Monday, March 26, 2007

Soot Bear Casino Trip

Could people please stop blowing things up larger then they really are? A guy can't make a simple prop bet anymore without the morality police showing up? At least he's not at strip clubs beating up patrons and knocking up the dancers.

Has anyone who reads here ever been to Las Vegas? Go on raise your hand if you're Sure, I'm certain the number of people currently checking the strength of their Speed Stick or Degree is in the triple digits. The Frontier is crap on the outside, worst in the casino, and gives you a bad case of scurvy if you intend on using its rooms for any slumber. I'm sure most people who have traveled to Vegas have at least checked out Gilley's or the Bikini Bull Riding just for the fact that bouncing boobs tend to the spring break and pended up married men crowd. Of which I will be both, and will be attending the city that my low rolling slot play has built next Sunday.

I know I paid for at least two palm trees along Las Vegas Boulevard.

As I was wandering the charred hallways of Black Bear casino this weekend, I was reminded of my unfortunate stay at the Frontier several years ago. The ceilings had the same burnt-out look, the walls decorated with peeling blue light special wallpaper, and the rooms with dated looks and bed that felt like a cardboard box with sheets on top. Despite the several exclamnations of “NEW RENOVATIONS!” and “UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR THE GRANDEST CASINO!” I doubt the extra space can help this place ever feel more then an over-sized Knights of Columbus bingo hall.

Yet we go each year for the camaraderie of our bowling league to gamble a little after a no-tap tourney at Southgate Bowl. The plume of smoke hits your face as your stumble up a Marlboro flavored wind-gusting skyway from the hotel to the casino as the ventilation went south sometime during the first term of the Clinton Administration. For a greasy bite to eat the skyway café before you hit the casino floor doesn’t disappoint. $4.26 nets you an omelet the size of Human Head’s noggin with enough bacon stuffed inside that even certain baseball freak would give two oinks up, two big pieces of sourdough toast, and hash browns that would sedate most appetites.

Unfortunately that’s where the heaven stops and the true colors of the casino come out. The pool’s temperature was set to “Penguin” as little Kyra’s four teeth shivered after just five minutes and my balls were swimming in the Captain Morgan pool within my liver. But, the saving grace for my shriveled neather regions was the heated whirlpool which had some kind of I-don’t-want-to-know-what-I’m-stepping-on substance lingering on the bottom. Sadly no college spring breakers to stare at were in attendance, so the pool time was cut short for going back to the room for a nap on my cardboard box.

After the kids decided that it was time to finally pass out at night, I tried out the casino’s poker room located behind the blackjack pit. It is a smallish, bare-bones room but neat in appearance. Unfortunately, the dealers and brush decided my internet player status (I had my Full Tilt jersey on) was a signal for ridicule as my request for an Omaha game received a thousand mile stare and some off-handed “stupid internet player” comment. The only game running was two tables of $2-$10 spread limit that I’ve only played at the Excal several years ago before being introduced to people like Sklansky, Jones, Harrington, Iggy, Pauly, and Speaker. It was a fun game despite my lack of discipline when I decided to become abrasive after two beats in a row and single-digit IQ call down with 2nd pair to the best player at the table. Even a little slot and shot break didn’t my mood as I had to get up before donking off the rest of my stack. I guess only a four big bet loss could be considered a win since I was able to play for nearly four hours and get some passing conversation with my table mates despite the cold-shouldering from the staff.

Do live-only poker players really dislike those who play on the internet, or was this case of the staff emulating the casino’s drab looks?

I’ll have a second chance to test this theory in Vegas next week as I’ll go as an internet douchebag one session complete with iPod, mirrored shades, three different site-stamped pieces of apparel, and constant nagging about having to play only one table with no beeps when the action is on me.

Since I didn’t write down my ups and downs I’ll list them here to figure out how I did:

Bowling Alley:

Drinks: -$25 (god bless bowling alley with deep pours and cheap prices)

Toddler Bribes: -$3 (Skittles are a buck now? Sheesh.)

Wife: -$100 (she complained about no gambling money, no one to watch the kids, the big bill plus my intentions on nap time with the kids once we got back put a smile on her tired face)


Poker: -$50 ($40 playing, $10 for drinks as bringing drinks from the hotel room is +EV also marked the first time I didn't tip the brush in a cardroom due his attitude)

Blackjack: -$30 (I played three hands and the dealer caught two blackjacks and a 20, a sign that I should get a job as a hot table Cooler)

Food: -$42.43 (Only ate at the café, but well worth staying away from their horrible buffet and hitting up Culver’s for a butterburger on the way home)

Slots: +$285 (this number is only positive due to being a degenerate and hitting a jackpot on the very last machine before I stumbled back to the room for non-wheelchair assisted slumber)

Wow, adding a meal and an oversized foo-foo drink for the wife to the Vegas roll next week is better then the morning-star to the wallet I got during the trip to Grand Casino. But, least I enjoyed the atmosphere while losing at Grand. Without being forced to go back, I won’t be donating to the Fond Du Lac band’s coffers at Black Bear anytime soon.

Thanks for dropping by, now if someone would like to kindly flip the doom switch back to “off” on their way out I’d appreciate it.

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