancakes . . .  A manager comes over.  He too is less than pleased.   Apparently, aside from Ross and I, no one else at this upscale joint is amused by our request for a late-night Rudy-Tooty-Fresh-N-Fruity . . . We are swiftly removed from the premises [***the day after, neither of us have any recollection of these events.  The only reason we are aware of it today is that Ross was on the phone with his wife the entire time].      

After our banishing, Ross jumps in a taxi.  This would be standard.  Except for the fact that the taxi was already occupied.  Nevertheless, somehow, Ross being Ross, he convinces the fellow passenger to not only share the cab, but also to continue the quest for flap jacks (true story, I swear . . .).  They both decide on a diner in Arlington, Virginia.  They enter, sit down, and order.  Sometime shortly thereafter, Ross heads to the bathroom.  While there, he apparently sobers up enough to realize that he is currently at a diner . . . at 1:00 in the morning . . . sitting in a booth with a complete stranger . . . waiting on pancakes.  Ross does the only reasonable thing.  He makes a run for it . . .

Meanwhile, I arrive back at my office.  I'm tanked and obviously not going anywhere for the evening.  I settle down behind my computer and attempt to check up on my fantasy baseball team.  Only, I'm too drunk to correctly type my password.  My fingers refuse to follow my head's instructions.  Eventually, I get it right. But, once the internet pops up, I find the screen is just a blur.  Seeing double would be an understatement.  It's then that I realize I'm going to be sick.  Like, really sick.      

I retreat to the men's room and unleash hell.  A violent fury of vomit and diarrhea, leaving the entire area in disarray.  The assault likely lasts an hour.  I hardly recall any of it.  And, while I try to clean up afterwards, my drunken efforts are amateur at best.

Eventually, I find my way back to my office.  Minutes later, there is a knock on my door.  It's the middle of the night.  It's the female security guard from the lobby.  Apparently, she must have been watching me wander the hallways of the office on video from her station.  So, there I am . . . in my office, still drunk as she starts speaking to me . . . trying to comprehend . . . entirely unable to formulate words in response . . . and sitting completely naked behind my desk . . .   

***

Saturday morning I awake around 11:00 . . . at home, in my own bed.  It takes only seconds before shear panic sets in.  OOOHHHH FUUUUCCCKKKK!!!!!  I have no phone . . . no wallet.  Both lost.  But this is the least of my concerns.  These items can be replaced.  The same can not be said of the job I worked so hard to get . . . Suffice it to say, it's a long weekend . . .

I return to work Monday totally unsure of what's to transpire.  For most of the day . . . nothing.  Then, early afternoon, the managing partner of the DC office stops by.  He enters, closes the door, and sits down in front of my desk.  Unlike the visit Friday night, I am wearing pants . . . Silence for a good 30 seconds.  Then he speaks:  "I heard you had quite an evening Friday night.  Actually, I SAW that you had quite an evening . . ."

More silence.  Then, finally:  "Don't make me have to come down here to see you under these circumstances ever again . . ." 

And with that, he left.  I had survived.  I guess the firm valued my legal skills more than I had suspected.  I couldn't imagine how I did not get fired. 

Later that evening, I run into the Partner-in-Charge of Associates in the hallway.  She is female.  Late 40's.  She smiles and comments, "so, I hope you've recovered from last weekend . . . "  Apparently, while I received a second chance at the firm, my actions had not gone unpunished.  No.  Turns out, my punishment was not knowing who, or how many people at the firm, had had the privilege of seeing the video of me stumbling around the 8th floor late that Friday night, drunk . . . and naked . . . 

And the punishment was effective.  Not once since has Pete Peters indulged in warm tequila at the ballpark.  Nor has he ever returned to the office after a night of drinking.  Indeed, fortunately, Pete has never been that drunk since . . .  Some mistakes we are doomed to repeat.  Others . . . not so much . . . 

-P3       

  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend in Photos

Friday Night at the Yard (ALCS Game 1)






Saturday Morning at the Shoe:




Saturday Night at The Yard (ALCS Game 2):




Friday, October 10, 2014

#birdland

  • Our firm moved offices last weekend.  The new space is nice.  However, the gym in the building is atrocious.  It's sometimes hard enough to motivate to run or lift without having to do so in a depressing space.  Solution - join a gym.  After scoping out some options, I decided on the gym at The Fairmont Hotel.  It's, um . . . plush.  Indoor saltwater lap pool . . . new, modern equipment . . . duel shower heads in the showers (including a rain-shower) . . . and paleo menu available from Juniper (the restaurant at the Fairmont).  You walk-in, tell them you'd like the salmon with cauliflower at 2:00; and when you are done with the workout, it's waiting for you.  Best part, the place is usually nearly empty mid-afternoon when I go.  It makes it a pleasure getting my swell on . . .  I just hope I don't get too big (sarcasm  alert). 




  • I ran into Mohammad El-Erian on the street this morning.  In person, he looks like Baba Booey with a bad case of The HIV.  If I saw him walking down the street and was told he was either (a) one of the greatest financial minds of our time; or (b) an insane homeless dude in a donated suit from Goodwill, I'd prolly vote the latter.




  • Earlier in the week, I pulled tickets for Game 2 of the ALCS tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.  Then, this morning, I figured, why hit up Game 2 when you can hit up Games 1 and 2?  Stubhub is my friend.  I intentionally chose seats in the upper, upper (like, upper) deck for tonight because of the 100% chance of rain.  I want to be under the overhang so that my beer does not get wet.  (I mean, when you are drinking Miller Lite, you need protect the deliciousness from any and all potential impurities, including rain water).  If all goes well, Games 1 and 2 will go off on schedule, and I'll be able to catch Sunday NFL.  Worst case, I spend Sunday at the Yard.  Either way, for the first time in several weeks, I'll have a weekend free of work-related nuisance.  

LET'S GO O's!  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Slow-Rolling Away the Day

It's Sunday afternoon.  I'm back in the office (our new office) working to finish a brief.  Who needs to spend Sunday watching football when you can listen to the games online on Sirius/XM . . . I did, however, make it to the Shoe for some poker Saturday evening.  I took a modest loss on the session.  As has been the trend, recently, a lone hand did me in, turning what would have been a winning session into the red.

I started the hand with about $370.  Villain was sitting on about $250...  After 4 limpers, villain raises to $10 from the Cut-off.  I look down at a red AK in the big blind.  I think about raising, but not sure I want to build a big pot out of position.  Ultimately, after a short tank, I just call, and, after picking up one more, we go three to the flop:

K J 9 (two clubs).

I check my top pair and it checks to the original raiser, who bets $30.  I re-raise to $100.  It folds to villain who shoves.  It's $115 more to me.  I call fairly quickly, figuring there is a decent amount I'm ahead of, including some draws.  And, as I normally do, since I'm not a giant jackass, I table my hand.  Even though I did not have to.  Because, like, who gives a crap.  It's $1/3 NL.  Lets move things along . . .

Villain, however, does not table.  The turn blanks.  He still does not table.  I think he's drawing.  River falls as a harmless red deuce.  Only then does villain flip his QT for the flopped nuts.  Really?  Losing the hand really did not bother me.  But, I'll admit, I was somewhat tilted by Villain's etiquette.  Was it a slow roll?  Perhaps not as that term is traditionally thought of.  But, come on.  What is he worried about?  Me hitting runner, runner Broadway?  Anyway; maybe I was being a bit overly sensitive.  But he pissed me off.  He pissed me off even more when he cashed out with my $250 chips just minutes later after, like, a 30 minute session.    

In the end, I left down $95 . . . living to play another day . . .

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back to the Grind

Friday evening, just minutes after filing my brief, I hit the road for the Horseshoe in Baltimore.  After checking in to the Hilton next to Camden Yards, I cabbed over to the Casino and grabbed a few Miller Lites whilst monkey mashing some sweet, sweep VP.   I was surprised to see several familiar faces working the VP bar -- several former bartenders from the Showboat.   After 20 minutes or so of button pushing, I was dealt a 4 4 2 4 . . .  James,  a former bartender from Spirit Bar at the Boat, was chatting with me and watching me play.  I promised him $30 if I hit the quad 4's with the kicker for $200.  Sure enough, I redrew to a 3 4 for the win.  

From there, I switched to some 10-handed play and was promptly dealt quad 7's . . .  up $350 on the evening, and time for dinner at Binions.  The usual - filet (medium rare), spinach and Jordon Cabernet.  

After dinner, around 10:30, it was time for some cards.  I was hoping to rebound from my last sessions two weeks ago, where I lost $400 with QQ as an overpair on Friday, and followed up with  3.5 hours of play Saturday and zero hands won . . . This session was the polar opposite of the last.  The table was passive and willing to donate.  I quickly built a stack:


Ultimately, I played until 4:30 am and cashed out $600 profit, before cabbing back to the hotel for  few hours sleep.

Five hours later, my phone rang.  My old law school roommate, "Gamblor," was in Maryland for the Jewish holidays and wanted to spend the afternoon grinding blackjack.  It was 10:00 am, and Gamblor was already at the table.  I quickly showered and drove over, and joined him at an empty $15 table.  Over the course of two hours, I added $200 to my weekend winnings.  Gamblor, for his part, and true to his nickname, pushed his stack, playing $100 hands, and turned $250 into $1,300.  I find I lack the stomach to push my bets that much . . . But the style works for him...

After lunch and a few drinks at the Diamond Lounge, we went back to the tables for another 2 hours.  I played $25 to $40 a hand and came away even.  Gamblor continued to play $50 to $100 a hand and lost all his winnings . . .  Black Jack is a game of runs . . . Seems to me you have to lock up your profits when you can . . . My style precludes me from ever winning big; but I often walk away with a few hundred in profit, which works for me . . .

At 5:00, Gamblor and I parted ways, and I hit the road for New Jersey.  I arrived at the Renaissance Newark Airport around 9:00, and crashed immediately, skipping dinner for some much needed rest.

Sunday, 8:30, the alarm went off.  Time for some J-E-T-S JETS, JETS, JETS football . . . I quickly packed and went out to the car.  It was then I realized I had a trunk full of warm beer.   And Jimmy, who was bringing the ice to the tailgate, has a history of showing up late.  Time to get creative.  I went back up to the room, found the plastic laundry bag in the closet and hit up the ice machine.  The only problem - the bag had several holes along the bottom (likely designed for ventilation) and the ice came out slushy.  I looked ridiculous holding a leaking laundry bag.  When I got off the elevator on ground floor, I couldn't decide whether to act casual or make a break for it.  I decided to play it cool.  So, like an idiot, there I am walking through the lobby of a reputable hotel with a plastic bag slung over my shoulder, water pouring out at an alarming pace.  A fine start to a Sunday morning . . .   

As for the game . . . well, it went about as well as expected.  At least the weather was nice . . .


The bright spot of losing is that we skip the post game victory steaks in the parking lot.  As a result, I was back home in D.C. by 8:30 . . . Another solid weekend in the books.

And now, back to the grind . . .  Monday and Tuesday have been 13 hour work days.  And the second half of the week looks no better.  I suspect I'll have to work this weekend as well.  But, being busy is good when you bill hourly . . .  Hopefully, I'll at least get an evening to hit the Shoe for a steak and some poker . . .
  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Patroling the Landscape

It's Monday.  I had kind of a rough weekend.  So, no better way to start the work-week than a 5:00 am alarm and an early trip to the office.  For lunch, I had a spinach salad with balsamic dressing.  Then, keeping the good times rolling, I went for an early afternoon appointment with the dermatologist for a yearly "mole patrol."  As part of the fun, the doc inspected my balls for moles while a hot assistant watched and took notes.  Not humiliating in the least. 

So, how's your day going? 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reality Behind the Perception

It's 1:30 pm Thursday afternoon.  Since Monday, I've been getting in to the office at 6:30am and leaving around 7:30pm. 

Tomorrow night, I have a friend coming in to town from Boston for the Red Sox series at The Yard.  Staying with me, which implicates certain hosting/entertainment obligations.  According to rumor and texts, he took off this morning for a leisurely, two-day, drive South, scheduled arrival tomorrow afternoon.  For my part, tomorrow morning I'll be getting up at 4:00 am to catch an early train to New York City for a 10:00 am meeting with a private equity client.  Then heading back to D.C. mid-afternoon.  I'm sure I'll be ready for an evening of debauchery when I get back home sometime late evening [this is sarcasm].  

And, to top it off, we had a pre-mediation call with a mediator this morning, who requested the parties up the previously agreed upon briefing schedule, due to some sort of approaching Jewish holiday.  As a result, I now find myself with a deadline of next Friday for a brief I have yet to begin, a draft of which will be due to the client by Wednesday.  When this brief will get drafted is, at the moment, a mystery. 

I'd love nothing more than to spend this weekend working.  Seriously . . . .  However, this looks to be an impossibility at the moment.  Unless I just decide to be a really, really (like, really) bad host.  In the words of Lightning, "FML" . . .