Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do You Sudoku? WPBT Winter Classic Part 1

Fade to Black

Could also be the working title of watching me play poker for the past week. Slowly losing back what I won in the previous month has been a little disturbing and contributed to my not-so-minty-fresh attitude on Saturday. The adventure in Vegas started off with smiles and optimism abound. If you don’t step off that plane with a grin similar to the one sported after eating some damn good beef jerky or seeing some boobies by pure chance on your television set, there’s really no hope to enjoy yourself in the city of sin. The whole Vegas state-of-mind that “I’m going to win” or “I’m going to party until I end up in a wheelchair” once the badly coifed flight attendant gives you a tepid “good luck” as you stash away that JR Davies’ signed Shrum Bowl XXVI collector’s edition book in your PokerStars carry-on bag, its necessary to enjoy four full days of watching people spend beyond their means just because the alcohol is free, and the women don’t care that you’re staring.

The Folies Bergere show on Thursday night was a mild disappointment at first as the beginning started like watching my sister’s dance recitals, except topless. Which is a mildly disturbing thought that may require several years of applying a brillo pad to my brain. But in the end you do get your money’s worth with the 32A-cup toting showgirls walk through the decades and a decent song and dance on the side. One question… was the lead “singer” possibly lip-synching? I can read lips fairly well and there was definitely a visable/audiable delay between her lips moving and music coming out, not Ashlee Simpson/Saturday Night Live bad, but definitely a difference.

After the show I had the fever for the flavor of a Pringle. I had the motivation to have a good time as I was seeing people who have given me a network of friends that don’t judge me based upon my inability to hear requests for my mysterious and never-before-seen Captain Morgan boxers (which I didn’t wear on purpose). But, when I woke up after blacking out the first night the fun seemed to dull a bit. Nailing a full house Friday evening after a half-night worth of Cap’n Cokes on the Pai Gow tables with a decent 80s rock cover band blaring in the background and high fives being dished out, just didn’t have the zing it did when I was huddled around the Geisha Bar, accepting one too many generous drinks, shots (Iggy and Chilly of course) and smiles.

Friendship is what makes Vegas to me. Of course, I looked at the waitresses, and looked again, then one more time for good measure, but being around people with similar interest yet having totally different backgrounds is refreshing from a daily life that leans towards a gray-monotone background. That’s why I chop out enough money to fly around to WPBT-type events.

That and the free wheelchair rides that you don’t recall rock as well. Can anyone fill in the blanks?


Since I spent most of Friday morning apologizing for the previous night’s journey to the drunken abyss, the silent treatment doled out by the spouse was deserved and earned ten times over. But, again I was bailed out by a little Daddy and Al tag team (and a $100 bribe) and she at least put on a happy face.

The brunch at the Wynn was probably the best meal I’ve ever tasted outside of the really really good shrimp and hush puppies platter at Long John Silver’s about two years ago. Seriously, the teriyaki steak, Kobe beef meatballs (massaged cow!), brick oven pizza, and decadent vanilla ice cream to top it off was as a fine of a meal as this simpleton has ever had. While snarfing down as much eats as possible, Falstaff gave me a birthday present only a true Drizzt Do’Urden geek like myself could appreciate. The soft-spoken kilt-toting thespian was thoughtful enough to grab my favorite author for a signed copy of Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (picture of the book coming on Thursday with promised Christmas picks of the little ones for the gracious hostess of the Wynn brunch, thank you Gracie!). Yes, gay man hugs were given and the thoughtfulness of the gift from Menzoberranzan still gets me. Thank you sir and ma’am.

You Shook Me All Night Long

“Drizz looks pissed”

Yep, I was.

I have zero excuses for it.

I was so ashamed of my inability to take a couple of beats that I managed to ignore a U of M grad near the roulette tables while exiting the tournament room at Caesar’s with a grunt and eyes plummeting towards the casino’s multi-colored carpeting. Maybe if the “beats” would have happened in the first hour or so, and not with two tables remaining I’d have the same outlook on the cards coming out as I do while at home reclined on my couch and a laptop warming my legs in the porch. After 4-5 hours of playing semi-seriously as there needed to be some comedy having someone like Mr. Speaker to my direct left or seeing the wayward Bobby Bracelet floating in totally unexpected the previous night, the competitive side of me took hold and blocked out all of the fun I had for the first four hours and at the MGM the previous night.

If there was ever a time I need a hardy “put a stitch in it” that was it. My mind just wouldn’t release the loss, instead of focusing on the positive for making it that far in the tourney. Its. A. Card. Game. Just like learning Texas Hold Em’ for the first time, it’s easy to remember, hard to master those emotions when the cards don’t fall your way. With a 16th or 17th place finish I did a little shopping with the wife before as she gave into the callings of sleep. I slinked back to the IP for the PokerPro presentation and give one last attempt to salvage a few smiles…

… to be continued.

Thanks for dropping by, now in honor of Bobby Bracelet: The top three people I wanted to punch in the face while in Vegas:

1) Dude with Dale Earnhart Jr.’s NASCAR number scrawled up his entire forearm: At least he wasn't wearing a pair of Wrangler’s while sporting a Budweiser tattoo on his forehead. NASCAR4LIFE!!!! WHOO!!!!

2) Bitchy Pai Gow dealer at New York New York: Set the fuckin dragon hand how I WANT TO since its not YOUR HAND like the other 20 different dealers I played with last weekend. And lighten the fuck up, she managed to kill my buzz faster then my wife did while waking up Friday morning with her constant ability to smile only when she won.

3) OMG I Can’t Check-in 20 Bags Group At the Airport: This merry band of single digit IQs managed to have 12 bags over the limit and tried to pass some of them off as carry-ons. Of course the verbal sparring between the bag jockeys and amoebas made for a Jerry Springer special waiting to happen. 30 minutes later they fess up the extra cash, and stomp off to enjoy an overpriced smoothie at Chili’s.

Our total check-in time to go home once we got to the front of the line? Three minutes. Assholes.

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