Friday, September 30, 2011

I Shouldn't Have to Say "Raise!"

This happened at BSC a little more than a year ago.  I was playing at my usual 2/4 limit game, sitting in seat 10 (immediately to the dealer’s right).  By this time I had established relationships with a lot of the BSC dealers, but not the one who was currently dealing, whose name is Barry.  Barry is not particularly chatty so I although I’d been dealt to by him many times, I’d never really struck up much of a conversation with him.
I had been having a really bad run, it had probably been over two hours since I’d last won a pot, even a little pot.  It had been almost that long since I’d even played a hand other than a blind.  That kind of night.  Finally, UTG (under the gun, ie, immediately to the left of the Big Blind), I was dealt A/K hearts.  I debated whether to raise.  I had been doing so badly at the time that there was a great temptation to risk only two bucks until I saw the flop.  Plus, being under the gun, you never know if you raise there you end up having everyone fold and you win a whopping three bucks.  I mean you want players when you have a premium hand like that so you can win some money….you just want the player who has the hand that would otherwise beat you to fold!
But I raised.  It was an average loose 2/4 game and I figured for sure I’d get some callers.  But I was wrong.  Everyone folded around, even the Small Blind, until the Big Blind.  I was starting to get pissed that I’d win a lousy three bucks… first pot in two hours!  But the Big Blind called my raise, to my surprise.  I’m thinking, if it had been me, and I knew it was gonna be heads up on the flop, I would have folded unless I had maybe pocket Ace’s or Kings.  Sure you might be favored to win with a lesser premium hand, but how much can you win?  You are getting such poor pot odds, it’s not worth the two bucks.  At least to me.  And if he had a really great starting hand, it would have made a lot more sense for him to re-raise me instead of calling, to at least get some money in the pot.
But BB called my raise.  As it happened, the BB was a new player at the game, having come over from a table that had broken.  He’d only played a few hands at this game before this happened.  Also, I believe he had a bit of a language issue, I hadn’t heard him say anything other than that he was Korean in a fairly heavy accent.  So I had no read on him.  Of course, he had no read on me, either.
Barry dealt out the flop, which was K-Q-5, rainbow.  Of course, that was a great flop for me, giving me top pair and top kicker.  To my surprise, the BB bet out.   So much for “checking to the raiser.”  So of course I wanted to raise to see how he reacted.  Perhaps he had two pair or even a set?  Would he re-raise my raise?  I wanted to see.
At this point in my poker career, I almost never announced “raise” when I raised.  I knew the rule and would make sure I would put out the entire amount of the bet and raise in one motion, over the betting line.  This of course is perfectly acceptable.  This was very late at night at the BSC and it is always very noisy.  Even right next to me, the dealer might not hear me say “raise.”  But he’d surely see that I was putting out four chips instead of two.
Or so I thought.  I put four chips across the line and waited for Barry to announce “raise.”  I believe I saw BB grab two more chips from his stack to call me.  But to my horror before he got the chips out across the betting line, Barry had already burned a card and flipped over the turn card.  Barry didn’t notice that I had raised. 
By the time I said, “Wait…I raised!” Barry had already exposed a King.  Of course, that was a great card for me, giving me trip Kings.  By this time BB had already put his two chips out over the betting line.  But the damage was done.  Barry had screwed up and he said “sorry.”   He immediately called the floor over. 
I didn’t say anything, but I was livid inside.  If I said, “That’s ok, he was gonna call anyway,” I would have revealed that I really liked the King as the turn card.  I was hoping that since the BB had called, they could just continue without me saying anything.  But no such luck.  The floor person enforced the standard rule for such a situation.  Burn another card, deal what would have been the river card as the turn card, and then reshuffle the deck with the exposed King back in the deck so it has a chance to be the river card. 
I was horrified.  But if I said anything, it would have revealed my hand and I figured I was still ahead in the hand.  And besides, as I found out later, my complaining wouldn’t have convinced them to change the ruling.  I tried to keep a poker face but I doubt I did.  The new turn card was a second 5.  Gulp.  If he had bet because he had pocket fives and flopped a set I was dead, dead, dead.  And when BB bet out again, that’s really what I was worried about.  I had two pair, Kings and Fives, but I sure as hell didn’t think I should raise there, having seen one of my outs buried back into the deck.
The river came as a Queen.  The board now had paired Queens and Fives, along with a King.  I had Kings and Queens and I didn’t think that was worth a damn.  Sure enough, BB bet out again.  For four bucks I had to see what he had.  Well at least he didn’t have pocket 5’s.  But he may as well have.  He had Ace-Queen.  Thus the river gave him a full boat.  He was actually behind me the whole way, and hit his out on the river.  The river that wouldn’t have been a Queen except for Barry’s huge mess-up.  You see, it should have been my full house, Kings full of fives, instead of Queens full of fives.  Barry’s inattention had cost me the pot.  As he pushed the pot to the BB, I said, rather sternly and unpleasantly I’m sure.  I would have had a full house.  I should have had a full house.”  All Barry did was very meekly say, “I’m sorry.”
So I was pissed.  I was pissed at what happened.  I was pissed at Barry.  I was pissed at what I thought was Barry’s inadequate apology.  I wasn’t expecting him to get down and his hands and knees and beg for my forgiveness, but I expected a little more sincerity, a little more sorrow in his voice.  And I was a little pissed at the guy who took down the pot.  I thought he should have apologized to me to, and acknowledged how lucky he was to win the hand.  But he was silent.  That may have been do the language issued I mentioned earlier, although he certainly did speak English.  But mostly, I was just pissed.  Now, the pot was only $23, and if that King had stayed on the turn, who knows if BB would have stayed in, so what I would have won could have even been less than the $23.  After watching BB play for an hour, I knew he was a solid player and wasn’t going to give his money away on a lost cause.  But right then, all I was thinking was that I lost a pot, and it would have been my first pot in two hours. 
I thought I was at about my highest level of annoyance right then, but I was wrong.  Of course the other players at the table had seen all of this occur.  I got a few comments offering me sympathy.  But then one guy, a New Yorker, of course, started yapping.  “That’s why I always say raise whenever I raise,” Then, directly to me, he said, “Yeah, you should have called out ‘raise’; then you wouldn’t have had that problem.”
I said, no doubt in a rough tone, “I shouldn’t have to say ‘raise’—the action speaks for itself.”  I started to go on, but caught myself.  I almost said something like, “If the dealer’s paying attention, if he’s doing his job, if he’s not totally incompetent, then I shouldn’t have to say “raise” in a noisy casino when you can’t hear it anyway.”  I really came close to saying that, but somehow, I restrained myself. 
Since I didn’t consider Barry a buddy at this time, I really did come thisclose to saying that.  But I managed to hold it in, for a couple of reasons.  First, I do have a great deal of self-restraint.  And after the moment past, I realized I was starting to become friendly with a lot of the staff at the BSC and didn’t want to suddenly get a reputation as a major asshole (even though everyone would have agreed I had a right to be pissed). Besides, why embarrass Barry further when suddenly the person I was even suddenly angrier at was this putz from New York? So I just sat there and said nothing more.  I just seethed and sulked.  Fortunately, I didn’t get any cards so my play wasn’t affected. 
After about 10 minutes, I started feeling relieved.  I was beginning to feel very good about not yelling at Barry, at not calling him incompetent.  I told myself that Barry probably felt as bad about what happened as I did, perhaps even worse. He’s only human, after all, and it’s not like I’ve never made a mistake myself.  He didn’t do it on purpose. And also I felt good about not making a scene at my favorite poker room.  It wouldn’t have made a difference, and all it would have done was make me look bad.  Instead, I was taking the high road and starting to feel good about it.
By the time his down was over, I wasn’t ready to go for a drink with him but at least I had stopped mentally sticking pins in my Barry voodoo doll. 
And here’s the kicker to this story.  After not playing at his table for quite a while after this incident (just by happenstance, not on purpose), next time he did come to my table he said hi to me by name (he’d never done that before) and we chatted amiably the entire down.  And thus we’ve actually become pals!  This makes me even happier about how I handled the situation, and you know, I really don’t miss that twenty three bucks.  And I’ve never brought up this story to Barry, and he’s never brought it up either.  But then, there’s no need to.  Some things are better left unsaid.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Playing Like a Dick

A couple of years ago I found myself playing in the 6PM tournament at LC1.  I hadn’t played a lot of tournament poker at this point, and really have only recently started playing tournaments semi-regularly.  I played in it mostly because there was no 2/4 limit game going on there (the place was dead) and I didn’t feel like getting back in my car to find another game.  Besides one of the dealers I was friendly with at the time suggested it, and I was thinking they may have sent her home early if they hadn’t needed a second table for the tournament.  So I was playing as a favor to this attractive lady dealer as much as anything else.
As the tournament was about to begin, an extremely attractive young girl took the seat to my immediate right.  She was barely old enough to be in a casino, I assume she was carded before being seated.  She was way beyond cute and had a killer body.  Unfortunately, despite this being summer in Vegas, she was not wearing anything skimpy.  Too bad.  She had on fairly tight shorts (but not that short) and a very tight t-shirt.  It was obvious she had a terrific figure, very thin waist and plenty of curves elsewhere.  But she was probably the only girl her age that I saw on this entire visit to Vegas that wasn’t showing any cleavage, sadly.
Her outer-beauty, however, sadly masked a not very beautiful woman on the inside.  She had come to the table with a guy her age who apparently she had just met playing slots.  They sat at opposite sides of the table and talked to each other incessantly during the tournament.  From the conversation (and from reading her players card upside down), I learned the girl’s name was Abigail.  Abigail clearly thought of herself as the world’s greatest poker player.  
From the moment she sat down, she was bragging that she was going to win the tournament.  She said this not just to her friend but to all of us around her.  At first I thought this was just good-natured banter, that she was just kidding around.  But as the tournament progressed, she kept repeating it, and any hint of fun or sarcastic bravado left her voice.  It was clear she meant it.  I’ve heard tournament players kid about winning before and since, but never have I heard anyone this adamant, this serious, and this obnoxious about it.  I began to think that if I looked up the word “arrogant” in the dictionary, I would see her picture.
She wasn’t restricting herself to bragging about winning or her poker expertise.  She started criticizing the other players, and guessing what cards they had from their bets and what they would do….and what they should do….as a result of her guesses.  In hindsight, I have to assume these comments were not said loud enough for the dealer to hear because otherwise she should have gotten warned for talking about the hands, especially hands she wasn’t in.  But out of the blue, if a player raised 3-4 times the big blind pre-flop, she might whisper, “He’s got Jacks” or “She’s got Queens or Tens” or some such.  
The sheer amount of words coming out of her would have been annoying no matter what she was saying.  But as she started criticizing players, it got really off-putting.  And every third sentence of hers was something along the lines of, “I’m gonna win this thing….no one here knows how to play.”  After about half an hour of this, and hearing all of it since I was sitting right next to her, I started to think to myself that she could be sitting there stark naked, look every bit as good that way as I suspected she did, and I’d still would have wanted her to leave.  
Early on I got a personal taste of Abigail’s obnoxiousness.  I had AK suited and hit a King on the flop.  I made a good bet, and she went all in.  She had me covered.  As I mentioned, I didn’t have a lot of tournament experience under my belt.  She could have flopped two pair or even a set.  Did I want to risk my tournament life with top pair/top kicker?  I thought about it for a good 5 or 6 seconds.  My gut told me that she had read me as a timid player (basically true) and that the bet would get me to fold a better hand than she had.  I decided to call thinking I probably had her beaten already and if not, I could still outdraw her.  So I called.  She turned over a medium pocket pair that the board had not hit.  I turned over my AK.  She knew she was in trouble, but wasn’t mad at her luck….she was mad at me!   “Shit, you have AK? What the hell took you so long to call?”  In other words, I was an idiot for not calling her all-in bet instantly.  I of course she have known that my top pair was good and that she hadn’t hit her set. I didn’t bother to respond to her criticism.  Nothing that helped either of us hit on the turn or river and I won the pot.  As I said, she had me covered so she was still alive in the tournament.
Now there were two middle aged guys sitting next to each other at this table that were friends.  And they were even bickering with each other like an old married couple.  They actually joked about being married to each other but it was just in fun, they both mentioned that this was a guys night out from their wives.  One of the guys got into a hand with Abigail and folded pocket Queens to her all-in bet….she showed a fairly weak hand like K-10.  She was quick to criticize the guy’s play.  She wasn’t gloating, she was actually critical of the guy for folding.  Because she knew exactly how to play every single hand properly.
Just a few minutes later, the two of them got into another hand together.  Abigail pushed all in pre-flop, and the middle-aged guy thought long and hard.  He had her covered, but not by much. He would be crippled if he called and lost. While he was thinking about it, Abigail offered that she had a pocket pair….and not a big pocket pair.  The guy thought long and hard…..about 30 seconds if not more, before finally calling her.  She flipped over a pair of fives.  He flipped over a pair of Jacks.  
Abigail was pissed.  Not because she was way behind, but because the guy had taken so long to call her.  By now her buddy had busted out and was standing next to Abigail, watching.  So Abigail said to the player who had called her, “What took you so long?  That’s an obvious call there.  I even said I had a small pocket pair!  Why were you hesitating?”  Of course, no one ever lies at a poker table, right?
The guy actually started to tell her what he was thinking (like it was really any of her business).  In the meantime, Abigail’s friend was agreeing with her that the guy was a fool for taking so long to make the call (probably because he thought that was a good way to get into her pants).  He said something like, “Yeah, what was the big deal?  Why did he need two minutes to call you?”
Abigail had an answer for that, “Oh, he was just acting like a dick.”  If the guy was upset over that, he didn’t show it…instead he continued his explanation, which no one (including me) was listening to.   But the dealer, an older guy who always struck me as quite humorless, definitely heard what Abigail said.  Rather than continue the play of the hand, the dealer held up the action and said to Abigail, “Excuse me.  You just said something not very nice to one of our players.”
Abigail wasn’t interested in the dealer’s comments.  She told him, “Just deal, please.”  But the dealer wasn’t buying.  “No.  I’m running this game, not you.”  He called the floor person over and told him that Abigail had called another player a “dick.”  The floor person lectured and warned Abigail.  Abigail protested.  She said she didn’t call the player a “dick.”  She said he was “playing like a dick.”  OK, big distinction, right?  The floor person didn’t care and said it wasn’t nice, and insisted that she apologize to the player and warned her that next time, she would be asked to leave.    She apologized to the player and the rest of the players too.  But she made a show of looking at the name badges of the dealer and floor person, as if she was planning to report them to some higher authority.
The floor person left and the hand continued.  The turn and river cards didn’t help Abigail, leaving her busted.  As she got up, to her credit, she again apologized to the guy who busted her out.  
She was walking out of the room with her friend, but for some reason stopped at the cashier.  Thinking she was heading straight out of the room, I said to the entire table, “Wow…she was a piece of work, wasn’t she?”  The entire table cracked up, and she looked back from the cashier.  Not sure if she heard what I said or was just reacting to the laughter.
We all agreed that it was a great thing the guy did, busting her out.  The dealer mentioned that she had criticized my play just a few hands earlier.  I had almost forgotten.  We talked about Abigail for quite a while after she left, enjoying her absence. One of the players joked that he thought the player who busted Abigail out was actually named “Dick.”  I had overheard her say that she was a dance instructor and mentioned this.  So someone asked what kind of dance she taught.  I said, “What, you think it might involve a pole?” Everyone had a good laugh at that.
At break, as I left the Men’s Room, I saw “Dick” talking on his cell phone, presumably to his wife.  I overheard him say, “So far, it’s been a pretty bad night.  I’m not doing well in the tournament.  And I’ve already been called a ‘dick!’”
Just a short time after the break was over, I busted out myself.  I didn’t cash in the tournament, but I scored a good story and an unforgettable character.  Thanks, Abigail.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Olivia (she wasn’t a Jack Off)

This story happened during a summer afternoon at BSC some time back.  I had been at this game about an hour and had noticed this rather young woman, barely old enough to be in a casino, playing at the 2/4 game.  She was cute and was there with her boyfriend, who was sitting at the other end of the table, and another couple.  The male of this couple was also playing at this game, but his girlfriend was elsewhere.  Although I didn’t know it at the time, the girl at the table was named Olivia.  And that’s her real name, and you’ll see why I didn’t change it when I get to the end of this story.

Olivia was a nice enough girl but was experiencing a run of extremely bad luck.  In the hour I was there (she was there for quite a while before I joined the game), I had not seen her pull in a single pot.  And she wasn’t even remotely quiet about it.  She was complaining quite a bit about losing so much.  She was bitching and moaning loudly and frequently about how unlucky she was.  No one likes losing but it can get to be annoying to hear someone bitch this much, and she was getting to that point.

She had just run out of money and had reached into her purse to get another $100 out for more chips.  Soon thereafter, in a hand I was mercifully not participating in, I noticed that on the turn, there were two Jacks on the board.  Olivia bet aggressively.  I assumed she had a Jack in her hand.  The river card as yet another Jack, and again Olivia bet aggressively.

No doubt to Olivia’s surprise (and delight), another player raised her.  That got me to look at the board more closely.  The last Jack was the Jack of spades, and the two cards on the board that weren’t Jacks were the King and 10 of spades.  So it was possible that someone had rivered a straight flush (if they had Queen & 9 of spades) or a royal flush (if they had Ace-Queen of spades).  From the betting I was convinced Olivia had the case Jack for quads.  This could be one bad beat if indeed the other player had a straight or royal flush.

The guy who raised was new at the table, he had only played about two or three hands before this one.  So there was no way to know what kind of player he was.  Perhaps he was as stupid as the guy who bet into my 4 7’s (although this story pre-dates my 4 7’s story).  It was too early to tell, but for sure I was paying attention….and so was everyone else at the table.

Olivia raised back, not a care in the world.  The new guy raised again without a second’s thought.  The betting round had started heads up so this was a legitimate instance of there being no cap…..they could keep raising each other until one of them run out of chips.

Which is what happened.  Olivia gleefully kept raising, and New Guy did the same.  On and on.  I had seen enough of Olivia’s play to be fairly certain that she wouldn’t keep raising like this if she didn’t have the fourth Jack.  And the more New Guy kept re-raising, the more I became convinced he had Olivia beat.  With three Jacks on the board, it would have been obvious to even the dumbest player that Olivia had the fourth Jack, and wasn’t raising every time with just a full house—or worse, a flush or a straight.  With trips on board, a full house isn’t a very good hand…..not one you would risk all your money for, anyway.

Although no one said anything, you could somehow feel the murmur through rest of the players at the table that this was a straight or royal flush vs quads, and someone was going down hard. Finally, Olivia ran out of money, and New Guy called her. of course.  She had put almost $100 into the pot.  When called, Olivia flipped over her two cards and literally sang, “I’ve got four Jacks, I’ve got four Jacks!”  In addition to the singing, she stood up and started dancing.  She was raising her hands and rocking her hips and slapping her ass as if some uptempo go-go music was being played.

Eventually all the other players’ eyes turned to New Guy, who calmly turned over his Ace and Queen of spades and in an unbelievably restrained monotone said, “I’ve got a royal flush.”  All the other players nodded, agreed that this is exactly what we were expecting, and congratulated the guy on the hand.  I even said to him, “A Royal Flush?  Wow. You don’t see those every day.”  In fact, in my over three years of playing poker, it was the first one I’d ever seen.  He replied, “Well I sure don’t.”

We looked back to Olivia.  She was standing there, frozen, having stopped her singing and dancing.  She looked at the board and his cards as the dealer pushed all the chips, all her chips, to the player with the Royal Flush.  I expected her to scream, or to cry, but she was totally silent.  After standing there frozen for a few seconds, she just took off.  I mean, she actually ran away from the table, and towards the front entrance of BSC, to the Strip.  She said nothing.  But we all noticed the look of absolutely horror on her face before she left.

The rest of the players were concerned for her well being but her boyfriend and his friend were actually kind of amused.  They were laughing.  Olivia left behind a sweater, some shopping bags and a half eaten bag of potato chips she had been working on.  Since she had no chips left and hadn’t said she was coming back, the floor person came by to clean up her seat so another player could replace her, giving her belongings to her boyfriend.

Some of the players, including myself, were concerned about Olivia.  “Is your girlfriend ok?  Shouldn’t you go after her?”  He scoffed, insisting that “she’s fine.  She’ll be ok.”  Eventually even the boyfriend’s buddy was worried, pressing his buddy to look for her.  But he insisted she was ok.

Finally, after about a half an hour, she did indeed return from the outside.  She came over to her boyfriend and I couldn’t hear what they said to each other, but she did get her belongings from him.  Then she bravely faced the entire table (and the guy with the Royal Flush was still there) and said to us, “I want to apologize to all of you.  I’m sorry I reacted like that. Obviously, I didn’t see the Royal Flush on the board.  I’m fine.”

We all kind of nodded and indicated we were glad that she was ok, and we offered our sympathies.

“Oh, and one more thing,” she added.  “When you all tell your friends this story—and you will—my name is ‘Olivia.’”  And with that, she was gone again.

Thanks, Olivia, for being such a good sport, and for such a good story.  Here’s to you!

Worrying About Her Boobs Falling Out

Recently at BSC, it was very early in the evening, and I sat down at the only 2/4 game they had.  Across from me was a middle-aged blonde who I learned was named Joan.  Joan was a reasonably attractive blonde with an extremely impressive chest.  The chest was plenty exposed, the dress she was wearing was low cut and wide open on top, there were virtually acres of tit exposed. Enough to convince me that the tits were indeed original factory equipment (the fact that the woman was a bit overweight--but not really fat--also helped convince me she was "natural.")  

It was an enjoyable sight.  I soon learned she was from Ventura County (CA) and there on her annual "girls trip."  I wasn't sure if she was with her sister or her girlfriend but it was clear that the husbands had been left back home (or perhaps they were having a guys vacation, fishing, hunting, whatever, I didn't really care). But she mentioned she would soon be leaving because "they" had to go to dinner and then to a show.....but she promised to return to the poker table after the show.

Fast forward a few hours.  Joan returned to the poker room wearing the same dress but covering up herself somewhat with a sweater (because despite the heat outside, it is usually cold in the BSC poker room).  With her was her friend, who I hadn't seen before.  At this point I was thinking they were sisters because they looked like they could be sisters--both blondes, both slightly overweight, and both with huge breasts.  And both showing similar amounts of cleavage.  Yeah, her sister or friend was almost as well built as Joan, and almost showing as much cleavage.  They were definitely welcome additions to the table.  All four of them.

I eventually figured out that the other blonde was Joan's friend, not her sister.  I can't recall her name, I only heard it once, it was something like "Esther" so let's just go with that for the sake of this story.   Joan and Esther sat opposite each other at the table I was at (by now, a second 2/4 game was going).  Joan immediately handed the dealer (George, a good guy and a "buddy" of mine) her players card, but Esther was too busy getting comfy in her seat to get her player's card.  I definitely noticed her as she bent down to take her seat (from where I was sitting, I had a better view of Esther than Joan).  

Suddenly Joan exclaimed, "Esther!"  About 10 seconds later I learned that Joan was merely trying to tell Esther that she had forgotten to give her players card to George but Esther heard the alarm in her friend's voice and had an interesting reaction.  

"What, what's wrong?"  She put her hand over her chest and looked down.  "What....did I come out of my top?"  It was an strange reaction, I thought.  How she got that from just hearing Joan call her name is beyond me (unless I suppose it had already happened that evening...but I could often see her bra as she moved and there was little chance of her accidentally flashing).  This got everyone laughing.  But when Joan explained that she needed to give George her players card, she said ok, but was in the middle of a hand and got distracted and forgot to fish her card out of her purse.  

A few minutes later, George, doing his job as he should, reminded her about the players card (as you know, you get a buck per every hour you play, you may as well start the clock as soon as possible).  Esther apologized and started looking for card in her purse.  "Oh, sorry," she said, "I was too distracted by worrying about my boobs falling out."  George held his reaction to a slight giggle.  

I do wonder why these ladies were going around flashing such major boobage, especially since they had left their husbands behind.  I wondered if their hubby's minded that they were in Vegas without them, giving such a show (it might be different if they were with them, and the husbands might enjoy "showing off" their wives).  I mean, they were basically competing for attention with the much younger "club girls" who walk around dressed like total sluts.  You could easily make the case that these two women were cougars......they were the right age, and dressed to attract male attention.  I suppose they could have gone prowling later, but from the conversation I was picking up, this was the last of their three or four nights in town and they had spent all their evenings in the poker room....not a nightclub.  Some of the other players at the table, and one of the dealers, confirmed that they had stayed up playing poker to 4:30 AM last night. Not the thing you would do if you were trying to pick up some young studs.

One friend I've told this story to suggested that Joan and Esther may have just been doing this for ego....they wanted to prove to themselves they could pick up younger guys, even though they had no intention of doing so.  Upon hearing this, I remembered something from that evening I initially hadn't told him. I had noticed Esther "adjusting" herself several times.  And I don't mean just pulling up the straps of her dress, presumably for comfort or to make sure she didn't fall out of her top, as I've seen woman do a million times.

She was actually digging into the top of her dress and touching her tits under the dress, as if to move them to a more comfortable location.  She wasn't digging in far enough to reach her nipples (unless she had the word's largest nipples, I suppose) but she was definitely touching parts of her tits that were not exposed by the cleavage exposing dress.

Was she doing this for comfort's sake?  I dunno. Never having worn a bra, I have no idea if it is necessary for a person wearing one to do this to keep herself comfortable.  All I can say is I haven't seen woman do this in public a whole lot (if ever).

Maybe she was doing it for the purpose of gaining even more male attention than just the exposed cleavage was getting her?  That would certainly play into my friend's theory.  And there were an unusual high number of female players at this game, seven of the 10 players were female.  If she wanted to attract male attention, I was one of her only few options. it possible that she was unhappy that I wasn't staring at her cleavage enough?  Is that why she reached in?  To either draw my attention or, pull them out a bit to expose more boobage?  I must admit, I found Joan's cleavage more enjoyable (and more plentiful) than Esther's.

I would say I saw Esther reach into to her dress at least three to four times. Strange, to say the least.

Or....I suppose it could be the "Jennifer Tilly effect".  Perhaps Joan and Esther had those low cut dresses on to distract the male players, and thus have more success at the table.  And perhaps Esther playing with her tits was her attempt to make sure I wouldn't be concentrating on the cards.

I guess I'll never know.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"I Don't Have a Penis!"

So there was this real crazy, silly, fun loving young woman at the poker table. She was dark complected with nicely styled short hair.  Kinda cute face but very nice body.  She was interacting with all the players.  At one point the guy next to me went over to talk to her more closely.

He told her she looked a little like Prince!  (Actually, she did....but since Prince looks more female than male, I don't think that's so bad to tell a woman).

She laughed.  Then she said, "Prince?  Prince???  I'm a woman! (pause)  I don't have a penis."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

She Pointed To Her Crotch

A few months ago I was seated one seat away from this dark haired gal.  Hard to to tell her age, I bet she was younger than she looked, I'm thinking she had partied pretty hard in her life and that had made her look older than she was.  She was semi-attractive and fairly skinny.  And she was wearing a very low cut top that would have exposed a lot of cleavage...if she had any thing to cleave.  But as I said, she was fairly skinny.

One thing she was was noisy.  Noisy and loud.  She talked non-stop. She would not shut up to save her life.  Now she had been drinking which no doubt contributed to her verbosity, but I'm quite sure she would have been talky anyway, and nothing on earth could shut her up.  She was also exceptionally loud when she got excited, like over a winning hand, or even an interesting, dangerous card falling on the board.  She would sometimes scream at cards hitting and bets other people made.  I have actually seen players warned in the poker room about being too loud (rarely, but I've seen it) but I'm guessing they didn't bother with this gal because she was female and they like have women in the room.  At one point she was so noisy, the thought occurred to me that if you were having sex with this gal and you found her g-spot, you could create a sonic boom or a small earthquake.

She was borderline annoying but mostly highly entertaining.  She raised a lot, way too much, which was annoying when I wasn't getting really great cards.  And she sometimes rubbed it in to the players she beat.  But she was a trip, and I was mostly laughing at her (and sometimes with her).  She was more fun than anything else.

Suddenly she noticed that I had not one but two little notebooks in my shirt pocket.  She became obsessed with them.  I use these notebooks to keep track of my wins/losses, to keep track of my poker comps, and to write notes to myself to remind me of anecdotes like this one.  I had two because one was almost full and if I had had a lot of wait time before getting into the game, I could do notes while waiting.  She asked what I had in the little notebooks.  I sarcastically said, "little notes."  This set her off.  She began pestering me to reveal what the notebooks contained.  I joked that it was my little black book.  Didn't stop her.  The more she became bugged by it, the more I resolved to say nothing and drive her crazy.  This was fun.

At one point I took out the totally blank one and handed it to her.  "Ok....I'll show it to you"  When she saw it was blank, she got more pissed.  I was really having fun now.  She speculated that it had notes on how to get women!  Lori, one of my dealer pals got curious and asked me about the notebooks.  One of the players said to me, "why don't you just tell her?"  With her listening, I said to the player, "Cuz it's so much more fun driving her crazy."  She didn't seem to mind.  Later, Mike, another dealer pal of mine was waiting to push a dealer at the next table over and leaned over into my shirt and touched the notebooks (which he'd probably seen a million times and never given a thought to about) and asked what I was keeping notes about?  I am guessing that after her turn at my table Lori had asked Matt if he knew what my notebook was for.

Anyway, she was a wild player.  There was actually another gal at the table when I got there, on the opposite side of the table. She also raised too often but was physically the opposite of this gal....she was very heavy and had major, major cleavage hanging out.  She was also pretty chatty, but nothing compared to the skinny gal next to me.

So, I lost a hand to her.  In this hand, she "check-raised" me....a rather cut-throat move that is perfectly acceptable and recommended in all poker books....but a move you don't see from most players at a 2/4 game.  I gave her a hard time about that.  It was at that point that I asked where she was from.  When she said L.A. I asked her what part and she said Venice Beach.  I told her I used to work in Marina del Rey.  I told her I lived in the valley and she referred to it as "the dark side."  Now I mentioned the low cutness of her top.  It was also sleeveless.  So I saw a lot of skin and it was ink-less.  That's when I said to her, "You can't live in Venice Beach, you don't have any tattoos."

Without batting an eye, she said, "Oh you just can't see them.  I have one here....."  And she pointed to her crotch.  Not quite her crotch.  More like her extreme upper thigh (she was wearing jeans), very close to the promised land. Based on the location, you would have to know this gal really, really well to see this tattoo.  At that point, I instinctively said, "OK, ok....I don't want to pry."

Why did I say that?  I guess because I didn't want her to throw my secret note book in my face.  I was actually thinking she might just reach over and grab my notebook out of my shirt pocket.  In hindsight, what I should have said was, "I'll show you my other notebook if you show me your tats."  I am sure I could have gotten away with that.  I think there's at least a 20% chance she would have agreed to it!  But I didn't think of it at the time.

She left to play blackjack, talking her hidden tats with her.  I do regret that I never asked her name.  I suppose I feared that if I had, she wouldn't tell me without showing her my notebook!

FOUR 7's!

Some time back I was playing in a 2/4 game at the BSC.   I wasn't doing well, so when I dropped down to having less than $50 in chips (from a $100 buy in) I bought in for another forty bucks.  This is what I've always done because I've always felt it was crazy to be short stacked in a limit game (no limit is an entirely different matter).  I've seen countless times players having to go all-in with really good hands because they didn't have enough chips to start the hand.  It's actually worked to my benefit several times--not having to call a raise that a player with a better hand than mine couldn't make because they ran out of chips.  So in five years of playing, I've never been forced to go all-in in a limit game.  I've never really come close....until this story.

A rather annoying, obnoxious player had recently joined the table, sitting directly to my left (I was sitting in the 7 seat).  He was a buddy of the talkative nice guy in seat 3 or 4.  The guy next to me will henceforth be known as "Annoying Guy" or AG for short.  He was annoying for several reasons.

First, he was extremely loud, talking to his buddy across the table in a loud, deep voice.  He was basically shouting in my ear.  The other thing was his sense of humor.  He came to the table with chips, all of which were red (ie, five dollar chips).  Not what you want to see at a 2/4 game where dollar chips rule the day.  And whenever he raised at first, which was quite frequently, he said "all-in."  This wasn't funny the first five times he said it and got totally annoying after that.  Especially since he shouted "all-in" into my ear every time he said it.  Also he tried to raise more than he could and didn't seem to grasp why he wasn't allowed to do so.  I assume he got the red chips from a no limit game he had been playing.  I couldn't be sure if he was just clueless or obnoxious or very possibly both.

He raised a lot when he first got to the table, especially pre-flop.  He didn't stick around to the river often, so I couldn't see what he was raising with but it happened enough to convince me he wasn't raising with much.  I hate players like that.  It's one thing to be an aggressive player who raises with a good starting hand, but it's quite another to raise almost every time because you'd rather be playing higher stakes or no limit or you think you can intimidate the other players.

It happened that while in early position, I looked down at pocket 7's.  I called, expecting to have to call AG's raise.  I'll two bet any pocket pair at the average, loose, low limit game, which this was.  To my surprise, AG didn't raise, one of the first times since he sat down that he hadn't raised pre-flop.  The flop was 8-7-4, rainbow, giving me a set but making me wary of a straight.  I was first to bet the flop, no one raised, only two called, including AG.

The turn was the case 7.  Lucky me.  I didn't pay much attention to the fact that there was now a second spade on the board.  At this point, I wanted to slow play hoping someone else would bet and I could call hoping someone would hit a straight or even less likely flush.  But no one bet.

The Ace of Hearts fell on the river....I would have preferred the Ace of Spades hoping someone hit a backdoor flush, but no such luck.  I was pretty sure no one had flopped a straight, it would have been an awful play to slow play a flopped straight.

I bet out, disappointed.  Since no one had bet the turn, I was sure neither of my opponents would call and I would take down a pretty small pot, especially disappointing with such a monster hand.  To my absolute astonishment, AG raised!  I couldn't believe my good fortune.  The third player folded immediately. Back to me, I of course re-raised.  I was certain AG would now fold, having failed at his pathetic attempt at a bluff.  If I was lucky, he would call and give me an extra four bucks.

But again he raised me, with stunning alacrity.  At BSC, unlike the locals casinos, limit games allow four raises (five bets).  Without hesitation, I put out eight more bucks and said, "I'll cap it."

The dealer, an older guy who is a part-timer, said, "No, there's no cap when it's heads up."  While I was wrapping my brain around this bit of good news, AG put in eight more bucks and said "raise."  Be still my heart!  I was too excited at the thought of a very small pot turning into a very big one to really analyze this at the time.  I knew the rule about their being unlimited raises when there are only two players, but I'd seen it actually come into play less than half a dozen times in all the times I've played limit poker.  And it never came into play when I was involved personally.

So I didn't spend a lot of time thinking that the dealer might have made an error, because my understanding was that the "no cap" rule only comes into play when the betting round starts with two players.  And unless my excitement at the thought of beating this jerk really, really badly had messed with memory, this betting round had started with three players, though third player didn't put any money into the pot on this round.

Instead, my mind went to the obvious...have I missed something?  Is there any possible way this jerk could beat my quads?  Before calling his raise, I paused.  I double checked the board.  No other pair on the board, so he couldn't have better quads.  A straight flush?  I checked three times and there were not three cards on the board of any one suit.  Sure there was straight out there, but that's not a problem for my quads.

Convinced I was unbeatable, I raised.  He raised again.  The speed with which both of us raised caused the dealer to tell us to stop.  He counted out AG's remaining chips (he had less than I did, thanks to my rebuy) and told me how many I'd need to match them.  He then said, "I assume that's what you both want to do?"  We both said yes, in my case, I could barely contain my enthusiasm.  He had put about $65 into the pot just on the river and I matched it.  That's some action for a guy like me used to playing 2/4 Limit!  I would have been at least twenty bucks short if I hadn't done the rebuy.

What the heck did this guy have?  I couldn't see him flopping a straight and slowplaying it.  But the other possibility....that the river Ace gave him Ace's Full didn't seem likely either.  If he was dealt Ace's, I couldn't imagine him not raising preflop.  Anyway, the dealer asked us both to show our hands.

AG proudly, yes proudly, said "Two pair!"  The river Ace gave him Aces up, with the 7's on the board (he was playing Ace-6, he flopped a gutshot).  That's it. That's all he had.  He went all in with two pair, when one of the pair was on the board.  I didn't even need pocket seven's to beat him.  One 7 in my hand would have been enough.

I swear as I was about to turn my cards up, the rest of the players at the table, in unison, seemed to say aloud, "Four sevens!"  Yeah, everyone at the table knew what I had, except AG.  You see, they had all been playing with me for quite awhile and knew what a tight player I was.  None of them could imagine me putting all that money into the pot unless I had the absolute nuts.  (Hmmm....I probably need to work on my table image, wouldn't you say?)

AG seemed genuinely surprised, amazingly so.  He got up, said something to his buddy about meeting up with him and said to me, "Enjoy my money!"

Everyone at the table was congratulating me, not only for winning a nice big pot with a nice monster hand but also for busting AG out and getting him to leave....I wasn't the only one this guy was annoying.  They commented on the fact that I had paused at one point to make sure I had the nuts, and complimented me for the way I played the hand (but really, it was all AG's stupidity).

In hindsight, I think that AG didn't like me and was hoping to give me a beating (pokerwise).  He let that emotion rule his actions and he clearly wasn't thinking straight to think his two pair could hold up. Why didn't he like me?  Well, I never complained verbally about his obnoxiousness, but I'll bet my body language was indicating my annoyance, especially when he kept shouting in my ear.  Just speculation, though.

As I told that story the rest of my visit, one thing became clear to me.  The dealer made not one but two mistakes on my hand.  For some reason, at BSC and at most poker rooms in Vegas, when it is heads up, they don't let you go all in.  They insist you get there one bet and raise at a time.  We should have just kept raising each other until he ran out of chips.  But that's just a cosmetic error, it had no effect on the result.

His earlier mistake did.  I asked my dealer pals and they confirmed that the rule was that "no cap when heads up" only took effect if the betting round starts heads up.  In telling the story, I indicated that I thought therefore that the dealer might have made a very nice mistake in my favor.  They say it happens, the dealer forgets that there were other players in the round at the start of it, and if no one points it out to them, so be it.   I'm sure that's what happened here. The guy gave me $65 on the river when by rights, he should have only been able to give me twenty bucks.

Do I feel guilty about getting extra money from the guy due to a dealer's screw up?  I might if the guy wasn't an obnoxious jerk.  As it is, I've lost zero sleep over this.  Hey, the guy could have stopped raising me anytime.  In fact, he never should have raised me in the first place.  Yes, you clown, I did enjoy your money!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hard Rock Hooker

A few years ago I decided to go to Hard Rock (not a pseudonym) to check out the pool.  I told the guy I wanted to play blackjack but he didn't seem to care.  Not sure if it was because it was a weekday or not, but all he was there for was to make sure no one took anything glass into the pool area and to make sure they didn't take any bags there (I guess they don't want anyone smuggling outside food and drinks in).  Anyway, I got into the pool area and looked around.

Oh my gosh.  This is the place I wanted my ashes scattered when I die.  The female employees who work in the pool area--all of them wearing bikinis with very tiny sarongs wrapped very tightly around their bikini bottoms--are nothing short of sensational.  I mean they all have killer bodies. Unlike the cocktail waitresses inside, they all seem to be natural on top.  Basically, they don't hire girls for the pool unless they make the average Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model look like Rosie O'Donnell.  I'm not kidding, these girls were unbelievable.

Of course, the clientele in and around the pool isn't bad either.  About 80% of the girls there are various degrees of hot.  Every now and again you see a girl in a bathing suit and you wish she was covered more but that's rare.  This is eye candy at its absolute best.

I eventually made my way over to the bar/casino area.  Behind the bar, there were two female bartenders in turquoise bikinis with virtually perfect bodies.  Don't ask me what their faces looked like, I never got there.  They could look like Greta Van Sustern for all I know.  They not only had one swim up blackjack table but three blackjack tables next to the bar for people NOT in the pool.  These were manned by two awesome looking bikini -clad dealers and one guy, who, sorry ladies, was wearing a shirt.  The minimums for the BJ were $15, $25, and $100.  Frankly, the girl dealing at the $15 table was so hot that I was tempted to play there even at $15 a throw just to get a better view of this gal, but there was no room.  And as hot as the other dealer was, I wasn't quite prepared to play BJ at $100 a hand to get close to her.

But I decided that, while it might not be worth a hundred bucks or so to hang around, it was definitely worth the price of an overpriced drink.  There was an open spot at the bar which I took, which offered a pretty good view of the pool, a great view of the two awesome bartenders and a nice view of various hot girls walking right past me to and from the bar, the casino area and the ladies room.  Also the hot waitresses getting drinks to deliver poolside.  It's pretty much the best experience a guy could have without taking off his  pants.

So I sat at the bar and waited to order a drink.  I knew the drink would be ridiculously expensive but I figured it was worth it to buy me, say, 1/2 hour at this venue. I decided to order a Bud Light Lime that I had seen one guy at the bar the always stays cold aluminum bottle.  I had heard a couple of guys at poker the day before raving about how great these new bottles were.  And I figured domestic beer would be cheaper than a Corona or a mixed drink.  However, the bartender was totally ignoring me, like she didn't see me.  Not really a problem, gave me more time to enjoy the view.

Which I was.  But then at one point I noticed a few feet from me a girl drying herself off who I definitely did not want to see in a bikini, even though she was indeed wearing one.  This was an example of the one in five patrons who wasn't hot.  Oh, I guess her face was nice enough, but she was definitely too heavy to get away with wearing a bikini.   I wouldn't call her obese, but she was a million miles from being "trim."   Even though she did have big tits that were natural because her bikini showed a lot of cleavage and they were quite sagging.  Hey, if a girl is showing lotsa cleavage and I want to turn away, you know there's a problem, right?

So it didn't take me very long to look away from her and go back to looking at the hot bartender who was ignoring me.  But, within five seconds, the girl I was just describing came over to me, rubbed up against me and said hello.  She was actually getting me a little wet--and not in a good way.  She started chatting me up and since I wasn't born yesterday I immediately realized that the gal was a hooker.  So, they don't just work on the Strip casinos at around 1:00AM, it seems.
She asked me my name and gave me hers (which I immediately forgot) and asked where I was from, what I was here for, what I like to play, was I going into the pool, etc.  And constantly rubbing up against me.  She even complimented my shirt, which was just a plain old pocket T like I usually wear.  I lied to her and said I was leaving town in a couple of hours but it did not deter her.  In hindsight, I know I should have said that I didn't have a room at this hotel to see how she would deal with that, although I thought that was implied by my saying I was leaving town soon since this was around 3:00PM and I would have been checked out of my room by now.  Subtlety was wasted on this girl, apparently.

I was annoyed because she was just a total distraction from what I was really there for.  I mean, even if I was open to the idea of hiring a hooker, this was not the girl I would ever hire.  I probably shouldn't admit this but if I'm being totally honest, if this gal had looked like one of the bartenders, it's not outside the realm of possibility that this story might have a totally different ending.  And one I wouldn't be putting in a blog post. But this girl?  No way.  She would have to pay me, not the other way around.

Now here's the most embarrassing part.  She asked me if I was going to order a drink.  I said that I was trying to but that I was being ignored.  Then she asked if I would buy her one.  I just didn't know how to handle this situation.  I guess my instinct was not to be rude and say no.  Or to tell her to get lost like I should have.  Or make up something about meeting my girlfriend any minute.  So before I knew what I was saying, I said yes, I would buy her a drink.  Such a gentlemen!  Such a putz!

She immediately flagged down the bartender who was ignoring me.  She ordered something, I couldn't hear what, and I ordered the Bud Light Lime.  I really didn't know what it was called so I had to point out the guy who was drinking what I was talking about.  The bartender went to get the drinks.  I got out a twenty figuring that there was no way two drinks could be more than that, including tip.

What I didn't realize was that this slut ordered two drinks.  The bartender put two drinks in front of her (one was huge bottle of bottled water and I didn't know what the other one was) and gave me my beer.  Then she said the tab was $33!  Thirty Three dollars!  I gulped, reached back for my wallet and took out another $20.  You have to tip a buck a drink, right, so that's $36 this little adventure is costing me.  I looked at the receipt.  My beer was $7, so was the bottled water (Large Fiji water).  Now the seven bucks for the beer is outrageous enough, but how do they have the balls to charge the same price for the goddamn water?  And the other drink?  That was a "Red Bull Tiki" and the cost of that was $19!!!!!  Yikes!.  What the hell is a Red Bull Tiki anyway?  For $19 it better be one awesome drink.

Well, it was an expensive lesson but I was trying to figure a way out of it.  I didn't really want to sit there with this chunky hooker and chat with her.  Fortunately, after she had the drinks, she asked me if I was going to be  there that night.  I reminded her that I was leaving in a couple of hours.  She asked I was sure and if I might be interested in joining her for a hot tub party instead.  I insisted that I was not staying long.  She then started to pack up her stuff and said she was taking off but told me, "Don't go anywhere, I'll be back."  Screw that.  As soon as she was out of view, I grabbed my overpriced beer and got the hell out of there!  Back inside the casino.  I didn't think she'd be trolling inside, not in that bikini that was revealing much too much flesh.

I do wonder if this gal has some kind of "arrangement" with the hotel.  She was definitely in the pool and the pool is for guests only.  I doubt she has a room at the Hard Rock.  Does she sneak by or does she have a deal with the hotel?  Perhaps the hotel gets a cut, or maybe the hotel is just okay with it because it brings in customers?

Anyway, it was a pretty annoying experience, and not just because of the $28 I was out (I was willing to spend $8 for the beer I ordered for myself).  It cost me a good half an hour or more of eye candy viewing.  Because there was no way I was hanging around the pool and risking having to deal with her again.....or perhaps some other hooker who was working the pool.

The saving grace is that, at least I got a great story out of it.  By the next day it almost seemed worth it for the story.  And now, I can honestly say that I have spent money on a hooker.  And also, that I got screwed by one.  Just not in the way you'd want to.

The Excalibur: What a Dump!

In July of 2010 I decided to stay at the Excalibur in Vegas for the first time.  I liked the fact that the place is cheap, and it is a nice location on the Southern end of the Strip. Since the price was right (pretty much the same as the Orleans, one of my favorite places to stay), I gave it a try.  Now, I know the old saying, "You get what you pay for" but I really was appalled by some of the hotel's shortcomings.

First thing I noticed was how few TV channels they offered.  There was no Fox News Channel, no ESPN2, no TNT!  If the basketball season was going when I was there, it would have been disastrous not to have the NBA playoff games on TNT.  As it was, I missed some of Wimbledon on ESPN2.  And I missed FNC the entire time.  All these channels and a lot more are available at the Orleans and of course any quality strip hotel.. 

When I first got to the room I called to get a refrigerator sent up.  As always when I make this request, I told them I had some medicine that needed to be refrigerated (this is only a minor stretch).  I was told there would be a $20 charge per day for it.  Per day!  BSC once charged me $35 for a fridge, but that was a one time charge, not per day.  Last time at BSC, they didn't charge me at all, and Orleans has never charged me.  When I reiterated that it was for medicine I was told there were no exceptions to the $20 per day charge!

I wasn't going to pay twenty bucks a day for a fridge, tacking on another $20 per night for the room would make the Excalibur no longer cheap.  I might as well stay at the BSC (well not quite, but still.....)  So I schlepped my cooler in from the car and had to keep getting ice to dump into it.  I wasn't sure my cooler was leak proof but fortunately it turned out to be.  Getting the ice several times a day and then emptying out the water from the cooler was no fun at all.  Did I mention my room came with a shower only, no tub?  I kept the cooler in the shower stall (except when I was expecting the maid) and kept emptying the melted ice in there.  As I said....a pain.

But the worst thing about staying at the Excalibur was evident until the next morning when I attempted to take a shower.  Yes, I said "attempted."  The water pressure was virtually non-existent!  Now, my friend lives in Vegas, I've stayed at his house many times and I know the water pressure in Vegas is a problem for locals.  My buddy was unhappy about it when he first bought his house up there but was told that it was something that Vegas residents just had to get used to (I think it has something to do with the drought).  So when staying at any other hotel I've ever stayed at in Vegas, I noticed the water pressure was considerably better than at my friend's house.  It was dramatically different.

But not at the Excalibur.  The water pressure was significantly worse than at my friend's place....or anywhere else I've ever used a shower.  I swear, it was like having an 80 year man with a prostate problem urinating on you (not that I really know what that is like!),   It was almost impossible to get wet, and almost impossible to rinse the soap off me.  And it was really impossible to get the shampoo out of my hair.  I'm pretty sure I didn't get it all out until I washed it back home.  I've never seen anything like it.

I didn't bother to complain.  My assumption was that it would pretty much the same in any room, and I really didn't feel like moving.  I had unpacked everything by then, and had the cooler with melting ice to worry about....I sure didn't want to move that.  I have to figure that Excalibur just doesn't bother to bribe the proper government officials in order to get water pressure that exceeds the county's legal limits.  I wish I had thought to check this before I unpacked and settled in, but I had not.  Actually I did have a clue and should have followed up on it, because the water pressure from the faucet in the bathroom sink was equally pathetic.  So I'll never know if another room would have been an improvement.

Like most hotels in Vegas these, the Excalibur quotes a rate and then just as you about to confirm the reservation, they warn you that will add on a "resort fee" to the daily room charge.  In the Excalibur's case, the charge was ten bucks per day.  What do they give you for that?  Three things basically.  Free wired internet, a free daily newspaper and free bottled water in your room.

OK, with the free internet, that's not a bad deal.  Most hotels in Vegas will charge you more than that for wifi in your room.  But it wasn't wifi,as I said, it was wired.  But that wasn't a problem.  My laptop, which had never been hooked to a wired network before, had no problem getting on the internet, and the speed was acceptable.

But the free daily newspaper is kind of a joke.  The newspaper, of course, is USA Today.  But keep in mind, most people go to Vegas for a weekend.  And USA Today doesn't publish on Saturday and Sunday!  So it's not really a daily newspaper, is it?  Only if you only go during the week.  Oh and of course they don't bring it to your room and leave it outside your door as I have to go to the newsstand to get it yourself.

And then there's the bottle water.  Well, after a day or two they stopped delivering it.  When I called to complain, I was told they stopped offering free water.  I pointed out to the woman I was speaking to that it was one of things they listed to justify their $10 resort fee.  The woman said, "Are you kidding me?  You're complaining about those two little bottles of water?"  I said it wasn't my idea to charge ten bucks a day for was theirs!  She just laughed.  I hung up because it didn't seem like it was worth my time to pursue this.  But again.....they're the ones promoting the free bottled water to justify their resort fee!

All in all, the Excalibur was an interesting experiment that I won't likely repeat.