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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 . . .