Friday, June 29, 2007

Would Jesus Push a Wrap Draw?

As I returned to a surprisingly nice room at the Gold Coast (5-star service for low rollin’ degenerates by the way, highly recommended just don't eat at the Port O' Potty buffet) there was a noise that filled the air normally found on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet show. After searching for wildlife and finding no dead carcasses of prey ripped across the clean floor I just got ready for some slumber.

I kid.

Actually I’m not, I’ve heard construction sites with a lower decibel level, but I was so tired from setting PAI GOW hands I crashed in the other twin bed started the longest stretch of time within Clark County Nevada without a single drop of alcohol.

Thus begin my own little “raging solo” time as my roommate Speaker had other matters to attend to back at the Rio. Walking along the road up Hugh Heffner Drive to check out the Palms Resort and stare at the 10 foot Playboy Room posters complete with bunnies that were easy on the eyes but made we wish my shorts weren’t so tight. Panda Garden’s Sweet and Sour pork with fried rice went down with a flourish as forgetting to eat, next to having no alcohol constraint is still one of the things I’m improving on while visiting Sin City.

The owner Maloof himself was walking a dog along the poker slots as groupies and enough production cameras for a major motion picture surrounded him for a new promotional skit. I later saw him sitting at an empty blackjack table but resisted giving him the wink and a gun as I walked by making eye contact.

After some deep breaths, roaming the WSOP playing area few times to say hi to Pauly who was working hard on the HORSE event and downing ONE Cap’n Coke (I don’t count this as drinking as a singular beverage doesn’t nothing more then calm the nerves) I headed to the poker tent.

To me the climate was fine, as a slight chill descended from the large plastic baggies that channeled the A/C throughout the room was fine for me but for the majority of my table went in search of Parka and some sled dogs. A roundish asian girl politely welcomed me to the table as I shook hands with my tables mates noting the empty stack to my immediate left that remained unclaimed. As I looked up to see if anyone was walking this way there were two gentlemen heading in my direction. One was shortish while donning large sunglasses, noise muffling earphones, a goatee, and a team PokerStars shirt. The other was looking dapper with his pearly whites gleaming across the room and his suit was not something regularly found at T.J. Maxx.

Marsel Luske to my right, Joe Hachem to my left at the World Series of Poker Pot Limit Omaha tournament sounds like dialog for a “European Rounders” movie, but alas they took the immediate tables behind me as the seat was filled by a man who was rockin’ a turbo mullet to the max.

The tourney started very, very slowly for me as the dealer had not dealt O8 before and managed to make just two orbits before the first hour was up. Lucky for me I managed to break my first rule of not being all-in in the first hour while on the button after limping in.

Turbo Mullet: T74Q suited diamonds
Drizz: 2345 double suited diamonds and spades
Grumpy Old Guy: 248J

Flop: 236 with two diamonds

Hmmm… I like? With hitting everything under the sun I try leading out for 200 with 300 chips in the pot, get called in both places while rubbing the Jesus pencil topper from the Bracelet furiously for answering my selfish prayers.

Turn: 5 (not a straight flush making card)

I turn to the dealer wanting a silent word about her choice of dealt card (and change my religions simultaneously), but politely check my counterfeited nut straight especially when “Thunderstuck” starts playing from under Turbo Mullet’s curly party in the back and he looked like a man getting serviced under the table while shoving his chips in. Luckily, I managed to snag a quarter when Grumpy Old Guy didn’t know how to fold and we tied the low.

From there it was a greeting with a thousand watt smile from Change100 working the event that kept my spirits up despite the tail spin of several missed flops that would never end. Pauly, CC, and Otis dropped by to wish me luck and snap a photo (if you guys could forward it to me I’d love to have one).

My waterloo came again Grumpy Old Man who couldn’t fold as my case 7BB in chips during the 4th level went in with double suited aces versus his KQJT and he flopped QQJ, no two outer came for me.

G-a-m-e O-v-e-r

I was dazed that it happened so quickly that I hardly remember leaving my seating and the poker tent before reaching a cash game playing Speaker who offered the quickest tonic to my gut rot from busting out.

Hit up that PLO8 cash game.

No max buy in $2/$5 with several people sporting $1K towers of $5 chips. I came to do things I’d never done in Vegas and one of them is playing my chosen discipline of poker for stakes that could erase any slot or PAI GOW stupidity. For four hours I was able to play without fear of losing. Mississippi straddles lined the table, and set the average pots north of $200. I bought in for $500 and had $500 more in my pocket for one more buy-in should lady luck decide to fart in my general direction on this wild table. Someone was all-in about every other hand, sometimes splitting, other times not.

I cashed out $150 ahead. Not a big win but I accomplished everything that I came to Vegas to do within those 10 hours at the Rio. I played in the WSOP, did not for one second feel intimidated (all while stone sober I may add), and managed to smile after I was done despite busting well short of my goal to make it to Day 2.

Thanks for dropping by, I’ll be back on Monday with the –EV Donkey Olympics at the Venetian, WPGBT formation?, and don’t call it a comeback.

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